Of Mallets and “Mallets”

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Posted by wjstix on Monday, December 28, 2020 11:58 AM

Lithonia Operator
I had been under the impression (until I read the SP-related book) that to be a Mallet it had to be a compound articulated, period. So I never thought of simple articulateds being Mallets or "Mallet-style." I may be wrong, but I think the great majority of North American articulateds were simples.

Technically that is correct, "true" Mallets were compound engines, simple engines were just articulateds. In practice, since the first articulateds were Mallets, many railroaders (and railfans) just got in the habit of calling all articulateds "Mallets" (pronounced "Malley" usually). 

There are a lot of things like that. I work in taxes, so when I hear people say "I got my return check from the IRS today" I always want to say "No, you filed a 1040 return, and got a refund check"...but I usually don't bother. 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, December 28, 2020 12:22 PM

Remember that all these simple articulateds use Mallet's method of chassis articulation.  The only reason we don't call them "Mallets" is in deference to the inventor's express wishes that any 'Mallet' had to involve his compounding as well as his hinging.

It should be perfectly fine to use the M-word when discussing hinged articulateds as there's very little likelihood in North America that you'll see a different chassis arrangement.  Duplexes are the usual source of trouble (probably from railfans who have seen the toy versions that usually swivel both engines to negotiate tight tinplate curves!) but since neither Garrarts nor Meyers were tried here (with reciprocating engines) if you have two engines and one boiler it's a Mallet-pattern chassis.  (We'll correct you if you just say 'Mallet' but explain why... and be understanding if you choose to keep calling them Malleys thereafter.)

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Posted by M636C on Monday, December 28, 2020 4:18 PM

There are a lot of things like that. I work in taxes, so when I hear people say "I got my return check from the IRS today" I always want to say "No, you filed a 1040 return, and got a refund check"...but I usually don't bother. 

 I think the same names are used here in Australia.

My understanding is that the "tax return" is the document I submit listing my earnings.

Then I get a bill and send the Australian Tax Office the extra amount I owe them. I did get a refund cheque in 1976 and possibly a couple since then, but more often I owe money to the ATO.

Peter

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Monday, December 28, 2020 9:26 PM

Peter,

The US is slightly different. The Form 1040 is used to calculate taxes owed or refunded based on income, various deductible expenses and taxes paid as part of witholding or estimated tax payments. If taxes are owed, those would normally be sent with the return, billing typically only comes about if the IRS disagrees with the way the return is prepared, failure to report income. This bill will usually include penalties.

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Posted by BigJim on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 1:12 PM

How about keeping "taxes" out of this conversation unless you want to be beat over the head with a "Mallet"!!! Wink

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Posted by selector on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 2:11 PM

If it's a Y6b, I won't mind. Stick out tongue

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 2:30 PM

I wouldn't mind if it was a C&O H-6...Big Smile

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 3:04 PM

How about "Skookum?"  She was silent and laying on her side in the mud all those years so I'm sure she has a lot of frustrations to work out!

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 3:39 PM

M636C
I think the same names are used here in Australia. My understanding is that the "tax return" is the document I submit listing my earnings. Then I get a bill and send the Australian Tax Office the extra amount I owe them. I did get a refund cheque in 1976 and possibly a couple since then, but more often I owe money to the ATO.

Yes the 'return' is the tax form (1040 for the US Internal Revenue Service) you file each year. The return form and a payment if you owe additional tax are both due April 15th. If the IRS corrects your return and you owe more money, you would usually be subject to interest if it's after April 15th, but would be given a period of time (I think 30 days or 60 days?) to pay before a late payment penalty is assessed.

Not sure how withholding from income is done in Australia, but in the US a lot of people choose to have more than the standard amount of withholding taken out of their wages. That way, they don't have to worry about having to pay extra, and often get a large refund each year.

Stix
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Posted by BigJim on Thursday, December 31, 2020 8:33 AM

wjstix

"...Yes the 'return' is the tax form..."

 

Then..."Bang...bang, Maxwell's silver hammer came down upon his head." Wink

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Posted by pennytrains on Thursday, December 31, 2020 6:47 PM

Oh, my.  Haven't heard that song in a long time.  Big Smile

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 2:40 PM

Ya, afraid I don't get the connection?

Stix
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Posted by BigJim on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 3:32 PM

Shirley,
You're not that dense! Wink

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Posted by pennytrains on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 7:03 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJag19WoAe0

And don't call me Shirley.

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by Juniatha on Monday, January 11, 2021 12:07 AM

Hello -

(yes, I'm back again - please

welcome *) back my friends

to the show that never ends

*me) 

gee ..

 

Uhm, that said, my comment on that question should be:

If you already go so far as to totally Americanize that French

name of Mallet (spoken Maijét) into 'Malley'

(sounds much better for a whiskey, doesn't it?)

then you have sort of dispensed with your care about the mode

of expansion. Further, although the two items according to

Monsieur Mallet were supposed to go together

(some old European inventors could be quite stuborn heads

once they had come to look at certain matter from their own

branch in a tree - one of the last such patrons probably was

Wankel, who was so obsessed with getting rid of the reciprocating

action of pistons in engines that he remained blind towards the

impracticability of a stretched out sickle shaped combustion chamber

as concerns todays all-important fuel efficiency. Likewise, when the

Wankel engine had been brought to become sturdy and longer

lasting by the Japanese who had become equally devoted to the

principle, then again there could have been a discussion if those 

Far East series engines should still be called Wankels - there had

been a couple of further inventions and improvements made by

the engineers of Mazda that were essential to make that type of

rotary piston engine run and last. As far as I know that sort of

discussion never broke out, instead Wankel lovers happily drove

their Mazda sports cars and listened to the turbine-like humming

of the engine at high rotational speeds.

In a similar fully practical sense US railroads when they found the one

principle not fully up to their demands, yet the other was a great

help to get further coupled axles round their curves, they simply

(yep!) got rid of that more questionable part and happily exploited

the other to sizes never thought of before - and still called these

engines Mallets - or, hey, Malleys - and never had a problem.

Likewise, although of much smaller scale, when biking to

the university I followed a small beaten track over a

meadow, on the other side I continued on the street

again - athough the path went on again much further.

Still, I never followed it fully and so couldn't even say

where it led to, neither did I have a problem by saying

I follow that part of that path and never cared to call it 

differently just because I used only part of it.

See what I mean?

Last word: I you want to be precise you can always 

call a simple expansion Mallet just that way - or

Simple Malley and the other a Compound Mallet.

That about clears the horizon, doesn't it?

All the best for 2021!

Juniatha

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, January 11, 2021 9:51 AM

When I was a seven-year-old steam freak I got a box of railroad "flash cards" for Christmas.  Boy was that fun!  It was there I first saw the word "Mallet" applied to a steam engine.

"Mallet?  Mallet?"  I wondered.  "What does it do, hammer the rails?"

Hey, I was seven.  What did I know?

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, January 11, 2021 10:26 AM

Flintlock76

"Mallet?  Mallet?"  I wondered.  "What does it do, hammer the rails?"

Hey, I was seven.  What did I know?

 
You probably knew more than you imagined, as any M/W foreman will attest.
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Overmod on Monday, January 11, 2021 12:39 PM

I think I have described how I worked this out circa age 5.    I had seen pictures of Rio Grande articulated locomotives, probably L-131s, in Trains described as "Mallets" and reasoned this was because of the 'hammer' at the upper boiler front (I did not know what an Elesco feedwater heater was at that age).  My mother had a bicycle equipped with an English headlight, which had a reflector and visor that looked like those on a steam locomotive, with cylindrical D battery holders extending to either side, and I imagined that that looked like a "Mallet" engine as she rode it.

I should probably go back through the Complete Collection and find the original reference... just out of nostalgia.

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Posted by Juniatha on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 3:39 PM

My goodness, Rebecca!

that whould be down my alley, too ...

Yet I doubt any Mallet was ever built from / or was fired by Malley's ...

Juniatha

 

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Posted by Juniatha on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 3:52 PM

Hi Flintlock

...and it did hammer the rails - didn't it?

 

=J=

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 4:42 PM

Juniatha

Hi Flintlock

...and it did hammer the rails - didn't it?

 

=J=

 

Oh probably, if the engineer got a little too agressive on the throttle!

You know, another card I remember from that boxed set had a picture of the NYC's 999 on one side and the story on the back.  Seven year old steam-freak me was thrilled at the last sentence:

"No diesel has ever matched 999's speed of 112.5 miles an  hour."

"YEAH!"  I said!  Mind you, this was 1960.  Things have changed since then, and not all for the better.  At least Malley's Candies are still around.

I should order some on line...

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, January 14, 2021 10:20 AM

While NYC&HR 999 is alleged to have attained 112.5 MPH, it took two major rebuildings (reboilering and smaller drivers) to turn it into a reasonably practical locomotive.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, January 14, 2021 10:39 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH
While NYC&HR 999 is alleged to have attained 112.5 MPH, it took two major rebuildings (reboilering and smaller drivers) to turn it into a reasonably practical locomotive.

For running milk trains on the railroad; 4-4-0s of any kind rapidly became unlikely power on any first-line NYC trains starting only a couple of years after 1893.  

In any case, 999 herself was not designed to be a 'practical' locomotive for regular traffic, and management at the time actively disparaged the idea of particularly high-speed trains for any practical service (see Vanderbilt's infamous quote in context).

There were some interesting practical design details of 999's boiler that I don't think are popularly recognized.  Again, I think this represents an interesting target for an 'achievable' replica effort ... but one with extremely limited practical excursion use, so don't expect it to happen without angel investment...

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, January 14, 2021 1:12 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

While NYC&HR 999 is alleged to have attained 112.5 MPH, it took two major rebuildings (reboilering and smaller drivers) to turn it into a reasonably practical locomotive.

 

To add to what the Mod-man said, 999 was built as a "showboat" and attention getter, and it did that in spades!  Certainly it was no more practical than a Formula One racecar would be for a family car, but it sure made everyone sit up and take notice of the New York Central!

And how many other steam engines have made their way on to a US postage stamp?

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, January 14, 2021 1:51 PM

NYC & HR predecessor Hudon River RR had some pretty high-wheeled engines in the 1850s, with cast iron centers.  Even before 999 they seemed to have a need for speed, pushing then-practical limits at 50 MPH.

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Posted by wjstix on Friday, January 15, 2021 2:08 PM

A 4-4-0 with huge 84" drivers was quite capable of hauling a string of 5 or 6 short all-wood passenger cars at speed. It was as cars began to get longer and heavier - and as cars switched from individual car stoves to steam from the engine - that they proved inadequate.

Keep in mind too one important limit on train length is the ability to stop the train. Before airbrakes, trains had to be short in order to be stopped with just the engine and (on freight trains anyway) the car's handbrakes. Airbrakes brought longer trains, requiring engines better designed to pull them.

Stix
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Posted by Juniatha on Friday, January 15, 2021 11:24 PM

Flintlock76

 

Hi Flintlock

 

I wouldn't say a Formula 1 car was too unpractical to go shopping at Walmart for instance ...

... only, you'd need a trailer to put your shopping in. And a trailer hand-made 1-piece by Mercedes or Ferrrari as well would cost - let's see - uhm - by ten and .. wrzloutsh .. uhm - well, more than .. too expensive!

No, just for the extravagant - not to mention grounding on the exit of the basement car park right up at the sidewalk where everybody would be glad to lend a hand ...

=J=

 

 

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Posted by Juniatha on Friday, January 15, 2021 11:41 PM

Quoting Overmod. "There were some interesting practical design details of 999's boiler that I don't think are popularly recognized. "

Well, I was only born in 1976 -

if you don't say, how should I know?

So what was it?

=J=

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, January 16, 2021 12:21 AM

Juniatha
Quoting Overmod. "There were some interesting practical design details of 999's boiler that I don't think are popularly recognized. "

if you don't say, how should I know?

About 12% greater direct surface, via a 'water table' or 'water arch' that likely assisted circulation.  The arrangement is described in Railway Engineer (v14 n7 pp207ff, Jul 1893) and there is some discussion of the general layout of Buchanan's approach in this immediate period in the second edition of Forney's 'Catechism of the Locomotive' 576-579.

This used a 'water arch' rising from fairly low at the rear tubesheet to high in the backhead, largely dividing the 'radiant section' into two volumes; there was a comparatively small opening (Forney calls it a circular one, about 18", 2/3 of the way back)  

I have not been able to verify whether the steam jets that produced "a flow intended to entrain the gases" actually worked to improve combustion-gas flow.  They are not the same thing as jets to assist the effect of draft in the front end with the engine running at high demand.  (See Engineering News v25 n14, Apr 4 1891)

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