Build a new steamlocomotive.

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, September 18, 2003 6:12 PM
I think the idea was a new steamer that wasn't saved, due to mismanagement, what have you. Cab-forward, Big Boys still exist. The MILW saved 2 S-3 class 4-8-4s and one 4-6-0, the type that ran the last steam powered revenue mile in 1957. That means none of the wonderful S1, S2, or any F series 4-6-2 or 4-6-4 were saved. Or how about Soo N-20 4-8-2s or O-20 4-8-4s? C&NW H class 4-8-4s, as rebuilt? These days, with the mainlines so busy, it might be better to have a lighter engine to run on a lightly used branch, instead of just sitting.
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, September 18, 2003 6:12 PM
I think the idea was a new steamer that wasn't saved, due to mismanagement, what have you. Cab-forward, Big Boys still exist. The MILW saved 2 S-3 class 4-8-4s and one 4-6-0, the type that ran the last steam powered revenue mile in 1957. That means none of the wonderful S1, S2, or any F series 4-6-2 or 4-6-4 were saved. Or how about Soo N-20 4-8-2s or O-20 4-8-4s? C&NW H class 4-8-4s, as rebuilt? These days, with the mainlines so busy, it might be better to have a lighter engine to run on a lightly used branch, instead of just sitting.
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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, September 27, 2003 11:17 PM
If it could be just one, and that one would be a historic reproduction, I'd have to vote for the NYC J1e (5345 being the next available number).

I wouldn't object to adding 'modern' thermodynamic improvements, better suspension and damping, etc. to the locomotive to improve its performance and reliability.

This locomotive would be admirably suited to many operating areas -- not too big and not too small, and with tight enough clearance to go places bigger engines couldn't.

If I were going to build new, I'd build a Withuhn-conjugated-duplex 4-8-4. NOT the ACE 3000, which was way too underpowered for its complexity, and would have overdriven its condenser in many actual railroad situations. Like the ACE, this would be a 180-degree-opposed 4-4-4-4 with inside rods between the pairs of main drivers. The Franklin type B (right down to cylinder and port dimensions!) on the TCRR's legacy 2-8-0 could be cloned nicely to fit.

I do assume that any 'new-again steam' would be used for 'enthusiast service' and not for freight railroading. I have been assured by more than one person in Virginia that the insurance situation is not insoluble, and that good business models for steam operation do exist.
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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, September 27, 2003 11:17 PM
If it could be just one, and that one would be a historic reproduction, I'd have to vote for the NYC J1e (5345 being the next available number).

I wouldn't object to adding 'modern' thermodynamic improvements, better suspension and damping, etc. to the locomotive to improve its performance and reliability.

This locomotive would be admirably suited to many operating areas -- not too big and not too small, and with tight enough clearance to go places bigger engines couldn't.

If I were going to build new, I'd build a Withuhn-conjugated-duplex 4-8-4. NOT the ACE 3000, which was way too underpowered for its complexity, and would have overdriven its condenser in many actual railroad situations. Like the ACE, this would be a 180-degree-opposed 4-4-4-4 with inside rods between the pairs of main drivers. The Franklin type B (right down to cylinder and port dimensions!) on the TCRR's legacy 2-8-0 could be cloned nicely to fit.

I do assume that any 'new-again steam' would be used for 'enthusiast service' and not for freight railroading. I have been assured by more than one person in Virginia that the insurance situation is not insoluble, and that good business models for steam operation do exist.
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 2:14 AM
Some of you may be aware of the work of the A1 Trust in the UK, which is building, from new, a post-war design of Pacific. Apart from the usual financial requirements, the major hurdles the project faces are: 1) changed and more exacting legislation, 2) relearning skills for design, manufacture and assembly and 3) scarce manufacturing resources able to cope with 'yesterday's' technology. This last is the critical one, as building large pressure vessels (or boilers to you) suitable for the stresses of railway operation have been almost extinct in Europe for 40-50 years. The boiler is the largest component on the loco, and the financial commitment to a single supplier without any fall-back exposes the project to risk. The Trust is being very cautious about selecting the supplier and making this commitment. For more info on the A1 Trust, go to a1steam.com.

The 3rd Generation steam, as proposed by Porta, Wardale et al would be cutting edge and subject possibly to even greater risk. But it may be possible to adapt other technologies (ship and power stations) to new methods of steam generation. Wardale's work in SA showed what could be done, and the Swiss have built smaller locos that outperform diesels on a number of fronts. This avenue shouldn't be neglected, if only to keep a second string to the internal combustion engine. But all new technology and machinery is initially expensive and runs considerable business risks.

So this is why Heritage Railways in the UK prefer to restore and maintain existing locos - the boiler is there already! Of course they have a limited lifespan but with care in use and maintenance they can last a surprisingly long time. I don't know what locos are available for returning to steam in the US and Canada, but my personal preference is for Berkshires, Hudsons and Northerns. The sight of a GNR S2 pounding away across plains would be quite tear-jerking! Isn't there one stuffed and mounted somewhere in the North-west?
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 2:14 AM
Some of you may be aware of the work of the A1 Trust in the UK, which is building, from new, a post-war design of Pacific. Apart from the usual financial requirements, the major hurdles the project faces are: 1) changed and more exacting legislation, 2) relearning skills for design, manufacture and assembly and 3) scarce manufacturing resources able to cope with 'yesterday's' technology. This last is the critical one, as building large pressure vessels (or boilers to you) suitable for the stresses of railway operation have been almost extinct in Europe for 40-50 years. The boiler is the largest component on the loco, and the financial commitment to a single supplier without any fall-back exposes the project to risk. The Trust is being very cautious about selecting the supplier and making this commitment. For more info on the A1 Trust, go to a1steam.com.

The 3rd Generation steam, as proposed by Porta, Wardale et al would be cutting edge and subject possibly to even greater risk. But it may be possible to adapt other technologies (ship and power stations) to new methods of steam generation. Wardale's work in SA showed what could be done, and the Swiss have built smaller locos that outperform diesels on a number of fronts. This avenue shouldn't be neglected, if only to keep a second string to the internal combustion engine. But all new technology and machinery is initially expensive and runs considerable business risks.

So this is why Heritage Railways in the UK prefer to restore and maintain existing locos - the boiler is there already! Of course they have a limited lifespan but with care in use and maintenance they can last a surprisingly long time. I don't know what locos are available for returning to steam in the US and Canada, but my personal preference is for Berkshires, Hudsons and Northerns. The sight of a GNR S2 pounding away across plains would be quite tear-jerking! Isn't there one stuffed and mounted somewhere in the North-west?
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Posted by wallyworld on Wednesday, November 05, 2003 3:33 PM
Build new generation steam as Wardale is proposing. Let's go forward, not backward.

Nothing is more fairly distributed than common sense: no one thinks he needs more of it than he already has.

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Posted by wallyworld on Wednesday, November 05, 2003 3:33 PM
Build new generation steam as Wardale is proposing. Let's go forward, not backward.

Nothing is more fairly distributed than common sense: no one thinks he needs more of it than he already has.

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Posted by AltonFan on Wednesday, November 05, 2003 3:59 PM
I am told that the only firm still capable of building a locomotive boiler is a US Navy shipyard (I forget which), which actually did some of this work for restoration projects, but ceased due to a law which prohibited government facilities from competing with the private sector.

I am also told that there are very few welders qualified to weld locomotive boilers.

Dan

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Posted by ben13 on Wednesday, November 05, 2003 4:32 PM
I would definently like to se a Q1 4-6-4-4 duplex be bulit again.
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Posted by ben13 on Wednesday, November 05, 2003 4:32 PM
I would definently like to se a Q1 4-6-4-4 duplex be bulit again.
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, November 06, 2003 4:00 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by mcfarrand

Trains magazine once reported that NYC's Niagara class 4-8-4 was tested against the diesels of its day, and was slightly more efficient under certain conditions. It would be interesting to see how one would stack up today, or if one could be technically updated, yet still look like a Niagara...
AH INDEED WE ARE GATHERED HERE DREAMING OF SUCH BEAUTY.THAT WOULD BE SOMETHING IF WE COULD BRING BACK THESE MACHINES OF YESTERYEAR,I THINK WE'D ALSO BRING BACK A DIFFERENT AMERICA AS WELL.CARRY ON FOLKS AS I DREAM WITH YOU IN A DREAM OF AN AMERICA LONG GONE ALONG WITH IT'S GREAT AND MIGHTY MACHINES.
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, November 06, 2003 4:00 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by mcfarrand

Trains magazine once reported that NYC's Niagara class 4-8-4 was tested against the diesels of its day, and was slightly more efficient under certain conditions. It would be interesting to see how one would stack up today, or if one could be technically updated, yet still look like a Niagara...
AH INDEED WE ARE GATHERED HERE DREAMING OF SUCH BEAUTY.THAT WOULD BE SOMETHING IF WE COULD BRING BACK THESE MACHINES OF YESTERYEAR,I THINK WE'D ALSO BRING BACK A DIFFERENT AMERICA AS WELL.CARRY ON FOLKS AS I DREAM WITH YOU IN A DREAM OF AN AMERICA LONG GONE ALONG WITH IT'S GREAT AND MIGHTY MACHINES.
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, November 15, 2003 7:48 PM
I would love to see a Union Pacific 7000 class 4-8-2 built. Also, an NYC 4-6-4 would be a hit. Born long too late to see them, never will. But before we go building new locomotives, we've got several thousand to restore- once we have all of those running, then we should think about building new ones. And jhhtrainsplanes is right: ALCO fans (I am one) would be dancing in the streets.
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, November 15, 2003 7:48 PM
I would love to see a Union Pacific 7000 class 4-8-2 built. Also, an NYC 4-6-4 would be a hit. Born long too late to see them, never will. But before we go building new locomotives, we've got several thousand to restore- once we have all of those running, then we should think about building new ones. And jhhtrainsplanes is right: ALCO fans (I am one) would be dancing in the streets.
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 4:13 AM
Has anyone ever estimated the cost of building a new / replica US loco? The total cost of putting the UK's A1 project on the rails is c.£2M (US$3.2M). And this is for a loco weighing 166 UK tons in working order. It would be interesting to compare with the estimates for any of the locos proposed above.

As for the boiler issue, UK and other European preserved locos regularly have components renewed: tubeplates, foundation rings, retubes. The resources still exist for manufacturing all of these items and most of the work can be conducted by no more than a medium sized engineering firm. The larger US locos would require heavier equipment, but I have seen my local preserved railway retube a tank loco with maybe 4-6 people working over 2 months. It's the new boiler that's the difficulty: satisfying new regulations for the level of performance required. But there is at least one European manufacturer who can do this.

With a larger industrial base and far greater number of potential supporters, surely the US can do - even on the bigger scale of the locos - what is done in Europe? There's a challenge!
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 4:13 AM
Has anyone ever estimated the cost of building a new / replica US loco? The total cost of putting the UK's A1 project on the rails is c.£2M (US$3.2M). And this is for a loco weighing 166 UK tons in working order. It would be interesting to compare with the estimates for any of the locos proposed above.

As for the boiler issue, UK and other European preserved locos regularly have components renewed: tubeplates, foundation rings, retubes. The resources still exist for manufacturing all of these items and most of the work can be conducted by no more than a medium sized engineering firm. The larger US locos would require heavier equipment, but I have seen my local preserved railway retube a tank loco with maybe 4-6 people working over 2 months. It's the new boiler that's the difficulty: satisfying new regulations for the level of performance required. But there is at least one European manufacturer who can do this.

With a larger industrial base and far greater number of potential supporters, surely the US can do - even on the bigger scale of the locos - what is done in Europe? There's a challenge!
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Posted by AltonFan on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 9:40 AM
I am told by a friend who has been involved in steam locomotive restorations since the end of revenue steam operations that a lot of the specialized skills needed to do some of the work (especially boiler welding) are getting harder to find, at least in the US.

AIUI, locomotive boilers are held to tougher safety standards than marine or staionary boilers. (I am told marine and stationary boilers operate at much lower pressures.) Welders qualified to repair steam locomotive boilers are in short supply and command high rates when available. Persons who know how to setup valve gear are also getting harder to find. Also a lot of appliances were becoming diffcult to find by the early 1950s. To build a new steam locomotive from scratch today would be a custom job all around, and command custom pricing.

Dan

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, December 05, 2003 7:12 PM
Lima's 2-6-6-6 Allegheny with 300 psi boiler pressure, 23 " cylinders and a little added weight to keep the factor of adhesion over 4! Increase the driver diameter to around 69-70" and add a little firebox heating surface.
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, December 05, 2003 7:12 PM
Lima's 2-6-6-6 Allegheny with 300 psi boiler pressure, 23 " cylinders and a little added weight to keep the factor of adhesion over 4! Increase the driver diameter to around 69-70" and add a little firebox heating surface.

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