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An atomic locomotive!?

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Posted by GraniteRailroader on Sunday, January 07, 2018 8:02 AM

Whistling

(Previous) 1:1 Scale railroader - N Scale Modeler

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, January 07, 2018 10:28 AM

 Lots of things we've learned over the years. Way back when, even before the development of the atomic bomb and atomic power, no one knew just how dangerous radium could be, but it was cool, it would glow int he dark. So watch dials were painted with it. And the (usually) women who would do this fine painting would frequently lick the paintbrush to keep as fine a tip on it as possible. With (now) predictable results after long term exposure.

 So if you have an old pocket watch that glows in the dark - check it with a geiger counter. The other fairly common item that is used to demonstrate a geiger counter is the mantle from a Coleman lantern.

                                --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Sunday, January 07, 2018 10:29 AM

LogginLocos
He named it the X-12 and the only thing stopping the project was money.

And a viable heat sink, trained crews, the railroad unions and the fact that the report COMPLETELY glosses over public health and safety. 

The article that was linked by Mbinsewi cited the original study, available here:

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015020157130;view=1up;seq=19

A direct quote from the above:

"The study was based on the efforts of three graduate students and three staff members.  The fields of training were physics and chemistry.  Gross errors in engineering judgement must therefore be attributed to the lack of engineering experience of the investigators."

It is a good read to get a solid laugh.  Edit:  Your background would have to be in nuclear power to fully understand how utterly ridiculous this was.  

Especially the part of about maintenance costs. 

I actually had to stop reading.  So much is wrong with this.. 

The main problems are stated within the report.  They could only speak in generalities about reactors because it was all classified at the time.  They couldnt even get a cost figure for the fuel.   And none of them had engineering experience or training.  They probably couldnt get an engineer on board with this (pun intended).

It makes a pretty neat model though.

Rule 108: In case of doubt or uncertainty, the safe course must be taken.
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Posted by BMMECNYC on Sunday, January 07, 2018 10:36 AM

rrinker

 Lots of things we've learned over the years. Way back when, even before the development of the atomic bomb and atomic power, no one knew just how dangerous radium could be, but it was cool, it would glow int he dark. So watch dials were painted with it. And the (usually) women who would do this fine painting would frequently lick the paintbrush to keep as fine a tip on it as possible. With (now) predictable results after long term exposure.

 So if you have an old pocket watch that glows in the dark - check it with a geiger counter. The other fairly common item that is used to demonstrate a geiger counter is the mantle from a Coleman lantern.

                                --Randy

Today I Found Out Youtube channel has a sixteen minute video on the radium girls.  Pretty sad story..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7875DVDdmnE

 

Rule 108: In case of doubt or uncertainty, the safe course must be taken.
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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, January 07, 2018 1:42 PM

 All this nuke talk makes me want to break out the Lionel HO nuclear transport car, except I sold mine. HO version of the classic 3 rail car with the atomic waste container on a flat car with a red light bulb inside.

                                         --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by Bayfield Transfer Railway on Sunday, January 07, 2018 1:47 PM

rrinker

 Best part of that one was that the blast radius of the detonation was greater than the effective range of the weapon.

                     --Randy

 
That's why they gave it to a second looie.
 
 

Disclaimer:  This post may contain humor, sarcasm, and/or flatulence.

Michael Mornard

Bringing the North Woods to South Dakota!

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Posted by NWP SWP on Sunday, January 07, 2018 1:53 PM

Well luckily I don't live near the bayous, and contrary to popular belief louisiana is not a bunch of swamps... Laugh

Steven

Crooner, Imagineer, High School Senior, living with Aspergers, and President of the NWP-SWP System.

Modeling the combined lines of the Southern Pacific, Western Pacific, and Northern Pacific after a fictional Depression Era merger forming the SouthWestern Pacific and NorthWestern Pacific Railroads. SP, WP, and NP operations remain independent but also operate alongside NWP and SWP equipment.

Hook'em Longhorns! 

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, January 07, 2018 2:17 PM

rrinker

 So if you have an old pocket watch that glows in the dark - check it with a geiger counter. 

 

 

Did.  Pegged the meter on three scales.  Exceeded max dosage.  Was advised not to wear it.

It's around here, somewhere.  Not closeby.  But ya never know when you'll need some radium, so I kept it.  Besides, I suspect it's not OK anymore to just throw it in the garbage.  Wonder when it WAS OK.  Maybe 1900?  

Wonder what happens when I take it to hazardous waste.  Does everyone get, uh, anxious?

 

Ed

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Posted by NWP SWP on Sunday, January 07, 2018 4:21 PM

How bout that Fiesta ware I believe it was that the "atomic" red was actually radioactive having been dyed with uranium or something??? And then there's the cure all radium lined cistern, that could cure (or cause) all sorts of illnesses...

Yeah they are pretty cautious about it now, we brought some junk to the scrap yard, while we were there a guy pulled up with a junk car the guy ran out there with a Geiger counter and went over the sides with it!

You probably could get the radium removed if the watch has sentimental value or store it in a lead lined box!

Steven

Crooner, Imagineer, High School Senior, living with Aspergers, and President of the NWP-SWP System.

Modeling the combined lines of the Southern Pacific, Western Pacific, and Northern Pacific after a fictional Depression Era merger forming the SouthWestern Pacific and NorthWestern Pacific Railroads. SP, WP, and NP operations remain independent but also operate alongside NWP and SWP equipment.

Hook'em Longhorns! 

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, January 07, 2018 8:26 PM

If I had the radium removed, I wouldn't have the radium (Remember the First Rule of Model Railroading!).

Don't really need a lead lined box.  The inverse cube law is quite adequate for the task.  It's in my garage, about 70 feet away.  

 

Ed

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Posted by NWP SWP on Sunday, January 07, 2018 9:37 PM

Looks like the first rule of model railroading applies elsewhere in life!

I'd put a note on it for whoever may find it one day...

Steven

Crooner, Imagineer, High School Senior, living with Aspergers, and President of the NWP-SWP System.

Modeling the combined lines of the Southern Pacific, Western Pacific, and Northern Pacific after a fictional Depression Era merger forming the SouthWestern Pacific and NorthWestern Pacific Railroads. SP, WP, and NP operations remain independent but also operate alongside NWP and SWP equipment.

Hook'em Longhorns! 

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Posted by NWP SWP on Sunday, January 07, 2018 9:47 PM

Might want to take a cue from these guys before going near it! Laugh

Steven

Crooner, Imagineer, High School Senior, living with Aspergers, and President of the NWP-SWP System.

Modeling the combined lines of the Southern Pacific, Western Pacific, and Northern Pacific after a fictional Depression Era merger forming the SouthWestern Pacific and NorthWestern Pacific Railroads. SP, WP, and NP operations remain independent but also operate alongside NWP and SWP equipment.

Hook'em Longhorns! 

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Posted by OT Dean on Monday, January 08, 2018 12:31 AM

The instant I saw the heading on this string, I thought of a photo in Model Railroader from back in the '50s of an "Atomic Locomotive" on the rails of an O scale club.  I'm pretty sure the late, great, layout designer, John Armstrong, had something to do with it, but I'm not up to the job of trolling through my bound volumes.  Maybe somebody else remembers it and can upload a photo.

Deano

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Posted by mlehman on Monday, January 08, 2018 8:49 AM

NWP SWP

 

 
rrinker

 

Bayfield Transfer Railway

Yeah, the Fifties had some pretty gonzo stuff.

My PERSONAL favorite was a weapons system.. the Davy Crockett.  A suitcase-sized atomic weapon on a recoilless rifle.

Yes, the US Army was going to put nuclear weapons under the command of a second lieutenant with a map!

Crying

 

 

 

 Best part of that one was that the blast radius of the detonation was greater than the effective range of the weapon.

                     --Randy

 

 

 

 

 I forgot to mention that yes the blast range was greater than the weapons launch range! Again in the words of Sgt. Schultz, we knew nothing, nothing! When it came to radiation in the early atomic age...

 

Actually, no it wasn't quite that handicapped. The Davy Crockett was very short ranged, on the order of  1 to 2 miles, but the yield was small (depends on your reference, I could check my library later if you need those numbers). The problem was which way the wind was blowing. This was a very dirty weapon (low yield devices are very inefficient this way without getting too technical) and if used would almost inevitably have a detonation in close contact with the surface. Anytime a nuclear fireball touches the ground it maximizes the resulting fallout.

If you want to know more about fallout, consult my dissertation (free PDF): http://hdl.handle.net/2142/90554

But fallout wasn't the problem with the atomic loco, it was accidents. And accidents do happen on the railroad. There wouldn't be a critical mass explosion like in a bmb, but the very dirty contents of the reactor would likely close the line for years. Think major reroute of the UP's transcon, for instance.

The Rio Grande was one of the potential test sites of the proposal, which thankfully never made it off the drawing board. The nuke-powered bomber did make it to a test article stage, but no further due to the problem of the weight of the shielding (which would've been only slightly less of a problem for the RR). The Air Force wanted to raise exposure limits for the aircrews involved, but that was a bit too rich for even the Cold War. The scientists told them this might be a problem right from the start, but sometimes that doesn't sink in right away. It ended up costing Robert Oppenheimer his job.

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

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Posted by ricktrains4824 on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 10:41 PM

I know full well that they used to do stupid stuff with nuclear equipment, as my Grandfather was part of one of the underwater atomic bomb tests, dubbed "Operation Wigwam".

What they did in that test was extremely dumb.

I will spare the remaining details.

Good thing the atomic loco never "got off the ground", as they say. (Pun very much intended.)

Just what we would need today, a "dirty" locomotive, that really would be scary!

I will admit, it makes a interesting looking model though!

Ricky W.

HO scale Proto-freelancer.

My Railroad rules:

1: It's my railroad, my rules.

2: It's for having fun and enjoyment.

3: Any objections, consult above rules.

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