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Streamlined USRA Steamers

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  • Member since
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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, February 04, 2019 5:19 PM

wjstix
valve gear components 'out in the open' for maintenance, so not sure how streamlining the engine would hide anything?

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I would add another piece of "sheet metal" to cover the damage. Not being prototypical is not a problem as long as the final version of the model looks good.

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Not wanting to do a repair on another plastic steamer. I will just hide the damage.

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The replacement for the damaged plastic Bachmann USRA Mountain arrived Saturday, so I am now 100% free to experiment with it and see what happens. Hopefully it will survive the modifications and I will have a streamilner. If not, the regional landfill will have another botched locomotive project of mine.

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Ah, my new baby. I am excited to have this one. It looks beefy and powerful, and even passed the 24" radius S curve test with no modifications.

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-Kevin

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Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by wjstix on Monday, February 04, 2019 4:23 PM

Well, most (I think all?) streamlined engines had the valve gear components 'out in the open' for maintenance, so not sure how streamlining the engine would hide anything?

You could just check around the Bachmann website and order replacement parts.

Stix
  • Member since
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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, February 02, 2019 12:41 AM

The reason for this idea... I have a Bachmann USRA Light Mountain that has badly damaged valve gear components, but runs great.

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I think adding streamlining (semi-streamlining would be ideal), would return this locomotive to service and keep a good running steamer on the rails.

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I am going to do it... nothing to lose really.

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-Kevin

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Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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  • From: Maryland
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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, January 31, 2019 7:32 PM

NHTX

    Streamlined steam became an indicator of modernity in the 1930s.  By this time, the wheel arrangements of the USRA with their single axle trailing trucks were being supplanted by the four wheel trailing trucks of the superpower era.  To provide the steam demanded by these more powerful, and faster locomotives, fireboxes grew to sizes beyond the capacity of the two wheeled trailing truck.  That is one of the reasons one finds more 4-6-4s and 4-8-4s with streamlining than 4-6-2s and 4-8-2s.

      USRA designs are from the 1910s and therefore about 20 years old when streamlining swept through railroading.  Unless the railroad was in shaky financial health, they saved the glitz for the newest on the roster.  There were those roads that had to settle for a 4-6-2, or a 4-8-2 as their entry into the streamliner club due to physical plant restrictions such as a bridge or trestles that forbade heavier power.  Other roads wanted to glamorize their secondary runs that did not rate heavier power. 

    

 

Actually, many of your facts are wrong.

The USRA designs were developed during the temporary federal control of the railroads during WWI, from 1917 to 1920. A number of the locos ordered by the USRA were not even delivered until well after the war was over.

The USRA designs were cutting edge, without being experimental, for their time.

Many locomotives built thru the twenties and early thirties were clones/copies/variations of USRA designs.

There was nothing obsolete about them in the least during the Art Deco period of locomotive streamlining.

As noted above, the N&W streamlined Mountains were USRA locos.

As for four wheel trailing trucks and Super Power, it was the late 30's before that development was perfected and widely embraced. And it was never embraced by a great many roads.

One of the very last steam locomotives built for mainline service in the US was an off shoot of a USRA design. C&O 2-6-6-2 #1309, built by Baldwin in 1949 - obsolete? not hardly. Now being restored and returned to excursion service.

The B&O P7 Pacifics, built in 1927, take much of their design from the USRA Heavy Pacific - several of these were streamlined, in several different styles, for several different trains.

More about four wheel trailing trucks......

The B&O never owned a Berkshire, or a Northern, and I believe only one Hudson. Yet they were one of the premier roads of that time. Their home built Mountains would go toe to toe with most any Berkshire or Northern.

And, if you do the math (which I have done), many Berkshires could have been built as Mikados - The Great Northern O-8 Mikes, and the largest NYC mikes the H-10, were heavier, and had power specs similar to most Berks.

And the DT&I 800 class mikes were just NKP Berks with 63" drivers, slighly smaller fire boxes and a single axle trailing truck - look them up.......

The C&O in particular, with their very heavy built roadbed, could have run very large mikes rather than the Berks.

And many loco engineers of the time considered Berks to just be "jumbo" Mikados, which in many ways the were.

Anyway, Kevin, streamline whatever you like, because the prototypes applied streamlineing or semi streamlineing to all sorts of steam locos.

Sheldon  

 

 

    

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Posted by Erie1951 on Thursday, January 31, 2019 5:00 PM

And then there were the DL&W's semi-streamlined locomotives that had their "wings" added by the road's shops like this Pacific. Smile, Wink & Grin

 

Russ

Modeling the early '50s Erie in Paterson, NJ.  Here's the link to my railroad postcard collection: https://railroadpostcards.blogspot.com/

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, January 31, 2019 4:34 PM

garya
The most famous Frisco streamliner was the Firefly, which featured streamlined

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That Firefly locomotive certainly has the look of what I had in mind. That just might be my inspiration.

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-Kevin

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Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by garya on Thursday, January 31, 2019 1:26 AM

dti406

 The Frisco also did some semi-streamling with one of their mountains, again not a USRA Type.

https://condrenrails.com/Frisco/West-Shops/SLSF1503.jpg

 

The most famous Frisco streamliner was the Firefly, which featured streamlined pacifics (not USRA):

Gary

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Posted by oldline1 on Thursday, January 31, 2019 12:17 AM

The L&N had some semi-streamlined Pacifics. I don't know if they were USRA engines or not but the L&N was a strong USRA user.

The N&W J-1 was the batch #605-610 built during the war as unstreamlined engines. They only ran that way for a very short time and were rebuilt to J standards with the shrouding and lighter rods. They were then classed as class J and the J-1 class dropped.

oldline1

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Posted by dti406 on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 10:05 PM

NHTX

    Streamlined steam became an indicator of modernity in the 1930s.  By this time, the wheel arrangements of the USRA with their single axle trailing trucks were being supplanted by the four wheel trailing trucks of the superpower era.  To provide the steam demanded by these more powerful, and faster locomotives, fireboxes grew to sizes beyond the capacity of the two wheeled trailing truck.  That is one of the reasons one finds more 4-6-4s and 4-8-4s with streamlining than 4-6-2s and 4-8-2s.

      USRA designs are from the 1910s and therefore about 20 years old when streamlining swept through railroading.  Unless the railroad was in shaky financial health, they saved the glitz for the newest on the roster.  There were those roads that had to settle for a 4-6-2, or a 4-8-2 as their entry into the streamliner club due to physical plant restrictions such as a bridge or trestles that forbade heavier power.  Other roads wanted to glamorize their secondary runs that did not rate heavier power. 

 

In the case of the N&W I disagree heartily, they were known for rebuilding and modernizing their motive power until the end of steam.  The K2's and K2a's were extensively rebuilt following WWII and were as modern as the J1's that they ran with, they were just used on shorter trains that did not need the power that the J1's provided.

A few other railroads did do some streamlinng with Mountain types, but not USRA's.

The New York Central had the Rexall Train with one of their L2 Mohawks, but just esentially an upside bathtub.

http://www.dieselpunks.org/profiles/blogs/sunday-streamline-3-rexall

Also the New York Ontario and Western had some semi-streamlining applied to one of their light mountains, but not a USRA type.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/741334788632591466/?lp=true

The Frisco also did some semi-streamling with one of their mountains, again not a USRA Type.

https://condrenrails.com/Frisco/West-Shops/SLSF1503.jpg

And the UP did the upside down bathtub on one of their Mountains, again not a USRA Type.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/462674561694548846/?lp=true

Rick Jesionowski

Rule 1: This is my railroad.

Rule 2: I make the rules.

Rule 3: Illuminating discussion of prototype history, equipment and operating practices is always welcome, but in the event of visitor-perceived anacronisms, detail descrepancies or operating errors, consult RULE 1!

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Posted by NHTX on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 7:16 PM

    Streamlined steam became an indicator of modernity in the 1930s.  By this time, the wheel arrangements of the USRA with their single axle trailing trucks were being supplanted by the four wheel trailing trucks of the superpower era.  To provide the steam demanded by these more powerful, and faster locomotives, fireboxes grew to sizes beyond the capacity of the two wheeled trailing truck.  That is one of the reasons one finds more 4-6-4s and 4-8-4s with streamlining than 4-6-2s and 4-8-2s.

      USRA designs are from the 1910s and therefore about 20 years old when streamlining swept through railroading.  Unless the railroad was in shaky financial health, they saved the glitz for the newest on the roster.  There were those roads that had to settle for a 4-6-2, or a 4-8-2 as their entry into the streamliner club due to physical plant restrictions such as a bridge or trestles that forbade heavier power.  Other roads wanted to glamorize their secondary runs that did not rate heavier power. 

    

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 6:45 PM

Wow, I would never had guessed there was a USRA Mountain under that sheet metal. I might have seen pictures of those before and just assumed they were J Series Northerns.

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That is more radical than what I have planned, but at least I know it is certainly plausible. Even more happy to hear they ran up until the twilight of steam.

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Thank you for the help.

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-Kevin

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Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
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  • From: Nordonia Hills, OH
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Posted by dti406 on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 6:35 PM

The N&W Streamlined some of their K2 and K2a USRA Heavy Mountains in a similar way to the J1 Northerns.

http://www.nwhs.org/archivesdb/detail.php?ID=135660

One of the Mountains powered the last steam powered trip of the Powhattan Arrow and not one of the J's.

Rick Jesionowski

Rule 1: This is my railroad.

Rule 2: I make the rules.

Rule 3: Illuminating discussion of prototype history, equipment and operating practices is always welcome, but in the event of visitor-perceived anacronisms, detail descrepancies or operating errors, consult RULE 1!

  • Member since
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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Streamlined USRA Steamers
Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 3:54 PM

Did any railroads ever apply streamlining styling to USRA steam locomotives? I would think Pacifics and Mountains might have been candidates for the glamour, but I did not find any pictures that identified them as USRA designs with streamlining added.

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It looks like most streamlining went onto Hudsons and Northerns. The PENNSYLVANIA K4 Pacific sticks out as an exception, but it was not USRA. The SANTA FE Blue Goose looks a little "USRA-ish", but still very SANTA FE (and not very streamlined).

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The STRATTON AND GILLETTE is considering dressing up a Heavy USRA 4-8-2 for a project.

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-Kevin

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Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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