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NYC 20th Century Limited vs PRR Broadway Limited

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NYC 20th Century Limited vs PRR Broadway Limited
Posted by TheK4Kid on Monday, November 13, 2006 10:26 PM

Hi Fellas,
Just thought I'd share one of my favorite pictures.
Someday I'll get this picture framed and hang it in my train room.

Picture  is of the New York Central 20th Century Limited vs the Pennsylvania Broadway Limited
takes place near Englewood Illinois where the tracks paralelled each other and legend has it the engineers sometime waited on each other and raced side by side.
This picture depicts such an event, era is 1946.

Picture is titled 'STEEL,STEAM and THUNDER II by artist Martin Milner.


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Posted by jecorbett on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 6:19 AM

I hadn't heard the legend about engineers drag racing each other but the real competition was who could get to Chicago or New York first. It would seem strange to me for either engineer to wait for his competition to catch up. If they did they probably would be getting an earful from their conductor who was under great pressure to keep the flagship trains running on time. It's a great picture in any case.

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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 6:39 AM
Great Pic, My vote goes to the Keystone, she has the horses over the Hudson at high speeds. =)
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Posted by AntonioFP45 on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 6:50 AM

Beautiful picture!  First time I've ever seen this version of the classic race.  

There is another art rendering that also depicts this classic race.   It features a streamlined J3a Hudson, like the one in the above photo, however the race is against a Pennsy 4-6-2 K4.   In that rendering most would agree that the Hudson would have "smoked" the K4.

A really neat "apples to apples" match up would have been the Pennsylvania T-1 "Admiral" 4-4-4-4 against a New York Central  4-8-4 Niagra! 

 

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 6:58 AM
 AntonioFP45 wrote:

Beautiful picture!  First time I've ever seen this version of the classic race.  

There is another art rendering that also depicts this classic race.   It features a streamlined J3a Hudson, like the one in the above photo, however the race is against a Pennsy 4-6-2 K4.   In that rendering most would agree that the Hudson would have "smoked" the K4.

A really neat "apples to apples" match up would have been the Pennsylvania T-1 "Admiral" 4-4-4-4 against a New York Central  4-8-4 Niagra! 

 

The Hudson might take out the K-4 but is a very good testamony that the K-4 is even packing the numbers close to that of the Hudson.

I still think the T-1 takes the Niagra, although it would be awful close; might come down to the Niagra stopping to water first.

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Posted by NeO6874 on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 8:53 AM

I dunno... I seem to remember the NYC having water pans in the tracks for the high-speed passenger runs so they didn't have to stop...

 

I could see the engineers racing after they got out of a station, especially if the trains left at the same time (or close enough, say ~5 mins tops)

-Dan

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Posted by Dave Vollmer on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 9:13 AM
 NeO6874 wrote:

I dunno... I seem to remember the NYC having water pans in the tracks for the high-speed passenger runs so they didn't have to stop...

 

I could see the engineers racing after they got out of a station, especially if the trains left at the same time (or close enough, say ~5 mins tops)

Pennsy had track pans also all along the Chicago-NY route.  I believe speed through the pans was reduced to 45 MPH.  That's still an incredible amount of force applied to the scoop.

Modeling the Rio Grande Southern First District circa 1938-1946 in HOn3.

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Posted by NeO6874 on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 9:26 AM

but it worked Wink [;)].

 Until the fireman (?) forgot to raise the scoop and it slammed into the end of the pan... or he over-filled the tender.  I don't think either of those cases would have gone over too well with management at the next servicing facility, although over-filling would probably be less of a problem than ripping off the scoop....

-Dan

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Posted by tpatrick on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 9:50 AM
The race was captured on film and can be seen on at least two of Herron's videos - Pennsylvania Glory 3 and Reflections of the New York Central. On the tape, the Broadway gets a head start, but the Century, headed by Niagara number 6000, catches and overtakes the Broadway pretty handily. They don't say what powered the Broadway that day, but doubleheaded K4s were often on the point, or it could have had a T1. The Century got diesels in 1946. They may not have accelerated as well as a Niagara. I wonder about that.
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 10:20 AM

Too bad they dont race much like that these days.

I did a spot of racing with other trucks in my time. Like watching paint dry but usually sorted who can shift the best.

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Posted by CAZEPHYR on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 10:26 AM
 Dave Vollmer wrote:
 NeO6874 wrote:

I dunno... I seem to remember the NYC having water pans in the tracks for the high-speed passenger runs so they didn't have to stop...

 

I could see the engineers racing after they got out of a station, especially if the trains left at the same time (or close enough, say ~5 mins tops)

Pennsy had track pans also all along the Chicago-NY route.  I believe speed through the pans was reduced to 45 MPH.  That's still an incredible amount of force applied to the scoop.

Both railroads used track pans to scoop water on the fly and saved time by not stopping.  The tender capacity on the Niagara for coal was 46 tons, and the water was 18,000 gal.   They would pick up water every 100 miles or so, but the 46 tons of coal was only filled once between Harmon NY and Chicago for the Niagara.  Many of the Hudsons also received the larger centipede tenders to cut down on refueling stops.  

The T1 tender is listed at 42.6 tons and the water capacity was 19,200.  Both railroads configured the tender coal capacity to the maximum for tender weight and scooped the water in pans.  

The race out of Chicago was a daily event and depending on who is telling the story, their railroad usually won.  

I always wondered how the track pans worked for the second K4 since they ran double headers much of the time on the Broadway before the T1 were built.   When you look at a picture of an engine taking water at 40 miles per hours or more, much of the water is tossed out of the track pan and it looks like the train is covered with water.  

The picture below shows the five large water vents that are open to lessen the presure of the incoming water at speed.   Much of the water was wasted by the overflow tubes but the tender was refilled in a matter of seconds.   The NYC experimented with the overflow tubes to fill the tenders at much higher speeds than the PRR practiced.

http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/nyc/nyc-s6016o.jpg

 

 

 

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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 11:07 AM

Don't dismiss the K4 so lightly while light on her feet she was a speedster and could out run the J3A at length. A K4 had 80" drivers while the Hudson had 79" drivers.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

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Posted by selector on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 11:09 AM
The track pans were plenty long enough to allow each K4 to take their turn at the trough.
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Posted by k41361 on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 9:50 AM

The Niagara actually beat a 3 unit set of E-7's(6000 hp) to 80 mph.Two units were not even competitive.An L4 Mohawk I believe would beat a 2 unit set of E-7's rather handily.That is just my opinion on the Mohawk though.

A T-1 versus a Niagara would be a great race.The Niagara would be ahead up to 80 mph but the T-1 developed more dbhp at 100 mph and the difference increased the faster they would go.Don't have the exact figures with me.The Niagara was a great locomotive.If the diesel wasn't at the back door I truly believe the T1 bugs would have been worked out and it would have had the reputation of the Niagara maybe even better.The top speeds were unbelievable with the T-1 and this was done on many occassions.

Terry

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Posted by Dave Vollmer on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 10:03 AM
I love that username, K41361!  Alas, the real K4 #1361, last time I saw her, was in many rust-colored pieces at Steamtown.

Modeling the Rio Grande Southern First District circa 1938-1946 in HOn3.

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Posted by Eddie_walters on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 10:21 AM
I was just reading up on 1361 yesterday, Dave - it seems the loco is really coming back together now. The boiler work is really progressing and the tender is too. The suggestion was that the loco would be running in the spring (although a year wasn't stated ;))
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Posted by CAZEPHYR on Thursday, November 16, 2006 7:25 PM

 TheK4Kid wrote:

Hi Fellas,
Just thought I'd share one of my favorite pictures.
Someday I'll get this picture framed and hang it in my train room.

Picture  is of the New York Central 20th Century Limited vs the Pennsylvania Broadway Limited
takes place near Englewood Illinois where the tracks paralelled each other and legend has it the engineers sometime waited on each other and raced side by side.
This picture depicts such an event, era is 1946.

Picture is titled 'STEEL,STEAM and THUNDER II by artist Martin Milner.


That is a great painting of the race, but how did the race between the PRR and the NYC start? 

Read the story below to get an idea of the race early on.  Some history below on the early times of the race to New York.

PRR versus NYC from Chicago to New York City.

 

The following story from one of the PRR books, The Many Faces of the Pennsy K4, Classic Power 6.    The article shows a Pre War II picture of a J1 Hudson and a K4 just east of Chicago in the race to New York City and the J1 is out in front by five car lengths.  

 

 

“ You might say that the K4s was literally pitted against the New York Centrals’s J1 Hudson as the two big rivals competed on a grand scale for the Midwestern trade.  The J1 made her much publicized debut in 1927 and, by 1931, thee were 225 Hudson’s in use.  While four separate K4s engines were employed to haul each New York-Chicago train on the PRR, the NYC used only two Hudson’s plus electric locomotives in the short electrified zones at Hew York and Cleveland.  The two J1 through runs were from Harmon, NY to Collinwood, Ohio, a distance of 581.3 miles, and from Linndale, Ohio to Chicago, 334 miles.  Carrying 24 tons of coal, the large tender was replenished once enroute at the Wayneport, NY online coaling station located 66.3 miles west of Syracuse; water was scooped at 19 track pan locations.

 

To see how a New York-to Chicago limited was operated with K4’s locomotive, let’s go back to February 5, 1931 and follow the Pennsy’s best and fastest train, the famous Broadway Limited.  At that time, train 29’s schedule was 20 hours requiring an overall average speed of 45.4 MPH, although actual speeds up to 85 were achieved on level divisions.  The K4’s at that time remained a hand-fired beast and she had the longtime standard nine-car, all Pullman consist to pull.  Leaving Penn Station at 3 PM, an L5 side rod electric pulled train 29 over the initial 8.8 miles to the onetime Manhattan Transfer station in the Jersey meadows where the engine change to K4s 5439 was accomplished in the almost unbelievable time of four minutes. 

The 5439 took the train trough to Harrisburg, covering the 187 miles at an average speed  of 43.2 MPH over three divisions, the New York, Philadelphia Terminal and  Philadelphia.  Water was scooped on the fly from track pans locate at Rahway and Plainsboro, NJ and at Bristol, Radnor, Atglen and Landisville, Pa.   The engine change at Harrisburg’s 1887 vintage station saw the freshly groomed 5417 back onto No. 29 for the rough going 245 miles to Pittsburgh over the Middle and Pittsburgh Divisions.  At Altoona, Lines West K4’s 7116 coupled on as a helper for the 11-mile climb past Horseshoe curve to Gallitzin  Summit.  Water scooping along the way occurred at Bailey, Hawstone, Mapleton, Bellwood, Wilmore and Saxmans.  

 Out of Pittsburg, engine 5372 worked the 189 miles over the Eastern Ohio Division to Crestline, Ohio.  This was not an easy run because grades of up to 0.9 per cent, through the hilly country of Eastern Ohio, the average speed was only 44.1 MPH to Alliance.  Water scoops were made at Grafton and Millbrook.   The final K4s to be used was number 3878, which made the longest and fastest run of all, some 279 miles over the table flat speedway of the Fort Wayne Division to Chicago where the usual on time arrival was made.  On this portion, a coaling stop was made at the online facility at Adams Ind, just east of Fort Wayne.   This 908 mile run required six engines including four main line K4s, one short-run electric and one short run helper K4s.   

  

 In 1931,  The plain and simple K4’s, nevertheless, continued to maintain the grueling high speed requirements of heavy duty long distance work as she took in stride the Broadway speed up to 16 hours in June, 1938 when the average speed became 56.7 miles per hour.

 

 Since the Pennsy boasted a decoded edge on the Gotham-Windy City mileage, 908 vs 961, and since the two rivals matched overall running times exactly, the Central was compelled to achieve somewhat faster overall train speeds.  However, such higher speeds were made easy by the water level route all the way and, considering that the Pennsy faced the obstacle of climbing over the steep Allegheny Mountain grades, both roads were pretty evenly matched.  On the other hand, a comparison of the PRR’s spirit of St. Louis and American services with the Central’s Knickerbocker and Southwestern Limited disclose the Pennsy had both a 100-mile distance and nearly four hour time advantage.  Unfortunately, Big Four tacks west of Cleveland lacked the speed qualities of the PRR St. Louis route. 

 

We cannot take leave of the PRR/NYC rivalry without mentioning their famous pictorial wall calendars.  The Central initiate this practice in 1921 and the Pennsy followed suit in 1925 with both roads using this vehicle for many years to show off and publicize the images of the K4’s and J1 engines pulling fast passenger trains.  On the Pennsy, the 1925-1927 calendars showed unknown K4’s having old style round number plates on the smoke boxes.  Then in 1928, the Grif teller series began as the 1927-built K4’s were shown with 5400 numbers on keystone frontal plates.  These included the 5411 for the year 1928, the 5400 for 1929, the 5409 for 1930, the 5495 for 1931, the 5411 again for 1932, the 5436 for 1933,, the 5419 for 1935, the streamlined 3768 in 1936 and the 5344 for 1937. 

 

(  The advertising must have been a great contest also. ) 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by k41361 on Thursday, November 16, 2006 11:13 PM
CAZEPHYR,THAT WAS GREAT!!!
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Posted by ModelTrainman on Friday, November 17, 2006 12:15 AM
 k41361 wrote:
CAZEPHYR,THAT WAS GREAT!!!
Yeah!
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Posted by CAZEPHYR on Friday, November 17, 2006 3:20 PM

 ModelTrainman wrote:
 k41361 wrote:
CAZEPHYR,THAT WAS GREAT!!!
Yeah!

I am glad to see several enjoyed the story.   History is really interesting to me and both locomotives really played a big part in transportation from the twenties to the late forties in this country.

 

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Posted by CAZEPHYR on Friday, November 17, 2006 3:25 PM

 k41361 wrote:
CAZEPHYR,THAT WAS GREAT!!!
 

Your name says it all.  You should have all of the K4 books that have been written.  

 

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