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"Big Boy vs. Allegheny"; Those are fighting words!

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"Big Boy vs. Allegheny"; Those are fighting words!
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, December 11, 2003 10:10 PM
Hey Big Boy!

Look at the Specs!

Allegheny's rule, hands down

MY Rails or YOURS!!!!
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, December 12, 2003 12:31 AM
I usually root for western roads, but the C&O is far more appealing than the UP, so the Alleghenys are swell.
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Posted by dknelson on Friday, December 12, 2003 8:01 AM
The Duluth Missabe and Iron Range articulateds are overlooked too often. There is a nicely preserved on in the railroad museum in Duluth MN. The cab is as big as a living room! It looks like all it would take is fuel water and some grease and it would run.
Dave Nelson
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Posted by nfmisso on Friday, December 12, 2003 8:42 AM
The Union Pacific Mechanical department, and thier traffic department were very much in sync, so the Big Boys (and Challengers) were used as intended, and to thier fullest capacity.

I don't think that the two groups ever talked in the C&O's case. The Allegheny was an answer to a question no-one asked. It was never used as its design was intended. It should have been pulling trains at an average of 35 to 45 mph. Instead it was dragging coal at 15 to 20 mph. And the Virginian did no better with thiers.

The Big Boy had compromises to its design, the 4 wheel lead truck (and this applies to the Challengers as well) was costly (more axles, less weight on the drivers, made the front and rear engine rods and valve gear not interchangeable, etc. etc). Due to Wyoming coals lower heat content compared to Pocahontas coal, it needed a bigger fire box, and instead of using a six wheel trailing truck, the front of the fire box was over the two rear drivers. On the UP with was not as big a compromise, because to the larger clearances. IMO, the Big Boy should have been a 2-8-8-6.

One of the most efficient users of steam locomotives was the N&W, specilfically the improved Y5/6 classes of 2-8-8-2. These had starting tractive efforts SIGNIFCANTLY higher than the Big Boy, DM&IR's Yellowstones, and 50% greater than the Allegheny. They developed maximum horsepower in the 15 to 25 mph range, and pulled coal hoppers at that speed. Yet, they were weight was less than 75% of the above locomotives....
Nigel N&W in HO scale, 1950 - 1955 (..and some a bit newer too) Now in San Jose, California
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, December 12, 2003 10:29 AM
Y6b 2-8-8-2 or the B and O EM-1 (2-8-8-4)

Yes the Big boy was nice but designed to haul heavy trains at speed on the long western grades. The Allegheny had the biggest firebox capable of creating steam to haul the brutal eastern grades. Yes the "Alley" can get up and go with passenger cars (and it did too) the nature of the territory meant that there was not much "room" to run.

It was either up hill, down hill or sideways. Give me the Y6b any day. Yes it creeps but only the "Jawn Henry" ever developed more starting effort. Nothing is as sad as the "engine that can't"
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, December 12, 2003 10:37 AM
I also recall a Triplex 2-8-8-8-0 was built but did not see much use because if memory serves there was 2 issues. The first was the steam generation, the boiler was too puny to feed all those hungry cylinders. And the second was that while starting heavy loads the rear set of drivers under the tender would break loose and slip, robbing the rest of the engine of good traction and steam.

And by the way I think the Gross weight of the Alley was greater than that of the BB.
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, December 12, 2003 2:17 PM
Gosh! Maybe that's not the best signature quote. Or whatever that thing is...... Yeah, I know the Alley was heavier than the BB, but (i'm sure you've all heard this) the Big Boy and the Alley never really competed in the same area of work. The Alley was used in low speed coal drags (on the C&O, anyway), while the Big Boy was used in high speed freight. Thus the war between the locos continues.

(though I hate to admit it [;)], the Big Boys and the Alleys were surpassed by the N&W's Y class locos)
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, December 12, 2003 4:59 PM
Hmm. Let's leave off the Y6's for a minute. Take the BB and assign her to the C and O or N+W etc and the Alley out west. The result probably would be interesting.
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Posted by nfmisso on Friday, December 12, 2003 6:24 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by HighIron2003ar

Hmm. Let's leave off the Y6's for a minute. Take the BB and assign her to the C and O or N+W etc and the Alley out west. The result probably would be interesting.

The Big Boy would do okay everywhere it could fit, just like the Challengers did okay on the Clinchfield. The Allegheny would do okay on the mountains, but would slow the road down between Larmie and Evanston. Her firebox is sufficiently sized to work okay with Wyoming coal (the same can not be said of the N&W A which was designed specifically for high heat content Pocohantos coal).
Nigel N&W in HO scale, 1950 - 1955 (..and some a bit newer too) Now in San Jose, California
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, December 12, 2003 6:48 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by nfmisso

QUOTE: Originally posted by HighIron2003ar

Hmm. Let's leave off the Y6's for a minute. Take the BB and assign her to the C and O or N+W etc and the Alley out west. The result probably would be interesting.

The Big Boy would do okay everywhere it could fit, just like the Challengers did okay on the Clinchfield. The Allegheny would do okay on the mountains, but would slow the road down between Larmie and Evanston. Her firebox is sufficiently sized to work okay with Wyoming coal (the same can not be said of the N&W A which was designed specifically for high heat content Pocohantos coal).


This too maybe debatable , I will not claim in any way expert status but me thinks itme to hit the books.

I'll be back"
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, December 13, 2003 12:20 AM
BIG BOYS FOREVER!!! I, being a Union Pacific fan naturally support the Big Boys. But instead of basing my arguement solely on that, I have a great deal of evidence to support my conclusion that the Big Boys were better:

Firstly, in the arena of size, I do not dispute the fact that the Big Boy engine itself weighed less than the Allegheny. However, the Big Boy with tender weighed appreciably more than the Allegheny. Furthermore, and even more importantly, the Big Boys had the greater adhesive weight (weight of the locomotive supported on the driving wheels), in part because the firebox was suppoted over the last two driving axles in addition to the four wheel trailing truck. Why this greater adhesive weight is relevant is that the adhesive weight affects the factor of adhesion, giving the 4000 class more "grip" on the rails. And don't think that locomotives as large as the 4000 class and Allegheny didn't have wheel slippage: they did, and I can prove it. Furthermore, the Big Boys were larger in other ways: they were longer, and more.
Secondly, in the area of pulling power, I of course acknowledge the Allegheny's greater horse-power. But let us not forget that the Big Boys had a much greater tractive effort. And while there were some locomotives with greater tractive effort, no locomotive had greater tractive effort and horse-power.
However, railroads have locomotives to pull trains, not to brag about having the largest locomotive. As such, we should pay even more attention to the Big Boy's and Allegheny's perforance and service than their basic specifications. The 4000 class locomotives were very reliable, and were very efficient and relatively inexpensive to operate and maintain for locomotives of their immensity. Of course, those who wi***o detract from the Big Boy's legacy point out that they burned up to 12 tons of coal per hour and used thousands of gallons of water in the course of a run. But what they conveniently omit is what a cost savings these beloved 4-8-8-4s were to the Uncle Pete. The largest locomotive of all time probably saved the Union Pacific millions of dollars by eliminating the crew costs of double heading, the extra maintenance costs of many helper locomotives, and the time lost in the turning and servicing of these helpers. At the time that the Big Boys were being scrapped, a Union Pacific employee said "these locomotives don't owe this railroad a thing," to paraphrase him.
And then let us also account for the 4000 class's legacy and reputation. What other locomotive has routinely hauled five and one-half mile long trains at speeds exceeding 65 miles per hour? And of course we all know of these locomotives literally shaking the ground as they passed. Don't believe me? Get the Pentrex video on the Big Boys: it has footage where the ground shook so much the camera shook as well! And of course, the world's longest train of all time was pulled by dobleheading Big Boys-7 and 1/2 miles of train, although we sadly cannot prove it.
I hope I have demonstrated to you that the Big Boys really were superior. I encourage all Union Pacific fans, all supporters of the Big boys, and anyone else who agrees with me to post here stating so--especially those of you with Big Boy in your screen names. I am of course not saying that the Allegheny type locomotives should be ignored, only that the Big Boys be given the title they have certainly earned in the past 60 years. And, if you have a different opinion, please post it here: I do not consider my conclusions so weak that they cannot withstand debate, and I am never afraid of hearing someone elses side.

Long live the Big Boy legacy,
Daniel
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Posted by Big_Boy_4005 on Saturday, December 13, 2003 2:43 AM
I have to go with the Big Boy. I have the Pentrex DVD featuring film of all 25 Big Boys in action, and they are so cool! Part of the reason I took this name is that, for a number of years, when I lived in Denver, I saw this engine all the time. You can see it too, at the Forney Museum.

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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, December 13, 2003 7:33 AM
I've got to get that DVD! BIG BOYS FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, December 13, 2003 3:24 PM
I am going to say that there are many good points for both engines. However I post a link here to help look at it from the Alley's point of view. It will save having a mass of large sheets on this forum.

http://www.steamlocomotive.com/allegheny/

Keep in mind that the vicious grades never gave the Alley room to run. In fact she is capable of more horse power at the drawbar than the Big Boy at 40 Mph. I could understand this to mean from a power point of view all things equal, the big boy will not be able to keep up with the Alley. In a 200 mile run on the same track same loads etc I think the Alley would be first in.

It is unfortunate that such a demonstration was never done.
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Posted by AggroJones on Saturday, December 13, 2003 7:37 PM
I though the N&W Y6 2-8-8-2s were more efficient than the Big Boy and Allegheny in every way. But of those two, I'd give the award to the H-8.

"Being misunderstood is the fate of all true geniuses"

EXPERIMENTATION TO BRING INNOVATION

http://community.webshots.com/album/288541251nntnEK?start=588

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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, December 13, 2003 11:19 PM
AggroJones,

The 2-8-8-2's were indeed fine engines but the C and O found them to be Shop Hogs and not up to the task. They were about 20 years old by the time the 2-6-6-6's were ordered.

But as stated before, the 2-8-8-2 Y6's may be the finest drag engine there was.
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, December 13, 2003 11:22 PM
I run the Microsoft Train Stimulator. I wonder if there is a way to download a Big boy and a Alley as well as a good route for them to run on. Perhaps I could try to time a run between the two.
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Posted by ddechamp71 on Sunday, December 14, 2003 11:46 AM
Today my question is: will we ever have the chance to see one day a Big Boy return to rails after having been restaured?
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, December 15, 2003 12:23 AM
ddechamp71,

If you follow the embedded links to the "Bigboy" on the Alley's Web page which I posted link to earlier you will eventually find your way to most if not all the Bigboys in the USA and prospects for restoration.

Good Luck and hope you find what you are looking for.

Lee
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Posted by vsmith on Monday, December 15, 2003 10:38 AM
Sorry guys but Ive seen movies of both these behemoths, and between an Allegheny slugging a coal trian along at 15 mph -vs- a Big Boy hauling a mile long frieght at 70 mph...

....the BIG BOY wins HANDS DOWN!!!!

That was a mighty, mighty impressive scene once upon a time to see a loco THAT BIG giving express trains a run for thier money! now imagine that train double headed with 2 BB's moving the bacon at 60 mph.

  Have fun with your trains

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Posted by vsmith on Monday, December 15, 2003 10:46 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by ddechamp71

Today my question is: will we ever have the chance to see one day a Big Boy return to rails after having been restaured?


This question has been asked before and the answer the last time was "No!"

They will never be restored to operational condition simply because there is no turntable or shops left anywhere in the country that can accomodate it. Also remember BB's were used only along certain routes where the curvitures clearences trainsheds etc at the yards and shops were adequate for these monsters. Most places everywhere else could not accomodate them.

  Have fun with your trains

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, December 15, 2003 11:14 AM
QUOTE: [i]
This question has been asked before and the answer the last time was "No!"

They will never be restored to operational condition simply because there is no turntable or shops left anywhere in the country that can accomodate it. Also remember BB's were used only along certain routes where the curvitures clearences trainsheds etc at the yards and shops were adequate for these monsters. Most places everywhere else could not accomodate them.


Translation: Allegheny;s are more versatile and adaptable. I'm quite sure an Allegheny could haul a Mile of fruit without any trouble, question is can a BB haul an Allegheny's worth of coal?

We will never know.[:D][:D][:D][^]
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Posted by lupo on Monday, December 15, 2003 12:46 PM
BIG BOYS RULE!
L [censored] O
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, December 15, 2003 1:51 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by HighIron2003ar

I run the Microsoft Train Stimulator. I wonder if there is a way to download a Big boy and a Alley as well as a good route for them to run on. Perhaps I could try to time a run between the two.
You can download one at www.train-sim.com along with a Challenger and a FEF-3. They have tons more stuff, too!!!
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 2:04 AM
Hmmm....Big Boy or Allegheny....hmmm...how about this....BOTH OF THEM SUCK LOL

Id take a DM&IR Yellowstone or a Clinchfield Challenger or a SP AC Series Cab Foreward anyday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 1:58 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Johnnydash9

Hmmm....Big Boy or Allegheny....hmmm...how about this....BOTH OF THEM SUCK LOL
!!!!![:0][:0][:0][:0]!!!!!!!
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 2:00 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Fergus

Hey Big Boy!

Look at the Specs!

Allegheny's rule, hands down

MY Rails or YOURS!!!!
MINE!!!!!!! (whatever "my rails or yours" means, lol)[;)]
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 2:31 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by 4884bigboy

QUOTE: Originally posted by Fergus

Hey Big Boy!

Look at the Specs!

Allegheny's rule, hands down

MY Rails or YOURS!!!!
MINE!!!!!!! (whatever "my rails or yours" means, lol)[;)]


Just admit it, your beat fair and square! Big Boys are flat land dwellers!!![^][^][^]
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 6:19 PM
Fergus,

I have to say that where the BB's ran was not flat. It just takes 100 miles of climb to get just as high as say 3 miles in Western North Carolina.

I have not heard a word on this thread about the Cascade engines until now. As a former driver I found the terrin between Redding CA and over towards Missoula Mt pretty formidable. Especially Syskiyou and the Blue Mountain range in eastern Oregon.
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 7:26 PM
Dear HighIron

Forgive me, as the last dig was just that a dig, now that I am in the amongst professionals I'll have to keep on track and be more circumspect. Your comment about the Cascade engines and I take it you meant those that worked the Allegheny and Appalachian ranges are not nearly as well documented. I have approximately 20+ books on North American Steam and the majority of them have pictures of the BB's working Sherman Hill and yes I wish I could have been there to witness this exhibition of steam supremacy. As for the Allegheny's, which numbered 60, the pictures found in most books are far and few between. As many have said different engines for different roles. All had a part in the History of Railroading. We should consider our selves lucky that we are able to dream the dream.

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