different types of steam engines

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different types of steam engines
Posted by dh28473 on Sunday, March 26, 2017 10:55 AM

just a quick question as to why there were names like pacifics hudsons decapods birkshires?

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Posted by selector on Sunday, March 26, 2017 11:32 AM

It was a combination of what the men who worked on them called them (nicknames or pet names), what the management called them or how they referred to them in official documentation, or what the industry knew them as (often an attribution to the first railroad that purchased them).

The 4-8-4 class of steamers were famously called "Northerns" by many in the industry (but not all roads called them that) because the Northern Pacific was the first road to place an order after trialing and approving them (at least, that is what I recall... details about trialing first and then purchasing may be incorrect).  Similarly, the Texas-type was first sold by Lima ? to the Texas & Pacific company. 

Decapod is a generic name for the early ten-coupled steamers that had no trailing truck...the axle or axles supporting the cab and firebox.  They were produced in the 1870's, but in large numbers in the very early 20th century. Very shortly, the builders were asked to bring to market 2-10-0 steamers equipped with a trailing truck by the Santa Fe.  Care to hazard a guess as to what a 2-10-2 was soon called? Big Smile

Note that different roads, as I said previously, had different names for certain types.  The Norfolk & Western called their classes just that...classes.  The C&O called theirs northerns Greenbriers if I recall, their Berkshire 2-8-4's as Kanahwas, and the New York Central called their 4-8-4's Niagaras.

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Posted by RME on Sunday, March 26, 2017 11:48 AM

we're having the duplicate post issue again - must be maintenance time.

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Posted by RME on Sunday, March 26, 2017 11:51 AM

It was a convention, a bit like 'naming rights' for chemical elements, that assigned a 'common name' for a given wheel arrangement (whether expressed in American Whyte code or not).

Some of the names were not 'specific' - American for 4-4-0 and rather obviously Ten-Wheeler for 4-6-0.  But others have ties to specific railroads -- 'Consolidation' commemorates the formation of the Lehigh Valley around the time they pioneered the 2-8-0; the "mikado" was first built for Japan; the "Atlantic" was first used on ACL (in1894) - we leave Strong's experiment out of it! - and so forth.

"Hudson" is an interesting case.  The first true 4-6-4s were built in Europe in 1912 and called 'Baltics'.  When the Milwaukee Road spec'd the original high-speed 'Pacific with four-wheel trailing truck' in the mid-Twenties, they used this name for them.  For financial reasons they didn't actually build F6s until after NYC had rather famously done theirs and equally famously 'exercised their right' to name the "new" class (see the story in Staufer's Thoroughbreds).  The resulting argument was resolved, after a fashion, by noting that the original 1912 engines had pin-guided rear trucks whereas the new American designs had radial -- so this makes  4-6-4s with Bissel or Delta trailers Hudsons and those with pins, like the DR bidirectional streamlined tank, Baltics.

The plot thickens in later years, where a very famous wheel arrangement (4-8-4) got all sorts of different names for varied reasons (the 'honor' name was Northern, for Northern Pacific, but plenty of roads didn't like this and had their own names.)

New York Central didn't have any 'mountains' to go over; whether or not that led to naming their 4-8-2s after a mighty river instead is a matter for historiography.  They certainly had no trouble calling a modern 4-8-4 by a river name, too, and this was enough to get the Mexicans (with plenty of mountains but 'south' of the border) to follow suit.  (Note that it has been definitively established that they DID use the same spelling, and not just six letters, officially...)

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Sunday, March 26, 2017 12:55 PM

Was not the 2-10-4 called the "Texas type" after a railroad with "Texas" in its name?

Strictly speaking, it is not a "Mikado" or a "Hudson" but rather a "Mikado type" or a "Hudson type."  On the other hand, I have book on American Steam that is richly illustrated where the author insists on following each type name with "type" each and every sentence, and that get's annoying.  Furthermore, I have not heard the usage "Niagara type" but simply "Niagara" for a what is more properly a name for a class of locomotives used on a specific railroad than the more generic "type name" (Such as Northern type or Northern for the 4-8-4 but called a "Confederation" in Canada (and in acquiring such a locomotive from Great Britain, also in China!  And railroads in the American South called it the We-Ain't-Callin'-it-After-Some-Dad-Burn-Yankees type?).

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
RME
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Posted by RME on Sunday, March 26, 2017 1:10 PM

  (

Paul Milenkovic
Was not the 2-10-4 called the "Texas type" after a railroad with "Texas" in its name?

Artifact.  Fixed.  (The reference was supposed to be 2-6-6-4...)

I think calling a 4-6-4 "Hudson type" is one of those railfan things like calling the valve gear 'Walschaert gear'* - an attempt at a little more "precision" where none is really needed and the effect comes out overpedantic.  I don't recall having seen "Pocono type' ever used for DL&W or 'Dixie type' for 576.  Now if you were discussing a generic term for 'any 4-8-4 wheel arrangement' and not specific locomotives you might want to say 'Northern type' to ensure your readers knew you were referring to the Whyte-code wheel arrangement.  But not 'he notched up the big Pacific until the cracks of the exhaust merged into a roar...'

*Yes, I know that one way to solve this is to say 'Heusinger' instead.

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Posted by RME on Sunday, March 26, 2017 1:24 PM

Paul Milenkovic
(... And railroads in the American South called it the We-Ain't-Callin'-it-After-Some-Dad-Burn-Yankees type?).

Ironic, because there are few actual Yankees anywhere near the places the Northern Pacific ran. Wink  

There is a way 'out' of some of the regional consternation, similar to the resolution cooked up for Baltic/Hudson, which is that early and late 4-8-4s were very different in the same way early and late Berks (and their later extensions 2-6-6-4s) were.  The 4-8-4 was originally a low-drivered affair, not considered to be an inherently high-speed design well into the 1930s.  The transition might be typified by the rebuildings of the ATSF 3751 and C&NW H class locomotives, and perhaps further illustrated by the last gasp of empirical stupidity in balancing that the ACL class was cursed with as-built.

By the time of the 3765 class and the Niagara, the idea that a 4-8-4 could be functionally faster than a Hudson was being realized.  It is not surprising that the 75" driver 'compromise' on the Niagara relative to the C1a that was to be the 'express' eight-driver locomotive was quickly amended, and that some of the best engines in the golden age of big steam had the 4-8-4 arrangement.

So distinguishing a 4-8-4 express locomotive from a 'heavy Mountain' may be a justifiable reason to use a more specific 'type name' that refers to fast classes on particular railroads...

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Posted by erikem on Sunday, March 26, 2017 1:56 PM

And yet another name for the 4-8-4 is "Golden State" (AKA "General Service for the WPB). Espee also had an interesting way to refer to articulated's with compound 2-6-6-2's referred to as "Mallet Mogul" (Class MM) and compound 2-8-8-2's referred to as "Mallet Consolidations" (Class MC). Simple versions were "Articulated Mogul" and "Articulated Consolidations", even though most of the class AC locomotives had a four wheel truck underneath the firebox and thus would have been Yellowstones (maybe enotswolley for the Cab-Forwards??).

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Posted by BigJim on Sunday, March 26, 2017 2:21 PM

dh28473

just a quick question as to why there were names like pacifics hudsons decapods berkshires?


Those names were for the "public". On the N&W, the "working man" referred to their locos by their numbers. Class A's were "Twelve Hundreds", Class J's were "Six Hundreds", Class Y's were "Twenty or Twenty One Hundreds", etc, etc.

.

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Posted by dh28473 on Sunday, March 26, 2017 6:10 PM
thankyou all for the great information
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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Sunday, March 26, 2017 6:52 PM

Suave but somewhat dangerous looking Belgian locomotive designer walks into the room, sits down, and lights a cigarette. 

"Who are you?" 

"Walschaerts.  Egide Walschaerts." 

(The "s" always fools people -- it is part of the man's family name.)

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by kgbw49 on Monday, March 27, 2017 2:29 AM

The 4-8-4 type probably had the greatest variety of names.

Following is a list of names that different railroads used. It is pulled from memory from reading numerous books, but if there are corrections or additions, by all means, please add them.

Northern was for the most part a commonly accepted name on the following railroads:

Northern Pacific, Great Northern, Spokane, Portland & Seattle, Denver & Rio Grande Western, Chicago & Northwestern, Milwaukee Road, Union Pacific, Santa Fe, Missouri Pacific, Frisco, St. Louis Southwestern, Wabash, Rock Island, Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, Toledo, Peoria & Western, Soo Line, Grand Trunk Western (US),  Delaware & Hudson and Reading.

New York Central called them Niagaras.

Lackawanna called them Poconos.

Lehigh Valley called them Wyomings.

Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomoc called them Governors and Generals.

Chesapeake & Ohio called them Greenbriers.

Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis called them Dixies.

Southern Pacific called them Golden State.

Central of Georgia called them Big Apples.

Norfolk & Western called them Class J.

Atlantic Coast Line called them Class R.

Western Maryland called them Potomocs.

Canadian National called them Confederations.

Nacionales de Mexico called them Niagaras.

Some very large railroads never had a 4-8-4, including Boston & Maine, Pennsylvania, New Haven, Baltimore & Ohio, Pere Marquette, Louisville & Nashville, Southern, Clinchfield, Virginian, Florida East Coast, Seaboard Air Line and Illinois Central.

 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, March 27, 2017 7:04 AM

PRR and B&O are interesting names for that list, considering that their duplex-drive locomotives were not articulated.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by kgbw49 on Monday, March 27, 2017 7:25 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH, I suppose one could make a case that 4-4-4-4 locomotives could be considered Northerns as a variation on the 4-8-4.

I just included them in the non-Northern group simply because I don't recall ever seeing them referred to as Northerns, but that doesn't mean they weren't called Northerns by somebody. 

It would have been interesting to see if the Pennsy in particular had constructed their 4-4-4-4 units as 4-8-4s if they would have lasted longer than they did. They might have had some use on freight similar to the way the 80-inch drivered units on the UP, SP and Sante Fe were used to extend their use in to the mid-to-late 1950s. 

Of course we will never know.

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Monday, March 27, 2017 8:50 AM

kgbw49

The 4-8-4 type probably had the greatest variety of names.

Following is a list of names that different railroads used. It is pulled from memory from reading numerous books, but if there are corrections or additions, by all means, please add them.

Northern was for the most part a commonly accepted name on the following railroads:

Northern Pacific, Great Northern, Spokane, Portland & Seattle, Denver & Rio Grande Western, Chicago & Northwestern, Milwaukee Road, Union Pacific, Santa Fe, Missouri Pacific, Frisco, St. Louis Southwestern, Wabash, Rock Island, Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, Toledo, Peoria & Western, Soo Line, Grand Trunk Western (US),  Delaware & Hudson and Reading.

New York Central called them Niagaras.

Lackawanna called them Poconos.

Lehigh Valley called them Wyomings.

Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomoc called them Governors and Generals.

Chesapeake & Ohio called them Greenbriers.

Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis called them Dixies.

Southern Pacific called them Golden State.

Central of Georgia called them Big Apples.

Norfolk & Western called them Class J.

Atlantic Coast Line called them Class R.

Western Maryland called them Potomocs.

Canadian National called them Confederations.

Nacionales de Mexico called them Niagaras.

Some very large railroads never had a 4-8-4, including Boston & Maine, Pennsylvania, New Haven, Baltimore & Ohio, Pere Marquette, Louisville & Nashville, Southern, Clinchfield, Virginian, Florida East Coast, Seaboard Air Line and Illinois Central.

 

 

 

I think there is a confusion between a "type" name and a "class" name. 

 

On the NYC, Niagara was a class name.  If the NYC has, in some fantasy universe, built another class of locomotives with a 4-8-4 wheel arrangement, say, with smaller drivers intended for freight service, I kind of doubt that the NYC would have called them Niagaras -- they may have called "Crotons" (another NY river) but certainly not Niagaras.

Now "Niagara" is indeed a type name inasmuch as NdeM called locomotives with the same wheel arrangement by that name.  Similarly "Confederation" is yet another type name for that same wheel arrangement because China had built-in-England 4-8-4s that they called "Confederation" or "Konfederation" (their class name for them was KF in Roman script).

But even those usages of "Niagara" or "Confederation" are possible cultural mis-appropriations of locomotive class names based on having the same wheel arrangement.  The type name for the 4-8-4 wheel arrangement will always and ever by "Northern."

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by Semper Vaporo on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 1:16 PM

Paul Milenkovic

Suave but somewhat dangerous looking Belgian locomotive designer walks into the room, sits down, and lights a cigarette. 

"Who are you?" 

"Walschaerts.  Egide Walschaerts." 

(The "s" always fools people -- it is part of the man's family name.)

Yes, the family name ended in "s", but at one point in the patenting of the gear in various countries the "s" was left off, so calling that type of valve gear, "Walschaert Gear", "Walschaerts Gear", "Walschaert's Gear" or "Walschaerts' Gear" can be considered correct.

 

Semper Vaporo

Pkgs.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, June 29, 2017 8:31 AM

The Pennsy did have one 4-8-4.   It was an AC 25 Hz 11,000V electric, constructed at the same time as "Rivits," the first GG-1.   It was classified R-1.  It's main assignment was handling LV trains from Hunter to Penn Station and Sunnyside.

I doub that ever was called a Northern, nor were the fleet of electric P-5 4-6-4s called Hudsons.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, June 29, 2017 10:02 AM

That's stretching the definition a bit.  If that's the case, then PRR also had 139 4-6-6-4's and 92 4-6-4's.  Since they're straight electrics, it has generally been agreed that R-1's are 2-D-2, GG1's are 2-C+C-2, P-5's are 2-C-2, with one (P5b) being B-C-B, and O-1's are 2-B-2.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul

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