Rock Island Red the 4-8-4

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Rock Island Red the 4-8-4
Posted by BigJim on Friday, April 27, 2018 9:11 AM

I am looking for some information on a Rock Island 4-8-4 whose boiler was painted red. Can anyone help?

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Friday, April 27, 2018 11:17 AM

For a while in 1934, 4-8-4 #5040 was painted with a bright red boiler jacket, an aluminum painted smokebox, white striped tires, and polished valve gear.

9 years later, she again saw special treatment when she was rebuilt for high speed passenger work with Boxpok driving-wheel centers, roller bearings on all engine and tender axles, and converted to burn oil. She was officially allowed to run at 70 mph versus 60 for her sisters, and supposedly occasionally passed 90 mph.

Trains ran a great article about the Rock's fleet of 4-8-4's in the March 1981 issue, which is where all the above information came from. 

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Posted by ROBERT WILLISON on Friday, April 27, 2018 12:30 PM

Great info

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Posted by BigJim on Friday, April 27, 2018 2:23 PM

Thank you, Leo!

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Posted by samfp1943 on Friday, April 27, 2018 7:25 PM

Leo_Ames

For a while in 1934, 4-8-4 #5040 was painted with a bright red boiler jacket, an aluminum painted smokebox, white striped tires, and polished valve gear.

9 years later, she again saw special treatment when she was rebuilt for high speed passenger work with Boxpok driving-wheel centers, roller bearings on all engine and tender axles, and converted to burn oil. She was officially allowed to run at 70 mph versus 60 for her sisters, and supposedly occasionally passed 90 mph.

Trains ran a great article about the Rock's fleet of 4-8-4's in the March 1981 issue, which is where all the above information came from. 

 

The following linked article:

@ http://www.steamlocomotive.com/locobase.php?country=USA&wheel=4-8-4&railroad=crip

Has further information of the Rock Island 'Northern's[ 4-8-4] Classes R-67-a,b'c,

Site lists builders Data and number of the type from #5100 to #5119 spanning years from 1929 to 1946, in five delivery increments from Builder ALCO.

An interesting note from the link states: "...The CRI&P had the largest fleet (85) of these locomotives in the United States and was second to the Canadian National Railroad in North America, and third to the USSR in the world. No CRI&P Northerns were saved..."   

Sam

 

 


 

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Posted by kgbw49 on Friday, April 27, 2018 10:49 PM

Out on O Gauge Forum they mention a 5000-series 4-8-4 unit painted with a red boiler for display at the 1934 Century of Progress Exhibition, and two 4000-series 4-8-2 units painted with a red boiler for a special UN delegate passenger train in 1947.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Thursday, May 03, 2018 11:33 PM

Many, if not all except the original, 5000 series Northerns were eventually equipped with 74" drivers and allowed a top speed of 70 mph.  

There were also a couple 4-8-2 Mountains that for a while had red boiler jackets.

Jeff  

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Friday, May 04, 2018 12:36 AM

According to the referenced article, the first example, #5000, was outshopped in 1937 with 70" drivers (a 1 inch increase). This was done with thicker tires, allowing the existing wheel centers to be reused. She was also rebuilt with roller bearings, but only on the drivers. 

To improve mileage between tire turnings and reduce maintenance costs, 10 more 4-8-4's receiving Class 3 repairs at Silvis got 74 inch drivers. They received Boxpok main driver wheel centers, lightweight main rods and pistons, Baker valve gear needle bearings, expanded force-feed lubrication, an increased stack diameter, and rebuilt tenders with additional water capacity.

Afterwards, costs went from 19.5 to 11.3 cents per mile, and average monthly mileage went from 5051 to 8567. Mileage between tire turnings more than doubled, from 45-50k to 100-105k. And no mention of roller bearings being installed on any axles. 

Thirty additional 4-8-4's were authorized for modernization in 1940, which presumably was similar to the previous 10. By early 1942, a total of 54 had been rebuilt (And all 65 had their tender capacity increased), and by early 1943, the entire class was finished. I assume the entire class by that point had 74 inch drivers, since I doubt they kept the #5000 on 70" drivers. 

And then the author talks about the 5040 being singled out for special attention during her rebuilding in April 1943. He states that the "5040 was allowed 70 mph as opposed to 60 for the balance of the 5000's." Then he mentions that engineers occasionally would hit 90 mph with her on the 70 mile tangent between Guymon Oklahoma and Dalhart Texas when running late.

So it doesn't look like the other rebuilds were allowed to exceed 60 mph (Perhaps a result of not receiving roller bearings, although plenty of other high speed runners on other railroads used plain bearings). 

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Posted by BigJim on Friday, May 04, 2018 8:09 AM

Leo,
Are there any books on the Rock Island 4-8-2/4-8-4's out there?

 

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Posted by jeffhergert on Friday, May 04, 2018 10:02 PM

Des Moines Division ETT #3 Effective Sunday October 26, 1941.

Subdivision 4 (Quad Cities to Des Moines) and Subdivision 18 (Manly to Des Moines).  5000 series engines with 74" drivers allowed 70 mph.  Other 5000 series engines allowed 50 mph.

In a 1950 Des Moines Div ETT, then only 5040 and the 5100 class are allowed 70 mph, other 5000s allowed 60 mph. 

Jeff 

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Posted by kgbw49 on Saturday, May 05, 2018 2:43 AM

If I recall correctly the Milwaukee Road S-3 Class inclusive of MILW 261 were constructed using the Rock Island R-67 boiler and differed only in the cab and pilot. The S-3 semi-Vanderbilt tender came from a Union Pacific drawing of their original FEF-1 class tenders.

So you are looking at a Rock Island 5100 class when you are looking at MILW 261.

http://railpictures.net/photo/298516/

Here is a UP FEF-1 with the original six-wheel-trucked tender design used for the MILW S-3 4-8-4 units.

http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr0105/dl867.jpg

 

 

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Saturday, May 05, 2018 1:49 PM

Thanks Jeff.

Looks like the author was a bit mistaken about that particular fact, but the article I was referencing is still a good read that I recommend (Especially if one has the Trains DVD archive) .

BigJim

Leo,
Are there any books on the Rock Island 4-8-2/4-8-4's out there?

I've read a couple of good books about Rock Island's late steam power. One is called Rock Island Steam Power and the other is Rock Island Motive Power. 

And the March 1981 issue of Trains Magazine is the one with the excellent article detailing the history of the Rock Island's fleet of 4-8-4's. I miss the days when Trains ran stories like that one. Every few years was an in-depth article about a particular class of steam locomotive like this one. 

Once in a while at least, Classic Trains does similar. I remember two great articles about B&O 4-8-2's and 2-10-2's from the earlier years of the publication, another about the P&LE's unloved Berkshires, and I'm sure some others. But they're much too few and far between for my tastes. :)

Leo_Ames
By early 1942, a total of 54 had been rebuilt (And all 65 had their tender capacity increased), and by early 1943, the entire class was finished. I assume the entire class by that point had 74 inch drivers, since I doubt they kept the #5000 on 70" drivers. 

Digging around, this assumption isn't necessarily accurate. 

At least in 1944 (months after the last Rock 4-8-4 was rebuilt), the #5000 still was on 70" drivers.

I wonder if she was ever rebuilt a 2nd time before retirement to make her more like her sisters?

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Posted by jeffhergert on Monday, May 07, 2018 9:37 AM

The late Lloyd Stagner wrote both the Trains article on the Northerns and the book, "Rock Island Motive Power, 1933 to 1955."  He also wrote a soft cover book, "Rock Island Steam Finale, 1947 - 1954."

There was a discussion within the last year in one of the Rock Island Reporter about the steam locomotive diagrams and how often they were revised.  In the discussion I recall reading that it was thought that the 5000 retained 70" drivers until retired.

 http://www.rockislandreporter.com/download-past-issues-caboose-book.html

I recall reading that the last orders (during wartime restrictions) for 4-8-4s by the RI, MILW, D&H and maybe the UP from ALCO used a similar boiler design modified from the RI R-67 boiler.  

Jeff

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Posted by kgbw49 on Monday, May 07, 2018 5:28 PM

I guess one could say that the Rock Island design is a mighty good design...

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Posted by M636C on Monday, May 07, 2018 7:33 PM

I recall reading that the last orders (during wartime restrictions) for 4-8-4s by the RI, MILW, D&H and maybe the UP from ALCO used a similar boiler design modified from the RI R-67 boiler.

I doubt that the UP locomotives had a boiler significantly different from the pre-war 800s. After all, the requirement was to use an existing design and the UP had one.

However, I think it is generally accepted that the NYC Niagaras started off as a derivative of the RI 5100 but as wartime restrictions were reduced more changes were incorporated into the 6000s.

Peter

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