do you like the Pennsy? then see this!

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do you like the Pennsy? then see this!
Posted by 54light15 on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 10:47 PM

I'm posting this so we can take a break from Covid 19 and get back to why we are here. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiLIS2Sl29s 

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Posted by selector on Thursday, March 26, 2020 1:03 AM

Thanks.  I have seen probably most of the NYC and Pennsy videos over the years, but I still enjoy seeing them.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, March 26, 2020 1:00 PM

Thanks.  Worth the time viewing, and recommended to otherw.

Lots of irony with one E-7 or E-8 and stillk promotion of the Turbine and the often seen T-1s as the power for the future!

But what reader of the magazine cannot enjoy all that mainline steam action?

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, March 26, 2020 1:12 PM

A film record of that very brief window in time , maybe 3- 6 months when the T1's were the stars of the show. Extremely clean machine. They were almost apologetic in the narration about the Diesels but onimous sounding. Not long afterward the T1's never looked like that, they were filthy and appearances were not kept up. 

 Flying hazardous or grounded, roads treacherous for long journey, many dirt roads and sections, Diesels not yet favoured by the bosses.

Makes sense. Good option. Looked great. 

But... no dice, did not work out. The debate rages as to why.

 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, March 26, 2020 1:56 PM

As most know, PRR took a loss in 1946.  Diesels had to look really good after that happened.

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 Miningman on Thursday, March 26, 2020 2:04 PM

The loss was not because of steam! Expensive Diesels, many junk, made it all worse. It was the first of many losses to come. Diesels certainly did not save them, they went bust anyway. Things only got worse when the last of steam disappered.  

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, March 26, 2020 2:34 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

As most know, PRR took a loss in 1946.  Diesels had to look really good after that happened.

 

And that's something I've always been at a loss to understand.  The PRR, and just about every other railroad in the country for that matter, was flush with cash from the tidal wave of government contracts during the war.  What happened to the PRR?  No-one else was reporting losses in the immediate post-war era.

Someone in the Pennsy's hierarchy must have been spending money like a drunken sailor on shore leave.  

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, March 26, 2020 2:36 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

As most know, PRR took a loss in 1946.  Diesels had to look really good after that happened.

 

And that's something I've always been at a loss to understand.  The PRR, and just about every other railroad in the country for that matter, was flush with cash from the tidal wave of government contracts during the war.  What happened to the PRR?  No-one else was reporting losses in the immediate post-war era.  All were optimistic of post-war prosperity, the Jersey Central, for example, was happily buying new diesels to replace their worn-out and obsolete steam engines with the money they'd made.

Someone in the Pennsy's hierarchy must have been spending money like a drunken sailor on shore leave.  

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Posted by selector on Thursday, March 26, 2020 3:26 PM

Early in my tme after joining this forum, maybe early 2006 (?), the topic of what happened to steam, and how the roads found purchasing and incorporating diesels wholesale to be appealing, was debated very comprehensively, and with some of the usual vituperation present in at the time.  One of those explaining, with what I took to be quite a solid stock of crediblity, ended up banned about four months later.  Basically, he made it sound as if the roads were made offers the bean counters couldn't refuse.  Or wouldn't.

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Posted by zugmann on Thursday, March 26, 2020 3:27 PM

Flintlock76
Someone in the Pennsy's hierarchy must have been spending money like a drunken sailor on shore leave.  

C'mon Wayne, state legislatures don't come cheap!

 The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by Backshop on Thursday, March 26, 2020 3:30 PM

I have to believe that even lousy diesel models were less labor intensive than steam.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, March 26, 2020 4:04 PM

zugmann

 

 
Flintlock76
Someone in the Pennsy's hierarchy must have been spending money like a drunken sailor on shore leave.  

 

C'mon Wayne, state legislatures don't come cheap!

 

Oh that's hysterical!  Laugh

Well, there is the old story about how the Pennsylvania state senate used to wrap up the day's business with one final question:

"Are there any matters important to the Pennsylvania Rail Road?"  Wink

Remember what Al Capone said?

"An honest politician is one who when he gets bought, stays bought!"

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, March 26, 2020 6:02 PM

zugmann
 
Flintlock76
Someone in the Pennsy's hierarchy must have been spending money like a drunken sailor on shore leave.   

C'mon Wayne, state legislatures don't come cheap!

Yep!  The USA has the best government money can buy.

Since the SCOTUS 'Citizens United' decision in 2010 the door was opened legal buying.  Government is bought and sold in the USA at all levels daily.

Show me a politician that leaves office poorer than they were when they entered office and they will be one of two things - a honest politician or dumb beyond human belief.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, March 26, 2020 8:29 PM

Flintlock76
What happened to the PRR?  No one else was reporting losses in the immediate post-war era.

It was a one-time loss, on paper, in 1946, and I think most of it was adjustment for wartime situations and damage.  The expenditures for diesels came later.  As did both the colossal increase in labor cost (and relative loss of skilled or dedicated prospective employees) starting about 1947 and accelerating radically in the next couple of years.

The point about even wretched diesels being 'better than steam' is a partly valid one.  Baldwin, for example, held the 'clean room' shop requirements down to a minimum (the injector rebuild facility, for example) allowing a steam-era shop to do much of the rest of the work with more typical machine-shop practice.  It had been well understood since the Twenties that the thermal efficiency of diesels was much higher and, as 'gas engines' the whole issues of water rate, explosions, cut corners on boiler fabrication (see the 1361 follies), limited range, track pans, etc. goes away.  Availability and over-the-road reliability go up, too ... if the engines are correctly designed.  A great many weren't.

Part of the issue in the late '40s is that most builders were playing a kind of catch-up ball in a new field, with ground faults being one of the things in particular that dogged Baldwin almost ineradicably (thanks in part to their baroque out-of-sight-out-of-mind assumptions about where and how you run power wiring).  That some of the actual repair expenditures were radically higher than expected -- or touted by builders inexperienced with complex diesels or electric drive -- is unfortunate, and in some cases steam administered scientifically with the greatest attention to detail was competitive or even superior to some of those early things.  

But the situation is like what happens when you extrapolate WWI into 1919, something that always gave Winston Churchill a frisson of dread, by his own admission, when he considered it.  Any advantage even for advanced turbine steam was vanishing as the second-generation diesels were built, with some of the last potential 'markets' vanishing with things like gas turbines and multiple-engined units on the one hand and better detail design on the other.  I find it highly unlikely that even if many of the 'niche suppliers' had remained in business or effectively 'outsourced' production of key auxiliaries to, say, a company like Trailer-Train owned by a pool of railroads and kept solvent through hard times by them, there would have been a sustained market for 'first-generation' steam -- or much of a take rate for further generations,  for other than experimental operations.  

With regard to the absolute amount: In order to recognize greater savings, a very large number of steam locomotives had to be replaced in reasonably short order, this accelerating as it became excruciatingly obvious both that operating older designs was like burning thousand-dollar bills in a cold shower and that newer designs cost a huge amount for proprietary crap that often did not perform as expected ... or needed.  They thought they were spending money to responsibly save money ... and I, personally, suspect they were right and justified even if all they had to buy were neo-klunkers in many respects.

Remember also that financing was much more available for units that were more 'fungible' -- that was for example the only way the NYO&W could get new power, and it certainly proved to be right.  If there was a red lesson from the big T1 purchase, it was that large equipment-trust obligation on something no one else wanted would have to be 'continued by other means'...

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, March 27, 2020 1:08 AM

Of course, buy them, get them, on the easy peasey payment plan. Except Baldwin, cash only.  That money went down the drain for a lot of headaches and trouble. Junk replacing superior performing steam and a skilled workforce that knew what they were doing. Gone, now your stuck. 

How about no stop or one stop Niagara's NY City to Chicago .. hardly limited range. 

Diesels did nothing to stem the rot. Did not save the Pennsy or the NYO&W. Just made money for EMD. 

Keeping steam up to mid 60's to 1970 or so would not have brought the end any sooner but may have better exposed the weakness in competivness and brought about fair play and less regulations in commerce. Kept the charm and fascination with the public too!

Just seemed everyone in North America jumped on the bandwagon and were sold a tall tale with lollipops. Rest of the world didn't pay heed for quite some time. About that 1970 marker. 

Oh well, didn't happen.  The T1 in the movie looked good. They should have kept it that way. I bet it looked like hell a year later.

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, March 27, 2020 4:18 AM

Firelock, raoilroads were not flush with cash because WWII military traffic all moved at reduced rate.  Railroads could not buy rails and other necessary material to keep everything in good condition, and the Governent would not permit them to put funds into a deferred maintenance account to allow massive repair after VJ-Day.  This is what led to PRR's showing a loss for the first time in 1946, the 1st Post-WWII full year, and a year requiring massive RoW repair to keep the railroad in safe operation and before any massive diesel purchases.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, March 27, 2020 9:22 AM

Thanks David!  I have to defer to your knowledge, you were there, I wasn't, and Overmod made some good points too.

I'm flattered you remember my old "callsign!" 

The Mod-man mentioned the NYO&W.  Diesels sure didn't save them.  As a matter of fact the only diesels the  "Old and Weary" owned they managed to pay off before the collapse were some GE 44-tonners.  

 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, March 27, 2020 10:16 AM

I don't think that anything could have saved NYO&W after the coal traffic dried up.  It probably lasted as long as it did since Chapter 77 bankruptcies were intended to keep the railroad operating, not liquidated.

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 PJS1 on Friday, March 27, 2020 10:20 AM

daveklepper
 Firelock, raoilroads were not flush with cash because WWII military traffic all moved at reduced rate.  

To know the cash position of the nation's railroads in 1946, one would need access to the financial statements of every carrier or an industry roll-up.  

Have you looked at the 1946 financials for each carrier or the cash positions as reported to the Interstate Commerce Commission, Association of American Railroads, etc.?  

Many years ago, when I lived in New York, I used to take the train to Washington and spend the better part of the day at the AAR's library.  At the time it was open to the public.  My guess is they would have the financials for 1946 on microfish; whether one could get the information without a valid reason for doing so is unknown.  

Rio Grande Valley, CFI,CFII

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, March 28, 2020 10:21 PM

The story on PRR's road to the first reported year of deficit, 1946, was covered in Trains, and I am giving you what my memory says is correct.  You are a lot closer than I am to Washington, so go to it!

I am not denying in any way that PRR's postwar equipment purchases could have been wiser.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, March 29, 2020 5:50 AM

Exploring my memory further, 1946 may be the year that PRR railroad operations showed a deficit, but they paid a small dividend to stockholders anyway, bexause non-railroad (non-transportation, mostly real-estate) and Norfolk and Western dividend income more than made-up for the deficit.

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