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Mighty 611!

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Mighty 611!
Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, May 30, 2021 11:12 AM

Hey everybody, Mighty 611 is up at Strasburg romping on their line!  Check out the Virtual Railfan camera link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKSL9WI2fc4

A grey, dreary day, but the old girl's doing her best to lighten it up!  A bright ray of classic steam sunshine!

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Posted by zugmann on Monday, May 31, 2021 12:40 PM

One of these years I'd love to see them take its streamlining off.  

 

I'm sure they would for the right price.  (there's a joke in there , but it's too easy). 

   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 Overmod on Monday, May 31, 2021 12:48 PM

zugmann
One of these years I'd love to see them take its streamlining off.

Here's a cheesecake shot for you:

https://www.nwhs.org/archivesdb/thumbs/photos/NW05562.jpg

As with that other field of interest, sometimes too much exposure is not as sexy as the right lingerie...

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Posted by zugmann on Monday, May 31, 2021 12:51 PM

Overmod
Here's a cheesecake shot for you:

I've seen that before.  Why I'd like to see it in person.  I think it looks better than the streamlined one. 

   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 Overmod on Monday, May 31, 2021 2:29 PM

zugmann
Why I'd like to see it in person.

It occurs to me that the streamlined nose cone does come on and off fairly easily -- I can't say as much for the skirts, and interestingly the fairing under the smokebox appears to have been present on the J1s.  Note that N&W seems to have done some attempt at historical revisionism by keeping as little record of the J1s as possible -- I suspect this had more to do with the rod fiasco than the nonstreamlined appearance, but the two were 'joined at the hip' in practice -- and never pulled the cones even when the engines went to freight service.

I suspect that if you asked politely when the locomotive was due for service involving more than just opening the inner smokebox door, you might be able to schedule a time to see her with the nose off.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, May 31, 2021 3:57 PM

Overmod

 

 
zugmann
One of these years I'd love to see them take its streamlining off.

 

Here's a cheesecake shot for you:

 

https://www.nwhs.org/archivesdb/thumbs/photos/NW05562.jpg

As with that other field of interest, sometimes too much exposure is not as sexy as the right lingerie...

 

Looks strange.  Interesting, but strange.  

Like a Northern with thyroid trouble.

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Posted by pennytrains on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 6:31 PM

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 9:13 PM

That other J is so antique it's exquisite!

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Posted by 54light15 on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 9:56 PM

I agree but I do like the Atlantic and American types. They just seem so right. 

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Posted by pennytrains on Thursday, June 3, 2021 6:28 PM

Their 2-8-0's were cool too: https://www.nwhs.org/archivesdb/thumbs/neg/NG101374.jpg

Even the Mollies had a vintage style: https://www.nwhs.org/archivesdb/thumbs/photos/NW06845.jpg

Check out this 4-6-0: https://www.nwhs.org/archivesdb/thumbs/photos/NW06654.jpg

Early articulateds had a 19th century stle: https://www.nwhs.org/archivesdb/thumbs/photos/NW06294.jpg

But then, so did the competition's: https://www.nwhs.org/archivesdb/thumbs/neg/NG100393.jpg

The J1's would have looked a lot like the K1's if not for the shield below the smokebox: https://www.nwhs.org/archivesdb/thumbs/neg/NG101581.jpg

 

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, June 3, 2021 8:33 PM

A "My-T-Fine" assortment of antiques!  

And you can see the 20th Century s-l-o-w-l-y arriving with that articulated.

Thanks Becky!  Thumbs Up

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, June 3, 2021 9:48 PM

Flintlock76
A "My-T-Fine" assortment of antiques!  

And you can see the 20th Century s-l-o-w-l-y arriving with that articulated.

Thanks Becky!  Thumbs Up

Have recently watched a number of video's of the B&O steam power fighting Sand Patch, 17 Mile and other serious grades on the system.  One thing that gets overlooked is just how slow steam power - even with 2 on the head end, one in the middle and two on the rear were actually moving the tonnage up the grade - appears to be 5 or 6 MPH.  With the train configuration I just mentioned there would be 13 men involved in getting that train over the road - Engineer & Fireman for each of the five engines and a 3 man train crew - head end brakeman, flagman and conductor.

Now we have a two man crew with nominally 3 or 4 units operating in a DPU configuration hauling two to three times the paying tonnage at 12 to 15 MPH.  Not only getting the tonnage up the grade, but getting it down the grade without the time expending chore of setting up retainers at the crest of the grade and then turning off the retainers once the train is off the grade.  Not to mention the brake shoe/wheel wear created by having brakes applied to some extent for mile after mile.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, June 4, 2021 8:42 AM

All true Balt, everything you say is true.

But the drama's gone.

I know, drama doesn't pay the bills.  Just sayin'.

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, June 4, 2021 9:50 AM

Flintlock76
All true Balt, everything you say is true.

But the drama's gone.

I know, drama doesn't pay the bills.  Just sayin'.

When CSX was using Dash-8's as their 'Road Power' and put two Dash-8's on a 90 car coal train out of Atlanta inroute to Waycross and beyond it was all drama all the time with the three rolling hills between Tilford and Manchester.  Would they make it?  Would dew set in and dampen the rail and cause the train to stall.  Would a thundershower move through the area and wet the rail and cause the train to stall.  Would the trick dispacher hold the signal too long at a control point and cause the train to stall.  Drama, you want drama?  Every trip with a 90 car coal train and two dash-8's was drama.

Eventually, instructions were issued at Tilford that if it was raining, Tilford was to add a thrid engine to the engine consist.  Then came the AC's and the drama vanished and trains got increased to 100 cars.

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Posted by pennytrains on Friday, June 4, 2021 7:22 PM

BaltACD
B&O steam power

Akron grade was one of the last holdouts for B&O steam.  Mostly mikados.

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, June 4, 2021 7:37 PM

pennytrains
 
BaltACD
B&O steam power 

Akron grade was one of the last holdouts for B&O steam.  Mostly mikados.

Akron's B&O grades were relatively unique, at least on the B&O System.  The bottom of the grade was at Akron Jct where curvature restricted speed to 10 MPH.  Westbound the grade was a little over 1% and a little over a mile long; Eastbound was also a little over 1% but it was a little over 2 miles long.

As I recall, most 1st generation diesels had a minimum continuous speed of about 9 MPH.  In my experience on the territory - a heavy short train was in danger of stalling as most all of its tonnage would be in the grade and it was still having to comply with the 10 MPH speed restriction at the bottom of the grade.  Longer trains would have the rear of their trains using gravity to assist the head of the train in climbing the grade.

In my experience, there were no 'assigned helpers' for Akron grade.  A yard engine from Akron Jct. would be summoned to assist.  Admittedly, all my experience on the territory was in the diesel age.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Friday, June 4, 2021 10:24 PM

Overmod

 

 
zugmann
One of these years I'd love to see them take its streamlining off.

 

Here's a cheesecake shot for you:

 

https://www.nwhs.org/archivesdb/thumbs/photos/NW05562.jpg

As with that other field of interest, sometimes too much exposure is not as sexy as the right lingerie...

 

Wow! I think the non-streamlined one looks awesome. Maybe the most handsome steam locomotive I've ever seen. Kinda reminds me of a Reading T-1.

I'm generally not so big on streamlined steam locos. But I really wish a Pennsy T1 still existed.

Still in training.


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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, June 5, 2021 12:54 PM

Lithonia Operator
Wow! I think the non-streamlined one looks awesome. Maybe the most handsome steam locomotive I've ever seen. Kinda reminds me of a Reading T-1. I'm generally not so big on streamlined steam locos. But I really wish a Pennsy T1 still existed.

I also think the non-streamlined J looks good. Maybe not as good as the streamlined version but overall it looks natural without the big bullet nose. Sometimes I think the drivers of the Js are a bit too small to match the big wide bullet nose. 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, June 5, 2021 3:07 PM

Hi Mr. Jones!

Those small drivers on the N&W J Class locomotives were basically a compromise.  J's needed to handle some "sawtooth" land profiles on the N&W system so small (er) drivers were used instead of the larger types found on most Northerns.

However, those small drivers were so well balanced a Class J could run up to 100 MPH comfortably, although that wasn't done very often.  

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Posted by selector on Saturday, June 5, 2021 4:32 PM

Jones1945

 

 
... Sometimes I think the drivers of the Js are a bit too small to match the big wide bullet nose. 
 

The fairings and skirts add dimension to this one locomotive and make it look rather huge, and so I agree that the comparatively smaller radius drivers do look a bit odd, almost coal-draggish, compared to your typical Northern class of steamer.  But, as said just above me, those as-delivered roller bearings made fast speeds possible on this gal.  When the Pennsy trialed a J, they burned a valve at high speed, near 100 mph or whatever it really was. I might have the few details incorrect, but that's what my brain tells me.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, June 5, 2021 5:07 PM

selector

 

 
Jones1945

 

 
... Sometimes I think the drivers of the Js are a bit too small to match the big wide bullet nose. 
 

 

 

The fairings and skirts add dimension to this one locomotive and make it look rather huge, and so I agree that the comparatively smaller radius drivers do look a bit odd, almost coal-draggish, compared to your typical Northern class of steamer.  But, as said just above me, those as-delivered roller bearings made fast speeds possible on this gal.  When the Pennsy trialed a J, they burned a valve at high speed, near 100 mph or whatever it really was. I might have the few details incorrect, but that's what my brain tells me.

 

 

Becuase of the different operating conditions in the eastern mountains, driver diameters tended to be smaller than mid west and western locos.

Rockies may be taller, but the Appalachians are in many ways more rugged per mile, requiring more and sharper curves and steeper grades to traverse.

This created a need for locos that could manage constant moderate speed under all conditons rather than highest possible speed on relatively straight track.

Larger drivers mean a larger rigid wheelbase which ultimately reduces maximum speed on curves and reduces torque on grades. Other east coast Northerns had similar driver sizes.

N&W J - 70", READING T1 - 70", C&O J3a - 72", Western Maryland J-1 - 69", Lehigh Valley - 70", Nashville,Chattanooga, & St Louis - 70", Wabash O1 - 70", Central of Georgia K - 73.5".

Only a few east coat roads, with relatively flat/straight routes, had Northerns with drivers in the 80" range, NYC, ACL, RF&P.

The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western had a range from 70" to 77" on different classes.

So, as you can see, most eastern Northerns had drivers similar in size to 611.

And look at the big eastern roads that never owned a Northern - PRR, B&O, NH, Seaboard, L&N and others.

The B&O never had drivers bigger than 70" on anything with four or more driven axles on a rigid frame.

When much of your trackage looks like a can of worms on a map, going 40 mph everywhere means more than going 80 on the straight aways.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, June 5, 2021 7:24 PM

Keep in mind that this would not have been a fast locomotive on any railroad other than N&W, and indeed was anything but a joy when built without the Timken lightweight rods and bearings.  But the real secret was not that the engine was equipped with roller bearings (the UP FEF-3s did not have roller rods and were reliable and fast) it was that Voyce Glaze did the balancing and did not screw the pooch like the AAR-following people who balanced the ACL R1s and New Haven I-5s.

Indeed the issue with sustained high speed was more or less exactly where you'd expect to find it: valve tribology at high machinery speed combined with crazy high superheat level not encountered in N&W practice.  But over 112mph from 70" drivers with a boiler large enough to sustain the necessary mass flow is not to be laughed at.

PRR advised larger drivers (at least 77" as I recall) but a moment's reflection on how tall the result would be (and how top-heavy it might behave!) will tell you why there was no piston R2 class there.

When did RF&P ever have a 4-8-4 with an 80" wheel?  I thought all the classes were 77"... not that that was inferior.  These were really all-round the best-looking of 4-8-4s (in my opinion).

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, June 5, 2021 7:58 PM

Overmod

 

When did RF&P ever have a 4-8-4 with an 80" wheel?  I thought all the classes were 77"... not that that was inferior.  These were really all-round the best-looking of 4-8-4s (in my opinion).

 

Note my wording, "in the 80" range", as 77" is measureably closer to 80" than to 70".   

And I separated out the DL&W as they experimented with both schools of thought.

Yes, there is something classic looking about the RF&P Generals, just as there is a something exceedingly practical looking about the Reading T-1.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, June 5, 2021 8:50 PM

Hey, Sheldon's here!  Cool!  Glad to see you!

(Maybe I'd see more of you if I visited the MR Forum more often, but honestly there's usually very little there to interest me.)

I just checked the book on the RF&P's 4-8-4's, God forbid I should call proud Virginia locomotives "Northerns," and indeed all three classes had 77" drivers.

Incredibly handsome engines too, it's a shame none were saved. That fact alone mystifies many in the Richmond area who remember, considering the pride the RF&P showed in those locomotives. 

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, June 5, 2021 8:52 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
And I separated out the DL&W as they experimented with both schools of thought.

Why not separate out LV as they did the same experiment with the same general result with the last 5 Wyomings?  

And the C&O had Greenbrier drivers at 72" about as long as the NYC had the Niagara's at 75" -- I think the early ones were 74" by 1947 and the later ones followed delivered at that.  

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, June 5, 2021 9:21 PM

Overmod

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
And I separated out the DL&W as they experimented with both schools of thought.

 

Why not separate out LV as they did the same experiment with the same general result with the last 5 Wyomings?  

 

And the C&O had Greenbrier drivers at 72" about as long as the NYC had the Niagara's at 75" -- I think the early ones were 74" by 1947 and the later ones followed delivered at that.  

 

Agreed, but my memory, typing speed, and research time was limited.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Saturday, June 5, 2021 10:17 PM

Flintlock76
Incredibly handsome engines too, it's a shame none were saved. That fact alone mystifies many in the Richmond area who remember, considering the pride the RF&P showed in those locomotives. 

And solid financials at the time as well. No poverty forcing their hand like some roads like the Rutland faced that were saddened to see the passing of an era, but just couldn't justify donating several thousand dollars worth of scrap metal as a memorial to the steam age.

And late retirements for at least some of the RF&P's fleet, which makes it perhaps even stranger. Back in say 1951 when you're sending your steamers to the torch and steam is seemingly still everywhere in the region, it's easy to see how it might've been overlooked. But 1959 was when their last 4-8-4's went off the roster after several years in storage.

That's a point where the steam fleets for most Eastern Class 1's were already a thing of the past and the world was devoid of examples of important classes like New York Central's fleet of Hudsons, any steam power from several historic lines like the Erie, etc.

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