Mystery streamlined Vulcan Oaks PA

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Mystery streamlined Vulcan Oaks PA
Posted by bmrr444 on Monday, June 09, 2008 1:51 PM

On vacation recently, I stumbled upon a beautiful Streamlined narrow gauge Vulcan 0-4-0 locomotive stuffed and mounted on a pedestal in front of the old Reading RR station in Oaks PA.  It has a orange bullet nose, stainless steel boiler jacket and generally a "Lionel" 1930's look to it. Can anyone enlighten me at to it's origin and history?  Thanks.  bmrr444

 

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Posted by Kurn on Monday, June 09, 2008 3:01 PM
The only thing listed in Steam Locomotive Info in Oaks is a Porter standard gauge 0-4-0T.Any pics?

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Posted by bmrr444 on Monday, June 09, 2008 4:55 PM
I have digital photos of this engine but this is my first time using this forum and do not see how to insert photos. Any quick easy step to take?  Thanks.
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Posted by lonewoof on Friday, June 13, 2008 3:13 PM

Why would anyone want to streamline a 0-4-0?

/Lone

 

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Posted by KCSfan on Friday, June 13, 2008 6:43 PM
 lonewoof wrote:

Why would anyone want to streamline a 0-4-0?

/Lone

0-4-0's often were used as shop switchers to move cold engines when they were being rebuilt or repaired. I can't recall just where but I recently ran across a picture  of a Southern Pacific 0-4-0 saddle tanker that was semi-streamlined and was the "shop goat" at, IIRC, their Sacramento shops. I can't come up with any other specific examples but vaguely remember hearing of a few other roads having one or more similarly streamlined shop switchers. I'm sure the "streamlining" was done by the local shop forces and reflected their pride in these dinky engines.

Mark

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Posted by J. Edgar on Saturday, June 14, 2008 1:01 AM
without seing a pic it could also be a fireless engine....with no fire box and a large rounded "boiler" could make it look streamlined
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Posted by bmrr444 on Saturday, June 14, 2008 8:02 PM
With the help of my talented son in law, attached are some photos of the mystery streamlined Vulcan on display at Oaks PA. Can anyone fill me in on its history and reason for streamlining? Thanks






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Posted by KCSfan on Saturday, June 14, 2008 8:35 PM

It certainly appears to be a fireless locomotive which means it operated on a "charge" of steam received from a stationary boiler. Probably was privately owned and used to service a power plant, paper mill or factory which used process steam. The streamlining might well have been added when the locomotive was put on static display.

Mark

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Posted by scottychaos on Saturday, June 14, 2008 9:01 PM

What a bizzare little thing!

its very cool..I like it! :) 

But I would give about 99% odds that the fancy streamlining was added after the loco was put on display, and it never turned a wheel in revenue service with that fancy shroud.. 

interesting! but not original to the locomotive..its someones 1:1 scale freelance fantasy model.

Scot 

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Posted by scottychaos on Saturday, June 14, 2008 9:05 PM

Only the thumbs were linked..

here are the full-size images:

 

 

 

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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, June 15, 2008 11:04 PM

A couple of comments. 

From looking at the photo(and this all I can really do)

1. The location is Station Rd(south), Gumbes Rd (north)& Egypt Rd(east-west)

2.Station Rd is not shown on several maps I looked at, and I'm guessing at the name based on the pictures.

3. It seems kind of odd that the locomotive is facing  south ie with the back of the locomotive facing the major street(Egypt Rd.)  Usually in a display the front of the locomotive would be facing the major street.  Or towards the intersection.

4. When I looked at google maps in the imaging file the locomotive is not there. Only a patch of maybe gravel

5.One other comment. Is anyone positive this is a steam engine?  I do not see any cylinders nor anyplace that the connecting rod would have been attached.  Is this maybe an electric or diesel made up to look like a steam engine?

Rgds IGN

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Posted by scottychaos on Monday, June 16, 2008 2:38 PM
 narig02 wrote:
One other comment. Is anyone positive this is a steam engine?  I do not see any cylinders nor anyplace that the connecting rod would have been attached.  Is this maybe an electric or diesel made up to look like a steam engine?

Rgds IGN

good call..I agree that "maybe an electric or diesel made up to look like a steam engine" is very plausable..

the lack of cylinders dosnt mean much..they could have been removed during the "restyling"..

but the back end with the "Vulcan" name does look more like some kind of gas or diesel critter than a steam engine..(Vulcan made both steam and diesel, so the Vulcan name alone doesnt tell us anything..)

I agree it was probably originally some kind of small diesel critter..the wheels look vaguely steam-engine-ish, so they "work" in the strealmined steam engine style..

but yes, it was likely originally something like this:

http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/misc-h/hrc0ags.jpg

Scot

 

 

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Posted by J. Edgar on Monday, June 16, 2008 3:34 PM
i stand on my original guess before the pics....it is an inside-connected fire-less steamer....the "boiler" would be charged with superheated steam and water....as the steam was used and the pressure decreases the water would boil giving more steam for power....these "donkeys" were used were fire/exhaust wouldnt be safe...chemical plants,tie treatment plants ....i remember a issue of MR years back that did a story on a Great Northern ( maybe Northern Pacific either way it was in Montana somewhere) tie treatment plant and they had a few of these running on narrow gauge shop tracks moving tie carts around
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Posted by KCSfan on Monday, June 16, 2008 4:11 PM

 J. Edgar wrote:
i stand on my original guess before the pics....it is an inside-connected fire-less steamer....the "boiler" would be charged with superheated steam and water....as the steam was used and the pressure decreases the water would boil giving more steam for power....these "donkeys" were used were fire/exhaust wouldnt be safe...chemical plants,tie treatment plants ....i remember a issue of MR years back that did a story on a Great Northern ( maybe Northern Pacific either way it was in Montana somewhere) tie treatment plant and they had a few of these running on narrow gauge shop tracks moving tie carts around

I too initially thought it was a fireless cooker but like others I'm now puzzled by the obvious lack of cylinders, main rod and valve gear. It also appears to have an air horn not a whistle which further suggests internal combustion. The unique coupler tells me the little bugger was an industrial engine of some sort.

Mark

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Posted by vsmith on Monday, June 16, 2008 4:58 PM
Thats a gas critter, you can tell by the cab interior, you can see the transmission hump just in front of the air brake/ throttle stand next to the seat. Betcha a dollar it was all gussied up like that as an amusement park ride, thats how it got the fancy grillwork & streamlining, it would also explain the holes in the nose and the grill in the cowcatcher in the front, to allow for air to reach the radiator behind the bullet nose

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Posted by J. Edgar on Monday, June 16, 2008 5:36 PM
i am humbled.....i have seen some fireless pots with inboard cylinders and gear....theres one in Tawas Mi...atleast there was in 1980....but closer look vsmith is right....sigh wrong again Black Eye [B)]
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, June 16, 2008 6:57 PM

It looks like the engines they use in kennywood,

http://www.flickr.com/photos/geffawoof/204680630/

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Posted by millrace on Tuesday, June 17, 2008 10:26 AM
I'm pretty sure that is from Kennywood.  They had/have several engines just like it that came from the 1939 World's Fair where it ran as the "Gimbels Flyer".  I know they sold at least one of them on Ebay a couple years ago.  It ran at Kennywood since WW II.  Kennywood's railroad still operates but I don't know what they use for motive power these days.
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, June 17, 2008 11:03 AM
They use the same type of locos today...I was there last year
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Posted by vsmith on Tuesday, June 17, 2008 1:00 PM

Looks like the mystery is solved, thanks for the pic

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Posted by bmrr444 on Saturday, June 21, 2008 3:14 PM
Thanks to all who helped to explain this interesting piece of our railroading history.
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Posted by fishsnick on Friday, June 24, 2011 11:07 AM

This puppy was used at now defunked Lakeview Amusement Park in nearby Royersford PA . I was on that thing a bunch of times as a kid . Just google the park and you'll see the pictures of it .

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, June 24, 2011 4:50 PM

I know where that locomotive is!  I saw it back in April attending an antique show at the Oaks Convention Center, and I belive vsmith's got it right.  By the way, if you continue up the road toward the Center on your left there are three other locomotives, two small diesels and an 0-4-0 saddletanker.  All are in pretty good shape for being exposed to the elements, and amazingly haven't been vandalised at all.  The steamer is "all there", nothing missing that I could see.  Also, it has some faded "Steamtown" lettering on it.  You can walk right up to the locomotives, climb into them, and no-one seems to mind. 

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Posted by samfp1943 on Friday, June 24, 2011 5:54 PM

V Smith may be right- .

   That the subject locomotive has been converted to an internal combustion power at some point.    Enlarging the view as posted (depress the Ctrl and then depressing and bumping the += Key several times- Mozilla/Firefox) should allow one to enlarge the view of the cab interior)

Anyway here is a link to an earlier discussion Thread that has a good description of how Firelless Locomotives functions: 

http://cs.trains.com/TRCCS/forums/p/157456/1736780.aspx

This link is to a discussion on the website RailwayPreservation News, concerning Fireless Locomotives, and has one linked photo (near bottom of Thread) that shows a Fireless 0-6-0 (from a Company in East Tenn.).

Sam

 

 


 

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, June 24, 2011 8:56 PM

PA has a bunch of defunct amusement parks

http://www.defunctparks.com/parks/PA/indexPA.htm

fishsnick

This puppy was used at now defunked Lakeview Amusement Park in nearby Royersford PA . I was on that thing a bunch of times as a kid . Just google the park and you'll see the pictures of it .

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Posted by samfp1943 on Monday, June 27, 2011 8:06 PM

scottychaos

Only the thumbs were linked..

here are the full-size images:

 

http://img262.imageshack.us/img262/1725/dscf1048smag0.jpg

http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/6667/dscf1049smvq7.jpg 

http://img174.imageshack.us/img174/1288/dscf1050smht9.jpg

 

 

MY questions to anyone are:.

What is the specific history this display?

Why, and where is it on display?  Is in a Park or no Private Property?

 

Thanks, In advance

Sam

 

 


 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, June 27, 2011 8:42 PM

To Samp43:  I've seen this engine and the three others up the road that I mentioned in an earlier post.  They're not in a park, but on the approach road to the Oaks/ Greater Philly Convention Center.  Obviously they're owned by someone, but they're right out in the open and readily accessable.  Me and a friend were all over the 0-4-0 I mentioned, no-one said a thing.  Maybe they figured two 50+ geezers weren't worth worrying about!

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Posted by SP4460 on Monday, July 04, 2011 11:56 AM

Vulcan did make stream, but you just have to look at the controls to see this one is not.

narig- "I do not see any cylinders nor anyplace that the connecting rod would have been attached."

Now this is not the case here, but dont forget some English locomotives had piston inside the frame and you would not see any cylinders.

 

The Streamlining little loco's like this is not that odd, just look at Strasburg Museum and their little fireless.

"http://www.railpictures.net/images/d1/2/7/9/2279.1266340606.jpg"

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Posted by Badass on Monday, September 02, 2019 1:43 PM

Ressurecting this thread after all these years as I also wanted to know what train this is and where it was located. On one of my trips back in Dec 2011 I drove by this spot and stopped to take a couple of photos. Forgot all about it until I recently went through old photos taken with a very old cellphone I no longer have. Neither I nor anyone that was with me at the time could not remember where it was. Took me a while but then I found this photo of it -

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/streamlined-narrow-gauge-vulcan-0-4-0-in-oaks-pa-bill-cannon.html

which then led me to this thread after refining my searches to Oak, Pa. Checking google maps, it appears the full scale train is now gone, replaced with what looks like a scaled down version of it alongside the building. Maybe the photos are fooling me and it is the original one, not 100% sure as I have not revisited to compare. It is painted blue, red, and yellow. Streetview photo is dated Aug 2015. Another google streetview from Station Ave was taken Oct 2012 and the train was in the original location. Here are the links to the google streetview images I mention -

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.1329012,-75.454208,3a,28.1y,79.91h,85.59t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1skMYrLqaOY5BN8GrLDzCBug!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.1330077,-75.4537992,3a,75y,220.79h,95.42t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1ssP5RVDWBkRimnizYnD_bOg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

I want to thank the original poster for asking about this train and all the responders who helped me locate it once again.  Big Smile

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, September 02, 2019 5:02 PM

It's still there.

I went to the Greenberg Train and Toy Show at the Oaks Convention Center on August 24th and made it a point to look for that Vulcan "streamliner."  

The other three locomotives I mentioned on this thread in the past ( One steam, two diesel "critters") are still there as well.

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