C&O 2-6-6-6

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, July 09, 2019 7:25 PM

charlie hebdo
timz
C&O ordered ten 2-6-6-6s, and supposedly set the HP record. So why reorder? After 1943 they were free to order big 2-8-8-2s, and keep the fans happy.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 6:51 AM

At the risk of being shot and deported, I am beginning to think that the T1 Trust is building the wrong locomotive.  Instead of building a T1, apparently to prove its capabilities, they should have considered building an H-8 to prove that it was actually a fast freight design.

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 Overmod on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 9:10 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH
At the risk of being shot and deported, I am beginning to think that the T1 Trust is building the wrong locomotive.  Instead of building a T1, apparently to prove its capabilities, they should have considered building an H-8 to prove that it was actually a fast freight design.

No, you have it backward.  There are two H-8s in existence, which with permission could be restored for testing at a fraction of 'replication' cost.  And I think it rather well established (from a number of sources) that the H-8 was definitively a fast freight design, to the extent that any modern simple articulated would be.  It's the intentional use of the design for much of its service life in service well below the peak of its horsepower curve that is at issue here.

What would be appropriate is a 'replica' either of a Y-6-size 2-8-8-2 with full proportional IP injection, or an adapted Y-7, to establish that those would actually be fast freight designs. 

Withuhn was an excellent historian, and I have neither the desire nor the intent to abuse his memory, but he has had some remarkable run-ins with reality in modern steam design, most particularly with the conjugated duplex system for the ACE3000.  Aside from not recognizing second-order issues with the balancing, he never seems to have provided an actual frame that would work, and the illustration of the geometry in the ACE patent itself is almost pathetic, with the arrangement as drawn being very evidently inadequate and little mention being made of the actual strength distributions required in the frame.  In my opinion, Hirsimaki is a better scholar (at least in terms of Lima tech) and J. Parker Lamb, for all his faults, understands the technology better, and I'd listen to either of them sooner than accept what is suspiciously like the old-railfan's-chestnut account of the Alleghenies being misused without a much better technical account of what the 'fix' should include.

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 6:56 PM

As to the conjugated duplex with the crank axles and inside connecting rods, there is that precedent from France -- Plate 87 in Alfred Bruce's book.

Now I suppose that such a locomotive was built and operated in France doesn't say much as they put up with everything from the Crampton design in the 19th century to the de Glehn 4-cylinder compounds with the thin webs for two inside LP cylinders driving a cranked axle and attendant bearing maintenance and breakage concerns.

On the other hand, the ACE Project ran the 614 as a test/publicity stunt in coal service over the line where the H8s once ran, and the 614 was as misapplied to the tonnage and the grades and the speed (fast freight coal train?) as the H8s.  Not saying how ACE could have had the money to restore one, but a Y6 with "full proportional IP injection" would have been a much better competitor to Diesels in that service, much as a modified Y6b convinced Norfolk and Western to hold its own against a brace of FTs?

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, July 11, 2019 6:51 AM

The Y-6b may have won the battle (barely) against a quartet of F7's in 1952 but the diesels still won the war.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, July 11, 2019 8:26 AM

Paul Milenkovic
As to the conjugated duplex with the crank axles and inside connecting rods, there is that precedent from France -- Plate 87 in Alfred Bruce's book.

For those with no Steam Locomotive in America, there is a picture (and some discussion) of the PLM 151A on the inimitable Douglas Self Site:

http://www.douglas-self.com/MUSEUM/LOCOLOCO/duplex/duplex.htm

This is interesting for its linked cutoff, which at least attempted to keep the piston thrusts proportionately equal: if you look at the 180-degree-opposed design you can see that this will keep the thrusts taken through the inside 'conjugating rods' minimized, so their throw can be less, their mass lower, and the axles and webs involved stronger.  Still doesn't help the situation if you want to use American-style roller bearings, though -- there are solutions, but not particularly simple or light ones...

A little more discussion, and a somewhat better picture, here.

Now I suppose that such a locomotive was built and operated in France doesn't say much as they put up with everything from the Crampton design in the 19th century to the de Glehn 4-cylinder compounds with the thin webs for two inside LP cylinders driving a cranked axle and attendant bearing maintenance and breakage concerns.

The French experience is interesting, because their fuel cost was always so exorbitant they could value 'thermodynamic improvement' much more than most American 'operators' did; they had a better class of 'mecanicien' willing to control the sometimes convoluted controls (e.g. of a typical de Glehn-du Bousquet locomotive, which was exquisite when fine-tuned, but who has the time to tinker with two sets of valve gear when running?) and, during the 'golden age' of the 1930s, had an artificial politically-imposed top speed limit that required the locomotives to have great acceleration and relatively high performance but did not value absolute high speed at all.  Advanced compounds and multiple-cylinder engines make sense there much more than they would in a North American context.

Not to say they didn't have their share of what the Germans call "Fehler" - the Raymond valve gear and the 'progressive development' of the salmon-rod Cossart gear being two somewhat amusing examples.  We have discussed the 160 A1 and its testing on this forum before; I don't consider it a mistake, but some of its approaches are a bit ... abstruse.

On the other hand, the ACE Project ran the 614 as a test/publicity stunt in coal service over the line where the H8s once ran, and the 614 was as misapplied to the tonnage and the grades and the speed (fast freight coal train?) as the H8s.

Ross, bless his heart, seems to have had no idea whatsoever about how to run actual scientific locomotive testing.  How you think results with an overtly leaking firebox are worth more than railfan-excitedment cred is even more of a mystery than testing a locomotive like a C&O J3a at high output without a functioning feedwater heater.  It is not difficult to see why Mr. Rowland and Mr. Wardale had a fairly dramatic parting of the ways (and perhaps, why the two have fairly dramatically different accounts of it).  It is more difficult to try to figure out why Mr. Porta signed off on this trash wallow.

Not saying how ACE could have had the money to restore one, but a Y6 with "full proportional IP injection" would have been a much better competitor to Diesels in that service, much as a modified Y6b convinced Norfolk and Western to hold its own against a brace of FTs?

I've never heard of N&W testing FTs; tell me more.

There is comparatively little to be learned about actual economy from the F-unit testing in the 1950s, as it's pretty clear that both sides 'cheated' -- someone once noted that N&W could have had very effective revenge on EMD by requiring any production order of Fs to produce 'equivalent performance' with full warranty.  In my opinion even N&W couldn't get a locomotive with 315psi pressure in a riveted boiler to work very well long-term, and I never saw any indication they were interested in adopting welded construction (e.g. including something like downhand submerged-arc welding for the shell, and a vertical furnace like Alco's for normalizing) which is almost the only thing that makes higher pressures economical; the chain-grate watertube boiler they adopted instead was an interesting thing to keep maintained but not an impossible one ... it just wouldn't scale to the actual output power that would make a STE 'pay' in their service compared to a good conventional reciprocating locomotive.

Note that there is a bit more to the proportional IP injection than just nominal receiver pressure.  When done right (imho) the approach prevents some, perhaps all, of the need to perform inline reheat on the receiver steam (as in the 160 A1), in part because there is little restriction on the degree of superheat that the injection arrangement itself will tolerate, so very effective superheat to reduce both wall and nucleate condensation in the LP charge 'as a whole' can be achieved without needing to incur damaging effects of differential thermal expansion or impaired tribology in even high-mass-flow operation.

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Saturday, July 13, 2019 7:54 PM

Yes, it was F7s vs the Y6b 

https://www.american-rails.com/y.html

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, July 13, 2019 10:34 PM

I was a Junior engineer (summer job between Junior and Senior years at MIT) at EMD, summer 1952, and saw the F7s prepaired for the N&W tests, four units, ABBA, if memory correcdt, painted UP yellow scheme.  I think they were souped up a bit, more than regular horsepower, 1750 per unit instead of 1500? 

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Posted by AnthonyV on Sunday, July 14, 2019 6:10 AM

Paul Milenkovic

Yes, it was F7s vs the Y6b 

https://www.american-rails.com/y.html

 

Another article is "N&W's Secret Weapons", Trains, Nov 1991.

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Sunday, July 14, 2019 7:04 AM

I think I read that article.

The reason I was thinking FTs was that an ABBA FT set "barnstormed" the major railroads and convinced many managements that the time for Diesels on mainline freight had arrived.  I guess the demonstration on N&W occurred later than that time to persuade late-adopter N&W.

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, July 14, 2019 7:13 AM

daveklepper
I was a Junior engineer (summer job between Junior and Senior years at MIT) at EMD, summer 1952, and saw the F7s prepaired for the N&W tests, four units, ABBA, if memory correcdt, painted UP yellow scheme.  I think they were souped up a bit, more than regular horsepower, 1750 per unit instead of 1500? 

Sounds like they may have been the prototype F9 package as the F9's and GP9's were 1750 HP machines.

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Sunday, July 14, 2019 7:15 AM

daveklepper

I was a Junior engineer (summer job between Junior and Senior years at MIT) at EMD, summer 1952, and saw the F7s prepaired for the N&W tests, four units, ABBA, if memory correcdt, painted UP yellow scheme.  I think they were souped up a bit, more than regular horsepower, 1750 per unit instead of 1500? 

 

 

Speaking "engineer-to-engineer", the claims that EMD "cheated" by calibrating the F7s for what would be the HP of the later F9 model or that N&W goosed the performance of the Y6b by going to 310 PSI boiler pressure or added more weight to the front driver set is immaterial.  EMD was increasing HP with successive models and that was the trajectory Diesels were on.  310 PSI boiler pressure my have been a cheat for a riveted boiler, but were steam to stay around, it was not an entirely implausible improvement -- it was not in the realm of exotic boiler designs.

That a Diesel was, hypothetically, 10% more effective in N&W operations is within the engineering margin-of-error of testing.  Yes, 10% differences are greater than one's profit margin in railroad practices, but that has to be weighed against all the other considerations of scrapping sunk investment in steam to make the change and so on.

The decision to go with Diesels ultimately had to be based on where management saw the trajectory for future improvements to it compared to what was considered steam development stagnating for reaching upper limits.

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Sunday, July 14, 2019 7:22 AM

BaltACD

 

 
daveklepper
I was a Junior engineer (summer job between Junior and Senior years at MIT) at EMD, summer 1952, and saw the F7s prepaired for the N&W tests, four units, ABBA, if memory correcdt, painted UP yellow scheme.  I think they were souped up a bit, more than regular horsepower, 1750 per unit instead of 1500? 

 

Sounds like they may have been the prototype F9 package as the F9's and GP9's were 1750 HP machines.

 

There is evidence that HP on both EMD and GE locomotives is a matter of fuel-rack settings.

The rating of a locomotive, however, is not simply a matter of releasing the locomotive from the factory with an advanced fuel rack.  There are changes between successive models so that the locomotive can hold up in service with the prime mover and the traction equipment pushed that much harder.

So you suppose those really were F7s with a higher fuel rack setting and that the true F9 model waited further mods that the locomotive could stand up in service that way?  There is also evidence that EMD goofed with releasing a model with higher HP out of the same gear -- was that the SD50 story?  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMD_SD50

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Posted by nhrand on Sunday, July 14, 2019 10:54 AM

DOLLARS AND CENTS

        One factor that doesn't get a lot of attention during "should have" discussions such as would a 2-8-8-2 have been better than a 2-6-6-6 is bottom line profits.  I imagine there isn't much historic cost analysis available today but it seems to me that the sensible way to talk about performance is not horsepower, etc., but money.   Probably the C&O could have purchased lower first cost power but that doesn't mean a 2-6-6-6 wasn't the most cost effective way to go.  Operating and maintenance costs have to be considered.  Moving coal slightly faster may have reduced crew costs.  Having a locomotive that could move long troop trains at passenger train speeds may have reduced the need for more passenger engines.  Similarly, being able to move both coal and fast freight with the same engine reduced the need for less versatile locomotives.  And, a 2-6-6-6 might have reduced the need for helpers or double-headers.  In short, it is hard to say if there was a better way without specifying the impact on profits.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, July 14, 2019 12:19 PM

You are arguing fairly dramatically against your own point.

The technology and many of the auxiliary systems involved in the Allegheny make it substantially more expensive to buy and to keep running than a simpler alternative.  Now, it could be argued that the proportional IP injection is an added cost, and it is, and that constructing the better exhaust tracting for a 'legacy' 2-8-8-2 (comparable to the 'bridge-pipe' arrangement on the N&W Y-class chassis) is an added expense  -- but these are as nothing to the cost and complexity of implementing the Allegheny's separate low-restriction steam and exhaust tract arrangements, one of the major reasons why the design was so heavy for its size.  In short, I think that while your basic point about a more capable engine being worth a greater capital cost is valid -- it certainly applied 'in spades' to C&O dieselization -- there is very little way you can claim the Allegheny detail design is worth anywhere near its cost differential over a boosted 2-8-8-2, or a high-adhesion Y7 equivalent.

Remember that the original argument specifically addressed operational flexibility in terms of overall cost.  The whole point of modifying the 2-8-8-2 specification was to get it to do the cost-effective work of the Allegheny worked to its proper capacity, even if 'not quite as well' at the top end of the horsepower curve, in addition to doing the more common work to which the Allegheny could be forced "much, if not most, of its service life" much more effectively. 

Note that while DPM and some others have remarked on the Super-Power idea that C&O could benefit from running some of its trains faster, this was manifestly (no pun intended) not how C&O chose to run its coal trains.  We can look definitively at the replacement of the earlier articulateds with T-1s in this light: more speed is very effective, but only up a the point your railroad operations permits.  And it is at this point that the regulated tariffs come back into this discussion: where is the perceived cash benefit in running freight faster, with the Allegheny at the peak of its torque curve vs. the same freight at what may be a lower speed of equivalent bottom-line economy with a boosted eight-coupled, when there are so many other limitations on how that higher speed can be meaningfully monetized?

Now, I'd be all for running C&O as a two-speed railroad: one speed for slow freight and coal traffic, and one speed for passenger and fast freight/M&E.  In essence the C&O of the J3a/L2a era (and the turbines and Hudson 490) was already setting up that way, with the 'windows' open for the passenger trains representing opportunity to block or fleet what might have been a substantial amount of freight at Allegheny speed within reasonable block-signal capability.  We then can start discussing train makeup, dispatching, and humping to take best operational efficiency, and thence back out to revenue, for that operation.  However it might be enough to note that C&O did not do this with steam, and never seems to have embraced the idea even as activist Young could have implemented it, and I for one would be interested to shift this discussion over to why that might have been.

I repeat that once the joy of wartime freight expediting was over, the true high-speed capability of the Alleghenies was likely as 'lost' on C&O as the distinctive performance advantages of the PRR Q2 (vs. the improved T-1s that the PRR Js represented) were lost once the war was over and done and 150-car trains run as fast as you could wheel 'em were no longer a norm).

I agree with your point about 'less versatile locomotives' as far as it extends to C&)'s actual 2-8-8-2s, which were demonstrably outclassed by far less sophisticated and expensive power than the Alleghenies.  But it might be established with considerably more truth behind the argument that the Allegheny itself was 'less versatile' when expected to produce high effective horsepower at far below its design rotational speed, and in fact less versatile in a number of ways directly affecting cost per ton-mile.  I am reminded again of Jones1945's mention of the PRR S1 being tested with a 73-car freight train ... perhaps a splendid thing if the consist were M&E or something like Blue Streak Merchandise, but far from grand if, say, limited to PRR's 'standard' freight speed limit at the time, for reasons that are far from difficult to understand (engineering subtleties or not).

Meanwhile ... and perhaps somewhat ironically ... one of the better 'theoretical' answers to this general quandary is to provide multiple-speed final drive of some kind that permits low-speed efficiency and high-speed efficiency at the very least as a function of shop setting (as in the French 'danseuse' electrics) and ideally as selected on the road.  Such a thing would have been available about the time of the second Allegheny order, in the form of the PRR mechanical-turbine V1 as equipped with the Bowes drive.  Instead, C&O, for reasons I'd dearly love to read about, went with the Baldwin 'competition', and we all know how well-thought-out, flexible and versatile those turned out to be.

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Posted by BigJim on Sunday, July 14, 2019 2:06 PM

Overmod
There is comparatively little to be learned about actual economy from the F-unit testing in the 1950s, as it's pretty clear that both sides 'cheated'


It is time to put this foolish "Railfan" MYTH to rest!

In the N&WHS publication "The Arrow" Volume 10, Number 3 May/June 1994, there is an article titled "Setting the Record Straight on the Steam vs. Diesel Tests" (pg.14-pg.17) by author Mr. Louis M. Newton. I strongly suggest that ALL of you conspiracy therorists find a copy and learn the truth from someone who was DIRECTLY involved in these tests!!!

 In this article, Mr. Newton rode in the cab of the Class A 1239 and explains what was and was not true as to the allegations that many of you have perpetuated throughout the years.

I quote Mr. Newton:

"I personally participated in the October 1952 N&W Class A 1239 verus diesel tests on the Kenova District. I can categorically state that the boiler pressure was not raised 315 psi and that no lead was added to the engines machinery beds."


I also quote:

"As for the Class A's, the October 1952 test simply showed that they were superb locomotives that through the years clearly exceeded the expectations of their designers, builders and operators.
As mentioned above, I rode in the cab of the 1239 during the October 1952 tests. I was also quite familiar with Class A locomotives in generalbetween that time and the end of the steam era. On the basis of my personal observations, I can positively state that the Class A locomotives were not modified. I am particularly concerned about these erroneous allegations and misstatements because theyare a reflection on the integrity of the Norfolk & Western and its people, particularly those of the Research & Test Department."

Mr. Newton does not comment on what EMD did or did not do. He only "questions the wisdom of any action by the EMD people to have increased the horsepower of the test units from 1500 to 1700."

With that, I will leave up to you to learn the truth of the matter!

.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, July 14, 2019 3:50 PM

BigJim
It is time to put this foolish "Railfan" MYTH to rest!

The quoted reference is like looking for the lost (counterfeit) quarter over in Portsmouth where the light's better.  The issue was never with any class A, and only a railfan relatively ignorant of the purpose of a boost in nominal steam pressure or a little added ballast on a forward engine would try to claim it was.  I always presumed the 'tinker' was done on 2197, and can't imagine that anyone's experience on 1239 would have any bearing on that.

A somewhat better argument would have been to invoke Dave Stephenson's (feltonhill, here) argument from 1998, in an article I confess I have not read.  With all respect to him, though, this is nowhere near as convincing or definitive as I consider Mr. Newton's statement on the A to be.

I should probably add that I think "315psi" has always been a bit extreme for what was more likely a couple of the pops being gently adjusted a bit so a couple went off together, say at 304psi or so, instead of progressively.  And certainly relatively little of the additional 'heat' in those psi of steam would have translated through into so much additional torque on the forward engine as to justify significant ballast there, nor does it seem to me (although I may not understand enough about the intercepting valve on 2197 specifically) that simpling the engine at starting involved applying 'full' boiler pressure to the LP cylinders.  But it does seem like the kind of precaution to take if going up against a 'known' EMD "fudging of the numbers" -- and I certainly stand by that being a 'cheat' by any logical definition, unless there's proof EMD warranted the engines at the 'higher' rack setting particularly with respect to generator flashover.

Frankly, I don't consider a little 'leveling of the playing field' to reflect poorly on the 'integrity of the N&W and its people", particularly as it would have been fairly simple to make line changes to implement the slightly higher boiler pressure and ballasting had they proved cost-effective, up to the degree experience continued to prove them cost-effective.  And I further consider at least the later implementations of the booster valve to have contributed more to cost-effective performance than any crude increase of the boiler pressure not resulting in dramatic problems for boiler life or service integrity.

As I do not have the raw data from the tests available to me, I have to ask Dave or any others with access to the actual numbers to compare 2197's test data with other recorded test results -- something I thought had been done, but perhaps should be reviewed with neutral methodology.  

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, July 14, 2019 4:31 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

The Y-6b may have won the battle (barely) against a quartet of F7's in 1952 but the diesels still won the war.

 

And it's been said, with quite a bit of justification, the diesels didn't win the war on the road.  They won it in the shops and in the accounting departments.  They didn't have to perform better  than the steamers, just cheaper.  That was enough.   Super Angry  Crying  Bang Head  

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, July 14, 2019 4:44 PM

Flintlock76
And it's been said, with quite a bit of justification, the diesels didn't win the war on the road. They won it in the shops and in the accounting departments

And of course it wasn't F units that 'won' anything, and it was in part a Pyrrhic victory as there was so much cost involved in buying first-generation-size power that the finances suffered. Something to remember is that lawyers knew where the large money was going, and a great deal of that was the 90-day advance payments for tax on all the myriad shopmen that made the N&W steam power 'hum'.   At the greatly inflated post-Forties rate of compensation for all those shopmen. 

It is tempting to speculate that had Saunders been a bit less of a foon, he might have waited for effective second-generation power before actually pulling the trigger to replace steam 'so soon'.  However, I don't pretend to know what he did about the finances of the railroad at that time. 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, July 14, 2019 6:41 PM

Oh yeah Mod-man, it's pretty much common kowledge Saunders the Steam Assassin put the N&W in the red for the first time in it's history, but luck was with him.  Being a coal pipeline that couldn't help but make money the red ink in the ledger book didn't last too long.

At least by waiting so long to dieselize the N&W spared itself the expensive experimentation that the other 'roads went through and bought Geeps.  Even though a Geep looked lousy on the head-end of the "Pocahontas" and the "Powhatan Arrow!"  They just weren't the same trains anymore.

Ever hear the old military term "water-walker?"  That's used to describe a careerist officer who manages by various means to "float" himself to the top without any real ability, or less ability than he wants everyone to think he has.   Describes Mr. Saunders perfectly.  The thing is, eventually "Mr. Water-walker" usually runs smack into Mr. Peter's Principle.  Sure happened to ol' Stu, didn't it?

I know I've said it before but it doesn't hurt to say it again.  The men running N&W up to the time the Pennsy parachuted Saunders in weren't starry-eyed romantics, they were sober, professional railroad men.  They knew dieselization was coming, it was only a matter of time.  With efficient late generation steam locomotives that were making money for them they just weren't in any rush.  

Realistically, it's highly unlikely N&W steam would have lasted past 1965, or even 1970 for that matter. The environmental laws coming over the horizon in the '70s would have put an end to it sooner or later.

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Posted by BigJim on Sunday, July 14, 2019 7:02 PM

Overmod
I always presumed the 'tinker' was done on 2197,


Mr. Newton's article explains about the Y6 also and again there was nothing special done. There was no Y6c as one deceased author would have you believe!

Take the time to do your homework and pay particular attention to the paragraph relating to the loss of boiler pressure! On the other hand, pay attention to the entire article!

.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, July 14, 2019 8:36 PM

BigJim
Mr. Newton's article explains about the Y6 also and again there was nothing special done. There was no Y6c as one deceased author would have you believe!

In case anyone is wondering, that's Bob LeMassena, and if he had any objective documentation for his "A1" I haven't seen it.  This leaves me more than a little suspicious about his 'lesser' claims regarding 2197.  But while we're quoting Louis Newton, he clearly mentions desirability of ballasting the forward engine of a Y6 in response to the improved performance one version of the booster valve makes possible (see Rails Remembered v. 3, around p.23) and it is hard to believe this would not have been attractive to people 'wise to the jive' of EMD's attempt at gaming the observations if it had in fact not been done on 2197.  (It would be just like LeMassena not to realize this was a pre-existing improvement and not a one-time tinker).

In case anyone is wondering, the article was in Trains in 1991, and the timeline of rebuttal was recounted in Dave Stephenson's post in December 2014, which bears repeating in full here:

I can only give my own opinion.  There was no such thing as a Y6c except in LeMassena's imagination.  Please read the following four articles if you must argue that a Y6c existed in any form whatsoever, even as a one-off:

Nov 1991 Trains, pgs 64-69
May 1992 Trains, pgs 64-68
May/June 1994 Arrow (NWHS), pgs 14-17
Jan/Feb 1998 Arrow (NWHS), pgs 14-18

To reiterate (and yes, some of this is self-serving) read the initial article in Nov 1991 Trains, the rebuttal of Louis Newton in May 1992 Trains (only a partial was published, he submitted a lot more than was printed), his full rebuttal in the May/June 1994 issue of NWHS magazine The Arrow and my article in the Jan/Feb 1998 issue of The Arrow.

The initial article contains many errors of fact, some of them substantial.  N&W did not modify the Y6b involved in the 1952 steam vs diesel tests. Why?? Because they didn't have to. The performance it turned in was well within its capabilities without modification. Trains made a major misstep in printing that article without (apparently) checking with a credible N&W source, NWHS for one, that was available at the time.

Keep in mind that duing the 1950s, N&W was implementing the system-wide use of auxiliary water tenders, an operations change which increased train tonnage and reduced running time.

There were several other changes occurring simultaneously, all of which increased gross ton-miles significantly.  However, the increases had nothing to do with altering the basic design of the  Y6's.

Let’s remember one thing.  N&W was in business to make money.  Sure, company pride existed when the steam vs diesel tests were run.  But EMD had a reason to hot rod the F7's (if, in fact, they did), i.e., cracking the last large market for its product.  On the other hand, N&W had no economic incentive to go out and “beat the diesel” because it wasn’t selling anything to anyone else.  The performances that were recorded during the tests in 1952 became standard operating procedure for the remaining 6-7 years until the end of steam.

This subject has been discussed to death over the past 10-15 years.  Again, there is no Y6c any more than there are unicorns and jackalopes.  If you don't want to read the four articles  recommended above, go back and re-read Big Jim's comments.  He covers the details very well.

I would dearly love to see the material that 'was not printed'; it would come from one of the most credible sources I know.  Let me be clear in saying that any 'tinkering' done to show up the F units would have been a matter of pride, and perhaps justifiable righteous indignation at what EMD tried, rather than crooked book-cooking type 'unsustainable' modification, and if I have left any such impression I retract it 'with prejudice' now. 

Meanwhile, I found the original source for the claim a Y6 operated at "63mph".  Turns out this was downhill into a sag being pushed by the train, the day after the locomotive came out of the shop.  I stand by my opinion that both thermodynamically and mechanically the design was incapable of operating with an actual load anywhere near that fast, or move that fast without severe strain and likely induction of mechanical damage in short order.  This is neither to say that the design couldn't be rather easily adapted to run that quickly (although not with LeMassena's somewhat pathetic assumed "Y6c" modifications), or that other N&W engines weren't capable of remarkable high speed through intelligent design.  Part of the issue, I think, is that N&W seems to have arrived at a kind of propaganda view in its late publicity that the Y6b was the most sophisticated and hence 'fastest' of its locomotives, superior in all-around performance and speed to the older A class ... which was, and is, in my opinion baloney and I have yet to see actual dynamometric records (as opposed to anecdotes) that clearly show different.  On the other hand we hear (in the same book that covered the high speed 'run') accounts of how the Ys usually got to sounding like a boiler factory full of loose material when they got a few months on them ... supposedly without bad effect on the track or their running.  Which is possible, but not at all how the Js or As handled demonstrable and provable high speed, without the ruckus.

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Posted by BigJim on Sunday, July 14, 2019 9:34 PM

Overmod
Part of the issue, I think, is that N&W seems to have arrived at a kind of propaganda view in its late publicity that the Y6b was the most sophisticated and hence 'fastest' of its locomotives, superior in all-around performance and speed to the older A class ... which was, and is, in my opinion baloney


Well, I must say, that is the first time that I have heard anything like that! I think you have mixed things up quite a bit! While the Improved Y6 would have been the best of the type, it was not a Class A!
Overmod
Meanwhile, I found the original source for the claim a Y6 operated at "63mph".  Turns out this was downhill into a sag being pushed by the train, the day after the locomotive came out of the shop.

If I am not mistaken the example you mention was from Mr. Ed King and actually states 70mph. 
I am the one who quoted one of my former engineers as saying the Y6's were could do about 67 mph, however, 63 mph was about as fast as you wanted to go as things got a little shakey after that. And, as I have stated before, I trust his word unquestionably.

.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, July 15, 2019 7:44 AM

Has anyone here ever met Dave Stevenson?  I have, and it was a thrill.

Fine gentleman in the best of the "old school" traditions!  

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Posted by BigJim on Monday, July 15, 2019 9:47 AM

Flintlock76

Has anyone here ever met Dave Stevenson?  I have, and it was a thrill.

Fine gentleman in the best of the "old school" traditions!  

 

Indeed!

.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, July 15, 2019 9:55 AM

BigJim
Indeed!

Yes, most definitely.

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Posted by nhrand on Monday, July 15, 2019 11:08 AM

MY DREAM

      I dreamed it was 1940 and I was a key motive power decision maker for the C&O.  A war was on in Europe and Asia, it might spread to the USA, and the C&O needed to provide for increased traffic.  I looked with admiration on the group of 2-6-6-4's my neighbor the N&W was using and was jealous over the number of railroads buying powerful 4-6-6-4's. 

          Overmod, a builder's salesman, walked into my office with an armload of blueprints for a 2-8-8-2 which he said was all I needed.  He described how it was an improved design and had features that would make it perform as well as anything I had in mind.  I was almost overcome by the technical details.  He said I could forget my image of a 2-8-8-2 as a plodding beast -- this 2-8-8-2 was state of the art.   He said the Lima salesman was going to try to make a killing by offering a 2-6-6-6 that was awesome but I could do with something less dramatic.  Overmod said the war would eventually be over and I would regret not staying with a good, tried and true 2-8-8-2.   He said a day was coming when an overbaked locomotive like a 2-6-6-6 would no longer be needed.  He also pointed out that C&O operations people wouldn't know how to get the most out of an expensive piece of power in any case, so I should stay with a souped-up 2-8-8-2. 

        I said I didn't own a crystal ball and couldn't predict the C&O's needs well into the future.   Moreover, I admitted I was human and took pride in our motive power.  A 2-6-6-6 was going to make a splash and who would complain when they saw how much the new engines could do.  I showed Overmod the door and placed a call to my contact at Lima.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, July 15, 2019 11:39 AM

Gee.

I sure hope you were polite about it and treated him as a Southern gentleman representing a fine Southern 'road should!    Whistling

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Posted by PNWRMNM on Monday, July 15, 2019 11:55 AM

nhrand
A 2-6-6-6 was going to make a splash and who would complain when they saw how much the new engines could do. I showed Overmod the door and placed a call to my contact at Lima.

And you bought race horses to pull a plow that draft horses would have pulled better and for a boatload less money. You got irrelevant braging rights but paid dearly for them.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, July 15, 2019 12:05 PM

Who knows what would have transpired if Saunders had not entered the picture.  Possibly developments in fuel processing would have unearthed ways of making steam both more efficient and less polluting.  Something along what Grand Canyon is doing?

But did not steam on the Grand Trunk Western outlive steam on the N&W?

And with the Alleghanies, how fast did the C&O actually run the coal trains and the merchandise trains on the level?

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