Question about Camelback locomotives..

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, February 20, 2021 11:13 AM

Oh, it's scary all right!  In my mind when I think of fifty-year-old movies I still think they should have Charlie Chaplin in them!  Not anymore!

Now some of my favorite movies like "Patton" and "Kelly's Heroes" are fifty-year-old movies!  When did THAT happen?  

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Posted by 54light15 on Monday, February 22, 2021 5:25 PM

Enough with the old movies, already! We've seen some of this but not all and you gotta love the music! Note how the lyrics are sort of set to the action. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIC94gEUuc8 

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Posted by Sara T on Thursday, February 25, 2021 4:10 AM

I have a question about these locomotives. I looked it up in the internet and it looks totally weird to me. (More than my 'own' initial turned-around status (as coal dust fired locomotive and that was weird, oh, I never came to grips with anything, heavens sake I got rid of this contortion later)

--> W-h-a-t was the purpose of this upside-down confusion? Lack of view because the grate was wider than normal? You must be kidding! What about the later locomotives with the really wide and long boilers?

One time I was filming from the side of the boiler of a Wolsztyn locomotive standing on the running board while the locomotive was shunting some cars and when free got away really quick and attained some mild speed for some longer distance. This was a one time special situation, it didn't feel so uncomfortable because I wanted it for a purpose. But to imagine having to work day in day out like this would make me think, I have to say ...

Sara  05003

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Posted by SD70Dude on Thursday, February 25, 2021 6:44 PM

As to the working conditions, it is worth noting that during the Camelback's era trainmen were expected to walk on top of moving freight cars during all hours of the day and night and in all weather conditions, of course without fall protection.  During the same timeframe many British locomotives lacked cabs of any kind.  A far cry from what we enjoy today. 

Others can explain the steaming rationale behind the Camelback design better than I.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Juniatha on Thursday, February 25, 2021 8:40 PM

Quote "One time I was filming from the side of the boiler of a Wolsztyn locomotive standing on the running board"

Wow, they let you stand on the running board while driving - even at slow speed?

What about switches on the branching path? Didn't you have to keep a tight grip to the boiler and wasn't that hot?

You really do test it out - chi-chi-chi!

 

Juniatha

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, February 25, 2021 9:23 PM

Welcome aboard Sara!

You certainly came to the right place for all things "Camelback!"

Suffice to say you've probably learned as much about them as it's possible to learn, but for just a quick review that wide firebox concept came about for no other reason than to burn cheap, reject coal that was unsaleable by the coal companys.  The railroads that used it as fuel for all intents and purposes got it free for the asking.

Only the accountants and railroad money-men loved the Camelbacks because they were cheap to run.  The engine crews never liked them at all, and some flat-out hated them.  But, it was either run the engines you were assigned or look for work elsewhere. 

Advancing locomotive technology made them obsolete as the 20th Century wore on, but on some 'roads like the Jersey Central they lasted until the end of steam, for various reasons. 

But for railfans and modelers they've always had a fascination that's never gone away.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Friday, February 26, 2021 5:03 PM

I've been on the running board of our engine while she's hot a few times (never while moving), usually to put the stack cover on after the end of an operating day.  The insulation means it isn't any hotter than standing next to her on the ground while you're greasing everything. 

During the steam era over here trainmen were expected to exit the cab via the running boards and then run ahead of the engine to line switches, so a heavy train would not have to come to a complete stop as it entered a yard or siding.

Another memorable story (which was printed in the magazine a few years ago) involved the fireman repairing a failed feedwater pump while the engine continued to work hard pulling upgrade.  Meanwhile the low water alarm had started to scream. 

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, February 26, 2021 6:37 PM

SD70Dude
Another memorable story (which was printed in the magazine a few years ago) involved the fireman repairing a failed feedwater pump while the engine continued to work hard pulling upgrade.  Meanwhile the low water alarm had started to scream. 

Ever hear the phrase "Wooden ships and iron men?"

I can't help but think railroading is "Iron horses and men of steel!"

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