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$2.6 million restoration of K4s 1361

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Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 11:55 PM

Certain railroads (like CSX) may have issues with certain types of roller bearings as well (those with non-rotating ends).

Any self-imposed rules about bearings can be changed on an individual case by case basis.  It all depends on the people and organizations involved, and being "more professional than the professionals", as has been noted.

I've seen CN refuse to move certain antique equipment with normal roller bearings, and then move a locomotive with rollers in the old plain journal boxes without any complaints.  They also allow the Kamloops Heritage Railway to regularly run their early 1900s 2-8-0 on local yard trackage despite its plain bearings, and have allowed the Prairie Dog Central's late 19th century 4-4-0 and wooden passenger cars onto our double track mainline twice within the past year, albeit for short distances in order to get to other locations, most recently for a TV series about Pullman porters being shot at Winnipeg Union Station. 

CP still rosters a surprising amount of ancient work equipment in remote areas, such as a complete old time auxiliary train kept at the Golden, BC car shop.  Some of this equipment still has plain bearings. 

NS moved Nickel Plate 757 (plain bearings) from Leaman Place, PA (Strasburg interchange) to Bellevue, OH in February 2019 without any problems along the way. 

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Posted by kgbw49 on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 11:11 PM

You don't need access to hundreds of miles of track. Just several dozen in good condition.

MILW 261 runs annually in non-COVID-19 times on the Twin Cities and Western. Typically they run from Minneapolis Junction to Arlington, MN. It is about 50 miles +/- one way.

The track is in good shape and 261 lopes along at 25-30 MPH. There are no turning facilities in Arlington so the train is towed back to Minneapolis Junction.

They typically run 2-3 trips on a weekend and sell out.

261 is not pulling the Hiawatha like back in the day, but it is real-live fire-breathing steam.

Similarly, 576 is looking at running on a similar stretch of Tennessee Central track, and as that is a commuter route Monday through Friday, 576 might get to step a bit more quickly than 261.

So you don't need hundreds of miles of track to run - just a few dozen.

Mr. Moorman might still have some pull at Norfolk Southern to enable a tow to a "relatively nearby" PA shortline (B&P maybe or one of the other potentials listed in previous posts) where 1361 can stretch her legs just a little bit.

It is a big Pacific but not the biggest ever, so to paraphrase Lloyd Christmas in Dumb and Dumber, Wick Moorman is telling us there's a chance. So I'll donate a few coins as they get organized.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, if you want to ride behind a big Pacific right now, saddle up and ride out to Abilene, KS and ride behind the big-barreled Baldwin ATSF 3415 on the Abilene & Smoky Valley.

 

http://www.asvrr.org/

 

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 10:43 PM

Flintlock76
I don't recall the exact dates, late '80s, early '90s, but Amtrak did allow two of the Strasburg's steam locomotives out for a romp on their mainline.  There were no incidents and the locomotives ran perfectly, but to my knowledge there's been no repeat of steam on Amtrak lines since.  If anyone knows of the same I'd like to hear about

 Well, if they still ban charters and private cars, I can't see them being receptive to the idea of steam on their tracks. 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 3:09 PM

kgbw49
Amtrak if they can get the locomotive to Harrisburg.

I don't recall the exact dates, late '80s, early '90s, but Amtrak did allow two of the Strasburg's steam locomotives out for a romp on their mainline.  There were no incidents and the locomotives ran perfectly, but to my knowledge there's been no repeat of steam on Amtrak lines since.  If anyone knows of the same I'd like to hear about it.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, July 18, 2021 11:15 PM

rixflix
Was it the bearings that failed on 1361?

What I heard (and it was indirectly) was that at least one of the driving bearings overheated while the engine was under tow.  I'd agree that any heat-checking of the surfaces of the journals would produce the prompt 'condemnation' and expensive repair proceedings that did occur post-'88.

Note that there are better and more positive methods of lubricating plain bearings than would have been strictly cost-effective for an in-service K4s.  Since the Railroaders Museum K4 is the official historic-fabric-preservation locomotive, it becomes possible to adapt 1361 for reliable operation -- and that might include both prelubing and pressure lubrication of the 'key' bearing surfaces in the locomotive.

There are lessons in the recent ferry move of 757 over CSX, which even today is considered a general 'steam-hostile' railroad but that happily enough painted a Berkshire version of its 'boxcar' logo on the locomotive for the move.  I suspect that a properly prepped and administered ferry move, albeit perhaps with the locomotive at reduced pressure, might meet with comparable approval.  Professionalism and deep pockets count for more than we might think!

Would NS nix friction bearings?

Keep in mind that CSX and perhaps other roads by now even nix roller bearings that wayside detectors cannot 'read'.  You'll see weird things like roller-bearing tender trucks with the box covers physically removed so enough of the rotating axle end is visible to satisfy "tech inspection".  Of course inside bearings are another story, and one that might take on Stephen King overtones... if you can't trust the people who say they're keeping them lubricated and cool.

The main issue with plain bearings is that they require care in making and then eternal vigilance thereafter, in storage or operation.  But most of the possibility for disastrous interruption of railroad operations can, I think, be avoided with only normal care and attention to the detail design of the tribology and to diligent maintenance... which need not be obsessive-compulsive.

PSR has greatly assisted at least one thing, which is operating coexistence with 40mph-peak excursion trains.  In fact it would be at least technically possible to include an excursion making stops and runbys in the "precision scheduled" programming, running the other traffic around the train intelligently and holding traffic and letting it run faster 'elsewhere' if needed (yes, you could bill the excursion people for the marginal cost of energy).

Again, a major issue here is communication -- early and perhaps often.

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Posted by rixflix on Sunday, July 18, 2021 6:29 PM

Early in this discussion I was thinking of Milesburg on the Bald Eagle and maybe that's where the 1361 "came a cropper". There are interesting definitions of that phrase. In any case, that line from Tyrone to Lock Haven with a branch to the Bellefonte area is now operated by the Nittany & Bald Eagle Railroad. It also handles NS overhead (mainly coal) traffic. The Bellefonte Historical Railroad Society also has limited operations on this road. Wiki says it's the only volunteer group to operate on a class I. Bellefonte has a restored station, sidings  and a wye. Tyrone has a historical society in a restored station with a railfan deck and a railroad park. Hmm!

Was it the bearings that failed on 1361? Would NS nix friction bearings?

Anyway, here's a fantasy trip:

Towed ferry move Altoona to Tyrone with boarding at Altoona or Tyrone. Get it off the main drag quickly.

Parallel US 220 northward is literally a few feet away for long stretches. A possible chasing nightmare.

Leave the Bald Eagle main at Milesburg and run slowly to Bellefonte.

Tie on the feed bag there while the locomotive or train is wyed. Local hoopla!

And return with a bunch of happy railfan campers.

With the State, it's tourism and economic people, the three museums' volunteers,  the State Police and Wickman's NS connections in synch, it all looks so rosy.

Feel free to puncture my baloon or maybe just support the restoration effort.

Rick

 

rixflix aka Captain Video. Blessed be Jean Shepherd and all His works!!! Hooray for 1939, the all time movie year!!! I took that ride on the Reading but my Baby caught the Katy and left me a mule to ride.

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Posted by pennytrains on Sunday, July 18, 2021 5:55 PM

Why not?  We have 2100 here in the C-L-E along side the 4070 and the 765 comes back in September.  As long as a loco can travel as "freight", CSX is good with that.

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by kgbw49 on Sunday, July 18, 2021 5:44 PM

Perhaps SEPTA will be receptive to some runs on the weekend as well as Amtrak if they can get the locomotive to Harrisburg. And while not directly in Pennsylvania, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic is not too far outside the western PA border. Hope springs eternal!

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, July 18, 2021 3:34 PM

As I recall, most of the running the K4 did 'back in the day' was on the Bald Eagle branch (with EBL concerned about arrangements to ferry the engine between Altoona and Tyrone iirc).  NS vastly improved the part of this line used to serve the power plant near Watsontown... and ran regular coal trains on it, a stated issue against running steam excursions.  Is that plant still using coal?  Is there still as heavy use of that trackage?

The mobile support designed for T1 5150 could be used quite effectively with the smaller and less technically depending K4s.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, July 18, 2021 3:05 PM

Lithonia Operator

I wonder if Delaware-Lackawanna could be persuaded.

 

A VERY good possibility.  However if Steamtown's involved it could be problematic, the D-L got in a bit of a tiff with Steamtown (I think in 2019?) so I'm not sure if they're on speaking terms right now.  However, if 1361's being run as an "free agent" it could be another matter. 

1361 would have to bring it's own passenger consist though, aside from office cars I don't think the D-L has any. 

The Colebrookdale Railroad in Pennsylvania could be another possibility.

https://www.colebrookdalerailroad.com/

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Sunday, July 18, 2021 2:16 PM

I wonder if Delaware-Lackawanna could be persuaded.

Still in training.


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Posted by kgbw49 on Sunday, July 18, 2021 12:12 PM

Steamtown's CP G3c 4-6-2 2317 built in 1923 is probably a bit similar to 1361 in that ir weighs 317,000 lbs and has 75" drivers.

Perhaps 1361 being a "locomotive in residence" at Steamtown may be its best bet to operate. MILW 261 had a stint as such back in 1995.

Steamtown also keeps inching forward on Boston & Maine 3713 which has 80-inch drivers like 1361 and weighs in at over 339,000 lbs.

If that locomotive ever becomes operational it might limit the chances of 1361 spending time at Steamtown. Then again, having 3713 and 1361 operational at the same location for a period of time might be quite a draw for Steamtown.

We shall see!

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, July 18, 2021 10:52 AM

BEAUSABRE
I don't think the NS is towing anything with solid (as opposed to roller bearings) anywhere.

I don't know if that's true, unless the policy's changed.  CSX definately wouldn't up until fairly recently when they towed NC&StL 576 to a restoration location.  It wasn't a super long distance though.

Oh, if the Strasburg's trackage can handle 611, it'll handle 1361. Let's be honest here, on Strasburg trackage neither can or will operate at mainline speeds.  But we won't know until 1361's finished and looking for a place to go, will we?  

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Sunday, July 18, 2021 2:39 AM

kgbw49
NS tows 611 to Strasburg where it runs for a stretch of time. Just for the "rumination hopper", here are a few thoughts of where 1361 could be towed to in PA for a "Steam Locomotive in Residence" stint:

I don't think the NS is towing anything with solid (as opposed to roller bearings) anywhere. So you need to get two heavy duty flat cars, hire an expensive crane and riggers and load locomotives and tender on board, then creep over NS's main line (guaranteed to make them happy - their job is to make money, not run what David P Morgan called "The Big Lionel Set") to your destination and reverse the process. 

OK, you're at your destination. 

I'd say that the Everett is out. They will accept 263,000 pound cars with the exception of Hollidaysburg, which is 286,000 pounds. The weight of a K4s without tender is 304,500 pounds. Their current steam power is 2-6-0 Number 11 (ex-Bath & Hammondsport) which weighs 111,000 pounds. Consolidation Number 38 (ex-Huntingdon & Broad Top - being rebuilt) is 157,000 pounds (35.1 sq ft grate and 58 pound rail)

The Strasburg advertises they will accept 286,000 pound cars. Also consider the following

K4s 4-6-2 70 sq ft grate 111 pound rail minimum

#89 2-6-0 30.8 sq ft grate 67 pound rail minimum (ex-Canadian National E-10a)

#90 2-10-0 54.3sq ft grate 63 pound rail minimum (ex-Great Western)

#475 4-8-0 45 sq ft grate 67 pound rail minimum (ex-Norfolk &Western)

And will the Strasburg's curves even accommodate 80 inch drivers at, say, 20 mph as opposed to creeping along enroute to being enshrined in the museum?

The results are what you would expect from a comparison of a main line locomotive designed to pull heavy passenger trains at high speed with locomotives either designed for or which spent their lives on branch and short lines. By comparison, a K4s gulps down coal and water and damages the track structure much more. BTW, I think Trains ran an article sometime in the past decade claiming the ideal steam power for a tourist operation in terms of size, appetite for fuel and water and maintenance (locomotive and track structure) is a 2-6-2T. The Everett and Strasburg appear to agree by their motive power choices. So we don't need a T-1 duplex (where is it going to run, again?) but a lot of short and branchline sized power. 

To keep comparisons consistent, all the figures are from Locobase

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Posted by kgbw49 on Friday, July 16, 2021 4:59 PM

NS tows 611 to Strasburg where it runs for a stretch of time.

Just for the "rumination hopper", here are a few thoughts of where 1361 could be towed to in PA for a "Steam Locomotive in Residence" stint:

Everett Railroad

Strasburg

Steamtown

Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern

Just some thoughts to stimulate conversation.

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Posted by zugmann on Friday, July 16, 2021 11:59 AM

Flintlock76
If it's required where they want to go.  As BaltACD has mentioned in other threads some 'roads are PTC exempt, mostly regionals and shortlines.

I'm sure more lines will be required to have PTC in the future.  Would be silly not to equip it. 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, July 16, 2021 11:51 AM

zugmann

Hopefully by the time 1361 is ready, they'll be a PTC system that works for it. 

 

If it's required where they want to go.  As BaltACD has mentioned in other threads some 'roads are PTC exempt, mostly regionals and shortlines.

Class 1's have to have it, but as I've mentioned before I can't think of a single steam-friendly Class 1 on the East Coast at this time.  That could change, nothing's set in stone, but I wouldn't count on it.

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Posted by zugmann on Friday, July 16, 2021 10:38 AM

Hopefully by the time 1361 is ready, they'll be a PTC system that works for it. 

   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 daveklepper on Thursday, July 15, 2021 9:10 AM

After such an investment, a static display and short slow-speed runs would be a waste of the investment.

And the E8s coulkd pull the dress-rehearsal trains to insure all problems not related to steam specifically are soved before each grand show.

A consist: The K4-and tender. A pair of Silverliners for PTC compatibility, a steam generator car in winter, hopefully in the body of a B60 Bag., then the PRR heritage constist with Mountain Viewe, Tower View, or 120 at the tail-end.  Pan on the Silverliner pair lowered at each photo stop. of course.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, July 15, 2021 8:46 AM

Now that's even higher on the cool scale!

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Posted by kgbw49 on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 11:36 PM
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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 6:47 PM

conrailman

Why do they want to waste 2.6 Million dollars to use the engine in Eastern PA?? the Engine should Stay in altoona Pa Area.My 2 Cents

 

No doubt it'll live in Altoona, but as Pennsylvania's "Official Steam Locomotive" it's reasonable to expect 1361 to go on barnstorming tours around the state, at least where possible. 

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Posted by conrailman on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 4:20 PM

Why do they want to waste 2.6 Million dollars to use the engine in Eastern PA?? the Engine should Stay in altoona Pa Area.My 2 Cents

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 4:14 PM

daveklepper
SEPTA is a State of Pennsylvaniao-owned Railroad. I expect that they will be happy to borrow thr K4 for promotional purposes,

Wow, that's a very big maybe.  Anything's possible, NJ Transit ran Ross Rowland's C&O 614 back in the 90's (but not since, or anything like it) so SEPTA might want to go a little "showbiz" and run steam, but I wouldn't hold my breath. 

It'd be cool if it happened though!  

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 2:39 PM

The K4 is "the state of Pennsylvania's official locomotive?"

SEPTA is a State of Pennsylvaniao-owned Railroad.

I expect that they will be happy to borrow thr K4 for promotional purposes, and with the PTC in their EMUs, a train of them behind the K4, with a SEPTA engineer in the cab (front platform) of the lead MU, as well as a pilot in the K4s, ypu've got your Wayne Ju7nction to Jenkintown to West Trenton fantrip at trasck speed.

Hey, how about doing it now with Bennet Levine's E8s?

Those singe=level Silverliners would make a pretty picture behind either power.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 11:34 AM

Lithonia Operator

Wouldn't RBMN allow for much higher speeds than Strasburg? Maybe 50 mph?

 

It's possible, it would depend on RBMN's trackage and what speeds are authorized on the same.

I remember back in the 90's RBMN's trackage was authorized for passenger speeds up to 65mph, but they didn't run their steam excursions that fast, 45mph was the norm.

Why?  As owner Andy Muller put it at the time "Passengers want the ride to last." 

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 8:22 AM

Wouldn't RBMN allow for much higher speeds than Strasburg? Maybe 50 mph?

Still in training.


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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 8:19 AM

When it's done, I will go see it run! And I hope it can run faster than the Big Boy has so far.

Still in training.


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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 7:44 PM

I could see it running at Strasburg our on the RBMN plus maybe at steamtown.  The running gear is about complete from what I have seen the boiler is the holdup.  

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