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prr q1

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prr q1
Posted by thomas81z on Thursday, February 29, 2024 4:25 PM

please explain why a dedicated experimental freight locomotive had

 passenger diameter  drivers  77" did they expect it to work i mean thats a handicap right out of the gate

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, March 2, 2024 11:51 AM

thomas81z
Please explain why a dedicated experimental freight locomotive had  passenger diameter  drivers  77"?  Did they expect it to work? I mean thats a handicap right out of the gate!

The Pennsy was aiming for a dual-purpose locomotive.

Some discussion here:

 

https://cs.trains.com/ctr/f/3/p/271182/3079799.aspx?page=17

Regards, Ed

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Posted by timz on Saturday, March 2, 2024 12:43 PM

thomas81z
did they expect it to work

Did they expect it to produce the tractive effort it was supposed to produce? Sure. Probably they were right.

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, March 2, 2024 3:45 PM

thomas81z
please explain why a dedicated experimental freight locomotive had

 passenger diameter  drivers  77" did they expect it to work i mean thats a handicap right out of the gate

Everyone that designs and builds something, believes it will perform to the level they designed it for - or they would not have built it.

Reality can be different.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by Backshop on Thursday, March 14, 2024 10:38 AM

If the PRR hadn't wasted years and money building new, unproven locomotives, they could've ordered good diesels in a systematic plan and not had to order "everything from everybody" because they were years behind others. 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, March 15, 2024 10:13 AM

PRR wasn't the only road to wind up with a hodgepodge of diesel models on their roster because they started late.  it may have been more visible because of the rather spectacular failure of playing catch-up with somewhat exotic steam designs that came about because they stuck with K4, L1 and other old designs.

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 BaltACD on Friday, March 15, 2024 10:22 PM

Backshop
If the PRR hadn't wasted years and money building new, unproven locomotives, they could've ordered good diesels in a systematic plan and not had to order "everything from everybody" because they were years behind others. 

B&O was one of the leaders in dieselization and they had some units from each of the manufacturers that existed in the late 40's and early 50's.  The started with EMC EA's, EMD FT's and after the War they got Alco FA's and FB's, they also go Baldwin sharknoses.  In yard power they got power from every manufacturer, including Fairbanks-Morse, though they never got any FM road power.

After several years of use the B&O/C&O the maintenance stats were clear and most locomotive purchases were from EMD until the formation of CSX in 1980.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, March 16, 2024 6:56 PM

Backshop
If the PRR hadn't wasted years and money building new, unproven locomotives, they could've ordered good diesels in a systematic plan and not had to order "everything from everybody" because they were years behind others.

And you don't think B&O, as poor as a bunch of church mice compared to the mighty PRR, didn't have their share of experiments -- the first true high-speed simple articulateds, the first simple 4-4-6-2 compared to ATSF's first Mallet 4-4-6-2, the first of the Duplexes with many of the 'warts' of the Q1, four sets of Hudsons with a couple as high-speed a locomotive as PRR built at the time; a lovely 4-4-4 express locomotive (and a Cor-Ten train for the high speed locomotives to pull), ALL those Emerson watertube boxes, an experiment with over seventy front-end stokers that ended up so bad the report of it was scotched on a grand scale, and of course a Besler constant-torque that got as far as the boiler and a couple of motors built for testing.

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Posted by Backshop on Sunday, March 17, 2024 7:52 AM

Overmod

 

 
Backshop
If the PRR hadn't wasted years and money building new, unproven locomotives, they could've ordered good diesels in a systematic plan and not had to order "everything from everybody" because they were years behind others.

 

And you don't think B&O, as poor as a bunch of church mice compared to the mighty PRR, didn't have their share of experiments -- the first true high-speed simple articulateds, the first simple 4-4-6-2 compared to ATSF's first Mallet 4-4-6-2, the first of the Duplexes with many of the 'warts' of the Q1, four sets of Hudsons with a couple as high-speed a locomotive as PRR built at the time; a lovely 4-4-4 express locomotive (and a Cor-Ten train for the high speed locomotives to pull), ALL those Emerson watertube boxes, an experiment with over seventy front-end stokers that ended up so bad the report of it was scotched on a grand scale, and of course a Besler constant-torque that got as far as the boiler and a couple of motors built for testing.

 

 

There's one big difference between what the B&O (and D&H) did and what the PRR did.  The other two experimented with cutting edge steam locomotives when steam locomotives were the only game in town.  The PRR didn't start until the end was in sight. FFS, EMD was already producing the F3 when the PRR came out with the production T1s.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, March 17, 2024 4:47 PM

It's worse than that.  PRR had wanted a pair of E's prior to 1941, and had to delay getting them until committing to the T1 production orders.  (Of course you know my opinion on why the T1 was 'spun' as such an abject, colossal failure when it really wasn't...)

In fairness, a lot of the late PRR development appeared to be geared towards handling heavy wartime traffic better in a time of resource constraints.  Consider the amount of copper that would go into the 1943 electrification expansion vs. the amount that would have been available through the WPB for diesels.  Much of the PRR experimentation in the '30s (Steamotive, the Steins locomotives, the proposed E8 Atlantic) was oil-fired; oil that became scarce in the early war years thanks to the 'happy times'.   So we got duplexes and mechanical turbines as the Great Thing, which had its rationale pulled out by VJ day, and most of the duplex advantage either gone by '47 or replaced by diesels as the place to put the motive-power investments.

The reports on that F unit by the motive-power department survive at the Hagley and make interesting reading.  So do the announced reasons why the V1 was not built, either in the mid-Forties or as briefly revived in 1947.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, March 18, 2024 1:42 AM

Two great comments, thanks,

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, March 20, 2024 12:00 PM

Backshop
If the PRR hadn't wasted years and money building new, unproven locomotives, they could've ordered good diesels in a systematic plan and not had to order "everything from everybody" because they were years behind others. 

This leads me to ask if one of the serious PRR historians can confirm something I've only seen in one source.

Clessie Cummins, in his biography, mentions that there was serious interest at PRR in internal-combustion power, both small and the promise of large, up until 1927.  That year, the major 'champion' of oil-engine power supposedly died, and with it the interest in large or fast locomotives vs. steam.

This if true mirrors the problem J.P. Morgan had when his 'expert' on railroad practice died suddenly in 1906, and there was no one like him for a replacement.

This would help explain the relative lack of interest in high-speed motor trains, and why the PRR's initial 'answer' to lightweight high speed was a Milwaukee-style Atlantic on steroids...

There is also that curious business of the Bowes drive.  By 1947, PRR had revived the V1 turbine as a high-speed design using this, instead of mechanical transmission.  At about this same time, Ingalls Shipbuilding was starting to promote a 2000hp passenger locomotive that we now know was designed to use this same type of transmission.  It seems peculiar that PRR, in their haste to dieselize with decidedly weird types of power -- but not the Essl design from Baldwin -- did not take up this design at least to test it.

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Posted by Backshop on Thursday, March 21, 2024 10:34 AM

I'm not a "serious PRR historian" but that timeframe coincides with the electrification of the NEC.  Even the PRR had limited resources and designing and building the electric locomotives probably took up much of Altoona's engineering time.  That's also why they missed the whole Superpower generation of steam, except for J1, courtesy of the C&O. They didn't have the man-hours and they had a glut of older steam that was displaced from the NEC. Most don't know that Wilmington was originally a steam shop.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, March 22, 2024 8:55 AM

Backshop
that timeframe coincides with the electrification of the NEC.  Even the PRR had limited resources and designing and building the electric locomotives probably took up much of Altoona's engineering time.

The thing there is that most of the serious electrification took place well after the Alco and Baldwin flirting with weird technology (three-cylinder power with Gresley gear for the former; high-pressure compounding and Caprotti poppets for the latter) and PRR notably failed in designing anything of particular worth all through the '20s and early '30s (and only really succeeded by cribbing the important details from the New Haven).  Where I see the real issue is that the PRR made massive investments in their 'standard' power, both in M1s and K4s, winding up with some enormous fleet purchases of Pacifics just at the time the Baltic and Hudson designs were following-on to Woodard's innovations for the early Berkshires, and only slifhtly before the van Sweringen AMC figured out (in part from the Erie's practice) just what could be done with a fast locomotive taking advantage of a proper (i.e. not American Arch or floating-axle) trailing truck design.  The displaced locoomotives from the early electrifications only compounded what was already a serious overaccumulation of power that 'just missed' the important early post-'28 developments in reciprocating steam.

So PRR went into the Depression with not only electrification of the dense-traffic areas, but an enormous glut of rapidly-obsolescent power.  Note that they could only finish the NEC south to Washington with RFC funds, and never got the important part of the main (over Horse Shoe and around Pittsburgh) electrified at all.  

What I think happened instead was that PRR got entranced with the wrong 'modern' technology.  Once they get clear of the worst of the two Depressions, they've spent 3.5 million iron men on, basically, subsidizing Baldwin, Alco, and Lima to build an enormous Buck Rogers rocket ship of a 'Locomotive of the Future!' that can't even get through Pittsburgh station, they're watching the Steamotive development with great interest, and... as we have already observed... when they go to design other 'modern' power they went straight to low-augment overweight weirdness, to get measurably "better capacity" than they had. 

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