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I cannot NOT turn my locos -- hand me my pick-axe.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, June 19, 2022 11:13 PM

Doughless
Also, the engine will be facing downhill as it pulls the train up the steep grade, which helps keep the water in the boiler because of the angle, so a railroad might want to pull the train uphill anyway for that reason. ...

I thought they wanted the loco facing uphill to make sure water is covering the firebox top?

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, June 20, 2022 9:23 AM

MidlandMike
I thought they wanted the loco facing uphill to make sure water is covering the firebox top?

Oh, yeah!  Job One is to keep the crown safely covered at any time the fire is drafted.   And, really, at all other times too...

Don't be fooled by those rack engines that look like they're 'kneeling'.  The boiler is supposed to be level when the engine is actually working hard.  

I know of one locomotive (Dixie 576) that was equipped with special level plates on the water glasses to indicate correct working level when negotiating 2% grades.  If I recall correctly some of the larger articulateds had a whole separate gauge to be used under such conditions.

The real problem came when a hard-working locomotive 'summited' and started back down the grade on the other side.  The fire would still be hot from the ascent, and if the water rolled forward in the boiler, even full injection/pumping might not keep water over the crown and chamber top.  Even a few seconds under those conditions might be critical, with the situation being worse if there was already some thermal-cycling damage in the structure.

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Posted by crossthedog on Monday, June 20, 2022 10:19 AM

So what's the concensus... are we saying go up and down the branch facing uphill, with a coffee break right before the crest to let the firebox cool off?

 

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, June 20, 2022 11:03 AM

crossthedog

So what's the concensus... are we saying go up and down the branch facing uphill, with a coffee break right before the crest to let the firebox cool off?

 

With tongue firmly in-cheek, I'd suggest that you scrap the locomotive and convert your layout to a funicular...

...but in a more serious vein, I still like your sketch of the simple turntable that you submitted previously.  Don't worry about the downhill version exposing the crown sheet, unless you've actually filled your locomotive with water.

Wayne

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Posted by crossthedog on Monday, June 20, 2022 12:06 PM

doctorwayne
...but in a more serious vein, I still like your sketch of the simple turntable that you submitted previously. Don't worry about the downhill version exposing the crown sheet, unless you've actually filled your locomotive with water.

It's sort of a cool idea, isn't it? It's the kind of thing my dad would have done, only he was a furniture builder so the design would have been elegant and the execution flawless, and all done with scraps from the shop, too. I'm pretty happy that I was able to come up with something and it's tempting to build it just to see if I can. Although it's also nice to hear of ample precedent for backing along the branch so I don't need to feel pressured one way or another.

-Matt

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 9:25 AM

MidlandMike

 

 
Doughless
Also, the engine will be facing downhill as it pulls the train up the steep grade, which helps keep the water in the boiler because of the angle, so a railroad might want to pull the train uphill anyway for that reason. ...

 

I thought they wanted the loco facing uphill to make sure water is covering the firebox top?

 

Hmmm.  Maybe I got that backwards.

- Douglas

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Posted by cowman on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 4:23 PM

I haven't read all the replies throughly so this may be a repeat.

The Kadee coupler sight not only tells you what coupler will fit on the front of steam locos, but also shows you how to modify your loco to have that coupler work properly.

Good luck,

Richard

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Posted by crossthedog on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 8:00 PM

cowman
I haven't read all the replies throughly so this may be a repeat. The Kadee coupler sight not only tells you what coupler will fit on the front of steam locos, but also shows you how to modify your loco to have that coupler work properly. Good luck, Richard

Thanks Richard. I made it work, basically, by not using a box at all but just looping a whisker coupler over the boss and covering the area with a homemade plastic lid, screwed down into the boss.

But I'd love it if you sent a link right to the page you are thinking of, because I've looked on the website and there's lots of info there about a lot of things, and I could not find anything about mounting a front coupler on an old Roundhouse steamer.

After reading all the responses, what I (think I) know is, if a #262 box does not fit into that pilot hole -- that's the narrowest Kadee box -- then I'll have to widen the hole. And if the boss that I just tapped for a 00-80 screw interferes with putting the box in there, then I'll have to grind out the boss. Any way I go, it will be a bit of work.

-Matt

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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  • From: Libby, MT
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Posted by ctclibby on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 4:28 PM

Late to the party again. As to the TT West of the Missip - how about Missoula, MT. This one is still in operation although the RH has been gone for a few years. Now you can be prototypical and turn your engines!

https://www.google.com/maps/@46.8757054,-113.9911176,372m/data=!3m1!1e3

And one from Spokane ( Parkwater )

https://www.google.com/maps/@47.6737073,-117.3283694,231m/data=!3m1!1e3

Amazing you can not just insert images. On top of that I am away from home so I can't put it on the web server at this time so hence the google map link.

Oh, you may have to select the Earth view layer to see the actual photo.

 

Todd Hackett

 Libby, Montana 59923

 I take only pictures then leave footprints on railroad property that I know is not mine, although I treat it as such...

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Posted by crossthedog on Thursday, July 14, 2022 1:01 PM

@Todd, thanks for those links. I always like seeing old turntables. I think I read in Trains mag that BNSF is going to quit the whole of Balmer Yard at Interbay here in Seattle, which means we'll lose the turntable down there. It is visible from several bridges and other spots around the perimeter of the yard so it's always been a fun place for railfanning.

-Matt

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

  • Member since
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  • From: Libby, MT
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Posted by ctclibby on Saturday, July 16, 2022 3:30 PM

Matt - that would be interesting as Interbay ( and associated yards ) are the western terminus isn't it? Many moons ago I met a guy in an AA meeting who hostled down there. Told me to come down and he would show me around. Ya, some show around he did. Had me moving power units around, fuel line to wash racks and back to the ready line. Almost got to 'hump' a cut of cars in Balmer until one of the uppety-ups happened by wanting to know who is was. Oh well, just running power around was nothing but great! Conductor working with us wanted me to go and signup with the RR. Already was doing my degree in electronics and wanted to keep with that. Also told them that I had tried to get on with the railroad ( any railroad ) all of my life and it just wasn't happening. Might have been a good thing as I still drool when i get close to the things!

Todd Hackett

 Libby, Montana 59923

 I take only pictures then leave footprints on railroad property that I know is not mine, although I treat it as such...

  • Member since
    February 2021
  • 598 posts
Posted by crossthedog on Wednesday, July 20, 2022 9:32 AM

ctclibby
Many moons ago I met a guy in an AA meeting who hostled down there.

Hi Todd. Nice to meet a friend of Bill on here. What a great experience. They certainly are not so loose with the security down there now. When my daughter was very small I took her into the office there and asked if I could show her the engines in the roundhouse. There were three BNSF employees inside. The two at the desk were young man and woman. She was for "no, it's against the rules". He was indifferent but deferred to her. A third guy, an older guy, came in through the door to the roundhouse. He was all for letting us in there and wanted the lady boss to let him show us around. She argued that we didn't have personal protective gear (helmet, vest, etc.). He said he could probably scrape some up for me. It was causing her a problem because she just wanted me gone and this older guy (probably your friend from your anecdote) kept coming up with postive solutions to her objections. She finally allowed as I could step inside the door with my daughter in my arms and we could watch for a few minutes. They were bringing a big diesel into the house at that moment. That was fun.

Years later I wanted to photograph some old Geeps that were still in the green and white BN livery next to the roundhouse and they came down hard negative. Can't have the public wandering around on the property. Times have changed since 9/11.

You used the word "hostle". I've heard of a hostler as one who tends horses; it's an old word with a wonderful history, but I've never seen it used as a verb nor in reference to nonequine motive power. Is that a common usage?

-Matt

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

  • Member since
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Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, July 20, 2022 12:20 PM

crossthedog
You used the word "hostle". I've heard of a hostler as one who tends horses; it's an old word with a wonderful history, but I've never seen it used as a verb nor in reference to nonequine motive power. Is that a common usage?

I've heard it used here in Canada, at a now long-gone roundhouse, and also in a couple of places in the U.S., once at Steam Town, and other times at a couple of shortline enginehouses in Pennsylvania, where I had several very enjoyable cab rides, thanks to a good friend, who was himself, a railroader, and knew dozens of other railroaders.

Keep in mind that steam locomotives were often referred to as "iron horses".

Wayne

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