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Ancient PRR R1 Model

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Ancient PRR R1 Model
Posted by BEAUSABRE on Friday, June 2, 2023 9:53 AM

PRR's R1 was the Baldwin-Westinghouse 2-D-2 loser to the GE 2-C+C-2 GG1 as the later tracked better. Despite this, the R1 headed up the Broadway Limited Penn Station-Harrisburg every afternoon, returning in the morning Harrisburg-Penn Station with mail and express run or years   Pennsylvania Railroad class R1 - Wikipedia

Then check out what was in Varney's 1939 catlalog   Despite the ad copy calling it "adapted from the GG1" it is clearly a R1 as it has 2-D-2 wheel arragement.Who knew? I'm a SPF (Slobberin' Pensy Freak) and as far as I knew there had never been a model of an R1 or the even rarer R2. OK, prototpe fidelity ain't the greatest, especially the underframe, but we are talking the Pleistocene Era of model railroading here. Anybody ever seen the model? Does anyone actually OWN one?

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, June 2, 2023 10:10 AM

BEAUSABRE
... check out what was in Varney's 1939 catlalog  Despite the ad copy calling it "adapted from the GG1" it is clearly a R1 as it has 2-D-2 wheel arrangement ... as far as I knew there had never been a model of an R1 or the even rarer R2. OK, prototype fidelity ain't the greatest, especially the underframe, but we are talking the Pleistocene Era of model railroading here. Anybody ever seen the model? Does anyone actually OWN one?

Clearly it is NOT a model of a R1, and equally obviously bashed from GG1 pieces or  molds.  The shorter 'driver' wheelbase and the cast-steel sideframe "detail" are obviously taken from the GG1, as is the Loewy welded nose styling.  I could comment on those lead and trailing trucks... but they bear no resemblance whatsoever to what was on the R1, although they might if stuck on a model of a P5b -- aren't they P70 coach trucks?  They put very similar sideframes on their CV6 diesel switcher...

Note that as pictured there are no pantographs, and no place to attach them easily, which is a pity because it would have been a cinch to have live overhead on a 3-rail model with a few well-placed snips of wire and insulation...

What this actually is... is the moral predecessor of the Tyco approach to a GG1 that was a sort of E44 under a bashed carbody.

Doesn't mean I don't want one, though... polished to an Airstream shine (note this was over a decade before the Congo GG1s!) and it would be a cinch to scratchbuild a more "R1-like" sideframe detail on each body side, and use better pilot trucks...

The R2 was a steam locomotive design;  one candidate being the smaller direct-drive turbine with planetary drive that Westinghouse was peddling in 1948.  All the prospective 1943 Pittsburgh electrification designs used articulated frames, like larger versions of the DD2, with the 428A motors and larger drivers -- PRR had learned its lesson ABUNDANTLY about the stupidity of the P5 approach by 1939.

A 'sister' approach to the R1 dedicated service was the pair of O1s, constituting what was the moral equivalent of an eight-drivered electric locomotive, that were routinely used on the Lehigh Valley trains into Penn Station.  Those were the moral equivalent of a double-Atlantic like the T1. 

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Posted by Water Level Route on Friday, June 2, 2023 11:33 AM

Clearly it COULD BE a model of a R1, and bashed from GG1 pieces Varney may have already had.  They could have described it as being adapted from a GG1 in an effort to drive interest in it.  They hint at building it to meet the limited space requirements of model railroading, but from a marketing standpoint are they more likely to sell a bunch of models described as being adapted from the GG1 or of an obscure locomotive class, of which a grand total of 1 was built?  Besides, it was made in 1939.  How extraordinarily accurate were the models then?  Perfect or close enough?

 

Mike

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, June 2, 2023 2:15 PM

BEAUSABRE
It is clearly a R1 as it has 2-D-2 wheel arragement.Who knew?

I had heard that the Pennsylvania used steam locomotive wheel arrangements to name their electric locomotives. Since the "Class G" was a 4-6-0, the "GG1" was so named because of its 4-6-6-4 wheel arrangement. Two Class Gs put together.

Was the "Class R" a 4-8-4 steam locomotive designation on the Pennsylvania? I don't think the pennsylvania had any steam 4-8-4s, did they?

-Kevin

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, June 2, 2023 3:05 PM

SeeYou190
I don't think the pennsylvania had any steam 4-8-4s, did they?

No, the closest the PRR came to a 4-8-4 was the duplex T1.  A "kinda-sorta" 4-8-4 the T1's had the drivers split into two different components. 

https://oldmachinepress.com/2020/06/20/pennsylvania-railroad-4-4-4-4-t1-locomotive/

The Pennsy might  have had a 4-8-4 if they swallowed their pride and adopted the N&W Class J's!  Wink

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Posted by Darth Santa Fe on Friday, June 2, 2023 5:34 PM

What happened was Varney wanted to make a generic streamliner to follow modern railroad trends, so they took a generic 2-8-0 steam engine chassis they already had, added 4 wheel trucks and put a shortened GG1 body on top.  The model even has the siderods hidden behind the shell to drive all 8 wheels. varneygg1.jpg (766×1014) (hoseeker.net)

Varney didn't make any prototypical models until the Dockside 0-4-0T (1941), instead going for generic designs that would look "close enough" on most HO railroads of the day.  And since they were one of the first to offer ready-made kits in a world of HO scale scratchbuilding, it worked out for them because the HO railroaders were used to doing mostly their own custom work anyway.

By the way, these old GG1s are super rare and extremely valuable to Varney collectors!  I don't even know how much they go for, but I've heard it's a lot.

_________________________________________________________________

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, June 2, 2023 9:10 PM

Now that I see how this was made... they missed a sure bet by not setting up dummy jackshafts and ginning up a (suitably abbreviated) boxcab body...might even have tried using the Consolidation engine truck to do a L5 if anyone actually wanted one... and both the DD1s and most of the L5s wouldn't miss pantographs...

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Posted by dknelson on Saturday, June 3, 2023 11:56 AM

It helps to browse through older (REALLY older) issues of Model Railroader to put this in  context -- while there were some surprisingly nice and close-to-scale models at that time, there were also plenty of "if you squint hard enough it sort of looks like ...." models, both commercially and scratchbuild by modelers, and which MR thought highly enough of to publish pictures of.  The line between toy trains and scale model railroading was still evolving.  

So the Varney offering was taken for what it was at the time, and we cannot look at it with 1938 eyes.

Dave Nelson.  

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, June 3, 2023 9:53 PM

I think that the moral 'competition' for the Varney Streamliner was the likes of the Lionel O-27 suitable "GG1" -- judged by that standard it is a reasonable starting place for a comparable "compressed" R1.  Not difficult to make 'walking-beam equalizers' and so forth for those side panels, or more accurate sideframes for the engine trucks, and bash Dohner-style ends out of some contemporary material like cardstock soaked in airplane dope.  As the OP pointed out, the result would be just as recognizable to PRR fans as the Lionel GG1 is...

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, June 4, 2023 6:07 AM

A little additional research:  it appears that only ~200 of these were made before production ceased.  When the dust had settled in the early '70s regarding the Penn Line/Varney/Life-Like cast GG1 business, Bowser did have the molds but Lee English said the company had no interest in producing more (or revising the thing to suit 'contemporary sensibilities'.

It is reasonably possible that the molds still exist...

http://www.tycoforums.com/tyco/forum/uploaded/vintageho/Varney%20R1.jpg

(As an aside, most of the collectors knowledgeable about these do call it a 'R1' even though acknowledging that the details were derived from the GG1 or its tooling...)

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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, June 4, 2023 4:33 PM

Overmod
All the prospective 1943 Pittsburgh electrification designs used articulated frames, like larger versions of the DD2, with the 428A motors and larger drivers -- PRR had learned its lesson ABUNDANTLY about the stupidity of the P5 approach by 1939.

Proposed DD2:

 PRR_DD2 by Edmund, on Flickr

 PRR_DD2 prototype by Edmund, on Flickr

http://prr.railfan.net/diagrams/PRRdiagrams.html?diag=dd2.gif

 

Regards, Ed

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, June 4, 2023 5:02 PM

The DD2 was famously built (I believe in early 1938) as the test prototype for the stillborn electrification to Pittsburgh.  It had higher rated horsepower from two fewer axles.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/lf14515/37989614162

Later (in the 1943 wartime revival of the electrification planning) the design would have been expanded into a "GG2" and further into engines with eight axles -- probably operated in pairs -- all using the 428-A motors and larger drivers as in the DD2.  Note the implicit matching of electrics and divided-drive steam power for fast passenger trains, even though the only prototype was built with freight gearing...

Instead, the GG1 was cloned for additional wartime power and the rest is history.

The DD2 was kept in service all the way to the early '60s, and only scrapped when the other orphan power was.  (IIRC Bill Volkmer thought highly of it).

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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, June 4, 2023 5:10 PM

Overmod
The DD2 was famously built (I believe in 1936) as the test prototype for the stillborn electrification to Pittsburgh.

Yes, I agree. When I say 'proposed' I was refering to the model made beforehand. My error.

 http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/prr5800.jpg

Regards, Ed

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, June 4, 2023 5:13 PM

Note that it's early 1938, not 1936.

Ed, you of all people would have technical information on the Westinghouse 428-A motors as used in this design -- I have actually seen pictures of them installed in the chassis but can't search them out now.  Something like what FM provided for the 362-D motors they used:

https://heritagerailalliance.wildapricot.org/resources/Documents/FM-BULLETIN-411-5A-TRACTION-MOTOR-362D-362DF-BLKWHT-DEC-1950.pdf

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Posted by maxman on Sunday, June 4, 2023 9:10 PM

Overmod
Ed, you of all people would have technical information on the Westinghouse 428-A motors as used in this design

Ouch.  I think Ed has just been insulted.

I believe he's a GE man.  And all of us GE people know that the We Sting Youes items turn the wrong way.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, June 5, 2023 5:05 AM

Wasn't Ed employed in a different part of GE from the 'streetcar motor' division?

In any case he's just as likely to have hexapole information as 752 information... prospectively.  As a pure matter or railroad technology, of course.

(And spelling 'youse' as in 'youse guys' is an important part of the humor there...)

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, June 5, 2023 6:31 AM

maxman
Ouch.  I think Ed has just been insulted.

Yeah, like asking me about kitty-pill-are engines.

-Kevin

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Posted by maxman on Monday, June 5, 2023 5:26 PM

Overmod
Wasn't Ed employed in a different part of GE from the 'streetcar motor' division?

Doesn't matter.  I'm sure he was there long enough to have the meatball tatooed on one of his cheeks.

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Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, June 6, 2023 12:12 AM

maxman
Doesn't matter.  I'm sure he was there long enough to have the meatball tatooed on one of his cheeks.

There was a time when I probably would have conceded to having a meatball branded onto my hindquarters, more as a mark of ownership rather than a monogram of loyalty Whistling I served under three CEOs beginning with Reggie Jones, through the heady Jack Welch years and finally through most of Jefferey's time. As so many fine bastions of industry, GE has somehow lost much of its luster.

I was part of Lighting but our plant was also a materials supplier for several other GE businesses. Our primary function was the refining and manufacture of tungsten and molybdenum ingots, sheets, powders and wire.


It was good policy to keep an eye on the competition so following some of Mr. Westinghouse's technical advancements was beneficial. Reading about the endeavors into the Milwaukee Road's EP-3 design shortcomings make me wonder about the engineering talents at Westinghouse and Baldwin.

https://en-academic.com/dic.nsf/enwiki/1739521

This article primarily describes the GG1 but there is also interesting notes about the PRR electrification in general. I don't have any skinny on the design or improvements of the Westinghouse 428A (625hp) motor but if I come across anything I'll update a reply here. I have some PRR operations manuals that I haven't been through yet.

https://www.therailwayhub.co.uk/10595/from-the-archive-locomotive-icons-an-american-classic-gg-1/

 

I do have a few examples of PRR early electrics that I enjoy running on occasion:

 PRR_DD-FF-GG by Edmund, on Flickr

 PRR_FF1 by Edmund, on Flickr

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania_Railroad_class_DD2

Cheers, Ed

 

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Friday, July 14, 2023 6:35 AM

Man, the FF1 on a passenger run is the definition of overkill as it was renowned for destroying the draft gear of the roling stock it was given to pull. I think it spent most of its time in service after testing was complete pushing trains out of the Schuykill Valley. 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, July 14, 2023 11:50 AM

BEAUSABRE
I think it spent most of its time in service after testing was complete pushing trains out of the Schuykill Valley. 

That would be a shameful use for such a nifty looking locomotive.

I like it pulling the varnish.

-Kevin

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Posted by wrench567 on Friday, July 14, 2023 3:26 PM

     Ed.

  My mom retired from GE when they closed and moved the Euclid lamp plant to China. She was offered Neala park but that was too much of a commute for her. 37 years was enough. The irony is that one of her best friends had to go to China to help set up the new plant. When she came back she quit GE and vowed to never buy anything that had GE on it. She said the exploitation of their workers would make a good horror movie. Safety and machinery guards were thrown out the window.

   Who made that FF1? I would love one.

     Pete.

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Friday, July 14, 2023 9:33 PM

[quote user="SeeYou190"]I like it pulling the varnish.[/quot

If you like your "express trains" running at 21 mph, with your passengers freezing in winter (no steam generator) " Three-phase power for the 4 massive motors was supplied from the single phase overhead supply via a large rotary converter housed in the body of the locomotive. Combined rated output of the motors was 7,640 hp (5,700 kW), but the converter could only supply a short term 4,600 hp (3,400 kW) or a continuous 4,000 hp (3,000 kW). With three-phase induction motors there was no way to control the speed of the motors; changing the wiring of the motor poles allowed for two speed settings, 10.3 and 20.6 mph (16.6 and 33.2 km/h), which were considered enough to drag heavy freight trains up and down steep grades."

 

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, July 15, 2023 5:31 AM

Hi, Pete

Both my mother and my sister worked at NELA for quite a few years, finance and accounting. I put in almost forty years at Tungsten Road (Cleveland Wire Works) which was actually a 'spin-off' of Euclid Lamp when the E. 45th St. facility was getting too crowded in 1931.

I have booklets that GE produced to induce Asian investors to form 'Joint Ventures' but what actually happened was the technology was pretty much given away. Our plant produced miles of tungsten wire and molybdenum powders. Jack Welch was the epitome of 'The man who broke capitalism'.

 GE Shutdown Saturday 095 by Edmund, on Flickr

The Tungsten plant has been completely leveled along with several others this spring.


 

wrench567
Who made that FF1? I would love one.

My FF1 was made by an outfit called Eisenbahn. They only made fifty of each paint scheme (150 total).

https://www.trains.com/mrr/news-reviews/reviews/staff-reviews/mrr-eisenbahn-canada-ho-scale-pennsylvania-class-ff1-electric-locomotive/

One showed up on eBay back in May.

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by amyscriber on Wednesday, August 9, 2023 3:54 PM

Flintlock76

 

 
SeeYou190
I don't think the pennsylvania had any steam 4-8-4s, did they?

 

No, the closest the PRR came to a 4-8-4 was the duplex T1.  A "kinda-sorta" 4-8-4 the T1's had the drivers split into two different components. 

https://oldmachinepress.com/2020/06/20/pennsylvania-railroad-4-4-4-4-t1-locomotive/pizza tower

The Pennsy might  have had a 4-8-4 if they swallowed their pride and adopted the N&W Class J's!  Wink

 

As I know, the drivers of the PRR R1 locomotives had a diameter of 80 inches. The diameter of the drivers refers to the size of the main driving wheels on a locomotive.  In the case of the PRR R1, the 80-inch diameter drivers were relatively large, which allowed the locomotives to achieve high speeds and provide good traction for hauling heavy loads. The large wheel diameter also helped the R1 locomotives to negotiate curves more smoothly

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Thursday, August 10, 2023 5:55 PM

1) The R1 was an electric

2) It had 62 inch drivers

3) Driver size has no bearing on ability to negotiate curves smoothly, except whe they are so large as to cause an excessive rigid wheelbase, like, say eight 80 inc wheels. 

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Posted by AEP528 on Friday, August 11, 2023 7:53 AM

amyscriber

 

 
Flintlock76

 

 
SeeYou190
I don't think the pennsylvania had any steam 4-8-4s, did they?

 

No, the closest the PRR came to a 4-8-4 was the duplex T1.  A "kinda-sorta" 4-8-4 the T1's had the drivers split into two different components. 

https://oldmachinepress.com/2020/06/20/pennsylvania-railroad-4-4-4-4-t1-locomotive/pizza tower

The Pennsy might  have had a 4-8-4 if they swallowed their pride and adopted the N&W Class J's!  Wink

 

 

 

As I know, the drivers of the PRR R1 locomotives had a diameter of 80 inches. The diameter of the drivers refers to the size of the main driving wheels on a locomotive.  In the case of the PRR R1, the 80-inch diameter drivers were relatively large, which allowed the locomotives to achieve high speeds and provide good traction for hauling heavy loads. The large wheel diameter also helped the R1 locomotives to negotiate curves more smoothly

 

Since you quoted the post about the T1, I assume that's what you're actually referring to, not the R1?

The T1 did have 80 inch drivers.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, August 11, 2023 8:10 PM

PRR had a dubious history of electric motive power design.  The DD1 was almost an accidental success, demonstrating that a high nominal center of gravity could actually make for a good-riding locomotive... hinged in the middle.  Then in the '20s, PRR threw all that out in favor of what has to be one of the most awful disasters ever built, the L5s.  There is your 80" drivers for "high speed", with a nice rigid wheelbase and the weight of the motors well outboard for polar moment of inertia... compensated with two-wheel lead trucks with anemic-at-best centering.  Even retrofitted with one pan or two, these had no future.

Then we get PRR deciding to mimick its successful locomotive wheel arrangements with the O class (think bidirectional 4-4-2 Atlantic), P class (think bidirectional 4-6-2 Pacific) and L6 (bidirectional lollipop).  You think the R1 had a long rigid wheelbase -- look at the equalizers on a P5, and note that in most later pictures they are oriented at weird angles.  In the Penn Central years, you could rely on one class to have beautifully shiny paint... on its underframe; the P5s regularly got it to mask the ever-increasing number of frame cracks...

The GG1 of course had the handicap of NIH; it was a New Haven design right down to the universal motors that could run on DC.  A more correct version would have 428A motors (625hp each; 1250 per 'twin motor' axle) and the 62" drivers to use them... BUT with a proper articulated hinge in the underframe.  That of course was the 5000hp DD2, stillborn only because the electrification to Pittsburgh didn't 'eventuate' and the wartime need for more power went to GG1s.  I will charitably not mention the P5b if no one else does.

Stuff after the War was weird -- you'll notice there were no repeat orders for the various experimentals, and the E44s were much more a GE thing than a PRR one.  There were drawings for a grand follow-on electric... but one was never built.

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Saturday, August 12, 2023 10:57 AM

The DD1 was the result of an extensive test program, hardly an "accident"

"The Pennsylvania Railroad constructed the two locomotives in its Altoona Works as testbeds for larger locomotives to come. Both were of B-B wheel arrangement in the Association of American Railroads classification scheme; each had two trucks, each with two axles and four wheels.[4]

The first, No. 10001, used direct geared traction motors. The second, No. 10002, was built with motors mounted in the truck frames and geared to the wheels.[5] Later on it was given one gearless truck.[6]

Both locomotives proved unstable at speed, pounding the track with high lateral forces. A competing experimental unit, "Odd D" #10003, of 4-4-0 wheel arrangement in Whyte notation or 2-B in the AAR scheme, proved much more stable. It was selected as the basis for the production model, which became the PRR DD1 twin-unit locomotive. 

At low speeds in switching service, however, the locomotives were acceptable. The first, #10001, was renumbered #3950 and was sold to the (PRR subsidiary) Long Island Rail Road in 1916. Numbered 323 on that road and nicknamed "Phoebe", the locomotive was in use until 1937 when it was scrapped.Music No. 10002, meanwhile, was renumbered #3951 and continued in service on the PRR"

The AA1's were built in 1905, The Odd D in 1907. The DD1 enterted service in 1910. That's four or so years of testing before approval

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, August 12, 2023 5:44 PM

BEAUSABRE
The DD1 was the result of an extensive test program, hardly an "accident"

Pity you left out the 'almost'.  Or the point of what I was saying.

The initial PRR use of the 4-4-0 with comparatively high drivers came after the failure of the original electrics that were tried, including the early New Haven-style "plunger" version of quill drive on relatively low wheels.  It was designed by analogy with a steam 4-4-0, and the higher CG of the very large motor (providing all the power of the four individual axle quill or Batchelder-style drives) was acceptable as a tradeoff for eliminating the severe horizontal moment acting only a few inches above the rail (which spiked track of that era only poorly withstood).  That the prototype was an 'odd' class should have tipped you off that it wasn't a planned production engine, and indeed PRR certainly didn't learn the importance of an articulation in the middle of the driving wheelbase, as they quickly got rid of it, the four-wheel guide truck, and a great deal more in less than a decade of further 'design' and 'testing'.  To their sorrow.

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