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Flying Yankee restoration ‘back on track’

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, October 6, 2017 7:39 PM

There is no analogy between the Flying Yankee and anything involving steam engines with respect to PTC.  Any exemption in Part 230 applies only to steam.

There may be other exemptions but I suspect any mainline excursion ‘should’ still have PTC protections even if nominally exempted.  I expect insurance to become even more ridiculously overexpensive if at least some logical parts of PTC protection are not implemented.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, October 6, 2017 8:27 PM

Good point. I imagine the Flying Yankee folks are treating PTC as a bridge they'll cross when they come to it.  A question, does the Illinois Railroad Museum's Burlington E5 have PTC?

It did run off-museum property a year or two ago.

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Posted by Buslist on Saturday, October 7, 2017 5:15 AM

Firelock76

Good point. A question, does the Illinois Railroad Museum's Burlington E5 have PTC?

It did run off-museum property a year or two ago.

 

No it does not and a member of the BOD told me there are no plans to equip it, but knowing their ability to scare up donations I wouldn’t be surprised if it got a set of on board equipment donated.

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Posted by desertdog on Saturday, October 21, 2017 2:13 PM

Back in the 50s someone gave me a Lionel Flying Yankee. I threw it in with the rest of my Lionel "stuff" when I sold everything for $50. One of many teenage regrets...

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, October 21, 2017 2:51 PM

desertdog

Back in the 50s someone gave me a Lionel Flying Yankee. I threw it in with the rest of my Lionel "stuff" when I sold everything for $50. One of many teenage regrets...

 

John Timm

 

Check the "Resources" tab on the top of the website, select "Coming Events," and follow the prompts to look for "Train Shows."  There's Lionel "Flying Yankees" out there, I see them every once in a while at said shows.  Keep your fingers crossed and you just might find yourself another one!

I don't know the mind-set of all on this Forum, but if any of you haven't been to a train show you should go!  They're a lot of fun, and who knows what you'll find? 

Toy trains of all kinds, trains for the serious modeler, books, videos, railroadiana, precision tools, quite a few things to see.  Plus some fun "B-S'n" with other railfans if you make the connection.

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Saturday, October 21, 2017 6:21 PM

I checked the Bay site several Lionel and MTH including new in box prewar setups price for those was over 1700 bucks MTH new in box was under 400 so you have your choice.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, October 21, 2017 7:31 PM

Shadow the Cats owner
I checked the Bay site several Lionel and MTH including new in box prewar setups price for those was over 1700 bucks MTH new in box was under 400 so you have your choice.

Not as bad as that: remember that Mr. Timm's example was USED when it was given to him, so you should compare it with the other unrestored sets on eBay, many of which are in the $345 to $400 range.

I suspect his wistfulness is not at all in wishing he had the Lionel version back 'to keep'; it's much more wishing he had it back so he could realize more than $50 (even adjusted for inflation?) by selling it now.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, October 21, 2017 7:37 PM

Now , now, you don't know that for certain.  All of us have things in our past we got rid of and years later were sorry we did.  Maybe it's for monetary reasons but mostly it's nostalgia, sometimes for that "Best Christmas ever!"  Sometimes just for the memories. 

I've got a Lionel 2018 I bought just for that reason.  My original I gave to my then ten year old nephew because it seemed the right thing to do.  Then after a year I started missing it, go I bought a substitute. I'm not sorry I gave it to him though, you should have seen his face light up when I did!

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Posted by desertdog on Thursday, November 2, 2017 12:41 PM

Overmod

 

 
Shadow the Cats owner
I checked the Bay site several Lionel and MTH including new in box prewar setups price for those was over 1700 bucks MTH new in box was under 400 so you have your choice.

 

Not as bad as that: remember that Mr. Timm's example was USED when it was given to him, so you should compare it with the other unrestored sets on eBay, many of which are in the $345 to $400 range.

I suspect his wistfulness is not at all in wishing he had the Lionel version back 'to keep'; it's much more wishing he had it back so he could realize more than $50 (even adjusted for inflation?) by selling it now.

 

The money would be nice, but the truth be told, I wish I had not only the Flying Yankee but the GP-7 (it was really a GP-9, was it not?) and the diesel switcher my brother custom painted for me and the Rutland box car and the #1666 steamer and all the oddball stuff like a Thomas log car, and...

 

John Timm

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, November 2, 2017 1:21 PM

desertdog
the truth be told, I wish I had not only the Flying Yankee but the GP-7 (it was really a GP-9, was it not?) and the diesel switcher my brother custom painted for me and the Rutland box car and the #1666 steamer and all the oddball stuff like a Thomas log car, and...

I stand corrected.

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Posted by Falcon48 on Tuesday, December 19, 2017 6:43 PM

Firelock76

As I understand it pieces of antique rail equipment are exempt from PTC, which is why you don't see anyone sweating bullets over how to install it in steam locomotives.

The "Flying Yankee" certainly fits into the antique category.

I'll admit though, I could be wrong on this.

 

I'm late to this thread, but I just happened to see this post about steam engines/antique rail equipment and PTC.

This is a very real issue, and steam loco operators (or other "antique rail equipment" operators) who expect to run over rail lines equipped with PTC need to pay attention to it. If they aren't "sweating bullets" now, they need to start. 

There is no general exception for "antique railroad equipment" in the PTC rule.  The only relevant exception is that PTC doesn't have to be installed on a rail line just because of a tourist/historic/excursion rail operation on the line.  That's great for a self contained tourist railroad that operates on its own trackage, or on trackage with limited freight service, On the other hand, if PTC is required to be installed on a general system rail line because of other kinds of traffic (intercity/commuter passenger service, certain kinds of haz mat traffic, etc.), then tourist operations on the line will have to be PTC equipped by 2023 if the tourist movement is 20 or more miles in length. The bottom line is that any steam loco operators who use their locos for main line excursions are likely to be subject to the PTC rule.  Moreover, even where non-equipped steam loco excursions would be permitted on PTC lines by the FRA rule, it is entirely possible (perhaps even likely) that host railroads will refuse to permit non-equipped passenger movements on PTC lines after the PTC system is turned on. 

There is a "regulatory action summary" of the PTC rule on the HRA (ATRRM) website which gives further information on how the current version of the PTC rule will apply to excursion operations. My understanding is that some of the major steam operators are aware of this issue and are looking into what they need to do to address it.

      

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, December 22, 2017 7:47 AM

The "Panic Diesel" often tucked in behind the tender of the steam locomotive can handle the PTC business.

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Posted by Falcon48 on Sunday, December 24, 2017 2:33 PM

daveklepper

The "Panic Diesel" often tucked in behind the tender of the steam locomotive can handle the PTC business.

 

A "panic diesel" equipped for PTC might be an answer, but that remains to be seen.  I'm not a technical person, but I don't believe a train with an unequipped steam loco in the lead and a trailing, PTC equipped "panic diesel" will have full PTC functionality.  For one thing, the throttle funtion of PTC won't work.  To be sure, these may be solvable problems.  It may well be that FRA (and host railroads) can be persuaded to accept the "panic diesel" solution so long as all of the PTC braking/speed control functionality is present.  But someone has to work through these issues - the problem is not going to solve itself  

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, December 24, 2017 3:02 PM

Falcon48
  I'm not a technical person, but I don't believe a train with an unequipped steam loco in the lead and a trailing, PTC equipped "panic diesel" will have full PTC functionality.  For one thing, the throttle function of PTC won't work.

If it puts your mind at rest, almost all the early ATC installations mandated under the Esch Act involved stopping passenger steam engines.  We have improved some of the engineering since then.

Much of the remaining objection -- that late-SuperPower era locomotives can develop high horsepower at speed -- is mitigated by restrictions on excursion speed (easily 'enforced' with a patch to the panic diesel's systems).  The T1Trust locomotive is designed for full proportional PTC and route-control optimization: it has an air throttle, and at least two companies in the '40s made retrofittable units for 'legacy' steam power, so it is not even pre-Cold War rocket science to implement ... Note that this is for adaptive speed control, NOT penalty signal or overspeed violation, which are (as noted) much easier to implement...

 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 6:07 PM

To resurrect this thread, here's a very interesting and detailed writeup on the restoration effort's history from someone with inside access:

http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=43376&start=45

While it is not related to the Flying Yankee Restoration Group effort, earlier in the thread Preston Cook mentions a re-powering proposal from the 1980s that would have used a 12v71 Detroit Diesel engine and a EMD D79 traction motor as the generator. 

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 8:18 PM

Preston Cook points out repeatedly that operating a 201A in general service, no matter how lovingly and expensively you try to restore it, is nuts.  Thinking you could run such a thing via Amtrak is a different order of madness.

There are far better engines than the 12-71 that would fit the required 'conversion skid' with the right weight distribution; I expect this is a current focus.  The backup equipment can be easily handled with the most primitive RCO; no built-in box and complicated wiring or valves required...

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 8:25 AM

I'm sure the folks at North Conway wouid love to have it visit, and so would Andy Muller.  He doesn't have the Crusader, after all.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 10:21 AM

daveklepper
I'm sure the folks at North Conway wouid love to have it visit, and so would Andy Muller.  He doesn't have the Crusader, after all.

There are many others.  The first problem is how you ferry the train there, the second is the cost of PTC if it does so under its own power and not dead-in-train (or indeed off its own wheels).  If you restore it accurately none of the bearings will have the requisite rotating endcaps; if you swap the bearings out you'll need to make custom covers.  And so it goes...

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 11:10 AM

If the Winton 201a's were that good would EMD have replaced them with the 567's.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 1:30 PM

The 567s were improvements on the 201A design, and progressively debugged themselves all the way through the BC block revision.  Likewise the 645 E-block over the 567D.

This represents a LOT of work by a great number of some of our best engineers.  Sometimes they made choices that proved not the best - see Clessie Cummins on the right solution for injection-pump tribology - or that used exotic materials or construction difficult to reproduce cost-effectively.

Preston Cook has written fairly extensively, and I think sensibly, on restoring these '30s engines to regular operation, especially in critical applications.  It is simply unwise to think that a 201A is no different from a Packard straight-eight in terms of its 'restorability'... and the same is true of the more exotic or older 567s, including those which can't be converted to 645 assemblies (with appropriate derating to save the block).

What was always needed was a modern genset on a sled that lines up perfectly with the Winton's mounting points in the 'historic fabric', ideally something modular like what Dave Goding planned for the Long Island engines... easy out for change, servicing, or (if need be) putting the historic engine and generator back for research or display.  There are far better engines and gensets that can 'fit' now than there were in the day of the 12V71.

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 4:49 PM

Overmod
The 567s were improvements on the 201A design, and progressively debugged themselves all the way through the BC block revision.  Likewise the 645 E-block over the 567D.

This represents a LOT of work by a great number of some of our best engineers.  Sometimes they made choices that proved not the best - see Clessie Cummins on the right solution for injection-pump tribology - or that used exotic materials or construction difficult to reproduce cost-effectively.

Preston Cook has written fairly extensively, and I think sensibly, on restoring these '30s engines to regular operation, especially in critical applications.  It is simply unwise to think that a 201A is no different from a Packard straight-eight in terms of its 'restorability'... and the same is true of the more exotic or older 567s, including those which can't be converted to 645 assemblies (with appropriate derating to save the block).

What was always needed was a modern genset on a sled that lines up perfectly with the Winton's mounting points in the 'historic fabric', ideally something modular like what Dave Goding planned for the Long Island engines... easy out for change, servicing, or (if need be) putting the historic engine and generator back for research or display.  There are far better engines and gensets that can 'fit' now than there were in the day of the 12V71.

The only limit on restoring ANYTHING is $$$$$$$$$$$$.  If it was once made by man, it can be remade, the only obstacle is cost.

Once restored, don't expect modern day reliability.

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 10:06 PM

Is Miss Flying Yankee 1936 "blue flagged" to be standing there?

Don't you have to assume that any piece of rolling stock can just start moving without warning, sometimes quite suddenly if it gets an impact from behind?

A publicity photographer at the U wanted to take my picture standing at a pedestrian crossing of the WSOR and my response was "No can do."  If nothing else, pictures like this set a bad moral example.

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 10:12 PM

Overmod

Preston Cook points out repeatedly that operating a 201A in general service, no matter how lovingly and expensively you try to restore it, is nuts.  Thinking you could run such a thing via Amtrak is a different order of madness.

There are far better engines than the 12-71 that would fit the required 'conversion skid' with the right weight distribution; I expect this is a current focus.  The backup equipment can be easily handled with the most primitive RCO; no built-in box and complicated wiring or valves required...

 

I can understand that compared to an SD40-2, the ACE 3000 "modern steam" was a non-starter.

But with the 201A needing the TLC that it did, wasn't that a reason to think that diesel's were a fad and a distraction from proper steam power?

So how did the 201A plant the idea that steam locomotives would be history?  Or was there an infrastructure of parts and manufacturer know-how to make a 201A function in the 1930's that cannot be reproduced today?

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, February 25, 2021 6:23 AM

Paul Milenkovic
But with the 201A needing the TLC that it did, wasn't that a reason to think that diesel's were a fad and a distraction from proper steam power? So how did the 201A plant the idea that steam locomotives would be history?  Or was there an infrastructure of parts and manufacturer know-how to make a 201A function in the 1930's that cannot be reproduced today?

It isn't so much that the 201A needed constant attention as it was the first workable two-stroke with the necessary power density.  Two points: there were things it could do that steam could only do exotically and with more consequences, and even with its issues it required vastly less maintenance and downtime than comparable steam.

Note that (to my knowledge) there was no attempt to go after the freight market with the 201A, as there was with the more perfected 567.  To me the former was still in the aerospace category, lighter and higher stressed than traditional railroad equipment.  I assume you have read the SAE paper on development of the 567 that goes into some detail on what needed to be improved and how.

It is hard to speculate on whether something like an FT could have been built with 201A power.  It might have been a relatively hard sell, but even 4800hp in a single-crew road engine would be competitive for many railroads, and 'half' would be what proved a sweet spot for second-generation power in operations.  However, it would take all the wiles of GMAC to make its finance practical in the years of Roosevelt's 'little depression' and it would have been ... well, about as reliable as the 241-engined Black Marias (albeit for different reasons). But this also would be premised on the 567 not being crash-priority developed... which I almost can't imagine.

There are a number of aspects of the detail design of the 201A that are somewhat typical of '30s improvement practice in being only feasible in industrial production by a company big enough to have support manufacturing.  I don't remember the list but there were a number of things requiring specialty machining, unusual seals, heat-treating and careful alloy composition that are not worth 're-creating' for a one-off or limited-production restoration.  As Balt said, with sufficient cubic dollars most things become possible... see the FranLab videos if some of the more exotic display technologies of the 1960s.  The real question, though, is different: do enough people care about the tech to put in the dollars when volunteer work alone is not sufficient to git 'r dun.

I do not know the extent of work done on the 8-201A put in the train, or whether adequate care in providing a reasonable supply chain of parts and support was built for it. It's unclear to me whether failure to cap the exhaust at Edaville predated the rebuild or most of the expensive engine work is now undone... 

I am following the path of the Mark Twain Zephyr work with some interest.  At first glance it would seem reasonable to 'keep it in the family' by using a 6-567 in place of an 8-201A.  But the engines are fundamentally unlike, as one is a short-crank V6 and the other a straight-eight -- this has a host of potential issues, and still leaves you with a comparatively dirty engine with increasingly limited sources for specialty parts (and dwindling sources for more esoteric specialties not attractive enough for 'aftermarket' replication...)

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Posted by Former Car Maintainer on Thursday, March 4, 2021 4:06 AM

The Mark Twain Zephyr will be a 10mph dinner train. The donor switcher 567 engine and the switcher AAR power truck will be adapted to the original zephyr chromasil motor mount/ bolster center cup. The resultant new zephyr height will be compensated for by changing the wheel diameters in the other bogies. A three phase AC Voltage, skid mounted Caterpillar generator will be mounted just rearward of the engine and provide head end power for the train set. New undercar HVAC sets will be selected and installed. Baseboard electric heating and LED lighting will be used. Original kitchens will be removed and a modern equipped curved bar kitchen installed.

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, March 5, 2021 3:05 AM

I would not wish to ride a dinner-train that never topped 10 mph.  Would you?

Maybe inspect it, walk through it, take a photo or two.

But to limit a Zephyr to 10 mph is a horror story to me.

But maybe you mean 40 or 50 top, short distances, a typical tourist operation?

I could live with that, maybe enjoy it.

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Friday, March 5, 2021 8:26 AM

Former Car Maintainer

The Mark Twain Zephyr will be a 10mph dinner train. The donor switcher 567 engine and the switcher AAR power truck will be adapted to the original zephyr chromasil motor mount/ bolster center cup. The resultant new zephyr height will be compensated for by changing the wheel diameters in the other bogies. A three phase AC Voltage, skid mounted Caterpillar generator will be mounted just rearward of the engine and provide head end power for the train set. New undercar HVAC sets will be selected and installed. Baseboard electric heating and LED lighting will be used. Original kitchens will be removed and a modern equipped curved bar kitchen installed.

 

So I guess there is a "prototype" for all of the goofy compromises made in railroad models?

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, March 5, 2021 8:57 AM

A ten mile-an-hour dinner train seems hardly worth the effort, but I suppose it depends on how much trackage they have to run on. If ten miles is all you've got, well then...

Modernizing the kitchen I can more than understand, besides the riders won't be going back there anyway.

New HVAC, baseboard heating, LED lighting, look at it this way, if the original Zephyr had never gone out of service it would have had all these improvements anyway. If you're running a business you do what you have to do to get those butts in the seats.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, March 5, 2021 9:43 AM

Former Car Maintainer
A three phase AC Voltage, skid mounted Caterpillar generator will be mounted just rearward of the engine and provide head end power for the train set.

But Cummins would be more prototypical... Whistling

Considering the previous alternatives for the trainset, any restoration to operation should be welcomed, especially one that correctly and observantly preserves the engineering historic fabric where possible.  It would be relatively simple to adapt a different truck -- I for example would ask the Kentucky Railroad Museum about the trucks on its ex-NYC commuter MU -- if for any reason better performance comes to be desired.

Dinner train customers generally 'want' an experience like a restaurant with moving scenery.  They likely don't value the rocking shocks and spilling coffee of the 'authentic' dining-car experience.  In addition they want their experience to last the length of the meal, and probably (as at a restaurant) ending close to where they parked or entered.

Kitchens on anything built in the 1930s are not going to be particularly useful either in terms of modern culinary staff using them or as the best use of available space.  As I recall, this area of the MTZ was pretty well gutted.  Very, very little point in 'restoring' something of very little functional worth provided again that the historic fabric is respected and, where practical, preserved.

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Posted by Former Car Maintainer on Friday, March 5, 2021 5:50 PM

As I understand it, the original kitchens were built to not be taken apart and shot welded in place. The original stoves were charcoal fired, the ice boxes filled with ice and the steam warmer tables were powered by a head end boiler. Cutting tools were required to gut the old kitchens although the MTZ restoration website mentioned great care was used while doing this and there was a desire to reassemble the old kitchen for display in some kind of depot exhibit. It appears the replacement kitchens will be a curved buffet bar in one car and a full service kitchen in the dining car, with a pass by for passengers to access the end door. The use of stainless steel in the replacement kitchen could be modeled for a retro look. I'm surprised they went with a full service kitchen. Nowadays, excursion dinner cruises/rides have the food prepared ahead of time, brought onboard and kept warm by buffet trays...eliminating need for a full service kitchen. As far as the 10 mph speed limit, makes sense since the 20 mile round trip spur track, would make it about a 2 hr dinner trip. Additionally I was informed the donor switcher motor and 38" switcher truck would give the MTZ a theoretical 50 mph max speed limit, but I guess with the center of gravity changed with the new HEP generator installed and motor/truck conversion it would never have the original speed capabilities.

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