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Do you like smoke deflectors?

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Do you like smoke deflectors?
Posted by Lithonia Operator on Sunday, May 24, 2020 12:38 PM

Just in terms of aesthetics, and how much it warms your heart when you see a steam locomotive, how much do you like smoke deflectors?

This is probably blasphemy, but, for example, when I see a photo or video of UP 844, part of me registers a tiny bit of disappointment. An internal voice says, "I wish it didn't have the blinders." Or, "I'd like to see what they're hiding."

I think it's because while I totally accept (emotionally) smoke deflectors on engines in Europe, China, South Africa, etc., I've just never felt that they "belong" on American engines. Despite their existence on a few great domestic engines, to me part of what makes American engines special is the general lack of of smoke deflectors. Does anyone else feel the same way?

I love seeing the business-like naked front end of most North American locos. If I had a choice of seeing (particularly running) a Reading T1 or the 844, I'd take the T1. Between a T1 and Santa Fe 3751, I'd choose the latter. I like my engines kind of gritty. (Not that I have anything against a beautiful showgirl!) If I am going to see a restored engine run, I guess I prefer to see a more typical-looking American locomotive.

What say ye all?

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Posted by Convicted One on Sunday, May 24, 2020 12:59 PM

I agree with you LO, I don't like them.

I also don't like it when they paint the outside edge of the runningboards white.

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Posted by selector on Sunday, May 24, 2020 1:21 PM

I, too, find a little pang of regret when I see them on anything except mebbe an S-1b.  On a Hudson type, definitely ixne, and I guess it would be very small 'o' okay on the FEF...I've gotten used to it.  The smaller versions on European steamers seems to be acceptable to my sensibilities, again maybe because that's how I have always seen them.

To me, they have an appeal all their own in very limited cases, not unlike the Elesco, flying pumps, all that tubing running from a tender to a low-slung feedwater pump and onward up to an inlet, and so on.

Now a Coffin water heater, the cowled type...meh....actually, I don't like 'em at all.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, May 24, 2020 2:58 PM

Do I like smoke deflectors?  Esthetically?

Well, it depends.  If they look like they belong there and were always there I don't have a problem with them.  If they look like after-market ad-ons then no, I don't like 'em at all.

UP's 844 looks alright with the smoke deflectors, but those Chinese 2-10-2's Iowa Interstate owns look lousy with them.  If I owned those engines I'd yank 'em off!  

I'd yank the skyline casing off the Boone & Scenic Valley's Chinese 2-8-2 as well!  Looks terrible and ruins the lines of that American-pattern engine!

And the less said about those Coffin feedwater heaters the better!  Ug-LEEEEEE!

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Posted by 54light15 on Sunday, May 24, 2020 4:35 PM

On European engines, fine. On American engines, nope except for the 8444. One thing I don't like are those huge funnel shaped smokestacks on wood burners- I much prefer the straight shotgun style. Not to change the subject, however. 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, May 24, 2020 5:04 PM

54light15
Not to change the subject, however. 

No problem!

Those large "balloon" smokestacks on wood-burners were there for a reason, the interiors were loaded with spark arrestor screens and baffles.  Originally wood-burners had straight stacks but sparks went straight up through them starting lineside fires.

When coal became the preferred fuel those balloon stacks weren't needed anymore and the straight stacks returned.

I like the balloon stacks myself, but then I love the look of 19th Century steamers anyway!

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Posted by M636C on Monday, May 25, 2020 2:39 AM

UP's 844 looks alright with the smoke deflectors, but those Chinese 2-10-2's Iowa Interstate owns look lousy with them.  If I owned those engines I'd yank 'em off!  

I'd yank the skyline casing off the Boone & Scenic Valley's Chinese 2-8-2 as well!  Looks terrible and ruins the lines of that American-pattern engine!

The Iowa Interstate 2-10-2s (QJ type) and the Boone and Scenic 2-8-2 (type JS) both had skyline casings as built. This was a feature that came to China from Russia, where it featured on the Class L 2-10-0s, LV 2-10-2s and P36 4-8-4s all had them.. They were not decorative but contained an external main steam pipe from the dome forward to a regulator valve mounted above the superheater header.

This feature was adopted by the Russians from the Tb class 2-10-4 built by Alco in 1931. The NYC H-10 2-8-2s and some early Berkshires also had external main steam pipes. The enclosure in a casing was a Russian development. presumably to improve insulation in cold weather. You could remove the casing but the steam pipe would still be there. Some Chinese JS type had a dome style casing, stopping just behind the stack.

Peter.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, May 25, 2020 9:25 AM

Good explaination Peter, and thanks!

But they still look lousy!

Wayne

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Posted by selector on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 4:26 PM

Niagara churning up a grade.

I think this one steamer, big blouse and all, is magnificent.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 7:39 AM

M636C
They were not decorative but contained an external main steam pipe from the dome forward to a regulator valve mounted above the superheater header.

This external pipe deserves more discussion, as Woodard considered it one of the important aspects of true Super-Power.

Any locomotive using a large mass flow of steam out of a Stephenson boiler has to address the issue of steam separation.  By far the best way to accomplish this is with vertical separation between the effective top of the boiling-milk froth under the dome and the mouth of the dry pipe.  Woodard recognized that carrying the dry pipe right at the outside of the clearance diagram would give ultimate vertical separation; it follows that keeping the run to the front-end throttle wholly external makes good performance sense for a number of reasons.  Woodard did not see the lagging requirements as 'that' severe, and evidently thought that any added condensation in the saturated steam would be rapidly eliminated soon after starting.

The Russians have a far less restrictive loading gage and have made use of the external dry pipe for separation for a long time, I think well pre-dating the little visit by the Russian engineers in the late '20s (probably before the wrecker-trial engineer's debacle, but I am too lazy to check).

Given Russian winter conditions (and those in a number of parts of China!) it is unsurprising they would use as much insulation as possible to lag an outside dry pipe and to trap any radiated heat from the boiler shell below.  For structural reasons the casing for this is best made like a 'hood' on diesel-electrics, fastened and sealed at its bottom edge and easily removed from above for inspection or service; it does follow that the steam-dome cover be integrated in this construction...

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Posted by M636C on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 10:20 PM

The Russians have a far less restrictive loading gauge and have made use of the external dry pipe for separation for a long time, I think well pre-dating the little visit by the Russian engineers in the late '20s

While this is true, the implementation looked quite different from that involving the skyline casing. This is best seen on an Su class 2-6-2 as a small black painted projection from a steam dome near the front of the boiler to the smokebox.

 

The version I described was on most post WWII Russian designs and usually had the dome behind the sandbox, the steam pipe passing under the sandbox, possibly helping to dry the sand. to an external throttle valve above the smokebox.

It is this latter version that appears to be influenced by the 1931 Alco 2-10-2s.

Strangely, the later versions of the E 0-10-0 built after WWII had internal steam pipes, the earlier locomotives having an arrangement very like that on the Su illustrated above. In fact, a batch of E class were built with Su boilers during WWII when it was vital to get freight locomotives built.

Peter

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Posted by Backshop on Monday, June 1, 2020 6:32 PM

I don't like deflectors, skirting or streamlining.  I know, blasphemy.  While I'm at it, I think the GS4 is ugly as sin. Seriously.  People talk about the mechanics of steam locomotives with all their visible moving parts and then immediately talk about coverning it all up.

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Posted by 54light15 on Monday, June 1, 2020 7:01 PM

I think the GS-4 as well as the Dreyfuss streamlined J3 Hudsons embrace the running gear. Neither tries to cover it up and in the case of the Hudson, it's almost a work of art. 

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 7:16 AM

I consider the GS4 and J1 and I5 all works of art and like them more than the Dryfuss J3.

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Posted by swagner on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 8:28 AM

These included at least some used by the Delaware & Hudson, partly because of the admiration of longtime D&H president Leonor F. Loree for the styling of many English locos.  The prime good example, not built until after his retirement and death, was on the D&H's 4-8-4's , which I think looked much better than the conventional Rock Island Northerns on which they were based.  The welded tender helped, too.  I'm less fond of ridiculously small smoke deflectors on very big locos, such as the Boston & Maine's 4-8-2's.  Steve Wagner

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 9:20 AM

54light15
... and in the case of the Hudson, it's almost a work of art. 

Almost?

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 9:28 AM

Thanks for that Mod-man, it was very enjoyable!

If you like "Photo-Realism," (Which sometimes can be more "real" than a photo!) you should check out John Baeder's diner paintings.  Just amazing!  And not just the renditions of the diners, but of their surroundings.  And let me tell you, they really get the nostalgia juices flowing!

Let me help everyone out:

John Baeder Fine Artwww.johnbaeder.com

Look under "Oil" and "Watercolor" for the diners.  

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Posted by 54light15 on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 3:03 PM

Man, that was some good art! Better than "Dogs Playing Poker!" 

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Posted by Bobkat525 on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 3:38 PM
Thanx for that link FlintLock!!! Evokes great memories.
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Posted by swagner on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 5:24 PM

I've enjoyed Charles Sheeler's art for many years.  I think he ranks with Edwarde Hopper as a great artist.  But there's an almost unearthly calm to his industrial pictures that I doubt that many of the actual scenes shown ever had except when they were closed.  In that regard his work reminds me of Caspar David Friedrich's landscapes done many generations earlier.  The music that accompanied Overmod's post may possibly fit with the action of a locomotive, though I think Honegger's "Pacific 231" does so better.  (I believe the number refers to the 4-6-2 wheel arrangement the way most Continental Europeans do, not to a particular loco's number, and I've tried hard to get the announcers at the local classical music FM radio station to pronounce it as 2-3-1.)  I don't think it really fits with the calm of the calm of Sheeler's industrial landscapes.  Steve Wagner

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 6:46 PM

Honegger's "Pacific 231?"  Um, I've heard it, it's all right, but In my opinion THIS captures a steam locomotive SO much better!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yv-Z7z3YXQs  

And you're welcome BobKat, and '54!  Let me tell you a story.

Back in the 80's I worked in a gunshop in New Jersey.  One Friday I brought in a book of John Baeder's diner paintings for the gang to look at and enjoy.  Friday evenings in the shop were usually pretty busy with guys getting ready for the weekend's activities, but when I put the book on the counter for the guys to see it stopped the action cold!  

"Look at that!  It looks real!  They all look real!"

"Hey!  I know that place!  We used to go there when I was in high school!"

"Look at the cars!  He's even got the dust on the bumpers!"

"Oh man, memories, all the memories!"  

"Where'd you get this book?  I've gotta get one too!"

I never saw anything like it.  Just amazing.

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Posted by swagner on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 7:38 PM

Flintlock76, thanks!  The German-language reaction to Eduard Strauss's "Bahn Frei" would be ausgezeichnet!  ("exceptionally good!").  Looking that piece up on line brought me to a very interesting story of how Arthur Fiedler of the Boston Pops changed the piece's theme from the railroad to a horse racing track and why, and Jean Shepherd's adoption of it as the theme song for one of his radio shows.

I'm fond of Andre Rieu's shows on public TV, though I don't fully approve of the way he has the women in his Johann Strauss Orchestra dress.  At least he leads the group while playng the violin, as Johann Strauss II ("the Waltz King") did long before our times.  Rieu likes to do a medly of waltzes from my favorite operetta, Emerich (Imre in Hungarian) Kalman's "Csardasfuerstin" [proper diacritical marks for the last two words unavailable], usually called "The Gypsy Princess" in English.  I used to sing songs from that one and various other tunes of widely various styles in several languages, while waiting to catch commuter trains in the morning; I haven't done that in recent months because of the coronavirus pandemic.  I've been working from home since the third week of March, and singing loudly even in the open isn't advisable these days.

I'm extremely fond of the music of the Strauss family, somewhat less so of Richard Strauss.  (His Rosenkavalier is full of great waltz bits, but none of them are long enough really to dance to.)    My one time outside the U.S. and Canada was the summer of 1966, mostly studying in Vienna.  My idea of the best way to spend New Year's Day was, for many years, listening to the entire New Year's Day Concert from Vienna on live radio from 11 a.m. EST, then a couple of hours at the open house pot luck hosted by friendly neighbors until I couldn't stand the crowding, then in the evening the abbreviated TV version of the Vienna concert.  Unfortunately, in the past few years the full live radio version hasn't been available on public radio stations in the Boston area.

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Posted by swagner on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 7:47 PM

P.S.  If I ever get to retire and finish some work in and around the house, plus some model railroading and writing projects, I hope to do a translation of Gerhart Hauptmann's expressionist Novelle (short novel or long short story) Bahnwaerter Thiel into English, using railroad terminology American railroaders and railfans can understand.  The literal translation of Bahnwaerter is "railroad [or railway] guard"; in American terms he was a "sectionman".  One of the most depressing stories anyone could imagine, but beautifully written and unforgetable.  

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 9:14 PM

The essence of American steam railroading is cooler.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZYGPEBx72I

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, June 4, 2020 11:57 AM

Overmod

The essence of American steam railroading is cooler.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZYGPEBx72I

 

Um, I don't know about that one either, but that's just me, I'm not really a jazz fan.

Now when I think of a really definative train song this  is what first comes to mind, so climb aboard Flintlock's time machine for a trip back.

The definative  version, let me add!  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2aj0zhXlLA  

And I have to disagree with you a bit Mr. Wagner concerning Andre' Rieu.  I like  the way his female musicians dress!  Very classic and feminine, although maybe they think it's a pain?  On the other hand, his male musicians dress in the classic male musician fashion as well.  Maybe they think that's a pain as well?

By the way, he's got some smashing-looking women in that orchestra!  Wow!

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Posted by swagner on Thursday, June 4, 2020 3:26 PM

"Chattanooga Choo-Choo" is great.

So is "Sentimental Journey".  I used that tune of that very railroady song for the best lyric of several I wrote for the retirement party of a certain high school administrator in the 1980's, for "New Career Direction".  Other tunes I used on that occasion including "Jalousie" (for his wife, who also retired), "Sixteen Tons", "Margie", I think "The Mademoiselle from Armentiers" and probably some others I've forgotten.

As to classical orchestra dress, I remember when everyone wore black, including the women, few though they were at the time.  The proportion of female musicians has changed, with the Wiener Philharmoniker apparently considerably trailing behind the trend.  Anyway, at Oberlin in the 1960's black prevailed, and some of the female players were able to use their dresses as witch costumes during a (very unusual) open house in their dorms on Halloween.

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Posted by 54light15 on Saturday, June 6, 2020 9:57 AM

In 8th grade music class, the teacher played Pacific 231. He said it as "Pacific twothirtyone. it was a kind of a train." My friend George, a fellow train guy looked at me and I looked at him. We gave each other the one raised eyebrow. 

But, give a listen to this- Wasn't Boogie Woogie inspired by the railroads? I have a book by Axel Zwingenberger; it's of photographs taken at night of the last steam locomotives to run in East Germany in about 1999. The book came with a CD of his music, a CD of various locomotive sounds and sheet music. Too bad I can't play the piano! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icwPw-XylAg 

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, June 6, 2020 1:49 PM

In the alternate world of my childhood I remember the title being printed with hyphens, which made the distinction between type code and 'road number' clearer.  There was also at least one explanation by Honegger about the name, where he took pains to explain that the piece was not 'inspired' by train sounds but was a theoretical investigation into how progressively slower tempo could create the impression of higher speed in musical appreciation.  (I confess that I did not entirely believe then, and still do not entirely believe today, that that was 'the whole of the story' though. Wink)

Most of what you need to know about popular music is in between what Johnny B. Goode was strumming to the rhythm of and what Bukka Whiten captured as anticipation in so many of his pieces -- yes, the trains running were not the only evocative musical things...

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, June 7, 2020 7:58 AM

Flintlock, Chattanooga Choochoo is truly one of my very favorite songs.  I've sung it for my fellow Yeshiva students on several occasions (July 4th being typical).  Of course I replace "ham-an'-eggs" with "eggs-an'-gritts to calm some sensibilities. and occasionally track 29 gets replaced with track Number 9. since 29 was strictly an LIRR track, but otherwise all words preserved.   Cannot do anything about rerouting the train via Carolina.  Guess that route would have taken it throuigh Atlanta and even possibly Birmingham before turning north.

But that Glenn Miller version is truly a masterpiece.  I'm sure to have repeat hearings-viewings again and again.  You really made my day!

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, June 7, 2020 8:11 AM

1941, but as high fidelity as the latest CD.   Good restoration work from must have been acetate transcription disks.

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