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New York Central Steam Turbine

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New York Central Steam Turbine
Posted by BEAUSABRE on Monday, November 14, 2022 12:31 AM

The Alco-GE Steam Turbo-Electric of 1938 on the NYC after bein returned to GE in 1939 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9mo9Ald6EI

GE steam turbine locomotives - Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, November 14, 2022 7:47 AM

A very interesting bit of film deserving of restoration!

Thanks!

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, November 14, 2022 9:32 AM

Watch the firing smoke -- note the brief black smoke as the locomotive accelerates.  This is a Steamotive plant, buiilt with the advantage of a few years' improvement, not all of which I suspect was actual improvement.  That white stuff is unlikely to be steam; the Steamotive plants worked at 1200-1500psi, necessarily with distilled water, and this was condensed in the rear of the locomotive where the very large "radiators" are located.  I suspect you can further gauge the weather by the fact that the thermostatic shutters on both units are firmly closed...

I do see evidence of train steam heat on the lead unit in one of the departing shots.  I don't remember what the arrangements for train-heating steam on these locomotives was, but I'd expect an OK-style steam generator using the same oil as the Steamotive system -- I don't think train heat was generated as part of the condensation system.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, November 14, 2022 10:38 AM

Overmod
  I don't remember what the arrangements for train-heating steam on these locomotives was, but I'd expect an OK-style steam generator using the same oil as the Steamotive system

Maybe something similar to what a GG1 had?

I remember watching a video of a GG1 being prepped for a run and a few frames showed a "fuel oil" tank being filled.  I had to think about that, "What's an electric locomotive need fuel oil for?"  Then I remembered the need for steam for train heating. 

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, November 14, 2022 1:00 PM

If I remember correctly the passenger GG1s had (single) OK4620s.

I think it's telling that these were installed when PRR had every reason to adapt 11kV power to produce train heating.  The OK series was enormously better than, say, the little tubular boilers used on the DD1s 'as built' -- just enough to keep the train warm between Penn and Manhattan Transfer.

The references used for Wikipedia on the UP turbines note that the locomotives did not use steam heat -- only an early version of HEP (probably off the 220V auxiliary generation, but I don't have the reference source).  An interesting detail they add was that dynamic-braking heat was recovered into the Steamotive Rankine cycle, an interesting approach to regenerative braking.  I have no real idea what the visible steam in the clip would have been coming from.

UPDATE: Douglas Self's page on these locomotives has an elevation and plan diagram of the equipment and item 31 is a 'Train Heating Evaporator' (which appears to be a cylindrical pressure vessel with a heating coil low inside).  As I cannot find item 12, the 'braking resistances' (which ought to be under the visible pair of cooling fans visible on top, if not 'regenerated' in full), the plot only thickens.  Note the 'raw water' tanks in the nose, which would have been relatively useless for high-pressure steam generation -- but would have been nifty to spray over the condensers at those 'difficult' times.

 

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Posted by samfp1943 on Monday, November 14, 2022 5:11 PM

[quote user="BEAUSABRE"]

The Alco-GE Steam Turbo-Electric of 1938 on the NYC after being returned to GE in 1939 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9mo9Ald6EI

GE steam turbine locomotives - Wikipedia

 

 [quote user="BEAUSABRE"]

Firstly,  Thanks for posting that You Tube Video ! Big Smile 

There are, or seem to be, very few actual photos of [GE's+NYC's Testing of]  UPRR #1 and#2;  post 1939 !     Most, previously, have been artistic representations, of those units in operation; very few photos or their consists seem to make it into print....Bow

+For Me, 'The jewel '  In that video was the short, acion, video, of the NYC&HR  RR's #999,  doubling with the NYC 'heavy' !

Built in (W) Albany, NY Shops in 1893; she was an era, typical 4-4-0 American.  Built for fast passenger service out of NYC to the North and Western NY.  She origionally had 100" drivers, as delivered. Was reportedly the Fastest Engine [spd was checked with watches by reporters].  with her 100" drivers, as built, was apparently capable of speeds in the 100mph to 112 mph range. Her service was on the NYC's 'Empire State Express'. 

    In early testing, she exceeded 100mph; surpassed only by the U.K.s [BR]  steamer ' City of Turo', also a 4-4-0, built @ Swindon, in 1905.

  In 1948/49 #999 was sited at the Chicago Railroad Fair; through her working life she was rebuilt on several occasions, with drivers suitibly downsized to smaller diameters as her railroad role was seduced in importance.  After being retired by NYC she was finally rebuilt to her 'as built' consuction and currently, resides at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.  I grew up through high school, with a print of the #999 as one of a set of four; a picture I was fond of for years.   

Back to UPRR's #1 and#2; I do not recall their serice [approx. +-6 months(?) it was neither long, or remarkable (?).      IIRC, They were followed-on by a UP RR Steam Turbine locomotive. Cobbled together from a former Alco PA and a MILWRR (Former electric motor(?) UPRR#8080, was fielded as a Coal-fired, steam, turbine, 7000 hp loconotive; not copmpetely successful. It was more noted for the danger of shrappnel to bystanders, from its shattering turbine blades.     Much more successful were the S-1, a PRR 6-8-6, steam turbine (Lionel modeled it)...Then in the 1950's or so, N&W fielded their coal-fired steam turbine, 'JAWN HENRY', and Chessie built their M-1 Turbines(2 ea); in anticipation of a 'new streamliner, 'CHESSIE', fast,passenger trains. They, ultimately, were not built, and the M-1's worked out their lives in freight service.

Details from a not so clear memory..... Zip it!

 

 

 

 


 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, November 15, 2022 11:12 AM

samfp1943
Details from a not so clear memory.....

My memory may be no less clear (and correct me, if so) but I think some things are different:

Built in (W) Albany, NY Shops in 1893; 999 was an era-typical 4-4-0 American.

In my opinion, she was anything but typical, built with an experimental firebox and lightweight running gear optimized for 'uneconomically' high speed.
She origionally had 100" drivers, as delivered.
86".
Was reportedly the Fastest Engine [spd was checked with watches by reporters].  with her 100" drivers, as built, was apparently capable of speeds in the 100mph to 112 mph range.
There has been some discussion that the actual timed speeds were in the 80mph range, still highly credible for the early 1890s.  Of the engines that should be replicated 'as built' for record-run testing, 999 ranks even higher than the Milwaukee A...

In early testing, she exceeded 100mph; surpassed only by the U.K.s [BR]  steamer ' City of Turo', also a 4-4-0, built @ Swindon, in 1905.

The proper name is 'City of Truro', and the person timing her was in my opinion a reputable source (Rous-Marten).

In 1948/49 #999 was exhibited at the Chicago Railroad Fair; through her working life she was rebuilt on several occasions, with drivers suitably downsized to smaller diameters as her railroad role was reduced in importance.

To 70".  She was made rapidly obsolete first by Atlantics and then six-coupled power as trains grew more luxurious and steel-framed equipment came into use; the story I remember was that she wound up working a milk train in upstate New York -- Watertown?
After being retired by NYC she was finally rebuilt to her 'as built' construction...
We should be so lucky.  She was colorfully repainted, but still has the stodgy low drivers and lackluster construction of the as-modified version.
Back to UPRR's #1 and#2; I do not recall their service [approx. +-6 months(?) it was neither long, or remarkable (?)
It was, in fact, two months.  And the faults were deemed unsolvable with continued work.  The odds-on reason was that much of UP's operation is through hot regions that would have choked the condenser just when the most operating power would be needed.  By that time, the railroad had the choice of diesel power and FEF-3s, leaving very little place for the locomotive as specified -- that would not have been the case in 1934-5 when the Steamotive development got properly under way...     

IIRC, They were followed-on by a UP RR Steam Turbine locomotive. Cobbled together from a former Alco PA and a MILWRR (Former electric motor(?) UPRR#8080, was fielded as a Coal-fired, steam, turbine, 7000 hp loconotive; not completely successful....

That was not a steam turbine at all -- it was a COAL-FIRED GAS turbine, the UP's quixotic follow-on to the John Yellott/BCR development scam starting in the late 1940s (I believe there was an article in Classic Trains that discussed some of this -- if we ever got a searchable index, look up 'Hilsch tubes').  The PA (surplus to passenger requirements) kept its 2000hp prime mover as electrical power for the pulverizer and combustors; the main unit was actually one of the enormous GN electrics (which maintained some of its Art Deco-ish trim as cut down) which could be acquired essentially for scrap value after the electrification through Cascade Tunnel was eliminated.  It also had a modified centipede tender!

There was actually a 'correct' answer for the chief showstopping issue of the coal turbines -- the residual issues of ash impingement -- in the form of SRC or 'solvent-refined coal'.  That certainly wasn't something appealing to UP, who wanted a follow-on to the Big Boy and the Big Blows that could burn that wretched subbituminous indigenous "coal"...

It was more noted for the danger of shrapnel to bystanders, from its shattering turbine blades.

This is a new one to me.  I didn't hear anything worse than too-rapid blade erosion and glassy deposits, although I'd bet there were some pulverizer follies and the occasional deploying of explosion 'puff' doors.

Much more successful was the S-1, a PRR 6-8-6, steam turbine (Lionel modeled it)...

This was the S2.  Westinghouse thought enough of the idea to revise it into a 4-8-4, with a two-speed planetary transmission incorporating a direct reverse gear, by 1948.  PRR had a different mechanical turbine design, the 8000hp V1, approved for construction in 1944 -- but it was not built, as its real advantages were only in wartime traffic, and its water rate was 'eye-watering'.  This design was passed to PRR 'affiliate' N&W, which proceeded to butcher it almost out of recognition, and then substitute...
their coal-fired steam turbine, 'JAWN HENRY', in 1954...
notable for overloading Westinghouse hexapole traction motors, something almost inconceivable difficult on a 4500hp engine, and
and Chessie built their M-1 Turbines(2 ea); in anticipation of a 'new streamliner, 'CHESSIE', fast,passenger trains. They, ultimately, were not built, and the M-1's worked out their lives in freight service.
There were actually three M1s, designed and built as a hush-hush Baldwin priority program to get around the PRR intellectual property in the V1.  These only used conventional level steam pressure (300psi in a conventional staybolted boiler) and had some fairly hopeless issues, including wet coal dust in the traction motors.  They were intended to take the long Chessie consists across the mountains, with the 'yellowbelly' Hudsons rebuilt from the F19s on the flatter sections.  (Trains had a pretty interesting article on the Chessie trains about 50 years ago now!)

The Chessie was conceived as a means of dominating the incredibly lucrative market from East Coast regions to Cincinnati, something that PRR, B&O, and other railroads piled vast sume of money on in the postwar period.  C&O ordered some enormous number of new lightweight cars (about 291, if my defective memory is pulling it up) and when it became clear that neither the M-1s nor the Chessie were going to be practical, a large number of roads picked up some of the 'excess' ordered cars at a good cheap price.  Didn't help them much in the end...

I don't recall the M-1s ever being successfully used in freight service.  All were summarily scrapped within three years of being built... again, with no particular effort being made to see if their 'deficits' could be remediated.

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