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Central Region 61's? (PRR Duplexes in Eastern Ohio)

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Central Region 61's? (PRR Duplexes in Eastern Ohio)
Posted by RailfanGXY on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 6:58 AM

So it recently occured to me that Pittburgh would've seen one streamlined duplex consistently for at least a year. Not the S1, or even the T1's, but the Q1. Sure it wouldn't have been often, but transfer to St. Clair Ave and being assigned to the Panhandle Division meant 6130 would've been the only duplex cleared to work regularly in the Central Region. All three passenger duplexes were confined to the Ft. Wayne Division starting in early '43; the T1's wouldn't have that ban lifted for another two years.

That said, this reminded me of something I recall reading a few months back. Not sure if it was here or another forum, but the gist was that 6100, 10, & 11 actually did work east of Crestline on a few occasions after their banishment, not counting 6110's Altoona test. Apparently space was allocated on certain eastbound trains for the duplexes to run into the Eastern Division, but be cut off before getting to Pittsburgh because they still couldn't master Federal Tower's interlocking.

It sounds interesting, but along with being unable to find where I actually read this tidbit, or where/how such a detail was marked on timetables, I'm also unsure where in this division a duplex could be uncoupled from its train and be turned to run back to Crestline, light or with a westbound in tow. Surely they wouldn't have run the Cadets or the Big Engine backwards that long! Can anyone elaborate or back this up?

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Posted by Backshop on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 7:49 AM

Scully?  Just a WAG...

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Posted by timz on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 1:29 PM

What's the objection to the Ohio Connecting bridge?

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Posted by RailfanGXY on Wednesday, February 28, 2024 3:45 AM

Didn't cross my mind they would've gotten that close! Peeking at a diagram, it seems plausible but the south wye looks a bit tight. Then again...6130 would've needed to turn somewhere and I know its rigid wheelbase was a longer than 6100's, even taking into account the LMD's on both engines

Though if they could make it through that Esplen Wye to get to the Scully Branch, I ponder why they couldn't have brought varnish with them across the river, turn east to take a jaunt over the Panhandle, and swing back over the river using the Monon Wye to access the station

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Posted by timz on Wednesday, February 28, 2024 1:43 PM

The curves on the NE wye of the bridge ... probably 10 deg or easier. Not more than 12. So if they can get thru the switches, surely the engines can manage that?

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, March 1, 2024 9:04 AM

I suspect that 'wartime expediency' may well have allowed some use of these locomotives this way.  The problem is going to be to document it, given wartime security restrictions.

It is at least possible, given the repeated problems with 6100 going on the ground at Crestline while being hostled, that a switch engine would have been assigned to turn the locomotive in Pittsburgh (on much more critical trackage that would be blocked by even slight derailment!) as that would be much more positive than trying to do it using only the adhesion on the four duplex driver pairs.

I suspect that 6100 negotiated sharper curves during her trip to and from the World's Fair, especially in the part from the BelDel to going over the Poughkeepsie Bridge.

Note that the Q1 was not intended as a 'passenger' engine; it was the early-Thirties-locomotive-design approach to getting a "5/4-of-a-M1" for better M&E.  That it would also provide very effective 5/3 replacement for a K4 at any practical speed PRR passenger trains actually ran appears to have been short-routed by PRR's somewhat lovestruck admiration for Atlantic running gear; ten drivers with one engineer was superior to twelve with two... but not as good as two fours and one.

There is something in the T1 Trust tech repository about PRR rebuilding the critical switch in the Pittsburgh station approach to suit the evolving lateral adjustments on the T1 circa 1946 or 1947.  Certainly there were T1s in regular service east of Pittsburgh after that; Mr. Klepper for example specifically remembered them on commuter train service from Greensburg.

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Friday, March 1, 2024 10:25 AM

I vaguely remember the WW2 Trains article on the prototype T1's mentioning them operating east of Pittsburgh. One focus was portraying the T1's as the future of steam locomotives.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, March 1, 2024 1:10 PM

Lots of film and sound recordings of T1s going over Horse Shoe, much of which involves 'production' T1s.  I never went through 'forensically' to see how much of this was post-facelift, or post-'48, or what kinds of train the locomotives were pulling later on.

I did try at one time to figure out exactly how the T1 that went to Atlantic City in 1945 got there -- it would have had to get around one of the Delair Bridge approach curves either going or coming.  This again is something that could probably be extracted from records.

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Posted by RailfanGXY on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 10:27 PM

Ahhh yes, there's a feature from 1943 featuring 6111, pulling the Juniata (Train 76 iirc) from Pittsburgh as far as Altoona. That's where the writer ended his trip; I assume the T1 finished the trip to Harrisburg. Not to mention both cadets would've been Middle/Pittsburgh Division regulars, like the Metropolitan or the Dusquene, before running to Chicago, and they also ventured along the Conemaugh, so I had little doubt of their capabilities on curves in the Eastern Division. Apparently the revisions made to Federal Tower's interlocking could've accomodated the S1 as well, but I doubt it made use of them with 50 more T1's on the way

Curiously, the article also mentions the 6111 having an air horn (as well a the engineer choosing the whistle over it). Given the S1's similar speed capabilities it makes sense for the T1's to be so equipped, but that's literally the only reference I've seen of a T1 having an air horn. Even if only the prototypes had them, it's far more concealed than on any other steamer I've seen. Not like the Golden States and certainly not like the Niagaras, the horns are easy to make out on those speedsters. I suppose it could've been mounted under the chest shrouding, but given how normal pilot appliances had to shuffled to accomodate Franklin Type A on the NYC S-2a, I'm not sure

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Posted by RailfanGXY on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 11:18 PM

Overmod

 

It is at least possible, given the repeated problems with 6100 going on the ground at Crestline while being hostled, that a switch engine would have been assigned to turn the locomotive in Pittsburgh (on much more critical trackage that would be blocked by even slight derailment!) as that would be much more positive than trying to do it using only the adhesion on the four duplex driver pairs.

 

 

Using a switcher would make things much easier for occasional runs to Pittsburgh; I can't imagine Crestline would do that much since it was already "equipped" to handle 6100. Still a bit confusing the one turntable on the whole system that could actually turn the engine was basically inaccessible.

Apparently there's one photo of it heading the Liberty Limited in the Eastern Region, but I'm doubting its caption of being at New Freedom. I'm sure some of the T1's would've taken the Northern Central to get to Harrisburg after delivery, hell maybe the prototypes did under their own power since Baldwin built their tenders as well, but the notion of 6100 running in Maryland at all is far-fetched.

 

Overmod

Note that the Q1 was not intended as a 'passenger' engine; it was the early-Thirties-locomotive-design approach to getting a "5/4-of-a-M1" for better M&E.  That it would also provide very effective 5/3 replacement for a K4 at any practical speed PRR passenger trains actually ran appears to have been short-routed by PRR's somewhat lovestruck admiration for Atlantic running gear; ten drivers with one engineer was superior to twelve with two... but not as good as two fours and one.
 

 

The Q1 mimics its wheel arrangement in how it succeeds the M1, a few strides "forward" but a couple crucial steps "backward." By all accounts, it would've served much better in a Dual-Service capacity. An extra axle of traction, much more power, and of course the appearance to match. Even its lining is reminiscent of the P5am's, much moreso than the GG1's and the other streamlined steamers. It could handle 125 cars at 40 mph, but certainly could've handled any consist in the Fleet of Modernism if the need arose. A contemporary to the later Mohawks, perhaps. Yet the position of its rear cylinders crippled its reliability, and despite having under half the hammer blow of the J1's at passenger speeds, there's no documents suggesting it ever pulled passenger trains, mail & express, or were even cleared for Passenger speeds like the M1's were

Perhaps a 4-4-4-6 version of the Q1 would've fared better. Sharing cylinder size with the S1 or even the T1's might've been feasible and make for a much more powerful and available (if not exactly lighter) engine than the M1

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Posted by RailfanGXY on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 11:34 PM

Overmod

Lots of film and sound recordings of T1s going over Horse Shoe, much of which involves 'production' T1s.  I never went through 'forensically' to see how much of this was post-facelift, or post-'48, or what kinds of train the locomotives were pulling later on.

I did try at one time to figure out exactly how the T1 that went to Atlantic City in 1945 got there -- it would have had to get around one of the Delair Bridge approach curves either going or coming.  This again is something that could probably be extracted from records.

 

 

Now this is curious, and amusing! I recently spent some time mapping out how a T1 would make it from Philadelphia to New Jersey as well. A fictional 'road in my writings basically covers the Atlantic Division from Seaside Park to Camden, splitting off to reach Philadelphia on the same path NJT's Atlantic City Line takes. I had no idea one of the T1's actually ran to Atlantic City, let alone crossed the Delair into PRSL territory! I thought the only Philly trains to or from the Jersey Coast were to Toms River and Bay Head. In 1945 too, was this for a fantrip or something? That certainly must've been the longest loco to run in New Jersey

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, March 7, 2024 3:57 AM

If a T-1go Atlantic City, it would have neen only for disploay at a multi-railroad event, not a fdantrip.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, March 7, 2024 8:54 AM

daveklepper
If a T-1 went to Atlantic City, it would have been only for display at a multi-railroad event, not a fantrip.

There was a conference, I think of the Master Mechanics organization, at Atlantic City, at which Sam Vauclain presented a detailed account of the development of the 'production' duplex locomotive.  (It is from this account, for example, that we best know the emphasis made on extreme short stroke of the mains.)

The question here is not so much 'did the locomotive work the trip under its own power' as much as 'did the locomotive successfully navigate all the curves and restrictions out and back'.  The curves on the Camden side of the Delair Bridge would seem to me to be the 'critical' thing.

Perhaps there is a photographic record of this trip somewhere in the old photo-trading community.  It would be interesting to find out more definitively.

I confess that it would have been interesting to get the T1, in steam, across the bridge and onto the old 'speedway' of the Atlantic City Railroad (where the fastest trains in the world ran in the early 1890s) and see how it did... at least going outbound to Atlantic City.  Where would the engine have been turned once it had been displayed there?  I don't know my PRSL very well; I think there is a wye where the Cape May line diverges from service to Atlantic City.

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