Trains.com

120 MPH T1

45340 views
140 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    September 2013
  • 6,199 posts
Posted by Miningman on Sunday, January 22, 2017 11:58 AM

Kgbw49- Good one! Now I'm starting to seriously rethink that Southern Pacific T1 idea of hues of red and orange. Likely a disaster. 

UP could have picked them up cheap, cheap, cheap and forgone new expensive passenger diesels. By the time they were done, say 1959 it was becoming obvious that passenger was in serious decline. They could then pick up second hand relatively new E's in surplus from other roads for what was left.  A win-win. Also, for some reason I do not think the UP steam guys would be insulted by these...I think they would have seen them as a challenge and souped them up to their liking. Probably have one extant today. I'm really not crazy, just wishing and dreaming. 

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • 2,207 posts
Posted by kgbw49 on Sunday, January 22, 2017 11:17 AM

Miningman - LOL! There is Nike's next shoe - the Nike T1 Flyer!

  • Member since
    September 2013
  • 6,199 posts
Posted by Miningman on Saturday, January 21, 2017 8:37 PM

The thread was around March 2012...David Klepper and Firelock were commentators ...lot of great stuff.

"In a nutshell (1) – that train was overload , a C&O 4-6-4 couldn’t any better have started it , full stop .  The proceedings were questionable , too .    The report said the engine stalled , never slipped , not even when reverse / forward jolt starting was tried , which should have made most any regular 4-8-4 spin wheels - so question must be asked if boiler pressure really was on the red mark ( yes , says the report - I doubt it , I say , for : if so , where then did t e get lost between cylinders and wheel rims ?)
In a nutshell (2) – successful train traction has always depended on and will always continue to depend on proper tailoring of engine and train load to line profile and schedule , there has never been a case of misalignment working out to best advantage – Duplex or not .   Why , this even applies to present day hyper-energetic synchronous electric locomotives effortlessly putting down an equivalent of 10000 hp onto rails – yet if drizzling rain in an autumn night brings adhesion down to a minimum as a Bo-Bo Taurus sync electric heading an express to Venezia winds up the ramps of the Semmering pass across viaducts , through curves and tunnels , all of the abounding power built into it can’t help speed from falling to no more than 30 mph , regular speed of a 2500 ihp 214 class 2-8-4 heading the same load on the same ramps some 50 years before – to name just one example that I have witnessed last year .   Still , no one would question value and success of the Taurus family of locomotives .   So what does it really tell if this-one T1 stalled that day at that spot on that trainload ?   Misjudgment by those who arranged the trip .
In a nutshell (3) the C&O may not have been impressed with the T1 – for sure I wasn’t when finally I got to read the story of these , let’s call it ill-concepted loco exchange runs .   For sure the runs lacked a lot to qualify as properly setup test runs and maybe they weren’t intended to , at least IMHO there are a number of indications between the lines C&O mainly wanted to see the last of it and if they cared at all they were quite content with the way it all turned out .   Mind , that in these years each RR was fast convinced just and only locomotives of their own especially designed for their lines could do the job and PRR steam at the same time was on fast decline .   Who on earth would have expected a neighboring RR would be prepared to buy – pressure by some in the management or not – a surplus number of unconventional poppet valve gear equipped locomotives built to foreign standards and with foreign standard auxiliaries , all in dubious mechanical condition ( prove to the point : the very engine on loan failed only within days and had to be replaced )  Seen from a C&O locomotives dept. viewpoint it might have been understandable and expectable if the test engineer concerned may have been asked  “Now , has it failed already or how much longer will it take ?” "
 Regards

Juniatha

  • Member since
    September 2013
  • 6,199 posts
Posted by Miningman on Saturday, January 21, 2017 8:29 PM

Kgbw49- That photoshopped picture is downright ugly as can be...it looks like a ridiculous running shoe. 

Paul Milenkovic- That is true. There are good accounts in the old T1 thread a couple of years back with Juniatha, M. Sol and Overmod comments and many others...it is a great thread to read through, with a lot of references and accounts to those tests.

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • 2,741 posts
Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Saturday, January 21, 2017 7:35 PM

With respect to these tests, I read somewhere that the T1 "test article" didn't arrive for the tests in tip-top condition.  Kind of like trying to sell a used car and not bothering to wash it, clean out the insides, and have any Check Engine light condition serviced, first?

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

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • 2,207 posts
Posted by kgbw49 on Saturday, January 21, 2017 7:03 PM

Ironically there is this photoshopped picture of a "C&O" T1 out on the Web...

Image result for pennsylvania railroad prr t1 steam locomotive

 

RME
  • Member since
    March 2016
  • 2,073 posts
Posted by RME on Friday, January 20, 2017 9:06 AM

Miningman

The folks commenting and putting forth detailed technical answers plus very valid opinions on that forum were hardly uninformed. The C&O tests in particular were not right. N&W tests were better but the N&W guys were not going to let the Pennsy motive power designers show them up. They were doomed in any case right from the start whether they were the best thing ever or not.

There's no particular need to castigate either C&O or N&W for running 'unfair' tests, except insofar as the load and expected performance fell outside the achievable performance envelope of a relatively light, short-stroke locomotive.  And N&W's assessment of the locomotive seemed reasonable for its operating conditions ... just as PRR's assessment of the J locomotive was reasonable.  The people actually conducting the tests were not fools.

Big Jim's statement is spot on: the actual C&O testing did not appear to feature slipping (the problem was stalling, quite the opposite issue), but 'revealed railfan wisdom' (regrettably including DPM if I remember correctly) made it common knowledge that T1s slipped dramatically and this was an important reason they 'failed' on C&O.  Believe me when I tell you the PRR designers weren't going to show up the N&W design team, particularly Voyce Glaze (see his calculations for a 4-4-4-4 in Calculation Book #1, short as they are) or vice versa - they were professionals with distinct senses of design optimization.  N&W knew going into the tests that a locomotive with 80" drivers and 26" stroke wasn't going to do the same work as a J on their railroad, and they had comparatively little need for the benefits of duplex divided drive either in augment or mass reduction at the costs the T1 design imposed.  (N&W is also notable for having eschewed Franklin type A entirely, not for want either of technical knowledge or willingness to develop new forms of locomotive power - in my opinion this is no accident.)

The sad thing for the T1 design, in my opinion, was the remarkable bad timing: they were badly needed in 1941, still important in 1945, an afterthought by 1947, an embarrassment by 1950.  The history of the V1 shows similar details; I think the S2 is perhaps the most dramatic demonstration.

  • Member since
    April 2001
  • From: Roanoke, VA
  • 1,933 posts
Posted by BigJim on Friday, January 20, 2017 8:56 AM

You just made my point!

.

  • Member since
    September 2013
  • 6,199 posts
Posted by Miningman on Friday, January 20, 2017 8:14 AM

The folks commenting and putting forth detailed technical answers plus very valid opinions on that form were hardly uniformed. The C&O tests in particular were not right. N&W tests were better but the N&W guys were not going to let the Pennsy motive power designers show them up. They were doomed in any case right from the start wether they were the best thing ever or not. 

  • Member since
    April 2001
  • From: Roanoke, VA
  • 1,933 posts
Posted by BigJim on Friday, January 20, 2017 7:38 AM

Miningman
General consensus was the trials were unfair and badly flawed. Combine that with corporate sabotage and group think and the answers are quite obvious. 


You must have read something that I didn't.  
From what I read from the PRRT&HS and the N&WHS, the tests, especially the ones on the N&W, were conducted in a proper and fair manor and the results show where the T1 excelled and lacked in its performance.
In fact, from what I have read, some of the bad stories about the T1 turn out to be nothing more than myths that were shown to be unfounded. It is the unlearned railfan and their speculation that perpetuates these myths into continuum. 

.

  • Member since
    September 2013
  • 6,199 posts
Posted by Miningman on Thursday, January 19, 2017 9:52 PM

Look up the old T1 thread on this forum for a fascinating and very informative debate on the T1's ...especially covering their trials and tribulations on the N&W and C&O. General consensus was the trials were unfair and badly flawed. Combine that with corporate sabotage and group think and the answers are quite obvious. 

Lets hope the 5550 project becomes a reality. We will see for ourselves and get the truth. 

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 22,498 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, January 19, 2017 9:18 PM

Firelock76
Well, the PRR did try to sell T1's to the C&O and the N&W as well, but neither 'road was interested.

Maybe they should have tried Espee and UP.  Would have been interesting to say the least.

We have to remember this was the era, albeit the tail end of same, when just about every major 'road had it's own ideas of what a locomotive should be and were pretty parochial about it.  It took EMD/GM to break them of that outlook. 

"Here's the diesel. You know what it can do for you.  You know you want it, but forget custom jobs, take them as they are or leave them!" 

We all know what happened.

In Don Ball Jr.'s book 'The Pennsylvania Railroad 1940's-1950's' there are statements of the tests both C&O & N&W conducted with the T1's vs. the home roads comparable motive power.  In each case the PRR T1 was found inferior to the home road power.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

  • Member since
    September 2013
  • 6,199 posts
Posted by Miningman on Thursday, January 19, 2017 9:01 PM

 T1's 5500 to 5524 were built in Altoona and 5525-5549 were built by Baldwin but all of the tenders were built in Altoona. So it is logical to think that 5525 thru to 5549 were transported without their tenders to the tender shop in Altoona. It is very likely that is what we are seeing in this picture. 

I wonder if any photograph exists of the Baldwin builds being hauled en route without their tenders. 

You know the more I look long and hard at these posted pictures from Wanswheel and kgbw49 the more the T1's do "look" like they were a  UP or SP locomotive and kind of out of place on the Pennsy. It adds even more to the mystery, lore and tragedy of these great machines. 

  • Member since
    March 2013
  • 426 posts
Posted by Dr D on Thursday, January 19, 2017 5:43 PM

Re Tenders for T1 -

I believe that Altoona made all the regular production T1 tenders and half the locomotives.  Which means that at some point they came "tenderless" from Baldwin Locomotive Works and - in the beginning of their lives went into the Altoona shop to be completed - likely the reason a new tender would be without coal.

Seems there was an extended birth process for some original T1's.  To say nothing about how long it would take to assemble a reproduction.

I would guess the photo was taken from the roundhouse roof by a company photographer.

----------------

Doc

  • Member since
    August 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,955 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, January 19, 2017 5:23 PM

Well, the PRR did try to sell T1's to the C&O and the N&W as well, but neither 'road was interested.

Maybe they should have tried Espee and UP.  Would have been interesting to say the least.

We have to remember this was the era, albeit the tail end of same, when just about every major 'road had it's own ideas of what a locomotive should be and were pretty parochial about it.  It took EMD/GM to break them of that outlook. 

"Here's the diesel. You know what it can do for you.  You know you want it, but forget custom jobs, take them as they are or leave them!" 

We all know what happened.

  • Member since
    September 2013
  • 6,199 posts
Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 7:21 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH- Sante Fe would not even consider this idea..no doubts whatsoever. UP might consider it for the reasons I gave..to better hasten dieselization of freight hauling. They could forgo expensive E's, so more for freight units. The Overland Route would be just fine for fast running of passenger trains and the T1's would be up to the challenge. Imagine T1's along side Big Boys and Challengers. They could have got 10 years out of them easy. If Pennsy sold them off very inexpensively along with all the parts and support it could have been a viable thing. Of course at this point I have to stress the theoretical aspect of all this. It does however raise the intriguing question of what UP's steam guys could do with these racehorses. 

Southern Pacific under Russell is also a theoretical possibility. He thought diesels were very expensive and slowed down purchases here and there keeping steam in reserve in large numbers. It's possible say '48. Russell was a maverick and a bold thinker and could be very unconventional. Again, purchasing T1's at a huge discount allowed for more dollars for diesels on freight. Picture fast coast running and segments of the Sunset with T1's sporting orange and red hues. 

  • Member since
    August 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,955 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 5:38 PM

Kgb, I'm pretty sure that's the S1 in the Crestline roundhouse photo.  The S1 was famous, or maybe infamous, for being too large for the Pennsy's turntables and that aerial shot's a pretty good illustration of same.  Man, that thing's HUGE!

  • Member since
    March 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 12,780 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 8:35 AM

It sounds like a great idea but why would UP or ATSF even look at a T1?  Both roads were already committed to dieselization and they both had well-designed 4-8-4's on the roster in dual service.  Secondhand T1's would have been oddballs on either roster.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
  • Member since
    September 2013
  • 6,199 posts
Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 9:30 PM

Well as I've stated previously, nothing brings out the photos and comments more than anything if it's regarding the T1's. 

Regardiing my comment about "some thing" by the rear ladder on the tender...I was well aware of the induction radio/phone system and the antennna's... we still use something vaguely similiar in underground mining operations called a leaky feeder. A person has to be in a drift or crosscut where there are permanent wires strung along the back ( that's the "roof" for non miner types, ...we cringe at that term). The receiver is usually a small box and microphone pinned on your chest near the shoulder, just like the police use. Does not work everywhere. Not easy to communicate through a mile or two of solid rock, on several levels and up to surface. 

I've looked at that picture for a while now and for some odd reason I didn't get the fact that it was just a bunch of intersecting shadows that really threw me. Given the date and the condition I would say this is a new engine getting it's tender just as kbgw49 thought. 

So much has been written on their demise and the reasons why..stillborn really. It really adds to the mystique of the loco itself. 

Just an Aaron Rogers Hail Mary throw here, and theoretical to boot, but was there anyone who would have been interested in picking them up on the cheap. I understand Pennsy was shopping then around pretty early...yes I know N&W and C&O tried 'em out ..I'm thinking more along the lines of out West...UP Passenger service? They may have been tempting at a low initial price vs Diesels E7's and 8's, which could have then been diverted funds to freight Diesels. Just trying to find them a second chance...that would have been something. Geez, I said it was a Hail Mary OK? 

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • 2,207 posts
Posted by kgbw49 on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 7:10 PM

S1 in revenue service in a heavy snow storm...

Image result for pennsylvania railroad crestline ohio

PRR Crestline Ohio roundhouse - notice T1 or perhaps S1 on the lower left - track to extended stall - and compare size of locomotive to the two J1 2-10-4 units on the middle right of the picture...

Image result for pennsylvania railroad crestline ohio

PRR T1 5518 on the far western reaches of the Pennsylvania Railroad at St Louis MO...

Related image

Proud crew posing 5527 at Englewood IL...

Image result for pennsylvania railroad crestline ohio

S1 in Fort Wayne IN...

Related image

S1 in Pennsylvania Railroad Calendar painting...

Image result for pennsylvania railroad crestline ohio

T1 5516 broadside in St Louis MO...

Image result for pennsylvania railroad st louis mo

T1 5516 at the St Louis Union Depot trainshed...

Image result for pennsylvania railroad st louis mo

S1 under a massive signal bridge in Chicago IL...

Image result for pennsylvania railroad chicago illinois

Temporay detour - happened along on this great K4 vs Hudson "race" out of Chicago photo with the K4 in the lead...

Image result for pennsylvania railroad chicago illinois

And this K4 vs Hudson "race" photo with the Hudson seeming to have the edge...

Have not been able to locate a T1 vs Niagara race photo yet...

Related image

T1 possibly doubleheading on a coal train? (check out the trailing unit and the car behind the tank and see what you think)...

Image result for t1 racing niagara steam locomotive

Altoona Works Roundhouse No 2 - Locomotive Finishing Shop - launching pad for the T1...

Related image

And of course, what would have happened if the Norfolk & Western J tests had made a bigger impression - this photo is actually in Roanoke VA but notice the Pennsylvania baggage car on the left...

Image result for norfolk & western class j tests on pennsylvania railroad

 

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: Atlanta
  • 11,799 posts
Posted by oltmannd on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 4:05 PM

BigJim

 

 
Miningman
Also there is some kind of "thing" at the top of the rear ladder on the T1's tender.

 

That is for the [now someone give the correct name] "induction radio", where the PRR used the wires on the telegraph poles to send the radio waves(?) in order to communicate with the crew.

 

 

Trainphone is the PRR's name.  Allows cabin and headend to talk.  Also, talk to nearby trains.

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • 2,207 posts
Posted by kgbw49 on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 12:15 PM

Great stuff wanswheel!

  • Member since
    April 2001
  • From: Roanoke, VA
  • 1,933 posts
Posted by BigJim on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 7:46 AM

Miningman
Also there is some kind of "thing" at the top of the rear ladder on the T1's tender.

That is for the [now someone give the correct name] "induction radio", where the PRR used the wires on the telegraph poles to send the radio waves(?) in order to communicate with the crew.

.

  • Member since
    April 2001
  • From: Roanoke, VA
  • 1,933 posts
Posted by BigJim on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 7:41 AM

Firelock76
I always thought the T1 had a more-than-passing resemblance to a U-Boat.

I'm glad to see someone else has the same opinion as I do. I've always thought that the "chizel nose" moniker was ill hung.

.

  • Member since
    September 2013
  • 6,199 posts
Posted by Miningman on Monday, January 16, 2017 11:36 PM

Kgbw49- Thanks for the attempt at an explanation. There is definitely a story there in the picture. Yes there are tenders everywhere with no engine attached and they all look pretty good. The one to the left of the T1 is pristine also and looks recently re-lettered and painted, so its logical to assume its a tender shop, which existed, of course, in Altoona. The "steam" or whatever it is I was referring to is about a quarter of the way down from the tender on the locomotive off to the right and projecting upwards. Also there is some kind of "thing" at the top of the rear ladder on the T1's tender. Where the heck was the photographer located to get a shot like this? The 3 workers to the right are watching this intently. 

It's also dated 4-11-1946 so some of the T1's were pretty new. 

Maybe its one for the Trains feature "Whats in a picture"!

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • 2,207 posts
Posted by kgbw49 on Monday, January 16, 2017 10:17 PM

It looks like it is being pulled on to the turntable by a shop switcher - it looks like there is a slight exhaust coming from the stack of the shop switcher at the front end of the T1.

Also, there are a lot of single tenders located around the turntable at all points of the compass, and the T1 tender is in pristine condition. So could this picture be at the Altoona Shops and this T1 has just been connected to its tender?

Just one supposition, but then again I am definitely not Hercule Poirot and this is definitely not the Orient Express!

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 22,498 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Monday, January 16, 2017 7:02 PM

Firelock76
What piqued my interest were those two "torpedoes" on the tender deck.

I always thought the T1 had a more-than-passing resemblance to a U-Boat.

Suspect they are the engine's Main Air Resevoirs that the designers weren't able to locate on the engine itself without disrupting the asthetics of the locomotive.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

  • Member since
    August 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,955 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, January 16, 2017 6:13 PM

What piqued my interest were those two "torpedoes" on the tender deck.

I always thought the T1 had a more-than-passing resemblance to a U-Boat.

  • Member since
    September 2013
  • 6,199 posts
Posted by Miningman on Monday, January 16, 2017 5:51 PM

Regarding the first picture posted by kgbw49 titled "T1 on the turntable"....can anyone clarify what is going on here? Is there a diesel switcher ahead of it? The tender appears empty, void of any coal, or is there some out of view deeper in the bowels. Is that steam popping out of the right side? I just don't quite understand...is it coming or going? It appears to be fairly new...not much wear and tear, even the coupler seems little used...or is it just the black and white photo? Where would the photographer be located to take such a shot? 

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy