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Discussion Boards => General Discussion => Topic started by: Terry Toenges on June 24, 2018, 11:16:10 PM



Title: Tourist lines
Post by: Terry Toenges on June 24, 2018, 11:16:10 PM
Just a general observation from riding various tourist RR's around the country - It disappoints me when we ride these trains that they couple the loco backwards to pull them. You have the tourists and rail fans taking pictures and video and all they get to see is them running backwards.
While transferring my videos to DVD, I was reminded that this is the case at Black Hills Central RR in South Dakota and at Yosemite Sugar Pine RR in California. If I remember correctly, I think Cass Scenic Valley RR has it the right way for half the ride and switches it to backwards for the ride back down or maybe it's vice versa.
I know it's not possible to turn them around if they don't have a turntable or a wye.
On the plus side, when we rode Black Hills Central, I was at the front of the train on an open car and got to film the front of 2-4-2T up close and personal as she huffed and puffed.


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Trainman203 on June 25, 2018, 07:30:44 AM
Wyes and turntables cost money.  But.  Running engines in reverse pulling trains was pretty common on shortlines and branchlines in the past.  They didn’t have money either.


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Nathan on June 25, 2018, 08:03:39 AM
Cass is at a site that was a lumber railroad.  That RR used the locomotives without turning them.  What you are doing at Cass is reliving the real world.

Nathan


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Piyer on June 25, 2018, 11:17:29 AM
Another downside is that it makes it a bit harder for the railroad to minimize uneven wheel wear when their turning facilities are limited (or nonexistent).

And another good point is that you can realistically model a tourist line without having to come up with the space for a turning facility.


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Trainman203 on June 25, 2018, 12:06:18 PM
Or a shortline or a branchline, especially running up a narrow valley.

Coal road guys log in.  Didn’t mine branches operate like that with no engine turning ?  Maybe even shoving trains of empties up the branch?


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: ACY on June 25, 2018, 02:25:04 PM
Some tourist railroads are in locations that formerly had turntable nearby or still have them but they don't belong to them or they don't have trackage rights or they don't own the property. Some also have wyes nearby or used to have wyes but again don't have trackage rights, or the track is discontinuous, or the track was pretty much abandoned and in disrepair, or the track was taken out completely.
At this point it is just too expensive or too difficult for one reason or another to turn their engines. Some tourist railroads will put the power on the other end by utilizing a passing siding, which is generally best case scenario these days.


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Terry Toenges on June 25, 2018, 09:11:04 PM
The Yosemite tape also has my Sacramento and Jamestown footage on it. At the beginning of the trip, I was excited because I was planning on seeing #3, the famous 4-6-0 movie loco while we were out there. This was 2001. I got to see it alright. The cab was sitting in one corner. The various stacks and headlight were sitting in other places. The boiler was gone because it had been sent out for repair. The bare frame with the drivers was sitting in there. Talk about disappointment. The one thing that I wanted to see the most was in pieces on the floor. At least the tender was still all together.


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Trainman203 on June 25, 2018, 10:15:30 PM
Tourist lines are running lots of diesels now.  People that remember and want to see steam engines are slowly dying off.  In pre internet days I went to ride two lines expecting steam but got diesel.  If I’d known I wouldn’t have gone and these were both well over 1000 miles from home.  Yeah yeah I know about scenery and fall foliage and the Grand Canyon and all of that and that’s fine for regular folks and a diesel  is fine for them and that kind of ride.  But I can ride Amtrak anytime to ride behind a diesel.


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Piyer on June 26, 2018, 11:25:30 AM
The Yosemite tape also has my Sacramento and Jamestown footage on it. At the beginning of the trip, I was excited because I was planning on seeing #3, the famous 4-6-0 movie loco while we were out there. This was 2001. I got to see it alright. The cab was sitting in one corner. The various stacks and headlight were sitting in other places. The boiler was gone because it had been sent out for repair. The bare frame with the drivers was sitting in there. Talk about disappointment. The one thing that I wanted to see the most was in pieces on the floor. At least the tender was still all together.

That's the problem with us actors, without the pancake makeup we fall to pieces!  ;)

But, seriously, #3 is a good example of what it takes to keep steam locomotives running nowadays. The #3 was built in 1891, so she is fast approaching her 130th birthday. The majority of operational steam locomotives (and let's further define these as standard gauge units built for major common carriers) are 70 to 100 years old. They are costly to maintain, costly to insure - IF you can get insurance at all - and are often lone performers for their operators. That we have any operating at all in 2018 is an amazing feat of devotion to the breed.

As for those diesels on tourist lines, they aren't exactly fresh from the factor themselves. The youngest cab units are nearing 60. ALCO ended production 49 years ago, so any of their switchers or hood units are 50+ years old. EMD NW2 or SW1 switchers are around 70, and the unique BL2 turns 70 this year. As you can see, it is easy to forget that the things we might take annoyance with for getting in the way of the "stars" of the show are survivors and stars in their own right.

Whether you run 1:1 scale or 1:220 scale, the latest factor-fresh unit or something that left the factory when Grandpa was a kid, running trains requires one very important thing: passion. As long as you have a passion to make it happen, it WILL happen.

Have a great day. y'all!


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Terry Toenges on June 26, 2018, 12:56:37 PM
We did Tennessee Valley RR ride in '99 and that was pulled by 2-8-0 #630.
We've ridden the St. Louis Iron Mountain & Southern a couple of times. They used to use 2-4-2 #5. I don't know if they still do.
They were both pulled the right way.
When we did the Sugar Pine RR, that was pulled by a Shay (#10). It was supposed to be the biggest Shay ever built.


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Trainman203 on June 26, 2018, 01:53:23 PM
I thought that the biggest shay ever built was at Cass, ex-WM.

The morning we went to TVRRM was way back in 1982, on a Tuesday morning.  Hardly anyone was there to ride.  I went up to the front end to look at the 630 and got to talking to the crew.  After some conversation that made it clear that I knew a fair amount about steam engines, I asked if there was any possibility of a cab ride and the reply was something like  “Waaaaallllll..... Ole Chollie (translation - Charlie) woulda dunniit fo’ you, but ...... Ole Chollie ain’t around today ..... so ..... c’mon up!” I realized later that my girl friends tight T shirt might have had something to do with it too 😱😱😂😂😜.


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Terry Toenges on June 26, 2018, 03:35:43 PM
He said largest "narrow gauge" Shay ever built. I don't rem if Cass is narrow gauge.
http://ymsprr.com/our-trains/ (http://ymsprr.com/our-trains/)


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: ebtnut on June 26, 2018, 03:43:17 PM
WM Shay No. 6 was the largest Shay built by Lima, and is standard gauge.  The largest Shay ever was WVP&P (Cass) No. 12.  It was built as a large 3-truck engine, but was rebuilt at Cass as a 4-trucker and tipped the scales at over 200 tons.  Unfortunately, it was scrapped in the late '50's before the state took over the former Mower Lumber Co. operation and turned it into a state park. 


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Terry Toenges on June 26, 2018, 03:53:59 PM
I see Bachmann is making the #630 Connie in HO.


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Trainman203 on June 26, 2018, 07:01:56 PM
So, the WM shay was the “largest built by Lima “.  And the one that got scrapped was the “largest ever built.”

I thought only Lima built shays.  If this is the case, the above statement is contradictory .  Unless someone else built the second shay.

Please clarify.🤔🤔


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Nathan on June 26, 2018, 09:19:05 PM
#12 was a conversion of a Shay that the RR had.  It was built by Lima but converted by the RR.

On the Shay Locomotive Site look up Shay #3156.

Nathan


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Trainman203 on June 27, 2018, 07:38:37 AM
So no. 12 started out as a regular rod engine built  by Lima, and was converted to a shay by the railroad?


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Nathan on June 27, 2018, 07:46:11 AM
#12 started out as a 3 truck 150 Shay.  The RR converted it to a 4 truck 197 Ton.  Like I said it is on the Shay Locomotive web site:

http://shaylocomotives.com/

Nathan


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Maletrain on June 27, 2018, 08:48:07 AM
I thought that the biggest shay ever built was at Cass, ex-WM.

The morning we went to TVRRM was way back in 1982, on a Tuesday morning.  Hardly anyone was there to ride.  I went up to the front end to look at the 630 and got to talking to the crew.  After some conversation that made it clear that I knew a fair amount about steam engines, I asked if there was any possibility of a cab ride and the reply was something like  “Waaaaallllll..... Ole Chollie (translation - Charlie) woulda dunniit fo’ you, but ...... Ole Chollie ain’t around today ..... so ..... c’mon up!” I realized later that my girl friends tight T shirt might have had something to do with it too 😱😱😂😂😜.

In 1985, when I was in Chattanooga for a month (on business), I found the TVRRM and spent a good bit of my off time there.  It is nice that they have the old shop turntable at one end and have built a wye at the other.  Throw a short tunnel through Mission Ridge and a trestle on the the line between those, and run a steam loco pulling a caboose over it, and you have all the elements that draw model railroaders like an open bottle of Coke draws yellowjackets. 

I had a good time, there, and was given a cab ride and even allowed to shovel coal into the firebox.  Just needed a regular ticket and signed a waiver - no girl friend needed (nor available).  The folks at TVRRM just seemed extra nice.


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: ebtnut on June 27, 2018, 08:54:18 AM
Cass No. 12 was built by Lima as a three-truck Shay.  The shop forces at Cass rebuilt the engine to a four-trucker.  I presume they got the extra truck from Lima, but built the new tank themselves. 


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Terry Toenges on June 27, 2018, 10:05:57 AM
I found out that SLIM&S no longer uses steam. She said they haven't used #5 in 20 years and there are no plans to restore it in the near future.  Their train is now pulled by a 1952 E 8 Diesel. It's former Pennsylvania RR #5898.


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Trainman203 on June 27, 2018, 10:29:09 AM
I don’t understand why people ride diesel powered tourist lines.


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Len on June 27, 2018, 11:11:08 AM
I don’t understand why people ride diesel powered tourist lines.

They think they're antiques compared to the electrified lines they ride to and from work every day.

Len


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Terry Toenges on June 27, 2018, 11:52:56 AM
To me, riding behind a diesel just isn't the same as the sights and sounds of steam.


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Trainman203 on June 27, 2018, 12:11:16 PM
Someone one time said:  diesels are better than steam in every way except one..... the Cool Factor .😎


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Woody Elmore on July 01, 2018, 11:32:45 AM
I rode on the Great Smoky Valley RR in NC years ago. They had a US Army 2-8-0 assisted with a diesel. They had a runaround track so the engines ran backwards - I have no problem with that. More recently I rode behind the Chinese Mikado used on the Connecticut Valley - same situation - no wye or turntable. What irked me was the hordes of tourists, Great for the bottom line but a pain in the derriere!
 
Out here on Long Island the Oyster Bay RR club is working on getting the old Oyster Bay turntable restored. It had been filled in.

They have an LIRR G-5 sitting on the ground - all in pieces; sort of like a big Bowser kit. To get the boiler retubed involves crazy money so the engine just sits.


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: jward on July 01, 2018, 02:55:20 PM
One thing you have to remember about Cass is that the line has excessive grades and two switchbacks. The line to Bald Knob rises something like 2300 feet in 11 miles which works out to an average grade of well over 4%. there are sections in excess of 10%. There are car attendants on every car, and they work the handbrakes on the ride down to supplement the air brakes.

I would imagine that keeping the water levels in the boiler at an appropriate level on the trip would dictate that the locomotive always faces uphill except for the section near Whittaker station that lies between the two switchbacks. Even though there is (Or was, it's been a few years since I rode the train) a wye about a mile from the top, they tend not to turn the locomotive there.

One of the most interesting rides I had was one where they had a work train out on the line. It ducked into the wye to let us by. That was the only time I ever saw a meet at Cass.


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Trainman203 on July 01, 2018, 03:29:28 PM
When I rode the Durango and Silverton 30 years ago, the mobs of tourists and undisciplined kids made the overall experience worthless in railroad value.


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Terry Toenges on July 01, 2018, 06:06:12 PM
Jeff - Water levels in the boiler makes sense and something I hadn't considered.


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: jward on July 01, 2018, 06:51:32 PM
I know when the MT Washington Cog Railway ran steam, the boilers were tilted forward for this reason. Their steepest grade is 37%.


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Trainman203 on July 01, 2018, 08:15:30 PM
Keeping the crown sheet covered with water in steam engines is critical to prevent boiler explosions.  Those were unbelievably devastating.  One in San Antonio in 1912 killed a dozen  and s half in the neighborhood around the T&NO shops.  Others launched the boiler a quarter mile or more away while the running gear stayed on the track and kept rolling , being pushed by the trains momentum.  One thing for certain, everyone in the cab always died.

Steam engines were basically rolling bombs always trying to explode unless carefully monitored.  We forget this in the age of the relatively safe diesel.


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: rogertra on July 03, 2018, 09:27:53 PM
UK locomotives had lead fusible plugs in the roof of the firebox, several of them.  Actual explosions of boilers were almost unknown in the UK as were the melting of the fusible plugs.

The melting of the fusible plus permitted steam and water from the boiler to extinguish the fire.  It was dangerous to the crew as blowback through the firehole was a risk but it happened so rarely.

Hewison (1983)[22] gives a comprehensive account of British boiler explosions, listing 137 between 1815 and 1962. It is noteworthy that 122 of these were in the 19th century and only 15 in the 20th century.

Throughout the 20th century, two boiler barrel failures and thirteen firebox collapses occurred in the UK. The boiler barrel failures occurred at Cardiff in 1909 and Buxton in 1921; both were caused by misassembly of the safety valves causing the boilers to exceed their design pressures. Of the 13 firebox collapses, four were due to broken stays, one to scale buildup on the firebox, and the rest were due to low water level.

Cheers



Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: RAM on July 03, 2018, 10:51:07 PM
Well the list I saw was 48 in the U.S.  Many of the locomotives in the U.S. also had the lead fusible plugs.  I am sure that 48 was a little low. 


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Trainman203 on July 04, 2018, 10:10:33 AM
http://colfa.utsa.edu/users/jreynolds/Tucker/exp1.html


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Terry Toenges on July 04, 2018, 11:31:21 AM
Very interesting read. Thanks.


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Trainman203 on July 04, 2018, 12:05:54 PM
Back to tourist railroads.  Boiler explosions are not a thing of the distant past.  Makes me think twice about asking for a cab ride.

https://www.ntsb.gov/safety/safety-studies/Documents/SIR9605.pdf


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Len on July 04, 2018, 02:14:25 PM
Boiler explosions are a factor in why many tourist lines started using diesels. After a steam tractor, which doesn't have near the inspection requirements of a steam loco, explosion at a fair a while back, the insurance companies jacked coverage rates on steam locomotives. In many cases to the point where it was either switch to diesels, or quit operating.

Len


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Trainman203 on July 04, 2018, 04:51:20 PM
Makes sense.  To the insurance company.

Steam excursions in our area were dropped after some kid slipped , chipped a tooth, and the attorney-aunt sued the railroad and the sponsoring fan club.


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Terry Toenges on July 04, 2018, 07:43:59 PM
The report about the 1995 incident is quite an eye opener. It seems there were a lot of screw ups by the railroad. It makes a good point about the dwindling supply of people with first hand knowledge of steam locomotive care and maintenance. I never would have thought that the boilers had to be thoroughly cleaned out like that every month. It never occurred to me that they had to treat the water. There are so many things they have to check before they even take off.


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: RAM on July 04, 2018, 11:36:52 PM
The GETTYSBURG RAILROAD locomotive should not have been operated.  If you can't see how much water you have, you don't operate. 


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: plas man on July 05, 2018, 08:23:47 AM
Jeff - Water levels in the boiler makes sense and something I hadn't considered.

way back the Uintah Railroad , had 2 big (massive) 2-6-6-2 tanks , and whilst running on a uphill bunker first run the engineer noted that there water no water visible in the sight glass - due to the long boiler - both loco's was immediately returned to the shop's to be fitted with a second water feed dome , thus curing the problem .

https://www.google.co.uk/url?
sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=20&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiZhMTl9ofcAhXGN8AKHRonBKgQFgh2MBM&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.republiclocomotiveworks.com%2Fuintah50.php&usg=AOvVaw2QsaSg7y8JhUpYY78nc-sl


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: ebtnut on July 05, 2018, 10:23:03 AM
If you read the report on the Gettysburg incident closely, the proximate cause was almost total blockage of one of the valves feeding the glass, which did allow some water to show in the glass, but it was not an accurate indication.  The engineer had needed to blow down the glass before operating the engine to assess the flow through the glass.  Because there was some water showing in the glass, the fireman believed he did not need to pump more water into the boiler. 


Title: Re: Tourist lines
Post by: Terry Toenges on July 05, 2018, 10:38:59 AM
In reading the report, I couldn't help but think of the space shuttle where a simple thing like an o-ring malfunction caused a major disaster.