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Discussion Boards => General Discussion => Topic started by: Yampa Bob on June 22, 2009, 04:12:11 AM



Title: You Only Live Twice
Post by: Yampa Bob on June 22, 2009, 04:12:11 AM
I think the title mostly applies to us old timers who have spent most of our life working toward retirement. Many of you grew up around trains, but just too busy with work and keeping the wolf away from the door to be involved in model railroading. Unfortunately, I was not around trains during my life, and only became interested in them 3 years ago. (My, how time flies).

For those of us who are retired, and those who will retire in 40 or 50 years, and are or will be going into their "second childhood" at some point, here's a rather thought provoking question.

If you could live your life again, start all over, what era or area would you have preferred to really experience railroading to its fullest?  This is for all modelers, there is no age restriction on "dreams".  The 1800's? early 1900?, early steam or transition era?, narrow gauge in the West?...dream away and share your thoughts.

I was born in what I consider the perfect generation of time, have seen technology slowly develop, and now expanding rapidly. I'm fairly content with my position in time, just had to study furiously to catch up on the history and current technology.

I had a brief infatuation with steam, but I do enjoy the colorful and powerful representation of modern diesel.  I guess I "dream" of being just 10 or 15 years younger, to see what lies ahead, and to have a little more time to enjoy my new found hobby.

Ok, uncover your "time machine" and dial in your destination.


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: pdlethbridge on June 22, 2009, 06:04:46 AM
I guess I wouldn't change much as far where I grew up. I was about 7 houses west of a busy commuter line of the Boston and Maine. Plenty of steam and first generation diesel. I had a big basement for trains and started with American Flyer and graduated to the then up and coming HO gauge. If I lived any where else it would have been great to see the steam of the Norfolk and Western in its hay day. The J's, K's, A's and Y's were the best ever built and ran well into the late 50's.


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: Jhanecker2 on June 22, 2009, 09:12:30 AM
If I had lots of money , now isn't a bad time to be alive to enjoy railroads both model & prototype .  Being thirty years younger would helpful to be able to move around better. If we don't  get ourselves involved in too many hot wars , the need to be more environmentally  positive could lead to revitalization of passenger rail traffic .  Highspeed rail is becoming more likely and necessary . Electrification would seem to be a more flexible method of powering locomotives for commuter services and also for high density corridors between cities . Power grids  don't care what power source is used nuclear , wind , solar , hydroelectric , geothermal , or petrochemical .   Diesels are relatively efficient and will be necessary for decades to come for areas where electric  is either not available or too expensive .   Diesels are not selective about the source of their fuels so "petro" or "bio" fuels will do .   I am also looking forward to newer technologies like MAGLEV with interest , and I remember reading about vehicles operating in vaccum tunnels that could accelerate at better than 1 G that would be faster than supersonic aircraft . Automobiles  and  Aircraft will still be around but will need to be more energy efficient . The near future could be very interesting if we make it so.


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: rustyrails on June 22, 2009, 09:41:57 AM
Like Bob, I don't think I'd change my place on the time line.  I have witnessed great social, political and scientific events and even had the chance to participate in one or two of them.  I had an interesting career in federal service and then had the blessing of a second career teaching.  

My intorduction to railroading came when I was about seven and we moved to a little place in WVa called Philippi.  The B&O bisected the town and there were two passenger locals and two peddler freights a day.  The switch for the local team track was only a couple of hundred feet from our house and I'd go sit on the curb and watch the daily activities.  I remember the crew would always say hi to me.  The rest of the day's traffic consisted of extras; loaded hoppers east, empties west, pulled by everything from Sharks to big articulateds.

My modeling today reflects those experiences of almost sixty years ago--small towns, small trains, lots of soot.  Model railroading has been a constant in my life and I'm grateful to have had the assets to enable me to participate in the hobby over the years.  My fervent hope, as I near the end of my run, is that the hobby survives to bring as much pleasure into the lives of today's youngsters as it has brought into mine.

The bottom line for me is that I think I'll hang on to what I've got.  Put me in different circumstances in a different time and I might not be nearly the charming curmudgeon that I grew up to be.   ;D

Rusty







Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: jward on June 22, 2009, 09:53:20 AM
not sure of the location, but i know the era. i'd love to be able to go back to the early 1960s just after steam was retired, but before the railroads started to purge the early diesels. do you realize that entire locomotive builders production is extinct, or almost so? wouldn't it be nice to go out and see lima and fairbanks morse locomotives again? or a set of baldwin sharks lugging coal the way that they did so well?

yes, i know some older diesels exist in museums, or running on tourist lines. but it just isn't the same. to really appreciate a locomotive type, you had to see them in regular revenue service, preferrably in consists of more than one.

i've been fortunate enough in my lifetime to have seen many of the more common first generation diesels in regular service. i'd like to have seen the ones i missed.


oh, and bob, not all of us let lack of time or money stop us from pursuing the hobby. there are ways you can indulge your hobby and other things at the same time. for many years i rode to work on pcc trolley cars, for example.....


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: Terry Toenges on June 22, 2009, 11:36:02 AM
The late 1800's - Somewhere west of the Mississippi. 
Just watching and hearing the old steamers is a thrill. All those visible moving parts and the sounds of the loco leaving the station or working it's way up a grade.


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: Johnson Bar Jeff on June 22, 2009, 12:06:28 PM
I would like to have experienced the 50-year period from 1860 to 1910. For my money, the most beautiful steam locomotives were produced in that 50-year period.


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: ebtnut on June 22, 2009, 02:00:13 PM
I was born at the very beginning of the Baby Boom, maybe 5 years too late to appreciate the final days of big steam.  Since I also grew up in the suburbs of DC, trains weren't readily accessible, and the B&O dieselized the east end of the railroad early.  My steam memories come from summers spent with my grandparents in Pennsylvania, where steam still ruled the PRR for a few early years.  So yeah, maybe move me back 5 years, and relocate my childhood to someplace like Cumberland, Altoona, Roanoke, Chicago, or other big railroad hub. 


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: john tricarico on June 22, 2009, 03:23:33 PM
now that i got some of the tears out of my eyes

there was nothing like the 1960s here in new york
i started working while in highschool in jan. 1968
in grand central terminal in a newsstand
this was the last week of new york central and i
didnt even know it at that time
i didnt even own a camera to take pictures
as i walked every day thru the terminal

damm do i remember the last of the n.y.c. gray cars
and a brand new turbo train i used to see on or
about track 11

late 60s were awesome of me  not great for the railroads
nyc and penn went  in came penn central

i never forgot how filthy grand central was the
homeless used the vanderbilt hall like a hotel
in the 70s i started going the queens and found the sunnyside
yard  with all the gg1s you could ever want to see

but i would love to go back in time

john t  brooklyn ny


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: rwiseha on June 22, 2009, 03:39:25 PM
For me, having just retired, i try to divide my time between 0n30 modeling and working on the real thing!  That is to say volunteering at the Colorado Railroad Museum, where the oldest steam engine is from 1880.  What a thrill to work on this equipment.  And by working on them you start to understand how they work :)


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: ebtnut on June 22, 2009, 05:55:48 PM
I took a tour of the Strasburg RR shops last month, and they had RGS No. 20 all in pieces.  A course of boiler had been replaced, and most of the firebox was also being replaced.  The frame was in such bad shape that they had literally cut out pieces and were going to weld in new steel, probably using Thermite.  Not sure what the timetable is to get her done, but she'll be a great assest to the CRM when she's done and steaming again.  Anyone in the eastern area planning on visiting Strasburg, they offer the shop tours on weekends at noon.  $15.00 ticket price.  Plan on spending about 1 1/2 hours.  Really good stuff.


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: RAM on June 22, 2009, 06:58:44 PM
I was born in 1932 and live until 1944 right next to the high bridge branch of the Central RR of
NJ.  Then we moved to Norman Oklahoma.  The Sant Fe Texas line.  Lots of 2-8-2s, 2-10-2, 4-6-
2s and 4-6-4s.  What I liked the most was to go up to Ottawa Kansas, It had a lot of everything.
2 branch lines with mixed trains. The line to Tulsa Okla., as well as the mainline with lots of 4-8-
4s and speed.  The Tulsa line had street running.  Also the MP had a line with a few blocks of
street running and the two lines crossed in the middle of an intersection.  Today all they have is
the mainline now BNSF. Norman has only the mainline, no siding.  Today I line in Bartlesville Ok
which is now served by the SKOK.  I see one or two trains a year.


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: Stephen D. Richards on June 22, 2009, 09:03:36 PM
Like Bob and Rusty, I wouldn't change anything about my growing up where and when I did.  I wasn't near trains except the occasional B & O coal train but I got to see all the old lines before they took them up.  Lots and lots of imagination.  Didn't get the bug though until about three years ago myself.  Still have six years or so before I can retire and really enjoy the hobby.  However, here in Elkins I have the distinct fortune of reliving both vintage diesel and steam locomotives and trains.  Big resurgence.  I've even been asked to work for them after I retire as an engineer!  Really something to look forward too.   Stephen


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: jward on June 23, 2009, 12:27:12 PM
spent alot of time near elkins camping and railfanning with my dad in the 1970s. those were some fascinating lines, especially north to thomas and south to webster springs. they were one of the last holdouts for first generation diesels.


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: OkieRick on June 23, 2009, 11:48:12 PM

Sorry guys, I want to have the physical ability and where with all to own, pilot and afford upkeep on a P-51 in this day and age.

But driving 1960's diesels locos in OK would be nice also.

Rick



Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: Guilford Guy on June 23, 2009, 11:51:10 PM
According to The Strokes, you only live once.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vKoIw_THvQ


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: boomertom on June 24, 2009, 12:00:35 AM
I am content with the time frame of my life and the place.  I was born July 1, 1945 in Covington, Virginia on the mainline of the C&O. Just west of Covington the westbound assault of the Allegheny Subdivision began in earnest.

Steam was still common on the Allegheny in the early 50s and I saw the H-8 the mighty 2-6-6-6 in action as well as the cream of passenger power the J-2 (like the Bachmann model) and the J-3. But the diesel was rapidly over taking steam power and I was thrilled by the streamliners.

Later the GP-9s replaced not only steam but much of the F7s.

I was also only 60 miles from Roanoke and traveled there frequently for various doctors appointments. Js.As,Ys' ex C&O 0-8-0s on both the N&W and Virginian. The VGNs' big Trainmasters. and near the end of the 50s Southerns green,white and gold E-8s exercising trackage rights between Roanoke and Bristol, TN with crack passenger service.

Additionally, as my mother had relatives in the Bluefield, WV area that we would visit I saw the N&W and VGN power in action in coal country.

Trains have been an important part of all of my 64 years and I have "played with trains" for most of those beginning with a clockwork steamer, progressing to Lionel, changing to HO, switching to N when apartment living restricted space and now back to HO,

What would I change? Absolutely nothing.

Tom


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: PRRThomas11 on June 24, 2009, 12:39:03 AM
I would do anything to live in a small house in the Pennsylvania countryside along the PRR main line. Somewhere in the transition era.

Ya know... my philosophy is that 50 years from now, rail fans will look back at 2000-2009 and say, man I wish I lived to see the trains then. So I try to live with the trains we have now. Some day they'll be gone and there's going to be different ones. And another thing, we need to save some of today's locomotives and rolling stock. We don't think much of them now but some day we'll look back and wish some of those trains had been saved.


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: jettrainfan on June 24, 2009, 01:49:10 AM
I would do anything to live in a small house in the Pennsylvania countryside along the PRR main line. Somewhere in the transition era.

Ya know... my philosophy is that 50 years from now, rail fans will look back at 2000-2009 and say, man I wish I lived to see the trains then. So I try to live with the trains we have now. Some day they'll be gone and there's going to be different ones. And another thing, we need to save some of today's locomotives and rolling stock. We don't think much of them now but some day we'll look back and wish some of those trains had been saved.

Conrail is one of those rails.They got one on display somewhere in Penn. I am lucky to have berea and see at least 2 Conrails a trip. They diapered temporarily for 2 months! I only saw one at Wendy park helping a coal at rock port yard. I thought they were not dieing. But that was a sign that may come to them. We are lucky for CSX for not repainting/scrapping the last 4 operational Cheesie diesels. I look at railroading differently ever sense that temporarily disappearance... knowing it might come true.


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: jward on June 24, 2009, 01:54:03 AM
prr,
i live in an apartment in pennsylvania about 100 feet from the prr mainline, and halfway up a 1% grade to boot...

as for the 2000-2009 era, i don't think anybody realizes just how much changed during this period. 2000 was the year after the ns takeover and the railroad was a shambles. ns management knew how to run this railroad better than the men who'd nursed it back to health from the penn central debacle, or so they thought. ns was losing entire trains for days.....

to-day, though the recession has really killed traffic, things move along pretty well, and a humbled ns management realizes what went wrong....

trackside, many of the old prr signals have been replaced by more modern tri light ones. gone are probably a dozen different types of locomotives, mercifully most were GE dash 7s......

on the way in: ns is at the forefront of using electro pneumatic brakes on coal trains, and we see them in the area all the time. ns has also seen fit to rectify their bizarre practice of ordering locomotives set up to run long hood forward. various locomotives have had their control stands turned around so that the engineer can actually SEE where he's going. and they now have toilets!

as an explanation of the last 2 comments: ns was sued several years ago by engineers who got black lung from breathing diesel smoke while operating long hood forward. the class mentioned in the lawsuit was the c39-8. wonder if that had anything to do with their retirement? on the former pennsy lines this was not an issue because the long hood forward locomotives were not equipped with cab signals and thus were not allowed to be the lead unit on our trains.

the toilet issue came to a head (no pun intended) right after the takeover when ns ran afoul of pennsylvania's law mandating a working toilet on the lead unit of any consist. conrail's all had them, many of the ns did not. alot of shuffling of consists, and turning of locomotives, occurred until ns wised up.

 


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: BestSnowman on June 24, 2009, 09:52:39 AM
If cost and time were not an issue I don't think my layout would change much... just be a lot bigger.

My layout is set in moder time but there is no limit on what I run. I primarily run diesel as I grew up longer after dieselization, but I run steam when I want to. I also run railroads that no longer exisit (or have never existed outside of books and movies) such as PRR, DM&IR, PM, and of course Hogwarts Express (one of these days probably Thomas too).

So I guess to sum up my answer, I would love to run long DM&IR coal trains behind diesel consists and Yellowstone class steams alike.


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: PRRThomas11 on June 25, 2009, 12:30:32 AM
I didn't know CSX is saving those, thats cool.

And some very interesting stories jward, your'e lucky to live there. Its weird to think that just 10 years ago, bright blue locomotives still criss-crossed the rails where I live. And the NYS&W still ran stack packs!

By the way, do you live near Eighty four? What a funny town name. I just heard that on Letterman.


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: grumpy on June 25, 2009, 12:47:53 AM
I can't change what is . I would like to have a good night's sleep and a day without pain so that I could put more time into my layout. During the late 40's my family lived very close to a marshalling yard in the north end of Winnipeg . I could lie in my bed and listen to switchers moving the cars around . It was all steam in those days and there was not a better sound.. as a result I model mostly steam .
Don


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: pdlethbridge on June 25, 2009, 01:16:06 AM
That B&M commuter line near my house was close to the Franklin St station so I could here the engines accelerate on their way to Boston. There were 2 road crossings with in a mile of the house so I could hear the whistle clearly. The franklin st. crossing had 4 gates and a crossing tender to raise and lower the gates. On the outside of his shack was a warning buzzer that gave 2 warnings to lower the gate. His location was about 200 feet south of the station on the SE side of Franklin St. The station was on the NW side. This gave the operator (tender) an unobstructed view of both north and south tracks for safety.
   If you went up early in the morning, he would be removing the kerosene lanterns from the gates and they were counter balanced by round weights. Taking them off the gate would help make it easier to crank up and down.   Behind the shack was a barrel of kerosene for heat and lanterns.
 For safety at a double crossing a couple of miles north of Franklin St. in Greenwood there is still a gate tender but the gates at both roads are automatic.
  A number of years ago, Model Railroader had a construction article about this station. It was a classic design with gingerbread trim that got moved to Pleasure Island in Wakefield. When the park closed the station was burned. By the way, Pleasure Island was a theme park created by F Nelson Blount the same man who stated Steam Town.


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: Guilford Guy on June 25, 2009, 01:29:33 AM
(http://www.g-m-e.com/images/Tomahawk%20web%201.jpg)

http://www.g-m-e.com/gme_laser_structure_kits.htm
You mean this station Paul?


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: pdlethbridge on June 25, 2009, 01:54:17 AM
Don't think so


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: WGL on June 25, 2009, 01:58:14 AM
 The only trains that ran through my village on the western Mesabi Iron Range were iron ore trains pulled by Oliver Iron Mining &, possibly, DM&IR locomotives.  Outside of town, there were DM&IR & Great Northern freight trains.  I liked to see how many different railroads were represented by the cars.  Born in 1944, I don't quite remember seeing steamers.  I wish I'd been near passenger trains.  My dad loved his Fords; we never travelled by train.  I've never lived where travel by train was practical.  The only train I ever rode was a children's train at the Duluth Zoo.  My interest in trains began with Marx 027 train sets circa 1949-1952.   :-[


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: Guilford Guy on June 25, 2009, 02:02:16 AM
(http://friendsofpleasureisland.org/attractions/railroad/depot-55.jpg)
(http://friendsofpleasureisland.org/attractions/railroad/depot-1.jpg)
Looks almost identical to me...


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: pdlethbridge on June 25, 2009, 02:39:39 AM
THERE YOU GO, THAT'S THE ONE!!


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: jward on June 25, 2009, 06:10:08 AM

By the way, do you live near Eighty four? What a funny town name. I just heard that on Letterman.

eighty four is about 30 miles from me. it is home of 84 lumber, a regional lumber chain that predates the home depots and lowes in this area by many years. there is also a mine 84 near ellsworth, which loads a significant number of coal trains, many of which travel east over horseshoe curve.


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: CNE Runner on June 25, 2009, 06:08:26 PM
When I used to work in the mental health field, I used to say to clients; "Be careful what you wish for as it may come true." I suppose that is true with this thread.
 
For myself, I would like to experience rural life in Dutchess County, NY in the late 19th century. American 4-4-0s pulling short combination trains along the Newburgh, Dutchess & Connecticut RR - passing through bucolic countryside. The numerous neat farms and vibrant small towns dotting the rail line lent a Norman Rockwell style to the area. The N.D.& C. (which ran through my father's farm) was an active rail line that served most of the county before the advent of reliable trucks and automobiles. All things must end and the N.D.& C cum C.N.E. cum N.Y.N.H. was torn up in 1938...probably sold as scrap to the Japanese who, graciously, returned it in 1941.

Remember what I first mentioned above? In 1889 life expectancy was something like 45 years. There were few trained physicians. Modern 'miracle' drugs weren't even on the horizon. There was no such thing as 'painless dentistry'...most folks only went to a dentist for serious (read: painful) conditions. Electricity wasn't available outside urban areas and water was gotten from a well (a dubious source at best). The leading cause of death was heart disease/tuberculosis in men and childbirth in women. Folks worked seven days a week (sun up to sun down) on farms and 6, 14-hour days in factories (BTW: OSHA would have a field day with the horrible conditions in those days).

Yes, life was quiet and peaceful then. Railroads were in their Golden Age and didn't realize their precarious position. Understand I don't want to move to 1889; but I sure would like the opportunity to visit a while.

G'up Fetch...we got work to do!
Ray


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: jward on June 25, 2009, 06:19:17 PM
where would this line be in relation to the maybrook line? i would have loved to chase the new haven to maybrook, then spend the day taking pictures of all the other railroads that ran into that yard.


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: CNE Runner on June 26, 2009, 10:25:31 AM
Good morning Jeff. The Maybrook line ran from Maybrook, NY through parts of Orange and Ulster Counties before crossing the Hudson River over the Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge. It then traveled southeastward across parts of Dutchess County to Hopewell Junction, NY. Originally the Maybrook crossed the tracks of the Newburgh, Dutchess & Connecticut at a diamond - just north of the Hopewell Junction depot. This diamond was protected by a signal tower located to the northeast of the diamond.

From the diamond, in Hopewell Junction, the line proceeded eastward - up Stormville Mountain - to Brewster, NY. I recommend 3 reference sources:

http://www.kinglyheirs.com/CNE/NDCMain.html
Rudberg, Bernard L., Twenty-Five Years on the N.D.& C., Purple Mountain Press, 2002
Mabee, Carleton, Bridging the Hudson, Purple Mountain Press, 2001
Newman, Mark, The Railroad Switching Terminal at Maybrook NY, Purple Montain Press, 2006

I have chosen these sources because they all should still be available - although Bernie Rudberg has informed me that the supplies of his book are almost exhausted. If you need more information please feel free to contact me off-line.

Regards,
Ray


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: jward on June 26, 2009, 10:44:50 AM
thanks. i have several books on the new haven, and the maybrook line looks like it would have been fascinating. i will look for those books on amazon.....


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: CNE Runner on June 26, 2009, 04:33:56 PM
Glad I could be of assistance Jeff. On the off-chance that you are unsuccessful with Amazon; Purple Mountain Press has its own website at:

http://www.catskill.net/purple/ (http://www.catskill.net/purple/)

I have ordered several books directly from them and have been completely satisfied with the materials and the service.

Ray


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: pcctrolleyII on June 27, 2009, 02:06:08 PM
hmmmm not sure but, maybe the 50s because you caould still see steam and diesels work side by side in some places and the GG-1s going down the tracks plus street cars were still a good way to get around the PCC and Piter Wits. I maybe 25 years old but, i would like to see this era.


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: James Hail on June 30, 2009, 06:50:15 PM
Steam era for me please.......long before the sludge sippers took their first sip of DinoLube......I hate em forever for taking the boilers off the tracks.....

The Feds and their "Rule Book" on steam paid for by big oil....(?)

A running Steam engine makes me tear up for some reason.......Majestic

I wanted to cry when i first saw Hornbys Live steam for HO demo video.......

Something about the raw mass of Iron and the many broken backs it took to build these Living monsters......mens lives to raise iron from ore to ride a rail!

This was real ,hard,dangerous,men were men stuff.

Seeing my first Steam loco years ago still shocks me ..These beasts to me are the most fascinating machines mankind has built......Aside from the Saturn rockets maybe,Or was that photoshop? hahahah

I sit in awe sometimes when i run my stationary steam engines....My kit built horizontal boiler (3 inch dia. with 5 flue tubes) has hand set rivets and it was a labor of love to build it.

Seeing it reach 60 PSI and blow-off in the winter weather was a sight!

...... sorry for the rant....... Steam era for me ! :D :D :D :D :D :D

Sniffle.......Sniffle........born to late......

Jim


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: Frisco on July 03, 2009, 10:59:56 AM
1890s Leadville, Colorado for me! All steam 75% narrow gauge, three railrods, all serving mines sprinkled throughout the hillside around the city, could it possibly get any better.


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: Santa Fe buff on July 03, 2009, 11:59:28 AM
I like to go back when EMD ruled.

Joshua


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: jward on July 03, 2009, 01:02:15 PM
i am with you there. NOBODY built locomotives that ran as well and lasted as long as EMD in their heyday. even to-day, railroads are dumping the GE dash 8s built in the late 1980s, the dash 7s that preceded them are all but extinct on major railroads. and yet, EVERY major railroad still runs sd40-2s and gp38-2s, dating to the early 1970s.

the last time we had a recession that affected the railroads as deeply as this one, the big railroads purged their alcos, placed most of their u boats in storage lines, and ran the wheels out of their second generation EMDs.

you see railroads instituting rebuild programs for various EMD models all the time. only one railroad, santa fe, had a major rebuild program for GE units, rebuilding u36c's into sf30c's. santa fe also rebuilt f7s into cf7s even though that meant building an entirely new locomotive frame and body.
no other railroad attempted either, it just wasn't worth it....



Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: Santa Fe buff on July 03, 2009, 05:34:54 PM
Don't forget the GP7u! Or was it a GP9?  :-\

I think the U25B really kicked EMD... What's with EMD that they won't attempt an SD100? I'm sure if they put a good enough team together, they probably could get a great locomotive out to turn the tides on the war between them and GE.

EMD has left a good mark, our local switcher is a GP40 from the 1970s ordered by GTW and is now owned by CN. Both units are still in the GTW scheme, but a third unit has come repainted from GTW into the CN "North America" scheme. That worries me.

Joshua


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: RAM on July 03, 2009, 08:49:45 PM
Remember that the steam locomotives running today are 65 years old or older.


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: BestSnowman on July 04, 2009, 08:57:14 AM
Remember that the steam locomotives running today are 65 years old or older.

I'm being a bit pedantic but not ALL running steam locomotives are 65 or old: http://www.a1steam.com/

 :)


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: RAM on July 04, 2009, 12:07:30 PM
Yes I knew about that one, and there is one that goes up mt. Washington.  And there are a few other small steam locomoties that are new.


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: jward on July 04, 2009, 03:49:36 PM
I think the U25B really kicked EMD... What's with EMD that they won't attempt an SD100? I'm sure if they put a good enough team together, they probably could get a great locomotive out to turn the tides on the war between them and GE.


Joshua

it wasn't emd that the u25b kicked, it was alco. it wasn't until the mid 1980s that ge was ever a close second to emd. the u25b's were notorious dogs, as were most ge locomotives. that is why you find so many alco centuries running around, but almost no ge u boats.

on many railroads the u25b s lasted 15 years or less. most locomotives are leased with option to purchase, and railroads will usually let the leases expire on the locomotives they don't want.

as for the sd100, emd fell flat with the sd90mac. both emd and ge took orders for their 6000hp locomotives before they had a good design. both then rushed to fill these orders with new and unproven prime movers. both never lived up to expectations. in emd's case, for the sd90 and sd89 they abandoned their proven 2 stroke engines for 4 stroke similar to ge.

the failure of these big locomotives has made railroads rethink their motive power requirements, and 4300-4400hp has become the norm. the locomotives emd is making to-day are updated from the sd70-sd70mac, to meet current emissions requirements.

ironically, emd was the only builder to market a successful locomotive of over 4500 hp in a single prime mover. the sd80mac used a 20 cylinder engine to achieve 5000 hp and that was a conservative rating. conrail was impressed enough to have an order for 28 more on the books, with options for a total of 106, when the ns-csx takeover caused the order to be cancelled.


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: Santa Fe buff on July 04, 2009, 04:03:28 PM
Man, I forgot about ALCo, I was thinking wrong again. Your completely right about the SD70 units, all I see on EMD's website are SD70ACes, or the new and improved SD70s. I personally think the SD60s were great locomotives too. I saw my first SD89 on Horseshoe Curve... Fancy, yet I still see SD40s helping it out, but it seems for every SD40, there was an SD60 or SD70 with it as a pair.

I love to talk about this, I still think they should try to settle out... Computers suffer the same too. There is such a demand, quality is threatened. I would like it very much if EMD was reading this, but I won't send it to them... After all, it's we're just modelers, leave them alone is what I think. jward, I think you already know, but I consider me and you friends. Sad that the U25Bs were that bad. I see now why not many U-Boats chug about these days. As for you Century ALCo statement, of course, ALCos lasted long, thought the early RS units and S units were diseased by problems with fuel injectors, engines, etc. The Century's were a monstrous series in my perspective. Take a look at this real-day operating short line:

http://www.lalrr.com/

Joshua


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: jward on July 05, 2009, 01:44:07 AM
i had the pleasure of working with the sd80macs for several years. 4 of them replaced up to 10 4 axle units on the shelocta coal trains about 2001. when we had the 4 axle units, the ge's were always failing on the road or erupting with flames out the stack. one day one of our trains went down the line setting brush fires for about 40 miles, and i suspect that a b36-7 we had in consist was the culprit. it was shooting flames 3 or 4 feet out the stack.

one reason you often see helpers on trains is that couplers are only so strong. too much power on the head end and you'll yank it right out of the first car. this is especially common when the locomotive slips its wheels then cgrabs the rail again. the use of helpers keeps the slack bunched in the train and minimizes the chances of breaking couplers. that is particularly true west of johnstown where the mainline where the line has a series of up and down 1% grades all the way to pittsburgh. without a helper the slack is constantly running in and out on the train as you crest the hills and pull out of the valleys.

how strong are locomotives? 2 incidents on trains i was involved in shed some light. in the first instance, while pulling up locust hill south of punxsutawney, we had a gp50 slip and grab. the resultant jerk sheared the coupler head completely off. in the second instance, gp38 2902 actually snapped the underframe at the front step ( it was the last unit in consist, facing backwards) and the whole front of the engine bent upwards enough to lift the coupler above that of the first car. the only thing the crew cound do was back the train down to punxsutawney, and get rid of it. we were called to take the damaged unit to conway, about 120 miles away, with a 10 mph speed restriction. it was a long night. interestingly, ns took the unit to altoona and fixed the frame. it is now one of the 5600 series rebuilds....


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: Santa Fe buff on July 05, 2009, 10:57:50 AM
Wow, interesting stories. I do know of coupler problems, it seems that the mighty coupler can find it's weakness somewhere. I think the only trains in Pennsylvania that don't have helpers are commuters, switchers, and a few small wayfrieghts. There was a topic on the Trainz board of U-Boats running rich. Mostly, people just use effects to simulate the fire on the simulators, but someone made a fire-out-of-the-stack rule! :D If I'm right, for the same reason, drags have middle engines. This reminds me of the vintage black and white footage of watching old articulates 3 at a time at certain sections at a time in a huge coal drag.

Joshua


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: jward on July 05, 2009, 04:18:02 PM
i am quoting the following off the top of my head, but it may help shed some light on the coupler problem.

the high strength couplers used on unit coal train hoppers are rated at 500,000 lbs.

the tractive effort of an ac drive emd, sd80mac or sd70mac, is 187,000 lbs starting. so 3 macs have more than enough strength to break a coupler. i have heard that bnsf runs them in sets of 3 or more and i am wondering how they do it and not break anything. i know ns has rules where under certain conditions you aren't allowed to apply full power. that includes dynamic braking as well. locomotives in full dynamic have been known to roll rails over.



Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: RAM on July 05, 2009, 10:09:04 PM
I may be wrong about this, but I would think that is you had couplers rated at 500,000 lbs. You have a train of 400,000 lbs, as soon as you apply 400,000 lbs your train would start moving.  Than it wouldn't make any difference if you had 3 or 4 sd70macs.  You just would have power to spare.



Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: jward on July 06, 2009, 07:28:29 AM
that is true in theory. out in the real world other factors come into play. the slack in the train adds a little jolt to that 400000lbs everytime it runs in and out. slip your wheels and when you grab the rail again, that jolt can easily push you over the limit.

when we were putting the train together in the empty yard at shelocta, you could see the effects wof slack. we'd be using 2 sd80macs to assemble the train. normally that would entail pulling cuts of about 33 cars off 3 different tracks.

this being the real wold it wasn't that simple. cars were released from the car dumper one at a time and drifted into the empty yard. as they exited the dumper, a power plant employee would pull the knuckle open so they could roll down and couple to the cars already in the empty yard. often the knuckle would vibrate shut and the car wouldn't couple.

when we got there, we'd have to couple up each of these "jams" of which there might be 10 or 15 per train. we'd pull ahead, open the knuckle, then back into the rest of the train to couple. when you got toward the end of the train, because of the slack the cars would take of at about 5mph. when we stopped, the rear of the train rolled forward until it hit the rest of the train. we couldn't tell the engineer to stop until the jam car started moving, by that time he'd stretched the train at least 50 feet. once we got stopped we'd often have to back up 100 or more feet because the slack ran in.

weight plus inertia puts an awful strain on couplers.


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: BestSnowman on July 06, 2009, 05:42:01 PM
I've got to say I love reading these stories, much more interesting than my job!


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: jbrock27 on February 19, 2016, 01:30:21 PM
One of the best Bond movies ever! :D


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: Trainman203 on February 25, 2016, 06:46:12 PM
Late 1940's in Louisiana where I was born and raised.   When I was born in 1948 both the T&NO and the MP were completely in steam.  I still hear those whistles in my mind, and I have many well worn old memories of those steam engines.  Railroads were a perfect art form in those days. To me, nothing will ever compare and that is why I recreate those days on my layout.  I wish I had been just a few years older to have really appreciated what was an every day scene until I was nearly 9.


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: Trainman203 on February 25, 2016, 06:49:02 PM
What railroad did you work for Jeffrey?  Were you in engine service?


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: ebtnut on February 26, 2016, 02:05:26 PM
Well, I decided to dip into the retirement fund a bit and have signed up with the Western Maryland Scenic RR for a shot at running the 1309 when they get her road-worthy later this year.  $1,000 bucks gets you a half-hour of "Hand on the Throttle".  It is a deductible donation, so the bite isn't that bad in the long run.  It will be interesting to see how such a big engine performs. 


Title: Re: You Only Live Twice
Post by: RAM on February 26, 2016, 11:09:36 PM
I remember a cartoon in an old railroad mag.  It showed this small boy watching a train go by powered by a steam locomotive.  20 years go by and he is an engineer in an f unit.  Dreaming of operating a steam locomotive.  I wanted to be an engineer. but the only steam operating I ever did was when I was in the navy.  When I got out of the navy steam was all but gone on most railroads and they were laying off.