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Author Topic: LED Lighting Color for Jackson Sharp Passenger Cars  (Read 16945 times)
Kevin Strong


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« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2015, 12:32:19 AM »

The model "T" was rated at 2.5kW, while the model "M" was 7.5kW. I just Googled "Pyle National generator" and found some Google Books references. Here's one - a 1922 cyclopedia of locomotive technology. (Well worth the download!)

https://books.google.com/books?id=oMY1AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA619&lpg=PA619&dq=pyle+national+generator&source=bl&ots=K2ypOqCNVr&sig=G3Mp3j658EnZ76DrpHPBPPR8_zg&hl=en&sa=X&ei=a2I1VcvbI4_uoAS5-4C4Ag&ved=0CCsQ6AEwBDgK#v=onepage&q=pyle%20national%20generator&f=false

Know that there's a world of difference between standard and narrow gauge railroading when it comes to things like lights, batteries, power, and the like. I have no idea what the power consumption of a 12-car heavyweight passenger train might be. Narrow gauge railroads were comparatively primitive and generally resisted modernization, mostly because it was an expense they couldn't afford. Not only that, but the trains were fairly short. Even the San Juan--the D&RGW's premier narrow gauge passenger train--ran at between 4 - 6 cars most of the time. Powering two lamps per car at 6 cars is only 12 lamps total. At 100 watts per lamp (and that's probably high), that's only 1.2 kW.

The EBT's passenger coaches had electrical receptacles just under the roof at each end of the car. The tender was fitted with such a plug as well. Short extension cords ran power from one car to the next. You can see the cords in these photos:

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=918493

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1261196

The plugs on the tenders were under the end beam to the left of the coupler.

I suspect two of the combines may have been fitted with a battery specifically to power a small back-up light that was fitted to the end of the roof used when the car was being used as a caboose. Those two cars had both electric lights for use when in a passenger train and kerosene lamps for when the combine was being used as a caboose.

Later,

K
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jviss

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« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2015, 02:37:55 PM »

Wow, that's interesting Kevin, thanks.

I'd like to apologize to RkyGriz for hijacking this thread.  Please let me know if I should stop pursuing this tangent, and perhaps start a new topic.

So, now, I wonder what particular dynamo is modeled on the BBH Baldwin 4-6-0.

Thinking, though, extension cords connecting cars is not evidence of a locomotive-mounted dynamo for car lighting, it's how it was done with head end power, i.e., axle or turbine powered dynamos in head-end baggage cars. 

I still can find nothing in the literature stating that engine headlight dynamos provided passenger coach lighting power. 
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RkyGriz
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« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2015, 03:01:35 PM »

No problem my friends. I'm finding your conversation interesting and I'm glad that you're having a good time!
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Kevin Strong


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« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2015, 03:58:27 PM »

Thinking, though, extension cords connecting cars is not evidence of a locomotive-mounted dynamo for car lighting, it's how it was done with head end power, i.e., axle or turbine powered dynamos in head-end baggage cars. 

I still can find nothing in the literature stating that engine headlight dynamos provided passenger coach lighting power. 
Again, in terms of standard gauge practice, I can't say with any degree of certainty. The capacity is there; whether they used the dynamo mounted on the locomotive itself or another steam-driven dynamo located elsewhere, I don't know. It likely depended on the railroad, and the particular train being operated. Here's a reference for standard gauge: http://utahrails.net/pass/dynamos-hep.php How widespread this would have been when you got away from the premier trains/premier railroads and down to the shortlines and branchlines, I don't know.

For the narrow gauge lines, "head end power" meant "the locomotive." They didn't have baggage cars with HEP equipment, nor were axle-mounted generators useful at the very slow speeds traveled by narrow gauge trains. If there was electricity being delivered to a narrow gauge train, chances are very good (almost certain) it came from the locomotive's generator. Private cars may have had batteries, but the typical day coach--if it was electrified at all--would not.

Narrow gauge passenger coaches rarely enjoyed the amenities of their larger standard gauge counterparts. Steam heat was enough of a rarity; most relied on coal stoves. Air conditioning meant opening the doors and windows. There wasn't a need for electricity outside of lights, and that presumed the railroad felt obligated to modernize to even that. After the 1920s, passenger traffic fell off precipitously on pretty much every narrow gauge line. The incentive to modernize just wasn't there. Converting the lights from kerosene to electricity wasn't going to put people in the seats, so why spend the money? Those that did used what they had and converted as cheaply as possible. That meant using power that was already available from the locomotive's generator.

Later,

K
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jviss

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« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2015, 05:00:43 PM »

Hi Kevin,

Thanks again for your reply.  Please know, I like a good argument, and it's not at all personal, it's fun to dig into these things. 

I just don't buy that head-end power meant loco dynamos for narrow gauge lines.  There are many reasons I feel this way, but the operative word is feel, as I don't have any documentary evidence, nor can I prove a negative.

But, you have provided some great info, and I will keep up the search, too!

jv
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Kevin Strong


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« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2015, 04:46:33 AM »

I just don't buy that head-end power meant loco dynamos for narrow gauge lines.  There are many reasons I feel this way, but the operative word is feel, as I don't have any documentary evidence, nor can I prove a negative.



The green arrow is pointing to the plug on the tender that feeds power from the locomotive's generator to the passenger cars. The EBT did not have "head end power" cars. They didn't have axle-mounted generators. They didn't have batteries (except perhaps specifically for the back-up lights on the combines I mentioned earlier). The cords you see in those photos in my earlier post plugged into that receptacle on the tender. Unless I'm remembering incorrectly, I've ridden on trains whose lights were powered via that plug. I just never thought to take a photo.

With respect to how other railroads powered the electric lights in their cars, the only reference I've found to any narrow gauge railroad having "head end power" cars is the D&RGW, for use on the San Juan and Shavano trains.

http://daleangell.com/sites/Models/Trains/San%20Juan%20Express.html

According to this site, they fitted their baggage cars with Delco (internal combustion) generators to supply electricity. Photos show fairly large exhaust stacks on the roof. To the best I can determine, only 38 cars (those used on the San Juan and Shavano) were electrified by the D&RGW. The rest retained their oil/kerosene lamps (as evidenced in photos). Note that this reference says the cars were fitted with these generators in 1947, where other references say the cars were modernized in 1936. My guess is that the 1947 reference is a typo.

Outside of that, I've not seen any reference to any special "head end power" cars on narrow gauge lines. Photos of latter-day Tweetsie trains show similar cords between tender and passenger car as what is seen on the EBT. The Tweetsie's private cars appear to have battery or tool boxes mounted underneath. (Alas, the book that describes the Tweetsie's passenger cars in explicit detail is not yet in my library.) The Tweetsie was building new 1st-class cars into the 1920s with oil lamps, so if they converted to electricity, it was later on.

The Waynesburg & Washington and Ohio River & Western railroads' passenger cars got electric lights in the 1920s, but published rosters make no mention of dedicated "head end power" cars, nor do photos show signs of any vents for generators (steam or other) as can be seen on the D&RGW baggage cars. The photos in the books I have do not show what connections might be between the first passenger car and tender.

Other railroads for which I have decent documentation didn't appear to have bothered electrifying the lighting in their coaches--either they didn't have regular passenger service, their "regular" passenger service was the daily mixed train, or simply never got around to it.

True, a lack of photographic or documentary evidence does not definitively mean they did not have such things, but the preponderance of evidence to the contrary would indicate it's unlikely they did. A 1.5kW generator certainly has the power to provide lights for a locomotive and a string of three or four passenger cars. The EBT wasn't doing anything magical with their electrical arrangement.

Later,

K
« Last Edit: April 22, 2015, 04:52:10 AM by Kevin Strong » Logged

jviss

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« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2015, 01:14:48 PM »

Thanks Kevin,

Head end power cars were usually not dedicated, but installed in baggage or combination cars. 

Question on when those plugs were installed!  I'm not surprised to see them on contemporary narrow gauge railroads, but wonder about their existence in, say, 1890, even 1920.  My feeling is that electric lights in narrow gauge passenger coaches is rare, indeed.

jv
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Kevin Strong


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« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2015, 02:28:38 AM »

Quote
Head end power cars were usually not dedicated, but installed in baggage or combination cars.

True, as seen on the D&RGW's cars. One other thing to consider--the D&RGW's baggage/HEP cars were modified specifically for the San Juan train. The San Juan ran parlor cars on the end, whose kitchens required 110v AC. The locos' dynamos don't supply that, so that's likely what necessitated the Delco generators more than anything else. I don't think we see other narrow gauge railroads with HEP-equipped baggage/combine cars because they didn't need 110v AC. Few had parlor cars to begin with, and fewer still had parlor cars with full electric kitchens. They could light their passenger equipment using bulbs compatible with the dynamos on their locomotives.  

Quote
Question on when those plugs were installed!  I'm not surprised to see them on contemporary narrow gauge railroads, but wonder about their existence in, say, 1890, even 1920.  My feeling is that electric lights in narrow gauge passenger coaches is rare, indeed.

The first EBT locomotive to arrive from Baldwin with a generator and electric headlight was #16, which arrived in 1916. The other locos were retrofitted with generators and electric lights in the ensuing few years. I don't know precisely when the passenger cars were fitted with electric lights, but photos of fan trips from the mid 30s show the passenger cars with the plugs/cords, so somewhere in that 15 - 20-year window between when the first generator-equipped locos arrived and those fan trips. They would not have been electrified prior to that time, as the locomotives did not have generators to power them. (Heck, prior to the mid-1910s, the passenger cars didn't even have automatic couplers or air brakes!)

Today, the EBT doesn't run their vintage passenger equipment much, relying on their converted flat and box cars. (Technically, they're not running anything right now, but I'm optimistic about the future.) The last time I rode the night trains, if memory serves, they had a small portable generator on the first car providing 110v to lights they strung along the cars.

I agree, it's doubtful any narrow gauge railroad electrified the lights in their passenger cars too much prior to the 1920s. If I were to make a guess, I'd guess you're probably looking at the mid - late 20s as the time when conversions began in any kind of significant numbers (if the numbers could even be described as significant).

Later,

K
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jviss

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« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2015, 11:39:30 AM »

Federal law required electric headlights in 1915.  So, I assume that most narrow gauge railways only electrified in response to that regulation. 

BTW, the way I read your comment was that head end power meant 110V AC - I don't think that's the case. My guess is that HEP for lighting would have been DC.

Few people seem to know that many places, even in our lifetime, used DC power for lights and ventilation in buildings, etc.

(My grandfather was the chief engineer for Fordham Hospital in the Bronx, where all of the electricity was generated with two steam engines, and the steam plant also supplied the heat.  Lights were DC.  Incandescent bulbs don't care, nor do universal motors).

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Kevin Strong


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« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2015, 10:42:05 PM »

Quote
Federal law required electric headlights in 1915.  So, I assume that most narrow gauge railways only electrified in response to that regulation.

Arguably, yes, though it took many narrow gauge railroads literally decades to finally comply with the 1893 Safety Appliance Act. I tend to think railroads were much faster to adopt electric lights than other safety appliances was simply because they were a great deal brighter and much less hassle.

Quote
BTW, the way I read your comment was that head end power meant 110V AC - I don't think that's the case. My guess is that HEP for lighting would have been DC.

You misread. "Head end power" simply means power generated at a single point on the train and delivered to the individual cars via electrical connections from car to car. What form that power takes (and what generates it) is dependent on the needs of the equipment on the train. Whether it's 110v AC generated by a gas-powered Delco generator in a baggage car or 32v DC generated by a steam turbine atop the boiler of the locomotive, if it's supplying power to lights and other electrical devices in other cars in the train, I would call it "head end power."

Later,

K
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jviss

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« Reply #25 on: April 24, 2015, 07:46:02 AM »

Kevin, granted most of what I know about this topic comes from White's "The American Railroad Passenger Car," and various internet sources, but I don't think I misread, and I beg to differ with your view on this.  "Head end" refers to the lead car in a train, and was a term of art before electrical power was generated in the head end car.  Head end cars were usually baggage, or post office, or some combination including passenger/baggage combines.  Head end power for electrical lights was commonly axle-driven dynamos, or steam, either reciprocating steam engines or steam turbines driving dynamos.  Internal combustion engines for head end power were rare.  I have never, in any reading I've done so far, seen mention of a locomotive headlight dynamo used to light passenger cars, nor ever heard that referred to, or included in descriptions of head-end power. 
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Kevin Strong


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« Reply #26 on: April 24, 2015, 03:16:58 PM »

Quote
...I have never, in any reading I've done so far, seen mention of a locomotive headlight dynamo used to light passenger cars, nor ever heard that referred to, or included in descriptions of head-end power.  

Whether using the locomotive dynamo to power passenger car lights falls under what you want to define as "head end power," I don't know. I never gave the terminology a moment's thought until we began this discussion. I would agree that a locomotive's dynamo is usually not considered "head end power" in standard gauge circles because the power requirements of the passenger cars were greater than the capacity of that specific generator, thus requiring a dedicated, separate power source.

Semantics doesn't change the fact that narrow gauge railroads were known to use the loco's dynamo to power their passenger car lights. You say you've not seen mention of it, all the while I've been mentioning it this entire thread. I've shown you photos of the electrical connections that carried that power back from the loco to the cars. That's how they did it. I'm not quite sure what else I can use to illustrate that point. I've studied the EBT in great detail for nearly 25 years, spending 11 of those years as the editor of the Friends of the EBT's quarterly magazine. They had no HEP units mounted in baggage cars (they only had two baggage cars, and they virtually never used them), no axle-driven generators, no battery boxes under the cars, nothing like their standard gauge counterparts relied on. If the EBT wanted electrical power for the train during their "common carrier" era, they used the dynamo on the locomotive to supply that power. Other narrow gauge railroads I've studied are equally devoid of special power generation equipment; the dynamo on the locomotive was pretty much the only game in town for them as well. The only narrow gauge cars specifically outfitted for head end power that I've come across (modern tourist-era examples notwithstanding), are the D&RGW's San Juan baggage cars, which had the aforementioned Delco generators. There may be others on lines I haven't looked at in any kind of detail, but they're certainly not common.

Again, my area of study has been narrow gauge railroad technology. I can't speak to standard gauge technology to the same detail, relying on White's books and other similar references. There are many things narrow gauge lines could get away with (or had to do a certain way) simply because they were narrow gauge, and the operating environments were vastly different from their standard gauge brethren. That, arguably, is part of the appeal of narrow gauge--the "make do with what you got" attitude that seemed to be a fundamental underpinning of their operations.

Later,

K

« Last Edit: April 24, 2015, 03:19:56 PM by Kevin Strong » Logged

jviss

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« Reply #27 on: April 24, 2015, 04:56:29 PM »

OK, Kevin, so if you're saying the EBT used the headlight dynamo to light passenger coaches during its passenger era, i.e., not during its present era as an "attraction," I will accept that.
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Joe Zullo

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« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2015, 06:36:41 PM »

OK, Kevin, so if you're saying the EBT used the headlight dynamo to light passenger coaches during its passenger era, i.e., not during its present era as an "attraction," I will accept that.
Huzzah!
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charon
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« Reply #29 on: April 24, 2015, 09:21:41 PM »

Yea!
Goodbye JVSS!
Chuck
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