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Author Topic: Tourist lines  (Read 3738 times)
Terry Toenges


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« 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.
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Trainman203

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« Reply #1 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.
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Nathan

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« Reply #2 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
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Piyer


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« Reply #3 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.
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~AJ Kleipass~
Actively modeling in N, HO, and 2-rail O scales.
Trainman203

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« Reply #4 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?
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ACY


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« Reply #5 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.
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Terry Toenges


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« Reply #6 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.
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Trainman203

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« Reply #7 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.
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Piyer


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« Reply #8 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!  Wink

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!
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~AJ Kleipass~
Actively modeling in N, HO, and 2-rail O scales.
Terry Toenges


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« Reply #9 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.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 12:58:25 PM by Terry Toenges » Logged

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Trainman203

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« Reply #10 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 😱😱😂😂😜.
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Terry Toenges


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« Reply #11 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/
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ebtnut

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« Reply #12 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. 
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Terry Toenges


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« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2018, 03:53:59 PM »

I see Bachmann is making the #630 Connie in HO.
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Trainman203

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« Reply #14 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.🤔🤔
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