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Author Topic: What is the Consensus on the Steam Record?  (Read 16660 times)
SteamGene

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« Reply #30 on: February 20, 2007, 07:08:51 PM »

BTW, I have to agree with Sheldon on interests.  Pre 1957.  C&O.  Milwaukee Road.  Katy, IC, Frisco (because they went through or close to Ft. Sill, OK or Alexandria, LA.)  NYC and BAHH PRR for my father. 
Other than that - uh.  With the exception of the Hogwarts Express, which has excursion trackage rights on the VT&P Blue Ridge Sub. 
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
lanny

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« Reply #31 on: February 20, 2007, 08:34:24 PM »

Gene,

Thanks for the comment about the "Hogwarts Express" having trackage rights on your RR. That makes me feel much better about using my Spec gas elec. doodlebug painted for the "Fort Dodge, Des Moines & Southern RR" (fallen flag) which never had any passenger other than electric trolley cars, with trackage rights on the 'Strawberry Creek Division' of the ICRR!

You can see that during the late 40s and early 50s the FDDM&S 'doodlebug' was well patronized!

 

Ah! The fun of RR'ing at 1/87 scale :-)

lanny nicolet
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ICRR Steam & "Green Diamond" era modeler
PRRNut

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« Reply #32 on: February 22, 2007, 05:51:50 PM »

Actually, I have heard that the fastest steam locomotive ever would be the first of Pennsy's experimental steam locomotives, the S1 6-4-4-6. It ran regularly between 100-120MPH. However, one record in the early 1940s indicated that it ran at a speed of 153MPH around Ft. Wayne.
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David(UK)

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« Reply #33 on: February 22, 2007, 06:07:56 PM »

6-4-4-6
 The Pennsylvania Railroad's lone S1 was the only 6-4-4-6 ever constructed.A 6-4-4-6 steam locomotive, in the Whyte notation for describing locomotive wheel arrangements, is one with six leading wheels in a leading truck, two sets of four driving wheels, and six trailing wheels in a trailing truck.

The equivalent UIC classification is 3'BB3'.

The largest rigid frame passenger locomotive ever built, only one locomotive was produced to this arrangement, the Pennsylvania Railroad's sole class S1 of 1939. It was a duplex locomotive and is often referred to as the Pennsylvania Type. This experimental locomotive was exhibited at the 1939 New York World's Fair, and was afterward placed in limited service between Chicago, Illinois and Crestline, Ohio. The locomotive was too large to work elsewhere in the system. Pennsylvania Railroad executives hoped that the locomotive could haul 1,000 tons at 100 miles per hour, but this goal was not reached. It was capable of very high speeds however, although no documentary evidence has so far surfaced to add credence to stories of record-breaking performance.

Oh and it suffered severely from wheel slippage.

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Regards
David(UK)
Rail Baron of Leeds
CJCrescent


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« Reply #34 on: February 24, 2007, 03:33:16 AM »

6-4-4-6
 
Oh and it suffered severely from wheel slippage.


David;

Weren't all the duplexes slippery, and did this fact contribute alot to their early retirement?

I'm not really familiar with the several classes of duplexes, but I must say that the Q's were very impressive looking!
« Last Edit: February 24, 2007, 03:35:45 AM by CJCrescent » Logged

Keep it Between the Rails
Carey
Alabama Central Railway
Atlantic Central

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« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2007, 09:17:02 AM »

Yes,

Duplexes generally suffer from too much torque, not enough traction, some more than others, but this was a common problem with all of them.

Sheldon
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SteamGene

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« Reply #36 on: February 24, 2007, 09:34:01 AM »

The C&O Historical Society magazine had an article about the PRR 4-4-4-4s the C&O evaluated.  One of them apparently stalled after a station stop in Waynesboro, Virginia.  The station caught my eye as I used it a few times going on and coming from leave from school when I went to military school there. 
According to the article the wheel slippage was really something of an urban legend.  Yes it happened, but was it the locomotive at fault, or were there other factors involved?
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
Atlantic Central

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« Reply #37 on: February 24, 2007, 10:26:54 AM »

Gene,

The only problem may have been lots of power and no good way to apply it slowly when starting. The stories I have heard from my PRR friends is that once a select group of engineers got the hang of it, they where not that bad. But compared to conventional locos they where hard to start with a heavy load. Maybe no more so than a Heavy Pacific with 16 heavyweights, but hard to start none the less.

This inablity to start easily with a heavy train negated some of the power advantages of the design, and diesels don't have this problem at all. So as a late steam design that was to have shown steam equal to diesel, it was a failure.

Sheldon
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SteamGene

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« Reply #38 on: February 24, 2007, 10:42:03 AM »

Sheldon,
I agree they were failures, and the necessity to relearn how to start a heavy train was one of the problems.  What I'm saying is that all things else being equal, they did not have the slippage problems in the design as much as railroad rumor might have it -- according to one article in the COHS on one 4-4-4-4.
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
Atlantic Central

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« Reply #39 on: February 24, 2007, 01:50:46 PM »

I will agree with that, in fact I think I have read that same article.

Like a lot of the late advances in steam, it was just too little, too late.

Sheldon
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SteamGene

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« Reply #40 on: February 25, 2007, 06:31:29 PM »

Let's face it, the thing that cost the steam locomotive its job was the people cost.  Let's start with the idea that a fireman was now unnecessary.  I know that didn't work, and I think four eyes are better than two, but railroads did think of that immediately.  Diesels back then allowed lashups, but each helper needed a crew.  This might not be necessary now, but it was in 1945.  Then there were all the specialized maintenance guys and the necessary inspections.    Steam was more powerful, more dependable, in many places cheaper to run, but people costs was the silver bullet.
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
Atlantic Central

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« Reply #41 on: February 25, 2007, 09:00:07 PM »

Gene,

Don't get me wrong, I love steam. and I will agree that it had a lot to with the people costs.

But, Diesels, even in 1945 or certainly by 1950, had shown a number of operational advantages.

Some of them are:

Better starting tractive effort for any given horsepower.

Less lost of traction in vertical and horizontal curves and over poor track. Less dynamic stress on trackage.

Multiple unit consists, yes as helpers each added set needed a crew, but the railroads quickly learned the advantage of the building block concept and realized that, to use one example, GP7's could just be added until the required HP was reached, in identical performing 1500 HP units, this train might need three, the next train 5, with just one crew. That means a collection of identical locos could be purchased and maintained rather than having different sized locos for different sized trains.

The better performance of diesels on grades meant helpers where less of an issue for many roads with mild grades and the HP assigned to many trains could be reduced compared to steam.

Maintenance, this is where the people savings really came in. Diesels don't last as long as steam locos, except maybe for the truck castings and the engine blocks, but, during their usefull life, they require much less maintenance. When they do wear out, manufacturers like EMD saw the advantage of using traded in salvaged standard parts to build new upgraded models. The railroads had done this themselves for years with steam, but EMD raised this to an artform that the railroads own shops could not compete with.

Diesels can easily go distances between refueling and light maintenance that steam just began to approach in its most refined forms on roads like the N&W.

Diesels require much simpler infrastructure for refueling on small braches and remote lines.



Gene, again, I love steam too, but the fact remains that even in their most basic form like the ALCO RS2, EMD F3 or GP7, the diesel/electric has a number of operational advantages that made it the winner, and may have actually saved the railroads from total elimination.

Maybe if dual service, super power locos had come on the scene a littler sooner and represented a larger percentage of the nationwide fleet, they might have lasted longer. But by that time, the low purchase price of diesels and the age of most of the steam fleet also made conversion the best economic choice for an industry lossing ground to trucks and planes.

But to the issue of people costs. Unions served an important function at one point in our history, but by the time diesels where replacing steam and new equipment like radios and automatic signals where comming in to use, it was clear all these people would not be needed. yet the unions used their power to strangle an already weakened industry. That combined with outdated government regulation put the railroads through 30 years of hard transitional times. Without the cost savings of diesels, those hard times might have resulted in more than just the mega mergers, it might have resulted in virtualy no railroads.

The government finaly got out of the way and the unions faded in power. Now those remaining in the rail business are doing OK.

Sheldon
 
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Seasaltchap

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« Reply #42 on: February 26, 2007, 11:06:22 PM »

Firstly, I wish to thank all those who have contributed. This topic has certainly generated a lot of interest and fun.

I think the Big Boy at 109mph with 212 hoppers left Earth last year, and is driving that "sling-shot" currently returning from Mars, and on its way to a comet off Saturn!

I will organize(US spelling!) another topic soon.

Regards
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Phoenix AZ: OO enthusiast modelling GWR 1895-1939, Box Station Wiltshire; S&DJR Writhington Colliery, Nr. Radstock.

Interested in making friends on the site with similar interests.
Orsonroy

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« Reply #43 on: March 02, 2007, 03:57:13 PM »


According to the article the wheel slippage was really something of an urban legend.  Yes it happened, but was it the locomotive at fault, or were there other factors involved?
Gene

It's no urban legend. I've got two DVDs of action out of St Louis Union Station in the 1940s and 1950s, and there are several shots of the T-1s. ALL of them slipped all the way in and out of camera! Apparently it was just the rear set of drivers that slipped.
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Ray Breyer
Modeling the NKP's Peoria Division, 1949
Orsonroy

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« Reply #44 on: March 02, 2007, 04:00:04 PM »

Although I'm not much of a fan of the road, I do have to note that no one's mentioned the Milwaukee Road in this steam speed queen contest. Their 4-4-4s ran Chicago to the Twin Cities on a 90 MPH schedule, and their 4-6-4s ran Chicago to Milwaukee in an hour flat. "Unconfirmed" speeds of 125 MPH were a daily occurance for well over a decade.....
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Ray Breyer
Modeling the NKP's Peoria Division, 1949
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