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Author Topic: You Only Live Twice  (Read 19310 times)
Santa Fe buff

N&W


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« Reply #45 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
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- Joshua Bauer
jward


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« Reply #46 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....
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Santa Fe buff

N&W


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« Reply #47 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! Cheesy 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
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- Joshua Bauer
jward


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« Reply #48 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.

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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
RAM

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« Reply #49 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.

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jward


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« Reply #50 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.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
BestSnowman


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« Reply #51 on: July 06, 2009, 05:42:01 PM »

I've got to say I love reading these stories, much more interesting than my job!
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-Matthew Newman
My Layout Blog
jbrock27

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« Reply #52 on: February 19, 2016, 01:30:21 PM »

One of the best Bond movies ever! Cheesy
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Keep Calm and Carry On
Trainman203

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« Reply #53 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.
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Modeling the New Iberia and Northern 1945
Trainman203

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« Reply #54 on: February 25, 2016, 06:49:02 PM »

What railroad did you work for Jeffrey?  Were you in engine service?
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Modeling the New Iberia and Northern 1945
ebtnut

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« Reply #55 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. 
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RAM

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« Reply #56 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.
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