NickD
NickD MegaDork
12/3/21 11:13 a.m.
LS_BC8 said:

And up in the Upper Peninsular of Michigan...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7A1FM44I04

Yes, there's been a lot of talk about one of the RF-16s being moved. No word on what is actually going on, although it seems like they are just moving it to a different storage place.

I know one has a blown up engine and the other has a grounded-out traction motor, and that a bunch of stuff was stolen off them years ago, which resulted in owner John Larking having them shoved inside and hidden away. That and there was a story of a railfan trespassing on his property who got injured and then tried to sue Larkin. Larkin is also rumored to have a Milwaukee Road skytop lounge (those awesome beaver tail round-end observation car), a Milwaukee Road "Super Dome," a PRR doodlebug, a very historic catholic chapel car, a number of Soo Line heavyweights, a couple of steam locomotives, a couple SAL Baldwin RS12s and some other stuff, all well-hidden.

Larkin has said that when he dies, the Sharks will be donated to a museum, although which museum has not been stated. I see a lot of people saying they should go to Illinois Railway Museum, and I respect IRM and think they do a lot of great things, but they also have a massive backlog of projects and limited indoor storage. Sending them to IRM could result in them sitting outdoors for years before they even get into the shop. In a perfectly rail-museum-curated world, at least one would go to the RR Museum of Pa., as Sharks hit a "grand slam" of everything the Museum represents: Built at Baldwin in PA., they ran on the NYC, Monongahela, and D&H, all railroads that ran in PA and have slim representation at the Museum. The Baldwin experts at SMS Services are not that far away. Larkin is a director at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, which would seem the obvious choice as well.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/3/21 12:36 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

Those PA-1's lack a bit of sleekness, but they make up for it by being so damn imposing. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
12/3/21 4:00 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

The PAs and FAs were the best-looking cab units, in my opinion. I would imagine that the noses were probably easier to build and repair than an E/F-unit since they didn't have all those compound curves.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
12/3/21 4:08 p.m.

GM&O bought the first batch of FAs, and they had the same curved grille over the radiators behind the cab window as a PA, as well as the headlamp mounted below the curve of the noses and a weird number board over the windshield. These features vanished on later FAs

NickD
NickD MegaDork
12/3/21 4:43 p.m.

The most freakish were the F-units that were wrecked and rebuilt without the upper headlamp. The headlight nacelle was the hardest part to reconstruct, supposedly there was a ton of lead filler used right from the EMD factory. So cheapskate roads like Rock Island or Soo Lines deleted the headlamp nacelle and just mounted the headlamp in the front door. Its shocking how much different they looked without that headlight. 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/3/21 7:45 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

I think the EA2 is my fav of the general group. It's just so sleek. 
 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
12/4/21 8:08 a.m.
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to NickD :

I think the EA2 is my fav of the general group. It's just so sleek. 
 

There's a photo in a Joe Collias book showing three of B&O's brand new EAs parked side by side for a publicity photo, and its interesting to see that between the three of them, as-delivered, there are differences in the headlights, chrome trim, and numberboards. Baldwin and Alco and F-M had some issues with standardizing early on (okay, Baldwin never got much better at that) but you would expect GM, with decades of mass-producing automobiles, would have been standardizing their units right from the beginning.

Its a bit of a miracle that B&O #51 even survives anymore. After the EAs began to get tired, B&O sent them all back to EMD to have them rebuilt with E8 noses and 900hp EMD 567 V12s in place of the dinosaur Winton 201A engines. EMD took one look at the #51 and called B&O up and said "Are you sure you want to do this? You do realize what this is?" EMD instead convinced them to not irrevocably alter the very first mass-produced passenger diesel locomotive, and just took the generators and traction motors out and mounted them in a new E8 shell.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
12/4/21 8:32 a.m.

I prefer the later E3/E4/E5/E6 nose with the headlight fairing over the earlier TA/EA/E1 styling with the flush headlamp.

There was also an EMD E2, which was a much different machine. They were built for the jointly-operated UP/SP/C&NW City Of San Francisco and were a 5400hp A-B-B set, and they had a styling that was closer to the later E7/E8/E9 but was much more bulbous. SP grafted those blocky numberboards on later in their life, and really pissed off the EMD styling department in the process.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
12/4/21 10:23 a.m.

The EMC TA looked very similar to an EA, but had B-B trucks instead of A1A-A1A, and it used a single 1200hp Winton 201A V16 engine instead of dual 900hp 201A V12s. The sole purchaser was the Rock Island, who used them with their three- or four-car stainless-steel semi-articulated Rocket trainsets that were built by Budd. Unlike many of the power cars for early trainsets, these were not permanently coupled and so in later years, when the Rocket sets were retired, the TAs lived on in commuter and local passenger use. All of them were retired and scrapped in 1958, after a life of over 20 years.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
12/4/21 5:08 p.m.

NYS&W #3022 idling away at Armory Square in Syracuse. This SD40-2 was originally a high-nose unit for Norfolk & Western and had the nose cut down by Norfolk Southern. The Armory Square station was part of NYS&W's OnTrak program, which was an RDC service to various spots in Syracuse. Neat idea but ultimately doomed by the fact that CSX wouldn't let them build a bridge to connect to the Syracuse regional transportation center. Without that connection to Amtrak and bus service, OnTrak withered and died and then various little stations sit unused.

RichardNZ
RichardNZ Reader
12/5/21 10:32 p.m.

This is one of my favourite threads (apart from the funny meme stuff) on GRM but the recent Amtrak posts have really got my attention!!

My only real contact with US railroading, other than their strong design influence on the NZR, has been with Amtrak. On my last, but hopefully not THE last, trip to the USA in 2013 we made reasonable use of the Amtrak network. We flew into San Fran and spent a week doing touristy things and then caught the California Zephyr to Chicago followed by the Lakeside Limited to Springfield MA and then a local train to Wallingford CT. Time wise it was 3 sleeps and a whole lot slower than air travel but far more comfortable, even the beds. Costwise, especially once you factored in accommodation and food it was quite a lot cheaper and for most of it the scenery was to die for. We both had books but spent far more of our time looking out the window.  We then used the Acela to travel from New Haven CT to DC and return. Cost was similar to flying but much more comfortable and timewise, including the drive to Hartford, check in, flight time and Dulles to downtown DC was actually shorter. Our third trip was New Haven to Boston and return. This was actually my kiwi sister in law's first US train trip in the US and we did it for that experience plus it avoided the 2 and a bit hours up CT9 and I95 plus we didn't need to find somewhere to ditch the car with the hotel a hop, skip and jump from the station. All the trains we rode were clean, the service was great, the food was very good and apart from a 2 hour delay due to a broken freight train east of Albany NY everything ran to schedule. OoH, and the fact that the Donner Pass was closed for tunnel work and they put us in a bus from Oakland to Reno (which was actually as the bus driver told us she had 4 hours to take us a couple of hours worth and added in several scenic detours). I would have no hesitation doing it all again, well maybe not the Lakeside Limited part as Upper NY State is boring after the first 5,000 trees have gone past ...

In 2017 we were planning on meeting BIL and SIL in the Napa Valley for a couple of weeks, picking up the last round of the Indy Cars at Sonoma and our tentative itinerary was fly to LA and catch the Coast Starlight to Seattle and do some sight seeing (can anyone spell Boeing Museum) before heading to San Fran to join the others. Unfortunately it didn't happen as my son manged a serious eye injury a few weeks out from departure sad

Because this is GRM we need some photos and laughs so - a track level view of Amtrak P40DC #55 at Grand Junction (E36M3 they're big !), observant and knowledgeable railfans might notice the train is "back to front", apparently there was nowhere in Reno that they could turn it so the sleeping cars were at the noisy end - and boy there are a lot of grade crossings between Denver and Chicago so the sound of a K5LA is firmly embedded in my memory!

Shoeshone Tunnel and I70 in Glenwood Canyon

The view from our window at Denver station, just before a bunch of guys arrived to clean them

NickD
NickD MegaDork
12/6/21 11:55 a.m.

In reply to RichardNZ :

It's funny that you mention that the Genesises are big, because they are actually quite 14" shorter in height, 7" narrower and about 14,000lbs lighter than the F40s that they replaced (although they are 13' longer). Also, if you took the Lake Shore Limited, then you actually traveled right through my hometown of Rome, NY, although they dumped Rome as a stop a few years back.

A guy in a Facebook group I'm part of actually caught the Lake Shore Limited headed east through Syracuse with three P42DCs, including one of the 40th anniversary heritage units, on the head end this weekend.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
12/6/21 2:58 p.m.

Adirondack Railroad posted a photo of their new M420W at Utica, and then a drawing of the proposed paint scheme they are going to give it, and the new scheme just has me kind of scratching my head.

It's not bad per se, but I just don't get why they aren't painting the gray part black so that it matches the #1835, #1845, and #1502. Having all your stuff in one color helps make an outfit look more professional.  I've heard a big part of why George Hart got booted by Jim Thorpe was because his equipment was in such disarray that it was viewed as an eyesore. And Adirondack has an issue with being attacked by those who want the rails torn up as being a poverty-stricken ragtag operation with one foot in the grave, which isn't helped by having a dog's breakfast of equipment.

 The #1835, #1845, and #1502 are all in the black/green/yellow, the #8255 is in NYC black/gray/white "lightning stripes", the #1508 is in the modified gray/dark blue/white "lightning stripes", and now #3573 will be in this new gray/green/yellow. And then their passenger equipment is in a mix of the black/green/yellow, the modified lightning stripes, and even a couple cars in Norfolk & Western colors. If the #3573 was delivered with the long hood painted gray, I could understand leaving that part gray just to cut down on work, but the long hood is black and white. Just paint the white stripes black and then lay the yellow striping over the top. And while #1502 and #1508 are pretty scruffy and need paint, the #1835 and #1845 are both fairly recently painted and nice and shiny, so I can't see them getting a repaint to match immediately.

RichardNZ
RichardNZ Reader
12/6/21 8:30 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

Compared to our DX class diesels, all 100 odd tonnes of them, ( ), which are a narrow gauge version of the GE U23C upgraded to 3,000hp, it certainly felt pretty massive ...  We now have a larger class of 3,600hp Chinese built DL's but I haven't had the opportunity to be up close and personal with one of them.

Your picture of the LSL sent me down the rabbit hole of P40DC vs P42DC classes. It would seem that "our" train was hauled by one of each - #55 which is a 42 and #809 which is/was a 40.

DX's,  I think they are hauling the Coastal Pacific tourist oriented train between Picton and Christchurch

See the source image

#55

#809

And now back to our regular programming smiley

RichardNZ
RichardNZ Reader
12/6/21 8:36 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

Nice photo ... Note the makeup of the train with a sleeping car at the front and 2 or 3 at the back. The train splits in half at Albany with the front going to Boston and the back to New York. We could only get a sleeper in the New York bit, and complicated by them splitting the train in the yard, got hustled up the platform to the front at the changeover.

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
12/6/21 10:19 p.m.

Ah, the Amtrak Genesis.

 

AKA, the box the locomotive came in...

NickD
NickD MegaDork
12/7/21 6:25 a.m.

Before Amtrak ultimately ended up with the F40PH, EMD had made proposals of a unit called an AMT125. It definitely has European vibes to the front end design, and the carbody design much better matches the Amfleet car. If I had to guess, packaging was likely the reason that this never saw the light of day. Even the Genesis is still taller than an Amfleet, so the AMT125 would have been even smaller.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
12/7/21 8:22 a.m.

In addition to being the 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, today is also the 80th anniversary of the inaugural run of the new streamlined Empire State Express. As the US shook off the last dregs of the Great Depression, the NYC completely overhauled the Empire State Express, with a Hudson sheathed in stainless steel streamlining (while based off the Dreyfuss styling used on the 20th Century Limited, the styling was done by NYC employees without Dreyfuss' input at all) and new lightweight stainless steel cars. I can't remember if the story was that no one aboard knew about Pearl Harbor until they disembarked, or if the employees learned but were advised not to tell the passengers and upset them.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
12/7/21 10:48 a.m.

I recently learned that the New York Central had a plan for a massive post-WWII upgrade that was never implemented. The biggest aspect was stringing catenary from New York City all the way west to Buffalo. There is even an artist's concept for a new 2-C-C-2 electric that had Alco PA-esque cabs on both ends. And west of Buffalo, why, a fleet of 100 Niagaras, half assigned to passenger service and half assigned to fast freight operations. Also, Paul Kiefer was working on those Alco-built A-2 Berkshires that ultimately ended up being foisted on the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie when the Central found out he had placed an order for new steam locomotives in the year 1948. I have to imagine that had the Central not been in the process of dieselizing, those A-2 Berkshires would have instead replaced the older H-10b Mikados and L-1 and L-2 Mohawks. The NYC's post-war financial downturn, as well as the performance and efficiency improvements in diesels to the point where they nearly matched electric without the need for specialized infrastructure, put an end to these grand plans.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
12/7/21 2:50 p.m.

Some other intriguing proposed locomotives that were never built:

Santa Fe's 6-4-4-4 streamlined cab-forward duplex. In the mid 1930s, Baldwin (of course) pitched the idea to Santa Fe of a new steam locomotive for the Chicago-L.A. Super Chief. The design had a lot of Baldwin hallmarks of the era, including the Duplex Drive, rotary cam poppet valves, the cab-forward design concept that they had constructed for SP, a 6-wheel truck like the PRR S1 Duplex had, and a streamlined shark-like nose that was very similar to the later Baldwin-Westinghouse E3b electric built for the PRR. Santa Fe and Baldwin corresponded several times on the design, hammering out the details, and then WWII struck. The War Production Board clamped down on new and/or passenger-only designs, and so it was banished to the back burner while they purchased more of their existing 4-8-4 and 2-10-4 designs. During the war, the WPB actually took EMD 567 engines that were allotted for Landing Ship - Tanks and diverted them to produce EMD FTs for the Santa Fe for betweeen Winslow, AZ and Barstow, CA, where water for steam engines had to be brought in. With that, Santa Fe got their first taste of real diesel locomotives, and after the war they fully committed to dieselization, meaning that the Super Chief cab-forward duplex was ultimately stillborn.

Louisville & Nashville 4-8-4. The L&N had stuck with 2-8-2s and 4-6-2s as their largest motive power for years, until WWII began to strain their relatively light and outdated motive power. L&N management really liked the 4-8-4 wheel arrangement based on what they had seen with the J-1 and J-2 "Dixies" on subsidiary Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis. But by the time they designed the engine to meet the specifications they required, it was too long to fit in their South Louisville shops. So, to make it fit, they subtracted an axle from the lead truck, resulting in the M-1 class 2-8-4, nicknamed "Big Emmas" and the most expensive Berkshires ever built. They were excellent engines, but supposedly the L&N still had dreams of a 4-8-4 post-WWII, although they instead went the diesel route ultimately. If these L&N 4-8-4s had been built, they would have probably been similar to either the NC&StL J-2s, or the Atlantic Coast Line R-1s (ACL had a controlling interest in L&N at the time).

Minneapolis & St. Louis 2-6-6-4s. During WWII, the M&StL was apparently taking a real hard look at ordering some 2-6-6-4s that were based on the 69" drivered Seaboard Air Line engines that were later sold to the B&O.  Some M&StL company publicity materials even showed photos of the SAL version, with lettering touched out. They bought ultimately bought EMD FT diesels instead, meaning the 2-6-6-4 wheel arrangement stayed restricted to only 3 buyers brand new (Pittsburgh & West Virginia, SAL, and N&W)

A 4-cylinder compound Heisler. Not sure if this was ever marketed or there were any blueprints or prospective buyers, but the patents do exist. Heisler was looking at arranging the cylinders like a V-4, with two high-pressure and two low-pressure cylinders. It seems to me like there would be some balancing issues with the two different size cylinders.

Monon 4-10-4. This is a difficult beastie to find any information on, other than that Baldwin pitched such a machine to the Monon. Why a 4-wheel lead and trailing truck? I could see the trailing truck to make a Texas-type, but not really the lead truck. Unless it was planned to be a 3-cylinder engine, and they needed another axle under the nose to support the added weight. But SP and UP both had 3-cylinder 4-10-2s and they didn't need a 4-wheel trailing truck, nor did UP's 3-cylinder 12-coupled engine. The only other solution I can think of was that the Monon was very lightly railed and the added axles were to reduce axle loadings while getting the power of a 2-10-2.

D&RGW narrow-gauge 2-8-8-2. The D&RGW actually had several proposals drawn up for the 3' narrow-gauge 2-8-8-2s. Some were compound, some were single-expansion, some were built from K-36s being cut-up and grafted together, while others were clean sheet designs. D&RGW's decision to try and abandon the narrow gauge lines ultimately led to them deciding just to double- and triplehead K-36s and K-37s rather than spend more money.

D&RGW semi-streamlined 4-6-6-4.  In the Charleston Chapter NRHS museum in downtown Charleston, SC, there was an artist’s drawing of a partially streamlined Challenger with roller bearing rods lettered for the D&RGW. Considering how well the Challenger configuration acquitted itself in passenger service on the D&RGW and UP, it's a little surprising that there weren't any streamlined or semi-streamlined Challengers built. It appears this was less a request from D&RGW, and more an effort to drum up sales by Baldwin.

East Broad Top narrow-gauge 2-10-2. Baldwin pitched a narrow-gauge, 44" drivered 2-10-2 to the East Broad Top as the next evolution in power after their superheated Mikados. The blueprints even exist and hinted at a pretty husky machine, but EBT's curvy terrain means that even with blind drivers and lateral-motion devices, it might have struggled. EBT's downturn in fortunes ensured that it would never see production.

New York Central C-1a 4-4-4-4 Duplex. The New York Central marveled at PRR's T1 Duplex from afar and was quite taken with the idea. They went as far as drawing up blueprints for a 4-4-4-4 Duplex, called a C-1a, the basis of which was one of their excellent S-1 Niagaras but with the 8 drivers split into two sets of 4. PRR's less-than-satisfactory experience with the T1s and NYC's move towards dieselization, plus the flawless performance of the S-1 Niagaras, put the brakes on the C-1a.

Lehigh Valley 4-4-6-4 Duplex. A blueprint dated 1945 shows a proposed 4-4-6-4 freight Duplex that has measurements that are remarkably similar to PRR's Q2 4-4-6-4s. This one was a case of bad timing, as new management came in in '48 and openly stated they fully intended to get steam locomotives off the rails as soon as possible. By 1951, the last fire was dropped on the LV. But even ignoring that, this rigid-wheelbase machine would have been much to long for Lehigh Valley's curvy routes. It's hard to imagine where this thing was intended to operate on the LV.

Canadian Pacific had a bunch of designs that they were playing with that ultimately nothing came of. Two of them are of a 4-8-4 Northern and a 4-4-4-4 Duplex. Yes, even north of the border, the Duplex drive siren song could be heard. CP had built a pair of 4-8-2s and a pair of 4-8-4s in the '20s but never gone any further, preferring to stick with Mikados for freight and Hudsons and Pacifics for passenger use. These proposals were post-WWII, leading one to believe that CPR was considering following their competitor's lead of dual-purpose Northerns. There was also a proposal for a Berkshire that used same boiler package as one of their Hudsons (Berkshires were excceedingly rare in Canada, with the TH&B having the only 2), as well as a light branch line 2-6-2 to replace all the older Consolidations and Ten-Wheelers and Pacifics.

Nickel Plate S-4 class 2-8-4. Even after purchasing a batch of their excellent Berkshire fast freight locomotives in 1949, brining their total up to 80 Berkshires, NKP still had dreams of a fourth batch, class S-4. The S-4s would have been largely the same as the earlier classes except for one major change: they wanted to add lightweight rods with roller bearings on the rods as well. NKP management though was more interested in diesels, and even if they hadn't been, by that Lima was out of the steam locomotive-building business (NKP S-3 #779 was Lima's last steam engine).

Erie 2-10-4. Erie was the first one to really perfect the Berkshire design, when they made the step up from the 63" drivers of the earlier Boston & Albany and Illinois Central 2-8-4s to the 69"/70" range, creating a locomotive that could fully take advantage of the huge firebox supported by that 4-wheel trailing truck. The 2-10-4, as pioneered on the Texas & Pacific, was an offshoot of the Berkshire (not the 2-10-2 Santa Fe) with the thinking that "if that firebox can adequately support eight drivers, why not ten?" Erie ultimately decided not to pursue the Texas-type any further, but someone else took the Erie design and ran with it; C&O with their T-1 class 2-10-4s. Evidence of this includes the fact that they were the biggest two-cylinder engines built at the time and didn't fit C&O clearances (Erie had been built as a 6'-gauge railroad originally and so had massive clearances), they were almost mechanically identical to an Erie Berkshire except for the added axle and a slight lengthening of the cylinder stroke, they looked more like an Erie locomotive than anything on the C&O both before and after, and the next class letter for Erie motive power after the S-class Berkshire would have been, yep, you guessed it, T, while C&O's next available letter in their class-naming system was N. Ironically, the Van Sweringen lines of NKP/Pere Marquett/C&O/Wheeling & Lake Erie would then take the T-1 2-10-4 and slice a driver set off to serve as the blueprint for their Berkshires.

Lima had several designs that they threw around in the late era of steam power, trying to find purchasers for as they desperately clung to the past. They included a 4-8-6 with a double Belpaire boiler, a 4-10-6 that Texas & Pacific was rumored to be quite interested in but ultimately passed on (as a subsidiary of MoPac, the T&P dieselized early and fast) and, a monster 2-12-6 that obviously served as the ultimate inspiration for the 2-6-6-6 Alleghenies (Blue Ridge type to Virginian fans). Lima was clearly smitten with the concept of a 6-wheel trailing truck, but it simply arrived too late to turn the tide. There was also a 69" drivered dual-purpose 4-6-4 intended for branch line use, with Lima's W.E. Woodard pushing the idea of it allowing railroads to retire their hodgepodge mix of older power in branch line use and instead have a uniform fleet with identical parts. The problem is, railroads have never been interested in buying new power to service less profitable secondary lines when they have lots of older power sitting around for free.

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
12/7/21 4:42 p.m.

Worth a deeper dive are the trio of stillborn locomotives over at Union Pacific.

The first, chronologically, was the 1927 proposal of the 4-10-4 Lincoln type, as UP was considering calling it. At the time, Union Pacific's standard passenger power for their big long-distance trains was their 7000-series 4-8-2 Mountains, built in 1924 with 73" drivers, 200psi boilers, and the extremely rare Young valve gear. The Union Pacific also had ten fairly new 3-cylinder 4-10-2 freight engines, class FTT-1, with 63" drivers and 210pis boilers, that were based off a Southern Pacific design and were in general freight usage. As the 4-8-2s began to get overwhelmed by increasing train lengths and weights, they were having to take on helpers in certain spots. The 4-10-4 was a design that merged the designs of the 7000-series Mountains and the 4-10-2s. It would have used the 73" drivers from the 7000-series and the 10-coupled drivers and three-cylinder design of the FTT-1, along with a 240psi boiler, to make a passenger engine that had the power to go it alone, instead of requiring helpers or doubleheaders. Why a 2-axle trailing truck though, when the 4-10-2s and the later 4-12-2s made do with just a single-axle trailing truck though? Driver size. The 4-10-2s had 63" drivers and the 4-12-2s had 67" drivers, giving them sufficient room to put the majority of the firebox over the tops of the rear drive wheels, so the rear trailing truck was mostly to support the cab and very rear of the firebox (the same reason the N&W Y6s and GN R-2 2-8-8-2s made do with single-axle trailing trucks but made more power than UP's 4-8-8-4 Big Boys). But with 73" drivers, there would be no room to put a firebox between the bottom of the boiler and the tops of the drivers, at least not one of sufficient size or without making the locomotive taller than available clearances. So they would have had to put a deep-drop firebox, like on a Berkshire or Texas, that hung down behind the rear drivers and had to be supported by a two-axle trailing truck. Ultimately, Union Pacific decided not to go through with the 4-10-4 Lincoln, instead developing the first of their FEF-class 4-8-4s Too bad because, theoretically even ignoring the smoother torque and reduced augment force from a balanced three-cylinder drive, the reduction in wheelrim mass alone would put the effective diameter speed of the engine above a conventional quartered engine with 80" driver, which meant they would have been a very fast, powerful machine (UP's 4-12-2s, with only 67" drivers, were reported to be perfectly happy at 60mph, despite Alco advising a max speed of 35mph when they delivered them)

Moving on, and speaking of those FEF-class Northerns, Union Pacific ultimately built 45 of them over 3 classes. The original FEF-1s had 77" drivers, while the later FEF-2s and FEF-3s had 80" drivers, but all of them used 300psi boilers, Walschaerts valve gear, roller bearings on the drive axles, and lead and trailing trucks. The FEF-3 also had twin smoke stacks, a decision by UP to try and reduce exhaust backpressure. The FEFs were terrific engines, and they lived out their early lives exclusively in high-speed passenger service, eclipsing the 75mph mark with ease for miles at a time. Near the end, as UP ran low on excess steam power, the FEFs were unleashed in freight service and proved that, despite those tall drivers, they could just as easily start a 100-car freight train. Union Pacific had plans for another batch, which would have been the FEF-4s, and the proposal for these engines were floated in '42, '45, and '47. The drivers were to be kept at 80", the firebox enlarged, boiler pressure increased to 340psi, four exhaust stacks were to be arranged in a 2x2 square, and lightweight rods with roller bearings were considered a must by Otto Jabelmann, vice president of research and mechanical design. They were to use the big centipede tenders to make them capable of long runs with less refueling, although this was a reluctant decision since the centipede tenders were prone to derailment in reverse moves. Between the three separate proposals, some of the other details shifted. The '42 proposal kept the same boiler package as the FEF-1/2/3s, while the '45 and '47 proposals had a larger boiler. The '42 proposal had UP's usual smoke deflectors, while the '45 and '47 version had Canadian National-style smaller deflectors. The '42 version had Walschaerts valve gear, while the later ones moved to rotary cam poppet valves, surprising after UP's spectacularly bad experience with Caprotti poppet valves on a 7000-series. The single bulb headlight was also replaced with a twin sealed-beam headlight, like those used on NYC Niagaras. The FEF-4 designs were waylaid by outside factors every time, sadly. Jabelmann's 1942 version was unnoticed by UP president William Jeffers since Jeffers was busy as the US's wartime "rubber czar" and then Jabelmann died suddenly on a government trip to Britain a year later. The 1945 version and 1947 version were ignored due to Jeffers' retirement and his replacements being less enthusiastic about steam.

Finally, Union Pacific was planning a third batch of Union Pacific Big Boys to serve on the Los Angeles & Salt Lake and relieve some of the 3800-series and 3900-series Challengers that were struggling to keep up with traffic. The Big Boys, as-built, were coal-fired engine, but the LA&SL was oil-fired territory, so this group of Big Boys were planned as oil-fired. UP had tested oil-fired Big Boys with the #4005 when there had been threat of a coal miner strike as a way to call their bluff and, contrary to the oft-repeated legend, the #4005 ran just fine burning oil, but the consumption rate meant it would be hard-pressed to make the distance between the existing oil depots. When the coal mine strike failed to materialize, the #4005 was converted back to burning coal. Knowing that range was an issue, these LA&SL Big Boys would have had an even longer tender than the original 25 to be able to make it from fill-up to fill-up, meaning that they would have been even larger in overall length. With WWII ending and diesels becoming available for purchase, Union Pacific purchased FTs instead. UP's conversion of #4014 to oil-burning gives us a look at what might have been, although #4014 doesn't have the longer tender specified for the LA&SL engines.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
12/8/21 6:29 a.m.
NickD said:

Monon 4-10-4. This is a difficult beastie to find any information on, other than that Baldwin pitched such a machine to the Monon. Why a 4-wheel lead and trailing truck? I could see the trailing truck to make a Texas-type, but not really the lead truck. Unless it was planned to be a 3-cylinder engine, and they needed another axle under the nose to support the added weight. But SP and UP both had 3-cylinder 4-10-2s and they didn't need a 4-wheel trailing truck, nor did UP's 3-cylinder 12-coupled engine. The only other solution I can think of was that the Monon was very lightly railed and the added axles were to reduce axle loadings while getting the power of a 2-10-2. 

So, photographer Richard Leonard actually had some information on the Monon 4-10-4s. The Monon was looking for a pair of engines to use in helper service on the grade from the Lafayette shops to Battle Ground and Ash Grove, and Baldwin submitted a proposal. They took UP's 5000-series 2-10-2s and modified the design into a 3-cylinder engine (why Baldwin didn't start with the existing 3-cylinder 4-10-2 design, who knows), adding a lead axle to support the 3rd cylinder and a trailing axle to support a larger firebox. It would have had 65" drivers, 25"x30" cylinders and a calculated tractive effort of 86,400lbs. Monon ultimately decided against the 4-10-4 design, as the resulting engine would have been too heavy and long to run on much of the system and they pretty much would have been just restricted to helper service. Instead, the Monon purchased a number of heavy Mikados.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/8/21 10:00 a.m.

In reply to NickD :

That's interesting. I've driven that route many times over the years & never noticed any appreciable grades, at least from the yard & former shops on the north side of Lafayette up to Battleground. It sure seemed like there was at least as much elevation change from their yard southward through Lafayette. 
 

Also, it's such a short distance between the Lafayette yard & Battleground that it seems like just using a helper would have been more economical than ordering a whole new class of locos. 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/8/21 10:07 a.m.

In reply to NickD :

You can see the yard just south of the "S" in Sagamore Parkway. The RoW follows 9th street up to Battleground, so it's only about 5-miles. 

I'm thinking there must have been other areas on the line that a 4-10-4 would have been beneficial for them to consider one?

NickD
NickD MegaDork
12/8/21 10:35 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

I can only go off what this excerpt, which includes the original Baldwin blueprint from an unknown book says. Sounds like they were only looking at purchasing a pair. But likely that restricted use is what caused them to not go that route. It's also worth pointing out that Baldwin wasn't always the most in touch with reality. It very well could have been a case of Monon saying "We need an engine to work as a helper on this section" and Baldwin did what Baldwin did and gave them this insane 4-10-4 3-cylinder machine. On several occasions customers requested locomotives from Baldwin, the resulting machine completely missed the specifications provided by the railroad. Two examples off the top of my head include the first batch of RF&P 4-8-4s that were supposed to eliminate doubleheading Pacifics out of D.C, but were so large and had such high axle loads that they couldn't clear the bridges and tunnels into D.C, and the logger 2-4-4-2 that Little River Railroad requested out of a desire for 8-axle power but with capability of handling light rail and tight curves but once delivered was heavier than they could handle and couldn't negotiate curves on the line.

Richard Leonard did a little photoshopping of what these 4-10-4s would have looked like, hallmark Monon capped stack and all.

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