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TheMagicRatchet
TheMagicRatchet New Reader
4/13/21 6:13 a.m.

In reply to Appleseed :

Thank You for bringing all those great pictures back! 

Lou Manglass

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/13/21 8:40 a.m.
Appleseed said:

I have to get out to IRM one of these days. Not sure if it'll be this year though.

The "Do Not Hump" tag probably didn't have any effect if it was transferred via CSX. I've read where it's almost like CSX sees that as a challenge when interchanging passenger cars. One guy was saying that he was involved in getting a couple decent condition older passenger cars transferred down to a fledgling tourist line and they had to be shipped over CSX. Despite several marks on the car saying not to run it through a hump yard, CSX did it anyway. They sent a couple steel coil cars down the hump after them. The coil cars rolled into the passenger cars and smashed the vestibules and footplates all to E36 M3, blew the coupler pocket out of the end of one car and derailed the truck on other because it bounced it off the rail. Nobody noticed until they went to move the train out of the car and the derailed end of the car nearly sideswiped a hopper car on an adjacent track and then the brakes went into emergency.

The CSX yardmaster called the guy up and was pretty mad about his "piles of junk" snarling the yard up. They had rerailed them and set them on a bad order track and a crew had to go down and band-aid the cars back together to make them survive the rest of the trip. They got to their destination, were scabbed back together a little further to make them operational and set into service on this tourist line. A few years later the line went out of service and the guy who had originally coordinated the sale and move of the passenger cars went down to see if the cars were worth saving and trying to sell again. The damage from CSX had never been fully repaired, because they hadn't been through a major car shop, and after a couple years of use the ends were pretty much falling off of them. They were cut up on the spot.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/13/21 2:15 p.m.

Double-slotted PRR I1sas pass by Crowl, PA with a 9,000 ton iron ore train. In '56, the Shamokin Branch was not only one of the last stands for the I1s, but one of the last holdouts for steam anywhere on the PRR.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/13/21 2:15 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/13/21 2:17 p.m.

Although built with PRR single-chime "banshee" or "popcorn" whistles, during their second rebuilds, the I1sas received the 3-chimes like K4s Pacifics were equipped with.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/13/21 2:33 p.m.

The pair taking on water at Shamokin. Interesting that while lead engine #4616 has one of the big coast-to-coast tenders, but the #4243 has the regular I1sa tender. As steam dwindled out, PRR removed a lot of the water towers, and so the big long-haul tenders and auxiliary water tanks popped up behind various engines to try and get them between the remaining water pipes. Since there is no train in site, they likely ran low on water while being worked so hard, and had to uncouple and run light to Shamokin to take on water before backing onto the train.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/13/21 3:46 p.m.

Climbing the 1.3% grade out of Shamokin. You can't see them, but there are two more I1sas on the back shoving for all they are worth to move those 9000 tons of iron ore over the hill. David Page Morgan recounts witnessing this train and as they got onto the grade, one of the I1sas lost her footing and the train stalled. Using only whistle commands, they rolled back and made a couple more attempts with equal success. On one of the attempts, the helpers and the lead engines got out of sync and the lead engines had started forward while the helpers were still reversing. They ripped a coupler apart and had to take the coupler off the lead engine and carry it back and swap it out with the broken one. Then, the helpers had to cut off and run back to Shamokin to take on more water. By the time they returned, it had started raining and he and photographer Philip Hastings were certain they were either going to have to call for more engines, or split the train and take half up and return for the rest. If they couldn't do it in the dry, how could they make it in the rain after all? With much cajoling, the engineers made a few more attempts, and finally all of the engines got a bite and they roared off over the hill.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/13/21 3:47 p.m.

PRR #3445 and #4628 pushing on the rear of the same train. Notice that they are cut in ahead of the cabin car. Much to the relief of the brakemen, I'm sure.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/13/21 3:55 p.m.

I love this photo Philip Hastings took off a Shamokin resident covering her head as #3445 and #4628 do their thing. I just wish I could find a better digital copy than this scan from an old Trains Magazine. The article from the magazine, and this photo, were also in The Mohawk That Refused To Abdicate

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/13/21 6:56 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

I never realized how much of a cluster berkeley debacle that Iowa Pacific mess was :(

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/14/21 5:40 a.m.

From 3:26 on shows PRR iron ore operations on the PRR at Shamokin. Double-headed I1s on the lead crawling along at Crowl, PA, I1s shoving hard on the back of a train being lead with Baldwin "sharks", etc. The narrator's gravelly voice with a New Joisy accent fits perfect. 

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/14/21 12:07 p.m.
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to NickD :

I never realized how much of a cluster berkeley debacle that Iowa Pacific mess was :(

Yeah. URHS NJ is the one group I actually know of being hurt like that, but I would not be surprised if there were others. I know Colebrookdale Railroad lined up all the money to buy a passenger car off IPH sometime before the bankruptcy. IPH was already such a mess that they never delivered the car. Fortunately Colebrookdale hadn't sent them any money. Then when the IPH equipment started getting sold off post-bankruptcy, Colebrookdale instead used that money to buy LS&I #18 from IPH's San Luis & Rio Grande.

I also know that between Amtrak retiring their old Heritage Fleet cars and now all the IPH passenger cars getting sold off, the bottom fell out of the passenger car market. The market is flooded with old passenger cars currently.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/14/21 3:56 p.m.

The PRR I1s/I1sa will forever be the peak example of Pennsy's weird motive power mindset in my mind.

David Page Morgan said that the PRR I1 was not made obsolete by the diesel locomotive, it was already obsolete when it was built. Consider that the 2-10-0 wheel arrangement had been invented in 1868 by Lehigh Valley, when they essentially added an extra driving axle to their successful Consolidation design. They were so unimpressed with the result, that the Lehigh Valley never owned another 2-10-0. The Decapod arrangement then languished in obscurity for almost 50 years. Some were built here and there, but the design was altogether found wanting by pretty much every railroad.

The issues with the design were:

  • It's long rigid wheelbase prevented it from operating in territory that was curvy.
  • The lack of a trailing truck either crammed the firebox over the top of the rear axles or in between the rear drivers, resulting in a firebox that was too small to adequately feed cylinders that could take advantage of an extra axle's worth of traction.
  • Small, short drivers could not fit a large enough counterweight to adequately balance the piston thrusts from the large drivers. This resulted in a rough-riding engine that beat up the rails and could not operate at high speeds.
  • All 6-coupled and 10-coupled engines suffered from oscillations resulting from the engine's being at the main (center) driver where the piston rods attached. Ten-Wheelers had uneven driver spacing to get around this, while Pacifics used the four-wheel lead truck to control the oscillation. Prairies, Santa Fes, Decapods and Texas-types all suffered from this problem. On a 4- or 8-coupled engine, that polar moment of inertia was between two axles, which made them more stable.

The relatively few examples built between its invention in 1868 and the introduction of the I1, and most built afterwards were instead small and light and used that extra axle to spread the weight out and impart lower axle loadings. Examples of this are the Russian Decapods, or the Baldwin 2-10-0s delivered to Gainesville Midland, SAL and Great Western of Colorado.

 When PRR embarked on designing the I1, consider that they already had the L1, which was a heavy Mikado that was relatively fast, steamed well and was quite powerful (the USRA Heavy Mikado was based on the L1) as well as sharing many parts with their K4 Pacifics. Also consider that at this point in time, the 2-10-2 Santa Fe was the second-most popular freight engine, and while it had most of the 2-10-0's issues, it did solve the firebox size issue. Rather than build more Mikados or design a Santa Fe, PRR instead dove into the history books and dragged up the Decapod

PRR built as large a boiler as they could possibly fit, then settled for 62" drivers, because if they went any taller it wouldn't fit in tunnels. The boiler fed huge 30.5"x32" cylinders with a 250psi boiler pressure. It had a feedwater heater, a Worthington BL, which was a first for the conservative PRR. But that huge boiler was fed by only 70 square feet of grate surface, which was only 4 square feet more than a New York Central L-1 Mohawk, which had only 28"x28" pistons and ran at 200psi. And PRR also opted not to include a stoker, or a power reverser.

The result was a compromised engine. While it generated a stout 96,000lbs of tractive effort, it couldn't maintain full power indefinitely because the firebox was just not large enough. The lack of a stoker, and PRR's tendency to load their engines right to the limit, meant that I1s typically required two fireman aboard to try and keep steam up. Due to the lack of a trailing truck, the cab and firebox weight had to be supported by the rear driver spring rigging, which meant that the spring rigging had to be set up extremely stiff. When asked how an I1 rode, PRR engine crews responded "They don't." The two huge pistons moving back and forth up front and short drivers meant that they hunted back and forth badly when moving above 30mph. In fact, many wondered if the engine would have been better off featuring three smaller cylinders than the two massive ones it came with.

They looked distinctly PRR, and yet distinct amongst the PRR. Out back was that same square-shouldered Belpaire boiler, equally anachronistic as the wheel arrangement. While many US railroads had tinkered with it in the 1800s, most had passed on it as a curiousity, while only PRR and Great Northern continued to use it to the end of steam. Similarly, while the headlamp perched high atop the smokebox was common in the 1800s, it began to go out of style around the turn of the century, but PRR never relented and never owned a non-streamlined engine with a headlight centered on the smokebox. Where it was distinguishable amongst it's PRR brethren was it's sheer size, the big Worthington feedwater heater slung under the running board, and the two large air tanks tucked under the boiler on the front deck. No steel pilots with drop couplers here either, the I1s retained footboards and a fixed coupler until the end of service.

And yet, after the original 123 were built by Altoona, PRR would then go on to order another 475 from Baldwin over a 7 year period. Yes, they owned nearly 600 I1s. That's double the amount of Hudsons that New York Central owned, or more than the total of all the 2-8-2s, 2-8-4s, 4-8-2s and 4-8-4s than Santa Fe owned combined, or a tenth of all the steam power that Lousville & Nashville ever owned. The only other large Decapods, the Western Maryland's I-2s (they were heavier than a PRR I1 but less powerful) only numbered 30.

And the I1s was a long-lived design. From 1916, until the end of PRR steam, the I1s served. Whether it was mixed freights on the mainline, hump yard service, helper operations at Horseshoe Curve, coal drags in Ohio or iron ore on the Shamokin branch, they were there.  The very last PRR steam engine to operate on PRR property was an I1, either helper service out of Altoona or moving an empty train of hoppers (reports differ). They received the company-wide swap between the headlight and generator locations, traded their banshee whistles for PRR 3-chimes and sprouted long-haul tenders. The majority went through a major rebuilding during their life that added stokers, power reversers, adjusted the cylinder cutoff and bumped tractive effort to 102,000, becoming Class I1sa. Their plodding, waddling gate earned them the nickname "Hippos" and while they weren't loved by crews, they had their respect. Not bad for a design that was obsolete and fundamentally flawed at birth.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/14/21 3:57 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/14/21 3:58 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/14/21 4:01 p.m.

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/15/21 6:29 a.m.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/15/21 9:48 a.m.

In reply to 914Driver :

That's cool! I sure hope that sign still exists. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/15/21 1:17 p.m.

In reply to 914Driver :

While tiptoeing around politics, the new infrastructure bill could add new Amtrak service from Los Angeles-to-Las Vegas. Suprisingly, Amtrak has not had service to Las Vegas of any kind since 1997, when they discontinued the Desert Wind.

Amtrak is also looking at adding an Atlanta-Nashville service, which would be the first time Nashville had passenger service since 1979! This would also add service to Chattanooga, which has been even longer (since 1970!) without passenger service.

02Pilot
02Pilot UltraDork
4/15/21 1:32 p.m.

I can't help but wonder if some of those proposed lines are redundant (LIRR already goes to Ronkonkoma) or better served by something like the New Mexico Railrunner service or the private Florida East Coast Railway model (LA-LV and the N-S Colorado line). Others make more sense, such as putting Eau Claire and Madison, WI in the loop of an existing route to serve additional markets with little negative impact on existing service.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/15/21 3:55 p.m.

In reply to 02Pilot :

That is a good point on redundancy, although there might be an advantage to traveling entirely by Amtrak, rather than having to make connections to another service for a leg of the trip. Also worth pointing out that this is just a proposed map and aspects of it might not see reality until 2035, so in the years between now and then, they might do a study and determine that some of the routes just don't make sense.

02Pilot
02Pilot UltraDork
4/15/21 3:59 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

I'll be pretty close to shocked if any of it happens. Unless routes like LA-LV are high-speed rail (which means new RoW or massive upgrades to existing tracks not owned by the gov't) they're not going to be very successful.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/15/21 7:42 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

I'm really looking forward to us getting service next year(it was supposed to be this year, but Covid happened). I hope they go through with the connecting service to Jacksonville too - it would be nice to take the train to Stampie's & tag along to the Challenge vs. driving one year.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/15/21 8:38 p.m.

The other bit of Amtrak news that I find shocking and a bit concerning is that they are considering selling off and privatizing the Northeast Corridor. That is their cash cow and one of, if not the, most densely-traveled service corridors

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/16/21 6:58 a.m.

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