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02Pilot
02Pilot UltraDork
4/16/21 7:20 a.m.
NickD said:

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

Yes, but it's also the only thing they own that might be even remotely attractive to potential buyers. And selling it would generate a huge amount of money that could be used to modernize everything else in a relatively short window. Sure, it would be at the expense of long-term revenue, but being a government entity, Amtrak has proven time and again that positive cash flow is unnecessary for it to continue operations.

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/16/21 7:20 a.m.

Train track draw bridge?

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/16/21 8:14 a.m.
02Pilot said:
NickD said:

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

Yes, but it's also the only thing they own that might be even remotely attractive to potential buyers. And selling it would generate a huge amount of money that could be used to modernize everything else in a relatively short window. Sure, it would be at the expense of long-term revenue, but being a government entity, Amtrak has proven time and again that positive cash flow is unnecessary for it to continue operations.

Amtrak has since clarified that they wouldn't be selling the physical plant, they would still own the tracks and stations and all, but that the operations would be run by a private contractor. Which seems worse. As I read it, Amtrak would still be in charge of maintaining the NEC but they would only be seeing a portion of the operating profits.

The white paper that Amtrak put forth with this idea suggests that even they think its a dumb idea

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/16/21 8:54 a.m.
914Driver said:

Train track draw bridge?

That's interesting. It doesn't look like the USA. I'm wondering if that's some high-speed line & might be the reason they didn't just install a diamond like normal?

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/16/21 9:04 a.m.
914Driver said:

Train track draw bridge?

That is in Australia. The lower rail is Queensland Rail's high speed route and the upper rail is a sugar plantation line. Queensland Rail didn't want a diamond because then they would have reduce speed at the diamonds. So instead, they came up with the little drawbridge crossing, which lets the sugar trains across but doesn't require a diamond. Pretty ingenious.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/16/21 10:11 a.m.

PRR actually looked at de-electrifying the Northeast Corridor in the '50s. They thought that since the diesel walloped the steam locomotive in terms of efficiencies and cost-savings, maybe it would do the same with the electric locomotives. This was around the same time that Great Northern was tearing down the catenary over the Cascades, New Haven was retiring all their big electric motors for FL9s and Norfolk & Western was yanking down the wires on the Virginian trackage. So they submitted an evaluation to EMD, Alco-GE and Baldwin-Westinghouse for their thoughts on the matter. And all three came back and said "As long as the wires are up, its cheaper to run them". Interesting that EMD said this, since PRR didn't own any electric locomotives from EMD nor did EMD ever try to sell them any. Coincidentally, New Haven had been told the same thing by outside consultants but still yanked down most of their electrification, largely because Patrick McGinnis was an idiot.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/16/21 2:43 p.m.

PRR #5800 at an unknown location. While it looks like a GG1, the vents on the side are different and it has a 2-B-B-2 wheel configuration, compared to a GG1's 2-C-C-2. It is actually a DD2, one of one. After electrifying almost the entirety of their mainline east of Harrisburg, PRR turned their eye westward and had plans for electrifying from Harrisburg through Altoona and over Horseshoe Curve to Pittsburgh. The DD2 was developed as a new freight motor for the western extension, but then WWII put construction on hold. After WWII, the diesel had developed to the point where there wasn't much of an advantage to further electrifying the system (since initial construction is your big cost in electric operations) and so the western extension was never completed. No more DD2s were constructed and the orphaned #5800 kicked around until '62, typicall based out of Wilmington or used in helper service into Baltimore.

TheMagicRatchet
TheMagicRatchet New Reader
4/16/21 7:39 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

FWIW, that looks like it might be the Delaware Memorial Bridge in the background. I don't know if those rails were electrified but the bridge only had one span until 1968. 

Lou Manglass

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/16/21 7:56 p.m.

In reply to TheMagicRatchet :

#5800 did spend most of its time in Wilmington, Delaware, so that would make sense.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/17/21 6:49 p.m.

Also resembling a GG1 but not a GG1 is #4899. Its an R1 with a 2-D-2 wheel configuration. The R1 and the GG1 were competing designs, and the R1 was the loser due to its less-flexible wheelbase. Originally numbered #4800, it was renumbered to #4899 when it lost out to the GG1. As the GG1's ranks neared 100 units, it was renumbered again to #4999 to avoid further numbering conflicts

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/19/21 11:04 a.m.

I don't understand why the T1 was not classified as either a DD3 or an R2, as it bucks the PRR's own naming convention.

A bit of background on PRR's naming system for steam and electric locomotives. The first letter applies to the wheel configuration, as the letter gets larger, so does the engine. An A was an 0-4-0, a B was an 0-6-0, a C was an 0-8-0, a D was a 4-4-0, an E was a 4-4-2, an F was a 2-6-0, a G was a 4-6-0, and that's where it splits and gets a little weird. Now, articulated engines assumed it was two of a class back-to-back. So a DD1 electric, with a 4-4-4-4 or 2-B-B-2 wheel arrangement was two Ds (4-4-0s) back-to-back. The GG1 was a 2-C-C-2, so it was two G 4-6-0s. A 2-8-8-2 was an HH1 because it was two 2-8-2s back-to-back. A 2-8-8-0 was an HC1 because it was a 2-8-0 and an 0-8-0.

Then number is typically the iteration of that wheel arrangement. So an H8 was the 8th class of Consolidations that PRR bought, while there was only one version of Decapods so you had an I1. But there were outliers. For example, the P5 electric was the only 4-6-4 wheel arrangement and there were no P1/2/3/4s ever built. The B1, a 0-C-0 electric switcher, was built after some of the Bx 0-6-0 steam switchers.

And then the suffix denoted important stuff like whether it had had a significant rebuild, or whether it was superheated or not. Like an I1sa. The s meant that it was superheated. The a means it had been rebuilt once, when they had stokers added and the cutoff changed and a revision to the amount of flues and superheater elements. There was an M1 Mountain, and then the M1a was an M1 that had a new one-piece cylinder saddle, an additional air compressor and a Worthington feedwater heater, and the M1b was an M1a that had firebox circulators added and the boiler pressure increased. The "s" for superheater was dumped on later engines, like the M1 and the J1 because by that point it was pretty much a given that they were superheated.

So, why was the T1 4-4-4-4 classed as class T? That's the same wheel arrangement as a DD1 and DD2 electric, so why not class the T1 as a DD3? They had no issue grouping electrics and steam under the same class letter, and they had the same wheel arrangement. I suppose perhaps it was that the T1 was not articulated, while the DD electrics were.

In that case, the R1 was a 4-8-4 or 2-D-2 electric. Non-articulated, two unpowered lead axles, four powered axles and two unpowered trailing axles. Well, they aren't the same wheel arrangement, you say, the T1 is a 4-4-4-4 and the R1 is a 4-8-4. Ahh, but the division of wheels didn't seem to matter to PRR, just the total count and whether it was articulated or not. Consider, the Duplex 6-4-4-6 and the turbine 6-8-6, both classified under the S class, S1 and S2, respectively. Or the Q1 4-6-4-4 and the Q2 4-4-6-4. Since they were rigid-frame, non-articulated engines, the PRR counted them as 4-10-4s, no matter how the wheels were split up. So in that case, the T1's Duplex 4-4-4-4 should have counted as a 4-8-4 and been classified as an R2.

Since everyone involved in that decision is dead, I would guess that PRR probably wanted to emphasize how new and innovative and game-changing the T1 was. They did not want to lump it in with the DD1 (a good but ancient jackshaft and side-rod driven electric), the DD2 (a lame-duck prototype for a stillborn expansion) or the R1 (a prototype that lost out to the GG1).

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/19/21 11:07 a.m.

Raymond Loewy proudly posing with his streamlined baby, the S1 6-4-4-6 Duplex, known by PRR crews as "The Big Engine".

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/19/21 11:17 a.m.

In reply to NickD :

Do you know if there were any studies comparing the efficiency of streamlined vs. non-streamlined locomotives from the pre-war era?

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/19/21 11:42 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

As far as I know, no. Streamlining really wasn't done with the intention of improved aerodynamics and improved efficiency. Mostly it was that the railroads were becoming old news compared to cars and airplanes and streamlining was a way of staying up-to-date. If there was an efficiency gain, it was an unintended side effect and likely never measured.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/19/21 11:45 a.m.

The S1 late in its life, still picking them up and putting them down. Notice that the skirting over the cylinders and drive wheels has been removed, the chrome striping is gone off the pilot and running board and the original tender has been replaced with a regular long-haul tender (the notch in the side was for the water spouts to clear). 

There are reports of the S1 reportedly hitting speeds in excess of 120mph, including an absurd 156mph between Fort Wayne and Chicago. These are viewed with extreme suspicion. Like PRR #7002's supposed 127mph run, they were done by people at two different locations checking the time on wind-up pocket watches, which has a huge margin of error. The S1 also did not use poppet valve gear like the T1s, it used conventional Walschaerts valve gear, which would have disassembled itself long before it hit that speed. And also, those old heavyweight P70s that they used on the Trail Blazer, the train the S1 typically hauled, would not have tolerated those speeds.

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/19/21 1:41 p.m.

Gotta say, the information about trains you guys keep stored in the back of somewhere is very impressive.  I am humbled.

 

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/19/21 1:41 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/19/21 3:39 p.m.

The S1 is a baffling machine. The PRR knew that it couldn't operate too much further east of Crestline, Ohio and that it wouldn't fit the roundhouse and turntable at Crestline. They actually had to extend a single roundhouse stall to fit it, and then had to put a run-through track out of the back of the stall so that it could access the wye at Crestline. It also had to borrow the CB&Q's wye at Chicago, and it had to be cut off just west of Pittsburgh because it couldn't negotiate the switches into Pittsburgh Union Station. It spent much of its life between Chicago and Crestline on the Fort Wayne Division and was not well-liked. It was fast but didn't like curves and was prone to wheelslip, due to less than 50% of the engine's weight being carried by the drive wheels. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/19/21 3:49 p.m.

The S1 racing a NYC Dreyfuss Hudson out of Chicago.

Recon1342
Recon1342 Dork
4/19/21 10:13 p.m.

They were oddballs in terms of drive configuration, but damn, PRR's streamliners were all gorgeous. Mr. Loewy knew what he was doing.

IMHO, the only others that came close were the Hiawathas...

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/20/21 7:25 a.m.
Recon1342 said:

They were oddballs in terms of drive configuration

The funny thing is that PRR didn't even want a 6-4-4-6. When they approached Baldwin Locomotive Works in'38, they wanted two versions of a 4-4-4-4 Duplex. One would have 80" drive wheels and be for passenger usage, and the other would have 69" drive wheels and be for freight usage. Baldwin was the one that insisted on the 6-4-4-6 wheel arrangement with an 84" driver. The two went round and round until the PRR relented. And then, despite Baldwin being the one insisting on the 6-wheel lead and trailing trucks, Baldwin had to farm construction of the trucks out to Lima.

It almost seems as if PRR knew the S1 would be an issue, since concurrently they were developing the first two T1s, #6110 and #61111, which were the 80" 4-4-4-4 passenger locomotive that they wanted originally. The 69" drivered freight locomotive sprouted another axle as the disastrous 4-6-4-4 Q1 and the reasonably successful 4-4-6-4 Q2 Duplex (It would have been more successful if the PRR had operated it within the parameters they designed it for).

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/20/21 9:28 a.m.
Recon1342 said:

Mr. Loewy knew what he was doing.

PRR and Loewy had a great relationship, considering the strange start. Loewy kept pestering the PRR to let him work for them, and finally they agreed to let him design the trashcans for Penn Station. The end result impressed the PRR and they put him to work.

The 5 gold pinstripes combined with either Tuscan Red (passenger) or Brunswich Green (freight) was his idea.

He streamlined a bunch of K4s for the Broadway Limited and South Wind

The S1 was his baby, and probably his favorite work for the PRR.

He also handled the T1, which was the real introduction of that sharknosed prow that he was in love with.

PRR didn't like Baldwin's "babyface" front that they were applying to their carbody units, so Loewy cooked up the sharknose front end for the DR-4-4-1500s and DR-6-4-2000s. They were so much preferred by the industry, that Baldwin dumped the "babyface" for the RF-16 and made Loewy's sharknose front the standard appearance.

He also was over working at Fairbanks-Morse, designing both their carbody units and their road switchers, and the PRR was the largest purchaser of Fairbanks-Morse locomotives. 

Why did I not include the GG1 as one of Loewy's accomplishments? Simple, because it really wasn't his design. It was actually the design of a man by the name of Donald Roscoe Dohner. PRR's electric locomotives early on were all boxcabs, but when a crew aboard a P5a was killed in a grisly grade crossing accident, the PRR began to think of how to get the crews away from the ends of the locomotive. Dohner designed a steeplecab body that looks very much like a GG1, just truncated, for the P5a, which many P5as had retrofitted, becoming P5a(modified).

Dohner's design was then applied to competing prototypes for both the GG1 and the R1. When the GG1 was selected, Loewy was brought in to provide some finishing touches for the production version. He really only had two influences on the design: the first was to weld the entire body instead of rivet it (the P5a (modified), R1 and GG1 prototype #4800 all used riveted bodies) and the second was the new paint scheme. But somehow it has gone down in history as the whole body was Loewy's design.

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/20/21 10:43 a.m.

Two PRR T1s get a passenger train flush with mail and baggage cars under way. I've heard of K4s being used to help T1s through Horseshoe, but this is the only photo I've seen of two T1s on the front of a train. It's late in their lives, since the #5518 has the updated pilot shroud and the streamlining over the cylinders has been removed.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/20/21 10:46 a.m.

PRR #5517, also with the updated front and missing some of its streamlining, prepares to pound across a diamond with a lengthy passenger train. I'm sure the engineer had his hand on the throttle ready to jam it in, since the T1s were prone to high speed wheel spin over rough rail joints and diamonds, which tore up the poppet valve gear.

LS_BC8
LS_BC8 New Reader
4/20/21 12:52 p.m.

Loewy made a pretty good Studebaker design, too.

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