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NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/28/21 8:07 a.m.
NickD said:
kazoospec said:

Couldn't decide whether to drop this in the meme thread or here.  Chose here (obviously)

May be an image of 3 people, people standing, outdoors and text that says 'KCS CN cP'

I saw that. Thirty billion! Makes sense, CP will be massive in comparison and who could CN buy out to get that kind of trackage to compete? I don't think UP or BNSF will sell out to CN, and neither of them have that access all the way down to the Panama Canal either. I don't know, if I were the STB, I'd have seriously think about turning down both merger proposals. Seems too likely to create an overdog that clobbers the other.

CP is objecting to CN's offer, saying that Canadian National's purchase of Kansas City Southern will trigger a round of mega-merger consolidations across the industry. They probably aren't wrong. But they don't really make a case for how Canadian Pacific purchasing KCS would end any differently. Union Pacific is rumored to be getting very nervous about this whole situation as well. I'm thinking it might be best if the STB were to turn down either proposal.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/28/21 8:56 a.m.

Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo #202 goes for a spin on a turntable. #202, and its sister #201, were the only Berskhires to operate in the Dominion. The TH&B, which was jointly owned by CP and New York Central, was having issues with their 2-8-0s climbing the grade along the Niagara Falls Escarpment. They tested a New York Central H-10b Mikado and a Boston & Albany A-1a Berkshire and found the Berkshire more to their liking. Due to reasons of economy, it was decided to build the engines in Canada, but Lima, who had built the B&A Berkshires, had no Canadian branch. Alco had just finished building 12 Berkshires for C&NW, so the blueprints for them were rushed to Alco's Canadian wing, Montreal Locomotive Works and the two engines were cranked out for the TH&B. They were a thoroughly modern engine, with Coffin feedwater heaters and Simplex stokers, and possessed 76,700lbs of tractive effort, as well as a rated 3320hp at the drawbar (surpassed only by CP's two 4-8-4s) but their 3.28 Factor Of Adhesion meant they were likely a very slippery engine and their 63" drivers meant that they couldn't really efficiently utilize that big firebox.

kazoospec
kazoospec UberDork
4/28/21 11:32 a.m.
NickD said:
NickD said:
kazoospec said:

Couldn't decide whether to drop this in the meme thread or here.  Chose here (obviously)

May be an image of 3 people, people standing, outdoors and text that says 'KCS CN cP'

I saw that. Thirty billion! Makes sense, CP will be massive in comparison and who could CN buy out to get that kind of trackage to compete? I don't think UP or BNSF will sell out to CN, and neither of them have that access all the way down to the Panama Canal either. I don't know, if I were the STB, I'd have seriously think about turning down both merger proposals. Seems too likely to create an overdog that clobbers the other.

CP is objecting to CN's offer, saying that Canadian National's purchase of Kansas City Southern will trigger a round of mega-merger consolidations across the industry. They probably aren't wrong. But they don't really make a case for how Canadian Pacific purchasing KCS would end any differently. Union Pacific is rumored to be getting very nervous about this whole situation as well. I'm thinking it might be best if the STB were to turn down either proposal.

Going to start out by saying I really don't understand the business side of railroading. 

With that out of the way, I'm not entirely sure why mergers would even matter at this point.  My son is a "Virtual Railfan" junky, so we often have it on when we're working on the model railroad or sometimes even while doing work around the house.  It seems like the intermingling of of the various "lines/railroads" is already pretty complete.  I would guess that every other train running these days has mixed power units, and the rolling stock . . . fogeddabowdit.  We saw a train the other day that had power units from BNSF, NS, CN and Ferromex.  I'm sure somewhere in bean counter world everything rolling by "belongs" to someone, but practically speaking, it looks like most of the major players are "merged" already. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/28/21 11:35 a.m.

The Boston & Albany was the first to own Berkshires (although the original Lima prototype ended up on the Illinois Central), Nickel Plate had the most famous, C&O had the heaviest and Lousiville & Nashville had the most expensive. But it was the Erie who had the most, with 105 2-8-4s comprising four subclasses from all three major builders.

Erie's clean, honest-looking engines also provided a key evolutionary link in the 2-8-4 configuration. Earlier examples, like Boston & Albany's A-1s or Chicago & North Western's J-4s, used 63" drivers, a carryover from the Mikado and Santa Fe. These didn't operate fast enough to take advantage of the larger firebox that the Berkshire offered.  Erie, which was suffering from a reputation as a dawdling slowpoke railroad, placed an order for 25 Berkshires from Alco in 1927, and Alfred W Bruce, director of steam engineering at Alco, designed them with 70" drive wheels. When these new fast freight Berkshires began arriving on the property, they quickly banished the industry nickname of the Weary Erie. The 69"/70" drive wheels essentially became standard on Berkshires and Texas-types overnight for fast freight usage, as exemplified by the NKP and C&O Berkshires, and C&O T-1 and KCS 900-series Texas-types.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/28/21 11:36 a.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/28/21 11:39 a.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/28/21 11:40 a.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/28/21 11:42 a.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/28/21 12:27 p.m.

My personal favorite Erie engines would be their K-5/K-5a Pacifics. Big and heavy by Pacific standards, Elesco feedwater heater and bell hung out over the smokebox, shielded air pumps on the front deck and 79" Boxpok Type A disc drivers, they were surprisingly fierce-looking machines for a passenger engine.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/28/21 12:27 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/28/21 12:35 p.m.

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/29/21 12:15 p.m.

D&H repair stubs found in a book published in 1908.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/29/21 6:33 p.m.

One of my favorite D&H anecdotes is how company president Leonor F. Loree (1907-1938) was against the installation of stokers on locomotives. Loree, once a fireman himself, believed a fireman should have to earn his pay. When pressed on when his railroad would equip steam locomotives with stokers, Loree's reply was "You've got the best stokers that $1.25 will buy - Red Edge Shovels." They remained the only 'stokers' until 1939, after his retirement, when they began being installed on D&H's ponderous 2-8-0s to relieve the two firemen often required.

Loree was an odd bird. Other than his grudge against stokers, he was a spokesman for technological advancements on locomotives. Superheated, tender boosters, feedwater heaters, high-pressure boilers, roller bearings, all-welded boilers, water tube fireboxes, the D&H tinkered with it all (including a Pacific with a 325psi boiler and Lenz-Dabeg rotary cam poppet valves and 64,000lb tractive effort!) . But on the flip side, the D&H stuck with the Consolidation for 40 years. They never owned a Mikado, Berkshire, Decapod, Santa Fe or Texas, just increasingly larger and more freakish 2-8-0s. The Consolidation was the largest freight engine the D&H owned, until two years after Loree's retirement they ordered  forty 4-6-6-4s and fifteen 4-8-4s, the first freight engines on the D&H with trailing trucks. While D&H freight power was large and ugly with massive fireboxes and external ash pans, Loree had the passenger engines done up in a European style with all the plumbing concealed under jacketing, elephant ear smoke deflectors, ringed stacks, recessed headlamps and shrouded pilot decks.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/29/21 7:39 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

Wow, that's quite a contrast. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/29/21 8:24 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

Like I said, a bit of an odd guy. He took a trip to Britain and was inspired by their equipment, which led to the "Loree Look" on their passenger engines. That influence also continued on the Northern's and Challengers they bought after his retirement. His trip to Europe also led to a push to rebuild the majority of their Camelbacks to conventional single-can engines, made possible by the advent of the power reverse.

The 2-8-0 here is one of the rebuilt Camelback. You can tell by the close spacing of the steam dome and sand dome at the front of the boiler. They had to be crammed together at the front line that to provide clearance for the center cab, and they weren't relocated in the rebuild. 

Other than the whole refusal to equip stokers, Loree was supposedly a pretty stand-up guy. During the worst of the Great Depression, he took a lot of their idled motive power and had it overhauled by the shop, even though a lot of it had been overhauled just before the Depression and had low mileage, all so that the shop crews had work to do and didn't get laid off

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/30/21 5:33 a.m.

The D&H, under Loree, tinkered with a series of experimental high-pressure compound locomtives, culminating in #1403 L.F. Loree. It was a 4-8-0 with a 500psi boiler. It was a triple explansion engine, with two high-pressure cylinders in the rear, then one intermediate pressure and one low-pressure cylinder in the front. Unlike the PRR Q1 or B&O's 4-4-4-4 Duplex, the rear cylinders were hood to the same set of connecting rods as the front. It also had Lenz-Dabeg rotary cam valve gear, roller bearings and a Bethlehem side-rod tender booster. While very powerful, D&H crews said they had to send half the shop out with the #1403 anytime it went out on the road. After Loree left the company, the D&H trashcanned all the high-pressure experiments and just went and ordered the conventional Northerns and Challengers.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/30/21 7:36 a.m.

One of the D&H's unusually svelte Challengers rolls out of Schenectady, NY with a freight train. The PRR diesel switcher is fresh off the Alco factory floor at Schenectady and is dead-in-tow for delivery. The D&H directly served Alco's plant, which may explain why their roster was so Alco-heavy

A second Challenger is cut in as a helper at the rear

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/30/21 9:02 a.m.

A D&H Northern and a Challenger have stopped for water at the Maxson St. facility in Schenectady and now are restarting the train.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/30/21 9:03 a.m.
914Driver said:

D&H repair stubs found in a book published in 1908.

It's this type of minutia about day-to-day life that really demonstrates both the similarity & differences between us & our predecessors. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/30/21 10:45 a.m.

A D&H Consolidation runs in reverse with a local freight. The evenly-spaced domes indicate that this 2-8-0 was built with a single cab. Check out how the huge Wooten firebox cuts into the front corner of the cab and the running board has to go over the top of the firebox. I imagine there is no front entry to the cab from the running board. Also, look how the reach rod for the reverser has to run alongside the firebox into the power reverser that is crammed between the front of the firebox and the rear of the air reservoir.

Also, while the cool D&H script on the box car is an eye-grabber, the archbar trucks on it are really noteworthy. An early truck design, before the big one-piece cast trucks, these were made from a series of iron bars that were bent and bolted all together. They were banned from being interchanged in the late '30s/early '40s, due to the fact that the intense poundings and vibrations, especially in an era before welded rail, would rattle the bolts loose and then the truck would catastrophically fail. They were still okay to use on captive service, but you could not send archbar trucks off your own line. A lot of them were also equipped with cast-iron wheels, which were banned in 1950 for their poor wear qualities and propensity to crack and shatter.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/30/21 1:12 p.m.

Big Alco C628s roll under the Starrucca Viaduct at Lanesboro. D&H and neighboring Lehigh Valley loved the big 2800hp, 6-axle Centuries, while other lines like the Monon found them just too hard on the track

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/30/21 3:54 p.m.

Surprisingly the last holdout for C628s was not the D&H, but instead the Chicago & Northwestern, running theirs as late as '86, 15 years after American Locomotive Company had ceased to exist.

The high hoods are a giveaway to their heritage: they were originally purchased by the Norfolk & Western. In the early '70s, N&W was looking at cleaning up their roster and getting rid of the oddballs that they had acquired over the years. They had thirty C628s and ten C630s that they were looking to unload, since Alco no longer existed. The N&W C628s had seen heavy usage, and the N&W had been quite fond of them, while the C630s were pretty low mileage. The N&W found the 3000hp units to be tough on the tracks and so parked them unless they absolutely needed them.

Chicago & North Western was simultaneously looking for some new 6-axle big power units to replace their Fairbanks-Morse Trainmasters and Baby Trainmasters, which were getting long in the tooth. They had previously purchased some GE U30Cs and had been very unhappy with them, getting rid of them ASAP and not buying from GE again until in the late '80s, and new EMDs were too pricey. They didn't call the C&NW the "Cheap & Nothing Wasted" for no good reason, and so they scooped up all thirty of the C628s, but passed on the C630s, finding the price tag too high. The big Alcos were immediately slathered in green and yellow, and sent up to the Upper Michigan line to retire all the old F-Ms hauling iron ore. 

C&NW had a pretty wide variety of power but tended to congregate it all together, so all their remaining Alco C424s and Alco RS-3s were also sent up to that division to work together. The C628s acquitted themselves well lugging huge trains of iron ore, although their reputation as a track masher followed them. To handle work on the various spurs, the C&NW often had to send along one of their EMD-repowered Baldwin AS-16ms, as the C628s were just too heavy. The big Alcos pulled their last trains in '86 and hung around in storage as late as 1990 before all being marshalled off to the scrapyard, none of them being saved sadly.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/30/21 8:49 p.m.

The little Monon bought some big C628s for a proposed Ohio River-to-Michigan City coal-hauling operation. It was a pretty slick operation that was basically flat-running and Monon predicted that within a couple years they would make enough money and have enough traffic to double-track the whole line. They needed ICC permission to build the transloading facilities at either end, and in their unfathomable "wisdom" the ICC declined permission. Their read on for purchase gone, Monon put the big Alcos into general use and within a year or two found they were tearing up their roadbed. Monon traded the C628s back to Alco for C420s, and Lehigh Valley, who loved their C628s, ended up adding the ex-Monon units to their fleet.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/30/21 8:56 p.m.

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/1/21 6:59 a.m.

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