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NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/5/21 3:52 p.m.
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:

Wow, this is pretty cool. I'm surprised they didn't have a stringline derailment with the cars wrapped up like that though. 
 

 

Well, it probably never had an issue in its original life just because the problem cars like empty auto-racks and center-spine cars weren't invented and the locomotives of the early 1900s couldn't pull enough cars to have an issue. There was also more attention paid to car weight because they weren't operating under (ugh) Precision Scheduled Railroading. That 135-car coal hopper train they showed, they didn't ahve an issue because the cars were all empty and a homogenous weight. If you were to run an actual train over that, you would want to pay careful attention to car weight and have either a Distributed Power Unit or a shover on the rear.

In reply to NickD :

Good points. Plus I just realized they were running downhill so not as much(if any?) tension on the couplers. 

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
5/5/21 4:52 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

I've seen those arches, now I know what they are! Thanks again for this great thread.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/5/21 6:03 p.m.
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to NickD :

Good points. Plus I just realized they were running downhill so not as much(if any?) tension on the couplers. 

Downgrade the bigger worry is managing brake pressure and temperature, and managing your slack action.

Railroad cars have about an average 6" of slack per end of car. The play in the coupler connection is 1-2" and then the draft gear (what the couple drawbar floats in) has 4-6" of play. So in a 100 car train, it can grow or shrink by 100 feet depending on whether the slack is run in or out. You need some slack because otherwise every hard start or transition to an uphill grade would rip drawbars out. Also, it allows trains to get moving as you take up the slack in the cars one by one down the train. If you watch a engineer trying to start a heavy train and he slips or stalls, he will shove the train back before another attempt to push in all the draft gear.

The problem is,when you go downhill, the engine crests the grade first. Then as each car goes over the hill the slack action starts to run in. If you don't carefully manage that with engine throttle and train brakes, it can either cause a runaway condition or all the slack runs in at once and jackknifes the train and derails it, particularly if there is a curve. Also, if you're running the slack in and out hard, that's how you piss off passengers, damage cargo and break couplers or rip drawbars out of the draft gear.

E.T. Harley, head of PRR motive power in the '50s and '60s, said that the PRR tried running a coal train through the tunnels under Manhattan once to see if it could be done (everyone said it couldn't), rather than go around the long way. They had 3 E44 "bricks" on the lead and made the attempt at night to not snarl up traffic if it didn't work. They got it done but extreme vertical curvature of the tunnels produced some violent slack action, and when they handed the train off to the New Haven's Alcos at Hell Gate Bridge, it almost immediately pulled a coupler apart due to the shaking they gave it. They didn't try again.

The PRR also tried running the world's largest train from Whiskey Island to Mingoes Junction on September 21st, 1967. They had 341 cars, 35,805 tons and 25,000 horsepower. They got there but the rolling terrain cost them 13 broken couplers during the trip due to severe slack action.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/6/21 9:38 a.m.

Well, they started tearing up the old NYC Adirondack Division line at Saranac Lake this week, cutting off the Adirondack Railroad from Saranac Lake and Lake Placid for good. Because it is classified as Forever Wild land, once any human construction is removed it cannot be rebuilt on that land. And already commentors on the Adirondack Daily Enterprise are calling for the state to yank up the rails all the way back to Remsen (the state owns the line from Remsen north, but south of Remsen it is owned by Mohawk, Adirondack & Northern) for more snowmobile trails, which would also cut the MA&N off from freight customers in Boonville.

Supporters of the railroad aren't the only ones upset. A lot of residents are not happy about the snowmobiles running on those trails. The trains only went through once or twice a day and during day time hours and the only real noise they made was when they blew for crossings. The snowmobiles will be an unending stream of blaring two-strokes at all hours of the day.

But things are going just as I expected, because already the snowmobilers are finding out that they aren't getting what they wanted. They wanted to construct connecting trails to the new trail from Tupper Lake to Lake Placid, saying that a straight trail with the only access at each end wouldn't be very useful and that it needed on-ramps and off-ramps essentially to allow access to other trails and towns. The state just ruled that constructing those trails would be in violation of the state constitution's "Forever Wild" clause. So their shiny new trail will see limited travel and usage because you can only get on it at either end of a 30+ mile stretch.

This is further proof to what a lot of people said all along. The snowmobile clubs were just a tool. The main driving force behind this was a group of wealthy people who owned tracts of land that the railroad went through. They don't want anybody on it, period, but just trying to get rid of the railroad wouldn't have worked. So by proposing removing the railroad for a snowmobile trail, they got the support of all the riders and all the towns that expected increase travel. Now they'll hamper the trail so it sees limited usage and very likely get that removed in the future as well. Its also why the railroad's proposal of widening the right of way and putting the trail along the tracks was immediately shot down because that was even worse, now you would have the railroad and the  snowmobile trail.

 Hey, I get not wanting people in your backyard but also, that rail line has been there since 1893, so it was there before those people bought that land. You bought it knowing the railroad was there and could potentially be reactivated. And also, its not like any of the residences butt right up to the trail. We are talking huge 100+ acre swathes of land, where the house isn't even close to the tracks and there are no roads, so its not like the trains are blowing for all sorts of crossings just outside your house.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/6/21 9:55 a.m.

Adirondack Railroad is at least putting on a brave face and is rehabilitating the line to Tupper Lake. They've been hauling trainloads of ballast and new ties up there. The Alco 251 V12s in those MLW RS-18us make pretty good noises and smoke as they make the run up there. Definitely odd that they are running them nose-to-nose, rather than back-to-back. That means that both ways, the engineer is looking over his shoulder the whole way.

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/6/21 2:53 p.m.

Interesting. Just learned there is a group rehabilitating the old DL&W Richfield Springs Division from Bridgewater to Richfield Springs (about 18 miles) they are fixing the old culverts and bridges and laying rails and plan to run a 2'-gauge train along the route. They've even acquired a 12-ton Henschel 0-4-0T built in '36 for Grun & Bilfinger that was previously at Edaville and then Beaver Brook Farms but never operated at either of those locations. I wish them the best, it'd be cool to have a local 2-footer line.

In reply to NickD :

Oh that's a cute little loco. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/6/21 5:16 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

Especially ironic when you consider that is the same Henschel that built the Tiger I

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/7/21 10:39 a.m.

https://www.adirondackrr.com/2021/05/05/adkrr-creates-fundraiser-for-new-tupper-lake-locomotive/?fbclid=IwAR0iOj7CDh3a2_8XFieyZJbREiLN2Ib3Ra9cFOeAp2x2Mn2TQYnfOsNavRg

Adirondack Railroad is saying that for regular service to Tupper Lake they are going to need a new locomotive, and so are doing some fundraising for the purchase of said locomotive.

As it sits currently with their fleet, for road power they have EMD "FP10"#1502 (its a GM&O F3A from 1947 that was overhauled and upgrade to an FP10 by Metro-North), the pair of ex-Canadian Pacific MLW RS-18us #1835 and #1845 (RS-18s with a chopped nose) and ex-NYC Alco RS-3 #8225.

Ex-NYC Alco RS-3 #8223, long the poster child of the line, was actually leased from a group and the lease was not renewed this year, so it left the property. I also recall reading that the #8223 had been out of service for a couple years with main generator issues. And #1508, an ex-Alaska Railroad EMD F7, is still listed on their website but I don't think I've seen that move from Utica in a while, it looks pretty forlorn and the last active photos I can find of it are in 2017.

There is supposed to be a GP9, #1267, which was part of the New York & Greenwood Lake equipment stored at Passaic, eventually joining the roster but that's in need of work, has not operated in a while, and will not be owned by Adirondack. Its going to be owned by a private and owner and lent to the Adirondack once the restoration is complete. 

I'm not sure if this fundraising is going towards repairing that GP9 and putting it into service, or if it will be used to purchase a new locomotive for the Adirondack to own themselves. It seems like a bad idea to fundraise to fix someone else's equipment and then have the potential for that person to take it elsewhere, unless there was a contract that it then had to operate there for X years. If they buy a new locomotive, I hope its something interesting and not like a GP40 or GP38 (won't be an SD, because the state won't allow 6-axle power on their rails north of Remsen). Considering their close relationship with the all-Alco Mohawk, Adirondack & Northern, I'm hoping its something from Schenectady.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/7/21 6:41 p.m.

Needed a hotel room for my trip to Strasburg in two weeks. Reserved a room at the caboose motel in Strasburg

TheMagicRatchet
TheMagicRatchet New Reader
5/7/21 9:15 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

We stayed there many years ago, hope it's improved a lot since then. It will be interesting to hear about your stay.

Lou Manglass

 

kazoospec
kazoospec UberDork
5/7/21 9:19 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

Interested also.  Kazookid2 wants to hit Strasburg for vacation this summer.  If it's not ridiculously low rent, I'd be interested in staying there, since I'm sure my son would like it. 

LS_BC8
LS_BC8 New Reader
5/7/21 11:24 p.m.

I noticed alot of museum engines for sale on Ozark Rail. I guess the museums were hard up with no passengers in 2020. I notice CRI&P 630 and 652 among them.

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/8/21 2:10 p.m.
NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/8/21 3:08 p.m.

Today is National Train Day, chosen for it being the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869.

The actual completion date was supposed to be on May 7th. Leland Stanford, California governor and Central Pacific president, and his delegation arrived on time, although they were forced to change trains when a Chinese work crew dropped a tree across the tracks. 

Thomas "Doc" Durant of the Union Pacific showed up a day late though. He had essentially been kidnapped by a mob of 300 track workers demanding pay on May 6th. His train was stopped, the mob unhooked his car and waved the engineer on, and then they lifted the rails on either side of the car. A telegram was sent demanding money, which was a scramble to get because the UP was beyond broke thanks to Durant's Credit Mobilier scam.

The whole celebration was odd in the absences of a lot of key personnel. Of the Central Pacific's "Big 4", only Leland Stanford was present. Collis Huntington was in New York and both Mark Hopkins and Charles Crocker stayed in California. Lewis Clement, Central Pacific's chief engineer and superintendent, was not present.  On the Union Pacific side, Oakes Ames and Oliver Ames were in Boston. Also, Mormon leader Brigham Young, who had petitioned strongly for the railroad and provided 10,000+ workers, also was not there. Nor was US president Ulysses S. Grant. Ann Judah, whose husband had plotted the CP's route through the Sierra Nevada before his death, wasn't even invited.

Promontory Point ended up being a location of not much worth. It was selected by the US government after it became apparent that neither line had any intentions of meeting. They were getting money and land grants for mileage, so they both fully intended to keep building past each other. UP was several hundred miles past Promontory and CP track crews were grading east of Promontory only a couple hundred feet off the UP right of way. The government stepped in and chose Promontory as the meeting point, forcing UP to sell their tracks west of Promontory to CP. Promontory never developed into a major city, and the meeting point was bypassed when a new line was built across the Salt Lake.

Still an amazing accomplishment by former Union and Confederate soldiers, Irish immigrants, Chinese immigrants, and Mormons.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/8/21 4:47 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/8/21 7:55 p.m.

The two locomotives at Promontory at that historic day also lived rather inauspicious careers.

Central Pacific's Jupiter was an 1868 product of Schenectady Locomotive Works (what would become Alco) delivered as part of a 4-locomotive order. Jupiter was not actually supposed to be present at the ceremony, Leland Stanford had actually chosen Antelope. The Jupiter was pulling a train ahead of Antelope and a track crew accidentally dropped a tree in front of Antelope, which struck it and damaged it. A telegraph was sent and Jupiter was sent back to retrieve Stanford and the rest of the Central Pacific delegation. In the 1870s, Central Pacific dropped the naming convention and Jupiter became #60. It also received a new pilot, smokestack and boiler and lost the bright coloring, no longer resembling itself. In 1885, Southern Pacific bought the Central Pacific and #60 became #1195. Eight years later it was sold to Gila Valley, Globe & Northern and converted to coal-burning. The GVG&N was bought by Southern Pacific in 1903 and #60/#1195 ended up back on the SP roster and was scrapped in 1809, its historical significance either lost in all the changes in ownership and appearance or just not cared about.

Union Pacific #119 was an 1868 product of Rogers Locomotive Works in Paterson, NJ (it would also become part of Alco). Like Jupiter, #119 was not supposed to be present. Thomas Durant's train left Omaha behind another locomotive but flooding damaged the Devil's Gate Bridge. The engineer refused to cross the bridge with the locomotive but shoved the lighter passenger cars across at Durant's insistence. #119 was dispatched and towed the train the rest of the way to Promontory. After the ceremony, it was put back into freight service. It was renumbered to #343 in 1885, and like Jupiter it received overhauls that completely changed it's look. #119/#343's identity and historical significance was either covered up or not cared about and it was scrapped in 1903.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/9/21 5:41 p.m.

I got to see the new Norfolk Southern bridge over the Genesee River at Letchworth Park. That is an impressive structure. Its 963 feet long, 240 feet high and environmentally conscious, both in design and construction

In reply to NickD :

That's an incredible view!

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/9/21 6:22 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

And that's not even the big waterfall. It is only 70 feet tall compared to the 170 feet at the middle waterfall. Would've been better if a train had gone over. My father and I (I took my parents there as a Mother's Day surprise) got hopeful when a hi-rail truck crossed the bridge, thinking it was some sort of pilot crew checking the bridge ahead of a train. But it must have just been a work crew, because another hi-rail truck with a crane boom and a bed of ties rolled over a little while later.

That park is absolutely insane. Its 14,000 acres, over 17 miles end-to-end, with 66 miles of trails. A bunch of waterfalls, a huge dry dam, a 550 foot gorge. And only $10 entry

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/9/21 6:27 p.m.

The old bridge was visually less impressive, but the fact that Erie built it in 1875 and it was in use until 2017, even weathering a beating from Hurricane Agnes in 1972, is damn impressive.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/9/21 7:39 p.m.

In reply to kazoospec :

The one thing I have noticed about the caboose motel is that they don't always want to rent a single night. Frequently they want two-night minimum. I will highly recommend the Soudersburg Hotel. I stayed there last year when I went down to operate Strasburg #90 and it wasn't the fanciest hotel but it was absurdly cheap and still pretty nice

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/11/21 9:55 a.m.

Also in the area of Letchworth Park, in addition to both the Erie and the DL&W, was the fascinating little shortline of the Dansville & Mount Morris. It ran the 18 miles from Dansville, NY to Mount Morris, NY.  Incorporated on January 4, 1868, as the Erie & Genesee Valley Railroad to build a line from Mount Morris to Dansville, the company completed construction in 1871 and was immediately leased to Jay Gould's Erie Railroad. The company ended up bankrupt after less than 20 years, but was reorganized on October 21, 1891 as an independent locally owned road under the names of its termini, Dansville and Mount Morris. The new company  entered into receivership on June 8, 1894,a receivership that continued for 31 years. The line experienced few profitable years, and in 1912 the surplus at the end of the year amounted to one dollar.

 David P. Morgan visited the line in 1956, while searching for the last holdouts of steam, and described the company as having two locomotives, two stockholders, and 15 employees. At the time, the D&MM only had one locomotive in service, because they alternated operation. They would run one locomotive for a year and take the other one out of service to do maintenance to it, and then the next year they would swap the two. Both locomotives were small and elderly but noteworthy.

One of the engines was #565, a former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western 2-6-0. Built in 1908, it was updated with piston valves and a superheater at an unknown date by the DL&W and then sold to the D&MM in 1938. The #565 was fitted with a plow pilot and some crude hand-lettering and served the D&MM faithfully until 1961, at which point the #565 was bounced all over the north east before eventually ending up back on home territory at Scranton, Pennsylvania in the old DL&W roundhouse as part of the Steamtown NHS collection. This makes #565 one of only two DL&W engines to escape the torch and the only one in it's original locale. Sadly it seems unlikely that #565 will ever operate again, as it is reportedly in incredibly poor mechanical condition and is missing many parts due to several aborted restorations. It sits partially disassembled in the roundhouse gathering dust.

 

\

The other D&MM steam engine was 4-6-0 #304. It was built in 1905 at Alco's Brooks facility for the New York, Chicago & St. Louis, better known as the Nickel Plate Road, as #44, part of a ten engine order. These fast freight Ten-Wheelers must have performed as hoped, because a second batch of twenty was purchased in 1908-1909. A 1910 reorganization of motive power resulted in it being renumbered to #304. When the New York Central sold off its controlling interest in the Nickel Plate to the Van Sweringen Brothers in 1920, the 4-6-0s were sold to the Akron, Canton & Youngstown (which ironically didn't go to either Canton or Youngstown). By 1929, the AC&Y was acquiring bigger power and the #304 was sold to the Dansville & Mount Morris. D&MM replaced the hardwood pilot with one made from angle iron, relocated the headlamp to the center of the smokebox with the original number plate hung under the headlamp, and the tender sides cut down to make a clear vision tender. A year after David Page Morgan's 1956 visit, the #304 was retired by the D&MM and sold to the Myers Steel & Supply Company for scrap. For whatever reason, the Myers Brothers never came and retrieved the #304 and it remained on the property until 1964, with some of its parts being removed and sold to nearby Arcade & Attica. Nelson Blount got word of #304's continued existence and purchased #304 for $1256 and had it shipped to Bellows Falls, Vermont for his Steamtown USA collection. It later made the trip south to Scranton, where it rejoined former D&MM stablemate #565. Like #565, #304 is unlikely to ever operate again, as it is small, old and completely worn out, plus heavily deteriorated from years of sitting outside. But #304 is a highly important historical artifact as it is the oldest surviving Nickel Plate Road engine, the only example of early NKP power (the other 12 survivors are 6 Berkshires from the '20s, 4 '20s Mikados, a 1944 0-6-0 and a 1927 Hudson), and the only surviving Akron, Canton & Youngstown steam engine.

When the Dansville & Mount Morris dieselized, it was still interesting, because they purchased two GE 44-tonners. One came from the Bath & Hammondsport (yes, consider that by the time they were purchasing their first diesel engines, the diesel engines were already onto their second owner) but the other was the very last 44-tonner built by GE. That unit was rather unique because while the majority of GE 44-tonners used two Caterpillar D17000 180hp V8s, the final four, including D&MM #1, used Caterpillar D342 inline-6 200hp engines.

The Dansville & Mount Morris was eventually purchased in 1985 by Genesee & Wyoming and technically still exists but is a non-operating subsidiary of the Rochester & Southern.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/11/21 11:59 a.m.

NKP #765 crossing the original 1875 Erie bridge through Letchworth State Park at Portageville.

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