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914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/6/21 7:32 a.m.

Victorian era bridge that resembles the nearby 14th century Abbey.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/6/21 10:01 a.m.

In reply to 914Driver :

That's some impressive architecture. 

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/6/21 11:56 a.m.

Think they torqued off a few brick layers?

NickD
NickD MegaDork
8/6/21 12:46 p.m.
NickD said:

While I can't make the WW&F Summer Picnic, I am considering taking this trip on the Reading & Northern:

"The National Museum of Industrial History is proud to work with the Reading & Northern Railroad to host this special train ride one day before the start of the Society for Industrial Archeology's 49th Annual Conference. The day-long trip will depart Outer Station in Reading, PA, with guests riding aboard a pair of open window Budd RDCs (self-propelled Rail Diesel Cars).

The train will make its first stop at a facility rarely seen by the public, the Reading & Northern Railroad steam shop in Port Clinton, PA. Attendees will get an up-close look at the operational restoration currently underway on steam locomotive 2102. This 4-8-4 type locomotive weighs 441,300 pounds and was built to operate in the anthracite region served by the Reading Company.

Further north, passengers will again disembark in Tamaqua, PA to see a variety of sites including the Tamaqua Tunnel Railway, a privately owned two-foot gauge railroad with approximately 250 feet of track. Inspired by the Chicago Tunnel Company freight tunnels, the operation features two electric mine locomotives and several cars which lead from a back yard to a short stretch of track under the owner's home. Additional guided tours will showcase the Tamaqua Historical Society, Hegarty Blacksmith Shop, and the railroad equipment displayed outside the 1874 train station,

Back on board, the trip will diverge from the main line and travel rare mileage through the 3,411-foot-long, 159 year old Buck Mountain Tunnel where coal seams pierced by the tunnel will be seen with bright lights shined through the open train windows. A photo run by will occur at the ventilating fan houses at the east end of the tunnel. The train will continue past Reading Anthracite coal mining operations before stopping at Girardville, PA. A ten-minute walk will bring visitors to the Hibernian House where Joe Wayne will show visitors artifacts related to his great-grandfather and former owner of the tavern, Jack Kehoe. Wayne helped clear Kehoe's name a century after he was hanged for being the alleged ringleader of the Molly Maguires, a secret society that used murder, explosions, and assaults to fight against coal companies for Irish-American mine workers."

Sounds like a very cool trip over some rare mileage, and getting access to the steam shops and seeing the progress on #2102 sounds awesome. It's just a little disappointing that the trip is with RDCs. If it was behind #425 or the F-units, I would be buying a ticket right now, but RDCs are a little underwhelming. Also, that weekend I have my friend's bachelor party on Saturday, then I have to get up early Sunday to make the 2.5 hour drive to Watkins Glen International to go autocrossing and I have to be there at 8am. Then, after a day of autocrossing, I would have to leave Watkins Glen to drive the 4 hours down to Reading to spend the night. That's a looooong day.

Well, I'm dumb and just went and bought tickets for this. Whoops. 

Also, reading this again, the Society For Industrial Archaeology definitely ssounds like a fun society to belong to.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
8/6/21 12:47 p.m.

In reply to 914Driver :

I look at stuff like that, or the Tunkhannock Viaduct, and think of the era it was built in and just go "How?!"

NickD
NickD MegaDork
8/7/21 6:00 p.m.

I wanted to make sure the brakes were fixed in my Toyota (I had a caliper sticking) so I went and chased Adirondack Railroad's Utica-Thendara train. The last time I followed this route though was when MA&N moved  Adirondack #25 and they were only moving at 10mph. Adirondack moves much faster with their passenger trains, and so I had to haul ass between stops. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
8/7/21 7:58 p.m.
NickD
NickD MegaDork
8/7/21 8:14 p.m.

So this was pretty cool to read today:

"Today we would like to announce that the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum does have plans to restore and operate its other 2 steam locomotives, Monson Railroad #4 & Bridgton & Saco River #8. 

Both locomotives are in needs of new boilers. During their time at Edaville, all the 2ft engines got reboilered but a design issue where the boilers are welded makes them not up to FRA standards today. We learned this when we rebuilt locomotive #3 & #7 as we went through each locomotive section by section. We got both of those up to FRA code but it took a lot more time and money than expected. Locomotive #3 took about $250,000 for its first rebuild to operation between 2008 and 2015. From what we learned on #3 & #7 and know about #4 & #8, a new boiler is the better option to keep them running many years to come.

We plan on starting on Monson #4 this fall, with the moving to a work facility, teardown of the locomotive, and researching what a new boiler may cost. After #4 is well underway, we will then start looking into #8. 

As a rolling operating museum, projects like restoring #4 & #8 are vital to our museums mission. We don't want to leave the problems we know they have now for future generations figure out while sitting static. We want those generations to learn from them operating and experiencing them under steam.

Completion of this project will mean all the 5  surviving Maine two foot railroad locomotives under steam, 

Monson Railroad #4 was built in 1918 and is pretty much a copy of her younger sister, Monson #3. When both ran on the Monson, both did not have lettering or numbering, the only way to tell them apart was the small number plate on the front and the steps on the cab, #3 has one step, #4 has two. 

B&SR #8 was built in 1924 and is the largest of the Maine two footers ever built. Yes even heavier than the 2ft 2-6-2s when it comes to engine weight  Many of you remember both of these engines running at the Edaville Railroad."

In reply to NickD :

What's the story on the depot you filmed from? It looks like it sees excursion use, but the train didn't stop there?

NickD
NickD MegaDork
8/7/21 10:33 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

Its the old NYC Adirondack Division depot. Its restored and used as a museum (that's why there is the old SAL coach and the Alco RSC-2) and is used as a flag stop on certain occasions/events 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
8/9/21 10:25 a.m.

While Bridgton & Saco River #8 is heavier than one of the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes 2-6-2 tender engines (just the engine, no tender), its too bad that none of those 2-6-2s survive. They were the biggest and heaviest 2-foot gauge engines. Some were built as 2-6-0s and overhauled and converted to 2-6-2s by Maine Central, others were built as 2-6-2s to the blueprints of the converted engines. Their size and weight worked to their disadvantage though. They were hard on the SR&RL's 35lb rails, and so they were among the first engines to be parked. For example, #15 broke a drive axle in '23, at only 11 years old, and was never repaired, sitting around until it was scrapped in '35 when the SR&RL went out of business. #19 was burned in an engine house fire in '23 and repaired but rarely used after and entirely unused after '32. Probably the saddest was #24. When the SR&RL was being scrapped in '36, a doctor in Phillips purchased the #24 for the princely sum of $250 and had it moved onto his property. Within a year, the city began hassling him and wanted to tax him on the locomotive. Being the Great Depression, he he had it cut up, rather than pay the tax. Especially sad, because after the SR&RL had gone dormant for a few months in '33 when it passed into receivership, the #24 had been cleaned up and gone over to use as a heavy freight engine for the SR&RL's final revival, so it was rumored to be in relatively good cosmetic and mechanical condition. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
8/9/21 1:54 p.m.

The Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington also had their own 2-6-2 tender engine, WW&F #6. It was built by Baldwin in 1907, weighed 28 tons, with 33" drivers and an outboard frame. It was delivered with inboard Stephenson valve gear and was later converted to the relatively uncommon Southern valve gear, as well as electric lighting. It was the only 6-coupled engine on the WW&F and the only engine with outboard valve gear. It was damaged in a 1931 engine house fire and never returned to service, scrapped in '37 as a rusted, burned-out hulk. Photos of the #6 are difficult to find, other than a few very small, very grainy ones kicking around the internet

kazoospec
kazoospec UberDork
8/9/21 6:42 p.m.

Just watched UP 4014 roll in to Kansas City on Virtual Railfan.  Pretty impressive machine.  I wish the planned route would bring it within range, but no joy so far.  Schedule for those who might be interested.  4014 Route & Schedule 

 

In reply to kazoospec :

We're planning on heading to Nola to see it!

NickD
NickD MegaDork
8/10/21 11:57 a.m.

Hopefully now that #4014 is equipped with PTC, we might get to see her out and about at least once without any diesel assistance, maybe on a 100-car freight train like they did with #3985 the one time. That would put an end to the weird theory that floats around on the internet that #4014 has never actually moved anything heavier than its own weight around Cheyenne yard and all it has done out on the road is generate enough steam to run the dynamo, lubricate the cylinders and blow the whistle, while the diesels are actually doing all the work. Not sure where this theory actually came from, but its been bounced around by some people. 

There is an actual historical precedent for it though. Way back when the Carolina, Clinchfield & Ohio still existed and was running their steam program, they were using Clinchfield #1, an ancient little teakettle of a Ten-Wheeler built in 1882. It was only capable of pulling two heavyweight passenger cars, so when they started having public excursions, they needed a way to haul more cars. The solution was that they took two F-Unit boosters, painted them up to look like heavyweight baggage cars, and then installed a control stand for the B-units in the cab of Clinchfield #1, so they could be controlled from the cab of the steam locomotive to act as helpers. In the later years of the excursion program, Clinchfield #1's boiler was incredibly worn out, so they eventually derated the boiler to a pretty low pressure and it was used just to provide steam pressure to blow the whistle and lubricate the cylinders and get nice puffs of smoke out of the stack. The #1 wasn't actually doing anything, it was the B-units actually pulling the train, #1 was just along for the ride. It was definitely a strange sight for a tiny, old Ten-Wheeler to be hauling along 10-12 heavyweight cars.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/10/21 4:41 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

I honestly thought that was a large part of the reason too - after putting so much time/money/effort into restoring 4014 why wear it out prematurely by making it work harder than it needs to?

I realize their consist is minuscule compared to what it used to haul in revenue service, but to me 4014 is too valuable to put it under unnecessary strain?

NickD
NickD MegaDork
8/11/21 11:35 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

The main reason for the diesels behind #4014 are A) to supply dynamic braking on long grades and avoid overheating the brakes and risking a runaway, B) to assist if it stalls on a hill or in a tunnel and can't get the train moving again and C) if it suffered a collapsed dry pipe or a valve gear failure or an injector or oil nozzle that isn't working, then they could at the very least get the train out of the way and not be tying up the mainline.

Union Pacific doesn't seem too worried about wearing out #4014 or #844. They honestly don't run them that much, maybe a couple weekends a year tops. And it takes a lot of weight to make #4014 sweat, let alone excessively work it. #844 might require some assistance with the length of trains they run. They also aren't concerned about "historical fabric" like some railroads or museums. There is a joke that between all the brand-new parts and the parts swapped over from parts engine #838, there is more #838 to #844 than original #844 parts.

UP #838 is also an FEF-3 and is stored at Cheyenne along with #4014, #844, #3985 and #5511. It has a one-piece cast frame with integrated cylinders, and some years ago it got water in a part of the frame that froze and cracked it in a very inconvenient spot that is not easily (or cheaply) repaired. Over the years, she has had a number of parts swapped onto #844 or removed to make templates for new parts. The lead truck is gone, the trailing truck is cannibalized from something else, most of the rods have been removed, the boiler lagging is gone, the cab "jewelry" has been stripped, the tender body was stripped for parts for both #3985 and #844 and had the trucks removed and set aside (as of 2011 it contained "an unknown liquid" that was preventing UP from scrapping it, no word on if that was ever rectified). Supposedly the boiler and drive wheels on #838 are in much better shape that #844's (they've traveled much less mileage) and the rumor is that one day those may even be swapped over to #844.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
8/11/21 12:19 p.m.

I will say that I don't think that #4014 was at 100% back in 2019. The front engine seemed to have a lot of steam leaks, like it looked almost like they were running it with the cylinder cocks open at all times. I know they were under the deadline of getting it up and running for the 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad, so it makes me wonder if near the end they were just hurrying to get it together and didn't quite have time to get everything perfect.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
8/12/21 10:51 a.m.

Union Pacific #5511 is the odd one of UP's collection at Cheyenne. Its the last survivor of UP's seven classes of 2-10-2 drag freight locomotives, as well as only one of two preserved locomotives with very rare Young valve gear (the other is a Terminal Railroad Association 0-6-0 that is just the frame, cylinders, wheels and valve gear) . In its final years, it was used as a stationary boiler for UP facilities, first at Ogden, then at Green River. After retirement at Green River, it was eventually moved to Cheyenne for scrapping, but the decision was made to instead hold onto #5511, and so it sits in the roundhouse, although there has been talk of donating it to a museum (it was theorized that when UP took #4014 from Pomona, they would trade #5511 for it, but that didn't end up happening).

#5511's odds of ever operating are incredibly slim. Pretty much non-existent, really. For starters, it's rumored to be in relatively poor mechanical condition. When it was put into service as a stationary boiler, most of the gauges and controls were stripped from the cab, along with the feedwater heater. Use as a stationary boiler meant that the boiler wasn't blown down as often as it should have been, and they generally weren't watched as closely as when in operation. It also has very short drivers, a limited top speed, a long rigid wheelbase (all ten drivers are flanged), a short tender which limits range, and friction bearings on all axles. Also, when it was being moved around for stationary boiler service, they torched off the piston rods. The pistons are lubricated through oil that is introduced to the cylinder through steam, so if you are moving a cold steam locomotive, you need to remove the piston rods, otherwise the pistons will bind because they aren't lubricated. If the engine is retired, its just easier to torch them rather than go through unbolting them. 

#5511 did make a brief movie appearance after retirement in Union Pacific's movie that they produced about the Big Boy, The Last Of The Giants, as it illustrates the progression of motive power leading up to those big 4000s. Although #5511 seems to be under steam and its own propulsion in the film, it's actually being pushed by a diesel that is out of frame and coupled to the tender. If you were to look very closely, #5511's piston rods are gone, so it couldn't be moving itself, and the smoke out of the stack is reportedly a couple of old car tires that a UP crew member tossed in the smoke box and light on fire.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
8/12/21 11:52 a.m.

Breaking news from Strasburg:

"Due to overwhelming interest, we just added two new dates for some previously sold out 611 experiences. In-Cab Experience tickets are available now for October 1st. Tickets for Hot Engine Fire Up are available now for September 30th.nBoth events sell out quickly, so book your tickets now and don't miss your chance to get up close and personal with the Queen of Steam!"

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
8/12/21 11:55 a.m.

Also, Reading & Northern made an important announcement today

"We have very exciting news! Our Fall Foliage Excursions are on sale now! Steam locomotive 425 will be leading the way on October 2nd, 3rd, 23rd, 24th, 30th, & 31st and the Diesel F Units on October 9th, 10th, 16th, & 17th."


 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/12/21 7:21 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

That Reading & Northern trip sounds awesome. 

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/13/21 6:31 a.m.

"City of Denver" child's pedal car.  - -  1938.

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/13/21 6:31 a.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
8/13/21 8:00 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

Especially because I think those are the trips where they go through Hometown, PA, which involves climbing Hometown Hill, where #425 really puts on a show. I've also heard that on stints of R&N's trips, they tend to open the throttle up and hit 50-60mph for short stints

 

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