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NickD
NickD MegaDork
8/31/21 3:46 p.m.

Another photo of one, in what appears to be a builder photo. Interesting that the headlamp is mounted high on top of the unit, but in the other photo it appears to have a much larger headlight mounted offset under the right cab window. I would guess it was a change made later in life, but why?

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
9/1/21 10:55 a.m.

What appears to be a scan from a book of a single B&M electric assisting a passenger train

NickD
NickD MegaDork
9/1/21 10:57 a.m.

Some smaller photos of them, again with that weird offset headlamp and operating in triples. Also one that appears to have been absolutely mangled in a collision in 1912.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
9/2/21 7:19 a.m.

Burlington Northern SDP45 #6599 at the Interbay roundhouse in September of 1984. As part of a test program, EMD replaced the rear truck with a span-bolstered B-B truck and swapped one of the front traction motors to the added rear axle, making it a rare A1A-B+B wheel arrangement. At the time, due to DC traction tech, manufacturers were limited to how much power they could put down on 6-axles, but 4-axle (D) trucks had a long-rigid wheel base that made them wear rails excessively in curves. So the idea was to hook two B trucks together (they were actually C trucks, but with the end axle cut off) and have essentially a D-truck that was hinged in the middle. The test program did show improved tractive effort and less rail wear than a C-truck, but it was ultimately an evolutionary deadend. It would have required an all-new alternator developed to be able to power 8 traction motors, the development of AC traction gave better control and allowed locomotives to put down more power per axle, and today's steerable C-trucks show less rail wear than even a single B-truck.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
9/2/21 8:10 a.m.

BN #6599 with its modified rear truck towing a data collection car

In reply to NickD :

That's an odd one for sure. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
9/2/21 10:48 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

EMD also installed radial/steering (BN #6599's set-up was not radial/steering, it was just articulated) B trucks on a GP50, ATSF #3810, for some testing. While it did improve traction, reduce parasitic losses in curves and reduce rail wear, the GP line was pretty much coming to an end at that point. EMD did take the test data and applied it to the HTC-R 3-axle radial trucks introduced on the SD70s.

Span-bolster B+B trucks had appeared before, just not on EMDs. The first and second generations of the big GE-built Union Pacific gas-turbine electrics had used span-bolster B+B trucks front and rear for a B+B-B+B configuration. When UP traded them in on GE U50s and Alco C855s, those span-bolstered B+B trucks were actually reused, since the C855s and U50s used GE electrical systems. EMD just used rigid D trucks on their DD35s, DD35As, and DD40AXs.

EMD did apply B+B trucks to locomotives after BN #6599 though. In 1970, Brazilian mining railroads had come to EMD for a variant of the SD45. The problem was that Brazilian railroads use a 1000mm narrow-gauge layout. The big SD45 had too high of an axle loading, and once the trucks were narrowed down to 1000mm, there wasn't enough room to fit a traction motor that could handle the full 3600hp output. EMD's solution was to build a 1000mm-gauge D truck. The extra axle per truck spread the weight out, and by the 8 traction motors allowed utilization of the full output. The resulting machine was called a DDM45 (two D trucks, M for meter-gauge, 45-series) and worked quite well.

Jump forward a number of years and the DDM45s are starting to get long in the tooth. The Brazilian lines want more EMDs, but more modern. Also, the D trucks had been hard on the rails and EMD also hadn't turned out a D truck in a while, so likely didn't even have the tooling anymore. So they took secondhand SD40-2s, lengthened the frame and then installed span-bolstered B+B trucks under them, resulting in a machine called a BB40-2. Quite a freakish-looking machine, between the 8 axles and the abnormally long "porches" front and rear.

There were also some SD40T-2 "Tunnel Motors" rebuilt into BB40T-2s. Many of the BB40s weren't even repainted, just receiving lettering patches, and this one certainly displays it's D&RGW heritage.

GE also built similar units for Brazil, rebuilding C36-7s, C40-8s, C40-9s, and C40-9Ws into BB36-7s, BB40-8s, BB40-9s and BB40-9Ws respectively.

EMD actually catalogs an SD70ACe-BB, which is a meter-gauge span-bolster B+B-B+B SD70ACe for South American markets.

llysgennad
llysgennad Reader
9/2/21 1:44 p.m.

The 4014 Big Boy  4-8-8-4 rolled thru town again today, headed home to Wyoming. I missed it this time. 

In reply to NickD :

That's truly some freaky E36 M3!

LS_BC8
LS_BC8 New Reader
9/4/21 6:11 a.m.

Well N&W 1218 needs to have the rebuild finished by Strasburg RR, since N&W is palsy with them.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
9/4/21 1:12 p.m.

In reply to LS_BC8 :

The biggest problem with #1218 is its size and weight. #611 is spending the year running trips at North Carolina Museum of Transportation and Strasburg, neither of which are ideal venues. Particularly Strasburg, its borderline too big and heavy for them. #1218 you aren't going to run anywhere that isn't a Class I mainline, and Norfolk Southern isn't steam-friendly at the moment. Shuttle moves, sure, but excursions, no way.

The N&W engine I would like to see operate again is E-2a Pacific #578, which seems to be largely forgotten. Its out at the Ohio Railway Museum and operated into the '70s and was, for years, the only way to see operational N&W steam. The ORM got it because the N&W was still dispatching M2 Mollies on a branchline into the late '50s due to a bridge weight restriction, and so the locals were a fan of the N&W. They requested an M2 but the N&W donated the #578 instead.

In the early 2000s, Jerry Jacobson tried to trade NKP #763 for the #578, and most people believed he would restored #578 to run on the Ohio Central, but ORM refused to part ways with it

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/5/21 7:21 a.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
9/5/21 9:22 a.m.

In reply to 914Driver :

Reminds me of this thing. Not only is that guy in a US uniform, that is on US rails at Fort Eustis. After WWII, the US recovered some German steam locomotives and snuck them back to the US for testing. One of those was this experimental streamlined 2-8-2, which actually used a V-twin steam motor on each axle. There was also a German "Kreigsloco" 2-10-0 with a condensing tender, one of the Flying Hamburger diesel trainsets,  and some other stuff.

The US studied it for possible advancements but by that time the writing was on the wall for steam power. The German equipment all quietly vanished from Fort Eustis in the mid-'50s. A pity it wasn't preserved at a museum or repatriated but no one was thinking about that stuff.

 

Fort Eustis continued tinkering with steam locomotives into the '60s (an S-180 2-8-0, #611, was fitted with unique Franklin Type D rotary cam poppet valve gear in the late '50s). The theory was that if the US went into Korea, Vietnam or China, most of those countries still had steam power and US Army Transportation Corp troops needed to know how to operate them in case they had to commandeer them. The USATC also maintained an inventory of 2-8-0s and 0-6-0s to ship over there because, unlike the USATC's EMD and Alco MRS-1 diesels, the steam locomotives didn't rely on a refined fuel source and so seemed easier to keep fueled.

In reply to NickD :

That's nuts 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
9/5/21 3:44 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

Not that different from Operation Paperclip. Railroads played a vital part in WWII (and later the Korean War) so it would make sense we would hunt out any advantage we could get. Russia was doing just as good a job raiding the cookie jar.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
9/5/21 8:09 p.m.

I bought my tickets for the October 2nd fall foliage trip on the Reading & Northern from Reading to Jim Thorpe. Its a 120 mile round trip with a 3 hour layover at Jim Thorpe. I did not buy dome car tickets, since they were $189ea.

 

This photo is from last year's 14-mile Lehigh Gorge Scenic trip, when they were watering #425 at Jim Thorpe.

In reply to NickD :

It's awesome they're able to have such long trips. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
9/6/21 2:42 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

R&N does it the right way: build a successful freight-hauling railroad, then dabble in steam excursions on the side. That's how the Everrett Railroad does it, and they have a nice program too. Its basically the same concept as the UP steam program or the old Southern/Norfolk Southern program. 

In the case of the R&N, its even funnier because Andy Miller didn't even want to get into passenger operations originally. But when George Harts' excursions out of Jim Thorpe folded up, Jim Thorpe asked the Reading & Northern to take over. He told Jim Thorpe that he would run the trips for X amount of years and if the passenger trips weren't profitable, he wouldn't run them anymore. Well, that time has come and gone and they are restoring a second steam locomotive, just purchased 11 new passenger cars, are rumored to be adding Reading-Wilkes Barre service and are running RDC trips here, there and everywhere, so things must be doing okay.

In reply to NickD :

There's a local short-line here, the Mississippi Export Railroad, who I wish would do something like that. Then again they don't have any quaint towns on their route, or even much exciting scenery, although they do go through quite a bit of woods. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
9/7/21 11:29 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

I wish New York, Susquehanna & Western was still in the passenger business. For a while, NYS&W was way into the passenger service. They were buying passenger cars, including at least one dome car, they imported a Chinese SY Mikado (actually two, but the first one ended up at the bottom of the Bay of Bengal) and were running trips with that, hosted NRHS excursions, they were running regular RDC service around Syracuse, NY as a public transit system. Then the president, Walter Rich,  passed away from pancreatic cancer and the new president cancelled all that immediately. The passenger cars were sold off, the steam locomotive was sold to the NYS&W Technical & Historical Society, put an end to all the excursions and got rid of all the RDCs, the pair of E-units, and all the older or more unusual locomotives (the F45s, M636s, etc.) It did end up well-timed, since the same time that NYS&W was unloading their passenger fleet, Reading & Northern was beginning the Lehigh Gorge Service and bought a bunch of cars and RDCs off the NYS&W.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
9/7/21 3:45 p.m.

A uniquely early-2000s NYS&W lash-up of an ex-Cartier Mining MLW M636, an ex-SP SD40T-2 "tunnel motor" and an ex-BN EMD F45. I don't think any railroads other than NYS&W rostered all of those units simultaneously, and I'm pretty sure that NYS&W was also unique in replacing shiny EMD SD70s with secondhand M636s. While the M636s were railfan favorites, crews had less-than-favorable views on the old 3600hp Canadian engines.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
9/7/21 3:51 p.m.

One of the NYS&W's very worn SD40T-2s next to one of the big MLWs. I know the M636s are all gone, but I'm not sure about the Tunnel Motors.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
9/7/21 3:52 p.m.

The M636s might have been old, but GP20 #2066 was really a relic. An odd sight to see together.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
9/7/21 3:56 p.m.

Three of the old M636s leading some modern CSX power through Cortland, NY. Since CSX and NS both own a stake in NYS&W, its not unusual to see their power show up on trains. NYS&W was also big on leasing power and slow on repainting, which led to some trains that didn't have a speck of yellow and black on the front end.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
9/7/21 5:32 p.m.

Nick, can you tell me anything about this beast?  I have seen it in person.  I would be very curious as to how it got to Sylmar CA.  Is it missing parts?  It seems a bit to smooth, or is it just made to look a bit more fancy?

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