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adam525i
adam525i GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/29/23 12:34 p.m.

Snapped this picture out the car window yesterday just around the corner from where I live in Kitchener, ON. Our LRT about to go under the main lines through town with a train crossing above in front of Google.

Also the future home of our transit hub (behind the cyclist waiting to cross) where the LRT and busses will connect with the GO train/VIA.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/29/23 7:16 p.m.

SP Train Masters (and other friends) on the Peninsula Commute in 1972. By that point, the SDP45s we're starting to show up in force, because Amtrak's formation had freed them up. Those F-Ms are really flying in some of the shots.

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/29/23 7:27 p.m.

In 1951, F-M introduced a 6-axle companion to the H-16-44, which meant it was an H-16-66. After the introduction of the H-24-66 Train Master, the H-16-66 was subbed the "baby Train Master" by railfans. A rugged, gutsy machine, 6-axle power really hadn't caught on yet, and it was not a success. Milwaukee Road and C&NW were the only railroads to buy in any sort of quantity, with the only two other buyers, Alcoa and the Tennessee Valley Authority, buying one each.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/30/23 9:24 a.m.

An early H-16-66 belonging to the C&NW. It still has the Loewy stepped headlight casing and the Commonwealth trucks that 6-axle Baldwins used. Later Baby Train Masters adopted the Train Master styling and Tri-Mount trucks that Alco favored. The last few even used GE generators and traction motors, like the final few Baldwin AS-416s, because their preferred electrical gear supplier, Westinghouse, bailed out of the locomotive market partway through '56. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/30/23 9:32 a.m.

Baby Train Masters galore at Escanaba, Michigan. C&NW owned 45 out of the total 59 produced and stationed most of them in Upper Peninsula Michigan hauling iron ore. They held out there until 1975, when they were finally retired and replaced with secondhand Alco C628s that the C&NW bought off of Norfolk & Western during the N&W's big roster rationalization effort.

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/30/23 9:35 a.m.

A 3-unit set is parked under a disused coaling tower. The #1678 still wears the as-delivered livery, with the chevrons extending the full height of the locomotive. The #1607, two photos above, shows a simplified scheme, that was further downgraded to just the solid bands of green and yellow.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/30/23 9:51 a.m.

Milwaukee Road H-16-66 #551 is paired up with H-16-44 #427 on a freight out of Kansas City. You can see the difference in size between a Baby Train Master and it's four-axle sister.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/30/23 10:06 a.m.

A trio of "Baby Trainmasters" [#1683, #1698, #1904, all with different builder dates] are getting to works starting a loaded taconite ore train out of Iron Mountain. The fireman or head brakeman is giving the train a visual inspection as it crosses the East B Street crossing en route to Escanaba on an overcast July afternoon in 1971. By evidence of the lighter rail lying along the right-of-way, the C&NW has just recently laid newer and heavier rail, but it won't see long-term service. In 1978, the Milwaukee Road and the Chicago & North Western will agree on a joint venture to ease congested grade crossings in downtown Iron Mountain. After a new connecting track is built on the east side of town, the C&NW will begin using the Milwaukee Road and ultimately remove their old mainline through town. At this point in time though, on a daily basis, the Milwaukee Road would bring a loaded train south from the Groveland Mine and swap loads for empties with the C&NW. Much to the dismay of the motoring public in Iron Mountain, these moves meant blocking all of the downtown street crossings for at least fifteen minutes or more. As nice as the new routing was for everyone, it wasn’t needed for long. The Groveland Mine permanently closed in 1982, which was an economic blow to the area and brought to a close a lengthy era of ore trains moving through Iron Mountain.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/30/23 11:10 a.m.

Tennessee Valley Authority #24, one of the last H-16-66s built and one of the last F-M locomotives built for the US market, at Gallatin, TN in May of 1972. A late build unit (it rolled out in 1958, the year F-M threw in the towel on the US market) it has the Trimount trucks and GE electrical gear. From this angle, you can also see a quirk of the Baby Train Master in regards to the cooling fans. While the H-24-66s had two cooling fans on each side, the lower horsepower H-16-66 had two on the fireman's side, and one on the engineers side, with a blockoff plate towards the rear. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/30/23 12:17 p.m.

TVA #24, after being renumbered to #F3060 and freshly repainted in 1996. The #F3060 spent it's entire life transporting coal four miles from an interchange point to the coal-fired powerplant at Gallatin for almost 40 years, being officially retired when the plant was modified to receive it's coal by barge. It still ran on occasion, but that officially came to an end when the plant was converted from coal to natural gas, which was moved in by pipeline. The #F3060 remained a kind of urban legend, hidden away on the property, with people wondering if it was still there or operational. FInally, in 2019, TVA Gallatin approached the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum about donating the H-16-44 and an Alco S-1 to the museum, and in 2021, the #F3060 was trucked to Chattanooga and is undergoing restoration. I believe the plan is to eventually get it operational and operate it for special occasions. You can also see a complaint that crews had about F-M locomotives: look how high up those running boards are. And it doesn't have steps to get up there, but narrow ladders. They were a pain to get aboard, because they were too tall to easily toss your gripsack aboard, but you needed both sets of hands to climb up on.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/30/23 12:36 p.m.

 Milwaukee Road and C&NW H-16-66's huddle under the rain at the shared facilities at Escanaba in 1974. Like SP, C&NW and MILW wisely congregated all their F-Ms in one place so that they were being worked on by crews that were familiar with the idiosyncracies of F-M equipment, resulting in better reliability and longer life. The Milwaukee Road's Fairbanks-Morse all vanished in the spring of 1976, traded in on a huge 64-unit order of EMD MP15ACs. The year before, this photo C&NW had purchased Alco C628s from N&W, fiddled around with running them in their Twin Cities power pool, and then in 1975 they sent them north to Escanaba to retire the Fairbanks-Morses.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/30/23 12:46 p.m.

"Canadian Pacific" #7009 at Golden, British Columbia. This is the other surviving H-16-66, and it is not an original CP unit. In fact, CP never owned any H-16-66s at all. This is the sole unit that was sold to Alcoa for use at their Squaw Creek Coal facility. After retirement, it was purchased and moved to British Columbia, where it's displayed with what is also the last Fairbanks-Morse Consolidated-line cab locomotive.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/30/23 12:47 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/30/23 4:06 p.m.

A partnership between four groupes has been announced which will see one GE 44-tonner parted out to get three more 44-tonners operational.

The Delaware & Ulster Railroad owns Western Maryland #76, one of two 44-tonners that the Wild Mary owned, and it has not operated in years and is stated to be "largely intact but in poor condition after decades of outdoor storage" in New York. The #76 does have all the mechanical bits that three separate groups need to operationally restore 44-tonners that they own.

They are Middletown & New Jersey #2, at Operation Toy Train New York based out of Port Jervis.

New York, New Haven & Hartford #0814 at the Danbury Railway Museum.

And Hoboken Manufacturers Railroad #700, owned by the Tri-State Railway Historical Society out of Morristown, NJ, but on the United Railroad Historical Society of NJ's Boonton, NJ facilities.

Also, the #76 will provide spare parts for the already-operational GE 44-tonner at Danbury Railway Museum, GE #1399, one of the original demonstrator units and Union Pacific's sole GE 44-tonner. The #1399, and New Haven #0814, were both owned by General Dynamics and used at their Electric Boat division before being donated to Danbury in 2006. After being stripped of mechanical parts, the #76 will then be cosmetically restored and painted in New York, Ontario & Western colors and put on display at the Port Jervis Transportation History Center.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/30/23 4:29 p.m.

On the subject of small GE critters, Nevada Northern is working on restoring their "ping-pong service" and in the process is restoring a GE side-rod 45-tonner that they inherited a number of years ago.

The "ping-pong service" is a one-mile shuttle service that the Nevada Northern operated between downtown Ely and the railroad's shops and station in East Ely in the early 1900s. It ran back and forth several times a day, giving it that nickname, moving passengers and employees between the railroad's facilities and downtown Ely. The railroad had actually bought up all the land around the railroad and named their depot Ely, and had hoped to convince the town to move the mile east (and therefore have to buy the land off the railroad) but when that failed, the railroad built the connecting line and began shuttle service. Once roads improved and more people bought cars, the railroad discontinued this service, and the very end of the tracks (which went to the Hotel Nevada) were removed, but the rest of the line is intact and terminates at the White Pine Public Museum in Ely. Nevada Northern is now in the process of rehabilitating the trackage and plans to revive the ping-pong service to between the two museums.

To operate that service, Nevada Northern has begun working on a GE 45-tonner that they acquired a couple years ago but didn't really want. They received a call from a cement company in Utah years ago that had an operational 45-ton locomotive that they didn’t need anymore. They wanted to donate it to the Nevada Northern Railway Museum, since they had asked railroad museums in Utah, but no one wanted the locomotive. The NN president thanked them for the offer, but explained that their mission was first preserving the Nevada Northern Railway and then secondly preserving artifacts from railroads in Nevada. He then asked, “Since I’m not accepting the locomotive what’s your next step.” The reply was, “Since no one wants the locomotive, we’re just going to cut it up and scrap it.” At that answer, they felt bad that a running GE 45-tonner was going to be scrapped, so he told them that they would take the engine. It was delivered to Ely, shoved back in the engine house and has sat there pretty much since. They were originally told that it was ex-Pacific Electric by one "expert" but then Pacific Electric historians pointed out that the Pacific Electric never owned a 45-tonner and it was actually ex-Philadelphia Electric. It also spent time at Martin Marietta Cement, then Southwestern Portland Cement and then Ash Grove Cement West. When or how it got to Utah from Philly remains a bit of a mystery. The revival of the ping-pong finally gives the previously unwanted 45-tonner a purpose, since it's small, gutsy, and easy on fuel. I imagine their other diesel power, particularly the Baldwin DS-4-4-1000, might also make occasional runs on the ping-pong.

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/30/23 4:38 p.m.

Nevada Northern also got their Kennecott Copper DS-4-4-1000, #801, officially blue-carded, so it is now legal for them to operate. They've been posting videos and photos of them running it around the yard. This is the first time in 40 years that it has moved under it's own power. Although complete, it lacked any sort of spare parts supply for the big naturally-aspirated De La Vergne 608. Through SMS Rail Services, they found a De La Vergne 608NA that had been installed in a building as a generating set and had little-to-no runtime on it. That power plant was moved out to Ely, and they have returned the #801 to operation, now that they have a parts supply for it.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/30/23 4:39 p.m.

If you watch, you can actually almost see the firing order from the individual exhaust stacks. At idle, you easily can, from what I've heard about them.

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/31/23 9:26 a.m.

This one is pretty exciting: the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency is pushing hard to construct a 10.8 mile extension on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad that would extend from the current northern terminus of Rockside Road in Independence, Ohio into downtown Cleveland using the old Cleveland Union Terminal (now Tower City). The CVSR currently runs from Independence to Akron through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park on former Baltimore & Ohio trackage. The hope is that by extending to Cleveland, it can allow people who live in inner city Cleveland and lack their own transportation to be able to visit the park service. there's also talk of trying to run commuter service from Cleveland to Akron, although that may be hampered the fact that the tracks through Cleveland and Newburgh Heights are used by freight train traffic (the new Wheeling & Lake Erie), and much of the route above is single track with limited sidings. Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has hosted NKP #765 numerous times and previously operated GTW #4070, plus there's been rumblings of a group leasing GTW #6325 from Age of Steam Roundhouse and that has also run at the CVSR, so it's a possibility that there could be steam locomotives running into Cleveland Union Terminal once more.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/31/23 11:01 a.m.

It also looks like East Broad Top is nearly ready to put 2-8-2 #16 back into operation for the first time since 1956. In fact, if I was the betting type, I'd say that it'll make it's debut February 18th. There has been radio silence on the status of the #16 aside from a video last spring that showed it steamed up, albeit without a cab, tender, boiler jacketing or most of the appliances. Then over the past week, they posted a video of the valve gear being cycled through it's positions and another of the headlight being illuminated with the dynamo operating on compressed air, both showing the headlight, boiler jacketing, number plate, and other appliances in place. Then they posted a photo of them moving the #16, sans tender, with the M-6 with the caption of "What a spectacular winter evening." Curious that they use those words, winter and spectacular, since the East Broad Top Winter Spectacular is in two weeks on February 18th and 19th. Hmmmm. Followed shortly by a photo of them washing the boiler jacketing, and then today of a photo showing the engine and tender reunited. That gives them two weeks to do shakedown runs and make sure everything is okay after a 67 year slumber. Or at the very least, they may have it on display then.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/31/23 11:32 a.m.

East Broad Top #16 in front of the Orbisonia Depot at an unknown date during the EBT's common carrier days. I would say sometime in the late '40s to 1956 time frame, because it doesn't appear to have a riveted tender tank. At some point in the late '40s, the EBT had the tender bodies on the #16 and #17 replaced with new welded bodies from Baldwin. Note the standard gauge PRR hopper car directly behind the tender. EBT repurposed the old timber transfer at the dual gauge Mount Union to be able to lift a standard-gauge car up and put narrow gauge trucks under the car, They would then use an adapter between the couplers to hook it to narrow gauge equipment (narrow gauge couplers are smaller than standard gauge) and could move it around the system for loading. They typically only put one standard gauge car into a consist and it was usually hooked directly behind the locomotive, since a standard gauge car on narrow gauge trucks had some poor harmonics and tracking.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/31/23 4:42 p.m.

East Broad Top #16 is one of the "big" Mikados that the EBT bought in 1916, which added superheating and the rather rare Southern valve gear to the same basic package as the "small" Mikados, the #14 and #15. Baldwin actually tried convincing EBT to purchase a narrow-gauge 2-10-2, but concerns over the grade resulted in them sticking with the Mikado wheel arrangement. As it was, the #16, and sister engines #17 and #18, forced the East Broad Top to upgrade much of their track from 60lb rail to 75lb rail. In the later years, as customers dwindled, the smaller Mikados were parked, and the larger Mikados were the primary power. A year before the EBT, as a common carrier, closed in 1956, the #16 had it's fires dropped, was run inside the roundhouse, and has been cold ever since. The #17 and #18 carried on for one more year, and the #18 was actually supposed to haul the final freight train, but some mechanical ailment had it come up lame (reportedly leaking superheater elements) and the #17 was used for the final run instead.

After the entirety of the East Broad Top was sold to Kovalchick Salvage and reactivated by Joe Jovalchick, the #16 and the #18 stayed in the roundhouse, while #12, #14 and #15 were the primary power. The #17 was restored to operation in 1968 and was used as reserve power, due to the condition of the track. In August 10 1985 Joe Kovalchick announced his intention to reactivate #16, but in the end #14 was rebuilt instead, reportedly because #16's boiler paperwork had been destroyed by a roof leak. The #16 was pulled out of the roundhouse for the first time since 1955 in July 1987 for a National Model Railroad Association photo op, and in 1991 she and #18 were pulled out for display with the two engines facing each other across Meadow Street.

With the purchase of the EBT in 2020 by the EBT Foundation, all 6 of the Mikados were evaluated as to which were the best candidates for return to service. The #16 received a steam cleaning March 11, 2020 in preparation for her inspection. Along with #14, #16 was selected in early May 2020 for rebuild, being found to be in the best shape due to it sitting out the decades of use in the tourist era. The #18 was reportedly run hard with very little maintenance in the final year of operation, and has several questionable firebox repairs, which resulted in the #16 being chosen over it.. Asbestos abatement occurred in early May 2-9, 2020 in roundhouse stall 8 and a successful hydrostatic test to determine the overhaul health of the boiler was performed the week of May 18-22, 2020. Tear down of #16 began in April of 2020 and work on the locomotive has included rebuilding of the tender trucks, fabrication of a new tender tank by Curry Rail Services of Holidaysburg, PA, new tires on tender wheels, replacement of 3/4 of the front tube sheet, replacing the staybolts, flues and superheater elements, and overhaul of the generator and air pumps. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
1/31/23 6:08 p.m.

Log book entry from the #16's final operation. Something tells me that the complaint of leaking flues has been addressed

NickD
NickD MegaDork
2/1/23 4:57 p.m.

And, East Broad Top #16, making the first moves under it's own power in 67 years.

 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) UberDork
2/1/23 8:55 p.m.

Nick, love the posts.  I'm in Baton Rouge this week for work.  I drive each day by one of the largest rail complexes I've ever seen.  Just north of BR is a huge junction of CN, KCS and a local railroad the Baton Rouge Southern.  Lot's of railroad activity here. 

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

My condolences. Between the traffic over the bridge & their high crime rate I'd almost rather deal with the crime. At least I'd be able to vent my frustration.

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