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View Diary: The site of a rail disaster…..Norwalk, Connecticut (41 comments)

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  •  I knew I liked you (5+ / 0-)

    And because I like you, i'm gonna give you nother treat.
    the is union Pacific 844, possibly the 2d most beautiful Northern (as these 4-8-4s were known on the UP and SP)
    note the Armour yellow and battleship grey paintjob of the cars behind it.(with red stripe) UP stilll has this paintjob on its engines, its the oldest continuous paint scheme on any railroad.
    844 is still an active steam engine, they never retired it! Its only used for excursions now but its still on the roster

    Boy steam engines were neato to watch

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 05:33:56 PM PST

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    •  When my dad could not get in the military (5+ / 0-)

      during WW-II, he took a defense job with the Cotton Belt Line.  He had broken a chip out of his elbow when he fell out of an apple tree when he was a kid.  He could not completely straighten his arm, and was 4-F for the service.  He loved steam trains.  One of the best parts of his job was the fact I got to ride in the cab of many a steam locomotive.  

      Egide Walschaerts did a great thing when he invented his ingenious valve gear, making the modern steam locomotive possible.  Dad took me to the training coach every time it came to town.  The railroad had a passenger coach that had been converted into a rolling classroom.  It had many cutaway models of various train parts, all of which you could move.  I found the single most intriguing piece the Walschaerts valve gear, and I spend hours cranking the model driving wheel, studying how the thing worked.  

      The training model looked exactly like the one in this video.  The single most intriguing parts are how the Johnson Bar reverses the movement, and how the pilot piston allows steam to go to both sides of the piston so it is a power stroke going both ways.

      The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

      by Otteray Scribe on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 05:51:29 PM PST

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      •  My dad used to get us rides (5+ / 0-)

        My dad, a salesman, has always had the gift of gab. he used to represent hiself as an SP employee and get us rides also. One of my most memorable was riding a GS4 like 4449 into the Oakland roundhouse. Another was ridig the Del Monte Express to Monterey behind big Cab aheads. hey called those Mallies but they weren't true Mallets, they were all simple.
        SP was the last to have steam in CA, in the Bay area where I lived.

        The Walschaerts were really somthing, they called it Monkey motion. most of the older SP engines had it. But there were other types of valve gears like Baker and stevens

        Happy just to be alive

        by exlrrp on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 06:05:01 PM PST

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      •  Fascinating stuff! We managed to improve ... (5+ / 0-)

        ...on the Caprotti Valve Gear, so that cylinder efficiency reached 86% of the Rankine cycle (that which is theoretically possible). This was applied to certain LMS engines which were used locally.

        'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

        by shortfinals on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 06:40:23 PM PST

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        •  we tried the Caprotti but..... (5+ / 0-)
          In the United States it was tried by several railroads, but with no conspicuous success. The first to try it was the B&O in 1927, on both a 2-8-0 freight locomotive and a 4-6-2 Pacific (No. 5320 "President Cleveland"). It was removed fairly quickly, as were similar attempts by the Reading, the Southern Pacific and Union Pacific.
          but WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA

          We need to talk about British valve gear!!
          Regardez vous le City of Truro.
          Ive poiinted out there's no headlights
          Is this more Mad Dogs and Englishmen stuff??


          I know where the valve gear is---its internal. but, like the headlights.......why? Isn't it 10 times harder to work on internal valve gear than external (nod your head!)
          Why did British Railwayers make it so hard on themselves?
          (note also that SPARTAN cab---does it ever rain there?)

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 06:56:03 PM PST

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          •  I think that US railroads abandoned the Caprotti.. (5+ / 0-)

            ...too soon, as the British version (which was VERY different) turned out to be exceedingly efficient. Inside cylinders were all the rage, of course, for a short while...

            I used to LOVE the British system of having a main locomotive works (or sometimes MORE than one) complete with CME (Chief Mechanical Engineer) for each railway company. These adopted design and runing practices to suit the local topography and the philosophy of the railway.

            Some of these names like Churchward (GWR) and Gresley (LNER) and Fowler (Midland) ring down the ages.

            Following the 1923 consolidation or 'Grouping' into four large organizations, you ended up with TWO design centres in ONE Group, so the LMS ended up with both Crewe (LNWR) and Derby (Midland). Eventually, the Derby 'fashion' for lighter. smaller fast engines lost out to the 'big bangers' from Crewe, although Derby still retained its important position.

            'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

            by shortfinals on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 07:11:29 PM PST

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            •  American railroads were like that (5+ / 0-)

              Every railroad had individualized steam locos, usually designed, often built by their own shops. they dealt with a variety of circumstances, from deserts to high mountains.

              you have to realize that the SP covered ground that would have stretched from Britain to Turkey, almost 2400 miles fom Portland OR to New Orleans LA.. American railroads covered distances, crossed geographical barriers and hauled loads that most European rairoads never saw.
              Each company had their own Mechanical departments that would design many of the locomotives. The SP built about half of their own engines, this was mostly done in Sacramento and Houston shops.

              there were 3 main american locomotive builders: Alco, Lima and Baldwin. The RRs mechanical departments, if they didn't build their own, would give their requirements and the companies would build them. Bth the locos below were built  by Alco (American Locomotive company, also referred to as Schenectady where their biggest factory was)

              Some American locomotives had inside cylinders but they also had outside cylinders. The SP type: the 4-10-2 and the UP type: the 4-12-2 were both 3 cylinders---two on the outside and 1 on the inside.

              Happy just to be alive

              by exlrrp on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 07:58:30 PM PST

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