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 Post subject: B&M 3713 question
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 7:54 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 1114
Location: Northeastern US
Question for anyone in the know at Steamtown.

B&M 3713 came from Lima equipped with the Locomotive Valve Pilot device. The Valve Pilot was a mechanical computer that helped inform the engineer of how to operate the engine for peak performance. Few railroads used them, and even fewer preserved locomotives have them. Once the restoration is completed, the B&M Pacific could be the only active steamer with a valve pilot.

So I suppose there are really two questions. Did the 3713's valve pilot survive all these years of preservation?

And if it still exists, will the valve pilot appliance be operational?

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Last edited by Stephen Hussar on Fri Dec 28, 2007 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: B&M 3713 question
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:24 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
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Location: Maine
Stephen: The photo you attached to you posting shows the extreme elegance of the big Boston & Maine Pacific, particularly in that service paint scheme. I'll piggyback another question to yours, in how far along is the locomotive towards completion, given the removal of the Pennsy Pacific? What type of restoration management is being used to refurbish this locomotive?

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 Post subject: Re: B&M 3713 question
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:29 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:06 am
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Location: NE PA
In addition to the Steamtown shop forces, the Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley Chapter of the NRHS is hiring 3 outside contractors to aid the restoration of the 3713. They will be on site sometime in January.

Mike Tillger


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 Post subject: Re: B&M 3713 question
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 11:09 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2007 4:23 pm
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Location: Florida's Forgotten Coast
She wore this style of lettering on her last fantrip, which looks much better to me. The lettering is silver with red shadows and the tender is lined in red, along with the running boards.

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 Post subject: Re: B&M 3713 question
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 11:47 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1928
Location: Sackets Harbor, NY
Let's all hope that the 3 contractors mentioned in Mr. Tillgers post above are up to the job and that this project starts to make meaningful forward progress.
She's certainly a beautiful passenger engine and would make a grand sight again hauling varnish!! My best wishes to the new crews for good luck!!
ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: B&M 3713 question
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 8:03 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2004 1:41 pm
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Location: Bowling Green, KY
The A&WP 290, at the Southeastern Railway Museum, had a locomotive valve pilot prior to her restoration by the state in the late 80's(video evidence to confirm this). After the rebuild no valve pilot and noone knows what happened to it, though they do have 3 of the drive wheels that ride a drive wheel.


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 Post subject: Valve Pilot
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:31 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
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Location: Thomaston & White Plains
I seem to recall NKP 759 sporting one of these devices; at least, the dial in the cab read "Valve Pilot Corporation, New York, NY". Was it functional as more than just a speedometer?

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 Post subject: Re: Valve Pilot
PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:29 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 11:47 pm
Posts: 62
Location: Maine
Howard, From what information I have, the valve piolet had two pointers on the spindle. One , of course, would indicate speed, and was driven by a flexible chain that was driven by an idler wheel that rested upon one of the drivers. The other pointer was driven by a connection to the valve gear from a box mounted on the side of the locomotive. Inside this box was a cam which would be connected to the reverse shaft. When the reverser was moved, the second pointer would move on the instrument in the cab. As I recall the instructions, it called for the valve gear to be adjusted to keep the pointer "line in line" with the speed pointer for maximum tractive effort. For maximum economy, move the pointer ahead of the speed pointer until the engine begins to "buck", then back off slightly. Those may not be the exact words, but you know what I mean. When the tape was taken off the recorder, it would show the speed, but also how hard the engine was worked. The 470 in Waterville, an ex Maine Central pacific has one on it. Unfortunatly, there isn't much left of it, except for the casing and the cam box.
Leverett Fernald


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 Post subject: Re: Valve Pilot
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 12:16 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1928
Location: Sackets Harbor, NY
If my memory serves me correctly there was no such device on the 759 when we restored her to service in Conneaut,Ohio in 1968. I went over her fairly thoroughly and do not recall seeing it. I believe at that time her speedometer also was missing.
As to the B&M effort I have it on good authority that the 3 contractors mentioned above are competent pros and it's my guess that there's a good chance now with them on the job that meaningful forward progress will start to happen???Sure would be nice to see.
Best of good luck to them and thanks to the Chapter for staying the course!!
Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: Valve Pilot
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 8:35 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
This device sounds like a an overgrown speedometer with a second hand calibrated to the cutoff position of the reverser? Not very high tech? Perhaps a variable advance cam providing a non-linear cutoff calibration.

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 Post subject: Re: B&M 3713 question
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 8:56 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2007 4:23 pm
Posts: 180
Location: Florida's Forgotten Coast
Hmm, the question about the Locomotive Valve Pilot brings back a memory of the April 22, 1956, trip from Boston to Portland and return that was the B&M's last steam excursion, IIRC. When we stopped for water at Dover, NH, the crew overshot the water plug by about a carlength and spent about a half hour messing around before they could get 3713 into reverse to back up to the plug. I do recall that she had a screw reverse rather than a Johnson bar, but even so, always wondered what the problem was.


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