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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:54 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:54 pm
Posts: 72
While I was stationed at Ft Eustis in 1966 and 1968. I was a night holster sometimes . Late at night I would run the locomotives around the yard at Hanks shop.So I got to operate 611. 611 was equipped with a air valve with only three positions forward ,mid gear , and reverse. Valve had a handle about a foot long which controled small air poppet valves like a old style gas station lift. There was air pipingfrom this valve to the control air cylinder in the valve chest.So locomotive was very simple to operate. I road on the locomotive around Ft Eustis with speeds up to 25 MPH, and it appeared that cutoff change was automatic based on speed.
When I was at Fort Eustis the drawing books for the locomotives were still upstairs in the files I know that most of this information slowly disappeared So it possible someone got the 611 drawings .

I hope that someday locomotive gets operating again as last time I saw 611 at TVRM It was in a sad state of repair.

Anything I could due to help get locomotive operational I would be interested in


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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:04 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Location: Inwood, W.Va.
"So I got to operate 611. 611 was equipped with a air valve with only three positions forward ,mid gear , and reverse. Valve had a handle about a foot long which controled small air poppet valves like a old style gas station lift. There was air pipingfrom this valve to the control air cylinder in the valve chest."--Dennis Daugherty

I knew I'd seen a photo of that rig somewhere:

http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i119/ ... le_611.jpg

Where was it from? Here:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=32851&start=30

Another reason why this is about the best site on the net. . .


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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:14 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 am
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Man, I think I'm gettin' Oldtimer's Disease. I've forgotten 2/3's of what I've posted here about this engine!

At any rate, I guess I'm re-acquiring my fascination with poppet valves. ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:44 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 11:31 pm
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I just want to go on record to say that this is the most interesting discussion that has been here in a lonnnnnngggg time.

I still am not clear...does the new owner intend a restoration to operation?


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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 7:45 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 am
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Location: South Carolina
I remembered another reference to #611, this morning, in Ron Ziel's book "the Twilight of Steam Locomotives". Pages 98 and 99 cover operations at Fort Eustis, and include a couple of nice shots of the 611 on freight.

According to the accompanying text "The most popular locomotive is 2-8-0 No. 611, shown here as she strutted about the post in mid-Summer 1962. Her whistle is an exact replica of Casey Jones' famous "whippoorwill" whistle, and was made by Sergeant Burl F. Wylie of the 714th Railway Operating Battalion. Sergeant Wylie actually measured the original whistle at the Casey Jones Museum, then built this beautifully mellow-toned replica out of boiler tubing in only two days."

I googled Sgt. Wylie thinking he might be able to provide some info, but unfortunately he died in 2002 (at he age of 91!).

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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:52 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 am
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Location: South Carolina
FOUND IT!

Image

http://www.google.com/patents?id=_hlVAA ... 22&f=false

Patent # 2518024 issued August 8, 1950. I'm still studying the details, but it includes a pneumatic actuation 3-position reverse lever (forward, neutral, and reverse) and automatically adjusted cutoff with a limited number of positions. That definitely looks and sounds like the set up on #611.

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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:00 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3616
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
WHAT A FIND!!

Compared with that, I just have some pedestrian stuff on the road on which this engine ran:

First, from here:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=30852

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11352

General history:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Eusti ... y_Railroad

The track layout looks like something a model railroader would build:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:FEVA_map_1967.jpg

Sadly, it sounds like much of it may be gone today:

http://www.the-gauge.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5281

Movie footage, featuring steam and diesel action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jf-aAzZHL8U

Some of that footage was used in this general mobility film from the Army in 1968:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTOhrBnJ ... h_response

Some recollections of the road at Fort Eustis, and supposedly some controversy about the steam engines:

http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/r ... ?11,764900

http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... 11&t=31146

Not preservation related as such, but still interesting--new rail bridges at Fort Eustis made of plastic!

http://www.igsfederal.com/thermoplastic ... ridge.html

Some other interesting photos from the 1950s:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dmclean2009/3823969075/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dmclean200 ... otostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dmclean200 ... otostream/

A bit about that streamlined "V-8" locomotive; this was,in effect, a variant of the proposed B&O W-1 4-2-2-2-2-4 "Besler" locomotive, which was to have individual steam motors on each axle. There is a bit on the Besler machine on the recent New Haven steam motor train thread.

Photos from the 1960s:

http://photos.greatrails.net/show/?orde ... 20Railroad

Have fun.


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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 am
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Location: South Carolina
Great links there J3a-614.

I just finished reading through the patent and studying the drawings. This is really a pretty clever arrangement and it is very simple.

The key point of the gear is that it "effectively" provides automatic adjustment of cutoff with speed. There aren't any external gizmos required to provide this automatic cutoff adjustment.

The camshafts can move laterally in the valve gear boxes (i.e.- perpendicular to the locomotive's direction of travel), their movement being controlled by 2 pneumatically actuated pistons. When the engineer pushes the reverse lever forward, air is admitted to one piston that causes the cam to shift to the side, bringing the "forward" cam profiles into engagement with the followers for the admission and exhaust valves. Pull the lever into reverse, and the cam shifts the other way to bring the reverse cams into contact. In "neutral", the admission valves stay closed while the exhaust valves are kept open to allow the two ends of the cylinders to "communicate" through the exhaust passages for drifting.

The "effective" adjustment of cutoff is accomplished by the admission cam profile, shown on figure 9 of the patent (linked above). The cam keeps the admission (intake) valves fully open only for about 50% of the piston stroke. At this point, the valve closes to about 10% open, and it is kept in this position until 65% of the piston stroke. At this point, the valve closes further to only about 5% open, until the piston reaches 85% of the stroke when it closes completely.

What this means is that at low locomotive speed, the locomotive effectively operates with "full" cutoff (85%). As the rotational speed of the locomotive's running gear increases, the "stepped" closing profile of the admission cams causing partial closing of the admission valves results in wire-drawing (throttling) of the steam flow into the cylinders. This throttling at intermediate speeds effectively gives 65% cutoff, and at higher speeds it effectively gives 50% cutoff.

This arrangement sacrifices some efficiency in exchange for simplicity of operation, increased durability, and reduced maintenance. I'd be very interested to know how it compared to a conventional piston-valved S-160 in terms of power and efficiency. I'd guess the improved flow of the poppet valves at least compensated for the limited adjustment of cutoff, but it'll be interesting to see if we can find any records to confirm that.

One other point- restoration of the driveshafts (shown torched off in the photos Brett posted earlier) will be tricky as they will have to be oriented correctly when they're welded back together to ensure the camshafts are timed properly (just like installing a camshaft in an internal combustion engine). Hopefully the parts on the locomotive are marked to assist in this process. The patent states that the keyway for the camshafts will be at the bottom when the piston on that side of the locomotive is at mid-stroke, but I don't think the keyway will be visible unless the cam box is completely disassembled.

All-in-all, this was a very interesting discovery for a Saturday morning!

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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:18 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3616
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Amazing, amazing, amazing. . .

And we are quite fortunate that this machine is still around, and just might be restorable to operation; wonder how well she would do keeping the 734 company in Cumberland?

About the material not being in existence on 611 after her conversion (and this is just speculation by me, and I don't have any military experience)--but we have a situation in which the Army is still looking at steam locomotive development when the technology is apparently about to be phased out. We have some commentary in one of the links above (just hearsay, actually) that there was a fuss about the Army ordering new steam engines (S-160-As, Tennessee Valley 610 is the surviving example), there are the German experimental locomotives at Fort Eustis in this time period, and there is this poppet-valve rebuild of the engine that would eventually become 611.

I can't help but wonder if someone in the Military Railway Service was a "steam believer," (like Bert Townsend at Lima, R.H. Smith on the Norfolk & Western, Andre Chapelon in France, all in that time, and L. D. Porta and David Wardale later), who thought steam still had potential, and attempted to explore this potential. Question could be, who was he, and what became of him? Did he retire, did he die, was he transferred out, was there a stink raised about this expenditure of tax dollars on an "outmoded" technology?

And this is on top of the questions of how well did this Franklin D gear actually work. . .

Crazy, the more you find out, the more you know that there are things you don't know. . .


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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 7:57 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
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Location: southeastern USA
And it's not over yet....the military is working with Cyclone Engines on several modern Schoell cycle steam powered applications now.

No, they don't look like classic locomotives.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:11 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 1:05 am
Posts: 417
J3a-614 wrote:
I can't help but wonder if someone in the Military Railway Service was a "steam believer,"


The justification for the Railway Battalion was that the US ARMY may be called into service in countries that still used steam locomotives and needed trained soldiers to operate them if need be.


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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:42 pm 

Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 8:36 am
Posts: 159
Ladies and Gentlemen,


I just wanted to let everyone know that I am not ignoring your PMs and questions. I am in the National Guard, and am on Annual Training this week. I will get to everyones questions as I can. I am glad that this topic has become of interest to everyone.


Dennis Daugherty wrote:
I hope that someday locomotive gets operating again as last time I saw 611 at TVRM It was in a sad state of repair.

Anything I could due to help get locomotive operational I would be interested in



Denis,
Thank you very much for the story about 611! I hope to see her out on the main again sometime as well. Could you please PM me and I will get you information about coming to see the locomotive. I'll also talk to the guys about what you could do to help. Thank you very much for the offer, and I look forward to talking with you soon.


jim templin wrote:
I just want to go on record to say that this is the most interesting discussion that has been here in a lonnnnnngggg time.

I still am not clear...does the new owner intend a restoration to operation?




Jim,
I'm glad to have generated a conversation that people are enjoying. Sorry for the pause in my responses to everyone. I never expected this discussion to take off like it has. And, just for the record, (not directed at Jim) this conversation was generated, as well as all of the photos provided by one of the "newer" members accused by some of being nothing but a foamer. Food for though.....new poster does not = foamer. Overmod is another perfect example......


Now to the second part of your question Mr. Templin. The owner had originally not planned on restoring the locomotive to operation. It and the 0-6-0 were going to be cosmetically restored and placed on display. However, this conversation has generated a lot of excitement among the people working on this project, and they are now concidering an operational restoration. So, this answer is not very cut and dry at the moment. The engine will be restored, and stabilized. As for operation, it will depend on time and funds. I am one of the people who would like to push forward with an operational rebuild, but there are a lot of things to get done.
We have an ultrasound machine that we can use to do the form 4 calculation on the boiler , and I am going to be talking with them about getting all of the grids laid out to do it. I think one of the biggest factors in weather or not it operates will most likely be the results of the form 4. If it needs a whole new boiler, I'm not sure if they will go for it.....but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. At the very least we will have to see if the #611 shows signs of being modified after the war to fix the design flaws in the S-160 class. The class had BIG issues with the crown sheet stays, as well as a few other issues that were fixed on a couple of the Ft. Eustis engines (607 and 612 for sure).






HUGH!!!!!!! That is almost spot on!!!!!! Thanks for finding those drawings!!!!! That is going to make it much much better for me when I dig into 611s valves. I will be very interested to see if the covering on the piston is removed, if we will find a second cam box as indicated on the drawings.
When I get back to the office next week I will upload the comparisons for you. I do have a comparison between the modified 611 and the unmodified 607. I would get it up for you sooner, but all of that stuff is on the computer at my office.




whodom wrote:
One other point- restoration of the driveshafts (shown torched off in the photos Brett posted earlier) will be tricky as they will have to be oriented correctly when they're welded back together to ensure the camshafts are timed properly (just like installing a camshaft in an internal combustion engine). Hopefully the parts on the locomotive are marked to assist in this process. The patent states that the keyway for the camshafts will be at the bottom when the piston on that side of the locomotive is at mid-stroke, but I don't think the keyway will be visible unless the cam box is completely disassembled.



This is when I get to use one of my catch phrases on here.....

I HATE WINNING! WE SUCK AGAIN!!!!!!!!

The eccentric boxes are both marked, but at you can see in the pictures they are not mounted on the locomotive. They will have to be mounted, and then we can get the drive shafts put back on the engine. Once that happens we will have to effectively re-time the locomotive from scratch, because there is no way to tell where the eccentrics should be set against the motion of the cams as you have described. The cams do have to be set against the drive shaft, but also set against the eccentric boxes at the proper rotation on the main pins.
So that being said, you would have hoped that when things came off the locomotive they had been marked.....but....nope. Other than the main parts like the eccentric boxes....I'm going to be shooting blanks other than the information that I get here which I will print out for the guys down there.


J3a-614 wrote:
I can't help but wonder if someone in the Military Railway Service was a "steam believer," (like Bert Townsend at Lima, R.H. Smith on the Norfolk & Western, Andre Chapelon in France, all in that time, and L. D. Porta and David Wardale later), who thought steam still had potential, and attempted to explore this potential.




J3a,
I can answer that question for you in terms of operational readiness for the force. At the time that this was done for the Army Steam Program, as you asserted most of the country was going to full Dieselisation. When thinking about this situation, think about deployment areas in the rest of the world and what they were running for motive power. At that time, the Army is looking at the potential of deploying to countries that are no where close to getting diesels. With the base of young railroaders turning from one that knew and ran steam, to one that was not experienced with it, the army had to find a way to make it easy for "Diesel" guys to be able to run steam with a minimum of training time.
I would reccomend that you take a look at the FM 4-01.41 (FM 55-20). This is the army manual on theater operations and it will give you a real good idea why the army insisted on holding on to some sort of a steam program until the 70s. With the last of the TROBs being stood down soon, a long tradition of Army railroaders will fade into history. Hopefully, we will be able to put one S-160 back into army paint, and keep the memory alive. Thanks for an awesome discussion guys, I'll keep putting up pictures and information as I get it.

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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 am
Posts: 1195
Location: South Carolina
M Austin wrote:
The justification for the Railway Battalion was that the US ARMY may be called into service in countries that still used steam locomotives and needed trained soldiers to operate them if need be.

Matt & Brett, I think we all understand that this is why the Army was still training soldiers to operate steam locomotives up through the 1960's. J3a-614's question was why the Army was still working with an experimental steam locomotive at this late date (~1950). Learning how to operate a one-off steam locomotive with simplified controls would not be helpful to soldiers who had to move into a foreign country and operate conventional steam locomotives with their more-complicated controls there.

Maybe there was a steam "true believer" in the USATC that thought new steam locomotives built for the U.S. Army still had a future, even in the 1950's.

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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:59 pm 

Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 8:36 am
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Hugh,
The system was supposed to deploy with them. The idea was to order and modify a new batch of engines and ship them to the theaters of operations like they had with the "trade" program during WWII. It really didn't have anything to do with a "steam fan". I'll use the example of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" This would be why 237 years after the birth of the army, and 99 years after the invention of the zipper I still have button flys in my uniforms.
It's the same reason that the Army bought all of the flexible gauge MRS-1 locomotives. Have them here, and ship them (or at least the system) anywhere they needed them. Purchased all of them and they went no where.......

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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:12 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 am
Posts: 1195
Location: South Carolina
Brett- I'm glad you're enjoying this discussion too.

brettcog2000 wrote:
This is when I get to use one of my catch phrases on here.....

I HATE WINNING! WE SUCK AGAIN!!!!!!!!

The eccentric boxes are both marked, but at you can see in the pictures they are not mounted on the locomotive. They will have to be mounted, and then we can get the drive shafts put back on the engine. Once that happens we will have to effectively re-time the locomotive from scratch, because there is no way to tell where the eccentrics should be set against the motion of the cams as you have described. The cams do have to be set against the drive shaft, but also set against the eccentric boxes at the proper rotation on the main pins.
So that being said, you would have hoped that when things came off the locomotive they had been marked.....but....nope. Other than the main parts like the eccentric boxes....I'm going to be shooting blanks other than the information that I get here which I will print out for the guys down there.


Brett- I've been thinking about this and the job may not be all that difficult. One thing that will be helpful is the two driveshafts have U-joints. The U-joint on one end has to be aligned to match the U-joint at the other end for the U-joints to flex properly. That means that the driveshafts can only be welded together in one of two ways (aligned correctly or aligned 180 degrees off). The eccentric cranks can only fit on the main pins one way because they're keyed, so that's good.

I don't think it'll be all that hard to figure out the timing with a little study of the locomotive and some head scratching.

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