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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:44 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2097
Stationary Steam wrote:
Their website is actually quite vague as to where they will be located at. The only reference to location is their Berea street address.

http://www.omti-oh.com/index.html

Akron blimp hangar? I'm speechless.



Looks like a work in progress, very professionally made website, and looks like someone who knows what their doing.

Looks like a stay tuned story


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:39 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:04 am
Posts: 665
Location: Northeast Ohio
IF the Google Earth image date of July 3, 2010 is correct, then as of that date the 643 still had an exit to the outside world at the north end of the industrial track. The south end switch has been removed but not the north end. Whether the 2-10-4 can make it up the industrial track is another story!


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:35 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 974
Location: Back in NE Ohio
Jack A. Siffert wrote:
"Ohio Museum of Transportation and Industry recently popped up out of nowhere with plans to build a big museum in Berea"
. Berea? Last year when they approached us about W&LE 3984 NKP 384 they wanted to take it to Their "Akron Facility" It was going to be in an old Blimp hanger.
Now Berea? good luck there.


Well, unless there's a top-secret facility here I don't know about, the only "Akron Blimp Hanger" is the huge former Goodyear Airdock (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodyear_Airdock) at the municipal airport along the CVSR, currently owned and very much used by Lockheed Martin. At well over 1,000' long, it was the largest building without interior supports in the World before the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center was built. It has it's own weather on the inside! I can't imagine that is what they are talking about. Goodyear still owns and maintains the slightly smaller (can store three current size blimps) WWI-era hanger at Wingfoot Lake in Suffield Twp. as it's Airship Ops HQ and keeps N3A, Spirit of Goodyear there.

This is the first I've heard about an "Ohio Museum of Transportation". I'll ask around and see if I can find out anymore about it. We certainly could use something like this, although given the current economic climate around here, unless they have a committed sugar daddy with really deep pockets, I don't see it coming to fruition anytime soon. Last I heard, even the Ohio Historical Society's museum in Columbus was either closed or operating on a very limited basis due to budget cuts.

As for the group in Mentor, from what I have been told about their site, bringing the 643 there would be like trying to keep an elephant in your garage. 643 clearly is a PA born and bred engine, and despite all of PA's current woes, those of you there should do anything you can to keep it there and get it to either Strasburg or Scranton, where it would probably be a centerpiece of either collection.


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:48 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:43 am
Posts: 388
Location: Dalton, Georgia
Stationary Steam wrote:
IF the Google Earth image date of July 3, 2010 is correct, then as of that date the 643 still had an exit to the outside world at the north end of the industrial track. The south end switch has been removed but not the north end. Whether the 2-10-4 can make it up the industrial track is another story!


Actually, it appears that there was also a switch removed on the industrial track north of the locomotive that leads into another former industry. The good thing is that it's not landlocked away from an active right of way - yet...

Though not very practical in today's operating environment, it is still a beautiful locomotive that has basically been protected under cover or inside since it was retired. A real shame that the owner seems rather obtuse regarding the locomotive's security. It is, however, his private property, so we'll just have to wait on him or his eventual estate to make a move.


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:06 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 4:03 pm
Posts: 722
The multiple switches that have to be cut back in aren't your problem.

It's that CSX is the railroad you'd cut into.

Image

As far as a caption for this image: They didn't listen.

KL


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:47 pm 
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Posts: 1388
I had an inquiry a while back from Ohio Museum of Transportation and Industry about the Winton Engine Company and the Cleveland Diesel Engine Division of General Motors. I got the impression this organization is strictly existing on paper, that it is entirely a concept at this time.

PC

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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:24 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 am
Posts: 1102
Location: South Carolina
Randy Musselman wrote:


I managed to find the same location on Bing.com; their maps page includes "Birdseye" (oblique angle) photos. Unfortunately the 643 was still under cover when their photos were taken, but you can see the diesel:

http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=qrbp5k ... ks%2C%20pa

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The Ultimate Steam Page
http://www.trainweb.org/tusp


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:16 am
Posts: 1388
What a sad looking brownfield industrial neighborhood. Looks like a lot of buildings adjacent to the tracks need roofing and replacement windows, or a demolition crew.

PC

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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 3:56 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2097
I was poking around for specs on the engine

http://www.steamlocomotive.com/texas/?page=ble

102106 lbs tractive effort, that is almost double of 765.

124lb/yard rail reccomended for operation.

135,000 lbs Tractive effort is the rating for a Big Boy and that is not far off for the 2-10-4 packing its power on the 10 wheels.

It might be one thing to place the engine over simply for display when all the work done on it would bring it to operation. If one were to have this engine moved, it would be more practical to get it somewhere where it could be more operation friendly.


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:13 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8399
Location: Baltimore, MD
Dinwitty,

The prospects for the operation of 643 have been discussed before here.

Long story short: This massive engine will beat the bejeezin' bejayzus out of the track of any railroad that attempts to operate it at any kind of excursion-train speed and/or on any regular basis. The potential operational problems are on par with those for a UP Big Boy.

Until someone buys the entire former Bessemer & Lake Erie, or a similar iron-ore road such as the DM&IR, and concocts a plan to operate steam photo charters on it, for all intents and purposes this locomotive just doesn't have a place to operate at much more than a back-and-forth shuttle.

Having said that, nothing is impossible. But getting AT&SF 3751 from the West Coast to Rock Island this summer is going to look easy as pie compared to, say, trying to get this thing to Steamtown or an NRHS Convention and back.Now, a one-way trip to the Ohio Central or the Railroad Museum of Pa.--maybe.........


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:51 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 1:45 pm
Posts: 186
Location: Northern Virginia
Specs for steam locos are a bit more variable than one would think.
Steamlocomotive.com does a fair job of covering a lot of material, but the individual spec lists are misleading at times. In the case of 643, the tractive effort for the locomotive is 96,700 lbs plus booster at 13,100 lbs for a total of 109,800 lbs. Steve Llanso generally seems to calculate TE using a K factor of 0.85 for all locos, rather than use the rating assigned by a given railroad. B&LE used 0.80, perhaps due to a slightly limited cutoff when starting. This may be what caused the difference between B&LE's rating of 96,700 lbs and SL.c's calculation of 102,106 lbs.

If you want to calculate the FA, you have to use the weight on drivers and the cylinder TE only. The FA in this case is 3.85, not far from the usual for a 2-10-4.


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:47 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:18 pm
Posts: 216
Location: Pittsburgh PA
The "on the scene" 643 situation as of a month ago is this: There are actually at least two switches that would need to be re-installed. Here's the view looking east, the track 643 sits on is branching off to the left behind the photographer:

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Points are still there, for whatever that's worth:

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Then engine sits outside, with a tarp partially covering it, and behind a fence:

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It is my sincere hope that the current ownership will be able to reach a deal for something better for this engine, somewhere where people can at least enjoy and appreciate it, if not see it operate. Glenn's passed on some good opportunities, perhaps time has progressed enough that he'll finally part with it. Glenn's had some help and done his best to take care of it, but this plan is not sustainable for the long haul. It'd be quite a shame to watch the thing rust into the ground where she stands.

To further complicate things, CSX's National Gateway project continues to work its way west toward Pittsburgh. Among the parts of the project to be done here is significantly lowering the line so that double stacks cars can clear the Pittsburgh and Ohio Central bridge crossing above the photographer in the first photo. When this happens, it's possible that the only way out will be via truck.


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:35 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2006 10:42 am
Posts: 208
Location: Lancaster, PA
Tim,

To me the first photo is quite troubling. The main line immediately to the right appears to be welded rail with no switch in sight as far as the eye can see. I can't possible see how CSX would agree to a cut a switch into a manicured, welded rail mainline to get her out of there......you are talking major $ and time, potentially delaying service. Not good.....not good at all.

Getting her moved on the road is going to cost major dollars, heavy haul trailers, crane charges, highway permits, possibly more money than she is worth in scrap?

Here's hoping!

Regards,

Randy


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:06 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:50 pm
Posts: 368
Randy and all,

After I perused the National Gateway website a couple months ago, I was rather shocked and stunned to see the P&OC overpass as a location where CSXT plans to lower their tracks to increase clearances for double stacks. I've done this sort of work myself and know what's involved. Believe me, the running track that 643 is "connected" to will disappear and I highly doubt CSXT will spend the money to rebuild and lower the running track to keep it intact and then also lower the industrial side tracks connected to it as well. Tim, at my request, ventured into this somewhat unsavory part of Pittsburgh with an also-nervous look-out to see what the real situation was as far as rail access was concerned. This engine CAN be moved by rail with a relatively minimal amount of work. A track crew of 4 could have the switch onto the running track back in service with a day's work. While the track is not in great shape, I think it would sustain a one-time albeit very slow move of the 643 and the Alco. The running track is still intact back to the west towards McKeesport Connecting RR which then has access, IIRC, to both P&OC and possibly NS. It would take a coordinated effort by MCRR and CSXT to make this happen.

The big fly in the ointment is getting CSXT's support and cooperation.

1. Would they provide a flagman so a qualified crew could complete the necessary repairs and then get the 643 and Alco moved out?
2. Would they allow this less-than-100% roller bearing engine to move on "their" track less than 1/2 mile even though that track is basically out of service?
3. Where would the engine go from there? I've inquired with a local shortline RR and they don't want to be bothered with it.

I alerted Glen to the situation at the same time I called Tim. I hope he is proactive sooner than later. He needs to make friends somewhere in Pittsburgh soon before the National Gateway progress reaches Pittsburgh. Like him or not, Glen is very resourceful, and has been able to make things happen when he's needed to. I have faith he will not let 643 get trapped where she sits Reality is that 643 will NOT be moved via truck if the rail option goes away. I know we've seen UP Big Boys and FEF-4 4-8-4's and the such moved with heavy haul rubber-tired equipment, but that just isn't going to happen in Pittsburgh with the multitude of bridges and ancient underground infrastructure.

While I know very little about the museum in Mentor, Ohio, more power to them. If they have a secret source with enough money, I hope they can get her moved. I REALLY hope NS getting back into the steam scene prompts CSXT to at least lighten its restriction on special movements such as this. Personally, I think a coordinated effort with US Steel, The City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and a philanthropic organization such as the Heinz Foundation could provide a very weather tight and viewer-friendly home for 643. As much as I would love to, and almost did, see her operate, it would be a real stretch to find a place that could tolerate her at more than 15 MPH and that's not much fun for an engine her size. The Fay Penn EDC / SWP line from Connelsville to Fairchance would be perfect as it has heavy welded rail but a few bridges along the way seem to be an issue. Too bad some Obama money can't be allocated to beef them up.

Here's another idea. Now that NS has opened the door to steam operations, could the WNY&PA now be a possible place to run her on the ex-EL from Meadville, PA to Hornell, NY? I'm sure there are probably bridge issues to be reconned with there, but the question should be asked. Olean could be a base of operations with a functional wye.

Rob Gardner


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 Post subject: Re: B&LE 643 to be purchased, moved?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:29 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1607
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
As I posted above, Campbell had the chance to get her out of there and into a good home where she would have been cared for long term AND available for enjoyment by the general public.

Very unfortunately he turned it down.

We're talking MAJOR money to get that engine out of there AND the clock is ticking towards the soon to come day when all the money in the world won't be enough to overcome the physical realities of the situation. If that happens then it will only be a question of when, not if it gets scrapped in place.

And that would be truly tragic.

One Dick Jensen is enough.

IMHO-Ross Rowland


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