Railway Preservation News

NdeM 3028 Status?
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Author:  traingeek8223 [ Thu Dec 08, 2016 9:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: NdeM 3028 Status?

3028 is owned by the ALCO Historical and Technical Society. It was formerly owned by the Great North East Railroad Foundation. Ownership was transferred when GNERF disbanded several years ago.

Author:  Mgoldman [ Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: NdeM 3028 Status?

traingeek8223 wrote:
3028 is owned by the ALCO Historical and Technical Society. It was formerly owned by the Great North East Railroad Foundation. Ownership was transferred when GNERF disbanded several years ago.

Was there, is there... any truth to the rumor that the locomotive was desired "returned" since restoration to operation has been seemingly shelved? There was a rumor some time back (and no more) that a group, perhaps your own, desired to see the locomotive brought to a ?new? Alco museum up north, in NY, if I recall correctly.


Author:  QJdriver [ Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NdeM 3028 Status?

Nobody is a more rabid Niagaraholic than me. Every time any noise gets made about the 3028, I wade right in, and have for 40 years at least. For the umpteenth time, folks with more money and better connections than I have were trying to get her up and running a couple years ago, dial back in this thread for details.

The last word I got was that Richard Steinbrenner (who was directly negotiating with whomever) had been in a car accident caused by winter road conditions, and had been fished out of a canal in sub freezing weather, resulting in his death several months later. So far as I know, the project died with him.

I have given up on seeing a Niagara run again before I die, even though we have several fine candidates available 48 years after their revenue service ended. It's easier to rescue something I can at least put a wrench on, so I adopted an orphan saddletanker... never heard another word about 3028.

I'm still interested, is anybody else ??? We had big ideas.

Author:  traingeek8223 [ Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: NdeM 3028 Status?

Sammy's accounting of the facts is sadly pretty accurate. There were individuals in our organization that were gung-ho to get the engine returned to Schenectady to be included in the ALCO Heritage Museum, which became impossible to sustain the way it was built (extremely high rent) and was forced to close. Those people moved on after the Museum closed (even though the plan was to reopen in a more sustainable location, which is what we did) leaving those of us that remained with loose ends and debt. Debt was then handled and reorganization began and the 3028 become the focus of our Board Chairman Dick Steinbrenner. Dick did much work to sort out the legal end of the paperwork inherited from GNERF and set a goal of coming up with a solution that would be BEST FOR THE LOCOMOTIVE, not necessarily the organization. Dick had the complete backing of the board of directors and had set up the first of what would be likely many meetings with New Hope to negotiate the locomotive's future. It was on the way to this meeting that Dick got into a seemingly minor car accident in which his vehicle ended up in three feet of stagnant water. Dick and his passenger were unharmed but the unfortunate result was that a skin graft on his foot (which had been a long battle for him that was finally healing) had to be redone. This resulted in a series of surgical procedures that combined with his deteriorating health ultimately led to his passing away. The same day Dick passed we also lost another very active board member, Dave Gould. The passing of these two great men on the same day has honestly left us reeling. We were already short on active members and they were the only two left that did not have full time jobs and could really focus on important projects. 2016 has been a year of simplification and prioritization for us at the ALCO Historical and Technical Society. We currently have 5 board members and two active volunteers along with 50+ non-active members. Most of our free time is spent planning and working our train show and maintaining our exhibits at the Walter Elwood Museum. We are also working on a project to restore our 1941 40 & 8 parade vehicle, built in the ALCO factory for the Schenectady American Legion. We know the 3028 belongs to us and needs to be addressed as well as New Hope knows the locomotive belongs to us and needs to be addressed. This will happen in the hopefully not to distant future with the goal still to do what is BEST FOR THE LOCOMOTIVE. Bare with us through our time of change.

Author:  QJdriver [ Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NdeM 3028 Status?

All too seldom, promises (especially mine) are fulfilled.

With the help of Brother Thomas Irion, I have copies of about 2% of the drawings it must have taken for ALCO to build NdeM 3028. The good news is that these are probably 2" scale, and cover the erecting card, sections, engine bed and spring rigging, boiler, combustion chamber, tube sheets, superheater, front end arrangement, trailing truck, drivers with axles, pony truck and tender axles, etc... It should be plenty of help for somebody (I nominate Scott Lindsey) to someday find, identify, and hopefully eventually reassemble, the remaining parts.

For some reason, the smaller prints are reversed left to right. At first I blamed our USA copying service, but one of the prints clearly has a standard "Ferrocarriles Nacionales de Mexico" rubber stamp on it, which is NOT reversed. At any rate these cover symmetrical parts, but in case there isn't anybody to read the backwards notations in Spanish (or even the frontwards ones), I believe I might be able to puzzle it out for you.

Matt G, please let me know where to send these, since porch pirate season is upon us.

VIVA NdeM 3028 !!!!

Author:  Dennis Storzek [ Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NdeM 3028 Status?

QJdriver wrote:
For some reason, the smaller prints are reversed left to right. At first I blamed our USA copying service, but one of the prints clearly has a standard "Ferrocarriles Nacionales de Mexico" rubber stamp on it, which is NOT reversed.

Are these modern prints made from originals that were white lines on BROWN? If so, the "originals" are copies made by a long obsolete copy process called, IIRC, Van Dam or some such. They appear reversed, but were intended to be used to make additional copies via any process which passed the light THROUGH the paper, which was all of them years ago. The NdeM stamp is right reading likely because the road stamped the Van Dams when they were received.

The Pullman Library at IRM occasionally runs into these if vendor supplied drawings were given Pullman drawing numbers and filed. They are easy to reverse when they are scanned (oh, the advantages of computers). I assume the copy shop inverted the colors (you have black lines on white, right?) they should have been smart enough to also mirror the image so it would be right reading before they printed it. If someone has the drawing files on disk it should still be able to be done.

One quirk of these drawings is the brown color could be bleached out with, I believe, ammonia. Sometime you'll find these copies with white spots bleached out of the background and new information inked on the back, so the changes would be right reading when the prints were made.

Author:  Dave Stephenson [ Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NdeM 3028 Status?

IIRC these drawings were called van Dykes or maybe sepias. It's been a while since I've seen them.

Dave Stephenson

Author:  Larry Lovejoy [ Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NdeM 3028 Status?

Translucent brown line prints were called sepias and were deliberately made with the image on the back so, when a blueline print was made from them, the already-fixed coating on the sepia was adjacent to the fresh coating on the print paper. That resulted in a sharper print. Sepias were made by laying an original tracing (which was drawn on either mylar, vellum, or linen, all of which are translucent) over a fresh sheet of the chemically-treated sepia paper and running the sandwich through the diazo ammonia printer. The light in the print machine burned away the coating that wasn’t masked by the drawing’s linework and then the ammonia fixed the remaining coating, resulting in brown lines on a near white background. The sepia then became the background for another drawing, usually made in pencil, from which blueline prints could be made. Virtually every engineering office had the equipment and treated paper to make both sepias and blueline prints from translucent originals. In my four years in the Reading’s chief engineer’s office, I probably made hundreds of sepias and thousands of prints on a diazo ammonia printer. The attached photo shows the day I brought my Army National Guard gas mask into the office in anticipation of spending the entire day breathing ammonia fumes at the printer.

Van Dykes were generated in an outside commercial print shop when you needed to get a translucent reproducible print from either a near-opaque blackline print or an authentic “blueprint”, the latter having white lines on a blue background. I never saw the process that produced Van Dykes, only it’s results, which were black lines on translucent white vellum. Unlike the sepias and bluelines, the Van Dykes didn’t fade when exposed to light. Some older Van Dykes in the plan vault had been printed on linen. The residual chemicals on the treated surface made the linen, which was originally light blue, turn brownish over the decades.

/s/ Larry
Lawrence G. Lovejoy, P.E.

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Author:  Dennis Storzek [ Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: NdeM 3028 Status?

Van DYKES. Thank you, Larry. The ones I've seen from the twenties were indeed linen based. The main point here is they were made to be used emulsion down, but today's scanning equipment needs to scan them emulsion UP. If having them scanned and reproduced, be sure they mirror the image, so the text is right reading.

Author:  QJdriver [ Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NdeM 3028 Status?

I can't tell you the history of the drawings, only that the copies I have are black lined on white paper, and were HELL to get. They've obviously been "stepped on" several times, and I agree that "one might think" that with all these wonderful digital gadgets they have these days, that "somebody would have enough common sense" to print them frontwards.

I had always thought that these had been redrawn in Mexico, but it really wouldn't be that far fetched for ALCO to supply them in Spanish language, since the NdeM QR-1s were hardly their first export order for Latin America. I don't know about ALCO, but Baldwin even published a bi lingual dictionary of steam locomotive words (which would come in handy, too, sure wish I had a copy).

What I DO know is that this is the most technical information anybody in this country has dug up since that engine crossed the border. If the ALCO Historic & Technical Society would like to have it, all they gotta do is confirm a safe delivery address.

I COULD keep digging, I have a contact in Puebla at the national museum (which has the 3034), if anybody is interested.

Don't hit anything, Stay on the track, and Pick up a paycheck twice a month....

Author:  Mgoldman [ Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NdeM 3028 Status?

Fast forward to December, 2017:

Some pics of the ALCO Historical and Technical Society's NeM 4-8-4 "Niagara" No. 3028 sitting along the deadline at the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad. The tender sits just a bit further back, across the driveway while its cab sits behind the railroad's shop.

A review of the thread above suggests it was purchased from the NdeM in 1966 by the Great North Eastern Railroad Foundation, leased to New Hope for restoration in 1997, with ownership being transferred to the historical society after the GNERF disbanded.

Can anyone fill in the missing pieces of the timeline?

According to "Steamlocomotive.info" it was moved to Altamont, NY in 1966.
Later, in 1982, it was moved to Colonie, NY - details?
Did it then move directly to New Hope in 1997 or did it sit for 12 years?
What periods could be considered it's "active" restoration at New Hope?


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Author:  QJdriver [ Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NdeM 3028 Status?

Mr Goldman,

Unfortunately I can't provide you with any better answers to your questions than reading the whole 3028 thread does.

However, I should point out that the logo on the tank is not an NdeM herald, but rather it looks to be the GNERF group logo. NdeM only used the letters NdeM on the tender during my time, as a standard paint scheme.

Sometimes NdeM engines carried a small version of the official herald as extra decoration, either on the tank, air pump shields, or below the headlight. This would have been more likely during the 40s and 50s, when the QR-1s were used in passenger service, and were painted in a green with orange stripe scheme to match their heavyweights.

The NdeM herald consists of a shield decorated with vertical tricolor stripes of the Mexican flag, topped off by an Aztec gold eagle with a serpent (rattlesnake) in his beak.

Thank you for posting these fotos.

Author:  o484 [ Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NdeM 3028 Status?

As far as I know, the restoration of 3028's timeline is something like this:
2003-2007-work on the firebox, running gear, air compressors, and tender
2010-2012-more firebox work, new flue sheets arrived, some painting also occurred on the cylinders

After 2012 or so, the restoration was essentially put on hold indefinitely.
The parts removed during the 1997-98 disassembly are all accounted for and are safe and sound in secure storage behind lock and key with 1533's parts.

Author:  rswebber [ Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NdeM 3028 Status?

Yes, we run into Van Dykes, blueprints and myriad other media. Reversing the image, once scanned takes all of 1-2 seconds, if that. Straightening, rotating, etc., same.

All the vendors & primary manufacturers had/have very discernible patterns (heh) in how they went about copying, tracing, and burning copies - we have Van Dykes in documents (Specifications), drawings, diagrams and myriad other assorted pieces. Same with blue prints, reverse blue prints, sepias, and all sorts of flavors of blue lines. With the inclusion of the Budd drawings, we have had (as the largest drawing so far) 3' x 25' - and some wider, but, at this juncture we can not scan (or print) that. We are investigating newer technology / refresh of technology.

Drawings with foreign languages are not unknown in most manufacturing, there are some with Manchurian/Chinese; some dutch and some Spanish in house, though I'd have to look for them. Also, likely, French.

There are various types of reversed images - not all have been as a result of the Van Dyke process (whether the master or the copy). I'm sure most other folks dealing with large drawings have similar experiences.

(We've also done some engineering maps that are over 30' long, come to think of it...not sure how long the St. Louis station map is).

Bottom line is that if you have a drawing that is somewhat legible, miracles can happen (cleaning he image can take time though).

In terms of size, for a 4-8-4, it makes a much better candidate than the Santa Fe mastadonish locomotives people insist on trying to or plan to restore. Middle to smaller ground makes a lot more sense...nothing wrong with pocket sized (relatively speaking) locomotives and/or cars.

Author:  QJdriver [ Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NdeM 3028 Status?

The QR-1s were designed to be useful on secondary main lines, but were given more boiler than they usually needed. NdeM didn't want trains stalling because of lack of steam, or restricted to only their heaviest track --- same philosophy as China Rail's QJs.

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