Railway Preservation News

Diamond stacks
Page 3 of 6

Author:  Les Beckman [ Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Diamond stacks

Ron Travis wrote:
Fake diamond stacks are indeed considered to be objectionable by many, especially when applied to a modern, piston valve locomotive in an attempt to back-date the appearance for some historical cause. However, the Burlington & Missouri River class D-4 2-8-0s built in 1903 were equipped with diamond stacks to cope with the fact that they were lignite burners.

Maybe somebody can find a link to a photo, but I could not. In any case, here we have burly 100-ton consolidations with, piston valves, extended piston rods, 79½” diameter boilers-- and diamond stacks.

Ron -

That's interesting. Now that you have jogged my memory on this, I think I recall seeing a photo of a Northern Pacific Class W 2-8-2 with a diamond stack. I'll have to dig up some records to see if I can confirm that.


Author:  FLO [ Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Diamond stacks

Ron Travis wrote:
...the Burlington & Missouri River class D-4 2-8-0s built in 1903 were equipped with diamond stacks to cope with the fact that they were lignite burners.
Maybe somebody can find a link to a photo, but I could not.

Found a CB&Q class D-7 (2-8-0) with diamond stack:

Another CB&Q 2-8-0:

Author:  jim templin [ Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Diamond stacks

J3a-614 wrote:
I hadn't thought about the use of a ring to stabilize a thin, sheet-metal stack, but that could be a reason, along with the drip edge.

The taper of shotguns (and of the short stubby stack, which is really much longer, you just don't see all of it) is to allow for the steam to expand as it rises up the stack, improving the draft.

Modern caps, as on the T&P example mentioned, were truly an ornamental touch, and were not part of the stack itself, as noted in this photo of T&P 2-10-4 666:



By the way, while some would call this locomotive "the devil engine" with that number combination, she was also more widely known as "Old Chill Tonic," a reference to a cold remedy sold back then:



Aach, it's still around!

http://www.monticellodrug.com/products/ ... -prep.html

Just an off topic FYI...in the Deep South this cure all was referred to as " Three Sixes"

Back on topic...Plain old Diamond Stacks were still available on smaller engines right to the end, especially on industrial and export power. The were sold as an economy type of spark arrestor. Basically a funnel with a finned cone and a screen on top, they were pretty effective when burning soft coal or hardwoods, but if you went to pine, the fine friendly folks down at Baldwins would get you to upgrade to a Rushton (cabbage stack that was a Baldwin proprietary design), or a Radlely and Hunter, which was licensed to just about everybody. FYI Baldwin sold the Rushton to whomever would buy it, and, from a design standpoint is closely related to a R&H, guts wise, but replaced fabrications with cast parts.

Author:  Ron Travis [ Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Diamond stacks


Thanks for finding those images. Those first two shots of #3031 show a D-3 class built in 1898, I believe. Your third photo (the one in the 2nd link) shows the more modern D-4 consolidation that I described above as being particularly incongruous with the diamond stack.

Author:  Dave [ Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Diamond stacks

I think - been a long time ago now - that there was a Davenport-Besler 0-6-0 built very late, maybe in the 1950's, in an old enginehouse in upstate New York with a diamond stack. I seem to recall something about an industrial railroad in Canada? Ring any bells?


Author:  jim templin [ Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Diamond stacks

Dave wrote:
I think - been a long time ago now - that there was a Davenport-Besler 0-6-0 built very late, maybe in the 1950's, in an old enginehouse in upstate New York with a diamond stack. I seem to recall something about an industrial railroad in Canada? Ring any bells?


Are these the ones you have in mind? They worked pretty late in the game, well into the '60s, if not the early '70s.

http://www.steamlocomotive.info/vlocomo ... splay=1962

http://www.steamlocomotive.info/vlocomo ... splay=1898

Author:  Dave [ Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Diamond stacks

Maybe Jim, I'll see if I can find the old file from back when i did a short survey trip for a client that included this one. I distinctly recall one wooden journal brass on a tender truck axle. I think the enginehouse may have been on the old Bath and Hammondsport....funny what details you remember and what you forget. She was also missing the throttle valve entirely from the dome I think, which is why we decided to find a better candidate.


Author:  G. W. Laepple [ Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Diamond stacks

That engine was at the Bath & Hammondsport, and after the B&H's owner passed away, it was sold to a collector and is now displayed at Catawissa, Pa. From the look of the stack, it is not functional; rather it is a cosmetic attempt to be a "balloon stack."

Author:  Ron Travis [ Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Diamond stacks

Here is another example of a 4-4-0 originally built with the modernized front-end concept, as opposed to 4-4-0s built with the old style smokebox and diamond stacks, and then later converted to the modernized concept; and often suffering aesthetically in the conversion. These later 4-4-0s also grew in size:

https://7617028596826375732-a-180274477 ... edirects=0

Here is another one built in 1900, and presumably originally built with the modernized front end system. In the recent thread about an exploded 4-4-0, we were discussing the fact that the trailing wheels of the lead truck were smaller in diameter than the lead wheels. Certainly, that appears to be the case here as well. In that thread, I commented that I have seen a lot of photos showing 4-4-0s with mismatching truck wheels, as is the case here. I can understand that railroads would not care if the style matched. Not matching the diameter seems a bit surprising, especially on a locomotive lead truck. But the larger question is this: On a four-wheel pilot truck, is there fundamentally a lot more wear on one wheelset than the other? Did the lead wheels wear their flanges quicker because of being first to enter a curve? If so, did they ever rotate the wheelsets front-to-back? How about just rotating the whole truck 180 degrees?

http://1412612476182477508-a-1802744773 ... edirects=0

Here is a Manchester locomotive built in 1880. At that date, I assume this is not shown as built, but maybe 10-20 years later after having its smokebox extended and its diamond stack replaced by the shotgun stack for the typical and widespread front-end conversion. I also suspect that could be an entirely new boiler, judging by what I have seen of their circa 1880 4-4-0s. It’s a good guess that those domes are not original from 1880. Note that it has those no-name tender trucks I was wondering about in the tender truck thread:

http://1412612476182477508-a-1802744773 ... edirects=0

Here is a Manchester 4-6-0 built in 1887. This does not obviously appear to be a builder’s photo, but the locomotive looks pretty fresh, and I don’t see any coal pile in the tender. It indicates that Manchester was building the old style front end arrangement as late as 1887. But the engine has the modern domes in lieu of the earlier “cookie jar” domes. That was another change often made in rebuilds of locomotives as well as originally appearing in new locomotives as built. If this locomotive is in its original configuration, it shows that Manchester was applying the modernized domes by 1887:

http://1412612476182477508-a-1802744773 ... edirects=0

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Smokebox extensions, cont'd

I'm surprised that, in this whole discussion about stacks, smokeboxes, front-ends, and the like, no one has brought up a classic example: The Great Western (U.S.) Railway's extended smokeboxes on 60, 75 and 90, added because the GW was burning (at that point) rather poor-quality lignite "coal" that was seemingly one step below peat moss.

Strasburg has subsequently removed the extension from 90; I'm sure a search of this forum will reveal some commentary from the Strasburg shop forces as to the how and why, and I would invite further commentary regarding subsequent observations with regards to 90 since "backdating".....

Author:  J3a-614 [ Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Diamond stacks

For reference to Mr. Mitchell's comments about Great Western steam, we have some links with photos:


One of the things that is surprising to me is how many of GW's steamers survived to today. Of a total of 9 locomotives, four survive--Nos. 51, 60, 75, and 90, plus a number of tank engines that were at the sugar mill. No. 60, now in New Jersey on the Black River and Western, was the only Alco; No. 90 was the only Decapod, and was a standard type sold by Baldwin to a number of shortlines, notably in the South, and several examples still exist today.

http://www.bcrhs.org/Boulderrail/histor ... tives.html

If this good-sized collection of photos is any indication, GW took very good care of the equipment:

http://www.westernrailimages.com/Great- ... 0104_4BGAs

As noted, GW modified the smokeboxes of its locomotives with additional spark arresting gear because of the coal it burned. Strasburg Railroad would eventually remove this gear from No. 90 and the extended smokebox that housed it due to not needing it; the engine looks subtly but noticeably different without this, and also looks closer to how it looked when delivered by Baldwin:


No. 60, of course, has been the subject of an additional thread here:



Author:  survivingworldsteam [ Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Diamond stacks

This partly scrapped balloon stack is at the Southern Forest Heritage Museum in Long Leaf, Louisiana. It may be part of a graveyard of parts from a scrapped Shay locomotive; you can see the baffles inside.

longl_g1.jpg [ 19.21 KiB | Viewed 2577 times ]

Author:  Steve DeGaetano [ Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Diamond stacks

Cap stacks were a typical Victorian design element, and were decorative only. While a railroad could specify a cap stack, builders like Baldwin would often include them on their stock engines--even their little plantation engines might merit the decoration, as shown here:


The cap itself is cast iron, and simply rests on top of the stack, its weight keeping it in place.

Author:  elueck [ Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Diamond stacks

In the picture above by Jim Hefner, you can see that the stack is made of heavy gauge sheet metal with the exception of the curved ring around the middle of the stack which is a cast iron part (and very heavy). The stack is off of Crowell and Spencer Lumber Co #200 (a 2-6-2) which was scrapped at Longleaf in 1954-55. Part of the curved, cast ring was cut away during the scrapping process as you can see in the picture. The rest of the stack (the upside down cone shaped top, resides across the track from the stack.

An identical stack has been removed from Reader RR #1 and taken to Florida and installed on Reader #2 which is starting up a tourist operation in Tavares. And yes, it is burning wood.

Author:  Joshua K. Blay [ Sat Nov 26, 2016 1:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Diamond stacks

If I could revive this "stack talk" ...

I'm working for a museum that has a beautiful model of 4-4-0, produced when Americans were still being produced. It has a balloon stack indicative of a wood burner, yet carries coal in the tender. I was wondering if coal burners ever wood have had a balloon stalk- seems as if the two just don't match.

Thanks ever so much!


Page 3 of 6 All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group