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 Post subject: Lima was going to build a 4-8-6?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:44 am 
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Location: Center Conway, NH
While searching for information on Boston and Albany Berkshires, I came across a tidbit on Wikipedia that I didn't know...

"Lima's last steam locomotive was Nickel Plate Road No. 779, a 2-8-4 "Berkshire", which left the erecting halls in 1949. That same year Lima promoted a new wheel arrangement, the 4-8-6. This would have allowed an even larger firebox than the 4-8-4. No example of the type was built, however."

Does anyone know more about this unbuilt giant?

Brian Hebert


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 Post subject: Re: Lima was going to build a 4-8-6?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:53 am 

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Location: South Jersey
Found this if it helps.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Lima was going to build a 4-8-6?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:34 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:58 pm
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See TRAINS, June 1974. In Bill Withuhn's "Did We Scrap Steam Too Soon" article there is a George Gloff drawing of what this machine might have looked like, based on Lima's drawings.

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Lima was going to build a 4-8-6?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:08 am 

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W. L. Avis, WHERE DID YOU FIND THIS? It's amazing to me, I've read about this, including the Trains article Filmteknik mentions, and I've seen a photo of a model based on this proposal, but this is the first time I've seen this diagram.

For Brian, this was a proposal for a locomotive that was meant to be a diesel beater. That huge grate area, the size of what would normally be for a large articulated (in fact, it's the same as that of an Allegheny), would alternately provide enormous steaming capacity, or very low and very efficient firing rates. Another part of the proposal was to include a "double Belpaire" firebox and combustion chamber; this was a firebox with a flat top, like what Pennsy and Great Northern used, and would also have included a squaring off of the lower part of the combustion chamber as well. This was supposed to reduce certain strains in the boiler and improve steaming capacity. Other things included a high degree of superheat and poppet valves.

There are differences in this diagram and those of the proposed demonstrator. One is that driver diameter and boiler pressure are in the range of those of the existing J3 and J3a classes; I thought the boiler pressure was to be in the 300 psi range, and the drivers a relatively small 68" size, slightly lower than those of an N&W J and the same size as those used under the Pennsylvania's steam-turbine driven 6-8-6. (I'm working from memory, feel free to correct if it's off.) Other items of note are a more conventional tender on trucks (the proposal had a centipede type), the low headlight, the longish pilot with a folding coupler, the cab design, and the combined sand and steam dome are typical of late C&O steam passenger power, while the air tanks mounted on top of the boiler (and the six-wheel trailer) are something from the Allegheny; the location of those air tanks suggests this diagram is for an engine with a radial stay firebox. Roller bearing rods are not mentioned, but likely would have been used, and of course all axles would have had roller bearings. Of course, the classification and the number series are also interesting, the first number of the new series following that of the last J3a, Ross Rowland's 614.

The proposed driver axle loading is very high, approaching that of an Allegheny, which is in excess of 40 tons. In that respect this locomotive is a regression from the J3a, which had a lot of weight reduction work done on it to enable the series to work over the long viaduct the C&O had in Richmond. C&O would later rebuild this viaduct; I wonder if the rebuilt viaduct was something the management had in mind when this thing was being designed?

It was not to be, of course--the C&O decided to jump into diesels, and Lima decided steam was dead at about the same time. There was a model of the boiler built to 1/6 full size, and apparently it tested well, showing the usually thorough engineers at Lima had performed their calculations well.

All in all, a fascinating find. . .and a glimpse of what the future may have been. . .


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 Post subject: Re: Lima was going to build a 4-8-6?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:39 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 am
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The C&O diagram above is certainly very interesting. I wonder if this is an actual C&O document or an "alternative history" effort by a C&O steam enthusiast?

Eric Hirsimaki's book "Lima: the History" has quite a bit of information on the 4-8-6 project.

The chief proponent of the project was A J Townsend who'd succeeded Lima superpower designer Will Woodard at Lima after Woodard's death in 1942.

Lima went so far as to build a scale model of a double Belpaire boiler; here's a photo I found on the net some time ago:

Image

This boiler apparently was (is?) preserved at the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis.

Testing of the scale model showed that the double Belpaire firebox underwent less deflection (a distortion of the firebox under pressure and heat discussed in several threads here in the last few months). It provided more firebox heating surface and allowed more tubes for a given size boiler barrel which increased the total heating surface and gas flow area for more power and efficiency. They tried to interest the New York Central into fitting a new double Belpaire boiler on an existing J-3 Hudson, but that never came about either.

One of the other main features the locomotive was to have was a high-speed trailing truck booster which would have been good up to 35 MPH. Finally, the locomotive was to have Franklin Type B (rotary cam) "long compression" poppet valves. "Lima: the History" has a scan of a never-issued Lima advertisement from 1949 showing the inside of the firebox of the model boiler, a retouched photo of a C&O 4-8-4 (substituting for the actual 4-8-6), and a projected speed/power graph for the 4-8-6. The graph claims the locomotive would have had much "flatter" speed/power curve in the low speed ranges compared to a conventional steam locomotive (less fall-off in power with increased speed). The graph shows that the 4-8-6 would have provided about 20% more drawbar pull at about 30 MPH than a conventional steamer. This seems to show that Lima was attempting to address steam's low-speed power deficit (compared to diesel-electrics) with the new design.

Hirsimaki's book also provides preliminary statistics on the locomotive:

Driver size 70 inches
Weight on drivers 280,000 lbs
Weight on engine truck 95,000 lbs
Weight on Trailer truck
Front & intermediate axles 90,000 lbs
Rear axle 60,000 lbs
Total weight of engine 525,000 lbs
Weight of Tender (2/3 load) 337,000 lbs
Tractive effort (long compression) 74,600 lbs
Tractive effort (including booster) 87,000 lbs
Factor of adhesion 3.75
Gas area through flues 1482 sq. in.
Gas area through tubes 309 sq. in.
Total gas area 17901 sq. in.
Steam Area through SH units 98.2 sq. in.
Grate area 132.9 sq. ft.

Apparently after Lima's merger with Hamilton (who was a diesel engine builder), Lima management ordered all work on the project stopped and Townsend resigned shortly afterwards in disgust.

It's a pity they didn't get the chance to build another demonstrator like the A-1. OTOH I tend to agree with others who have said even the new 4-8-6 wouldn't have provided a significant enough improvement over conventional steam to have made a difference in the steam/diesel debates of the time.

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 Post subject: Re: Lima was going to build a 4-8-6?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:49 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 1:45 pm
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Location: Northern Virginia
A better source of the Lima 4-8-6 diagram is found in Eric Hirsimaki's book, Lima, The History, pgs 225-229 (1986 edition, the revised edition may be different). This will give you all of the dimensions and a diagram of the Lima design including photos of the double Belpaire firebox.

However, the dimensions are somewhat different:

Cylinders - 28" x 32" vs 27.5 x 30
Drivers - 70" vs 74"
WOD - 280,000 lbs vs 332,000 lbs
Wt engine - 525,000 lbs vs 566,000 lbs
Tender (4-10-0 pedestal) - 337,000 lbs (26 tons, 22,000 gal) vs 415,000 with 2 trucks
TE - 74,600 lbs vs 82,600 lbs
TE with booster - 87,000 lbs vs 107,600 lbs
Grate - 132.9 SF vs 135 SF
Max boiler dia - 100" vs 109"
Comb. chamber 108" long vs 118" long

The "C&O" diagram appears to be based on the Lima design, with certain alterations that C&O may have incorporated, a "what-if" kind of thing. The J4 is a larger locomotive, apparently using a 614 style machinery 74" drivers) and an Allegheny trailer truck. The boiler diameter is larger and the driver axle loading is extremely high at 83,000 lbs. The Lima design seems to be more of a "go anywhere" size and the C&O adaptation is railroad specific.

I'd also be interested in the source of the diagram, primarily because the resolution is too poor to read some of the figures. Google didn't turn up anything. It is definitely drawn in the C&O locomotive diagram style, but unlikely an "official" C&O diagram. The top mounted air reservoirs would clash with the squared off Belpaire firebox and not fit within C&O's clearance diagram.

After I posted this it appears that Hugh Odom and I were working on the same thing at the same time. Good to hear from you again, it's been a while since we were on the same thread!!


Last edited by Dave Stephenson on Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Lima was going to build a 4-8-6?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:00 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 am
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Hi Dave! Do you know if the model double Belpaire boiler is still at St. Louis?

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 Post subject: Re: Lima was going to build a 4-8-6?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:12 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 1:45 pm
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Location: Northern Virginia
I don't know one way or the other. Is the photo ca 2008??


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 Post subject: Re: Lima was going to build a 4-8-6?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:26 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:58 pm
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If you have a vintage TRAINS collection or the compilation DVD, check out the back cover of May 1974 as they have a tease for the aforementioned steam article. In it they show a C&O J-3 4-8-4 retouched with a double Belpaire boiler and rotary-cam poppet valve gear. It's titled "Could this 4-8-4 have stopped the F3?" Alas copyright law prevents me from scanning and posting either image.

By the way, about that 4-8-6. Would it not have been better as a 4-10-6? Discuss.

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Lima was going to build a 4-8-6?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:43 pm 
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Wow! Thanks for the info. I think it's great that C&O was going to call it the Ohio Class.
Unbuilt locomotives like this intrigue me. The "what almost was" is such a great subject.
A similar situation was Happening on the B&O with their class W. It was going to be a geared locomotive of 4-8-4 proportions, but was ,technically speaking, a 4-2-2-2-2-4 since each of the driver sets were individual Besler motors. Testing was done on a prototype motor at Mount Clair shops. I don't have any info on weather testing was satisfactory or not, or what happened to the prototype.
The Class W was designed to have a large watertube firebox boiler designed by George Emerson. Unfortunatly for the W, diesels came along and we know how that story ends.

Interesting stuff.

Brian Hebert


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 Post subject: Re: Lima was going to build a 4-8-6?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:22 pm 

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Someone, (a C&O & LIMA fan) should build this locomtive in 3.2" -12" scale for 15" gauge track and test out all the ideas over the next 30 years, and have a liftime's worth of fun in the process.

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 Post subject: Re: Lima was going to build a 4-8-6?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:41 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 am
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Dave Stephenson wrote:
I don't know one way or the other. Is the photo ca 2008??


(Regarding photo of Lima's small-scale double Belpaire boiler prototype still being at the Museum of Transport in St. Louis.)

Unknown. I'll tracked down the page where I found it (http://www.leclairerail.com/MiscSubjects.html) and it says the photo was taken at the Museum of Transportation, but it doesn't say when.

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 Post subject: Re: Lima was going to build a 4-8-6?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:38 pm 

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The model double belpaire boiler still exists and is stored off site by the museum. I've seen it on a few visits to the storage facility over the years.

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 Post subject: Re: Lima was going to build a 4-8-6?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:44 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Looking around for photos of those O-scale models of the Lima demonstrator, I found the source of the C&O diagram; it's a fantasy model page by a noted modeler of the C&O who was having a bit of fun:

http://www.karenparker.net/PixelMagic/pm_cnoj4.htm

That scale model of the boiler built by Lima? !!@#$%!!, how did that thing survive?!! I'm glad it's still around.

I thought the model was 1/6 full size (which would translate to a track gauge of 8.5"), but the photograph looks like it might be to a larger scale. I wonder if it would scale out to that proposed 15" miniature. Hmm, that would be interesting, a live-steam miniature with a genuine Lima prototype boiler!! It would be big enough to run those tests and find out if Lima had a good thing (although I'm confident they did). And let's get the cat who built the live steam PRR T-1 with poppet valves to do this!! :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Lima was going to build a 4-8-6?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:05 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 am
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J3a-614 wrote:
That scale model of the boiler built by Lima? !!@#$%!!, how did that thing survive?!! I'm glad it's still around.

I thought the model was 1/6 full size (which would translate to a track gauge of 8.5"), but the photograph looks like it might be to a larger scale. I wonder if it would scale out to that proposed 15" miniature. Hmm, that would be interesting, a live-steam miniature with a genuine Lima prototype boiler!! It would be big enough to run those tests and find out if Lima had a good thing (although I'm confident they did). And let's get the cat who built the live steam PRR T-1 with poppet valves to do this!! :-)


THAT would be one cool project!

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