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From Rochelle IL and doing Whitcomb Locomotive Research
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Author:  machinehead61 [ Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: From Rochelle IL and doing Whitcomb Locomotive Research

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This Whitcomb had the large steel armor plates added front and back.

Courtesy Army Transportation Museum, Fort Eustice.

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Whitcombs operated at Pearl Harbor serving the U.S. Naval Ammunition Depot on Oahu.

These units are still running:

http://www.hawaiianrailway.com/index.html

http://ambard.com/update/History-of-NAD.pdf

Steve

Author:  machinehead61 [ Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: From Rochelle IL and doing Whitcomb Locomotive Research

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This story doesn't mention Whitcombs but it tells the same story that appeared in the Rochelle papers.

One detail - it claims that the steam locomotive is pulling the first work train across the Rhine. The War Department had sent a letter and photos to Whitcomb stating that their locomotive was the first.

Steve

Author:  machinehead61 [ Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: From Rochelle IL and doing Whitcomb Locomotive Research

In my search through the microfilm in our library for Whitcomb things I came across some interesting non-railroad items:

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These are both from 1932.

Steve

Author:  machinehead61 [ Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: From Rochelle IL and doing Whitcomb Locomotive Research

Old photograph - date unknown.

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This is the first photo I have found of the original factory in Rochelle.

Whitcomb stayed here from 1907-1912 until they built their larger factory at their permanent location farther north in Rochelle.

Steve

Author:  machinehead61 [ Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: From Rochelle IL and doing Whitcomb Locomotive Research

From the 1947 Locomotive Cyclopedia

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Steve

Author:  machinehead61 [ Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: From Rochelle IL and doing Whitcomb Locomotive Research

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Steve

Author:  Rob [ Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: From Rochelle IL and doing Whitcomb Locomotive Research

Steve,

This thread has been very interesting. From my experience, the 65-ton Military centercab is a rather interesting beast. They had two (2) Buda DCS-1879 engines for a "rating" of 650hp and were MU-capable. The engines were found to be of poor design, mostly due to insufficient coolant flow through the heads, leading to head cracking. They employed the "Lanova" principle for combustion, complete with a separate energy cell. Due to the size of the engines and the generators, 2 banks of batteries, each being 32-volts, were needed to operate the starting winding and start the engines. The contactor arrangement is somewhat unique in the starting/charging circuit. Rated top speed of 46 mph, I was told they were run in multiple on coal trains in Germany during the war, not so much for the horsepower but to ensure the train made the terminal due to probable engine failure.

The shot of the one up on blocks reminded me of a motor swap we did several years ago. This work will need to be repeated. Note the locomotive in the background up on blocking and jacks. The truck is rather basic but the large wheels (42") and fact that it is a fabricated truck is a testament to the Whitcomb engineers.

Also, back after the Whitcomb arrived, I had occasion to speak with a fine gentleman at the remains of Baldwin who indicated that they were still supplying some repair parts for Whitcombs still in service. This was circa 1987.

Rob

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Author:  machinehead61 [ Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: From Rochelle IL and doing Whitcomb Locomotive Research

Rob wrote:
Steve,

This thread has been very interesting. From my experience, the 65-ton Military centercab is a rather interesting beast. They had two (2) Buda DCS-1879 engines for a "rating" of 650hp and were MU-capable. The engines were found to be of poor design, mostly due to insufficient coolant flow through the heads, leading to head cracking. They employed the "Lanova" principle for combustion, complete with a separate energy cell. Due to the size of the engines and the generators, 2 banks of batteries, each being 32-volts, were needed to operate the starting winding and start the engines. The contactor arrangement is somewhat unique in the starting/charging circuit. Rated top speed of 46 mph, I was told they were run in multiple on coal trains in Germany during the war, not so much for the horsepower but to ensure the train made the terminal due to probable engine failure.

Rob
I've heard this also that the Buda engines had problems with the heads cracking. Do you remember the source of the Germany story and needing two units for reliability?

If I can't find drawings for the first Whitcomb gas locomotive I will probably build a model of the 65 ton DoD locos'. Having access to drawings and info would be very helpful.

Do you have a website with photos of your Whitcomb?

Steve

Author:  Rob [ Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: From Rochelle IL and doing Whitcomb Locomotive Research

The story of the multiple unit coal trains came from a guy who was in the USATC and stationed there in WWII. After the 602 arrived and we were working on it, several people showed up who had been in military service during WWII and told us some stories. A few wrote letters of their tour of duty and one guy had some photos he shared with me. The story was that they would MU 3 of the 65-tonners together as they were certain at least one would fail enroute. Once, after we had the 602 up and running well, we figured out why the Germans surrendered with 3 of these things bearing down on them at full-bore! Those Buda's make a lot of noise. And to start one is much more than just closing the battery switch and pushing a button.

I have some drawings in my files. The best source of information are the books published in England, authored by R. Tourret, "United States Army Transportation Corps Locomotives" and another book who's title eludes me at the moment. Lots of information on build dates, shipment points, operations and dispositions in Europe after the War.

Try jeff-z.com for some further information on the Whitcomb. He has a page devoted to it and it contains some interesting photos.

Rob

Author:  machinehead61 [ Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: From Rochelle IL and doing Whitcomb Locomotive Research

Rob wrote:
The story of the multiple unit coal trains came from a guy who was in the USATC and stationed there in WWII. After the 602 arrived and we were working on it, several people showed up who had been in military service during WWII and told us some stories. A few wrote letters of their tour of duty and one guy had some photos he shared with me. The story was that they would MU 3 of the 65-tonners together as they were certain at least one would fail enroute.

Do you have any of these letters written by these USATC members? I would be very interested in a copy for documentation.

Do you remember any names and are any of these USATC members still alive?

Thank you very much for the reference to the Tourret book. I will try to find that.

Fort Eustice Army Transportation Museum had very little on Whitcombs. In fact I emailed them copies of the Army-Navy "E" ceremony - they had no record of the event.

The photo above of the army Whitcomb and the crane came from the museum.

They would be very interested in any letters written by these USATC members. You can help in documenting original research if you could locate these or surviving members.

I've recorded an interview with Bert Cote who test ran the locomotives at Whitcomb during WW II until he was drafted in 1944. He would run them for 15 miles to check for problems before they would be shipped.

Steve

Author:  Rob [ Tue Dec 25, 2012 4:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: From Rochelle IL and doing Whitcomb Locomotive Research

I don't know if any letter(s) still exist but will look around. I didn't write down names of the guys who would stop and talk to us. In fact, I'm not sure they offered their names over 25 years ago. That was some time ago.

Here's a scan of a slide of a photo one guy gave to me showing a Whitcomb after an "incident" on the road. If you look closely, it appears the heads are already removed from the engine. The cab looks rather beat up too. I believe the photo was taken in Italy, IIRC.

R Tourret wrote another book that was a combination of Volume 1 and Volume 2 entitled "Allied Military Locomotives of the Second World War" and the chapters on the US locomotives was expanded to include more photos and some updated information.

Rob

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Author:  machinehead61 [ Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: From Rochelle IL and doing Whitcomb Locomotive Research

Rob wrote:
Here's a scan of a slide of a photo one guy gave to me showing a Whitcomb after an "incident" on the road. If you look closely, it appears the heads are already removed from the engine. The cab looks rather beat up too. I believe the photo was taken in Italy, IIRC.
Rob, with your permission I'd like to include this photo with my Whitcomb display I'm putting together in our museum.

What a fantastic find. Thank you very much for sharing this - I'd never know that this photo existed without you.

I might suggest you share this with Fort Eustis. They would welcome a rare photograph like this.

http://www.transchool.lee.army.mil/muse ... museum.htm

Steve

Author:  machinehead61 [ Tue Dec 25, 2012 9:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: From Rochelle IL and doing Whitcomb Locomotive Research

Along the lines of damage to railroads in WW II Europe. This is from my fathers collection of Chicago Railroad Fair literature.

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Steve

Author:  machinehead61 [ Tue Dec 25, 2012 9:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: From Rochelle IL and doing Whitcomb Locomotive Research

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Steve

Author:  machinehead61 [ Tue Dec 25, 2012 9:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: From Rochelle IL and doing Whitcomb Locomotive Research

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Steve

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