Railway Preservation News

Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
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Author:  Les Beckman [ Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News

beacon_joe wrote:
What a shame to alter a one of a kind just to waste money and prove that the diesel is stil superior.

For the record, one other Santa Fe 4-6-4 also still exists. Baldwin built #3450 was rebuilt by the railroad with 79" drivers and is currently on display in California.


Author:  superheater [ Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News

Obviously, as an MBA and a Drucker aficianado, I disagree with the characterization that he was an "overrated idiot". Anything could be misused, including measures. Was Pacioli responsible for Enron? You claim the (mis) application of this rule inhibits innovation and I'll point out it's non-application is an invitation for mischief. There's innumerable corporate initiatives that we are told are invaluable because they defy measurement, but that are little more than leaks in the ledger designed to appease barbarians at the gate, euphemistically called "stakeholders".

" Diesels now may be superior to steam engines of the forties and fifties, but one has only to compare the tractive effort of an EMD F3 (40,000 lbs) to a UP FEF-3 (63,000 lbs) to see that that wasn't the case back then."

MU cable.

Easier to maintain, cheaper to maintain, higher availability, more reliable, more controllable, safer, cleaner.. everything but initial cost was in favor of the Diesel electric.

You can think with your heart if you want to, but I'm approaching this as I would view it if it were an IPO (there's a reason it's not attracting boatloads of private capital). I'll be happy to see it run (as long as it isn't butchered) and there might be some byproducts of the project, but if you expect a fleet of reciprocating steam engines to occupy roster spots on any major railroad, you just aren't seeing the limits of the machine.

Author:  Great Western [ Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News

IC382 wrote:
I am sorta...grinning...I wish I had not even posted what I came across. I just thought it was great information to share.

I won't do that again.

Thank you for starting this thread.
As a resident of the great lonely north, this class of locomotive is fairly new to me. It appears to have been a very interesting and solid design. Would you have more detailed information on the class? Perhaps that is already recorded elsewhere in this thread but I won't trouble myself with picking through all the fog!
Again, thank you.

Author:  Randy Musselman [ Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News


Best wishes to these folks.....regardless of what results, if they can, at minimum do some concept testing, its all good.

In my short tenure (10 years) in the recip world, for lower life cycle costs, its about efficiency. at best they will get 12-13% in simple expansion (non condensing) even if they tricked her with the Porta/Wardale trimmings? I hear the arguement about biomass being carbon neutral and still have not drawn a full conclusion. There may be merit in the case, if you burned no more than nature decomposed it. However, when you combust on a mass concentrated scale, I would think that case starts to get lost.

If they convert her to roller bearing con rods, it would be extremely impressive visually. I assume cross-balance calcs will be required to minimize the overbalance....ie as done with the NYC Niagaras and SantaFe 4-8-4's with RB rods. As I said before, RB rods are one of the most impressive visual features on modern steam.

Also form the recip world, emissions restrictions getting more severe is constant, like death and taxes. There is something to be said for external combustion to assist in lowering emissions.....so you can do away with those nasty things such as SCR's, oxy cats and DPFs.

This is very interesting but reciprocating steam, especially on a small scale in the 1-4 MW range may be better utilized as a means for "compact" combined cycle, on the exhaust of a diesel engine to get combined 60-65% thermal efficiency just like the large 400MW stationary combined cycle plants! Now this would be an impressive locomotive feature.

It will be interesting to see what they can do.



Author:  prr643 [ Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News

I'm skeptical but intrigued by this project. But am I the only one that thinks using a passenger locomotive as the base for the project seems a bit off? A high wheeling racehorse just does not seem to me what a modern freight focused railroad industry would be interested in. Would not a a Chinese QJ be a more appropriate test bed? It would also mitigate the concerns that some have (including myself) about the locomotive being modified being a historical artifact. Not that the QJs are not an important part of steam history, but they are available for import and exist in much larger numbers than Santa Fe 4-6-4s. Even using one of the numerous existing C&O or NKP berks makes more sense to me than a high stepping Hudson. The project is a big enough long shot without the fact that it seems to me that they are using the wrong type of locomotive for the base of the project.

EDIT: Ahh, answered my own question, I just found the White Paper on their website. I did not realize their focus was on passenger power. That focus still seems a bit odd to me, given the almost most total lack of high speed passenger trains in this country outside the Northeast Corridor. The White Paper looks interesting and I look forward to reading it.

Author:  Charlie [ Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News

Great Western, here's some data from the Steamlocomotive.com site:


Author:  dinwitty [ Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News

with todays high oil prices alterative fuels are of interest.
as far as diesel goes, its electric but runs on oil fuel. put pantagraphs on them all you've dumped a lot of oil use.

The Jawn Henry test was successful, but various technical issues were the problem, just working on redesignes would have pushed steam technology, but the diesel parade was too much. It wasnt just diesel winning, it was harder to technically pricewise to keep steam going as core parts etc became pricier and more difficult to buy/maintain, not that it couldnt be done, the parade was too much.

Steam still lives by all the dedicated people out there.

Author:  NH0401 [ Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News

These discussions always seem to invoke ancient diesel locomotives such as FT,F3 et. al.

A more worthwhile comparison would be to a state-of-the-art d/e such as an SD70ACe or the GE equivalent.

FWIW, one 70ACe is almost a straight up replacement (in terms of rated HP and starting tractive effort) for a three-unit set of F-7's.


Author:  beacon_joe [ Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News

Points: Diesels don't have to go down for boiler washes, require 1472 day inspection, man hours in preparation and maintenance, lack of dynamic braking (raising train operating and maintenance cost), and overall logistics make the diesel locomotive superior.

And I am paid to work and rebuild steam locomotives, but they are best as a historical artifact and for enjoyment and education. Every tourist railroad needs one if they can support on. But not an mainline staple.

Author:  Bruce Duensing [ Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News

I wish them well and will refrain from making third hand pronouncements. It certainly is not a terrible idea to see an experiment with bio-fuel put to the test, if and when this comes to fruition, especially in light of Class One experimentation with natural gas. Outside of electrification, it's sort of a pragmatic look at alternatives, if it is considered outside of the understandably loaded baggage carried by the preservation community. I don't have a horse in this race nor does anyone here as far as I know to evoke a sour reaction so early on. Even if it does fail I cannot imagine the results will not be the gist for further discussion outside of bemoaning this or that, rather than taking a stand off approach to see if or what comes of this.

Author:  Reading 900 [ Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News

Having followed steam in the 70's until now, I used to be in the "steam is supreme" crowd. There isn't much that be compared to a Berk full throttle down in the corner pulling 19 cars up a steep grade with the exhaust hitting you as hard as a 105 firing shells on the range. But the cost of running steam today compared to diesel, well there isn't any comparing the two. Mr. Diesel wins.
But it doesn't hurt to examine other possibilities. And these folks have stated that if
it doesn't work out the engine will be cosmetically restored and put on display under cover. That's a lot better than where she is outdoors, not cared for, in a park. Let's see what happens!


Author:  Great Western [ Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News

Charlie wrote:
Great Western, here's some data from the Steamlocomotive.com site:


Thank you. Very interesting stats. Appears to be a formidable locomotive - plenty of boiling capacity to get over the road at speed!

Author:  dinwitty [ Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News

you have to design the new boiler that does not need all these man hours. Theres been water tube boilers on the experimental side and often their PSi went higher than the traditional steamer.

What about on demand steam like some water heaters work?
The ACE project has its potentials, well, lets see what happens here.

Author:  superheater [ Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News

Assume for a minute every problem of reciprocating steam is conquered economically at the point of purchase.

Will the result have a "second life"?

In recent years, the biggest misstep in the locomotive industry was, by all accounts the SD50. Yet what has happened to it (at least on NS)? They derated it to 3000HP, installed the EM2000 controls and other relatively minor improvements and they've got essentially a new locomotive.

This doesn't even count the opportunities presented by dropping an ECO package into a successful unit like a GP38-2 or GP38AC.

The modularity of the diesel locomotive allows critical components and subsystems to be replaced and units to be renewed.

http://www.nscorp.com/nscorphtml/pdf/gr ... torday.pdf

Author:  Ron Travis [ Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News

Does anybody know if this group has published the scope of their objective in more specific terms since their original announcement a couple years ago?

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