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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:00 pm 

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Dennis Storzek wrote:
Why do I get the distinct feeling that this is just a vehicle for gathering grants, which the principles can spend until they run out of money, then declare bankruptcy... Kinda' like Solyndra. Look, it even has all the proper buzzwords. The Obumma administration is in love with "renewable energy", and keeps making noises about a "high speed rail" boondoggle. Sure hope they don't get around to actually taking the engine apart before the money runs out.

I'd guess you get that feeling because you know little or nothing about the people involved and you haven't read the details of the project. The principals involved with this project work in the rail industry (a boondoggle would NOT do their careers any good) there are FAR easier ways to dupe investors than this.

They've said they won't modify the engine until they have enough cash in hand for the modifications AND the restoration to original configuration, if/when that becomes necessary.

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:21 pm 

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hamster wrote:
These guys are just starting, for goodness sake, and have not yet managed to create a single iota of research or development that they are willing to talk about. Let's stop the wild speculation and unfounded blathering and wait for some REAL news. Let's just leave it alone and argue about something else for a while.


Those of us who have been around for a few years remember all the hype that surrounded the proposed American Coal Enterprises ACE 3000 project. About four years after they started, they started a month of "tests" on the C&O between Huntington and Hinton, West Va. with Chessie coal trains, ostensibly to collect data from "test bed" Chesapeake & Ohio "614-T".

Project consultant David Wardale later reported in his book The Red Devil and Other Tales of Steam that the entire series of "tests" were nothing more than a publicity stunt, and that no actual usable data, or painfully little of it, was actually collected. The president of ACE no doubt labeled him a "nattering nabob of negativity" or "toid" after that came out. But, needless to say, nothing of note ever came out of the entire ACE project except a bunch of railfan video sales later in 1985.

So you younger folks may forgive us old geezers a considerable degree of skepticism. Granted, this project doesn't appear to have the same folks involved, and "Hey, man, it COULD HAPPEN!!", but......


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:31 pm 
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hamster wrote:
These guys are just starting, for goodness sake, and have not yet managed to create a single iota of research or development that they are willing to talk about. Let's stop the wild speculation and unfounded blathering and wait for some REAL news. Let's just leave it alone and argue about something else for a while.


I have to back Sandy up in his comments here.

This group made this announcements two years ago. Technically they aren't new.

I said in the other thread the same thing I will say here;

How do they plan to operate it in MN?

How do they intend to get it to Pueblo, CO to operate it?

These are real questions without real answers.

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:50 pm 

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Quote:
When I read their website a couple years ago, I just took it at face value. I interpreted them to be saying that they intended to rebuild #3463 into a prototype for a highly advanced reciprocating 4-6-4 that will burn torrified bio fuel, and that they intended to set a 130 mph speed record with it. They mentioned several specific modifications they intended to make to the locomotive, including adding a streamlined shroud and a HEP generator.


That is more or less exactly what is planned. I had thought the point being beaten to death was whether or not that advanced 4-6-4 was the model for a fleet of similar engines, to be sold to Amtrak (not!) or peddled elsewhere.

The locomotive can be stationary tested in Minneapolis, if there is no decent place to run it. Since it is fully roller-bearing equipped, and will have full rolling-element and needle-bearing valve gear as finished, it should not be difficult to make up a set of bobweights, or remove the pistons and put some additional balance on, in order to move the locomotive to and from Colorado on its own wheels; there are some other alternatives for getting it there if moving on its own wheels proves impossible for 'political' reasons.

[/end horse beating]

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:31 pm 
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Anyone here know if they intend on breaking the speed record at Pueblo? I've seen their test track in the past and it didn't look like anything you could do this on, especially with a steam locomotive.
In the 1938 run, Mallard was going downhill on a very straight section of mainline track for it's record (and damaged a previously-known malfunctioning bearing in the attempt). I'm not aware of anything at Pueblo that would allow a similar run to be made.
But seriously, isn't that speed in a steam locomotive just pure theory? Yeah, Mallard came close, the Germans almost as close right before them (on relatively level track, no less) and then there are the eternal rumors of a PRR S1 going even faster, but even those stories don't reach 130. How would you even be able to prepare any locomotive for speeds that fast? There can't be but a few people alive today anywhere who've taken a locomotive over, say, 110 or so...

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:19 pm 

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p51 wrote:
But seriously, isn't that speed in a steam locomotive just pure theory? Yeah, Mallard came close, the Germans almost as close right before them (on relatively level track, no less) and then there are the eternal rumors of a PRR S1 going even faster, but even those stories don't reach 130. How would you even be able to prepare any locomotive for speeds that fast? There can't be but a few people alive today anywhere who've taken a locomotive over, say, 110 or so...

It's not "pure" theory; it's an extrapolation of proven engineering principals.

The feat of an N&W J hitting 110 MPH during testing on the Pennsy is pretty well documented. With 70 inch drivers it was turning 528 RPM at 110 MPH. For comparison, the ATSF 3463 with its 84 inch drivers would be turning only 520 RPM at 130 MPH, and it would have a significantly lower piston speed because of its shorter stroke. The group intends to fit the 3463 with alloy rods and reciprocating parts at least as good as those used on the J's, so the rotational speeds won't be a problem.

As far as steam speeds achieved in the past, the Milwaukee Road Hiawatha 4-4-2's and 4-6-4's were known to routinely hit 120 MPH, and the rumors for the PRR S1 were well in excess of 130 MPH.

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:21 pm 

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Fair question. Good question.

High-speed loop at Pueblo is rated up to 125 mph. 'Stretching' that just a tad (with appropriate waivers, etc.) should get to the desired rating.

Sure, there is a temptation to 'rig' the locomotive a bit like an Indy car, so it's optimized for a Big Left Turn (reduces augment over a Big Right Turn if the right crank is leading!). This also helps with a number of aspects of stability and guiding.

Most of the dynamic issues involved with going at that speed are either known or can be modeled effectively, including any critical frequencies or resonances. Very small speed increases have a very great cost, especially over about 115 mph. Part of the reason for assisted slipstream draft is that very low exhaust backpressure at very high mass flow needs to be combined with very high steam production.

It goes without saying that 3463 with her existing cylinders, and perhaps with her existing smokebox, will not get anywhere near 130 mph -- her top end in service, even when new, was somewhere in the low 100s and that was IT. I love a Batz truck, but it is not a 130mph stable truck. Neither is the existing trailing truck arrangement. The good news, of course, is that most of the existing historical structure can be quietly stockpiled until the torrefied-fuel experimentation is done and the record either achieved or not. And it WILL be stockpiled -- every piece taken off the engine that has true historical value will be. And measured and photographed, too.

I do wish we still had a T1 to play with!

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:24 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:14 am
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Location: Baltimore, MD
p51 wrote:
Anyone here know if they intend on breaking the speed record at Pueblo? I've seen their test track in the past and it didn't look like anything you could do this on, especially with a steam locomotive.
In the 1938 run, Mallard was going downhill on a very straight section of mainline track for it's record (and damaged a previously-known malfunctioning bearing in the attempt). I'm not aware of anything at Pueblo that would allow a similar run to be made.
But seriously, isn't that speed in a steam locomotive just pure theory? Yeah, Mallard came close, the Germans almost as close right before them (on relatively level track, no less) and then there are the eternal rumors of a PRR S1 going even faster, but even those stories don't reach 130. How would you even be able to prepare any locomotive for speeds that fast? There can't be but a few people alive today anywhere who've taken a locomotive over, say, 110 or so...


There are at least three different test tracks at Pueblo. The loop used for high speed testing is 13.5 miles long and good for 165 mph. Electric locomotives are regularly run at very high speeds on that loop. I would think one issue with high speeds with steam would be thermal capacity of the friction brakes to stop the engine. At 140 mph twice as much energy must be absorbed than at 100mph. One great thing about Pueblo is that you don't need to stop fast. Just keep going around and around

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:31 pm 
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Good to know about Pueblo, I had no idea they had a loop for those speeds, I never saw anything like that when i was there and I didn't have anyone with me who knew any better...
The fan reaction would be quite interesting, I know the facility is closed to the public normally, it'll be interesting to see their security people's reactions to numerous train buffs sneaking (or trying to sneak, anyway) into there to witness the tests and get photos/video.

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:32 pm 

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Miscellaneous responses:

1) Absolutely, positively, without reservation, Mallard's 126-mph record was "down a steep grade with a stiff tailwind". Almost every world rail speed record since has had some quantifier with it--two locos bracketing two cars, extra voltage in the wires in that segment, whatever.

2) Back when I was in college, three hardcore railfan physicists (one a professor who eventually wrote a book in the field) and I sat down and calculated the theoretical maximum speed of ANY steamer within anything close to resembling "normal" loading gauges (i.e. no Hitler's nine-meter-gauge trains or whatnot--we were wiling to go with Russian or Spanish gauge, but not Brunel GWR 8-foot gauge). We all were a bunch of geeks akin to the characters of "The Big Bang Theory"; two of us had texts like Ralph Johnson's "The Steam Locomotive" to draw from.
We ended up with our calculations, determining that the highest we'd ever see steam going, even with the best of conditions, would be somewhere between 125 and 130 mph, and that was by cross-breeding a 325-psi boiler with a Milwaukee Road Hiawatha or Atlantic, poppet valves, etc. The major constraint was, and is, the horsepower output of the boiler combined with the limitations of gauge. In theory, you could combine a 500-psi watertube boiler with a set of eight-foot drivers, but that's never going to be built JUST to break a record at Pueblo or some straight speed track. Railroads don't spend millions building the equivalent of drag strip racers. And, yes, we did the same RPM comparison between the purported 110-mph N&W J run and a higher-drivered loco, specifically 84-inch-drivered locos, and came to the same conclusions.


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:49 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:28 am
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Dear Coalition for Sustainable Rail,

I wanted to say thank you for having a vision. I wanted to say thank you for charging ahead with your plans. You secured what is but only a rusty machine, that when you have completed your vision many of these same individuals will flock trackside to watch run. Streamline it, shroud it, paint it reflective yellow, put a happy face on it, because in the end what draws these individuals trackside is a steam whistle, the sound of a cannon exhaust, and the chance to see a USA born Hudson fly around a curve.

I apologize for posting your website, as it clearly was off many radars. I had no idea the level of negative, nagging, griping, and he said/they said posts would emerge. I thought people might just enjoy your vision for what it is.

But, let's be real, it takes special people to have a vision, develop a plan, and see it to completion. Apparently there are a lot of people out there that believe they have a plan, or can tear one apart...difference is...they never had the vision to start with.


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:23 am 

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Just musing here, so bear with me...wouldn't it be beneficial to replace the tender trucks with 6 wheel trucks off a modern(ish) diesel, and equip the area over the back of the tender with a dynamic brake grid to provide dynamic braking ability? Agreed it would look like crap, but wouldn't that add to the usefulness of the updated locomotive? Like I said, don't shoot me, just speaking as a railroader who enjoys having the convenience of db.


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:38 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 am
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Location: South Carolina
You can achieve dynamic-equivalent braking with a steam locomotive without resorting to traction motor equipped tender trucks and resistance grids.

Horsepower calculations based on Mr. Johnson's book don't take into account any steam work done since ~1940, and there has been a LOT achieved since then.

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:05 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 am
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Location: South Carolina
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
Those of us who have been around for a few years remember all the hype that surrounded the proposed American Coal Enterprises ACE 3000 project. About four years after they started, they started a month of "tests" on the C&O between Huntington and Hinton, West Va. with Chessie coal trains, ostensibly to collect data from "test bed" Chesapeake & Ohio "614-T".
Project consultant David Wardale later reported in his book The Red Devil and Other Tales of Steam that the entire series of "tests" were nothing more than a publicity stunt, and that no actual usable data, or painfully little of it, was actually collected. The president of ACE no doubt labeled him a "nattering nabob of negativity" or "toid" after that came out. But, needless to say, nothing of note ever came out of the entire ACE project except a bunch of railfan video sales later in 1985.

Wardale didn't exactly say the tests were "nothing more than a publicity stunt", he made the point that trying to perform detailed steam locomotive testing in sub-zero temperatures on a rush-overhauled steamer was far less than ideal, and as a result the main benefit of the tests became to generate publicity for ACE. I'm sure if ACE had had been able to do things like they'd wanted to, they'd have delayed tests a few months for warmer weather and done a less-rushed job on the firebox work.

It's worth mentioning that Mr. Wardale was also very confident that his locomotive SAR Class 26 #3450 "the Red Devil", with 60 inch drivers, was capable of attaining 160 km/h (99.4 MPH) with a train of 8 standard passenger cars, based on extrapolation of the speed/horsepower curves made during detailed testing of the locomotive.

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Fe 3463 - Wicked Cool News
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:26 am 

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When is the 3436 scheduled to be moved out of Topeka? I gather that they plan on having it towed on its own wheels by rail to Minneapolis. They must have that all worked out, seeing that they are preparing the engine by oiling the bearings and removing the rods. I assume that will be a special movement dedicated only to handling #3436.


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