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 Post subject: The B&O RR Museum's 1856 William Mason - overhaul and livery
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:21 am
Posts: 535
Location: Yardley, PA (near Phila)
The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad's 4-4-0 "William Mason".

Back in October of 2016, I took the opportunity to take one of the few tours the B&O
Railroad Museum offers each year. One of the locomotives, among others, was the
Museum's prized Mason Machine Works 1856 4-4-0's, the William Mason.

I did ask a few questions, though the answers elude my recall.

Apparently, the locomotive - an original, not a replica, is undergoing her mandatory 1472
service inspection /overhaul.

She's worn a number of paint schemes over the years - a quick trip to RP.net (search
"William Mason"), or.... click this link:
http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?train_id=William%20Mason

You'll note she wore a red, black and what appears a light blue /white, later the dark
green we've come to know, but prior, to her last look, the gold trim was more elaborate.

And now... see below. If I recall correctly, I was told the livery you are seeing here is the
livery based on paint hidden under previous layers and deemed accurate at least at one
point in her history. Not very appealing - with the wheels now completely green and the
red trim on the cab, though, not sure what color the sheet metal wrap will be, and of
course, she's not finished, either.

I recall hearing some issues regarding her return to service as well - can't recall the
details. In the past, while in operation she could not haul a consist of any sort due to a
lack of proper braking application.

So - what light can we shed on her today?

What livery IS accurate? Or, what liveries were accurate and when?

And, is anyone in the loop regarding her return to operation? Is there an issue that
would preclude anything other than a cosmetic restoration - an issue that would require
unanticipated funds /major repair / or meeting new regulations?

/Mitch

And, why yes - that is the B&O EA #51 in the background undergoing a full cosmetic
restoration! I'll post a separate thread later...


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 Post subject: Re: The B&O RR Museum's 1856 William Mason - overhaul and li
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:10 am 

Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:07 pm
Posts: 186
For an engine that's 161 years old, I'm sure a lot of different schemes can be called accurate, depending on the era that interests you. For certain, the engine did not carry the name William Mason until after her normal service life. She was number 25.

Tom


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 Post subject: Re: The B&O RR Museum's 1856 William Mason - overhaul and li
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:40 am 

Joined: Sat May 07, 2016 1:12 am
Posts: 48
It would be nice if they use the link pin type coupler and haul a couple passenger cars around using a brakeman on the cars like the days of old. I know it's unlikely and dangerous, but it's something that's not done at any museum I'm aware of. Using whistle signals for braking like they used to do. The William Mason would be a perfect demonstrator of pre air brake operations.


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 Post subject: Re: The B&O RR Museum's 1856 William Mason - overhaul and li
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:03 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:56 am
Posts: 50
The paint being applied in the picture is based on the bottom layer of paint found under scrapings. The wheels now include red centers with a star pattern trailing into each spoke. The work is purely cosmetic as the 1472 revealed that 25 will need a new crownsheet before a return to operation. Those of us who work with steam at the B&O hope to see a return to operation at some point, but when it happens I wouldn't hold my breath to see a train behind it. Society Days at the museum this weekend will include the availability of restoration shop tours where progress to the #25 can be seen.


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 Post subject: Re: The B&O RR Museum's 1856 William Mason - overhaul and li
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:26 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:51 pm
Posts: 78
JayZee wrote:
It would be nice if they use the link pin type coupler and haul a couple passenger cars around using a brakeman on the cars like the days of old. I know it's unlikely and dangerous, but it's something that's not done at any museum I'm aware of. Using whistle signals for braking like they used to do. The William Mason would be a perfect demonstrator of pre air brake operations.


Jay,

The type of operation you describe can be seen (and experienced as a rider) at Maine's WW&F Museum, minus the link and pin couplers. The locomotives have steam or vacuum brakes, but the rolling stock has hand brakes only. Stopping the train is a team effort, with brakemen on every car. Only hand, whistle and lantern signals are used. The crews carry no radios.

Mitch,

I visited the B&O Museum in early November.....shortly after your visit. I think I've been there half a dozen times, and only once have I seen the 25 in the roundhouse. It was not there during my November visit, for reasons that are now clear. When I queried the Museum Docents, they gave me the same information that C. Edwards just posted. They indicated that the crownsheet issue had changed the direction of the restoration effort to a cosmetic one vs. an operational one. To say I was saddened to hear that is an understatement.

/Kevin Madore


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 Post subject: Re: The B&O RR Museum's 1856 William Mason - overhaul and li
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:53 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1235
Location: Strasburg, PA
JayZee wrote:
It would be nice if they use the link pin type coupler and haul a couple passenger cars around using a brakeman on the cars like the days of old. I know it's unlikely and dangerous, but it's something that's not done at any museum I'm aware of. Using whistle signals for braking like they used to do. The William Mason would be a perfect demonstrator of pre air brake operations.

That was how the RRMPA ran its John Bull replica, and also how they hit a car that was parked too close to the tracks just before the museum switch. The engineer whistled for brakes, and the brakemen assumed that he wanted to stop past the switch (not before) and braked accordingly. I can attest that his pioneering cowcatcher works very well, spinning that sedan ninety degrees and tearing the bumper and grill right off of it, with hardly a hiccup out of the JB.

_________________
"It was not easy to convince Allnutt. All his shop training had given him a profound prejudice against inexact work, experimental work, hit-or-miss work."
C. S. Forester

Strasburg Rail Road Mechanical Department


Last edited by Kelly Anderson on Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The B&O RR Museum's 1856 William Mason - overhaul and li
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:47 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
Kelly Anderson wrote:
JayZee wrote:
That was how the RRMPA ran its John Bull replica.


One of my most unique railroad adventures was the getting chance to be the Brakeman on the John Bull at Expo 86. I think Ben Kline was the one who arranged it, but it's been 30 years ago, so the details are fuzzy.

I sat up in what sort of looks like a giant rear headlight but is actually a "doghouse" on the back of the tender, with my feet on the braking lever. He'd blow the whistle, and I'd respond with a rope that rang a bell, like an engine room telegraph.

It was a wonderful glimpse into the past, and while I have many years of working as brakeman and conductor, it's the only time I was able to perform the original brakeman duties that gave the job its name.


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 Post subject: Re: The B&O RR Museum's 1856 William Mason - overhaul and li
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:49 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
Quote:
The paint being applied in the picture is based on the bottom layer of paint found under scrapings.


I'm curious as to how they determined the exact shade? I'm sure you've seen photos of old red pickup trucks sitting in a field, all faded to drab dull burgundy.

While it's obvious it was green, how do you know which green? What if it faded before they added the next layer, or if, over time, the paint chemistry has changed, and thus the color has shifted?


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 Post subject: Re: The B&O RR Museum's 1856 William Mason - overhaul and li
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:35 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 660
Location: Philadelphia Pa
Bobharbison wrote:
Quote:
The paint being applied in the picture is based on the bottom layer of paint found under scrapings.


I'm curious as to how they determined the exact shade? I'm sure you've seen photos of old red pickup trucks sitting in a field, all faded to drab dull burgundy.

While it's obvious it was green, how do you know which green? What if it faded before they added the next layer, or if, over time, the paint chemistry has changed, and thus the color has shifted?


....Or they just thought "wow, this is an ugly paint scheme, let's tone it down a bit, shalst we?"


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 Post subject: Re: The B&O RR Museum's 1856 William Mason - overhaul and li
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:42 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:15 am
Posts: 459
Bob,

With the aged color matching, not sure if you have seen how paint chips are processed for color matching, but the simplified explanation is the ship is suspended in a clear epoxy, and the technician sands the chip at a slight angle so that all layers survive, but wide enough bands are exposed to get a color scan. So in the stack of color layers you will be able to tell where the environmentally damaged paint is and where the unaffected zones are. Alternately if you have access to a high magnification microscope than looking at the cross section of the paint layers is enough to tell the original colors.

With the question of the boiler wrap, most likely based on the color scheme they are replicating, my best guess would be a planished wrap (i.e. Russian or American Iron as it was called), or a slightly blued, dirty silver paint (to replicate how RI/AI looked under a blue sky, without the maintenance of bare iron sheet). Most likely she would also receive the brass bands to cover the joints between the sheets which were available in 40 inch widths IIRC.

Looks like she was a smart looking locomotive in her era.

Rich C.


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 Post subject: Re: The B&O RR Museum's 1856 William Mason - overhaul and li
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:43 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 1885
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
How old is the current boiler?

_________________
Steven Harrod
Lektor
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
Institut for Systemer, Produktion, og Ledelse


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 Post subject: Re: The B&O RR Museum's 1856 William Mason - overhaul and li
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:51 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:48 pm
Posts: 63
Link and pin couplings and stopping trains with the use of the Johnson Bar is a multiple times a day occurrence on the Cedar Point and Lake Erie RR at Cedar Point Amusement Park. Been that way since the first day of operation in 1963. It's classified as an industrial operation by the state of Ohio, thereby it is not required to use either air brakes or automatic couplers.


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 Post subject: Re: The B&O RR Museum's 1856 William Mason - overhaul and li
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:27 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
softwerkslex wrote:
How old is the current boiler?


I don't have that particular piece of information, but the engine was retired from regular service in 1892, so you can bet the boiler is a good deal older than that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Mason_(locomotive)

Although not mentioned in the Wikipedia piece, I've seen other comments that the 25 came from Mason with a wagontop boiler like what is on it now. That would have been a bit unusual, for most of Mason's engines had a straight top boiler. I doubt the tender is original, or at least the tender trucks wouldn't be; Mason normally used a different design that had leaf springs over the individual wheels.

Other than the tender and maybe the boiler, the engine is probably not too far off from its as built condition, subject to parts replacements over the years, among them solid wheels for Mason's prefered spoked wheels in the pilot and tender trucks.

This engine, the General Haupt of the U.S. Military Railroad, is a more typical example of what Mason would have built, including the counterweights being lead in hollow spokes of the driving wheels.

http://www.eightwheelermodels.com/History.html


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 Post subject: Re: The B&O RR Museum's 1856 William Mason - overhaul and li
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
A somewhat later Mason (1871) has a wagontop boiler and a different but common tender truck design, but still has spoked wheels throughout, and a minimum of visible counterbalance on the main driver only.

http://www.historycentral.com/railroad/ ... iaPac.html

What looks like another Mason, straight top boiler, Mason style dome covers, and spoked wheels everywhere:

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/or ... 34ebed.jpg

Mason didn't like solid wheels. He said they were cheesy, because they looked like cheeses!


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 Post subject: Re: The B&O RR Museum's 1856 William Mason - overhaul and li
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:05 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1235
Location: Strasburg, PA
softwerkslex wrote:
How old is the current boiler?

I understand that it dates from 1927, built for the Fair of the Iron Horse by B&O apprentices. It was assembled with a hump in the middle. The jacket frame holds the jacket only about 5/8" off the boiler at the wagon top, to make the boiler appear straight.

_________________
"It was not easy to convince Allnutt. All his shop training had given him a profound prejudice against inexact work, experimental work, hit-or-miss work."
C. S. Forester

Strasburg Rail Road Mechanical Department


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