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 Post subject: Cost of new eccentric rods for a steam locomotive
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:45 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:06 pm
Posts: 201
Location: Bendena KS
Lately I have been helping to develop a plan for doing some restoration work on former Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe 2-8-0 #811 in Atchison Kansas.

From what I can tell, the Santa Fe made a point of removing the eccentric rods from every locomotive that it donated that had Stephenson valve gear. 811 is no exception.

In looking at various options for a cosmetic restoration of 811, the idea of replacing the missing eccentric rods is being explored. A goal of the restoration is to make some or all of the appliances functional with compressed air, and possibly even occasionally move the locomotive a short distance with air.

Has anyone had to have eccentrics made for a locomotive recently or otherwise have a rough idea of what it might cost to have them made? (not looking for an exact detailed quote, just a ball park figure to help determine if the idea is even feasible)

Jason Midyette


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 Post subject: Re: Cost of new eccentric rods for a steam locomotive
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:11 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:49 am
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Location: Cambridgeshire UK
Howdy, I think you need to contact the folks at the Strasburg Railroad for a quote. They are one of the few outfits setup for making eccentric rods. I'm sure there are also more machine shops around who can manufacture a set for your project. Do you have any of the mechanical dating for your locomotive? Have fun - David Notarius, on the wrong side of the Atlantic


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 Post subject: Re: Cost of new eccentric rods for a steam locomotive
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:56 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
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Location: Strasburg, PA
Are the eccentric straps still mounted on the eccentrics? Replacing the straps would would be 90% of the total. If they are there, replacing just the rods would be child's play in comparison. Dimensioned sketches would still be needed.

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 Post subject: Re: Cost of new eccentric rods for a steam locomotive
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:13 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:18 am
Posts: 239
I'm happy to hear about the effort to refurbish AT&SF 811. I visited it in July and found this sign taped to the backhead. Unfortunately I wasn't able to find anyone with additional information. One of the display cars had been vandalized the previous night with paint. Understandably, the people connected with the museum were busy trying to correct that issue.

Jeff Terry


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711 1.jpg
711 1.jpg [ 270.73 KiB | Viewed 2012 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Cost of new eccentric rods for a steam locomotive
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:09 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4884
Good looking Consolidation! Some facts:

Built by Baldwin February 1902 s/n 19967.

Donated to Atchison in 1954. Although apparently kept outside since then, she still looks fairly decent, although obviously in need of some paint in addition to the eccentric rods. Hopefully that paint will soon be coming.

She has one of those interesting, and unique, Santa Fe oil tenders. Never could quite understand their design. I stopped by the museum in Atchison a number of years ago. They seemed to have a very nice collection of equipment. Also note the live steam (?) track.

Thanks for the photo Jeff.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Cost of new eccentric rods for a steam locomotive
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:37 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 4:12 am
Posts: 8
My great-great-grandfather was a fireman and brakeman on the Santa Fe from 1899 to 1943. One of his hobbies was photography, and he took a photo of no. 811 sometime between 1902 (when it was built) and 1907 (when I think it was simpled). The photo was probably taken in Albuquerque. I think my great-great-grandfather was standing behind the camera, as he's not one of the men in the photo. Sadly, I think that the photo was not exposed or developed quite right, and the past century has taken its toll on it too, so it's a bit hard to see details. It's still a cool photo though.

I wish you the best of luck working on the 811!


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Santa Fe 811.JPG
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 Post subject: Re: Cost of new eccentric rods for a steam locomotive
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:17 am 

Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 10:27 am
Posts: 167
Location: New Haven Ct area
Assuming we are talking the same rod, and my understanding that Stephenson in this degree is set similar to walschaerts.

Having just finished doing this myself albeit on a much smaller engine with walschaerts, as an FYI live steam practice is to first make this rod with a big turnbuckle in it. Then you set the engine on Front/Back dead center, once there, you move the Johnson bar back and forth till and adjust the turnbuckle till the valve no longer moves when the engine is on either center. Once you have the rod set to the right length you take it off the locomotive and measure what you have as they always come out different. Then this is the measurement you use to set your center to center distance on this rod.

At least this is how we do it on live steam locomotives, maybe it is done better on the full sized ones or someone here can chime in on a process that wouldn't require a turnbuckle rod? I know a knowledgable friend of mine who knew some of the guys at Baldwin said that they had a huge valve gear room where each valve gear was mocked up in 2:1 scale with wooden parts where the idea was that at double size problems would show much easier. Maybe they were able to get the dimensions to land more exactally to the drawing than we are on the smaller stuff I don't know. At least on my locomotive the cost of making a turnbuckle rod was so low it was a no brainer. On your locomotive I doubt that this will be the case.

By the way I know it is Walschaerts and tiny but here's a great video to show what you are aiming for;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRGGSr68miQ

If you are going to go through all that cost and effort make sure you wind up with a working rod. Despite being ugly I would rather pay the cost of making the turnbuckle rod set first than make a non turnbuckle one that doesn't work. That way at least future generations will have a good start on making the right rod should the chance for full restoration ever come.


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 Post subject: Re: Cost of new eccentric rods for a steam locomotive
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:38 am 

Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 8:56 pm
Posts: 78
Location: New York
6-ET wrote:
Image


Very cool photo!

I don't recall ever seeing a larger top chamber of a steam engine cylinder. Has the arrangement of the valve and driving pistons been reversed on this particular locomotive?


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 Post subject: Re: Cost of new eccentric rods for a steam locomotive
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:52 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 2:14 pm
Posts: 449
Location: Essex, Connecticut, USA
Greetings:
No.811 was built as a "Vaulclain" compound: steam goes from the boiler first to the high pressure (lower) cylinder then exhausted into the low pressure (upper) cylinder, then up the stack as waste.
This system was patented by Baldwin Locomotive Works, and they sold a lot of them, but were a maintenance nightmare and soon were replaced by conventional cylinders.
Any savings gained by using the steam twice was more than off set by the maintenance problems they had.
The Pikes Peak 0-4-2 rack locomotives and a narrow gauge 2-8-0 on display at Dawson City, YT, Canada are the only ones that have survived with their original cylinders (that I know of).
Many of the UP 2-8-0s on display (including IRM's No.428) started off as Vaulclain compounds.
J.David
PS: That is a wonderful photograph! JDC


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 Post subject: Re: Cost of new eccentric rods for a steam locomotive
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:53 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:48 pm
Posts: 53
This configuration was used on freight locomotives with drivers below a certain diameter. The D&RG K27's were all delivered as compounds and were built like this.Image
Standard gauge freight locomotives had the same issue as well Image


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 Post subject: Re: Cost of new eccentric rods for a steam locomotive
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:28 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:06 pm
Posts: 201
Location: Bendena KS
Thank you all for the replies so far.

Kelly, the straps are gone as well. I will try to get some basic measurements. I have always wondered if the Santa Fe removed them so they did not have to deal with trying to lubricate them while towing a dead locomotive or if it was a way to insure that no one would try to operate the donated locomotive.

6et - That is an awesome photo! I have been looking for a while to find any photos of 811 in service. Any chance I could talk you out of a good scan of your photo?

Thanks again

Jason Midyette


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 Post subject: Re: Cost of new eccentric rods for a steam locomotive
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:32 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8124
Location: Baltimore, MD
Two minutes in Photoshop Elements later:


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 Post subject: Re: Cost of new eccentric rods for a steam locomotive
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:48 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3574
Location: Maine
Not to out-do Alex #4, but I too ran the image through Photoshop with this result.
The original silver nitrate print can be professionally restored, and you might wish to look into that option, as it adds provenance to the locomotive on display.


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 Post subject: Re: Cost of new eccentric rods for a steam locomotive
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:09 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 4:12 am
Posts: 8
I'm glad everybody likes the photo! My great-great-grandfather would probably be pretty pleased about it, once he wrapped his head around what a "forum" on the "internet" is where a bunch of people were discussing "restoration."

J.David wrote:
This system was patented by Baldwin Locomotive Works, and they sold a lot of them, but were a maintenance nightmare and soon were replaced by conventional cylinders.
Any savings gained by using the steam twice was more than off set by the maintenance problems they had.


I've always been curious what exactly the maintenance problems were. I heard once that there were problems with unequal force from the two cylinders causing torque about the crosshead guide. However, single-cylinder arrangements with Laird and multiple-bearing crossheads also bear on the guides with some amount of torque. Do you have any ideas?


Something I've also wondered about is the tall, thin enclosure with the semicircular top on the top of the tender. Does it contain a firehose? If it does, how does one get the water to pump?

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 Post subject: Re: Cost of new eccentric rods for a steam locomotive
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:15 pm
Posts: 1247
Location: Henderson Nevada
At the risk of moving away from the cost of eccentrics... but following the discussion about compounding...

A page from a 1900 Baldwin Narrow gauge catalog... on Compound cylinders


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File comment: from Baldwin Locomotive Works Illustrated Catalog of Narrow-GAuge Locomotives, 1900
p 149 Compound Cyl castings.jpg
p 149 Compound Cyl castings.jpg [ 754.18 KiB | Viewed 1286 times ]

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