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 Post subject: Re: Major Announcement from Altoona Today - BREAKING NEWS
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 7:49 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2014 11:12 pm
Posts: 124
Rob Gardner wrote:
Referring to the drawings above of the RB conversion on the drivers, can this be done reusing the existing axles or would there be any modification or replacement of either needed?

Thanks,

Rob

From what I gathered from the livestream, was that the axles will need very little if any machining; however I take that with a grain of salt. I once asked you about if something like this conversion could be done to the 2100, and I think you said not without modifying the frame. Well in this case supposedly the frame will be untouched, so something has to change. Maybe Kelly Anderson has an idea of how something like this would work.


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 Post subject: Re: Major Announcement from Altoona Today - BREAKING NEWS
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 9:00 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:50 pm
Posts: 403
Well, it looks like we all might learn something new here, eh?

Rob Gardner


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 Post subject: Re: Major Announcement from Altoona Today - BREAKING NEWS
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 9:42 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:47 pm
Posts: 2
hullmat991, would you have an end view of the axle/bearing assembly that shows how the bearing is situated in the axle box?

Thanks,

Nyle


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 Post subject: Re: Major Announcement from Altoona Today - BREAKING NEWS
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 2:41 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1419
Location: Strasburg, PA
hullmat991 wrote:
Rob Gardner wrote:
Referring to the drawings above of the RB conversion on the drivers, can this be done reusing the existing axles or would there be any modification or replacement of either needed?

Thanks,

Rob

From what I gathered from the livestream, was that the axles will need very little if any machining; however I take that with a grain of salt. I once asked you about if something like this conversion could be done to the 2100, and I think you said not without modifying the frame. Well in this case supposedly the frame will be untouched, so something has to change. Maybe Kelly Anderson has an idea of how something like this would work.
Attachment:
roller bearing driving axle.jpg
roller bearing driving axle.jpg [ 55.15 KiB | Viewed 1225 times ]

Remember, you asked for my opinion. I wasn't going to post on this thread at all.

Most roller bearing conversions do require a new frame due to the needed o.d. of the roller bearings compared to the width of the driving box opening. There they seem to be in luck in that the K4's appear to have been designed with fairly generous frame openings (19-1/2"? on an 11" journal) compared to most plain bearing locomotives.

There's no such thing as a free lunch though. The wheel seats on plain bearing axles are generally as large or larger than the new diameter of the journals (11" in this case). You can't do that with roller bearings since you need to slide the bearing over the wheel seat before it can be pressed onto the journal. Hence you see the "10-47/64" maximum wheel seat diameter on the wheel seat on the drawing. That means that the driving wheel centers will have to be replaced, or have their axle seats built up with weld (if possible) so they can be bored to the new smaller diameter, a fair amount of work.

Also, the drawing calls for the journal to be 10-3/4" for the roller bearing. #1361's #1 journals have already been turned down smaller than that, so that axle will need to be replaced.

Since the drivers have already had all of the journals and crankpins overhauled and quartered at TVRM, and are ready to go unless damaged by corrosion, conversion to roller bearings means that all of that work will be lost. Likewise for the driving boxes, all six have been overhauled and are ready to assemble onto the wheel sets. So, if they stick with plain bearings, with some cleaning and lubrication the driving wheels are ready to install. If converting to roller bearings, I would plan on a year of work and $300K+ to get to the same point that they are at right now.

The cost of the roller bearings themselves will be substantial (if available at all), as will patterns, castings, and machining of the roller bearing housings. I for one am at a loss as to why they would bother considering the service that the engine is likely to see, along with the trouble free performance that many operators are having with oil cellars and Armstrong Oilers. Really, how much are #4449 or #4501 handicapped by having plain bearing driving boxes?

Likewise, the announced names of Foster Wheeler or Meiningen (sp?) for a source of a new boiler aren't conducive of warm and fuzzy feelings to me. Sure, FW is a big name in industrial boilers, but what do they know about locomotive boilers? Texas state hired a big name boiler company to build a new boiler for their Pacific, and it was delivered with a 1" thick firebox (it's supposed to be 3/8" thick), and with some modification is good for use as a culvert. Meiningen (sp?) built the Tornado's boiler, but as I recall it broke 300 some staybolts in its first year in service. I recall reading that they also built a boiler for service in Australia that was condemned upon delivery, and the Aussies are building the replacement themselves.

Building a new boiler offers few advantages over rebuilding the current one, and adds a great deal of more work. Considering the service the engine will see, it strikes me as a waste of money.

The announcement as made seems to me to display a lack of understanding of what the state of the art is in steam locomotive preservation.

_________________
"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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 Post subject: Re: Major Announcement from Altoona Today - BREAKING NEWS
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 3:12 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2222
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
Thank you, Kelly, for injecting some well-informed and needed commentary on this proposal.

It's a steam locomotive, not an UMLER-interchange freight car. WHY does it need roller bearing driving axles?

Too much good and proper work has already been discarded over the years 1361 has been "under restoration". Why do it again?

Howard P.

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 Post subject: Re: Major Announcement from Altoona Today - BREAKING NEWS
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 3:46 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:12 am
Posts: 484
Location: Somewhere off the coast of New England
Howard P. wrote:
...
It's a steam locomotive, not an UMLER-interchange freight car. WHY does it need roller bearing driving axles? ...
Howard P.

Perhaps Brother Levin the Younger has run the numbers for the lifecycle costs...
GME


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 Post subject: Re: Major Announcement from Altoona Today - BREAKING NEWS
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 7:03 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 570
I'm definitely a novice on steam restoration knowledge, but I am scratching my head on this proposal. My understanding, based on an independent inspection by someone who knows what he is talking about and reported back here is that a lot (if not a majority) of the work necessary to get the engine operational has already been done, that the work was not botched, and that the problem with the remaining repairs (the crown sheet) is that the group who started the restoration burned a lot of their good will and are now finding it very difficult to gain it back for fundraising. I recall the conclusion that if the remaining work were turned over to a steam shop with credibility (e.g., a person from such a shop commented above) it would come with such enormous credibility that both fundraising and finishing the job would occur quickly. Does it make sense starting over essentially from scratch?

Edit: "engine" not "engage" I need new bifocals.


Last edited by PMC on Sun May 13, 2018 7:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Major Announcement from Altoona Today - BREAKING NEWS
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 7:27 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5476
Location: southeastern USA
Perhaps a proposal from a Pennsylvania workshop of undeniable repute? If we only knew of such an operation........

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Santayana: "He who does not remember the past is condemned to repeat it."
Corollary: "He who does is doomed to watch those who don't repeat it anyway."


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 Post subject: Re: Major Announcement from Altoona Today - BREAKING NEWS
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 7:35 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 570
Dave wrote:
Perhaps a proposal from a Pennsylvania workshop of undeniable repute? If we only knew of such an operation........

Yep, in a perfect world there would be such a place nearby. We can only dream...


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 Post subject: Re: Major Announcement from Altoona Today - BREAKING NEWS
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 7:37 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:54 am
Posts: 828
Location: NJ
I haven't seen any mention of a four-letter word that has only three letters: PTC. If this engine is to operate anywhere but on a regional or shortline, it will have to have PTC, the lack of which may spell the premature retirement of the PRR E-8s.

I mentioned this to one of my associates, who suggested that the PTC gear might be able to be fitted into a baggage or tool car. I was involved with a freight operator that ran over NJ Transit some years ago, and I made the suggestion that equipping one unit in a consist with cab signal, and wiring a display to the other units, might save some money.

I was told that the requirement was that the cab signal equipment had to be in the lead unit, with the pick-up bar ahead of the lead axle in a consist. Logic says that a baggage car equipped with PTC wouldn't be legal, either.

Just food for thought-


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 Post subject: Re: Major Announcement from Altoona Today - BREAKING NEWS
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 7:45 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:50 pm
Posts: 403
Kelly,

Thank you for weighing in. I think most everyone agrees that with so much work on the running gear already done, why throw it away for something of marginal value but such high cost? However, by Bennett's own words, they are very early on in this process and I would fully expect some things to change as they assemble the team and start looking at the critical details of the project.

IMO, the best way to show this project is serious and convince some of the deeper pockets to get involved is to simply reassemble as much of the running gear as possible, especially if so much of it is simply waiting for reassembly, no?

Rob Gardner


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 Post subject: Re: Major Announcement from Altoona Today - BREAKING NEWS
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 10:37 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:01 pm
Posts: 1477
Location: SouthEast Pennsylvania
EDM wrote:
I was told that the requirement was that the cab signal equipment had to be in the lead unit, with the pick-up bar ahead of the lead axle in a consist. Logic says that a baggage car equipped with PTC wouldn't be legal, either.
There have been steam locomotives with tenders and cab signals that were designed to used in both directions. When running in reverse, the pickup bar was ahead of the leading axle on the tender. No matter where the cab signal equipment was mounted, in one direction it would not be on the lead unit. Jumper cables took care of the problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Major Announcement from Altoona Today - BREAKING NEWS
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 1:27 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:55 am
Posts: 93
Kelly Anderson wrote:
Meiningen (sp?)


sp! ;-)


Quote:
built the Tornado's boiler, but as I recall it broke 300 some staybolts in its first year in service


Due to heating/cooling intervals not adequate to that sort of boiler steel. After the learning curve had been taken by the crews, the boiler works as it should.

Quote:
I recall reading that they also built a boiler for service in Australia that was condemned upon delivery, and the Aussies are building the replacement themselves.


Yes, there have been some basic dimensions taken wrongly and so it didn't fit. The accusations about whose fault it was were flying to and fro for a long time.

If you wanted to bring Strasburg into play, it's fair and I wonder why the new group didn't consider Strasburg first, as you have an excellent reputation. Yet if you just mention those two boilers to put Meiningen in a bad light, it is also essential to know that Germany has far more operable steam locomotives than the USA - some in daily service - many of them being overhauled in Meiningen. Meiningen also new-built some steam locomotives as well as, of course, dozens of new boilers for the german and international market.

Quote:
Building a new boiler offers few advantages over rebuilding the current one, and adds a great deal of more work. Considering the service the engine will see, it strikes me as a waste of money.


I have no idea about the metallurgical state of the existing boiler. Probably this might be the reason for the consideration of a new-build.

Do I understand it right, the group wants to finance an overhaul of a locomotive it does not own and has no right to decide upon?

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Major Announcement from Altoona Today - BREAKING NEWS
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 8:08 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1419
Location: Strasburg, PA
Thanks for the corrections re:German built boilers.

484Mike wrote:
If you wanted to bring Strasburg into play

No, no thank you.

But they don't have to go to Germany to find a competent boiler shop, there are several in the US, but there are more hack artists in this industry that somehow continually find new customers due to (I assume) lack of research on the part of the customers. In fact, a lot of the metal work being done on #1361's boiler was of excellent quality, it's just that there was no engineering to back it up.

_________________
"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 Mon May 14, 2018 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Major Announcement from Altoona Today - BREAKING NEWS
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 8:16 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:54 am
Posts: 828
Location: NJ
Quote:
There have been steam locomotives with tenders and cab signals that were designed to used in both directions. When running in reverse, the pickup bar was ahead of the leading axle on the tender. No matter where the cab signal equipment was mounted, in one direction it would not be on the lead unit. Jumper cables took care of the problem.


I'm very aware of steam running in reverse, with the pickup bar under the tender or water space on a tank engine. Some of the old CNJ commuter power comes to mind. But would this mean that the baggage or tool car has to be a permanent part of the consist and shoved ahead of the engine on a back-up move?

I thought I had come with a cost-effective solution to the cab signal issue years ago, but either NJT or the FRA said NO! I forget which, long time ago-

Just how much space does PTC take up? Could the electronics go under the tender, perhaps in an enclosure that copies the shape of the water scoop? And does it have to provide 'power knock-down', closing the throttle and centering the power reverse? Air is air, and should be pretty simple, in comparison.

Just questions that should be thought about, to make 1361 more usable over more routes. Why go to the effort and expense of this restoration if the locomotive is restricted to a limited number of places in which it can operate?


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