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 Post subject: Info Wanted: CW Hunt Industrial Railway Systems, 21.5" gauge
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:50 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9152
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
I have an overseas associate that is researching the history of the C.W. Hunt Industrial Railways Systems and the company that constructed them, based on Staten Island, New York.

The company, started ca. 1880 and closing ca. 1920-ish, constructed railway equipment for industrial plants and installations, ranging from coal mines to standard-gauge electric switchers.

The most specific subject of this search is the narrow-gauge, outside-flanged "Industrial Railway Systems" as they were marketed, designed for internal plant use, featuring an odd track gauge of 21.5" and curves with radii as tight as twelve feet.

This gentleman has procured perhaps every bit of data that can be accessed online, including sales catalogues, industry advertisements, promotional materials, and lists of customers known to have purchased/installed such systems--a fairly extensive list, I may add. The list ranges from now-unknown companies to industrial giants such as Westinghouse (at the Wilmerding plant), various steel mills and shipyards (some of which fell under the Bethlehem Steel banner later), smelting facilities, DuPont chemical and gunpowder plants, gas plants, power generating plants, foundries, and the like.

In addition, it's been documented that many locomotives, both steam and internal combustion, were built for these unorthodox systems by outside builders, such as H.K. Porter, Whitcomb, Davenport, Plymouth, Atlas, and others. Many of these locos were built long after Hunt apparently closed its doors.

I've come to the conclusion that many rail enthusiasts and historians, spotting the remnants of such systems at former industrial sites or seeing them in vintage photographs, jumped to the conclusion that the tracks they spied were 20" or 24" gauge inside-flanged systems, and have thus ignored these unorthodox tracks or paid inadequate attention to them. I myself have been guilty of this, missing at least one system across town from me whose remnants are apparently STILL visible in the pavement. There is, of course, nothing on these systems in Hilton's American Narrow Gauge Railroads, which is focused exclusively on "common-carrier"-style lines rather than internal industrial systems.

We are looking for any sources of information on the company and these systems aside from those able to be sourced through online archives, such as catalogues, manuals, accounts, or other documentation, which are likely to have been ignored or neglected for years in rail archives due to the odd nature and their lack of accessibility of these systems. Also useful would be further accounts from local industrial archaeologists that may have focused exclusively on the rail system inside, say, a particular now-shuttered coal mine or steel mill complex.

Feel free to post here, or e-mail or PM me with anything available.

To add to this, I present two photos of one of the last such systems believed to have operated, a plant system at the American Smelting & Refining Cop. plant in the Canton industrial section of Baltimore, Md., taken Dec. 31, 1960, from the collection of the late Lee H. Rogers, Md. Rail Heritage Library, Baltimore Streetcar Museum.

The loco depicted is an extremely rare Rogers diesel--no, not THAT Rogers! At least four of these locos, built with Cummins engines, were built for ASARCO by Rogers Brothers of Albion, Pa., a manufacturer of over-the-road tractor/trailers, in 1958 or 1959. The last of these is still alleged to be preserved somewhere at an unknown (to me) location, while a 5-ton example with an International Harvester engine is at the Cumbres & Toltec, originally US Army from Baraboo, Wisc., acquired from the Sundown & Southern in 2002.


Attachments:
American Smelter & Refining 25, Canton, BAlto, 12-31-60, by L. Rogers, MRHL Coll (2).jpg
American Smelter & Refining 25, Canton, BAlto, 12-31-60, by L. Rogers, MRHL Coll (2).jpg [ 218.36 KiB | Viewed 2484 times ]
American Smelter & Refining 25, Canton, Balto, 12-31-60, by L. Rogers, MRHL Coll.jpg
American Smelter & Refining 25, Canton, Balto, 12-31-60, by L. Rogers, MRHL Coll.jpg [ 144.2 KiB | Viewed 2484 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Info Wanted: CW Hunt Industrial Railway Systems, 21.5" g
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:12 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:00 pm
Posts: 14
Somewhat near Hermanie Pennsylvania was the Baldwin Mine which used this system. Probably about ten years ago I stumbled across the remains of the mine buildings and the narrow gauge with the outside flange. The mine cars had two four wheeled trucks that looked like little Fox trucks. Nearby was a Brookville locomotive with a flathead Ford V8 and the outside flanges. I have a little link & pin coupler found in a ditch along the main road, it sits in my garden.
Not sure what is there today, but the mine structures were very substantially built stone buildings that looked more like college halls than mine buildings. Would be expensive to remove, but doesn't mean it wasn't at some point.
If you need more info, I guess it would be a good excuse to make a field trip, as it was about an hour from home . If tracks still exist, I'd like to see how switchwork differed from regular inside flange practice.
brian b


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 Post subject: Re: Info Wanted: CW Hunt Industrial Railway Systems, 21.5" g
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:25 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2591
Outside flanged? Wow..

OK, so what as the logic behind literally re-inventing the wheel? The only thing I can think of is they can take sharper curves possibly? Not even sure of that though, seems like the wheel on the inner rail would be working harder than a regular flanged wheel on the outside rail of the curve, since the curve is sharper on the inner rail.


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 Post subject: Re: Info Wanted: CW Hunt Industrial Railway Systems, 21.5" g
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:36 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 3:07 pm
Posts: 670
The secret of the Hunt System was that in rounding a curve the inside wheel rode on its tread while the flange groove of the outside rail was filled in so that wheel run on its flange. The diameters of the two wheels formed a cone whose apex was also the center of the radius of the curve. This is how Hunt System cars could round very sharp curves with virtually no binding or drag. This is also why it was Hunt that sold most of the trackwork, especially the switches and curves.

The Westinghouse Electric Corp. East Pittsburgh Works was at one time full of Hunt trackage, even inside some of the larger freight elevators. By the time I worked there (1971-72) none of this was in use but remnants of it were everywhere.

The ASARCo plant in Baltimore was one of the last surviving Hunt operations in eastern USA. They had several Rogers Brothers locos, model RLS-27, 10 ton d/tc design. When this operation was discontinued the designer of the various Rogers Bros. locos, Al Hoffer, took one to his home in eastern PA for preservation. It may still be there.


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 Post subject: Re: Info Wanted: CW Hunt Industrial Railway Systems, 21.5" g
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:39 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
Posts: 829
A quick check showed two Porters, 5 Plymouths and 35 Whitcombs built for the Hunt system. Here is the last Plymouth:

7106 3/1976 21½” (Hunt sys.) HSD Wisconsin VG4DG 37hp B 3T P/HS
Bethlehem Steel, Frog & Switch Machine Shop, Steelton, Pa.
Charles Baughman, Hershey, Pa


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 Post subject: Re: Info Wanted: CW Hunt Industrial Railway Systems, 21.5" g
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:41 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
Posts: 530
Location: B'more Maryland
Oh wow, one of the remaining rails of that Baltimore Hunt system claimed one of my tires a number of years ago. I had no idea it was that interesting.

Now that I know what it was, I can say that it was worth it.


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 Post subject: Re: Info Wanted: CW Hunt Industrial Railway Systems, 21.5" g
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:47 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:15 pm
Posts: 1355
Location: Henderson Nevada
From Milwaukee Locomotive catalog 104, November 1915... Note that Westinghouse owned Milwaukee locomotive...


Attachments:
File comment: Copied from the original in the Smithsonian Museum of American History, Trade Literature collection
Page 12 WAB Hunt system.JPG
Page 12 WAB Hunt system.JPG [ 1.58 MiB | Viewed 1752 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Info Wanted: CW Hunt Industrial Railway Systems, 21.5" g
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:42 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3516
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
I got curious about how you would design switches for this track system--and in the search, this turned up.

http://americanindustrialmining.com/c.w ... l-railways

More looking turned up this.

https://books.google.com/books?id=pMk7A ... ms&f=false

And this:

http://www.narrowgaugechaos.com/RPC/Mat ... tIndex.htm

And this entry about the man.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Wallace_Hunt

Sadly it's nothing that Mr. Mitchell is looking for, but it is an education for us!


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 Post subject: Re: Info Wanted: CW Hunt Industrial Railway Systems, 21.5" g
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:58 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:00 pm
Posts: 14
The cars with the pipe loads in the WABCO picture have the same trucks found on the Baldwin mine's eight wheeled cars. Mr Rowland, thanks for the info on the Hunt track switches.

brian b


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 Post subject: Re: Info Wanted: CW Hunt Industrial Railway Systems, 21.5" g
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3516
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
brian budeit wrote:
The cars with the pipe loads in the WABCO picture have the same trucks found on the Baldwin mine's eight wheeled cars. Mr Rowland, thanks for the info on the Hunt track switches.

brian b


Thank you for the compliment, but I'm afraid I'm not Ross!

Damn, as much as I admire him, and chose the user name for that, I should have picked something different!!


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 Post subject: Re: Info Wanted: CW Hunt Industrial Railway Systems, 21.5" g
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:41 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 5:51 pm
Posts: 138
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Two of what are believed to be Brookville units built for Westinghouse remain, one at Brookville Locomotive and the other at nearby Coolspring Power Museum.


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 Post subject: Re: Info Wanted: CW Hunt Industrial Railway Systems, 21.5" g
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:00 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
Posts: 829
I got to wondering about the Baltimore ASARCO plant and its Hunt railroad. Here is what I could find on their locomotives. Note that two (maybe 3) still exist.

ASARCO

Baltimore, MD

Porter
3055 7/1904 0-4-0 21 ½”(Hunt) 5 ½ x10
Baltimore Copper Smelting Co.#1, Baltimore, Md.
3171 3/1905 0-4-0 21 ½”(Hunt) 6x10 Baltimore Copper Smelting & Rolling Co. #2, Baltimore, MD
4295 3/1909 0-4-0 21 ½ "[Hunt]6 ½ x10 Baltimore Copper Smelt. & Ref. Co., Canton, Md.
4748 10/1910 0-4-0 21 ½" [Hunt]6 ½ x10 Baltimore Copper Smelt. & Rollg. Co., Balt., Md.
5746 11/1915 0-4-0 21 ½”[Hunt] 6 ½ x10 Baltimore Copper Smelt. & Ref. Co., Baltimore, Md
5841 6/1916 0-4-0 21 ½”[Hunt] 6 ½ x10
Baltimore Copper Smelt. & Refining, Baltimore, Md
5842 6/1916 0-4-0 21 ½[Hunt] 6 ½ x10
Baltimore Copper Smelt & Refining, Baltimore, Md

General Electric
6091 LSB2T4-F3 B 21½” (Hunt) 85v /1917 Stor Batt
Baltimore Copper Smelting & Refining, Baltimore, Md

Baldwin
39980 21½” 20hp 24” 4T B 500v 6/1913 4-2/10-C
(Hunt) American Smelting & Refining #11, Baltimore, Md

Davenport
2241 1/1937 B 22” 21½“ [Hunt] GM8 Climax 16000#
Baltimore Copper Smelting & Refining, Baltimore, Md
2242 1/1937 B 22” 21½“ [Hunt] GM8 Climax 16000#
Baltimore Copper Smelting & Refining, Baltimore, Md
2292 12/1939 B 22” 21½” (Hunt) DM8 Cum L 16000#
American Smelting & Refining #19, Baltimore (Canton) ,Md

Whitcomb
1130 6/1920 B 21 ½”(Hunt) MO 3T Buda 3 ¾ x 5 ¼
Baltimore Copper Smelting & Rolling Co., Baltimore, Md
1190 10/1920 B 21 ½ “(Hunt) MO 3T Buda 3 ¾ x 5 ¼
Baltimore Copper Smelting & Rolling Co., Baltimore, Md
40027 8/1937 B 21 1/2”(Hunt) 8DM18 8 Cummins HB1
American Smelting & Refining,Baltimore,Md
40080 10/1939 B 21 1/2”(Hunt) 8DM18 8 Cummins HBI
American Smelting & Refining, Baltimore,Md
40630 7/1947 B 21 1/2”(Hunt) 10DM56 10 Her DRXC
American Smelting & Refining Co.,Baltimore, Md
40627 6/1947 B 21 1/2”(Hunt) 8DM67 8 Her DRXB
Revere Copper & Brass Co, Baltimore, Md
Asarco #10
Asarco Amarillo, TX (display) 1975?
Museum of the American RR Dallas, TX 2006
http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/40627.jpg
40631 7/1947 B 21 1/2”(Hunt) 10DM56 10 Her DRXC
American Smelting & Refining Co.,Baltimore, Md
40709 8/1950 B 21 1/2” (Hunt) 10DM56 10 Herc DRXC
American Smelting & Refining, Baltimore, Md D/H
40710 8/1950 B 21 1/2” (Hunt) 10DM56 10 Herc DRXC
American Smelting & Refining, Baltimore, Md D/H
11408 8/1922 B 21 ½”[Hunt] MO Wauk 5 x 6 ¼ 7T 24”
Baltimore Copper Smelting & Rolling Co., Baltimore [Canton]Md
11752 6/1924 B 21 ½”[Hunt] MO Wisc 5 x 6 7T 24”
American Smelting & Refining Co, New York, N Y -for-
Baltimore Copper Smelting and Rolling Co., Canton [Baltimore], Md
11753 6/1924 B 21 ½”[Hunt] MO Wisc 5 x 6 7T 24’
American Smelting & Refining Co., New York, N Y -for-
Baltimore Copper Smelting & Rolling Co., Canton[Baltimore], Md
11923 3/1925 B 21 ½”[Hunt] MO Wisc 5 x 6 7T 24”
American Smelting & Refining Co., New York, N Y -for-
Baltimore Copper Smelting & Rolling Co, Canton (Baltimore), Md
11924 3/1925 B 21 ½”[Hunt] MO Wisc 5 x 6 7T 24”
American Smelting & Refining Co., New York, N Y -for-
Baltimore Copper Smelting & Rolling Co., Canton (Baltimore), Md
12993 11/1929 B 21 ½ (Hunt) Wauk HS 5 ½ x 6 ½ 8T 24”
American Smelting & Refining Co., New York, N Y -for-
Baltimore Copper Smelting & Refining Co, Baltimore (Canton), Md

Rogers Brothers
? 1958 10 tons diesel
ASARCO #25
http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/arco0.jpg
? 1958 10 tons diesel
ASARCO #26
126 1959 10 tons diesel
ASARCO
Unknown scrap yard Ontario, CA
Evan Chapman 2002
Laws Railroad Museum Laws, CA 2008
http://www.flickr.com/photos/norcalbarn ... 701209886/
127 1959 10 tons diesel
ASARCO #75
Unknown Boyertown, PA 1979
http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/asrx75.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: Info Wanted: CW Hunt Industrial Railway Systems, 21.5" g
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:58 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:00 pm
Posts: 14
J3a-614 wrote:
brian budeit wrote:
The cars with the pipe loads in the WABCO picture have the same trucks found on the Baldwin mine's eight wheeled cars. Mr Rowland, thanks for the info on the Hunt track switches.

brian b


Thank you for the compliment, but I'm afraid I'm not Ross!

Sorry about that,

Not paying attention in class, as usual...........

brian b


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 Post subject: Re: Info Wanted: CW Hunt Industrial Railway Systems, 21.5" g
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:59 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:02 pm
Posts: 77
Location: Mi
brian budeit wrote:
The cars with the pipe loads in the WABCO picture have the same trucks found on the Baldwin mine's eight wheeled cars. Mr Rowland, thanks for the info on the Hunt track switches.

brian b


Those aren't pipes. The first cars are brake cylinder castings prior to machining. The second portion are carrying KC reservoirs, K2C guestimating by the size of the gauge and car width.


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 Post subject: Re: Info Wanted: CW Hunt Industrial Railway Systems, 21.5" g
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:48 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:48 pm
Posts: 95
My grandfather and my father worked for WABCO in Wilmerding. Visits to the plant were rare, as it took an lot of red tape to be cut to bring minor visitors in. The last time I do remember was during the company's centennial when they had an open house. There was still plenty of evidence of the interplant railroad, but no rolling stock could be seen, at least from where we were allowed to be. Today there is very little left in Wilmerding, other than offices.


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