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 Post subject: Re: The Latest from the Strasburg Rail Road Shops
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:58 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
475 is a deckless engine, which was a common style before 1910. The cab is wrapped around the firebox with the engineer on one side of the firebox and the brakeman on the other. The fireman has no deck on the engine so he has to work from an extended apron on the tender. Getting coal into the firebox with the engine bouncing one way and the tender another must be interesting.

Camelbacks are also deckless engines and most have two firedoors to feed the wide firebox. The engineer and brakeman are in a cab ahead of the firebox, which is too wide to see around.

I would imagine a deckless engine would gain you a couple feet of boiler length, allowing bigger engines on existing turntables. Reading Company wrecked Camelback 4-6-0 603 at Sunbury, then rebuilt it into end-cab 4-6-0 616 with the same boiler and squareback tender. 616 was 4 feet longer than 603 had been.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: The Latest from the Strasburg Rail Road Shops
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:19 pm 

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Location: Tucson, Arizona
Deckless locomotives fell out of favor after about 1910 and were outlawed by 1930. The ones in service could continue in service but no new construction was permitted. That was due to a number of factors, a major one being the placement of the cabs of the camelbacks over the locomotive's motion. A number of enginemen lost their lives when the rods decided to let go.

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 Post subject: Re: The Latest from the Strasburg Rail Road Shops
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:52 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 2:46 pm
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Location: St. Louis, MO
The "outlawing" of camelbacks and other deckless locos is generally accepted as fact, but is entirely untrue. See the definitive article on this in Railroad History #219, fall 2018. The ICC never issued any order that prohibited their construction and a batch of camelback 0-8-0s was built in the 20s. You can order a copy at rlhs.org.

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 Post subject: Re: The Latest from the Strasburg Rail Road Shops
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:16 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Location: Inwood, W.Va.
EJ Berry wrote:
475 is a deckless engine, which was a common style before 1910. The cab is wrapped around the firebox with the engineer on one side of the firebox and the brakeman on the other. The fireman has no deck on the engine so he has to work from an extended apron on the tender. Getting coal into the firebox with the engine bouncing one way and the tender another must be interesting.

Phil Mulligan


The 475 is not alone in being deckless. Six others that I know of are the narrow gauge 2-8-2s of the East Broad Top.


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 Post subject: Re: The Latest from the Strasburg Rail Road Shops
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:51 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1643
Location: Strasburg, PA
The 2-8-0's at the Georgetown loop are also deckless, and honorary camelbacks as well.

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Note that the rear cab wall is about a foot ahead of the rear end beam of the locomotive frame, and that the backhead of the boiler projects out the back of the cab.

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The logical reason for this design was to center the cab over the Johnson bar, i.e., there is something on the frame that prevents the Johnson bar from being mounted as far back as it usually would be. In #40's case, that is the brake cylinder.

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The same logic applies to true camelbacks as well.

Lots of foamers speculate that the reason for mounting the cab astride the boiler was to help visibility for the engineer, which holds no water for me. Designers of that era couldn't have cared less about any form of ergonomics or about making life easier for engine crews. Their only goal was to move the train from point A to B.

The real reason for mounting the cab there, was because that was where the valve gear was. In the pre-power reverse era, control of the valve gear was by the Johnson bar. On a conventional locomotive, the Johnson bar was connected to the valve gear by a reach rod which had to be substantial, rigid, and straight to carry the forces placed upon it. The wide Wooten firebox made a straight reach rod impossible, so since the designers couldn't move the valve control to the engineer, they moved the engineer to the valve gear. Look and this example, the cab is centered over the reverse shaft, and the Johnson bar is simply an extension of the reverse arm that the reach rod usually connects to.

With the advent of power reverses, cabs could be moved to the rear end again since the reach rod from the power reverse to the reverse lever (no longer a Johnson bar) carried very little force and could be made with bends and offsets in its length.

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 Post subject: Re: The Latest from the Strasburg Rail Road Shops
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:03 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
Here is my nomination for the 'You Can Put the Cab Wherever You Want' award:

Image

Note the backhead extends by about as much as the width of the cab door, making it a true camelback with a very rearward cab.

Most famous deckless engine has to be the one Casey Jones rode to fame. The fact that he was turned partially around in his seat to talk to his fireman was very likely the actual cause of the wreck, but dozens of later illustrations ignore the fact that the cab was deckless.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: The Latest from the Strasburg Rail Road Shops
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:26 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:05 pm
Posts: 177
Other deckless engines in service or to-be-in-service-one-of-these-days are the C-19s (346), C-18 (315) and C-16 (223), and the recently-at-Strasburg RGS20. Probably shouldn't bring it up, but C&S 9 operated last in 2006 and is deckless too.

Back to Strasburg - thanks for those updates Kelly. Always great to see.

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 Post subject: Re: The Latest from the Strasburg Rail Road Shops
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:58 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 170
Location: Philadelphia, PA
The first camelback engine had the cab there because there was no place else to put it.

John Wootten and the second wide-firebox engine (P&R 412) went to Paris to demonstrate the engine and maybe sell some engines and P&R-mined anthracite. Both 408 and 412 had their cabs on top of the firebox, which was standard with the P&R "Gunboats" from which they were derived. The 412 would not make European clearances with the high cab so Wootten relocated the cab in front of the firebox.

And thus the first camelback was in...……..France. They demonstrated in Italy but didn't sell any engines, so 412 returned home where P&R adopted the new cab location.

NOTE: P&R had a number of Winans Camels, an 1840's 0-8-0 with a large cab atop the boiler and a very large steam dome which resembled a camel's hump. In the 1870's these were still relatively fresh in memory so while the camelback firebox design was not derived from the Winans engines, the name may well have been.


Last edited by EJ Berry on Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Latest from the Strasburg Rail Road Shops
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:58 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:48 pm
Posts: 102
Not to mention ex RGS 41 and D&RGW 340 at Knotts Berry Farm


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 Post subject: Re: The Latest from the Strasburg Rail Road Shops
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:06 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 170
Location: Philadelphia, PA
There was a post earlier on safety issues with camelbacks (NOT non-camelback deckless engines such as N&W 475) and there were several.

First, the engineer is ALONE in his right front cab. No dead man pedal; no Alertor, no ACSES. If anything disables the engineer, the throttle, reverser and brakestand will remain as set. The fireman can't see through the firebox; the brakeman can't see through the boiler.

As a corollary, both injectors are in the engineer's cab so only the engineer can control the water supply. At best the fireman can climb over the firebox and down to check with the engineer. There's a walkway up where the firebox curves in enough for one to fit.

Second, the cab location prevents quick escape in case of a rollover and the fireman has no cab. There was a high fatality rate in camelbacks, probably the last in 1948 when RDG 4-6-0 605 derailed and turned over near Valley Forge killing both engineer and fireman.

Third, it's impossible to see back from the cab. The engineer must sit "up on the cab" to back a camelback. That means he sits on the cab armrest with his trunk and head in the cab window and actually outside the engine. Video of CNJ 774, the last road camelback, shows the RFE backing the engine in 1956 sitting up on the cab.

Fourth is the possibility of a broken pin or rod. The rods are under the cab, so should one break and start flailing it could wipe off the cab with the engineer.

As to the last story I must include a story from the late Warren Crater, Jersey Central engineman and photographer.

There was a very heavy CNJ engineer who could not fit through the cab door. Undaunted, he had the hostler bring a ladder so he could go in and out through the cab window. One day he was running and he heard a bang then BANG BANG BANG on the cab floor. A broken rod. He dumped the air, closed the throttle and left for the tender. They got stopped and then the engineer realized he had gone out through the cab door and that all the buttons on his jacket had been stripped off.

As to the backing up problem, it does not apply to RDG 0-4-0 classes A-4 and A-5. These engines are small enough the fireboxes do not go the full width of the cab so there is visibility to the rear at least as far as the tender. RDG A-4b 1187/CF&I 4/SRC 4 has a small squareback tender that is full-width so you may have to look up to the fireman passing signals from the coal pile.


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 Post subject: Re: The Latest from the Strasburg Rail Road Shops
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:53 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3550
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
EJ Berry wrote:
Second, the cab location prevents quick escape in case of a rollover and the fireman has no cab. There was a high fatality rate in camelbacks, probably the last in 1948 when RDG 4-6-0 605 derailed and turned over near Valley Forge killing both engineer and fireman.


That would also seem to apply to a deckless engine. How is the engineer supposed to get out in a hurry? A rollover in any locomotive is unpleasant and dangerous--and more so in a Camelback. Is it any less so next to the firebox than it is next to the boiler barrel?

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Fourth is the possibility of a broken pin or rod. The rods are under the cab, so should one break and start flailing it could wipe off the cab with the engineer.


That reminds me of some commentary by the late David P. Morgan, the longtime editor of Trains. In the 1950s, in one of his "In Search of Steam" articles, he and photographer Phillip R. Hastings took a ride on a CNJ Camelback 4-6-0 in commuter service.

Morgan got to ride the left side of the forward cab. Among his impressions were magnificent visibility (second only to a Cab Forward in steam--notice the qualifier, which didn't mention electrics or diesels!), that the insulation and jacketing couldn't contain the "energy" in the boiler (which meant his position was hot), and finally, he was most aware of the "bang, bang, bang, bang" coming from the machinery just under his feet as the 4-6-0 made time on its commuter run.


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 Post subject: Re: The Latest from the Strasburg Rail Road Shops
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:18 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
I concur: a deckless engine is right up there with a camelback in an overturn wreck. The only saving grace is if you have time to get out the back of a deckless engine, you're out, but you're now on the tender apron which isn't a safe place to be either.

Interesting: if 475 were not a deckless engine, but had a frame extension to support an end cab, it would have to be a 4-8-2. In 1906.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: The Latest from the Strasburg Rail Road Shops
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:34 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5568
Ron Goldfeder wrote:
The ICC never issued any order that prohibited their construction and a batch of camelback 0-8-0s was built in the 20s.


Ron -

Interested as to what railroad purchased these Camelback 0-8-0's in the 1920's. Reading? CNJ? Erie? Or.....?

Les


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 Post subject: Re: The Latest from the Strasburg Rail Road Shops
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:15 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 2:46 pm
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Location: St. Louis, MO
Baldwin built three 0-8-0s for the Lehigh and New England in September 1927. There is a photo of them on page 21 of Gregg Ames' article, and discussion on page 20. They were #120 - 122. Some states and one Canadian province did ban camelbacks, but the ICC never did. The 23 page article is entitled "Mother Hubbard's Bone of Contention. Three and a half pages contain 75 endnotes on the topic. Those not R&LHS members can get a copy of back issue #219 for $15 by using rlhs.org. Joining would also be a good idea while on the site.

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 Post subject: Re: The Latest from the Strasburg Rail Road Shops
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:01 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5568
Thanks Ron. Appreciate the info. Interesting that the L&NE had a modern 0-6-0 built later (in 1936) with a cab in its "normal" position. That particular engine has been preserved (surviving due to later sale to an industrial concern), but sure would have been nice if one of those 1927 0-8-0's had also made it into preservation!

Les


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