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 Post subject: Big Boy delivery route?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:03 am 

Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 2:46 pm
Posts: 213
What route did the Big Boy's take when they were originally delivered? Did they all take the same route? And last but not least ,were they towed or were they under steam and working?
I'll be watching 4014 go by tomorrow ,maybe even on the original delivery route.
Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Big Boy delivery route?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:13 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:14 am
Posts: 248
Very interesting question. A few years ago I read an article about the prep work and changes that UP had to make along their ROW to handle the size. This had to have a huge impact on their delivery route. Especially since they traveled on rails they were never meant to run on. It also raises the question; were they shipped complete, or did they leave parts off that might create clearance issues on Eastern roads?


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 Post subject: Re: Big Boy delivery route?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:53 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 7:16 am
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Location: Bristol, Virginia
Here's a quote from https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?10,4451703

Quote:
I suspect they were delivered over the NYC. I saw a newspaper article and photo of one of the Big Boys in Joliet yard. So that sort of helps us to believe that the NYC delivered the Big Boys to the EJ&E thru Joliet (around Chicago proper avoiding weight loading on bridges, etc.) up to the CNW and on west to the UP in Council Bluffs. Anyway with that which I have seen leads me to believe that.

Bob Krieger
Cheyenne, WY


Here's another quote from a Trains article: http://trn.trains.com/locomotives/2013/08/big-boy-story-began-in-1940

Quote:
No. 4000 was shipped dead via the Delaware & Hudson, New York Central, and Chicago & North Western to Council Bluffs, Iowa. A UP switch engine towed the engine across the Missouri River to Omaha Shops where it was officially accepted on Sept. 5, 1941. Later that month, No. 4000 was steamed up for the first time, and then put on display at Omaha Union Station. It traveled light to Council Bluffs for servicing, then back to Omaha to pick up a train of 100 empty Pacific Fruit Express reefers. The locomotive made several stops as it traveled west across Nebraska for water, fuel and crews, arriving in Cheyenne early the following day.

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 Post subject: Re: Big Boy delivery route?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:31 pm 

Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 2:46 pm
Posts: 213
Thanks EWrice and Matt. The article's you guys mentioned rings a bell but I just wasn't sure of the details. Would be interesting to find more details such as routing waybills and dates. So this would
mean that the Big Boy's went under the coal chute still at Nelson and across the swing bridge at Clinton Iowa. Not sure about the coal chute at DeKalb cause I think that was built pretty late right after the wood one burned. And to speculate a little they most likely took the cut off which branches southwest at Nachusa then north-west back to the main at Nelson avoiding the Dixon grades.


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 Post subject: Re: Big Boy delivery route?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:18 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
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I have two brownie camera type prints of brand new #4003 mid-train, behind a hopper and in front of a Pennsylvania gondola. I found these two prints in my grandparents' photo album. They lived in Mohawk and Ilion, NY, small towns west of Schenectady on the south side of the Mohawk River.

I *presume* the pictures were taken in Mohawk or Ilion, which would mean #4003 was routed over the West Shore line instead of over the NYC mainline.

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 Post subject: Re: Big Boy delivery route?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:37 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:42 pm
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Chris Webster wrote:

I *presume* the pictures were taken in Mohawk or Ilion, which would mean #4003 was routed over the West Shore line instead of over the NYC mainline.


Would you please post those photos?!

My brother was the manager of the now-defunct "K&K Trains & Hobbies" in Utica, NY. The store was located along the former West Shore main (a remnant of which survives and is operated by the NYS&W).

My brother told me that an especially knowledgeable elderly customer, upon seeing a Big Boy model for sale in the shop, stated, "Every one of those went right by here on the West Shore."


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 Post subject: Re: Big Boy delivery route?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:06 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:38 am
Posts: 954
Location: Philadelphia
I've heard that 4000s were shipped west either via the NYC or D&H. I'd be interested to know the reasoning.

There was a photo of 4014 being delivered that was identified as being in Binghamton, NY so that supports the D&H line.

As noteworthy as these engines are one would think there would be more photos/definitive information.

Joshua


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 Post subject: Re: Big Boy delivery route?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:13 pm 
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Location: Alberta, Canada
When Steamtown's Big Boy (4012) was moved from Wyoming to Vermont, and then to Scranton, PA with the rest of the collection, what routes did it take?

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 Post subject: Re: Big Boy delivery route?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:20 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Location: Inwood, W.Va.
One thing not mentioned so far is that it was pretty common, perhaps universal or nearly so, for engines shipped on their own wheels to have a "locomotive messenger" accompanying them. From what I've seen, this was often a former engineer who would ride with the engine, very often in its cab, with supplies, a bedroll, and so on. His job was to keep an eye on the shipment, and attend to lubrication of rods, journals, and whatever else was needed until the locomotive was delivered.


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 Post subject: Re: Big Boy delivery route?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:34 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:38 am
Posts: 954
Location: Philadelphia
SD70dude wrote:
When Steamtown's Big Boy (4012) was moved from Wyoming to Vermont, and then to Scranton, PA with the rest of the collection, what routes did it take?


Partial answer-

Enroute to VT
Came into Binghamton on the Lehigh Valley (so LV from Buffalo?) and then up the D&H. Beyond Albany area unknown.

Enroute to Scranton
Guilford via ex D&H beyond Albany and then south on the ex DL&W.

Joshua


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 Post subject: Re: Big Boy delivery route?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:02 pm 

Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 2:46 pm
Posts: 213
Well, thanks to these replies I can now put more tacks on the map than just the two I started with ,one at Schenectady and the other at Council Bluffs. Maybe the UP Historical Society might have something to contribute to this. I'll have to give them a call.
From what I've read now from your suggestions is that the Milwaukee Road may have been involved in some of the moves.

Hey sd70 Dude, any information you can share regarding the original Topic at the top of the page would be much appreciated .
Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Big Boy delivery route?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:55 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:47 pm
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From the Pittsburgh Press, May 20th of 1914

Quote:
'THE MESSENGER IS ENGINE NURSE AND LIVES IN CAB

Sometimes in Trip Across Continent He Is in Solitary Confinement for More Than a Month

Delivers Locomotive From Makers to Railroad

Philadelphia, May 20th- Since the Days when people first began to look upon the locomotive as a rival of the stage coach the engineman has occupied a big niche in the Hall of Fame. Artists paint him standing faithfully at his post of duty as his engine plunges on to destruction. Writers tell of his bravery under the most terrifying stress, poets sing of his heroism and the responsibility for the human beings in his care.
Yet there is another man who occupies the locomotive cab long before the trusty grime-besmeared engineman guides the throttle- a man around whom neither the artist, the writer nor the poet seems to have woven the fanciful and the heroic.
After the huge modern locomotive is completed it may be necessary to send this powerful machine thousands of miles across the country. From Philadelphia the trip may be Portland, Ore., or far off into the coldest and wildest regions of Canada. A new locomotive cannot be be used to pull a train traveling in that direction, assuming immediately the work for which it has been built. It Probably belongs to another railroad and must be shipped to the ordered destination as freight.

THE BEAUTIFUL NEW LOCOMOTIVE

Most of us have traveled sufficiently or have been near railroad enough to have become familiar with the sight of a long freight train which is made up of numerous locomotives, fresh paint and shiny metal testifying to their newness, between the familiar box and gondola cars. They are not traveling under their own steam, but are moving as freight, the same as any other merchandise or machinery. Grouped in twos, each pair is separated from the next by four or six regular freight cars. In the cabin of each leading locomotive sits a man, officially designated as "the messenger." He is guard and caretaker of two of the newly built engines and is required to remain with them continually until they reach the place where the owners take possession.
While traveling he must stay awake, watchful of possible accidents and breakages. For days and weeks he is practically under solitary confinement, snatching an occasional few minutes of sleep when the train halts and that only after he has completed a thorough examination of the engines. His life is unusual. In many respects it is similar to that of a tramp. He travels from one end of the continent to the other by freight and is seldom at home.
From the time he leaves the locomotive works he lives in the cab of one of the engines. The back is boarded up with a small sliding door in the middle. Within it is fitted out as combination eating and sleeping room. The quarters are cramped, but the messenger finds the space for his needs. On the left side he places a temporary bunk and over it a shelf. A small coal stove heats the compartment. On the right is a table and a seat. His provisions and fuel are stored in the tender. Thus he lives during his trip, which may mean three, four or five weeks.
Attached to the locomotive works are about 150 messengers. During the busy season these men are riding the rails farther and longer than the most hustling of our city drummers. They return to the city on passenger trains and their mileage is covered by the company.
The messenger's work ends as soon as he turns the locomotive over to the representatives' of the purchasing railway, but before the transaction is officially completed another test is given. With this the messenger has no concern, as another employee of the plant is then in charge. This last mention individual is permanently stationed in the district where many locomotive are being sent, and journeys from place to place, according to shipment. In cases where a single engine is being sent out to to a section where there is no permanent special man, the traffic department sends an engineer in charge instead of the regular messenger.

PREPARING ENGINE FOR LONG TRIP

A locomotive send out from the shops for delivery needs little attention afterward. Before shipment a trial run is made, and if satisfactory, the driving rod is removed, so as to not work the piston and cylinder needlessly during the coming trip. Also it is often required to remove the bell, the headlight, and other appliances which are too high for low bridges along the route. These are wrapped and placed in the tender. When the messenger delivers the locomotive at the end of their trip it takes little time to make the several connections, get water, start the fire and soon be in running shape.
His unconventional apartment doesn't make the messenger any less appreciative of good food. And some of these men have gained fame for their cooking. Said one man who has made so many trips that the work has almost become monotonous "I usually start with a good supply, and for a three weeks' trip get a pound each of butter and coffee, several loaves of bread that will keep fresh a week if properly cared for, a quarter peck of onions and potatoes, a half dozen boxes of biscuits, two dozen of eggs, some canned vegetables, a couple of slices of ham and sufficient sugar. Like myself most of the boys have a sweet tooth, and like buns and cakes and rice puddings. Also no messenger would go without some cans of sardines, for they make their favorite sandwiches of them."

MONTH AND A HALF TO THE COAST

Living in the cab, the only time the messenger leaves his quarters is when his charges have been shifted off in a division waiting the makeup of a freight train. For, be it understood, these freight trains do not run from coast to coast without changes and remaking. Also the locomotives travel on slow freights between 15 to 20 miles an hour.
The run to Kansas is made in an average time of about 18 days, to California in as many as 45 days may be consumed. This is due to relays in freight yards and to various holdups when trouble develops in the new locomotive. It is the messengers duty to keep his locomotives moving as rapidly as possible. If the delays are due to causes which he cannot overcome, the messenger wires the Philadelphia offices. Sometimes the locomotive may get many miles along the way before they are blocked; again difficulties may develop in the first few hours.
One thing the messenger must especially guard against is the "hot box." In a new locomotive the bearings are stiff and the constant grinding makes trouble. Often the messenger, experienced in such manners, can "smell the trouble." If he thinks it is serious he gives the engineer of the freight train the signal to stop by waving his arm in a certain manner. Otherwise he will wait until the train makes a stop for water. Always at stops he examines his charges.
If necessary he will have the engineer cut out his locomotives and place them on a siding. When he has brought them into good shape again he notifies the division superintendent of the road and is attached to the next freight passing that way. The reason the pair of locomotives are distributed throughout a long line of freight cars is because of the need of a division of weight in going over bridges.


Some good insight on what it might have been like for the messengers assigned to delivering the Big Boys. Although this article was penned 27 years prior to their construction, I imagine much of it would have remained the same.


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 Post subject: Re: Big Boy delivery route?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:15 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:25 pm
Posts: 310
While I do not have any specific info about the delivery routes of the Big Boys I do know that the NYCRR West Shore Line across upper New York State (Albany to Buffalo) was the "low speed" line used for heavy drag freights. I believe that this routing was used to take slow trains off the "high speed" mainline to improve overall train transit times for the entire system.

The UP and/or ALCO probably requested a "moderate" maximum speed for moving the BB's, thus the NYC routed them over their "slow" line ?

Just speculation on my part. But UP/ALCO may have requested the lower speed routing so they could avoid damages from high speed running for a brand new loco ? And the slow transit on the West Shore Line would give any "messengers" traveling with the loco more opportunities to inspect things ?

Just speculation, would be interested to learn more.

Cheers, Kevin.


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 Post subject: Re: Big Boy delivery route?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:14 pm 

Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 2:46 pm
Posts: 213
Hey Boilermaker , great article and I think a good direction to go to look up information from Alco employees who would have been on the Big Boy's en route.
Hey Kevin,
This adds more ammo for the eastern part of the route.
Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Big Boy delivery route?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:17 am 

Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 8:35 pm
Posts: 249
Some of the local newspapers covered these events. There are even some newsreels of Baldwin locomotives being loaded aboard a ship bond for South America.
I was told by a local that the DM&IR Yellowstones traveled the PRR Fort Wayne Line headed West.


Kevin K.


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