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 Post subject: 614 T running coal.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 3:02 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:52 pm
Posts: 84
I ran across a YouTube video last night that showed engine 614 During the ACE 3000 tests in 1985. At the end of the video it showed 614 pulling an Amtrak train and making what looked like a station stop. Did this happen while pulling a revenue passenger train? Also, I’ve read that 614 was pulling 4500 ton trains, but what does that equate to in train length and number of cars?

And I was hoping the venerable owner of 614 might regale us with a few of his favorite stories from that month in 85. Or at least the ones that are passed the point of being prosecuted.

TIA

MS

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 Post subject: Re: 614 T running coal.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 4:57 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3706
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Yes she did pull a revenue passenger train!! And she and Ross Rowland made the national news, including that turn she and he took on Amtrak's Cardinal:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQBQm1BV7sA

And in what appears to be a home video of the big 4-8-4 on that passenger run, along the upper reach of the Kanawha, racing under the great bridge over the river built for the Virginian Railway in 1930--

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ya1AiTPz684


Last edited by J3a-614 on Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:16 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 614 T running coal.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:01 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3706
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
And for those who may be curious, here's the video DuesyJ29 was referring to, complete with a wonderfully long pacing sequence out of Charleston as 614 gets under way from a dead stop, starting at 8:14--

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP3ZgReR90E


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 Post subject: Re: 614 T running coal.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:19 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3706
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
One other thing, and hopefully Ross can chime in with this and other details, but one of the things that came out was that the designers at Lima and in the Advisory Mechanical Committee (the engineering and design bureau the C&O shared with the other roads under the Van Sweringen or Allegheny Corporation umbrella, including the NKP, the Erie, and the Pere Marquette) REALLY knew their business. Not only did vibrations and strains measure out to the calculations they used for the rods and other parts, the engine actually wound up being less stressful on the track than the contemporary diesels!


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 Post subject: Re: 614 T running coal.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:47 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:51 pm
Posts: 201
Location: Ipswich, Mass., Phoenix, AZ
"the engine actually wound up being less stressful on the track than the contemporary diesels!"
Now that's interesting! And if true is significant because, for example, I read that one big reason that the N&W dieselized was savings on track maintenance, diesels being much less damaging to the track structure vs steam. They calculated that the savings would be enough to enable them to pay for the purchase of the Virginian.
I would be interested to find out how the C&O achieved that.
Ned


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 Post subject: Re: 614 T running coal.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:14 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1327
Location: Back in NE Ohio
Through a set of fortuitous circumstances, I was doing an unpaid internship in Amtrak's Government Affairs Dept. at headquarters in that time period (which directly led to my getting an OBS job later that Spring). Being there, I heard about the move on the Cardinal out of West Virginia several days before it took place, and called Rich Melvin, at the time still running Hopewell Video, and told him about it. I believe my heads-up gave him enough advance warning to get down there to make a video of it, completing his C&O 614T video. Maybe Mr. Rowland gave him advance word on it, but I'd like to think I had a hand in it.


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 Post subject: Re: 614 T running coal.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 1:10 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9707
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Having read the chapter on the ACE 3000 and 614T saga in David Wardale's book "The Red Devil and Other Tales of Steam," I would advise people pursuing the history of the project to approach any accounts or recountings with ample grains of salt.

In his account that one has to take equally guardedly (one could always say "disgruntled ex-employee"), Wardale states that rather little "useful" data was actually gathered in the month of running, and that for all practical purposes the 614T exploits amounted to little more than a grandiose publicity stunt for Rowland and the project. Some of this was technological (failures of various sensors in the harsh winter conditions, for example), others logistical.

I'd recite chapter and verse, but I still need to replace the two copies that disappeared from my possession..............


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 Post subject: Re: 614 T running coal.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:44 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:05 pm
Posts: 235
DuesyJ29 wrote:
Also, I’ve read that 614 was pulling 4500 ton trains, but what does that equate to in train length and number of cars?

The hoppers they used were typical 100 ton cars of around 29 tons, so probably 35 car trains. For contrast - modern hoppers are operating right at the 143 ton loaded mark and unit coal trains can typically be from 100 to 250 of them. That can make trains over 35000 tons. 15000 ton trains are not at all uncommon today. Can anyone say Distributed ACE6000 Steam Power?

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 Post subject: Re: 614 T running coal.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:21 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1865
Location: Strasburg, PA
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
Having read the chapter on the ACE 3000 and 614T saga in David Wardale's book "The Red Devil and Other Tales of Steam," I would advise people pursuing the history of the project to approach any accounts or recountings with ample grains of salt.
Yes. Add to that what Bill Withuhn told me in person about those trips. His take? "A waste of coal."

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Last edited by Kelly Anderson on Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 614 T running coal.
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:50 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 10:28 pm
Posts: 254
nedsn3 wrote:
"the engine actually wound up being less stressful on the track than the contemporary diesels!"
Now that's interesting! And if true is significant because, for example, I read that one big reason that the N&W dieselized was savings on track maintenance, diesels being much less damaging to the track structure vs steam. They calculated that the savings would be enough to enable them to pay for the purchase of the Virginian.
I would be interested to find out how the C&O achieved that.
Ned


I've never heard that listed as a reason for N&W. As much as anything, the driving force was the inability to get replacement parts like air compressors, etc. Obviously other reasons as well, crew costs, etc. Compared to the flood of heavy coal trains rolling back and forth every day, the steam engines would be the least of the problems on the rails.


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 Post subject: Re: 614 T running coal.
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:24 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3706
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
In regard to 614's rod stress calculations being so accurate, what made that amazing was the designers in the 1940s either had no or at best limited means to measure the stresses in the rods on a working locomotive. That had to await modern electronic sensors and the like to confirm what the designers calculated.

How could this engine be lighter on the track than a then modern SD-40-2? And what about the claims of hammer blow being a major track issue?

Well, I don't have the information on the test, but I can say the 614 likely has the best counterbalancing that was available in 1948. That includes cross balancing, in which a balance weight on one side of the engine balances forces on the other side. You can see this in additional weights on this and other modern locomotives, where the weight is about 90 deg. before or after the crank pin,

Another thing is that 614 has lightweight rods. A number of other modern locomotives have these, among them ATSF 2926, which is under restoration. These rods look massive because they seem tall in cross section (and they are)--but if you saw a set off the engine, you would be surprised at how thin they are in the web area. It's my understanding that this style of construction cuts rod weight nearly in half.

Finally, we must remember most railroads, including the C&O, generally did not have large fleets of the latest steam power. A lot of what was still in steam in the 1940s was considerably older, in some cases ancient. That meant you had a lot of other engines that had older counterbalancing, smaller drivers, and other things that may have contributed to more dynamic augment than what a modern locomotive would have. It was at least equally likely that some routes couldn't use the modern power, which was often considerably heavier than what those lines could handle.

I used to have a letter from the Union Pacific that had, as one of its comments, that a certain route on the UP happened to get dieselized almost all at once. (I think it was the former Oregon Railway & Navigation Company, but it's been so long I might be wrong about this.)

When that happened, UP's track maintenance costs on that section fell something like 25%. That's nothing to sneeze at.


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 Post subject: Re: 614 T running coal.
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:08 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1928
Location: Sackets Harbor, NY
The 614 T powered coal trains were run for multiple purposes. 1. To gather engineering data for the design engineers ( led by Dante Porta) who were making final design decisions for the proposed ACE 3000 computer controlled coal burning steam locomotive, 2. To attract coal industry support and investment in the new company, and 3. to generate public interest & support for technology that held the promise of reducing America's dependence on imported oil.

ACE,LLC was started in 1980 and I was able to get both CSX ( then known as Chessie System Railroads) and BN ( Burlington Northern) and the Foster Wheeler Corp. ( America's premier boiler maker) to invest in the start up and actively participate in the development of the proposed prototype.

The program was set up so we hauled loaded coal trains eastbound 3 days/week ( M/W/F) from Huntington W. Va. to Hinton, W. Va. and empties 3 days/week ( T/Thurs./Sat.) Hinton to Huntington.

The loaded trains varied from 3,200 tons to 4,500 tons and the empties averaged about 100 hoppers.

The 614 made every trip successfully despite record braking cold temps that on one night reached minus 35 degrees F and with the 15 mph wind a wind chill temp of about minus 150 !!! Thanks to the excellence of the Lima folks she never missed a beat !!!

The trips did generate the data Foster Wheeler wanted for their boiler calcs and Dante Porta was very pleased with the results.

The prototype never got funded as the world price of oil plummeted from $ 32/barrel to $9 and my 2 big investors pulled out.

Both David Wardale and Bill Withuhn were terminated at different stages of the project basically due to their failure to follow Dante Porta's orders.

All in all a very worthwhile venture.

Thanks, Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: 614 T running coal.
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:08 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9707
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
This is the same "boilerplate" response we get every time.

Quote:
The trips did generate the data Foster Wheeler wanted for their boiler calcs and Dante Porta was very pleased with the results.


Could you cite examples of what information was sought by Foster Wheeler, and how they were relevant to the proposed project?
How did the data "please" Porta?

Quote:
Both David Wardale and Bill Withuhn were terminated at different stages of the project basically due to their failure to follow Dante Porta's orders.


Such as? Examples?
Withuhn has passed away, sadly, and you can't legally libel the dead......


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 Post subject: Re: 614 T running coal.
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:21 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1928
Location: Sackets Harbor, NY
There will be wealth of details on the ACE 3000 project in my upcoming book covering my many railroad adventures from 1957-present. Included in the 2 chapters devoted to the ACE project will be specifics on the engineering data captured from the many sensors mounted throughout the 614T and in a section of track instrumented by the AAR to measure the track/train dynamics of both the 614T and the diesels. The results of the track/train measurements totally surprised many at the AAR test department as they had been under the widely held belief that steam locomotives were harder on track than diesels.

There will also be a very funny chapter on the faithful cadre of Monday morning quarterbacks led by TGB 4th.

Shooting for a release date of early 2023.

Thanks, Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: 614 T running coal.
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9707
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Classic huckster response:

"Buy my book!"


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