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 Post subject: Re: The End For WMSR 734?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2022 6:14 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:37 pm
Posts: 221
My attempt to quote Chris Webster's post failed.

Regards the distance across the street and what is underneath etc.

A simple solution might well have been to locate the table farther beyond the crossing in order to get an engine length of level track BEFORE going onto the table. It has been years since I was there (Jack Showalter era) but I think there is plenty of space before the closed tunnel.

I recall Jack telling me about his great concern over the wear and tear on his engines dropping across the gap no matter how slow he went. He asked the FRA official who was looking over things why there was no regulation on the books to prevent this situation. His answer was "We didn't think anybody was that stupid!"


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 Post subject: Re: The End For WMSR 734?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2022 6:21 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 2242
Location: Strasburg, PA
R.L.Kennedy wrote:
I recall Jack telling me about his great concern over the wear and tear on his engines dropping across the gap no matter how slow he went. He asked the FRA official who was looking over things why there was no regulation on the books to prevent this situation. His answer was "We didn't think anybody was that stupid!"
Wasn't Jack Showalter the one who installed the turntable?


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 Post subject: Re: The End For WMSR 734?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2022 8:29 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2022 10:06 am
Posts: 61
Location: North Carolina
R.L.Kennedy wrote:
My attempt to quote Chris Webster's post failed.

Regards the distance across the street and what is underneath etc.

A simple solution might well have been to locate the table farther beyond the crossing in order to get an engine length of level track BEFORE going onto the table. It has been years since I was there (Jack Showalter era) but I think there is plenty of space before the closed tunnel.



I was there last month - there is not much room at all between the turntable and the bank. It’s pretty much shoehorned in as is.


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 Post subject: Re: The End For WMSR 734?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2022 9:36 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:55 pm
Posts: 904
Location: Warren, PA
I found an historic shot of Frostburg after the C&P era when WM was running it as a dead-end branch to Frostburg (there was an active customer there). That sharp vertical bend right at the road crossing was there then. Don't blame Jack on that one, he just put the turntable in on the track where he could. But C&P never had anything bigger than a 2-8-0 (switchbacks from Cumberland), and WM ran the Frostburg branch with rather small steam, so I don't think anybody cared. The tunnel clearances were the big reason for it being closed by WM when they picked up the C&P. Remember they ran up the other side as well as that had a lot of coal reserves headed down to Luke. But the C&P wasn't much of a railroad, really, from an engineering viewpoint.

You can find two opposing views for sure on this issue, whether it really is bad enough to either derail or damage 1309, or if it is really nothing to worry about, or even if you can tweak the turntable. The turntable is long enough and can handle the weight, but that twisting approach with a vertical kink was of great concern to Gary B, and I respect his opinion. Personally, I don't know, but it sure doesn't look good to me.

I'm not sure how that trailing truck is built on that class, if it has some manner of center swing-arm equalization to work guiding in reverse, or if it just a supporting truck. But without a drop pit at Ridgeley, driver wear on the rear driver tire set over time is an expensive proposition.

It's not an unsolveable engineering problem, but regrading the road and moving any utilities is a first-rate local political battle for who pays for it and the railroad is still very much in the recovery mode, but it is recovering.


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 Post subject: Re: The End For WMSR 734?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2022 11:31 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2786
Randy Gustafson wrote:
It's not an unsolvable engineering problem, but regrading the road and moving any utilities is a first-rate local political battle for who pays for it and the railroad is still very much in the recovery mode, but it is recovering.


I could be fixed I suppose. But it's like that "Talking Repair Blues" country song "Don't be downhearted, I can fix it for you sonny. It won't take too long, it will just take money..."

There is no good option. If you lower the track at the road to be level? Now the turntable pit is too high. Ok, so let's just make it level 100 feet out from the table. (That would be my best suggestion.) Simple enough, but now the track is a whopping 3 feet higher than before in the station area. It's going to take you quite a distance to run off that 3 feet since the grade is already 3%, so that's a lot of raising, and it messes up the station platform.

The real solution would involve a vertical curve ending up with a short level section at the table end I suppose, along with possibly a stretch of steep grade to transition back down. That would be OK for a light engine, but could make coming off the table a bit tricky in wet weather. Easy to slide on a short steep pitch.

The problems here are literally cast in concrete. No matter where you make the change, it's got a serious impact and major cost implications.


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 Post subject: Re: The End For WMSR 734?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2022 1:55 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:54 am
Posts: 975
Location: NJ
I'm not getting into the turntable issue; I'm not a civil engineer. Getting back to 734, though, I had previously suggested a diesel control box for 734, which would eliminate the need for a second engineer while 'doubleheading'. Again Clinchfield 1, and many other steam locomotives since, have had this feature. The steam locomotive engineer could 'dial in' as much or as little 'boost' as needed,

That box would solve some problems on the upgrade, but what about the downgrade, and the aforementioned smoking brake shoes? Let's look at history, Western Maryland's in particular, for a solution. To maximize locomotive utilization, George Leilich, WM's last VP-Operations, had the Hagerstown shops add dynamic brake controls to the two BL-2s, which would enable them to lead consists of DB equipped units, even though the BL-2s didn't have DB themselves.

Many years ago, I looked into adding DB controls to a non-DB unit, in hopes of getting that unit out on lease with another unit that did have DB. As I recall, the major components were a 50 Ohm rheostat, some selector switches, maybe a few relays, and a pressure switch for DB interlock. Again, many years ago, and my memory may be rusty, but I still have my research in a file folder around here...somewhere.

Those DB controls could be added to the (power) control box, and would allow 734 to handle larger trains in both directions, and with less brake shoe and wheel wear. Actually, a box on 1309 could also be used to control DB; I imagine the diesel would stay on the east end, going up to Frostburg, with that much tractive effort available.

I don't think it's time to write off, or 'stuff and mount' 734 just yet. After all, as someone else has mentioned, FEC 148 came back from the dead, after maybe a 45 year hibernation.


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 Post subject: Re: The End For WMSR 734?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2022 6:30 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1852
Location: Youngstown, OH
My suggestion was to figure out what the maximum vertical curve that 1309 can take and then shim the rails of the turntable to crown them to that radius. That would reduce the angle at the turntable's edge and tweaking the track over the road crossing should take car of the rest.

_________________
Rick Rowlands


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 Post subject: Re: The End For WMSR 734?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2022 10:22 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 1162
Location: Philadelphia, PA
I would run the train as a push-pull with the SD40's on the downhill end and have the engineer control the train from there on the return trip. It would save lots of wheel and brake shoe wear. The fireman stays on and monitors the steam engine on the uphill end.

If you need the SD40's for a push up the hill, put a diesel controller in 1309, and run an MU line through the train.

Was the WM BL-2 dynamic brake controller installed before the units were wired to ex-shifter slugs and assigned to Hagerstown Yard.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: The End For WMSR 734?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2022 1:45 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 2242
Location: Strasburg, PA
All of this talk about the engines not being able to run onto the turntable at Frostburg is without merit in my view. The suspension on a steam locomotive is equalized to allow it to run over vertical irregularities in the track without complaint. N&W used Y's in hump yard service, and as we should know, hump engines regularly run over the hump in the course of their normal duties.

Attachment:
ALCO std. practice.jpg
ALCO std. practice.jpg [ 257.04 KiB | Viewed 1384 times ]
Here is a page from Alco standard practice. Baldwin's practice was equivalent. Note the diagram at the bottom of the page of a driving box in its pedestal and the accompanying table. Note the columns in the table under the word "play". Standard practice was to build in 4" or more of vertical play into every driving box on the locomotive. Lead and trailing trucks have even more vertical travel.

Attachment:
frostburg TT 734a.jpg
frostburg TT 734a.jpg [ 56.95 KiB | Viewed 1093 times ]
I don't have the dimensions for #734, so I took the dimensions for an actual WM heavy 2-8-0 for this drawing. It shows the rear half of the engine on a 3% grade, and the front half on level track, as would be the worst case going onto the turntable ay Frostburg. The dashed roughly horizontal line represents the plane of the frame at the average height of the engine's driving axles. The vertical dimensions shown are the amount that each axle is displaced from its normal position when the locomotive is on perfectly graded track. Note that the second driver is the most displaced, being 15/16" higher than its normal position, a fraction of the travel available to it.

Attachment:
frostburg TT 1309.jpg
frostburg TT 1309.jpg [ 58.11 KiB | Viewed 1384 times ]
These dimensions are from a C&O 2-6-6-2 taken from the Locomotive Cyclopedia. As before, the rear half of the engine is on a 3% grade, while the front half is on level track. In this case, the #4 and #5 axles are seeing the most displacement, being raised 1-9/16" from their normal positions, still well within the travel built into the locomotive. Throughout the process, the front engine stays in vertical line with the rear engine and continues to carry its portion of the boiler's weight.

The only way that undue stress would be put on the structure of these engines would be if this amount of vertical movement would cause a spring to come in contact with the boiler (a frequent issue on narrow gauge engines), or if a part of the equalizing bottoms out on the engine's frame. These issues are easily spotted during a supervised test run going onto the turntable.

Steam railroading is hard enough without us acting like hypochondriacs, inventing problems that aren't there.


Last edited by Kelly Anderson on Fri Mar 25, 2022 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The End For WMSR 734?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2022 7:34 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:41 pm
Posts: 157
Kelly Anderson wrote:
All of this talk about the engines not being able to run onto the turntable at Frostburg is without merit in my view. The suspension on a steam locomotive is equalized to allow it to run over vertical irregularities in the track without complaint. N&W used Y's in hump yard service, and as we should know, hump engines regularly run over the hump in the course of their normal duties.

Attachment:
ALCO std. practice.jpg
Here is a page from Alco standard practice. Baldwin's practice was equivalent. Note the diagram at the bottom of the page of a driving box in its pedestal and the accompanying table. Note the columns in the table under the word "play". Standard practice was to build in 4" or more of vertical play into every driving box on the locomotive. Lead and trailing trucks have even more vertical travel.

Attachment:
frostburg TT 734.jpg
I don't have the dimensions for #734, so I took the dimensions for an actual WM heavy 2-8-0 for this drawing. It shows the rear half of the engine on a 3% grade, and the front half on level track, as would be the worst case going onto the turntable ay Frostburg. The dashed roughly horizontal line represents the plane of the frame at the average height of the engine's driving axles. The vertical dimensions shown are the amount that each axle is displaced from its normal position when the locomotive is on perfectly graded track. Note that the second driver is the most displaced, being 7/8" higher than its normal position, a fraction of the travel available to it.

Attachment:
frostburg TT 1309.jpg
These dimensions are from a C&O 2-6-6-2 taken from the Locomotive Cyclopedia. As before, the rear half of the engine is on a 3% grade, while the front half is on level track. In this case, the #4 and #5 axles are seeing the most displacement, being raised 1-9/16" from their normal positions, still well within the travel built into the locomotive. Throughout the process, the front engine stays in line with the rear engine and continues to carry its portion of the boiler's weight.

The only way that undue stress would be put on the structure of these engines would be if this amount of vertical movement would cause a spring to come in contact with the boiler (a frequent issue on narrow gauge engines), or if a part of the equalizing bottoms out on the engine's frame. These issues are easily spotted during a supervised test run going onto the turntable.

Steam railroading is hard enough without us acting like hypochondriacs, inventing problems that aren't there.


Amazing concept. Sense and logic backed with factual data. Thank you, Kelly.

DC


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 Post subject: Re: The End For WMSR 734?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2022 9:54 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 2374
Location: Sackets Harbor, NY
Darn you Kelly, now you've gone and ruined all the turntable angst with actual facts.

Guess we'll need to find another issue.

Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: The End For WMSR 734?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2022 1:50 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:47 pm
Posts: 153
Location: Arizona
I was going to suggest something even more radical. Fill the engine and tender up to normal capacities, and gently, slowly, push the thing with a diesel on the the turntable, carefully watching everything, every inch of the way, noting if the driving boxes come into contact with the tops of the pedestal jaws or bottom out into the pedestal binders. Make sure the spring rigging doesn't get fouled, or try to come loose. I would imagine as the front engine unit tips over onto the table, it would try to pull away from the front boiler waist support, but I don't know about that.

Go real slow, watch very carefully. This ain't rocket science.


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 Post subject: Re: The End For WMSR 734?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2022 2:49 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2022 10:06 am
Posts: 61
Location: North Carolina
Well I can't blame them for being cautious, given how much they have invested in 1309 and everything they went through to get it to where it is now.

My question is - what is the upside to justify the risk? I can't see them bringing a long train back to Cumberland without some dynamic braking help. I'm not even sure there is room before that last switch to accommodate the longer trains they often run.

It would be nice for photo trips to have the locomotive be able to face both ways but for their normal operations I'm not sure its really worthwhile.


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 Post subject: Re: The End For WMSR 734?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2022 3:38 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2004 8:16 pm
Posts: 40
On the issue of dynamic braking:

Certainly exact train size, equipment type, and best train handling practices can be debated, but I do recall during the earlier years of her operation #734 handled many trains solo - and for the first year or two following her initial overhaul, still equipped with her original 6ET brake.

-Erich Armpriester


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 Post subject: Re: The End For WMSR 734?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2022 3:43 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 2242
Location: Strasburg, PA
Mark Hedges wrote:
My question is - what is the upside to justify the risk?
As a journeyman at it, allow me to say that backing a steam engine sucks! Seeing around a good sized tender isn't fun or particularly safe, your eyes spend a lot less time looking where you are going, and the controls are not set up to be convenient for backing long distances. In the case of a grade crossing accident while backing, don't be surprised by getting sued for "recklessly operating the train in a manner inconsistent with its design".

Regarding dynamic braking, the Rio Grande and other lines used Le Chatelier water brakes on steam locomotives for decades with good results.


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