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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:02 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:08 am
Posts: 213
Location: Whitefield, ME
First I don't think that Robert was suggesting that the class was a mistake, rather he was suggesting that there was an engineering mistake that was applied to many PRR designed locomotives.
From my understanding, it wasn't a bad boiler design at all. Rather it was a change in firebox design that led to a situation that was not acceptable. The engineering in question dealt with the firebox roofsheet. As built the locomotive had a suitable number of staybolts for the thickness of metal it was built with. At some point the number of crownstays was reduced, however the thickness of the sheet (I believe it was the roof sheet) was not changed. I believe adequate work-arounds for the problem were discovered by either adding more staybolts or making thicker sheets.
If you look at the related interchange pages Mike Tillger went into some detail explaining this.
I don't believe this work was really beyond the scope of the project as a great deal of the 1361's firebox was being replaced anyway.

EDIT: Here is a link to this discussion: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=23495&p=103145&hilit=1361#p103145

and the specific bit of information that is critical to this discussion:
Quote:
Please allow me to answer a few of the questions poised on this board. I have worked 4 years on this project and the last 6 months as the somewhat reluctant on site project leader. I do not know the amount of funds spent on this project. The crown sheet is not the issue at this time, rather it is the outer Belpaire roof sheet and its supporting staybolts that are in question. An ultra sound test does not find flawed enginnering, which is the underlying problem with the sheets and stays. The staybolt spacing (5 1/8 X 4 1/2) is too great for the thickness of the sheet even if it were new(the entire wrappper was only specified to be 3/8" when new). Even if the sheet thickness were increased the stresses on the crownstays would be in excess of those permitted by the FRA. The extent of the flawed engineering is not known completely (thus the cost of repairs is still unknown), thus the shutdown was necessary to allow for the engineering to catch up. The factor of safety of 4 requiredment has not changed since this boiler was built, the new 1999 regs have no bearing on this issue.

I would be curious to know if other organizations have discovered flawed engineering in their boilers when calculating their new form 4s? I would hope that by my making this public other groups would learn a valuable lesson from this project, do not assume it has to be okay because it ran that way for 50 years!


Steve Piwowarski


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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:46 am 

Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 1:02 pm
Posts: 16
Thank you for the link to that other thread. I've only recently gotten interested in the history of railroading, recently meaning the last four years, and had no knowledge whatsoever of the backstory on this loco. I missed that earlier discussion, and now the whole business makes more sense.


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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:40 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Location: Inwood, W.Va.
"The staybolt spacing (5 1/8 X 4 1/2) is too great for the thickness of the sheet even if it were new(the entire wrappper was only specified to be 3/8" when new). Even if the sheet thickness were increased the stresses on the crownstays would be in excess of those permitted by the FRA. The extent of the flawed engineering is not known completely (thus the cost of repairs is still unknown), thus the shutdown was necessary to allow for the engineering to catch up. The factor of safety of 4 requiredment has not changed since this boiler was built, the new 1999 regs have no bearing on this issue."

If this is the case, how many other P.R.R. steamers have this potential fault? Right off I would guess the preserved L1 2-8-2 has it (that series used the same boiler); it's not hard to imagine just about all the the newer (post 1914) existing engines having it, and likely some earlier ones as well. Talk about a problem with bringing an engine back to steam!


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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:12 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 5:10 pm
Posts: 951
If I recall correctly, the original staybolt design on the PRR's Belpaire fireboxes included some sort of washer on the head that served to spread the stress over a larger area. At some point in the past, PRR boilermakers stopped using the washer, probably as an economy move.


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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:11 pm 

Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 8:16 pm
Posts: 69
I have read the same as Mr. Laepple though I can't remember offhand where.

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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:42 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:16 pm
Posts: 15
Hello all:
First time post, but long time lurker. I live roughly 40 miles from the beast. For the information you can find, I might as well live on Mars. Regardless of all the litany of errors and missteps with the Engine, there are still a ton of folks that are fascinated with the K4 and want to see her brought back to life. I believe it will at some time, but maybe not in my life. The original question was kind of "where are we at"?
A list of what needs done and how much can't be all that difficult. Within the last year, I've read where the boiler is at EBT and was going to be shipped to Alabama? No idea if that is true or not, but the better half an I visited the Altoona Museum late in the year on a whim. The 2 folks that were staffing that place that day had zero information on 1361 or on the roundhouse that is to house the rebuild. ANd regretfully were mostly interested in us leaving -- you can find basically nothing about either project but they are indeed commingled.
If Cass can rebuild the hulk of the pile that was the Climax into an operational engine ( and it will run within 18 months) surely the 1361 can rise. Most can get over all the BS, bad will , and just plain stupidity that went on.
So what is needed ?
I understand there is actually still some $$ in the coffers for the project.
Is it more money? how much? The state is broke, but there are some corporations that would get involved.
The correct expertise once and for all?
or does the entire gene pool of the ARR museum need a dose of clorox?
Surely somebody has a pipeline to the real story. We mostly all know the story from the day it left the horseshoe display, but now a total veil of silence with an annual story in the Altoona Mirror of things are still progressing.......
I saw the beast on the curve, climbed up in it.
Saw it running,
Saw it in pieces at Steamtown.
and now the pieces are scattered.
Sorry for the rambling, but it generates a passion in lots of folks
Lew


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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:57 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:27 am
Posts: 389
Location: Winters, TX
So would it be better to simply design and build a new boiler for it? I know that'd be kissing off a lot of money that's been spent on the existing boiler, but there are times when you have to cut your losses and start from scratch. Given the length of time that has passed since work stopped, I assume that no one has come up with a solution to the original boiler's design problems.

The other option would be to reassemble the locomotive and do a cosmetic restoration on it. Which is something I'd like to see if no further progress is made towards operation in the near future. There are too dang many dismantled locomotives around for my money.


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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:30 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:22 pm
Posts: 339
A year and a half ago, during Fall Spectacular, 1361's boiler was indeed sitting in the shop at EBT, indoors and reasonably secure. I do have pictures and so do husband and son.

I know the wish to preserve historic fabric is stron, but unless cosmetic restoration is the goal, she really needs a new boiler. I've heard all sorts of stories about what happened during the patching process at Steamtown, and all kinds of finger-pointing takes place, but no one seems willing to say "I did this because I thought that."

As for what's going on at ARMM, I have no clue. It isn't what it was a few years ago and I can't get up there to offer help even if they had anything for me to do. Do they update railroadcity.com now, or are they Facebook-only? I get a "sign up for Facebook" page when I try to look.

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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:16 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2447
Location: S.F. Bay Area
The tendency is to focus on the steam locomotive, and give little thought to coaches until it's time to run a trip.

In similar vein, the tendency is to focus on the boiler. The complication is the new rules for teardown inspection intervals which apply to the boiler and no other system on the locomotive.

The thing to do is fix everything BUT the boiler, so the machine is shipshape and ready to go, when you start into the boiler proper. You start scheduling trips for the month after the superheaters go in. Because of that, I don't see 1361's boiler problems as an impediment to proceeding with the restoration. You'd be in a rather favorable position if the locomotive was ready in all respects except the boiler proper.

As for raising the funds, with programs like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, I think you could raise it faster than you think.


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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:52 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3731
Location: Maine
The K4s was not handled well, and everyone has rubbed the nose of of The Railroaders Museum in that sad fact. But...there is much that was done well, even if funds were wasted. In my opinion, the PRR K4s was a good candidate for a complete and correct initial rebuild. It didn't happen. Rather than wringing our collective hands over what might have been done better, isn't it time to stop cursing the darkness and start seeking the light? This one locomotive holds iconic status equal to SP 4449 and N&W 611. Proper boiler repairs should be effected and she should run up and down Hosreshoe Curve again.
Time for the steam community to grow up with regarding to 1361.

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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:29 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:16 pm
Posts: 15
Well thankfully there is at least one that sees it like I do.
The past is done.
An estimate of $$ and time needed to finish shouldn't be that hard to come up with after all this time.
Secondly, The ARRM should at least consider burying the hatchet with the folks who were correct.,
And I hope they Staff the place with someone that has an interest and or information on the 1361 and the Roundhouse -- no sense at all letting two disinterested folks run the place. For the most part the folks that visit have a big interest in trains.
Simply update your website with real news would start the goodwill.


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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:22 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:32 pm
Posts: 46
PR


Last edited by prosser on Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:50 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:22 pm
Posts: 339
Remember that the regulations in 1987 are not the ones everything has to meet now. Even repairs that were approved several years ago might not meet present standards. This really is the time to decide whether any restoration is cosmetic or with the intent to operate.

No matter what happened or who did what or who didn't do what or where money did or didn't go, if she's going to run again it will take a fresh estimate and people to do the work, wherever that has to take place. Arguing about it hasn't done any good in all these years.

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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:55 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:08 am
Posts: 213
Location: Whitefield, ME
I would guess they did not go back and "crunch the numbers" like they did during the most recent work. Also, prosser, there wouldn't be any disadvantage to building a new belpaire firebox, so why would you construct a false one? Furthermore, the belpaire firebox is unique to the PRR in its application to a locomotove fleet. Omitting it would be a major problem from a preservation standpoint, equivalent to say restoring a stanley steamer with a gas engine, and saying it was just fine. It would also require major engineering revisions and documentation to be even considered, further complicating the restoration process.
Also Becky, the new regulations had no bearing on this problem... It existed since the PRR made revisions to their staybolt design many years ago. Mike Tillger, who discovered the initial engineering troubles mentions this in his thread on the topic which I linked and quoted above.
Take care,
Stephen


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 Post subject: Re: P.R.R. 1361
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:36 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2080
it sounds like the designers knew sparse spacing already when built and added the washers.
Probably after some successful operating and re-shopping they may have removed the washers, dropping the required operating pressure can solve a part of that.

You would have to study why the belpaire design, but if its an issue, add more staybolts.

I agree tho with the idea of a brand new boiler. You can put the old boiler on display with descriptive notes why this, why not that, why the new boiler, why it worked, why the change, etc.

I would not want the original boiler running, go yahoo, then explode, the whole preservation industry will take a political hit on that, but we have had 2 minor boiler failures in the past.


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