It is currently Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:28 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Hudson or Niagara
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:11 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:11 pm
Posts: 270
Put this one over here in railfan cause its a moot point for active preservation. The NYC's Hudson and its Niagara were fine locomotives each deserving of having an example saved. Now the dilemma if only one had survied which would you prefer?

Here is my non answer. The Hudson clearly deserved to be saved because of its iconic stature, but the Niagara was a better locomotive. So in terms having one, the Hudson needed to be saved, but the Niagara would probably have been a better choice if you wanted to run it.

Fire away...


Last edited by TimReynolds on Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hudson or Niagra
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:37 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8353
Location: Baltimore, MD
Okay.

MOOT point, not "mute".

NYC had Niagaras. Supposedly the only "Niagras" were on the Nacionales de Mexico, which was a local corruption of the NYC/Alco spelling.

And the word is "dilemma".

Hey, YOU said "fire away".


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hudson or Niagra
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:10 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:11 pm
Posts: 270
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
Okay.

MOOT point, not "mute".

NYC had Niagaras. Supposedly the only "Niagras" were on the Nacionales de Mexico, which was a local corruption of the NYC/Alco spelling.

And the word is "dilemma".

Hey, YOU said "fire away".


Gracias! love mobile - still no excuse :) so which would you choose??


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hudson or Niagara
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:28 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2006 10:42 am
Posts: 206
Location: Lancaster, PA
Tim,

IMHO, without a doubt the Niagara. The Hudson, too many, too common, to me, boring. There have been claims of the Niagara reached 25,000 miles in the zenith of their service. Likely the Hudsons reached this mileage also. The Niagara, all roller bearing, the tried and true done right, nothing radical. To me the pinnacle of the art in locomotive design. I believe the boiler top accessories were reduced so it could run under catenary.

My solid vote for a new build today.

(Aside from the Mexican 4-8-4's, a much closer kin to the NYC Niagara may have been the smaller South African Railways Class 25's but a smaller loading gauge, when you see the videos of the 25's running between Kimberly and De Aar, very impressive.)

Kind regards,

Randy Musselman


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hudson or Niagara
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:27 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 am
Posts: 1100
Location: South Carolina
I guess I'd have to vote for a Hudson. Hudsons were common on the NYC, but not really elsewhere. The only ones that have operated in preservation have been the two CP engines. I think it'd be hard to beat the Dreyfuss styled streamlined version for catching the public's eye.

OTOH- the Niagaras were very impressive locomotives. There's one thing about them I've never really seen discussed. The Niagaras basically equalled the N&W J's in drawbar horsepower. I don't have a dynometer chart handy, but each attained somewhere around 5100 DBHP at ~40-50 MPH. The impressive thing about the Niagaras is they were significantly smaller engines than the J's: smaller boilers, smaller grate areas, lower boiler pressure, smaller cylinders, and significantly less overall weight. Yet, they developed the same power at speed.

My slightly educated guess is that ALCO put some real effort into streamlining the steam circuit on these locomotives- a benefit that was becoming appreciated even in the US by the mid-1940's. There was only ~5 years between the two designs leaving the drawing boards, but apparently ALCO and/or the NYC mechanical staff paid close attention to steam developments around that time. Enhanced streamlining of the steam circuit allowed a significantly smaller engine to develop the same power as a larger engine.

Of course from a dead stop a J would drag a Niagara backwards, but for running passenger trains at speed, they were very nearly equal, with the Niagara's taller drivers giving it an advantage at truly high speeds.

_________________
Hugh Odom
The Ultimate Steam Page
http://www.trainweb.org/tusp


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hudson or Niagara
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:14 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
whodom wrote:
I guess I'd have to vote for a Hudson. Hudsons were common on the NYC, but not really elsewhere. The only ones that have operated in preservation have been the two CP engines. I think it'd be hard to beat the Dreyfuss styled streamlined version for catching the public's eye.

OTOH- the Niagaras were very impressive locomotives. There's one thing about them I've never really seen discussed. The Niagaras basically equalled the N&W J's in drawbar horsepower. I don't have a dynometer chart handy, but each attained somewhere around 5100 DBHP at ~40-50 MPH. The impressive thing about the Niagaras is they were significantly smaller engines than the J's: smaller boilers, smaller grate areas, lower boiler pressure, smaller cylinders, and significantly less overall weight. Yet, they developed the same power at speed.

My slightly educated guess is that ALCO put some real effort into streamlining the steam circuit on these locomotives- a benefit that was becoming appreciated even in the US by the mid-1940's. There was only ~5 years between the two designs leaving the drawing boards, but apparently ALCO and/or the NYC mechanical staff paid close attention to steam developments around that time. Enhanced streamlining of the steam circuit allowed a significantly smaller engine to develop the same power as a larger engine.

Of course from a dead stop a J would drag a Niagara backwards, but for running passenger trains at speed, they were very nearly equal, with the Niagara's taller drivers giving it an advantage at truly high speeds.


Tough choice! Both were significant locomotives--the Hudson for being such an iconic machine with its ties to the 20th Century Limited, particularly in its streamlined form, and the Niagara, with its amazing performance that looks good even now.

I believe you are right about a lot of attention having been paid to the steam circuit in the 4-8-4. Reportedly the one engine that was equipped with poppet valves, No. 5500, didn't have as big an advantage in performance as was hoped for. Apparently that was because the steam circuit in the conventional version was already pretty darn good, suggesting much more performance could have been available with proper attention to details like that, and to servicing (at which the N&W was unequaled).


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hudson or Niagara
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:45 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:11 pm
Posts: 270
Great points Mr Odom. Did some reading on the K5B to Hudson to Niagara transition. The Hudson was a big leap forward in power at speed. Even within its class the increase in power from 1927 to 1938 is remarkable. If the Hudson was a bridge between the older Pacific era and the Northern, it did what few bridge technologies do, it stuck around. Was the Hudson such a successful locomotive that it held off the Niagara? By 1937 the 4-8-4 was demonstrating its solid advantages as the arrangement to achieve the kind of power needed, and yet, the NYC ordered up the last version - the J-3. 1937 was the year the UP decided to get into the 4-8-4 game with the FEFs - the first of them delivered a year later. The FEF built by ALCO can be seen in the Niagara also built by ALCO. Smooth uncluttered appearance, centipede tender, and smoke deflectors to name a few. As much as the Niagara was a superior locomotive, I’m leaning to the Hudson because it was a pretty impressive locomotive by the time the J-3 came along, and a steam icon.
As for having one to run, they were both designed to haul arse on flat ROW. Trotting along at 40 mph would not do either justice in terms of what each was designed to do. At 40 mph they are probably just getting onto their power curves. (I know the same can be said for a whole host of 4-8-4s too.)


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hudson or Niagara
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:13 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3716
Location: Maine
Let's turn the topic to "if you had funds to reproduce one today". In that case, the Niagara, and tweak it in every technological way possible in the 21st Century. One Niagara out performed three Diesels in the day. The only problem was the requirement of steam servicing.

If you are looking for the indispensable missing link in steam motive power history, then the Hudson.

_________________
"It's only impossible until it's done." -Nelson Mandela


Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


 Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: