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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2015 12:37 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 284
Location: Oroville, CA
Lincoln,
You bring up some very valid points--but then you unfortunately get a little too close to using one personality as an example (I"m not saying your observations aren't valid, I'm just trying to keep this discussion steered somewhat clear of individual issues--granted, the fraternity (not being sexist here, it's also a sorority) is small, and most will know who is being used as an example!
The mention of the exam booklets and other historic documents does bring in some standards based on practical experience. What I've come to see as a possible solution is a "Steam Technology Standards Manual." I see a "committee" of all the recognized "major players" including volunteer organizations at least nationwide that reviews the historic manuals and the modern practices of the modern groups and writes a standard utilizing modern methods, instruments, and technologies that can be used by all groups. The standards should allow some latitude for different circumstances based on locations and services (for example, I doubt that the SF3751 group needs to worry much about freezing temperature conditions!). Of course the standards should also recognize and adapt to governmental regulations too.
This will be a multi-year project, and probably be a "living document" that adapts to changing conditions (both technology, materials and regulatory). I would think that such a documented collaboration would re-assure class 1 managers of the reliability and quality of work done by whatever group works on the equipment.
So, am I way off the mark, or do any of you also think this could be a worthwhile endeavor? With modern technology, folks likely wouldn't have to travel to a lot of face-to-face meetings, but it will still take up individuals' valuable time.

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David Dewey
Help save the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!
Write your congressman to support and co-sponsor House Resolution HR-619. This bill only grants her permission to run; there is no cost to us taxpayers.


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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2015 1:36 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:22 pm
Posts: 339
You might want to look a few threads down the page for Steam's Best Practices :) That's the idea.

3751's crew not needing winterizing instructions is a good example of "they don't and this is why." If there's no note that winterizing a stored locomotive is unnecessary in a climate-controlled facility or where minimum temperatures do not go below freezing for more than x consecutive hours, someone can always panic that it wasn't done or claim it as an excuse.

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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2015 10:11 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 710
David Dewey wrote:
Lincoln,
You bring up some very valid points--but then you unfortunately get a little too close to using one personality as an example (I"m not saying your observations aren't valid, I'm just trying to keep this discussion steered somewhat clear of individual issues--granted, the fraternity (not being sexist here, it's also a sorority) is small, and most will know who is being used as an example!



David, I was wondering how long it would take for some of the more astute members of this board to reach that conclusion.

However, it's incorrect.

What I have been describing is actually an amalgam of several operators/operations. Over the past 3 decades, I can think of no less than 7 totally different operations that have fallen into this pattern. Not the least of which would be Gettysburg. And there are a couple more waiting in the wings right now that have so far not gotten beyond the "We'll show 'em" stage.

Who is going to enforce the proposed standards? If there are operators and wanna-bees now who don't observe the enforceable ones that already exist (and there are), why would anyone think they will pay any attention to more, but toothless standards?


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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2015 12:59 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:22 pm
Posts: 339
You can't do anything with the ones who won't listen or fall for a line of bull from a traveling salesman.
You CAN give people who want to know a good place to find most of what they need without having to reinvent everything and hope they get it right.

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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2015 1:23 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 284
Location: Oroville, CA
Lincoln,
Gettysberg--how quickly I forget!! Guess I'm also guilty of not having the "Long Memory"!
That, BTW, is also an example of lack of training or experience-at least IMHO--if your boiler suddenly starts generating steam better than it ever has, that's a sign of something major wrong, most likely low water despite what the glass says. Hmm, maybe training has to include what to NOT do??
And both you and Becky do note, what teeth would such a document have? Only that the Major Railroads would have something valid to measure the effectiveness, reliability, and professionalism of any group with an engine wanting to operate on their lines. Granted, we in the steam community (all steam, not just railroad) tend to be singular individuals, so getting group co-operation on anything is difficult. In this case though, as we move into a new century and a loss of All "first-hand" knowledge from the eras when steam was in common use, we do need to develop a valid knowledge base and training system to keep the technology alive.
In the past week I've lost three contemporaries--it is becoming painfully clear that we are only here for a short time--what do each of us have to show for having been here? What have we shared for others to use?
OK, getting to philosophical here, but one loss was one of two brothers who operate a large company & I wonder what they've put in place to continue it beyond their time (which was unexpectedly cut short). Looking around my life, I, right now at least, would leave a real mess for someone & likely some history would be trashed in the process. Enough, starting to ramble! :)

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David Dewey
Help save the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!
Write your congressman to support and co-sponsor House Resolution HR-619. This bill only grants her permission to run; there is no cost to us taxpayers.


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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2015 5:18 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:47 pm
Posts: 12
I agree with Jeff - I think what we have been referring to in this thread and possibly another thread that Becky started on Best Practices Chapter One would be better described as Recommended Practices.i know it's just a name but it seems to capture what we are really after.


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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2015 8:09 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5252
Location: southeastern USA
I'd rather we called it "Things some of us tried that worked pretty well for us at the time and you might find useful for your work too." Takes all of the value judgments out of it.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 10:11 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:11 pm
Posts: 270
Curiosity got me digging around a bit and I came across this interview with L. Kelly UP VP of Supply and Continuous Improvement. Please understand I put this here for the purpose of expanding on the M. Janssen post of this thread. Yes you will hear from a high ranking UP exec, and respected member of the modern profession of process improvement. Nothing real specific here, but the content is consistent with the points made in M Janssen’s post.
http://www.processexcellencenetwork.com ... provement/
In addition to this I read through a Progressive Railroading Article detailing measures taken by UP back in 2005 to address operational problems.
http://www.progressiverailroading.com/u ... oad--31831
When we discuss UP steam we have to remember that we are asking questions about one of the 4 US class ones, and as such this may give us in the preservation community a window into what may be expected to operate steam locomotives on their mainlines. The “zero defect” era today is a far cry from the 70’s and 80’s era railroads.


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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 11:35 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 710
To answer the question posed by the OP.

This weekend was Cheyenne Depot Days. Saturday and Sunday there were many activities at the exUP depot, other places around town, and tours of the Steam Shop and roundhouse were advertised. Having partaken of this tour thing for the last 3 years, I decided to go today to see for myself what had been done since this time last year.

First, the roundhouse was locked up tight. No admittance allowed. Among the things that could be glimpsed through the exterior windows were 3985, 5511, and 6936.

The shop building itself was open, with lots of people to answer, or try to answer, any questions.

4014: No change since last year. It still has all flues, tubes and superheater units in it. It and the other items were fenced off with orange fencing to keep people away. You could still see, but not get too close. The smokebox door was open, so the stuff described above was plain to see.

844: Since last year, the jacket, lagging, cab, some exterior piping, the #4 drivers, and all the caps on the flexible staybolts have been removed. Here's where it got interesting: If you asked 4 different tour guides what was going on with this locomotive, you got 4 different answers, some of which conflicted with the others and none of which made sense.

In the shop itself, the entire ceiling and all insulation have been removed. About half of the overhead lights and all of the heaters have been removed. The light fixtures were piled on pallets outside the east end of the shop. The removed ceiling was piled into a gondola. I noticed most of the shelves and racks in the shop were empty, whereas in prior years they held a huge assortment of spares, tooling for the bigger shop machines, jigs and fixtures and so forth.

Outside, all 3 E9's were there. once again, they are scheduled to sub for 844 this year.

From the looks of things and statements made, I predict Mr. Glueck will be asking the same questions next April.


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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 12:45 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
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Location: Maine
Perish the thought.

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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 1:51 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5252
Location: southeastern USA
Interesting article.... but I'm struck by the improvement in locomotive availability being a result of standardizing repair processes to get them through the shops faster. this works well on a fleet of similar machines, needing similar work done at fairly predictable intervals, but 3 or 4 different and unique steam locomotives each starting at a different point of life cycle? Even if you rebuild them all to "as new" condition (which is an impossibility) they will still handle reaction to stresses in use their own way, not identically....... which makes this an interesting experiment in just how much you can standardize the way you treat a collection of different unique machines in the same service before you start to either trip over your own feet or overkill work before it is required.

"Zero defects" is a nice academic construct like "free market" - fun for geeks to talk about but impossible to create or discover in the real universe. Is it practical to base real life strategies on idealistic concepts? I'm looking forward to seeing how this all plays out in real life.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 5:01 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 710
TimReynolds wrote:
Curiosity got me digging around a bit and I came across this interview with L. Kelly UP VP of Supply and Continuous Improvement. Please understand I put this here for the purpose of expanding on the M. Janssen post of this thread. Yes you will hear from a high ranking UP exec, and respected member of the modern profession of process improvement. Nothing real specific here, but the content is consistent with the points made in M Janssen’s post.
http://www.processexcellencenetwork.com ... provement/
In addition to this I read through a Progressive Railroading Article detailing measures taken by UP back in 2005 to address operational problems.
http://www.progressiverailroading.com/u ... oad--31831
When we discuss UP steam we have to remember that we are asking questions about one of the 4 US class ones, and as such this may give us in the preservation community a window into what may be expected to operate steam locomotives on their mainlines. The “zero defect” era today is a far cry from the 70’s and 80’s era railroads.


If you asked that guy about UP's steam locomotives, you'd probably get a blank stare. You would be shocked and amazed at how many mid-level and senior management people have no idea that UP has one, let alone three. Or that 2 of them used to run.


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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 7:16 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
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Quote:
If you asked that guy about UP's steam locomotives, you'd probably get a blank stare


That 'guy' being D. Lynn Kelley, PhD?

You must not have watched the video very carefully. Or done your homework on that person, either...

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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 8:14 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 710
Overmod wrote:
Quote:
If you asked that guy about UP's steam locomotives, you'd probably get a blank stare


That 'guy' being D. Lynn Kelley, PhD?

You must not have watched the video very carefully. Or done your homework on that person, either...


Quite the contrary, sir. Gender notwithstanding, what she says is meaningless AS IT RELATES TO 3 STEAM LOCOMOTIVES out of a fleet of more than 8,000 diesels.

There is nothing applicable to steam in her talk.

Perhaps she didn't know that the steam program had been on a continuous improvement kick long before she got there, and it was unceremoniously dumped in 2011. That happens in other departments as well, and goes a long way to explaining the "resistance" she refers to.

You can do all the right things and still end up unemployed.


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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Steam Shop status of steam fleet?
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 10:15 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
If they really complete this quality process and return an engine to steam under its standards, then do they still need a diesel helper-backup?

Just saying, if all this is to attain reliability, who needs the diesel backup anymore?

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