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 Post subject: Re: Union Pacific Acquires Big Boy 4014
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:02 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
hamster wrote:
Well, we may have an answer to the question of WHERE 4014 will run. One would think that any track that it passes over on the trip from Pomona to Cheyenne should be fair game for operation! Points east of that may be a different matter, but there is not much difference between eastern and western main line trackage.


Not to quench the foam, but TOWING a steam locomotive and OPERATING a steam locomotive are two different things. By your incorrect assumption, the Rutland should have bought Big Boys as one was later towed over that railroad to the original Steamtown location.

There's quite a bit of difference between eastern and western mainline trackage, topography and clearances.

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 Post subject: Re: Union Pacific Acquires Big Boy 4014
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:04 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:56 am
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Location: Northern California
Are the roundhouse and turntable in Cheyenne long enough to hold a Big Boy? I visited Cheyenne in maybe 1962 or 1963. Steam was long dead, but there were quite a few steam locomotives in the roundhouse. Mostly in pairs. There may have been a Big Boy there, the one that is in Omaha now? The man in charge of the roundhouse that was showing me around said they filled one of the engines with compressed are occasionally and ran it out on to the turntable. I think he was referring to the 844. I think there had been a second turntable and roundhouse in Cheyenne, but it had been torn down when I was there.


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 Post subject: Re: Union Pacific Acquires Big Boy 4014
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:32 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 2:28 pm
Posts: 326
One thought that occurred to me-this acquisition has been in the works for a while, and now the announcement comes, PR-wise, at an interesting time...a short amount of time after the MM&A wreck and tragedy. I am not saying the two things are related or unrelated; I am not guessing at what PR benefits UP might have in mind (other than celebrating their 150th birthday in a big way). But given the negative press surrounding the MM&A wreck, it remains to be seen whether other railroads will now have interest in preservation-friendly PR activities, or are circling the wagons, retrenching, doing risk reviews, etc. No idea either way.


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 Post subject: Re: Union Pacific Acquires Big Boy 4014
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:18 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
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Location: Youngstown, OH
This deal was in the works well before the MM&A incident.

About where the locomotive will run: The UP as well as all class 1 railroads know the precise clearances of every inch of their railroad thanks to ultra accurate geometry cars gathering that data. The UP probably did the same thing to qualify the Big Boy that they would do for any high-wide shipment, plug in the dimensions of the Big Boy into the clearance program and out comes all the locations where there are conflicts. The track and roadbed certainly is built to as high or a higher standard than in the days of steam, so the argument that the "track won't handle it" also is bunk.

About converting to oil burning: I am amazed at how closed minded some people can be, and think that the advancement in technology stopped in the 1950s and if something did not work then it will never work now. With combustion simulation programs it is possible to input the design characteristics of the Big Boy's firebox into the program as well as the burner design and simulate how it would function. They may not be going that far but the burner and combustion problem is completely solvable. There are many coal fired power plants being converted to nat gas at this time, so putting burners in big open fireboxes is not unheard of.

The moral of this story is to not underestimate the ability of engineers to solve engineering problems.

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 Post subject: Re: Union Pacific Acquires Big Boy 4014
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:00 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:27 am
Posts: 389
Location: Winters, TX
Just to put my two cents worth in...

Since the 844 has the same type of caterpillar tender which is the main concern in determining clearances, it seems to me that a Big Boy should be able to go anywhere that the 844 can. And even if operations are limited between Cheyenne and Ogden, I would think enough fans would make the pilgrimage to make the restoration worthwhile.

The conversion to oil doesn't have to be 100% successful. I doubt if the UP will be hauling heavy freights over Sherman Hill with it.

I think the fun part will be moving the 4014 out of Pomona. It'll involve laying lots of track over the parking lots and tying in to a relatively busy line that is also used by Metrolink. Whatever the UP is exchanging for the 4014 will have to be moved in at the same time.

At least it'll make the next few years interesting for us western fans.


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 Post subject: Re: Union Pacific Acquires Big Boy 4014
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:40 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
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PR-wise, at an interesting time...a short amount of time after the MM&A wreck

It also comes when the 611 campaign is being conducted. So what?


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 Post subject: Re: Union Pacific Acquires Big Boy 4014
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:01 am 
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Location: Center Conway, NH
If there is to be a replacement sent to the fairgrounds, that will be one trip to chase, but the most interesting will be the 4014 from Pomona to Cheyenne. I wonder if UP will send 844 out to pick up her big Brother?

Congrats to UP!

Brian


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 Post subject: Re: Union Pacific Acquires Big Boy 4014
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:01 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:41 pm
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
UP is hardly going to restrict this locomotive to the great American outback. If they are spending the kind of $$$ to do this, you can bet that the 4014 will be showing up all over the UP system. This is not a "Field of Dreams" situation where "If You Build It, They Will Come". UP will be wanting tens of thousands of folks to witness this piece of history, not just the intrepid railfans making a pilgrimage.


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 Post subject: Re: Union Pacific Acquires Big Boy 4014
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:32 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5254
Location: southeastern USA
Hot Metal wrote:
About converting to oil burning: I am amazed at how closed minded some people can be, and think that the advancement in technology stopped in the 1950s and if something did not work then it will never work now. With combustion simulation programs it is possible to input the design characteristics of the Big Boy's firebox into the program as well as the burner design and simulate how it would function. They may not be going that far but the burner and combustion problem is completely solvable. There are many coal fired power plants being converted to nat gas at this time, so putting burners in big open fireboxes is not unheard of. The moral of this story is to not underestimate the ability of engineers to solve engineering problems.


What we don't yet have is a digital simulation capable of dealing with combustion as a dymanic process over the range of scale that a steam locomotive requires.....unless somebody like the 5AT gang has come up with one. Fine tuning a combustion system for a constant rate, sure.......I'm working through the combustion design for a much smaller project now, and it's an interesting process and involves not only the burner, but the firepan, air entry to the firebox, tube and flue resistance optimization, and front end / drafting system. It all has to work well together at a wide range of outputs from spotfire to hauling tonnage up a long grade.

Choosing #5 oil is a great constant that will help the decision making process compared to the additional variability that the waste oil I'm dealing with adds to the series of equasions. It requires a good substantial preheat and a rough and ready burner style that atomizes rather than vaporizes - whether in single or multiple form.

I hope they will share the technical design process as they move the project along. It would be of great interest. It is nothing like impossible, but done to this scale is unusual and worthy of a lot of thought.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: Union Pacific Acquires Big Boy 4014
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:53 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:15 am
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I think it will surprise us all when we find out just where the 4014 can or can't go. Many of the restrictions we hear about are based on the infrastructure as it was decades ago, when the 4000's were still working in regular service, and everything was smaller & lighter. Look how small the cars & trains were back then. We've all seen photos & films of Big Boy's snaking through short crossovers, turnouts & switches in the yards, arriving and departing on rough, small rail. It all seemed work back then. And, it looks to be tremendously heavy. The axle loadings were very heavy by 1950 standards, but they just aren't today. Diesels today can hit 70 tons per axle or more. It's long sure, but it's articulated. The front edge of the smokebox & running board might foul in places, but just a little more than 3985's has for the last 30 years. The tender might be a factor, but it's not something new for UP to deal with. The Museum in Dallas had a temporary fix for that, just jack up the rear axle. And as far as getting it pulled out and headed for Cheyenne, don't forget, it's not near as heavy as it would be in working order, no fuel or water in the tender or engine.


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 Post subject: Re: Union Pacific Acquires Big Boy 4014
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:48 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:59 pm
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Location: western Maryland
It is amusing, to say the least, that there are those who think that Union Pacific, one of the longest enduring corporate identities in American railroading, and without debate the preeminent operator of steam in the United States, would embark on an effort to restore one of these mighty monsters to operation but overlook important details such as how to make steam consistently under varying conditions, clearances, best fuel option, etc,

I would not be surprised if Steve Lee returned, or that his fingerprints are not already all over this project.

Kudos, UP! I cannot wait to see the behemoth breath again.

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 Post subject: Re: Union Pacific Acquires Big Boy 4014
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:51 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:55 am
Posts: 70
Talking of oil firing, especially when it comes to experience with environmental-friendly approaches, the #1 man to contact might be Roger Waller from DLM.

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Union Pacific Acquires Big Boy 4014
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:41 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
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Location: southeastern USA
DLM rack engines have a cluster of burners surrounding a central pilot / spotfire burner. I'm told they are only for use with light oil, #5 would not be happy using them. If I'm incorrect or things have changed since I last researched it please post better information.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: Union Pacific Acquires Big Boy 4014
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:21 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:55 am
Posts: 70
Dave wrote:
DLM rack engines have a cluster of burners surrounding a central pilot / spotfire burner. I'm told they are only for use with light oil, #5 would not be happy using them. If I'm incorrect or things have changed since I last researched it please post better information.


DLM has done more than just small and very effective rack locos, see their website.

So why should anybody rule out DLMs capacities to develop "big" burners? What I say here is that if UP should need just that type of solution (i.e. burning liquid fuel very economical as well as ecological), then there is a business with experience on hand.


Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Union Pacific Acquires Big Boy 4014
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:53 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5254
Location: southeastern USA
Yes, they are.....with a system based on the SOVACO light oil system. Nothing like #5. Not that perhaps they can't learn to burn heavy oil, but other business are already more experienced in that form of fuel. Please don't underestimate the differences in different varieties of what stuff you burn and what hardware you need to burn it - if you want to burn it more cleanly, completely and efficiently.

If they were going to use diesel for fuel, DLM would be a good place to start. My guess is they already have the technical stuff covered. If not, they can certainly interest any of the real experts in the field for a project this noteworthy.

dave

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