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 Post subject: Re: Recent images of the UP 844
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 3:37 pm
Posts: 1057
Location: Pacific, MO
QJdriver wrote:
How many man hours and how much money went into surveying all those Big Boys, getting a clear title to the one they wanted, then moving it half way across the country ??? Just saying.

Let me tell you a little story. It was about 25 years ago that BN Denver Terminal employees wanted to fix up a Q steam engine. Since we knew that we didn't know &*^% from Shinola about what we were doing, we figured that Steve Lee was the best guy to talk to. He and boilermaker Ron Tabke were as helpful as they could possibly have been, and we also had the same FRA man as UP did, Monte Sanders. It wasn't their fault that we failed, either, Steve Lee gave us some solid gold advice that I can't reveal to this day. It's a shame we couldn't act on it, but my superiors had good reasons, and 1522 got the chance instead of us.

Any time somebody mentioned the words "Big Boy" around these guys, it provoked a non stop stream of non stop cusswords. The gist of it was that you'd have to get a dozen Big Boys and park then all around the one youn wanted to fix up, just to get parts. Like, it will never happen, you know ???

I just wonder how hard it was to sell the big shots on this Big Boy project. Looks like an accomplishment to me.

Now, Mr Cormack, your points make perfectly good sense to me. All I'm suggesting is that UP has a good reason for what they're doing, and that you might try asking one of their crew members about it.


The restoration of 1522 was very well organized and when we did it, we had no idea where we would be able to run it. It took 2-1/2 years and a ton of "schmoozing" and trying to make contacts in the industry to find a way to operate it.
We damned well earned to opportunity to operate on the BN/BNSF through blood, sweat and intelligent negotiations and by proving ourselves to be a professional operation. Our greatest compliment from them came after a couple of trips to show them what we were all about was being sent out into traffic and just treated like another train movement.
What blows my skirt up is to have somebody say they came to us, or they asked us to restore an engine or "chose" us. If only it had been that easy. It was a great relationship.
Early in my "career" as CMO, I established contacts in the restoration world that I respected and who had a great track record. Steve Lee, Doyle McCormack, Linn Moedinger and even Jerry Davis on the UP at Steve's suggestion. I still value their friendships and all of the valuable advice they passed along.
So the next time you hear, boy the 1522 sure lucked out, you know "the rest of the story".


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 Post subject: Re: Recent images of the UP 844
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:05 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 712
Dennis Storzek wrote:
Lincoln Penn wrote:
Which caps are you referring to, the ones installed in last few months or the ones they replaced. If referring to the ones replaced, what makes you so sure those caps were installed without the required documentation?


The ten year old ones they are replacing. The fact that there is no other apparent reason for their replacement leads me to suspect that since they weren't installed following the current procedure (which is likely just now being written) that they need to be replaced so their application can be documented as having been done under that procedure. But hey, what do I know. maybe they are just trying to spend out the budget before the end of the year.


Playing devil's advocate here, Dennis:

Let's assume for the sake of discussion that your theory about the cap installation 10 years ago is correct. Then, what about the installation of the bolts themselves?
Do all bolts need to be replaced now? How about the rivets? Any documentation on that from Alco in 1944? Point being, pretty soon you'd have to completely dismantle the entire locomotive and all its parts and start over documenting the raw iron ore, coal and limestone.

Also, if you've every seen the pile of accompanying documentation that goes with an FRA Form 4 and goes to Washington to be checked over, verified and filed, you might want to reconsider your theory that nothing was documented. Admittedly, it probably wasn't documented to Six Sigma standards, but those standards were not being applied at the time, and are not now.

According to people in the shop now (not years ago), there is no Six Sigma program in place there. Further research reveals UP does not use Six Sigma.

Now, I could understand using Six Sigma on a new, ground-up build, although I don't know of any steam operation that has the manpower, time and money to even attempt it. Nor what it would accomplish.


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 Post subject: Re: Recent images of the UP 844
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:23 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
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Charlie wrote:
Just to add my two cents worth, the locomotive is owned by the Union Pacific and is being restored by Union Pacific employees using Union Pacific facilities. The Union Pacific does not have to justify their work to us or anybody else other than the FRA. None of our donated money is being wasted on the project since we aren't donating anything. If none of the locomotives ever runs again, I'm grateful for what they've done in the past and that the three locomotives are safely stored inside out of the elements. I don't believe that the Union Pacific deserves the negative bickering that pops up every time the steam program is mentioned.

You may now continue with your discussion of the staybolt caps which is of course the most important part of the restoration.


I think you might be on to something here, Charlie, but it may not be the point you intended to make, and which, IMHO, you did make.

UP is a big, bottom-line driven corporation, like any other. They can and do indulge a lot of stuff that another type of management might not (see also CSX and CP).

All railroads are experiencing lower traffic levels, lower revenue, and are in cost-cutting mode. In a big corporation, cost cutting is done by one department head looking at the other departments and seeing what THEY could cut, in his opinion, in order to avoid or minimize cuts to his own little kingdom. IOW, each is looking for someone else's lamb to sacrifice.

SO, someone starts digging and finds that several million was put into a steam locomotive 10 years ago and all went well for a few years. Now they notice more millions going into it. Why, they will ask, with alarm? How many more times are we going to have to do this and how often? And there are 2 more that are bigger than this one. Is it going to take 3 or 4 times what we are putting into this one to get those going? That's real money!! Then have to do it again after a few years? Yet, carloadings are down, we are furloughing thousands of employees, we are cutting back on track and equipment maintenance and on capital expenditures while this goes on unscathed?

What a fat, juicy target for a Lou Menk type!

Yes, I know....what they spend on steam is small beans. They won't be able to increase the dividend or go out and lay 50 miles of second main using the savings from a steam program they are paying for but not getting. It is the symbolism that matters, more often than not.

Just my thoughts.


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 Post subject: Re: Recent images of the UP 844
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:26 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:41 pm
Posts: 378
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Lincoln Penn wrote:
hamster wrote:
I got this via facebook a few weeks ago in a post talking about the covers over the flexible stay bolts on the 4014. It is unclear whether the 844 is similarly equipped or not, but these stay bolt CAPS have to be removed per Part 230.41. Further I don't know if these are even allowed under the current part 230. Makes sense to replace these permanent caps with removable/replaceable caps.

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hp ... e=56B0C1EA


That is completely incorrect. EVERY flexible staybolt on all 3 UP locomotives comply with Part B of 230.41. All have telltale holes. There nothing to be gained by removing the caps.

That photo shows welded MK-style caps. They do not HAVE to be removed for inspection, EVER! The only reason one of these caps ever has to be removed is to replace the bolt itself. The bolts can be tested and verfied by several known methods that do not require the cap to be disturbed.

The exception is if an FRA inspector demands it (virtually unheard of) or if the locomotive owner-operator, in this case, UP, decides to do so. That is also virtually unheard of, as it is extra labor, time and material expense for nothing.

I suspect the caps have been changed on 844 for purely cosmetic reasons, and if the same is done on 4014, it will also be for that reason. That information came straight from the Shop itself and is not rumor or conjecture. UP has paid for a lot of "bling" on the 844 in the past few years, so there is no reason to believe that this is not another example of that. As can be seen in some of the online videos, for some reason, holes were drilled in the old caps after their removal. There is no explanation why this was done, but doing so makes the old cap scrap so it has to be replaced.

As to the post about steel quality. I agree to a point, however, a piece of steel either meets ASME/ASTM specs or it doesn't. The specs have not changed, and they cover a huge area of the make-up, chemical composition, tensile strength, shear strength and so on, all of which has to be verified by testing pieces of that heat of steel. Steel sold as a particular grade today had damn well better meet that grade, and Material Test Results that track it from the ladle to the finished part will cover it.

Now, it has long been known that certain foreign steel producers are happy to give you MTRs that say whatever you want them to say. That is why prudent operators accept nothing but domestic steel with full MTRs verified by 3rd party labs.

Another thing, if old steel is of higher quality than new, why would anybody replace serviceable "old" steel parts that have no identifiable defects other than their age or lack of beauty with new, presumably lower quality modern steel parts?

What is there to be gained?


Thank you for that clarification regarding the drilled flexible stays. A revisit to Part 230 does indeed make the exception for drilled stay bolts. I am not familiar with this style of flexi as all of the locomotives I have worked on are much older than any of the UP steamers and have the more common flexible bolts with removable caps.


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 Post subject: Re: Recent images of the UP 844
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:36 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 712
hamster wrote:

Thank you for that clarification regarding the drilled flexible stays. A revisit to Part 230 does indeed make the exception for drilled stay bolts. I am not familiar with this style of flexi as all of the locomotives I have worked on are much older than any of the UP steamers and have the more common flexible bolts with removable caps.


No problem. Some railroads never did adopt drilled bolts.

But now, we are back to why did they replace the caps?


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 Post subject: Re: Recent images of the UP 844
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:37 pm 

Joined: Mon May 04, 2015 12:06 pm
Posts: 13
Frisco1522 wrote:
I still wonder why all the staybolt caps as well as firebox sheets needed to be replaced. As Donald Cormack stated, 844 received a major boiler overhaul in 99-04. If I recall, new tube sheets, firebox repairs and other major work. I just find it strange that the caps would be replaced this soon.
Good material is available today just as it was in the "good old days". The material used in the previous overhaul was certified material. To use anything else would have been very unwise.
I was able to get several firsthand views of what was happening back then. I was also heavily involved in a steam program and had an inside seat on what was going on. Trust me, it was by the book.
I also worked with them on several trips and witnessed their blowdown procedures and boiler treatment. Again, they were by the book. Photos posted of the current tubes that were being removed were shocking because of the huge amount of scale buildup on them. It would indicate that boiler treatment, blowdown and boiler wash procedures from the past were not being followed.
Many statements have been made about the "old crew" and also the "new crew". I won't belabor any of that because the moderator said so.
I will say that some of the statements made by one poster seem outside the realm of reality. I would have to question his knowledge of restoration, materials, operations and steam in general.
These posts should serve as valuable information to other steam operations and groups wishing to restore and operate and not as personal attacks.
Don Wirth


AMEN


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 Post subject: Re: Recent images of the UP 844
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:41 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 712
QJdriver wrote:
How many man hours and how much money went into surveying all those Big Boys, getting a clear title to the one they wanted, then moving it half way across the country ??? Just saying.


That's a good question.

Having contacted several museums that have 4000s back when the 4014 was announced, I wasn't able to find one that had been contacted by UP, much less that had had an evaluation of theirs.

Or maybe they just didn't want it known.


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 Post subject: Re: Recent images of the UP 844
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:03 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 448
Location: Byers, Colorado
I NEVER said 1522 "lucked out". I DID say that they were READY when we couldn't even get a Q engine to work on.

As a matter of fact, Dale Propp asked me who BN should pick. At the suggestion of somebody very famous and accomplished, I suggested 1522 to him. PERIOD. I'm NOT claiming responsibility, or trying to take credit for their success. Plenty of other people told BN the same thing I did.

I AM saying that UP treated us wondertful when we asked them for help. PERIOD.

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 Post subject: Re: Recent images of the UP 844
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:15 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:44 am
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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
It's always been said that #4014 was in the best shape of all of the Big Boys, but I'm curious as to whether any serious consideration or evaluation was done on #4004, right there across town in Holiday Park in Cheyenne. Yeah, I know it was flooded over the axles in the '80s, etc., etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Recent images of the UP 844
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:27 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 425
Location: Floyd, AR
Well, whatever you say about 844, it should look GOOD and hopefully will be in condition to run with little extra work for a lot of years. I know the quality of the repairs and quality of the operation keeps being questioned, mostly by those who were very close to the program in the past and now feel it is a insult to their work, etc. I think the rest of us at least hope they are wrong about that. At this point the only way we will know for sure is the yet-to-be-made track record of how it runs in the future.

As to which Big Boy got picked for the restoration, I do have to laugh a bit at the debate about which one was in the best shape. It seems to me that the current plan is to do a complete tear down to individual parts and to replace everything that is less then new specs or even has a cosmetic blemish. So it seems likely at the moment, that once it's done, all the new parts put on would of restored most of the Big Boys to operational condition.

I was an automotive mechanic for 10 years, working on volkswagens, old and new. Often, people get an old car and can't resist doing a complete teardown, even going into transmissions and engines, etc, that are in 100% working order. Often, when done, the car now has more problems then when they started, many new ones the car never had in it's whole existence...

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Any information or opinions I express are my own, and are not the views of the CBRHS or anyone else, unless explicitly stated otherwise.


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 Post subject: Re: Recent images of the UP 844
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:18 pm 
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Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
Pegasuspinto wrote:
As to which Big Boy got picked for the restoration, I do have to laugh a bit at the debate about which one was in the best shape. It seems to me that the current plan is to do a complete tear down to individual parts and to replace everything that is less then new specs or even has a cosmetic blemish. So it seems likely at the moment, that once it's done, all the new parts put on would of restored most of the Big Boys to operational condition.
I also thought this was funny, for the same reasons. That said, some 4000s would have likely been poor candidates, like the one in the park in Cheyenne, as it's been partially underwater in at least one flood. Picking between that one and 4014 would have been a no-brainer, I'd think.

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 Post subject: Re: Recent images of the UP 844
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 8:00 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
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davew833 wrote:
It's always been said that #4014 was in the best shape of all of the Big Boys, but I'm curious as to whether any serious consideration or evaluation was done on #4004, right there across town in Holiday Park in Cheyenne. Yeah, I know it was flooded over the axles in the '80s, etc., etc.


I'd love to know where the idea got planted that 4014 was in the best condition. Or that 4004 is out due to the flooding. Neither is correct. I'd also love to know if the costs of logistics was given any thought at all. I'm guessing not.

Bar none, the best one is the one UP let get away. That would be 4023. it had fewer miles, was newer, and has Type A superheaters. But the best part is that it got a general overhaul shortly before being stored. If you look at it up close and know what to look for, you can see that the tires are virtually new and of full thickness. The flues, tubes and superheaters are also virtually new. Of course, any of the 8 would have to have been hollowed out and a new form 4 with UT done.

And of course, there is no way that thing is going to come off that hill.

Of the rest, the condition according to WRITTEN UP records, were all about the same when retired. They all were getting close to the limits on flue removal and general machinery repairs and overhauls. 4004 and 4014 fit that category, and 4004 could have been had a lot cheaper than what was ultimately spent just getting 4014 out of the park, across the parking lot, etc. If for no other reason that there would have been no travel expenses to worry about and no pilot crews to pay.

If you think that is peanuts, consider air fares for 5 or 6 or more people for 15 or 20 round trips or more. Then dozens of nights in hotels. Hundreds of meals. Equipment rental, and so on. Not to mention the months consumed that had to be paid for in labor. Those of you who travel much or work construction know what I mean. It adds up quickly. Then there were the 30+ crews it took to move it from the fairgrounds to West Colton and then to Cheyenne. There were probably at least 2 dozen deadheads involved in that, too. And 2 locomotives.

Now compare that to 4004. Yes, there would be some dirt work and panel work to do, but that would be small beans compared to Pomona. But the big saving is that it's just down the street from HQ, thus no travel costs at all. That alone saves a good 6-digit sum. Then there is fact that you'd need no deadheads and only one yard crew to get it to the shop.

But, for whatever reasons, real or imagined, that wasn't done.

Now, can any of you guess which one would have been the easiest to bring "home," meaning no panel track necessary, half the distance, and only 5 pilot crews and 1 locomotive needed? And this is another one that was not even considered.

And there was another not considered that would have been even quicker and cheaper than that one.


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 Post subject: Re: Recent images of the UP 844
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 8:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:41 pm
Posts: 378
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Frisco1522 wrote:
I still wonder why all the staybolt caps as well as firebox sheets needed to be replaced. As Donald Cormack stated, 844 received a major boiler overhaul in 99-04. If I recall, new tube sheets, firebox repairs and other major work. I just find it strange that the caps would be replaced this soon.


Perhaps it was judged that the firebox would not last for the NEXT 15 years (1472 days) and this is as good a time as any to fix that. I figure that some of us "restorationists" and ALL of the foamers would be making all kinds of unseemly noise if 844 went down for firebox work before the NEXT 1472 is due. As far as stay bolt caps are concerned, I don't have any idea how many (if any) were replaced at the last 1472. Could be that there were a large number that were still "good enough" then and are no longer "good enough" now. UP has not said anything, so we are left to speculate.
The complainers are making the unfounded assumption that UP is tolerating the spending of upwards of a Million dollars by an incompetent manager. Successful businesses do not operate that way. The corporate bean counters are scrutinizing the steam program, and you can count on that.


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 Post subject: Re: Recent images of the UP 844
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:23 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 712
hamster wrote:
Frisco1522 wrote:
I still wonder why all the staybolt caps as well as firebox sheets needed to be replaced. As Donald Cormack stated, 844 received a major boiler overhaul in 99-04. If I recall, new tube sheets, firebox repairs and other major work. I just find it strange that the caps would be replaced this soon.


Perhaps it was judged that the firebox would not last for the NEXT 15 years (1472 days) and this is as good a time as any to fix that. I figure that some of us "restorationists" and ALL of the foamers would be making all kinds of unseemly noise if 844 went down for firebox work before the NEXT 1472 is due. As far as stay bolt caps are concerned, I don't have any idea how many (if any) were replaced at the last 1472. Could be that there were a large number that were still "good enough" then and are no longer "good enough" now. UP has not said anything, so we are left to speculate.
The complainers are making the unfounded assumption that UP is tolerating the spending of upwards of a Million dollars by an incompetent manager. Successful businesses do not operate that way. The corporate bean counters are scrutinizing the steam program, and you can count on that.




Do I understand correctly that a firebox that was entirely brand new in 2005 and operated only until the middle of 2013 (7 1/2 years) is in such poor condition now that it could not go another 4 years (844's current 1,472 isn't due until 2019)?? That's not likely. Unless, of course, you started using a highly corrosive water treatment a few years ago and stopped doing boiler washes about the same time.

A new firebox, under today's conditions of operating only a few weeks each year and stored under climate controlled conditions indoors the rest of the time, should be good for 40 or 50 years at least, not 7 1/2.

I also have to say again that there is no FRA, ASME or NBIC requirement to remove caps (on drilled flexible bolts), nor inspect them, nor do I know of an established procedure to inspect them, other than the hydro test while they are in place on the boiler. If they don't show any problems under 375 psi hydro pressure or 300 psi MAWP, what kind of inspection CAN be done that is more thorough than that??

And why?

And was such an inspection performed. And why? And how?

And ALL of the caps failed? That doesn't seem likely.


Last edited by Lincoln Penn on Wed Nov 25, 2015 12:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Recent images of the UP 844
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 12:09 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:27 am
Posts: 389
Location: Winters, TX
As for the best Big Boy to restore, my vote would've gone to the 4018 in Dallas (at the time). It had to be moved anyways and was connected to live track. Granted that it would need new piston rods, but the weather in Texas is relatively mild, or at least milder than other locations, and it had been lubed and moved back and forth a few years prior.


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