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 Post subject: How Do You Stop This Thing?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:35 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3012
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
I was recently got to pick up a copy the the Baldwin Locomotive Works Catalogue, 1881 edition (reprinted by Howell North, 1960).

What stood out in looking at the drawings and builder's photos is that none of the locomotives have brakes. Now I know tender engines had hand brakes on the tank, and it wasn't unusual even after the introduction of air for some locomotives to be "barefoot" (no brakes on the engine, relying on the tender air instead).

But what stood out were the tank engines that had no brakes at all! No brake shoes operated by anything were visible.

Now if you were coupled to cars, the brakemen on those would help out, but there is still the problem of handling the engine without cars, or handling cuts with the brakemen on the ground handling switches.

How would you stop or control this? I know I've read about using the reverse lever for it, but how would you do that without a lot of shock and jerking going through everything? How would you do it smoothly, if you could be smooth at all?

From an earlier edition:

https://ia902205.us.archive.org/BookRea ... 4&rotate=0

https://ia902205.us.archive.org/BookRea ... 4&rotate=0

The earlier edition of the catalogue that I found online.

https://archive.org/details/baldwinlocomotiv00baldrich


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Stop This Thing?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:25 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
OK, so I think maybe I was 13 years old? We visited this private home on a large piece of land in Louisiana or Mississippi in 1980, where the owner was having a private steamup of his 0-6-4 plantation engine. I guess he had maybe 200 feet of track. No brakes.

It was a pretty relaxed party. Lots of people were taking a turn at the throttle, and somehow I convinced the owner that I was worthy. So I drove that engine back and forth on that short piece of track with no end buffers, and I stopped it with the reverser.

So, yes, I could believe these shunters did not not have brakes.

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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Stop This Thing?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:28 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
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Location: Youngstown, OH
The J&L 58 as well as all of the 23" gauge locomotives were not equipped with brakes of any kind. All stopping done using the johnson bar.

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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Stop This Thing?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:10 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 5:10 pm
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As built by Vulcan Iron Works, WW&F No. 10 did not have brakes. It was used on a Louisiana sugar plantation originally. From what I've read, it was generally operated at about 5 mph, so when the throttle was closed, it probably stopped fairly quickly. A steam jam brake was applied when the locomotive came to Edaville in the mid-1950's.


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Stop This Thing?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:16 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3012
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Thank you for the replies, and it's interesting how late industrial locomotives came with no brakes, relying on reverse or compression braking.

The question is, how do you control the engine with the reverse smoothly? I'll admit, I have images from Disney's "The Great Locomotive Chase" running through my mind, in which the engines were reversed at speed with a lot of driver slipping!


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Stop This Thing?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:30 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
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Location: southeastern USA
Ease it over, then open the throttle slightly to provide back pressure. Compression braking - as in long downhill runs - is very much another thing. Emergency reversals still yet another.

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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Stop This Thing?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:33 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
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Location: Back in NE Ohio
Not to alarm anyone, but Cedar Point Amusement Park in Ohio has operated their 3 ft. ga. railroad with no train brakes, and mostly for a lot of years even without locomotive steam jam brakes, just using reverse lever braking. Of course the railroad is just about dead level for it's entire length, being on a big sand bar in Lake Erie, and the main station is in a very tight curve that can drastically drag the train down.


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Stop This Thing?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:13 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:06 pm
Posts: 122
The four Walt Disney World Railroad Baldwins also have no brakes, and are stopped, when light, using the Johnson Bar.

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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Stop This Thing?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:30 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:48 pm
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PaulWWoodring wrote:
Not to alarm anyone, but Cedar Point Amusement Park in Ohio has operated their 3 ft. ga. railroad with no train brakes, and mostly for a lot of years even without locomotive steam jam brakes, just using reverse lever braking. Of course the railroad is just about dead level for it's entire length, being on a big sand bar in Lake Erie, and the main station is in a very tight curve that can drastically drag the train down.

Ahyup, and we use link and pin couplers too. Antebellum railroading is alive in Ohio.


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Stop This Thing?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:46 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
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J3a-614 wrote:
The question is, how do you control the engine with the reverse smoothly?


You probably knew this was coming, but... Practice.

It's like using a clutch, you get to know what it takes and how quickly to do it. Often you don't even have to go over center. Just closing the throttle and putting it near center may well be enough to drag you down. These typically aren't roller bearing equipped super power, and they've got a lot of friction. If you have to go over top center, you do it slowly and feather the throttle in. It's not like shifting gears, it's a gradual progression and as long as you don't just horse it over thing will typically work fine.

What you saw on the General would only be done in emergency, that's the steam locomotive version of laying down huge skid marks.

There is one exception, geared engines. I recall being conductor one day and we swapped out engineers mid trip. Fellow had plenty of experience, but not geared locomotives. He gets to the top of the hill and slaps the throttle shut. The engine does a real good imitation of dynamic brakes, huge clouds of smoke fill the train (the draft stopped before the fireman could react) and the slack bunched up something fierce. I get on the radio and say "Geared engines don't drift..." "Uh, yeah, Roger..."


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Stop This Thing?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:50 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 446
Location: Byers, Colorado
I always open the cylinder cocks before stopping with the reverser and a shot of steam....

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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Stop This Thing?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:52 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
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yup, I would think on such a smaller engine that shutting the throttle down would cause some reverse backlash, if they don't have a peahole opening to allow some steam thru.
That may actually help hold the engine/train in place.

I believe the usual braking habit on steamers is even if your braking, you pop the throttle open slightly, this allows lubes in the steam to flow.


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Stop This Thing?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:54 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
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Yes, it's proper to leave a bit of steam flowing for lubrication and so drifting is smoother. On a geared loco it takes more than on a rod engine.


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Stop This Thing?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:58 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
The live-action Disney classic film The Great Locomotive Chase is probably the best visual record for train handling in the pre-airbrake era. There are several scenes showing how trains were stopped without automatic brakes. Throw in the link and pin couplers, and it's a great record of a bygone era of railroading.

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