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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:39 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 392
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
I remember that there was a questions on when 611 was converted to poppet gear but didn't have time to see if it was asked in this thread. When searching for tech data needed on our restoration of Alaska Railroad USATC S-160 #557 I stumbled across a group of entries on photos held by the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. If you enter the search "U.S. Army AND Vulcan" at http://rrmuseumpa.andornot.com/Archives/ you will get about 20 hits for a 2-8-0, with one of the descriptions being -

Railroad or Entity: U.S. Army
Country: United States
Builder: Vulcan
Description: Reconditioned for U.S. Army
Date: 1949
Assigned Num Name: 2628
Wheel Arrangement:2-8-0

Unfortunately, they don't have the scanned thumbnails on line for this group of photos. Based on the comment that the locomotive was reconditioned and the number of photos, I suspect that Vulcan may have done the conversion to poppet valve gear and that this group of photos documents the conversion.

There is also an entry for a technical drawing for a U.S. Army 2-8-0 by Lima with poppet valve. It's probably also of 611.


Last edited by Dick_Morris on Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:57 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 am
Posts: 1209
Location: South Carolina
Thanks for the info, Dick. I might need to send a few dollars up to Strasburg.

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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 10:24 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 620
Location: Byers, Colorado
I would never claim to understand anything about poppet valves or their patents, so please forgive me for asking a simpleton type question: WHO IN THE NAME OF HELL DID ALL THE DIRTY WORK ON THIS ENGINE ???

If anybody read my post in biggest basket cases reborn, while I may have mixed up my engine numbers, I was most definitely talking about the 611 when I described getting it ready to leave Texas. Seeing the picture taken in 2013 in Maryland, it is beyond miraculous that they could have cleaned up this nasty of a wrecked engine to look this decent !!! IT MAKES ME PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN.

In all seriousness, I would dearly love to hear about what they went through just getting to the point they have, what processes they used, how many men for how many shifts, for how many months (years is more like it), for how much money ??? If it was done by volunteers, their names ought to be remembered in the history of preservation along with BOB ANDERSON, who rebuilt the Rogers K class in New Zealand, even if 611 never runs again.

You notice I'm now saying IF 611 never runs again. These guys have the worst of it behind them, I do believe.

VIVA USATC 611 !!!!

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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:31 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3707
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
The recent thread on surviving Lake Superior & Ishpeming steam, and its reference to No. 34's original tender, tickled these brain cells and got me curious about this engine.

Is there any further news or commentary on the progress of its restoration since it was last discussed back in 2015?


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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:54 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:58 am
Posts: 93
J3a-614 wrote:
The recent thread on surviving Lake Superior & Ishpeming steam, and its reference to No. 34's original tender, tickled these brain cells and got me curious about this engine.

Is there any further news or commentary on the progress of its restoration since it was last discussed back in 2015?



Back in December 2014 the T1 Trust folks got together with the Bill Miller Equipment Sales folks who agreed to allow the T1 Trust to examine and reverse engineer the valve gear.

If you scroll down this web page to the 12-23-14 entry you can read the write up:

https://prrt1steamlocomotivetrust.org/news.php

The T1 Trust agreed to share the drawings and CAD files they were going to make.

Brian


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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:03 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:33 am
Posts: 114
Dick_Morris wrote:
I remember that there was a questions on when 611 was converted to poppet gear but didn't have time to see if it was asked in this thread. When searching for tech data needed on our restoration of Alaska Railroad USATC S-160 #557 I stumbled across a group of entries on photos held by the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. If you enter the search "U.S. Army AND Vulcan" at http://rrmuseumpa.andornot.com/Archives/ you will get about 20 hits for a 2-8-0, with one of the descriptions being -

Railroad or Entity: U.S. Army
Country: United States
Builder: Vulcan
Description: Reconditioned for U.S. Army
Date: 1949
Assigned Num Name: 2628
Wheel Arrangement:2-8-0

Unfortunately, they don't have the scanned thumbnails on line for this group of photos. Based on the comment that the locomotive was reconditioned and the number of photos, I suspect that Vulcan may have done the conversion to poppet valve gear and that this group of photos documents the conversion.

There is also an entry for a technical drawing for a U.S. Army 2-8-0 by Lima with poppet valve. It's probably also of 611.


Interesting. I watched an episode of the digital series Steam Locomotives in Profile focused on the UASATC S160's, and it mentioned there all of the S160's were built with Walschaerts valve gear. The change to poppet is fascinating to say the least.


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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:39 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3707
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Just something for the files on this old thread--an in service shot of the engine that showed up on Facebook recently.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... ater&ifg=1

https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ ... e=5E913470

Image


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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 2:46 pm
Posts: 2184
Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
Fort Eustis was a haven for train fans into the 60s as the Army was still teaching steam operations and running their WW2 locomotives around the post.
Much like the Jeeps and GMC 2.5 ton trucks, the S-160s were designed for a relatively short service life. Nobody told that to the running examples (like my 1944 Willys Jeep in the garage which still runs but has never been restored), and these locomotives were made in the same spirit.
Three of them did a triple-header trip on the Ft Eustis RR for the 1963 NRHS convention, one of the last hurrahs for Army steam.


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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:01 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 1118
Location: Tucson, Arizona
The locomotive was passed around by organizations that either did not have the funds or the desire to restore the locomotive. As for the valve gear (if that is the dirty work alluded to), that was most likely done by the United States Army Transportation Corp. The only purpose for the locomotives was essentially to train corpsmen on how to rebuild and operate locomotives that they would encounter if we ever had another armed conflict in post-WWII Europe. Capriotti valve gear was common on European locomotives and the USATC's operational requirements dictated that they be able to fix any locomotives or rolling stock that they encountered in the field.

The other point is that anything can be fixed if you have enough money. The question that the other organizations answered honestly was should they expend funds to fix the locomotive? For the other organizations, the correct answer turned out to be no. Either the cost was beyond their means or the locomotive did not fit their collection policy. I was at TVRM when the 611 was there and we made the correct decision not to spend time or money on the locomotive-we had other projects that were much more important than that.

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 Post subject: Re: USATC 2-8-0 No. 611
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:23 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 1351
The stated purpose (as I recall it) for the Vulcan conversion 'kits' was to modify the locomotives so they could be effectively driven by soldiers who did not know or had not been trained in effective steam-locomotive operation (i.e., coordination of throttle and cutoff). Thw whole point of 'Franklin type D' is to automate the effective change in cutoff as the engine accelerates in a manner comparable to notching up -- but it does it, effectively, by wiredrawing the steam flow as rotational speed increases.

That made it practical to provide a single forward/reverse control implemented with a couple of ordinary valves of the kind you might find on an air lift. It's an interesting system.

Part of the 'fun' involved with parts is that the drive system apparently makes use of conventional 6x6 driveline parts, universals and torque tubes and such.

I have never been able to find out how many of the 'kits' were actually made by Vulcan. That information may well be somewhere in the surviving records.

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