Fairbanks-Morse H24-66 Trainmaster

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by kkj7, Apr 23, 2002.

  1. kkj7

    kkj7 New Member

    I am trying to get information about the Trainmaster and the opposed-piston engine. I tried with Fairbanks-Morse who is still making that kind of engine. But from a company you don't get any useful answer, just salesman talk.
    Has anyone of you any experience of the Trainmaster as an engineer or from service?
    Or maybe know where I can find information.
  2. Virginian

    Virginian Member

    Hi kkj7, welcome aboard!
    I model the Virginian (surprise, ha ha!!) and The N&W...N scale and HO. my 2 N locos are Trainmaster models by Atlas..
    Thanks to a friend at my train club, I have a fair amount of info on the Trainmaster.... Here's a bit taken from a Loco Newsmag. called "Extra 2200 South", issue 61 July, Aug. Sep. '77 :

    " .....By the time the TM was introduced, the OP ( opposed piston) engine problems were largely over: aluminum bearings, counter-weighted crankshafts, and explosion-resistant cylinder block were introcuced in production with the C-line demos, and by 1953, reliable "heavywall" pistons were in use, along with lightweight connecting rods, introduced earlier, and a plain cast liner/chrome top -ring arrangement. (FM, however, kept playing with liner and ring material due to oil control problems and by the 1970's was back to the chrome liner. Problems were had, however, with engine air filters. The first units were equipped with media panel filters, which gave barely adequate performance. SP's TM's (and some other's) were ordered with exhaust-aspirated cetrifugal filters, which were ineffective against sand. During SP's early testing in the desert, blower impellers and liners were literally ruined beyond reclamation in as little as a single trip. These were soon changed back to media panel, and later, oil bath filters, which gave good perpormance.
    Not to be confused with an opposed ingine, which has a crankshaft in between two rows of cylinders, an opposed piston engine has a row of cylinders in between two crankshafts, which are connected at the front (drive) end by a vertical drive. The pistons control intake ports at the top and exhaust ports at the bottom of the liner. since the exhaust ports must close first to obtain a supercharging effect, the lower crankshaft is timed about ahead (12 degrees on 800 rpm, 15 degrees on 850 rpm) of the top crankshaft. Due to this, the top half of the engine only produces about 25% of bare engine power, and after driving the blower, about 20%.

    The Train Masters tended to go to scrap at a young age, probably more due to the fact that the became "oddballs" after FM's exit from the new locomotive market. ......."

    There's quite a bit more, inc.: B&W photos; a detailed line drawing..top, side and end views; complete roster; production info.; more engine specs.; notes, and other misc.

    I meant to get the scanner hooked up, finally,( we bought it just after New Years' FCOL!!) and post the whole piece, but it will have to wait a bit longer...have to run some three wire from the other part of the house first...*&*%#**

    Well, I hope this is of interest and helpfull.

    all the best
    vgn :cool: (I live in 'Sunny" Northern California...at least when it isn't raining or the fog's not in!!...so my sign off includes a weather report )
  3. Virginian

    Virginian Member

    Oh, one extra tidbit!

    I actually 'drove' one of those huge machines...about 1954-55..sittin' on my grandaddy's knee at the VGN Yards in Mullens WV. ...He took his hand off mine, which was on the throttle...for all of about 15 feet!!..Yardmaster musta been a real good friend of his as well as his boss!!!
  4. kkj7

    kkj7 New Member

    ....the lower crankshaft is timed about ahead (12 degrees on 800 rpm, 15 degrees on 850 rpm) of the top crankshaft. Due to this, the top half of the engine only produces about 25% of bare engine power, and after driving the blower, about 20%.....

    Yes, that is one of the pequliar things I find not that obvious. The offset crankshaft and the big difference on power.

    Can the engine designer step forward and give facts!!!:)
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I'm a newbie on this site and just reading theough old posts. I never worked on Trainmasters, but I spent two of my four years in the Coast Guard on a 311 powered by Fairbanks-Morse opposed piston diesels. I think the 25% and 20% numbers are misleading. The upper crank drives virtually all of the "parrasytic" (spelling?) loads, so while it may only account for 20% of the power output, the lower crank is probably putting out considerably more power than it would have normally. When I went to C. G. engineman school, they told us that a two cycle diesel like the Detroit Diesel 6-71 would put out about 1 1/2 times as much power as the same displacement 4 cycle diesel.
    The Fairbanks-Morse opposed piston diesel would put out @1 1/2 times as much power as a similar displacement two cycle diesel.
    I think the biggest problem with the Fairbanks for railroad use is that it is such a hassle to pull the upper crank to get to the pistons. That thing weighed 3000#. In an engine room with all of the plumbing around it was an all day job for a half dozen people and as many chain hoists and come-alongs to get it clear of all of the piping and out of the engine onto a platform next to the engine.

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