Steam history, anyone...?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by steamhead, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    That's correct, Gus, the size is measured over the wheel tread. Looks like the drivers are too small, and the price too big. :rolleyes: :-D

    I'm planning to build a TH&B Gs Consolidation, Marc. I purchased a Bachmann Spectrum to use, as outlined by the TH&B Historical Society's "Focus" magazine. While the resultant model looks good, the over-size drivers sorta bugged me. I have an old Bachmann 2-8-0 (the Reading model) with 60" drivers, but it would probably need to be repowered. Just now, while I was hunting for this stuff, I found that I already have the wheels and chassis :eek: (memory like a sieve) :pwall1wall1 for this project. It's a garage sale Tyco 2-8-0, with the tender drive. The drivers are 54", close enough for me, although I'll need to gear one of the drivers and equip it with a gearbox and motor. It may require some scratchbuilt valve gear, too, but that shouldn't be a problem. So, another loco project to add to my list, and now two Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0s to rebuild for the Grand Valley.
    I actually used the TH&B's lettering scheme as a model for that of my Grand Valley locos.

    Bachmann's latest 2-8-4 was also under consideration for my TH&B interchange, but I don't think that the 201/202 were ever used in Port Maitland.

  2. CRed

    CRed Member

    The DM&IR were still running their Yellowstones and 0-10-2 switchers into early 1963,it's a class 2 railroad.

  3. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    That sounds strange to me. The only place I've ever seen a steamer in China is the one sitting at the local museum.

    I may be wrong about this, but I think the only steam still in use is at a few remote mining operations way out in the hinterlands.

    The trains I see around here are all deisel and electrics, including high-speed bullet trains and, here in Shanghai, maglev. I think that's about as modern as it gets. :)
  4. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Yes, that is because you're in Shanghai! :mrgreen: The mainline steam was very much a part of the country (numerous country's have previously gotten ridden of steam to appear "modern". As long as labor is cheap, steam is just as good (or in some cases better) than diesels). China's decision was directly related to the Olympics.

    I do not know the reasoning for why Shanghai bought the maglev, but I suspect it was related to the civic rivalry with Beijing :p Btw, that Maglev line was actually built in Germany using German technology.

    Interestingly, I work extensively with international students from China. One of them is from a town were steam locomotives were built. People from Shanghai and Beijing are very different from the rest of the Chinese. Beijing especially, where the government uses its resources to artificial raise the standard of living (the opposite of Marxism). It seems common in countries with a powerful central governments. I don't regard it as good or bad, it's just a different countries internal affairs :)

    Here is a resource on Chinese steam... Standard Gauge Steam in China
  5. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    From the Railography site about Chinese steam:

    They may have been in the hinterlands. He suggests that various the various RR divisions gradually implemented "no steam" policies. Likely the closer to the coalfields you were, the less likely you were to give up steam.
  6. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Have you considered making your own? I've considerd building a master driver center out of styrene, making a mold, then casting a few centers out of pewter. You would need a small lathe to turn the centers true. I've used a drill press to turn a few small items before, but that is probably not near precise enough for a driver. I'm pretty sure sure you can get a NS tires from NWSL.

    edit: grandt line makes brass driver centers for O scale. I am not sure how difficult it would be to drill and turn them and mount tires.

  7. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I've thought about Grandt Line's driver centers...but they're for mason bogies (42"). Eventually I'll probably look into getting some of them, but I right now I'm after 44" drivers and 37" drivers. I probably ought to look into building a mason bogie since the brass ones are up over $1000 sometimes...and they were the most common power on the DSP&P. Yet, I think that PSC will be coming out with an MMI mason bogie.

    I too have been thinking about making my own. I've been oogling lathes, milling machines, and the K-27 project site. There are some nice tips in the scratchloco builders and proto:87 yahoo groups. I've also been wondering about the rims from NWSL. I figured that the easiest method for now would be modifying the spokes on HO 80" drivers (44" in o-scale) or getting my hands on a set of BLI's C-16 drivers to regauge.

    EDIT: the guy doing the K-27 started off using a dremel to turn driver centers...
  8. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Heh-heh, no ... I don't think that's it ... in the seven years I've lived here I've traveled by train personally. I've met countless other foreigners here, I've seen mounds of photos taken all over China, regularly read blogs by others living here ... and yet I have never met anyone who remarked on seeing a steam locomotive!

    Like I said, I know there is some steam still in use in remote mining operations, but those are pretty far off the beaten track. I think those are really only seen by railfans taking special excursions to find them.

    I think it was mainly a prestige project, like a pyramid or moon shot. Whatever financial justification there may have been was recently nullified by the announcement to extend the subway to the airport. However I give it good marks as a prestige project - it's not very practical, but it works, and it's pretty cool.

    I'm still confused. Although the list was much longer than I expected, I believe most every example was a small-scale mining (or other industrial) operation out in the hinterlands? I don't know what Beijing could be worrying about in connection with the Olympics, it's not like many Olympic tourists are going to be stumbling upon the Huludao Zinc Smelter in Liaoning Province-?

    Anyway, thanks for the interesting link! I found a reference dated 2004 to a steel mill somewhere near Shanghai using some steam, I have to follow up on that. I never heard of that before. Thanks! :)

    Edit-Addendum: thanks also to Squidbait for the link which helps explain. :)
  9. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

    I know you said you wanted to only know 'bout US steam but, as a matter of interest, there is still one last steam loco in regular service today in South Africa.

    It works at a paper mill in Durban. Class 19D. Fetches loads and drops empties from an exchange yard to this day.
  10. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

  11. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Very cool. thanks!
  12. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Ah, yes... Sappi Saiccor (sp?). They have three 19Ds which are rotated with only one in service at any time, last I heard.
  13. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

  14. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    Back to U.S. Class one R.R. in mid 80s C&O ran 614 4-8-4 Greenbrier in test runs between Huntington &Hinton WV. They used it pulling coal trains(revenue runs). My uncle was the only one in the Chessie System who was qualified to fire it. He has told the story that it was the coldest January on record. It was so cold that the diesel fuel jelled up and the 614 was the only locomotive still running in his distict for a couple of days. He also was a fireman in Peach Creek Yard. I used to know the date of the last steam in C&O I believe it was mid fifties. it was a switcher in the Peachcreek yard and my uncle was the fireman who I believe he called it "dumped the fire". My memory is not so great anymore with details. he was last fireman on the C&O in 2 ways.
  15. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Mid 80's...WoW....And only 1 qualified fireman...:cry:
  16. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I don't know the specifics of the fireman situation...I suspect it was related to the testing...but I can provide a little background on the deal...

    What happened was that Ross Roland (whom owns 614...although I think his mistress might currently) is a schemer. He took the 614, which he'd been running for a few years (it was a trade in for a Reading T-1 that was in a roundhouse fire...that T-1 is in Baltimore now)...and had a bunch of efficiency improvements performed on it. The idea was the possibilities of modern steam. It was a far less impressive deal than the Red Devil in South Africa.

    I'm not familiar with the winter story...but steam locomotives are very, very vulnerable to the cold. Most excursion engines are not run in the cold as it is a nightmare with water lines breaking and having to run steam heat all over the place...
  17. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    I had an opportunity to speak with Ross Roland on an excursion run in New Jersey. He remembered the test runs in WV. he also remembered my uncle firing for him, my uncles middle name was Roland. He also remembered the record breaking cold January they experienced. he made no comment on diesels failing. That I believe was from my uncle's memory. as for qualified fireman goes that was 30 years after steam was gone and I would assume firemen where qulified for certain systems as this is a very important job in knowing how to throw the coal in certain Locomotives and water levels in the boiler which will explode if level gets to low. and cold spots in fire can loose power. It may have been a union issue that the fireman had to be chessie employee and qualified for that Loco. Also this was not passenger train to heat it was a coal drag. and ther was an additive they used in water to solve freezing. bad memory comes into play again. I want to say calcium but that dosn't sound right.
  18. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I bet your uncle having been a part of the project. I'm surprised that RR didn't supply his own fireman (I know the Chessie and CSX only required a crew in the cab...engines were always operated by the organizations that operate them)...which is why I think your uncle was the only one qualified...because he was specially trained. Firing an engine is a skill...but I do not know the modifications to the 614...just that they were extensive...and I'd find it reasonable that the fireman's duties were altered. (engineers usually handle the water).

    I don't know what the additive would have been (i've never before heard of adding an additive)...although you have to be careful for anything that doesn't leave through the stack will build up and cause trouble in the boiler. I'd guess it was a liquid with a BP below that of water. I was under the impression that preventing freezing was always accomplished with steam heat...since the water is ambient temperature prior to reaching the feed water would be heated with steam lines...just as the cabs were heated with steam lines. After all...tiny steam engines were climbing alpine and cumbras pass long before any electrical appliances were added to cold operation (while a headache)...was carried out back then.
  19. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys

    I had one of the Bachmann QJ's for a while -- they, too, suffered in the performance dept. because they were too light. Gorgeous model, though...
  20. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    I don't know why I was only speculating on the union thing. All I know is that he did fire it. I may be wrong on the additive to the water. as I said before, my memory not so hot anymore. This has raised my curiosty though, I may have to do some investigating now.

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