What is this

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by BigJim, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. BigJim

    BigJim Member

    This may be a stupid question but I am new to railroading - model & proto.

    This car is sitting on a "tunnel spur" in the hills west of Portland Oregon. It was connected to the front of a loco. Looks like water pipe connections but I have never seen a water tank this shape. Seems to me if you filled something this big with water it would be very heavy.

  2. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    it looks to me like its a seperate generator or something.maybe a steam generator since it has grills at one end and theres water pumps everywher.it may also be some sort of MOW car,i dunno never seen one up close.--josh
  3. BigJim

    BigJim Member

    Did a web search - Found pictures with "DLMX 4219" that identified it as Water Tender number from 2002 but they show it as all black. If it is a Steam Engine Water Tender what is it doing sitting on a very small spur by a tunnel hooked to the front of a diesel loco?
  4. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    auxillary water tender for the #4449?

  5. BigJim

    BigJim Member

    There are no grills or other openings. The thing behind with the grills it is a Great Northern diesel loco.
  6. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    It is the auxilliary tender for the SP Daylight #4449. It looks like they're using it to supply water for something... all that plumbing in the lower right is some sort of pumping apparatus.
  7. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Converted it to a fuel tank?
  8. BigJim

    BigJim Member

    You must be right. I have found some pictures of the 4449 and this looks like the "2nd" tender behind the loco.

    It gets stranger - In searching I found some pictures of the "Brooklyn Roundhouse" in Portrland, OR. This is where the 4449 and other old equipment is located. There was also pictures of the 274 at the roundhouse. This is the same Loco that was pushing the 4219. They were doing work on the track near the tunnel. I can't understand what "out of service" vehicles were doing in this area. Onecan hope they were working on this old track to get it ready to do some excursion runs.
  9. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    is that a special F-series unit there,cause i thought they were out of service 30 years ago?is it an excursion train cause ive never seen one still running.--josh

    P.S anyone know how to get alot of stuff in there sigs including a gif.?i cant seem to do it like others.
  10. BigJim

    BigJim Member

    Josh - You are right. It is an F7A that has been restored and lives at the Brooklyn Roundhouse. That is why it was so strange to see it sitting on a very short spur (space for about 5 cars) next to a tunnel about 1.5 miles up Cornelius Pass Road from highway 30 (a few miles NW of Portland).

    Not knowing much about current vs old trains I stopped to take the pictures because I thought they looked interesting.

    My guess is they needed the water from the tender for some work they were doing on this old track. It must be for something special to pull these relics out of the storage yard.

    I know they are looking for a new home for the equipment at the Brooklyn Roundhouse. Perhaps they needed to work on this track toget it ready to move but there is nothing I can find about any planned move.
  11. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Most F-units were retired 30 years ago, but a (very) few remain in active revenue service. This isn't one of them.
  12. liven_letdie

    liven_letdie Member

    If this is the area I am thinking of they were planning on instituting an excursion from Portland along the Columbia river to Astoria, OR (where Goonies was filmed) perhaps this is it?
  13. BigJim

    BigJim Member

    There is a track that runs along the river but this is about 500' up and about 2.5 miles from the river next to Cornelius Pass Rd. On the other side of the tunnel it go on to North Plains (near where I live) There is a turnout a Helvetia that goes towards Hillsbboro but I think most of that track has been removed. The track then goes through the costal range to coast north of Tillamook. As far as my maps show there is no track from there North.
    This would be the much more sceanic trip through the mountains. For the most part the river track that follows hwy 30 doesn't offer anything you don't see from a car.
  14. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Jim, the auxiliary tenders are used because a steam engine will use 3-5 times as much water as fuel. The fuel is only used to boil the water, the resulting steam does all of the work. Also the quality of the water is very critical to a steam locomotive. Much of the water in the West is full of minerals that leave deposits in the boiler. When deposits build up, it is necessary to open the boiler and scrape out the inside of every tube, which is a very time consuming job. On a restored locomotive like the #4449 or the Norfolk & Southern J1, they would often use an auxiliary tender to be able to have plenty of clean treated water for the fan trip to keep from having to fill with untreated water and end up with scale build up. The biggest impetus for replacing steam engines with diesel engines was the reduced maintainance costs, but in the case of the Santa Fe, the biggest problem they had was hundreds of miles of desert with 100% bad water. They had to haul 100% of the water they used in the Southwest to the tanks for their steam engines. I think they had entire trains dedicated to hauling water to keep the steam engines running.
  15. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    if there are some still running,where?id like to see that.but one thing,why still use them if new units out do the performance significantly.i dunno just a thought.--josh
  16. BigJim

    BigJim Member


    Thanks for the detailed information. I thought it might be some type of tank but still don't know exactly what it was doing hooked to the front of the old diesel. If they just needed water to work on the track or clean the tunnel it would have been great if they had used the GS-4 #4449 instead.


    It is not normal "revenue" service but #274 is clearly in great shape and still running in the Portland, OR area.
  17. CCT70

    CCT70 Member

    That is exactly what it is.
  18. CCT70

    CCT70 Member

    Sorry to stray from the topic guys, but to answer Josh's question, I made my gif sig all one graphic and gave it a short name at that. In fact, if you want, I'll be happy to take yours and consolidate it for you and add a caboose. :wave:
  19. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I don't now if any f units are still in revenue service. Santa Fe converted all of theirs to CF-7's and they are in service all over the country. Those older units are in service on shortlines and small railroads because they are much less expensive to buy than brand new units. The Arkansas & Missouri runs a fleet of mostly old Alco C420 Centurys because they could buy three of the Alcos for the price of one used Emd Gp. For every 3 Alco 420s they bought, they run one and use 2 for spare parts to keep the others running.
  20. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    That would be great,thanks CCT70.ill send you a PM for what ever you need.and as for the F-unit i might just make the trip to oregon to see it :D

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