Archive for October, 2009

by Engineman Preserved Wook

Norfolk & Western Experimental M2 #1100 rt side -- 100909

Believe it or not, this 1947-8 Norfolk & Western 4-8-0 Mastodon switcher (!) even after experimental re-shopping didn’t have superheating.

Norfolk & Western Experimental M2 #1100 -- 100909

When I first noticed this Norfolk & Western Railway experimental unit the night before last, I thought I’d stumbled onto another (more…)


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by Emmett R Smith 

100709  Advance-Rumely Oil-Pull Tractor

“In the early 1900’s, Dr. Edward A. Rumely, grandson of Meinrad [Rumely], was determined to build a tractor that could run on a wide range of fuels. He hired an engine designer by (more…)

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by Engineman Wook

In response to a previous posting, on the UP 9000 series 4-12-2 steamers, Practical Pig asks:

“How much better would they run with roller bearings all around?  I wonder how expensive these were compared to the normal floating bushings on crankpins?  How much were those?  They were just some kind of soft babbitt metal, I think.  Were roller bearings as much as ten times more expensive at the start of it all?”

First of all, here are a couple of pictures SHOWING the basic idea of it all:

Timken Roller Bearing Assembly -- 100209

This image from Wikipedia is of an early Timken roller bearing — note the use of grooved rollers.  Obviously, this isn’t very exciting to look at…or is it?  This tapered bearing race on rollers alone made the mechanical late-modern completely possible, and it is difficult if not impossible to imagine how so many of the gizmoes we take for granted could even have existed without it.  It reduced the inertial resistance of huge static weights and masses to a fraction and made the more efficient transmission of power in vehicles, most of all, economically possible.  Indeed, I would go further and say that only with antigravity (or at least magnetic levitation!) may we even speak of any sort of historical movement era beyond roller bearings. 

Now here is a postmodern descendent from (more…)

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Voices From The Past:  Old New England Engineman Preserved Wook On A Trainman’s Holiday In The Far West With The Union Pacific

by Joseph Curwen

Otto Perry Archive, UP 9030 by Otto Perry, 1936, Laramie WY, Schenectady 1929 -- 092809

“‘Global Warming’ you say?  And the government be in on it too?  Well, goodness gracious, count me in, where do I sign up for mine?  What’s that…NOT to burn coal you say?  How’s that again, but just how ever in Tophet do you propose getting to get (more…)

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by Emmett Smith


Otto Perry Archive, UP 9014 by F O Kelly, 1937, Topeka KS, 3rd cyl gear valve replaced by dbl Walschaert, Brooks 1926 -- 092709

Engineman Wook is on a trainman’s holiday from the Pennsy.  Now, on the far side of the Union Pacific yard and too far to run over to the Baron Hotel smokeshop before pulling out of the Alliance NE yards, he lets his (more…)

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by Emmett Smith 

otto-perry-archive-up-9000-by-bill-navari-1956-summit-ca-brooks-1926-092709Engineman Wook is on a trainman’s holiday from the PRR.  Now he finds himself standing off on the far side of the UP locomotive to “get away from conductors, brakemen and other halfwits so a man can THINK!” and studying the problem

“By God, boys, I believe the little bastards have been and poured Wildroot * all over the rail!”

The engine shown, the first of the 1920s Union Pacific RR 9000 3-cylinder series, had twelve (more…)

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by Emmett R Smith

25 - Convair B-36 F keyboard 092109

Above is a view of the keyboard of a B-36 F atomic bomber.  And here is (more…)

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