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Archive for September, 2010

by Engineman Wook

“By the time that Porta [b 1922 — ed] had completed his technical studies in Buenos Aires in 1946, the classic mainline steam locomotive was in its final stage of development. On the New York Central, Paul Kiefer had just produced his mighty Niagara 4-8-4s, magnificent and brutally functional machines capable of running at 100 mph on level track with 16-car trains on tight schedules between New York and Chicago, and clocking up 28,000 miles a month. Exhaustive tests proved them every bit as economical, and a great deal more powerful, than the latest diesels.”

This quote is from an topflight short account for lay readers of the work of Livio Dante Porta and the postmodern protagonists of twenty-first century steam locomotion, at this Gloucestershire Transport History link:

http://glostransporthistory.visit-gloucestershire.co.uk/maximumLDPorta.htm

*****

[Engineman Wook

[all rights revert to holders 

[23 September 2010]

 

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by Engineman Preserved Wook

From the begining of American heavy industry, this image of a small coal loading ramp in Pennsylvania, from the Kahndog online photo collection, opens the door onto a vision of our earlier industry as it really was in America in the high modern period just before and after the Civil War; we are so used to thinking now of Andrew Carnegie, U S Steel and all of that, as well as “globalization”, as to forget completely that (more…)

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by Engineman Wook

Garratt articulated steam locomotives in some cases so much resemble, well, armadillos that I wonder why they never seem to (more…)

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by Bodwyn Wook

This is the way the World looked when I was little…

..and, in fact, on 27 December 1948 which was two weeks and four days before I was born; and, below, more images of that old time now as long ago as Rome may be found at these Long Island Railroad history websites; needless to say, they were a subsidiary of the PRR and an outflank of the NYC and the Old New Haven line:

http://www.trainsarefun.com/

http://www.lirrhistory.com/

*****

[Bodwyn Wook

[all rights revert to holders

[8 September 2010]

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by Engineman Wook

The great question is, in the Stephensonian age when the basic layout of the high modern and late-modern steam locomotive was evolved, how did design engineers first arrive at the need to “shape” blast pipe rhythmic emissions with various nozzles?  What led them to perceive that mechanically to increase the geometrical area of the sides of the exhaust jets would effectively entrain more flue gases at a greater rate?
     In that connection the following question-and-answer exchange turned up by me online in the Summer is (more…)

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by Engineman Wook

This map by Mr Metzger although somewhat devoid of topographical features nonetheless gives an idea of the concentrated work done by the FCCA/CRP Beyer-Peacock 2-8-0s.  The Andes are an “oceanfront” range even more distinctly than the Himalayas looming over soaking Bangladesh, and so the climb up and down had to be accomplished, as you may see for yourselves, in a very short order indeed as the crow flies!
     Next, I hope to uncover a scale route profile for FCCA/CRP similar to those one sees of cut-away ranges, and track elevations through them, for the Big Boy and N&W and other “Pocahontas” carriers’ mountain routes, both Rocky and Appalachian.

[Engineman Wook

[all rights revert to holders

[8 September 2010]

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by Engineman Wook

The 2-8-0 wheel pattern emerged in the period of high modern steam locomotive building, at the end of the 1860s.  And all down the decades more engines on this arrangement were built than any other.  The Wikipedia links shown give some background on the Consolidation; and, how indeed numerous examples were produced for the US Army in WW II, eighty years on:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2-8-0

Many of these last were sent to England for use in moving the huge quantities of D-day material.  Some readers are doubtlessly familiar with the WW II story of how some Liberty ships broke apart under the stress of stormy seas; this was a consequence of  the hasty employment of a new mass-production welding method.  It was perhaps a recurring characteristic feature of the mass-production methods of mass-warfare that the American-built wartime export locomotives had characteristic design flaws centering on poor firebrick arch-supports; collapse of these underway produced several hellish crownsheet failures and murderous boiler explosions in English service:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USATC_S160_Class

However, regular readers will recall that I have been meditating a write-up on an exceptional example of the 2-8-0 as built in 1935 on the lines of the American design, by the English Beyer-Peacock company for the Central Railway of Peru. 

It served as a mountain hauler of ore trains at altitudes of (more…)

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