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Locomotives

Locomotives (21)

Sunday, 11 August 2013 05:22

rocket

Written by

Stephenson's Rocket - 24" Gauge Model

Rocket

Above, the "Rocket" is stored inside the museum's main building.
Photo by Tom Flanery.

Interesting facts

This half-scale model of the "Rocket" was built by employees of the Link Antique Steam Foundation in Fort Pierce, FL. It is an operating model, although it has been some years since it was last steamed up.

The Link Antique Steam Foundation was set up by Edwin A. Link, who also directed construction of the model. Link is best known as inventor of the flight simulator, but he also had a great interest in steam locomotives.

Mr. Link donated the "Rocket" to the museum in 1983. He also donated another 24" gauge steam locomotive, East Swamp & Gatorville No. 3 to our collection in 1990. No. 3 occasionally operated on a short section of track in Fort Pierce, where it is likely the Rocket may also have run.

You can find out more about Edwin A. Link on the East Swamp & Gatorville No. 3 page of our website.

Below, a sign on the side of the water barrel in the "Rocket's" tender gives information
about the model. Photo by Tom Flanery.

Rocket

The Original "Rocket"

The original "Rocket" was built in 1829 at the Forth Street Works of Robert Stephenson and Company in Newcastle Upon Tyne in the
United Kingdom. This was a time of rapid development of steam
engine technology and the design built upon Robert Stephenson's
and his father, George's, earlier experience of building locomotives.

Rocket

Above, a full scale replica of the "Rocket" in the Henry Ford Museum,
Dearborne, MI. Photo courtesy www.rgusrail.com.

The "Rocket" was actually built to compete in trials in Rainhill, Lancashire, for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, which was then nearing completion. The Directors of the L&MR ran the competition to decide whether stationary steam engines or locomotives should pull trains on the railway. Even if the company eventually chose to employ stationary engines, a prize of £500 was offered to the winning locomotive.

Ten locomotives were entered, including the "Rocket" but, on 6 October 1829, the day the competition began, only five actually began the tests. Over the next few days as the engines were subjected to various tests, the four other competitors progressively fell away, leaving the "Rocket" to win the £500 prize. The Directors also having decided to utilise locomotives rather than stationary engines, a contract was awarded to the Stephensons to produce more locomotives for the L&MR.

RFP 7 & C

Above, a contemporary engraving shows the enormous public interest in the Rainhill Trials. Image from the Illustrated London News.

 
Rocket

Above, a cutaway of the firebox, right hand cylinder and boiler on the replica "Rocket" at
the Rail Museum in York, UK.

The "Rocket" was the first 0-2-2 and first single driver locomotive ever built. It used a multi-tubular boiler design, although it is not correct
that the Stephensons were the inventors of this system. In 1827,
Marc Seguin converted an earlier Stephenson engine into the first multi-tube locomotive for the Saint-Étienne–Lyon railway, although
the Stephensons certainly improved on the design.

The use of fire-tubes to carry hot exhaust gas from the firebox
through the boiler greatly increased the surface contact area with
boiler water compared to a single large flue, which was at that time
the most common system. A much larger, separate firebox also produced more radiant heat, helped deliver better steaming and increased boiler efficiency.

The "Rocket" also incorporated a blastpipe, which fed the exhaust steam from the cylinders into the base of the chimney inducing a
partial vacuum and pulling air through the fire. Credit for the invention
of the blastpipe is disputed, although George Stephenson had used
it as early as 1814. This design feature was also to become
standard in later locomotive designs.

Rocket

Above, a comparison of the "Rocket" as it appeared, top, at the
Rainhill Trials and, bottom, just before the opening of the L&MR.
The engraving is from the Scientific American Supplement,
Vol. XVIII, No. 460, October 25, 1884.

When it entered the Rainhill Trials, the "Rocket" had two cylinders set at angle from the horizontal. Most earlier designs had their cylinders positioned vertically, which imparted an uneven swaying motion as the engines moved along the track.

By the time of the opening ceremony of the L&MR, on 15 September 1830, however, the "Rocket" had already undergone significant change, including re-setting the cylinders close to horizontal, a layout that influenced nearly all designs that followed. The firebox capacity had been enlarged, the shape simplified, a drum smokebox installed, and the stack shortened. The wooden wheels had also been replaced with cast iron ones, and the wooden tender with a metal water tank and coal bunker.

 
Rocket

Above, the original "Rocket", although much modified, on display at the Science
Museum in London.

The opening of the L&MR was a gala event, drawing luminaries from government and industry, including the Prime Minister, the Duke of Wellington. A parade of eight trains left Liverpool led by the "Northumbrian" driven by George Stephenson. The "Phoenix" driven by Robert Stephenson, the "North Star" driven by George's brother Robert Sr. and the "Rocket" driven by assistant engineer Joseph Locke followed.

However, celebrations were overshadowed by the death of William Huskisson, Member of Parliament for Liverpool, who was struck by the "Rocket" at Parkside.

At this time, the Stephenson's were experimenting with different designs, which the modified "Rocket" reflects, although it was soon superseded by more powerful locomotives like the 2-2-0 "Planet" built in 1830 before the L&MR opened, and the 2-2-2 "Patentee" of 1833.

The "Rocket" worked on the L&MR from 1830 to 1834, when it underwent further modifications to test a rotary steam engine developed by Lord Dundonald. It ran between 1836 and 1840 on Lord Carlisle's Railway near Brampton, in Cumberland (now Cumbria), England, and then apparently went through a number of uses, including supplying steam to a rotary engine, propelling a steamboat, driving small machinery in a shop in Manchester, and working in a brickyard.

At some point, the "Rocket" was bought by the Thompsons of Milton Hall, near Brampton, who sent it back to the Stephensons in Newcastle Upon Tyne. There it was returned to its c.1830 shape. In 1862 the locomotive was donated by the Thompsons to the Patent Office Museum (now the Science Museum) in London, where it can still be seen today.

Below, the "Rocket" is undoubtedly the most famous steam locomotive ever built. It has formed the basis of a board game, countless model-kits and jigsaw puzzles, and its image has appeared on objects as varied as stamps and t-shirts, cups and key rings, even a wall clock.

Sunday, 24 March 2013 20:12

esg3

Written by

Crown Metal Products 4-4-0 - East Swamp & Gatorville No. 3 (the "Link Train")

CMP Catalog

Above, a Crown Metal Products catalogue (date
unknown). Image courtesy Doug Corry.

Interesting facts

Although No. 3 was built as a coal burner, it is now operated using compressed air from a compressor housed in the caboose.

Between 1960 and the late 1980s, Crown Metal Products, owned by Ken Williams and headquartered in Wyano, PA produced over fifty steam locomotives for the amusement park industry. They were all 4-4-0 "American" types and were either 15", 24" or 36" gauge models.

Ken named his first train "Little Toot," which became a kind of brand name for all the locomotives built by Crown Metal. The company ceased to exist in the early 1990s, but most of its products continue to operate in parks around the country.

Below, the Link Train in the museum yard.

ESG 3 width=

History

No. 3 is a 24" gauge locomotive built at Crown Metal Products' works in Elizabeth, PA. It was
owned by Edwin A. Link, who is best known for
inventing the Link Trainer, an on-the-ground flight simulator used in World War II to train military
and civilian pilots.

No. 3 is coupled to two open passenger cars, an enclosed Parlor Car, and a "caboose" housing
the air compressor which currently powers the
train. Link named his train the East Swamp & Gatorville, but it is now known as the "Link Train."

Edwin Link

Edwin A. Link.

In the 1920s, Edwin Albert Link developed the Link Trainer, a device with a cockpit and controls that produced the motions and sensations of flying. Much of the pneumatic system was adapted directly from technology used in the family's automatic piano and organ factory, the Link Piano and Organ Company in Binghamton, NY. He then formed the Link Aeronautical Corporation in 1929 to manufacture the trainers. Ironically, his first customers were not flight training schools but amusement parks, where the early models served as amusement rides.

Link's first military sales came as a result of what the press dubbed the "Air Mail Scandal," when the U.S. Army Air Corps took over carriage of U.S. Air Mail in 1934. Twelve pilots were killed in a 78 day period due to their unfamiliarity with Instrument Flying Conditions. The large scale loss of life prompted the Air Corps to look at a number of solutions, including Link's trainer. Eventually, the Air Corps bought six, and the Link company then started to expand rapidly.

During World War II, the ANT-18 Basic Instrument Trainer, known to tens of thousands of fledgling pilots as the "Blue Box" (although it was painted in colors other than blue in other countries), became standard equipment at every air training school in the United States and Allied nations. During the war years, Link produced over 10,000 Blue Boxes, turning out one every 45 minutes, and more than half a million airmen were taught in Link Trainers, as well as many others in the Allied countries. They were also used at War Bond Drives (one was used at a Flagler Street rally.) A number of examples have survived around the world, and the Link Flight Trainer has been designated an Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark, by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Link Trainer

Above, a "Blue Box" at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, OR.

In 1953, Link established a foundation to support research and education in aeronautics and oceanography. The Link Foundation began awarding grants to universities and non-profit organizations, but Link was not just a pioneer in aviation.

After he sold his aeronautical company in 1954, he turned to underwater archeology and underwater research, developing equipment for deeper, longer lasting and more secure diving. He designed several submersible decompression chambers and the first small submersible designed for lockout diving, allowing divers to leave and enter the craft while underwater.

Steam trains were another of Link's interests, and he also established the Link Antique Steam Foundation, Inc., as well as building a track on the grounds of his Harbor Oceanographic Institute, in Ft. Pierce, FL for the East Swamp & Gatorville train. It was donated to us by the Institute in 1990, and now provides educational rides for our visitors on Saturdays and Sundays as well as during weekday school-group visits with advance notice.

 
ESG 3

Above, No. 3 in the museum yard.

No. 3 failed its hydrostatic inspection in 1998, when it was converted to compressed air. The company that checked the boiler for us said the flus were beyond repair. Up until then, it was operated on coal.

The Institute also donated a half-scale model of Robert Stephenson's steam engine, the "Rocket." The original, which was built 1829 in Newcastle Upon Tyne in the United Kingdom, incoprorated new design features that would become the template for most steam engines in the following 130 years.

Details

Status: On display, operational (using compressed air).
Acquisition Date: 1990.
Built: Crown Metal Products, Elizabeth Work Shop, Pennsylvania (date unknown).
Fuel: Coal burner as built / compressed air as operated now.
Cylinders (diameter x stroke): Two 4½ inches x 7 inches.
Working pressure: 175 psi under steam / 100 psi with compressed air.
Tractive effort: 1,100 lbs.
Air Brakes: Bendix-Westinghouse rotary compressor driven from front driving axle on engine.
Hand Brake in cab operated by engineer.
Valve gear: Stephenson (inside).
Height to top of cab: 5 feet 3 inches.
Height to top of stack: 6 feet 6 inches.
Length engine and tender: 19 feet.
Total weight, engine and tender dry: 6,000 lbs.
Total weight, engine and tender in working order in steam: 8,000 lbs.
Driving wheels: 18 inches diameter.

Below: the Link Train in December 2006. Photo by lazytom.

FEC 113
Thursday, 14 March 2013 23:32

winston48

Written by

ALCO 0-4-0 - Winston Co. No. 48

Winston 48

Above, No. 48 at the museum in December 2010.
Photo courtesy www.rgusrail.com.

Interesting facts

No. 48 is typical of small steam locomotives built for light industrial use, but it is also a relatively late example of one equipped with slide valves (the "box" just above the main cylinders on both sides at the front of the locomotive).

Most steam locomotives in the 19th century used slide valves to control the flow of steam into and out of the cylinders but, by the 1920s, they had largely been superseded by piston valves, particularly in engines using superheated steam.

As locomotive boiler and steam pressures increased, slide valves became prone to lifting off their seats wasting high pressure steam. In superheated locomotives, the steam was also drier, with virtually no water droplets as is the case with "saturated" steam and, as a result, little or no lubrication was supplied to the valves by the steam, which could sometimes lead to burnt valve faces.

Below, a closer look at No. 48's valves and running gear. It is equipped with Stephenson inside valve gear

(i.e. inside the main frame). The valve gear controls how much steam passes through the slide valve,

as well as putting the locomotive into reverse. Photo courtesy www.rgusrail.com.

Winston 48

History

No. 48 was built in 1922 at the ALCO-Cooke Works
in Paterson, NJ. The company started producing locomotives in 1852 as Danforth, Cooke & Co., but,
in 1901, merged with the following other small locomotive manufacturers to form the American Locomotive Company:

Brooks Locomotive Works, Dunkirk, NY
Dickson Manufacturing Company, Scranton, PA
Manchester Locomotive Works, Manchester, NH
Pittsburgh Locomotive & Car Works, Pittsburgh, PA
Rhode Island Locomotive Works, Providence, RI
Richmond Locomotive Works, Richmond, VA
Schenectady Locomotive Works, Schenectady, NY

 

ALCO

An advertisement for ALCO from Angus Sinclair's "Twentieth Century Locomotives" (1904).
Image courtesy www.rgusrail.com.

ALCO was formed to compete more effectively with the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, PA, which was then the largest locomotive manufacturer in the U.S. The new company was headquartered in Schenectady and eventually closed all the other manufacturing sites except for the main plant in Schenectady and its Canadian subsidiary, the Montreal Locomotive Works. From 1852 until it was closed in 1926, nearly 3,000 locomotives were built at the Cooke Works in Paterson.

ALCO became the second largest steam locomotive manufacturer in the U.S. after Baldwin, producing over 75,000 steam locomotives before ceasing production in 1953. Among these were such well known examples as the 4-6-4 (Hudson) and the 4-8-4 (Northern) built for the New York Central, and the 4-6-6-4 (Challenger) and the 4-8-8-4 (Big Boy) built for the Union Pacific. In 1906, the company briefly went into the automobile business before abandoning manufacture in 1913. It also produced the first commercially successful diesel-electric locomotive in 1924 in a consortium with General Electric (electrical equipment) and Ingersoll-Rand (diesel engine).

 

After purchasing the engine manufacturer, McIntosh & Seymour Diesel in 1929, ALCO began to produce its own diesel engines, although electrical equipment was still provided by GE. During World War II, in addition to steam and diesel locomotive production, the company built marine propulsion diesels, turbine shafts and boilers, tanks, gun carriages and munitions for the Allied war effort, which it continued throughout the Korean War. It then entered the oil production equipment and nuclear power plant markets. ALCO built its last diesel locomotives in January 1969, and left the market on December 31, 1969.

We have three ALCO diesels in our collection: Savannah River Site RS-1 No. 106, NASA S-2 No. 1, and Richmond, Federicksburg & Potomac S-2 No. C (converted to a "slug" in 1967).

Winston 48

No. 48 at the museum in December 2010. Photo courtesy www.rgusrail.com.

No. 48 is a 3 foot gauge 0-4-0 locomotive, meaning it has four driving wheels but no front or rear trucks. It was bought in 1922 by the Winston Company based in Edgefield, SC (the company is believed to be the Winston Arm's company, but this cannot be confirmed).

No. 48 stayed with the Winston Company for 12 years and then, in 1934, it was sold to the Birmingham Rail & Locomotive Co., a used locomotive dealership. The following year, it was bought by
Bona-Allen, Inc., a tannery in Buford, GA.

At a later, unknown date, it was bought by the Georgia Lumber Co., where it was renumbered No. 22, and was then sold to the Western North Carolina Scenic Railroad at Lake Lure, NC. This shortlived operation went bankrupt in 1968 and, the following year, No. 22 was sold to the Daniel Boone Railroad, which ran into the nearby woods and looped back to the front of the Daniel Boone Amusement Park owned by James Freeland in Hillsborough, NC. The ride included cowboys and Indians jumping on to act out a train robbery and gun fight.

Daniel Boone Railroad 22

Above, Duane Butner standing beside No. 22 when it was working on the
Daniel Boone Railroad. Photo courtesy Duane Butner.

Duane Butner wrote to GCRM and sent us a picture of him as a boy next to
No. 22 when it was working at the Daniel Boone Railroad. He also wrote about the locomotive on another page:

"[T]he lettering on the train was painted by an Apache Indian named “Apache Joe”. He painted most of all of the rides and signs for Mr. Freeland years ago. It was told to me that he also came from Arizona and when Apache Joe was nine years old he witnessed the U.S.Army escorting Geronimo through the reservation when he was a small boy... Once there was an incident when the train engineer Mr. Warren Hall, who has since passed away was driving the train when he forgot to put water in the steam engine boiler. He had to stop the train and the conductor who was a man by the name of Delmar Tudor had to tell everyone to evacuate the train, or as he said “it’s going to blow up!” Needless to say, everyone ran screaming away from the engine. Fortunately the train did not blow up as Mr. Hall stayed with the engine and cooled down the boiler as to prevent the fire department from putting any water on the hot engine. That was just one story I recall about this railroad."

Winston 48

Above, inside No. 48's cab. Photo courtesy www.rgusrail.com.

 

In 1983, No. 22 was sold to James Wells of Fairfax, VA, and the Daniel Boone Amusement Park is no more. Unfortunately, we don't know much about the locomotive's history after that date. It was donated to the museum by one of our members in 1993.

Details

Status: On display, cosmetically restored, not Operational.
Acquisition Date: 1993.
Built: 1922, ALCO-Cooke, Paterson, New Jersey.
Construction No: 63253.
Fuel: Coal.
Cylinders (diameter x stroke): Two 11 inches x 16 inches.
Working steam pressure: 165 psi.
Tractive effort: 8,900 lbs.
Valve gear: Stephenson.
Engine weight (empty): 42,000 lbs.
Driving wheels: 30½ inches diameter.
Weight on driving wheels: 42,000 lbs.

 

Click on the following link to order this book detailing how steam locomotives work:

Order How a Steam Locomotive Works Today!

A portion of the sale price of every book purchased
from AMAZON.COM through this link is donated to
the Gold Coast Railroad Museum.

Friday, 22 February 2013 19:28

fec153

Written by

ALCO 4-6-2 - Florida East Coast No. 153

FEC 113

Above, No. 153 at the museum in December 2010. Photo courtesy
www.rgusrail.com.

Interesting facts

No. 153 pulled President Calvin Coolidge's train to Miami when he was traveling to Havana, Cuba to give the opening address at the 6th Pan American Conference in January 1928.

During the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane, No. 153 pulled the last train out of the Florida Keys. It then took the “first look” train that assisted the rescue effort out of Marathon, Florida. As a result, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 21, 1985.

The 1935 hurricane was one of the most intense to make landfall in the United States in recorded history. A storm surge of approximately 18 to 20 feet, winds reaching 200 mph, and flying debris killed more than 400 people, including 259 World War I veterans employed on highway construction and federal relief work. More than half the Key West Extension of the Florida East Coast Railway was destroyed. The line was never rebuilt.

History

FEC 153

Another view of No. 153 at the museum in December 2010. Photo courtesy
www.rgusrail.com.

No. 153 was built in 1922 at the American Locomotive Company’s Schenectady, NY works. It was one of 17 “Light Pacific” type locomotives delivered to the Florida East Coast between 1920 and 1922 (Nos. 141-157), bringing the total roster to 87.

A “Pacific” type locomotive has a 4-6-2 wheel arrangement. The designation of “light” and “heavy” locomotives was formalised by the United States Railroad Administration during the final years of WWI. The USRA was formed in March 1918 to establish federal control over the railroad industry and ensure efficient operation during the war emergency. Terminals, facilities and shops were shared, uniform passenger ticketing was introduced, and competing services on different railroads were cut back. Standard locomotive and railroad car designs were instituted, and 1,856 steam locomotives and over 100,000 railroad cars were built to these designs before the USRA was wound down in 1920.

The USRA defined “light” and “heavy” in terms of railroad track's ability to withstand weight. Excessive axle weight could damage rails, loosen fastenings, and cause damage to the locomotive, and the USRA deemed a maximum of 54,000 pounds per driver axle as a “light” locomotive. Anything over that was designated “heavy.”

FEC 113

No. 153 fired up and getting ready to haul a weekend excursion at the Miami
Naval Station a few months after arriving at the museum.
Photo by James G. La Vake, Trains Magazine, vol 12, 1957.

No. 153 was in service on the Florida East Coast Railroad until 1938, hauling passenger and freight trains. In 1938, shortly before the FEC took delivery of its first diesel-electric locomotive, it was sold to the United States Sugar Corporation, where it was used to haul train loads of sugarcane from the company's fields to its mill in Clewiston, FL.

In February 1957, the engine was donated to the University of Miami. Dr. Jay F. W. Pearson, President of the University, accepted it at a ceremony held on the airship-landing pad of the old Naval Air Station, Richmond, which at that time was the University's South Campus. Our museum was founded that same year by a group associated with the University, the Miami Railroad Historical Society, who were dedicated to saving pieces of Florida's railroad history before they disappeared.

No. 153 was steamed up every Sunday in Miami from March 1957 until November 1966, when the Gold Coast Railroad Museum was forced to move to Fort Lauderdale for a period. In those days, $3.00 would buy members 30 minutes at the throttle!

 
FEC 153

MRHS President Bill Godfrey backing No. 153 at the Miami Naval Station
a few months after arriving at the museum. Photo by James G. La Vake,
Trains Magazine, vol 12, 1957.

In 1966, No. 153 received a $10,000 overhaul. The boiler was retubed, cleaned, and inspected, new superheater units were installed, the injectors were overhauled, staybolt caps were removed and specially designed “Gold Coast” staybolt sleeves were machined, a new “dry-pipe” and new firebrick lining were installed. The locomotive also got its original passenger type pilot back as well as new running boards and a new headlight bracket. When all the work was done, the engine was inspected and subsequently certified by the Interstate Commerce Commission.

Due to the never ending fight against time and deterioration, as well as damage from hurricane Andrew in 1992, No. 153 is currently out of service, although it received a cosmetic overhaul between 2000 and early 2002. However, you can read about firing up No. 153 on our "How to Boot a Steam Locomotive" page.

 
FEC 153

No. 153 in December 2010. Photo courtesy www.rgusrail.com.

Details

Status: On display, cosmetically restored, not Operational.
Acquisition Date: 1957.
Built: 1922, American Locomotive Company, Schenectady, New York.
Construction No: 63262.
Fuel: Oil burner (steam atomizing, FEC design).
Grate area: 47.1 sq feet.
Firebox area: 160 sq feet.
Number of boiler tubes, 2 inches diameter: 146.
Number of superheater flues, 5⅜ inches diameter: 21.
Boiler diameter at front course: 61 inches.
Total heating surface: 2,551 sq feet.
Evaporative heating surface: 2,111 sq feet.
Superheater heating surface: 440 sq feet.
Cylinders (diameter x stroke): Two 20 inches x 26 inches.
Piston valves diameter: 11 inches.
Working steam pressure: 180 psi.
Tractive effort: 28,314 lbs.
Factor of adhesion (weight on drivers/tractive effort): 4.47.
Top speed (approximately): 80 mph.
Injectors: Two Nathan Simplex Type "R".
Valve gear: Walschaert.
Power reverse gear: ALCO.
Lubricator: Nathan "Bullseye" 5 feeds.
Cab size: 10 feet 1 inch high x 8 feet 6 inches wide.
Height to top of stack: 14 feet 3⅝ inches.
Overall wheelbase (engine and tender): 63 feet 6½ inches.
Engine wheelbase: 32 feet 7 inches.
Driver wheelbase: 12 feet 4 inches.
Total weight, engine and tender in working order: 371,500 lbs.
Engine weight (empty): 204,000 lbs.
Driving wheels: 68 inches diameter.
Weight on driving wheels: 129,000 lbs.
Pilot truck wheels: 33 inches diameter.
Trailing truck wheels: 42 inches diameter.
Weight on trailing truck: 37,500 lbs.
Tender weight (empty): 162,000 lbs.
Tender capacity, oil: 3,500 US gallons.
Tender capacity, water: 7,338 US gallons.

Click on the following link to order books about the history of the Florida East Coast Railway and locomotive 153's rescue effort after the 1935 Florida Keys hurricane:


Order The Railroad That Died at Sea: The Florida East Coast's Key West Extension Today!

A portion of the sale price every book purchased from AMAZON.COM through this link is donated to the Gold Coast Railroad Museum.

Friday, 22 February 2013 00:14

rfpc

Written by

ALCO S-2 - Richmond, Federicksburg & Potomac No. C

RFP C

Above, RF&P No. C in the yard in May 2010. Photo by Eric Kreszl.

Interesting facts

In railroad parlance, this locomotive is a "slug". It has traction motors but no engine or generator. The electric current for the motors is provided by a "mother" unit, a standard locomotive connected by cable connections to feed current to the slug. Without this power source, a slug cannot move by itself and is not therefore a true locomotive.

Diesel-electric slugs began appearing in the 1940s as manufacturers started to incorporate multiple-unit train control as standard. The first multiple unit traction control system was developed by Frank Sprague and applied on the South Side Elevated Railroad (now part of the Chicago 'L') in 1897. It allows simultaneous control of all the traction equipment in a train from a single locomotive.

Slugs are usually built by the railroads that operate them by de-powering existing cab units, although manufacturers like General Motors and General Electric have built them from scratch. The cab is generally removed to provide increased visibility for crews in the "mother" unit.

RFP 7 & C

No. C with RF&P EMD SW1500 No. 7 at Potomac Yard on January 14th, 1972. Photo
by Marty Bernard.

History

The Richmond, Federicksburg & Potomac bought 22 S-2 end-cab switchers from the American Locomotive Company between 1942 and 1948. No. 71 was one of the last batch of 10 delivered in September 1948 (Nos. 62-71). The RF&P then rebuilt three of its S-2s into slugs in late 1967: No. 62 as "A," No. 70 as "B," and No. 71 as "C."

Slugs allow better use of a locomotive's power output at low speeds, and most have therefore been built to use in switching yards, although some road-switchers have been adapted as slugs for mainline service. At low speeds, a diesel-electric locomotive engine can generate more electric power than its traction motors can use effectively. By increasing the number of traction motors available to the locomotive, a slug thereby increases both pulling and braking power. In addition the load on each traction motor is reduced, which helps prevent overheating. Slugs typically also carry ballast to increase their weight and improve traction.

RFP 7 & C

No. C with RF&P EMD SW1500 No. 7 at Potomac Yard on April 7th, 1977.
Photo by Tim Darnell.

The RF&P slugs spent their working life switching in Potomac Yard in Alexandria, VA just across the Potomac River from Washington, DC.

Potomac Yard opened on October 15, 1906. It was operated by the Richmond-Washington Company, which controlled the RF&P, and was in turn jointly owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Southern Railway, Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, and Seaboard Air Line Railway. Potomac Yard was intended to bring some order to the capital's mishmash of active and abandoned rail lines, and during its heyday in the 1930s, it was one of the busiest rail yards on the Eastern Seaboard.

The S-2 (the "S" stands for "switcher") was ALCO's most successful diesel-electric locomotive. Between 1940 and 1950, 1,505 were built: 1,465 at ALCO's works in Schenectady of which 1,442 were for U.S. railroads and 23 for the National de Mexico, and 40 at ALCO's subsidiary the Montreal Locomotive Works in Canada all of which were for Canadian railroads.

Most of the RF&P's S-2s were sold to other railroads or dealers in the mid-late 1960s, although a few held on into the 1970s and early 1980s. We acquired No. C
in 1983, and have since been using it to provide parts for our other ALCO locomotives.
We also have an unmodified S-2, NASA No. 1, in our collection.

Details

Status: On Display, Not Operational.
Acquisition Date: 1983.
Built: ALCO 1948 / Converted to a slug by the RF&P 1967.
Serial: 76171.
Length: 44 feet 5 inches.
Height to Top Engine Hood: 12 feet 1 inch.
Traction Motors: Four GE 731.
Trucks: Two 4-Wheel.
Truck Wheelbase: 8 feet.
Wheel Diameter: 40 inches.
Configuration: B-B.
Air Brake: Westinghouse 14EL.

Click on the following link to order this photo-packed history of American diesel-electric locomotives built between 1930 and 1960:

Order Vintage Diesel Power Today!

A portion of the sale price of every book purchased
from AMAZON.COM through this link is donated to
the Gold Coast Railroad Museum.

Thursday, 21 February 2013 01:07

nasa1

Written by

ALCO S-2 - NASA No. 1

NASA 1

No. 1 at the museum in 1997. Photo by G Gerard.

Interesting facts

The S-2 (the "S" stands for "switcher") was the American Locomotive Company's most successful diesel-electric locomotive: between 1940 and 1950, 1,505 were built, 1,465 at ALCO's works in Schenectady and 40 at its subsidiary the Montreal Locomotive Works in Canada.

No. 1 was the first locomotive placed in service by the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, where it was employed to move spacecraft components and chemical fuels on the Space Center property.

Built in 1965, NASA's two 2,750 ton crawler vehicles, used to move rockets between the Vehicle Assembly Building and launch pads at Cape Canaveral, are also powered by two ALCO 2750 hp V16 diesel engines. When built, the crawlers were the world’s largest self-powered land vehicles.

NASA 1

Above, NASA No. 1 in the museum yard in 2005. Photo by Virgil Fitzpatrick.

History

No. 1 was one of 23 S-2 units built for the U.S. Department of Defense by ALCO in 1943. It was originally numbered 7102, and worked at the Richmond Quartermaster Depot in Virginia. In the late 1970s, it was one of three U.S. Army S-2s transferred to the NASA Railroad.

In 1963, the Florida East Coast Railway built a 7½ mile connection from its mainline just north of Titusville, FL to join NASA track at a junction called Wilson’s Corners. The 38 mile NASA Railroad was also built by the FEC in 1963. East of Wilson Corners, the line divides, with a 9 mile branch south to NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building and the Kennedy Space Center Industrial Area, and another 9 mile branch goes east to the NASA launch pads and an interchange with U.S. Air Force track. The primary traffic on the NASA Railroad consists of solid rocket booster segment cars, each car delivering a 32 foot long, 12 foot diameter, 150 ton quarter segment of the two booster rockets used on the space shuttle.

 
NASA 1

No. 1 at the museum in 2007. Photo by Eric Kreszl.

The Florida East Coast initially provided track maintenance, crews and locomotive power for arriving and departing traffic but, because of its hazardous operational nature, NASA bought the line in June 1983 and proceeded to upgrade it. That year, NASA also bought three EMD SW-1500 switchers built in 1968 and 1970 from the Toledo, Peoria & Western Railway to replace its aging S-2s. No. 1 was then donated to the Museum. The locomotive is operational and is occasionally used to position Museum rail equipment and can sometimes be seen giving Cab Rides on the property on weekends.

The S-2 was the 1000 hp outgrowth of a series of prototype and production end-cab switchers built by ALCO during the 1930s (the S-1 was the 660 hp version). Sinking the 539 engine into an opening in the center of the underframe allowed reduction of the hood height by 2 foot 3 inches, improving crew visibility and bringing the design into line with its main competitors built by EMD and Baldwin. The radiator assembly was also relocated to the front of the hood, and the generator was reversed to keep short piping runs to the radiator assembly. The new design had excellent low speed performance under heavy loads, and proved highly competitive in the market in the 1950s.


Details

Status: On Display, Restored, Operational.
Acquisition Date: 1983.
Built: ALCO 1943.
Serial: 70220.
Weight: 229,700 pounds.
Length: 44 feet 5 inches.
Height to Top Engine Hood: 12 feet 1 inch.
Height to Top of Cab: 14 feet 5 inches.
Horsepower: 1000.
Engine: 6L 4-cycle Model 539T.
Main Generator: GE-GT553
Auxiliary Generator: GE SMG139.
Traction Motors: Four GE 731.
Trucks: Two 4-Wheel.
Truck Wheelbase: 8 feet.
Wheel Diameter: 40 inches.
Configuration: B-B.
Air Brake as Built: Westinghouse 14EL.
Compressor: Westinghouse 3CD.
Starting Tractive Effort: 69,000 @ 30%.
Continuous Tractive Effort: 29,200 lbs @ 6 mph.
Top Speed: 60 mph.

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Saturday, 16 February 2013 01:28

sav106

Written by

ALCO RS-1 - Savannah River Site No. 106

GCOX 106

No. 106 at the museum in 1997. Photo courtesy G Gerard.

Interesting facts

ALCO's RS-1 (the "RS" stands for "road switcher") had the longest production run of any U.S. built diesel-electric locomotive, although only 417 were built between 1941 and 1960.

The RS-1's carbody design, with its raised, offset cab to give engine crews better visibility, and its narrow hood with side walkways to facilitate train crew mobility, pioneered the road switcher type. Almost every road switcher built by ALCO and other manufacturers after its introduction followed this same basic design.

The first 13 production RS-1s, originally ordered by five U.S. Railroads, were requisitioned by the U.S. Army in 1942, re-manufactured by ALCO into 6-axle RSD-1s and shipped to the Trans Iranian Railroad to supply the Soviet Union as part of the Allied war effort during WWII.

GCOX 106

No. 106 at the museum in May 2010. Photo by Eric Kreszl.

History

No. 106 was built at the American Locomotive Company's Schenectady works in 1951 for the Savannah River Site, a 310 square mile nuclear facility located next to the Savannah River in South Carolina. The site was owned by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, although the facilities were built and operated by I. E. DuPont. The site is currently owned by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The site’s railroad operations stretched over 60 miles of track, with 4 RS-1s (Nos. 105-107) delivering materials within the site. The Classification Yard near the Dunbarton town site was responsible for operating the rolling stock and maintaining the tracks, which connected with the Atlantic Coast Line at Dunbarton and the Charleston & Western Railroad at Ellenton.

The Department of Energy donated No. 106 to the museum in 1989. We have repainted it as GCRM (Gold Coast Railroad Museum) 106.

ALCO 589T

An ALCO-GE advertisement for the 589T, the diesel
engine used in the RS-1. Image courtesy The
Tugboat Enthusiasts Society of the Americas.

The RS-1 was the product of a relatively shortlived partnership between the American Locomotive Company and General Electric Transportation Systems that lasted from 1940 to 1953. Under the joint arrangement, ALCO produced locomotive bodies and engines, and GE supplied the electrical gear.

GE had previously built electric locomotives in partnership with ALCO and Ingersoll-Rand beginning in the early 1900s. The partnership was formalized in 1923, and a series of diesel-electric boxcab switchers were also produced from 1924 (ALCO built the body, chassis and running gear, GE the generator, motors and controls, and Ingersoll Rand the diesel engine). ALCO dropped out of the arrangement in 1929 after acquiring the diesel engine manufacturer, McIntosh & Seymour, and went on to start its own line of diesel switchers. GE briefly continued working with Ingersoll-Rand and then, from 1931, started its own line of switchers.

Although then primarily a producer of steam locomotives, ALCO recognized the potential value of the diesel market. It produced a series of stock demonstrator models in 1931 and 1932, but was slow to capitalize on the emerging market: by 1940, it had produced just 187 diesel switchers, as well as 5 DL series passenger diesels. General Motors Electro Motive Division, by contrast, had over the same period built nearly 200 switchers, over 80 passenger cab units, 50 freight cab units, and 22 railcars, streamliner trainsets, and experimental locomotives. Baldwin Locomotive Works, working in partnership with Westinghouse, was also then joining the field with the first of its VO series switchers.

In this context, a new ALCO-GE partnership appeared to make sense. It was advertised as expert in the production of steam, electric, and diesel-electric motive power, and promised "the broad experience, the impartiality, and the equipment to give you the right power for each job." One of the first requests came from the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, seeking a multi-purpose unit that would take advantage of the diesel-electric's much greater availability than steam to alternate easily between passenger, branchline, switching, and road service. The result was the RS-1.

GCOX 106

No. 106 at the museum in April 2009. Photo by Eric Kreszl.

The new unit used the 1000 hp 539T engine frame from ALCO's DL series and S-2 switcher, but extended it by 8 feet 6 inches to allow a short hood to be added behind the cab to accommodate a steam generator for passenger service. The resulting 31 foot long frame had room for an 800 gallon under-frame water tank to feed the steam generator and, in the freight-only version, this tank could be used to augment the 800 gallon fuel tank beneath the cab floor.

The RS-1 was also the first ALCO unit to be equipped with General Steel Casting's B-trucks, later to become standard for ALCO general-purpose locomotives. To provide better stability, the trucks had a 9 foot 4 inch wheelbase, compared to the S-2's 8 foot span.

Soon after receiving an order for 2 units from the Rock Island, a similar request came from the Atlanta & St. Andrews Bay Railway. ALCO delivered 2 units to each railroad in March 1941, but take up from there was slow. By October 1942, when the nation's War Production Board requisitioned them for war service, only 13 RS-1s had been built or were in production.

GCOX 106

No. 106 at the museum in April 2009. Photo by Eric Kreszl.

During their second partnership, ALCO-GE developed the RS-1 to RS-3 series, the S-1 to S-5, RSD-1 to RSD-5, RSC-1 to RSC-2, and DL-105 to DL-305, but the relationship was sometimes strained. The final break in October 1953 probably reflected GE's growing conviction that it needed to be its own master if it was to compete effectively with the then dominant diesel manufacturer, EMD. It was clear that the future lay in the diesel road locomotive, but GE was apparently not convinced that ALCO would make the necessary investment to grow that market for the partnership.

Coincidentally, December 1953 saw the last ever steam locomotive built for a U.S.
mainline operator, 0-8-0 No. 244, outshopped by the Norfolk & Western Railway from its Roanoke, VA shops. ALCO had built its last steam locomotive, Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad 2-8-4 No. 9406, in June 1948 although, by that time,
ALCO-GE had a respectable 40% of the diesel market. After GE terminated the arrangement, ALCO continued producing diesel-electrics, including the RS-1, buying electrical equipment from GE, although it was no longer GE's sole customer.

NdeM 8006

NdeM No. 8006, a GE UD18 in Mexico City, October 1975. Photo copyright
Raymundo Collada.

GE entered the diesel-electric market in 1956, with the 1800 hp UD18 unit, and its 1060 hp U9B appeared the following year, both similar in key design features to ALCO's offerings. Although all 23 were exported to South America, the competition was clearly hotting up!

In 1957, ALCO carried out a major plant modernization at Schenectady to facilitate diesel production. Part of the site was sold, a number of buildings were demolished, and new assembly lines were installed, but this was too little, too late. GE soon took the number two position from ALCO, and would eventually even surpass EMD in overall production.

Distracted by over-diversification and recurring labor troubles, struggling to maintain service standards with a reducing market sector, shrinking order book and falling profits, ALCO gradually succumbed to the competition, and its last production diesel-electric units were two T-6 switchers delivered to the Newburgh & South Shore Railway in Cleveland, OH in January 1969. The company finally left the market on December 31, 1969.

After locomotive production ceased, the designs, although not the engine development rights, were transferred to the Montreal Locomotive Works, ALCO's Canadian subsidiary originally purchased in 1904, which continued their manufacture. The diesel engine business was sold to the White Motor Corporation in 1970, which formed it into White Industrial Power. In 1977 White Industrial Power was sold to the British General Electric Company (not related to the U.S. General Electric), which renamed the unit Alco Power, Inc. The business was subsequently sold to the Fairbanks-Morse Corporation, which continues to manufacture ALCO-designed engines, in addition to its own designs. ALCO designs were also manufactured in Australia by A. E. Goodwin until 1972.

But, the diesel-electric locomotives ALCO built have been great survivors, and many still work on regional and tourist railroads across the United States and Canada. We still use No. 106 occasionally for yard work at the museum, and also have two other ALCOs in our collection: NASA S-2 No. 1, and Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad S-2 "C."

 
GCOX 106

No. 106 in the museum yard, December 2010.
Photo courtesy www.rgusrail.com.

Details

Status: On Display, Restored, Operational.
Acquisition Date: 1989.
Built: ALCO 1951.
Serial: 79051.
Weight: 240,000 pounds.
Length: 54 feet 11 inches.
Height to Top Engine Hood: 12 feet 2 inches.
Height to Top of Cab: 14 feet 4 inches.
Horsepower: 1000.
Engine: 6L 4-cycle Model 539T.
Main Generator: GE-GT553
Auxiliary Generator: GE GMG144.
Traction Motors: Four GE 731.
Trucks: Two 4-Wheel.
Truck Wheelbase: 9 feet 4 inches.
Wheel Diameter: 40 inches.
Configuration: B-B.
Air Brake as Built: Westinghouse 6L.
Compressor: Westinghouse CD.
Starting Tractive Effort: 60,000 lbs @ 25%.
Continuous Tractive Effort: 34,000 lbs @ 8 mph.
Top Speed: 60 mph.

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Monday, 11 February 2013 00:18

fec113

Written by

ALCO 4-6-2 - Florida East Coast No. 113

FEC 113

Above, No. 113 at the museum in December 2010. Photo courtesy
www.rgusrail.com.

Interesting facts

Since it was delivered new to the Florida East Coast Railway in 1913, “Pacific” type locomotive No. 113 has never left the state of Florida.

A “Pacific” locomotive has a 4-6-2 wheel arrangement, which means that it has 4 small wheels on a two-axle front pilot truck, 6 large coupled driving wheels on three axles, and 2 small wheels on a rear single-axle trailing truck.

The two earliest known 4-6-2 locomotives were developed in the U.S. They were experimental designs rebuilt from existing 4-6-0 locomotives by the Lehigh Valley Railroad in 1887, and the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway in 1889, but neither went into production.

The first true “Pacifics,” designed and built as such, were 13 Q class locomotives ordered from Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, PA by the New Zealand Railways Department in 1901. The name probably derives from the fact that a New Zealand designer, NZR Chief Mechanical Engineer, A. L. Beattie, first proposed it, and the country of New Zealand is located in the Pacific region.

History

FEC 113

No. 113 at Rockledge, FL on an unknown date.
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,
http://floridamemory.com/items/show/146842.

No. 113 was one of 60 “Pacifics” built for the Florida East Coast Railway at the American Locomotive Company’s Schenectady, NY works between 1910 and 1917 (Nos. 77-136). We don't know much about No. 113's operating history, other than that it was used in regular revenue passenger and freight service over the entire Florida East Coast system. Originally a "saturated steam" locomotive, some time in the early 1920s it was superheated, which brought it up to the same specification as the 1922 ALCO-built FEC 151 class, an example of which, No. 153, is also in our collection.

Put as simply as possible, saturated steam is only as hot as the temperature at which it has reached boiling point. As a result, when its temperature drops, this so called "wet" steam quickly condenses and produces water droplets. In a steam locomotive, condensation can occur in the steam pipes and cylinders outside the boiler. This reduces the steam volume and therefore requires more water to be evaporated to produce a set volume of steam. The build up of water in a locomotive's cylinders is also dangerous, as water is less easily compressed than steam and could blow off the cylinder heads when under pressure. To reduce this potential problem, the cylinders are fitted with small exhaust ports called cylinder cocks, which allow the water to be expelled under steam pressure.

Superheating involves taking saturated steam from the boiler into a superheater header inside the smokebox. The steam then passes through a number of long pipes fitted inside specially widened boiler tubes known as “flues” that further heat the steam. This increases its thermal energy and decreases the likelihood that it will condense inside the locomotive's steam pipes and cylinders. The main disadvantages are the cost of the superheater apparatus, the additional maintenance, and the adverse effect "dry" steam can have on the lubrication of moving parts such as steam valves. Nevertheless, over the normal life of a steam locomotive, these disadvantages are far outweighed by the advantages of reduced fuel and water consumption.

In 1938, No. 113 was sold to the United States Sugar Corporation.

FEC 113

No. 113 hauling a load of sugarcane while working for the United States
Sugar Corporation (date and location unknown). State Archives of Florida,
Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/25987.

Again, we know little about 113's working life at the United States Sugar Corporation, but it was probably used mainly to haul train loads of sugarcane from the company's fields to its mill in Clewiston, FL on the south side of Lake Okeechobee. It would also have switched at the yard in Clewiston, where it was based and worked into the early 1960s.

United States Sugar donated No. 113 to the Gold Coast Railroad in 1969. At that time, the museum was located in Fort Lauderdale, where No. 113 regularly steamed at weekends. After it moved to Miami with the rest of our collection in 1984, it continued to haul short excursions at the museum. In 1986 it also headed a one-time special eighteen miles from the Miami Zoo to Homestead and back. It was retired in 1992 and, for the next few years, remained on display.

One of our members then started a restoration project on No. 113, but this was later abandoned. The locomotive was cosmetically restored in 2009 but, unfortunately, the front number plate was misplaced during the restoration, and we haven't been able to locate it. As No. 113’s pistons are pretty much locked in place because of age and lack of lubrication, we have also removed the main and eccentric rods to allow it to be moved by one of our diesel-electrics.

FEC 113

A view of No. 113 in the museum yard taken in December 2010.
Photo courtesy www.rgusrail.com.

Details

Status: On display, cosmetically restored, not Operational.
Acquisition Date: 1969.
Built: 1913, American Locomotive Company, Schenectady, New York.
Construction No: 53902.
Fuel: Oil burner (steam atomizing, FEC design).
Grate area: 47.1 sq feet.
Firebox area: 160 sq feet.
Number of boiler tubes, 2 inches diameter: 146.
Number of superheater flues, 5⅜ inches diameter: 21.
Boiler diameter at front course: 61 inches.
Total heating surface: 2,551 sq feet.
Evaporative heating surface: 2,111 sq feet.
Superheater heating surface: 440 sq feet.
Cylinders (diameter x stroke): Two 20 inches x 26 inches.
Piston valves diameter: 11 inches.
Working steam pressure: 180 psi.
Tractive effort: 28,314 lbs.
Factor of adhesion (weight on drivers/tractive effort): 4.47.
Top speed (approximately): 80 mph.
Injectors: Two Nathan Simplex Type "R".
Valve gear: Walschaert.
Power reverse gear: ALCO.
Lubricator: Nathan "Bullseye" 5 feeds.
Cab size: 10 feet 1 inch high x 8 feet 6 inches wide.
Height to top of stack: 14 feet 3⅝ inches.
Overall wheelbase (engine and tender): 63 feet 6½ inches.
Engine wheelbase: 32 feet 7 inches.
Driver wheelbase: 12 feet 4 inches.
Total weight, engine and tender in working order: 371,500 lbs.
Engine weight (empty): 204,000 lbs.
Driving wheels: 68 inches diameter.
Weight on driving wheels: 129,000 lbs.
Pilot truck wheels: 33 inches diameter.
Trailing truck wheels: 42 inches diameter.
Weight on trailing truck: 37,500 lbs.
Tender weight (empty): 162,000 lbs.
Tender capacity, oil: 3,500 US gallons.
Tender capacity, water: 7,338 US gallons.

Below: Another view of No. 113 in the museum yard taken in December 2010. Photo courtesy www.rgusrail.com.

FEC 113

 

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Monday, 28 January 2013 00:38

acl1804

Written by

EMD GP7 - Atlantic Coast Line (ACL) No. 1804

ACL 1804

Left, No. 1804 at the museum in December 2010.
Photo courtesy www.rgusrail.com.

Interesting facts

The GP7 was the first in General Motors Electro Motive Division's "GP" series. GP stood for "General Purpose," and the number "7" was used because EMD's E7 and F7 cab units, as well as its SW7 switcher, were all in production at the same time.

During its early development, the GP7 was described by EMD's then Chief Engineer, Dick Dilworth, as being so ugly that no railroad would want it seen on their mainline or anywhere near their head office.

The model is often referred to as a "Geep" but, as the name took hold, EMD General Manager, Nelson Dezendorf, issued a memo to staff pointing out that a jeep was actually a four wheel military vehicle, and forbade the use of the term in the company's offices.

Below, No. 1804 in the museum yard in April 2009. Photo by Eric Kreszl.

ACL 1804

History

After WWII, a growing number of U.S. railroads began the shift from steam to diesel motive
power, and the reasons were overwhelmingly
economic.

Steam locomotives needed large pools of labor
to maintain and run them, as well as sizeable servicing, coaling, and watering facilities. Diesel locomotives, by contrast, required far less time
and labor to operate and maintain. They also had much higher thermal efficiency, more than 40% compared to about 6% for a single expansion steam locomotive, had higher power-to-weight ratios, and caused less damage to tracks because they had no unevenly balanced reciprocating parts like a steam locomotive's connecting rods (an effect called "hammering" that increases with speed).

Although EMD's F and E units had proven popular, the company's first foray into the road-switcher market was much less successful: its BL2 sold only 58 units in the 14 months of production from April 1948 to May 1949. Road-switchers were designed to deliver or pick up cars from yards across a railroad's system, including branch lines. As a result, they needed to have the power rating and cooling capacity to operate at road speeds, as well as being able to run in both directions when switching. Alco, Fairbanks-Morse, and Baldwin had all produced road switchers before EMD, and one of these, Alco's RS-1, would go on to have the longest production run of any diesel-electric locomotive in the U.S. (we have an RS-1 in our collection, Savannah River Plant No. 106). In 1947, branch lines made up 80% of U.S. rail mileage, so this was a market EMD could not ignore!

EMD 567B

The 567B engine was used on EMD's F3-F7 units, as well as the GP7.

The company's response, the GP7, was a product of lessons learned from the BL2, as well as borrowings from its competitors. It mimicked Alco's RS series car body design, with the long hood accommodating the engine, generator, and other equipment and the short hood providing facilities for the crew. The narrow hood allowed gangways with grab rails, greatly improved visibility for the engine crew, and better manoeuvrability for the switching crew. By the time the GP7 went into production, Alco had already produced its second road-switcher model, the RS-2, and EMD matched its 1500 hp rating with a 16 cylinder 567B engine.

After promotion of three demonstrator units, Nos. 100, 200 and 300, the GP7 proved highly popular, and EMD could barely keep up with the initial demand, even after opening a second assembly plant in Cleveland, OH. Of the 2,734 units built between October 1949 and May 1954, 2,615 were for U.S. railroads, 112 were for Canadian railroads, and 2 for Mexican railroads. Only five cabless GP7B units were built, all for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway in 1953.

ARR 1834

No. 1834 in Fairbanks, AK, in March 1973. Note the large box-like hatch on the rear
high hood covering the "winterizing kit." Photo courtesy of Daniel Napoliello.

No. 1804 was delivered as No. 1834, one of twenty GP7s bought by the U.S. Army in 1951 (Nos. 1821-1840). They were built with high front hoods, small, 800 gallon fuel tanks, no dynamic brakes and switcher trucks of the type used on EMD's SW7.

In 1960, thirteen of the U.S. Army units, including No. 1834, were sold to the Alaska Railroad where they were equipped with "winterizing kits." These large, box-like structures fitted over the last roof blower contained a set of louvers that could be set to allow exhaust to vent directly into the air during summer or to direct the hot exhaust back down into the engine room to warm the compressor, alternator and other components in winter.

Five years later, the original high end front hood was chopped down. Larger fuel tanks were fitted, and the switcher trucks were swapped out with AAR Type B trucks from Alaska Railroad's RF1 units. (Originally built as three axle RSD-1 units by Alco, these had been converted for the Alaska Railroad in 1949-50 to two axle, shrouded-hood RF1 units by the Puget Sound Bridge and Dry Dock Co. in Seattle.)

ARR 1804

No. 1804 standing in the yard in Fairbanks, AK, in June 1978. Photo courtesy
of Keith Ardinger.

In 1976, No. 1834 was one of nine Alaska Railroad GP7s to be refurbished at the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad’s shops in Paducah, KY. Shortly after, it was renumbered 1804.

The first prototype rebuild of No. 1821 was carried out by Morrison-Knudsen in Boise, ID, but M-K was then outbid by the ICG for the next nine units. The work included overhauling the prime mover, increasing hp by 1000, installing new modular electrical systems and AAR-type control stands, and replacing the Westinghouse 24L brakes with 26L. The low hood was redesigned, and a new cab installed of the type used on Alaska Railroad's GP40 units, although slightly smaller. These were designed to protect the crew from the harsh winter weather, with inside heating and a single, small cab window on each side.

The ICG started rebuilding its own GP units at the Paduca shops in the early 1970s, but also carried out rebuilds for Conrail and the Rock Island, as well as the Alaska Railroad. Unofficially, the rebuilds are known as GP10 units, although rebuilt GP7s are also sometimes referred to as GP7u units.

ARR 1804

No.1804 and McCloud River No. 39 cresting the top of Algoma Hill with an eastbound
on one of the few trips the unit made over this railroad. Photo from the Travis Berryman
collection.

By 1988, No. 1804 had been sold to FSA Rebuilding of Pico Rivera, CA, and was standing off its trucks with its "winterizing kit" removed in a scrap yard at Klamath Falls, OR, along with No. 1810, originally Alaska Railroad No. 1821, the prototype unit rebuilt by the M-K shops. The two units were then bought by the McCloud River Railroad in 1989. Returned to operating condition in 1991, No. 1804 saw limited service on that railroad, largely because of its tendency to spray sparks and cause trackside fires when operating in dynamic-braking mode.

Dynamic braking uses the electric traction motors in the trucks of a railroad locomotive as generators to assist in slowing the locomotive. The generated electrical power is dissipated as heat in brake grid resistors (known as rheostatic braking), or the power is returned to the main supply (regenerative braking). Dynamic braking lowers the wear of friction-based braking components, and regeneration can also lower energy consumption. The electrical energy produced by the motors in rheostatic braking is dissipated as heat by a bank of onboard resistors, and large cooling fans are needed to protect them from damage. Modern systems have thermal monitoring, so if the temperature of the bank becomes excessive, it will be switched off, and the braking will revert to friction only.

NIS 1804

Above, No. 1804 as it appeared in "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory." Photo taken by Vincent Porreca.
Part of the John Barnhill Collection.

On July 1, 1992 parent company Itel Rail sold the McCloud River Railroad to the newly created McCloud Railway Company, although Itel retained ownership of No. 1804. McCloud Railway then bought No. 1804 sometime in early 1993, but did not keep it long, as it had been resold to Nevada Industrial Switch by late spring 1993.

NIS had an active locomotive leasing and resale business, and leased No. 1804 to Corn Products in Stockton, CA. It also appeared with No. 1810 in "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory," the 1995 sequel to "Under Siege" starring Steven Seagal. The film is set on board a passenger train traveling through the Rocky Mountains from Denver to Los Angeles that is hijacked by terrorists.

Both locomotives were in their NIS colors but were lettered as "Grand Continental." They were operated by Southern Pacific crews, and No. 1804 was the lead unit.

NIS 1804

Above, No. 1804 starring in "Lethal Weapon 4." Photo copyright Steve Crise/Scrise.com.

After filming, both GP7s went into storage in Exeter, CA.

In 1997, No. 1804 was sold to the Santa Clarita Railroad, a movie prop company in Saugus, CA. The following year it returned to the screen still sporting its NIS livery, but with the "Grand Continental" name removed, in "Lethal Weapon 4." This buddy-cop-martial-arts-action-thriller directed by Richard Donner, starred Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Rene Russo, Chris Rock and Jet Li. No. 1804 was shot on location in downtown Los Angeles at the Los Angeles River and Union Pacific crossing on North Main Street plowing into one of the villains' cars. After filming, No. 1804 worked for a short time on the Pacific Harbor Lines in Los Angeles.

We bought No. 1804 from the Santa Clarita Railroad. It was shipped "dead" (i.e. without power) by train to Miami in December 2002 along with ex-Pennsylvania Railroad EMD E8 No. 5794, painted as Florida East Coast No. 1854, to join our collection. Painted in Atlantic Coast Line colors, No. 1804 is currently the workhorse of the museum, is regularly used to position museum rail equipment, and often gives cab rides on the property on weekends.

Details

Status: On Display, Restored, Operational.
Acquisition Date: December 2002.
Built: EMD 1951 / Rebuilt: ICG 1976.
Serial: 15704.
Weight: 246,000 pounds.
Length: 55 feet 11 inches.
Height to Top of Cab: 14 feet 6 inches.
Horsepower as Built: 1500 / Rebuilt: 1600.
Engine: 567B 16 cylinder.
Generator: GM-D12.
Traction Motors: Four GM-D27B.
Trucks: Two 4-Wheel.
Truck Wheelbase: 9 feet.
Wheel Diameter: 40 inches.
Configuration: B-B.
Air Brake as Built: Westinghouse 24L / Rebuilt: 26L.
Compressor: Gardner-Denver WBO.
Starting Tractive Effort: 65,000 lbs @ 25%.
Continuous Tractive Effort: 40,000 lbs @ 9.3 mph.
Top Speed: 65 mph.

Click on the following link to order this comprehensive overview of one of the greatest diesel-electric locomotive makers in the world:

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from AMAZON.COM through this link is donated to
the Gold Coast Railroad Museum.

Friday, 18 January 2013 22:05

sal4033

Written by

EMD F3 / FP10 - Seaboard Air Line (SAL) No. 4033

SBD 4033

SAL 4033 sitting in our yard in 2005. Photo by Mark Wonderly.

Interesting facts

The Seaboard Air Line Railroad owned eleven EMD F3 units, Nos. 4022-4032 all bought in 1947, but this was not one of them. It was originally bought by the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad in 1946 and numbered 800A. When we acquired it in 2004, we repainted it in Seaboard colors and renumbered it 4033, the next sequential SAL number, had they decided to purchase another F3.

In the days before air travel, "air line" was a common term for the shortest distance between two points, and a number of 19th and early 20th century railroads used it in their names to suggest their routes were shorter than those of their competitors. In 1940, the Seaboard Air Line Railroad actually proposed creating an airline, but this was not allowed by the Interstate Commerce Commission as it was considered that doing so would be a violation of federal anti-trust legislation.

This is the oldest surviving EMD F3. After we bought it, we used it to haul several excursions, during which time it was also the oldest operating F3 in existence.

History

GMO 800A

GMO No. 800A at the head of Train No. 94 from Kansas City, AR, passing
through the Roodhouse, IL, yard in the early morning of November 11, 1969.
Photo by Robert Simon.

The Gulf Mobile and Ohio was one of the earliest railroads to purchase F3 units from General Motors Electro Motive Division, and No. 800A was one of the first twenty A units to arrive in December 1946. Twelve more followed during 1947, bringing the roster to thirty-two. The railroad also bought eight cabless B units over the same period.

The F3 was the fourth in EMD's series of F units designed to haul freight. The "F" originally stood for the 1400 hp of the first EMD FT units (actually rounded up from 1350) but, as hp increased on subsequent models, it soon came to stand for "freight." EMD built 4,736 F A units, and 2,906 cabless B units between 1939 and 1960. Although designated freight haulers, a number were modified by railroads to haul passenger trains, and the FP7 and FP9 units were specifically designed by EMD to do so. The FP10, however, was the product of modifications carried out in the late 1970s by the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad at its shops in Paducah, KY, and the designation was never officially sanctioned by EMD.

The F3 was a more powerful version of its predecessor, the F2, with a D12 generator in place of the F2's D8, increasing power from 1,350 hp to 1,500 hp. EMD built 1,111 F3 A and 695 F3 B units between 1945 and 1949. Except for four A and two B units bought by the Canadian Pacific, all were sold to U.S. railroads.

GMO 800A

GMO Nos. 800A and 812A in the dead line outside the former IC shops in
Paducah, KY, in September 1976. Photo by Ron Hawkins.

During production cycles, manufacturers would sometimes make changes to a model and, although not used by EMD, railfans have assigned three phases to the main changes made to the F3 design.

No. 800A in the photo on the left, for example, shows "Phase 1" of the design. This is characterized by the four high, flat-topped roof fans, and the "chicken wire" in the openings above the three, equally-spaced porthole windows. No. 812A, by contrast, a "Phase II" F3 delivered in June 1947, has low, pan-topped roof radiator fans, a full-length stainless steel upper grill panel, only two portholes, and four small, irregularly placed rectangular openings covered with "chicken wire" on the center panel.

On August 10, 1972 the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio merged into the Illinois Central Railroad to form the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad and, like many of the other GM&O locomotives, No. 800A appears to have worked on in its original colors for some time. It hauled Chicago-area commuter services, as well as freight, until retired some time in the mid-late 1970s.

MBTA 1101

MBTA No. 1101 in Lawrence, MA, in March 1981.
Photo taken by Dick Leonhardt.

No. 800A was then one of eighteen ex-GMO F3 and one F7 units bought by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority between 1978 and 1979. Renumbered 1100-1114 and 1150-1153, before moving to the MBTA, they were rebuilt by the ICG to emerge as FP10s.

The rebuild gave all the units full-length stainless steel air intake grilles and center panels without portholes. They were fitted with so-called "ghetto grills" over the front windows to protect crews, and their classification lights were replaced by large red marker lights to enable operation in push mode. The four original roof fan cowls were lowered, and a new, centralized air filtering structure was installed on the roof just behind the cab.

As well as rewiring with solid-state components, the main generators, traction motors and cooling systems were overhauled, although the original 567B engines were retained along with their 1500 hp rating. Nos. 1100-1114 were fitted with 500 kW Cummins head-end power (HEP) units to provide lighting, heating and cooling for passenger carriages, although Nos. 1150-1153 did not receive HEP units at the time of the rebuild. They retained their steam generators to enable them to haul non-HEP compatible steam-heated carriages

CCH 1100

Cape Cod and Hyannis Railroad No. 1100 at the Bridgewater Resources trash
transfer facility in Bridgewater, NJ, in October 2002. Photo by John Durant.

No. 800A was renumbered MBTA 1101, and all the units went into service on Boston commuter lines.

During the early 1990s, the FP10s were retired by the MBTA, with four sold to the Metro North Commuter Railroad for commuter service between New York City and Connecticut (MNCR 410-413). Six others were scrapped and two, including No. 1101, were leased to the Cape Cod and Hyannis Railroad (later the Cape Cod Central, then the Cape Cod Railroad). There it was renumbered 1100, and hauled passenger excursions from downtown Hyannis to the Cape Cod Canal each year during spring, summer, and fall.

In late 1999/early 2000, the last MBTA-owned FP10 units were sold, and a number have continued to operate on various tourist lines in Maryland, Louisiana, Georgia, and Idaho.

We bought No. 1100 in 2004, repainted it in Seaboard Air Line colors and renumbered it 4033, the next sequential number had the Seaboard decided to purchase another F3.

Details

Status: Not operational.
Acquisition Date: January 2004.
Built: EMD 1946.
Serial: 3586.
Weight: 230,000 pounds.
Length: 50 feet 8 inches.
Height to Top of Engine Hood: 14 feet 1½ inches.
Height to Top of Cab: 15 feet.
Horsepower: 1500.
Engine: Winton 567B 16 cylinder.
Generator: GM-D12.
Traction Motors: Four GM-D17B.
Trucks: Two 4-Wheel.
Truck Wheelbase: 9 feet.
Wheel Diameter: 40 inches.
Configuration: B-B.
Air Brake: Westinghouse 24RL.
Compressor: Gardner-Denver WBO.
Starting Tractive Effort: 55,000 lbs @ 25%.
Continuous Tractive Effort: 40,000 lbs @ 9.3 mph.
Top Speed: 65 mph.

Below: No. 4033 in the museum yard in 2005. Photo taken by Virgil Fitzpatrick. Note the bulge on the rear of the body required to accommodate the HEP plant.

SAL 4033

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