TheMagicRatchet
TheMagicRatchet New Reader
5/6/22 3:21 p.m.

Post Master!!!  Congratulations!

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/6/22 9:21 p.m.

Pretty neat to see this one:

"The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, Inc. and the Indiana Northeastern Railroad Company have announced The Indiana Rail Experience, a historic partnership that will contribute to the tourism economy and the quality of life in Northeast Indiana.

Beginning in 2022, the Fort Wayne non-profit will operate a series of passenger train trips, educational programs, and special events over the Indiana Northeastern, a 100-mile railroad line that connects Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan.

In addition to Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive no. 765, other historic locomotives, and classic railroad passenger cars will provide unique offerings for children, families, and adults between July and October."

So the folks who operate #765 have officially inked a multi-year deal to operate over a shortline that operates over 100 miles of track. The past few years, they have mostly just been running over the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic in Ohio, so this gets #765 back more in the region of her home base. The FWRHS has also scooped an A-B-A set of ex-MILW F7s from the defunct Indiana Transportation Museum, and is restoring an ex-NKP SD7. The Indiana Southeastern Railroad also operates a vintage EMD fleet, all painted in a black and yellow livery evocative of the NKP livery

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/9/22 11:01 a.m.

One of the F7As in question. From what I've read, the F7B and the F7A below need some work, obviously, and that the other F7A also looked pretty scruffy but had received quite a bot of mechanical work by young volunteers and they were ready to start moving onto bodywork. No clue what the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society folks will paint them, since Nickel Plate never owned a single F- or E-Unit (a real rarity among Class Is) but Milwaukee Road did operate down into Indiana. There were two additional F7s at Indiana Transportation Museum, one in Monon colors and one in phantom NKP colors, and the Monon one is still on site in Noblesville along with an ex-UP "Omaha Geep", while the "NKP" F7 and an NKP GP9 were grabbed up by Nickel Plate Express for use on their Noblesville-Atlanta excursions.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/9/22 12:42 p.m.

The only cab locomotives that Nickel Plate owned were eleven Alco PA1s that they purchased in two orders, #180-#186 in December of 1947 and #187-#190 in March of 1948. They were painted in a unique blue and white livery that no other NKP diesels wore, the colors being chosen because NKP's top passenger train was the Bluebird. They were retired before the NKP/Wabash/N&W merger in 1964, barely outliving the steam locomotives that they replaced. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/9/22 4:33 p.m.

The steam locomotives that the PA-1s replaced were NKP's neat little pocket Hudsons. NKP ordered eight of the 4-6-4 arrangement, four from Alco's Brooks works in 1927 and another four from Lima in 1929. The Alco-built L-1a used a fabricated frame made of several weldments, while the Lima-built L-1b used a one-piece cast frame. While the elephant ear smoke deflectors, closed-in pilot deck, visored headlight, and bell and numberboards hung out over the smokebox resulted in a fierce-looking machine, they were small for a Hudson and pretty tame mechanically. With only 73" drivers, 25"x 26" cylinders, 215psi boilers and 66.80 square feet of grate area, they were, in essence, a USRA Light Pacific with an extra trailing truck axle. As ATSF's Baldwin-built Berkshires were described as "a 1923 engine with a 1927 wheel arrangement", the NKP L-1s were a 1918 engine with a 1927 wheel arrangement. Not to say that they were a bad, or underperforming, or defective engine, they just weren't a high-speed thoroughbred like a NYC J-3a or a C&NW E-4 or a Milwaukee Road F7. The Alco fabricated frames did develop cracks later in life that resulted in NKP installed new cast-steel frames under all eight engines, and they also gained roller bearings on all axles and the pilot trucks. When the Alco PA-1s arrived property, they were bumped off of the WesternerNickel Plate Limited, and Bluebird, and instead served as protection power when the Alcos acted up, or hauled mail trains and even light freight.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/9/22 4:34 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/9/22 4:34 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/9/22 4:34 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/9/22 4:35 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/9/22 4:35 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/9/22 4:38 p.m.

NKP L-1a #173 and S-2 Berkshire #769 at Calumet Yard in Chicago. Calumet Yard was home to the last roundhouse built in the US, until Age of Steam was constructed.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/9/22 4:45 p.m.

A nice profile shot of the #172, apparently bumped down to freight service by this point, judging by the gondola behind the tender. The #170 is preserved at the National Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, the sole survivor. Frustratingly, three of them, including #173 which was the last active L-1 Hudson, were sold to Paulsen Spence for his Louisiana Eastern Railroad. They arrived shortly before his death, were never fired up or ran by him, and then were torched in the wholesale scrapping that occurred after his death.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/9/22 4:50 p.m.

A US-built 4-6-4 has never operated in the preservation era, and if someone were so inclined, the #170 would probably be the best candidate. The other extant 4-6-4s are all CB&Q S-4 Hudsons, which have taller 78" drivers and a higher axle loading, or a single, very deteriorated ATSF 3460-class, which is even bigger. The #170 is a pretty reasonably-sized machine, since, again, it's basically a USRA Light Pacific.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/10/22 11:33 a.m.

Lighter, rarer, and even more obscure than the NKP's eight L-1 Hudsons were the two owned by the Maine Central. Listed as Class D and numbered #701 and #702, the Maine Central ordered the pair from Baldwin in 1930, the last steam locomotives purchased by the MEC. They had a foot and a half shorter wheelbase and weighed 4,000lbs less than the NKP engines. Driver diamter was the same at 73", but 23x28" cylinders and 240psi boiler pressures meant that the MEC engines were actually slightly more powerful than the NKP engines (41,300lbs of tractive effort vs 40,681lbs), and they were also equipped with a trailing truck booster engine for starting trains. Due to their scant numbers and the fact that they operated in relatively remote territory that railfans rarely frequented, photos of them are scarce. By 1950, they were both taken out of service and the #701 was scrapped. The #702 was moved to MEC subsidiary Portland Terminal where it spent five years being used for snow-melting and then it too was scrapped in 1955.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/11/22 1:06 p.m.

CB&Q ran one of their S-4a Hudsons, #4000, on several of their railfan trips in the late '50s, alongside 0-5a Northern #5632 (RIP),  O-1-a Mikado #4960, and M-4a Colorado #6315. The #4000, and her sisters, were nice modern engines with one-piece cast frames with integrated cylinders, roller bearings on all the axles and connecting rods, trailing truck boosters, feedwater heaters, and 78" drivers. The #4000 was preserved on retirement in Lacrosse and we were this close to seeing it run around 2010. There was a big lease dispute between the folks running Milwaukee Road #261 and the National Railroad Museum, who owned the #261, and the Friends of Milwaukee Road #261 pretty much walked away and started looking at other locomotives. They wanted a CB&Q O-5a, but the two were too difficult to get moved, they took a look at New York Central Mohawk #3001 and then were looking long and hard at CB&Q #4000. Sadly the folks in Lacrosse didn't want their locomotive leaving the area, and then a new deal was struck between Friends Of Milwaukee Road #261 and the NRM anyways, rendering the whole search a moot point.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/11/22 1:14 p.m.

CB&Q #4000 was streamlined for a little while as well. When CB&Q took ownership of the Zephyr trainsets in the '30s, they needed protection power for when either the new-fangled diesels failed or they had higher ridership than they could handle and needed a second section. So that it didn't stand out as much when it filled in, it was streamlined with a shovel-nosed stainless steel shroud and wore the name Aeolus. In Greek mythology, Zephyrus is the god of wind, while Aeolus is keeper of the wind. So it was up to Aeolus to keep Zephyr's schedule, a neat little mythology nod. Railfans instead nicknamed the #4000 "Alice The Goon" after the Popeye character and as a phonetic corruption of Aeolus. The #4000, and similarly streamlined #4001, later lost the shrouding, but #4000 was preserved.

DjGreggieP
DjGreggieP HalfDork
5/12/22 10:40 a.m.

I am always learning something when I come into this thread.  

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/12/22 12:42 p.m.

Two streamlined Milwaukee Road passenger trains meeting at Chicago Union Station. In the background, one of Milwaukee Road's F7 4-6-4s "Baltics" (they did not call them a Hudson on the Milwaukee Road) with streamlining by Otto Kuhler. In the foreground, one of Milwaukee Road's Skytop Lounge observation cars styled by Brooks Stevens.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/12/22 12:44 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/12/22 1:13 p.m.

An excellent roster shot of Milwaukee Road streamlined F-7 #104 from the Gary Everhart collection. Milwaukee Road and C&NW were locked in a nuclear arms race for passenger service between Chicago and the Twin Cities, with Milwaukee Road rostering the Twin Cities Hiawatha, while C&NW had The 400. Milwaukee Road cast the first stone with their Class A streamlined 4-4-2s, which were then met by C&NW's unstreamlined E-2 4-6-2s. When Milwaukee Road caught wind of C&NW ordering a batch of streamlined 4-6-4s in 1937, they also placed an order for six 4-6-4s from Alco. The class F-7 Baltics were staggeringly spec'd, with roller bearings everywhere, 300psi boiler pressures, and 84" Boxpok disc drivers. The F7s are major contenders for the fastest steam locomotives ever built, as they ran at over 100 miles per hour daily. One run in January 1941 recorded by a reporter for Trains magazine saw 110mph twice in the middle of a heavy snowstorm. Baron Gérard Vuillet, a French railroading expert, once recorded a run between Chicago and Milwaukee where the locomotive reached 125 mph and sustained an average 120 mph for 4.5 miles. There was several signs between Chicago and the Twin Cities that read "Reduce Speed to 90mph" for engineers, typically before curves or diamonds, and there was also at least one grade crossing sign that said "STOP LOOK TRAINS PASS 100 MPH". Interestingly, the C&NW E-4 was never given a chance to test it's mettle against the E-7. Shortly after placing the order for the streamlined Hudsons, C&NW caugh wind of the MILW F7, and decided to one-up them by ordering new EMD E3 diesels and assigning them to the 400. The E-4s were relegated to lesser trains before they were even delivered, and in testing they seemed to run into a wall at 95mph, despite being nearly identical mechanically to the F7s.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/12/22 2:20 p.m.

One of the lame duck C&NW E-4s at Dekalb, Illinois in 1948. PRR actually borrowed an E-4 for testing, and that testing partially led to the development of the PRR S1 6-4-4-6 Duplex, which ran a 300psi boiler and 84" drive wheels like the E-4.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/12/22 4:47 p.m.

The earlier C&NW E-2 Pacifics that were assigned to the 400 as a response to MILW's streamlined Atlantics. An odd-looking machine, the running gear looks impressive, with those 79" Boxpok drivers and Delta trailing truck and huge firebox, but the boiler and cab would look more at home on a teakettle of a Ten-Wheeler and the tender looks like it was borrowed from a Northern or Santa Fe. Even worse was that earlier it had spoked pilot wheels, before being switched over to solid wheels at some point. The large lamp over the smokebox was not a headlamp, but a spot light that would be angled upward at around a 45 degree angle while the train was underway to announce that C&NW's crack passenger train was passing through,,

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/13/22 4:34 p.m.

A neat timelapse photo of two older C&NW Pacifics at North Western Terminal in Chicago, bumped down to commuter duty by newer steam locomotives and upstart diesels.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/13/22 4:40 p.m.

C&NW Pacific #514 takes a spin on the turntable at the Erie Street Yard

NickD
NickD MegaDork
5/13/22 4:44 p.m.

C&NW 4-6-2s everywhere with commuter runs out of Chicago.

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