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Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/23/23 8:20 a.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

We need to talk trains the next time we meet up. 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/23/23 8:27 a.m.
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

We need to talk trains the next time we meet up. 

We should go pick a spot to watch some too!  I was in your neck of the woods last week.  We did a cruise for spring break but spent two days near you before coming back north a bit.  

NickD
NickD MegaDork
3/23/23 1:50 p.m.

Two of the ex-Norfolk Southern GP18s at Atlanta, after Southern rebuilt them with high hoods. You can actually see how underneath the number, they have NS reporting marks, referring to the original Norfolk Southern. When Southern took over the Norfolk Southern in 1974, they merged it with another subsidiary, the Carolina & Northwestern, and applied NS reporting marks to all Ca&NW and NS equipment. Then, as the Southern/Norfolk & Western merger approached, to avoid confusion, they changed all equipment with the NS reporting marks back to the old Carolina & Northwestern reporting mark of CRN.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/23/23 2:14 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

I always find these markings cool.  MoPac kept T&P markings on many things and had a T&P logo on locos they acquired via merger as well.  The paint scheme for the proposed SP / SF merger is also quite memorable if not a bit garish.  

NickD
NickD MegaDork
3/23/23 3:42 p.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

Yeah, some reporting marks hang around after the railroad's actual identity vanishes for various reasons.

I know Texas had some weird rules requiring that railroads operating in Texas be headquartered in Texas, which is why railroads had their various Texas-based subsidiaries (SP had the Texas & New Orleans, Missouri Pacific used the Texas & Pacific, Chicago, Burlington & Quincy had the Fort Worth & Denver). Canada was also picky about allowing US railroads to own and operate rails within their borders and so a lot of railroads had Canadian spin-offs that owned the tracks north of the border, like New York Central's Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo or the D&H's Napierville Junction. 

Some of it also came down to being a way to keep power assigned to certain divisions. Like how Southern shuffled their Alcos all off to the Carolina & Northwestern, or how Texas & Pacific power had dynamic brakes and Missouri Pacific never ordered anything with dynamic brakes.

Another reason was for cost accounting purposes as has been noted above. In the case of the Southern proper, it was due to the fact that even though the many of it's subsidiaries were wholly owned, some like Central of Georgia were still separate corporate entities for a time, whose costs and revenues were accounted for separately and thus had an assigned fleet. That's why Canadian National still uses Illinois Central, British Columbia Railway, Wisconsin Central and Grand Trunk Western sublettering, or Pan Am Railways used Maine Central, Boston & Maine and Springfield Terminal reporting marks. When Conrail was purchased and split between Norfolk Southern and CSX it was split into two separate limited liability companies, New York Central Lines (NYC) and Pennsylvania Lines (PRR). The two have nothing to do with the historic Pennsylvania Rail Road and New York Central. Norfolk Southern also got the right to use the CR reporting mark. PRR and CR were used to indicate equipment that was going to Norfolk Southern while NYC was for equipment that would be going to CSX. Locomotives going to NS were renumbered with small PRR reporting marks below the new numbers and rolling stock going to NS was left in original CR reporting marks. Locomotives going to CSX were renumbered into CSXT series and rolling stock going to CSX was simply re-marked NYC. So, yes, you can see modern-ish NS power rattling around with PRR reporting marks.

Two of the weirder uses of subsidiaries were the Central Railroad of New Jersey's "Central Railroad of Pennsylvania" and Guilford Rail System's Springfield Terminal.

For the first, CNJ was struggling with the onerous tax laws of New Jersey, which said that a railroad based in New Jersey had to pay NJ taxes on the entirety of it's system, even the stuff outside of the state. So, CNJ was double-paying property taxes on their physical plant in Pennsylvania, once to PA and again to NJ. So they created the "Central Railroad of Pennsylvania" and headquartered it in Scranton, and then sold all their property outside of NJ to it. It didn't own any equipment, none of the buildings were labelled for it, and it really only existed on paper as a way to shed some tax burden. The arrangement was struck down by the courts and, in 1952, Central Railroad of Pennsylvania operations were merged back into the CNJ.

The Springfield Terminal was a weird little shortline that operated across the New Hampshire/Connecticut border, I think it operated a total of 7  miles, including one neat shared-use toll bridge that made up the majority of the Springfield Terminal's profits with automobile tolls. When Tim Mellon went on his buying spree to build the "Conrail of New England", he bought up the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central and the Delaware & Hudson, as well as the rights to the Springfield Terminal, which had pretty much entirely vanished. After a couple years, Mellon began transferring the ownership of property and equipment from the B&M, Maine Central and D&H to the Springfield Terminal. The idea was to pay different taxes and cram different labor agreements down the throats of the unions, because the ST was a shortline. The plan didn't exactly work, because the unions responded with strikes, and were burning equipment, intentionally derailing it and running it into turntable pits in protest. He ended up bankrupting the D&H, and the court struck down his move to transfer everything to ST. Turns out, you can't run a railroad that operates across New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine, with trackage rights as far as Buffalo, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. and still continue to call it a shortline. But, even after the rebrand to Pan Am Railways, equipment continued to use the Maine Central and Springfield Terminal reporting marks.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
3/23/23 3:54 p.m.

I heard an amusing anecdote regarding chopped nose locomotives from an IRM volunteer. Chicago & North Western had the very first EMD GP7, C&NW #1518, ever built and it was on their roster into the late '80s. When it finally was due to be retired, C&NW knew of the locomotive's significance and decided to donate it to Illinois Railway Museum. But the locomotive had been run through their GP7R rebuild program and given a chopped nose, as well as the modern C&NW livery and a renumber to #4311. Before donation, they decided to rebuild the nose, renumber it to #1518 and give it a repaint to the original livery with the green chevrons. Well, when they rebuilt the short hood, it was basically a cosmetic reconstruction, they didn't bother to include any of the innards, like the sand bunker piping or the bathroom. When the unit went through an engine terminal on it's deadhead move to Union, some employee operating on autopilot at a fuel rack flipped open the sand filler and, close to a thousand pounds of sand poured onto the short hood floor, until the pile on the floor finally plugged the hole in the bottom of the tank. According to IRM workers, there was sand leaking out of cracks and crevices for years every time they coupled the #1518 to something.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
3/23/23 4:41 p.m.

An amusing coincidence was Carolina & Northwestern #11. Operating as a subsidiary of the Southern, the Carolina & Northwestern was pretty fond of Alco motive power and had had reasonably good luck with their RS-2s and RS-3s. The Southern, on the other hand, did not care for Alcos, after their issues with the DL-109s and RS-2s, and had no desire to buy anymore. When Alco came out with the RS-11, Carolina & Northwestern management somehow convinced Southern to let them buy a single RS-11 as a test run to possibly buy more. Southern gave them reluctant permission, and Alco outshopped a single RS-11 in Southern "tuxedo" livery with Carolina & Northwestern lettering. The #11 was delivered on a Friday, accompanied by two high-ranking Alco officials who were supposed to demonstrate the engine to Southern officials the following Monday. This was to be a very important meeting, as it would provide a first impression to the movers and shakers that would help determine the Southern Railway's future locomotive needs, and as general foreman Frank Coffey noted, "the Spencer boys [of the Southern] weren't too damn fond of Alcos as it was!" Saturday the crews and Alco officials fired it up and it immediately developed issues with the controls. The shop crews and the Alco boys spent all weekend trying to find and repair the problem, but by Monday morning, they were no further along than square one. Another Alco official was hastily dispatched from Atlanta, but before he arrived, shop-worker Bob Pope found a broken wire on a transformer in the lead truck. Finally, with the problem solved, Carolina & Northwestern # 11 made her maiden voyage by traveling light to Lenoir and back on Tuesday, April 3, 1956. Unfortunately for Alco, the damage was done, and the engine's first impressions must have been lasting ones in the minds of the Southern men. Ultimately, #11 would be the only RS-11 on the entire SR system, and the last Alco locomotive purchased by the Southern, while the rival GP7 and GP9's would reach a total of 125 units.

Eventually, the #11 was traded into GE and then it was purchased second-hand by the Chicago & North Western from GE on December 22, 1973. Chicago & North Western had never purchased any RS-11s new, and they never purchased any other used ones. It was renumbered to #4251 and repainted in their green and yellow and soldiered on for nearly another decade, mostly holding down jobs in Minnesota with the other remaining Chicago & North Western Alcos. It was finally retired on August 9th, 1983 and scrapped.

So, one RS-11 was owned by two railroads with the initials of C&NW and was the sole RS-11 on the rosters of both of those railroads. Pretty odd coincidence.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/23/23 9:14 p.m.
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) said:
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

We need to talk trains the next time we meet up. 

We should go pick a spot to watch some too!  I was in your neck of the woods last week.  We did a cruise for spring break but spent two days near you before coming back north a bit.  

Other than CSX running along the coast, and the ~mile of Rock Island trackage in Gulfport, there's the Mississippi Export Railroad over in Pascagoula. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
3/24/23 10:56 a.m.

The worst attempt at building low-nosed Geeps were those of the Western Maryland. The results were, to put it bluntly, berkeleying hideous. They didn't chop the hood enough, the cab face was completely flat at the top, the numberboards and headlights were in the short hood instead of above the windshield. Didn't matter whether they were in the classic "Fireball" livery, the later red and white "Circus" livery, or Chessie Systems orange, yellow and blue, they were homely machines.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
3/24/23 12:22 p.m.

Milwauke Road's chop-nosed GP9s were also kinda funky looking, but definitely better than the Wild Mary's. They still had the weird flat cab front and the numberboards in the low nose, but they got the nose height right and they relocated the headlights up to the top of the cab. It also has the Horst "ox yoke" air cleaner that were popular with the Illinois Central for their early Geep and SD rebuilds.

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
3/24/23 12:41 p.m.

Another shot showing Horst "ox yoke" air cleaners on two of Illinois Central's "Paducah Geeps". Illinois Central launched a massive rebuilding program of GP7s, GP9s, and GP18s in the 1970s, rebuilding their own units as well as retired units from other railroads and leasing companies. Some they kept for themselves, others were rebuilt for Family Lines or Conrail or various shortlines. Among other features were chopped short hoods, Horst air cleaners, and those strange frog's eye headlamps. They had the angled numberboards and the headlights above the cab though, making them look much more finished. As for those air filters, the advantage to the Horst air filters is that they are a central air intake system. The early Geeps draw their intake air in through all those grilles in the carbody doors which have air filters behind them. In truth, they tend to suck unfiltered air in through every crack and crevice in the carbody. Worse, if the carbody filters get clogged, the only way for the engine to get air is through those cracks and crevices. Not good and very dirty.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltimaDork
3/24/23 1:39 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

The Western Maryland chop jobs don't look like they did much to improve forward visibility, either.  From my vague memories of being inside an SD40, it looks like the engineer would have to be standing up to see much of any distance ahead.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
3/24/23 2:39 p.m.

In reply to eastsideTim :

Yeah, I was surprised by how useless the center windshield kind of is when I rode in one of Reading & Northern's SD40-2. I saw a comment on social media Southern/Norfolk Southern who was talking about when NS started chopping noses on their equipment and he said he'd rather have the high hood, because you rarely use the center windshield anyway and he preferred not smacking his head when he went into the short hood to use the head.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
3/24/23 4:19 p.m.

The Atlanta & St. Andrews Bay also had some GP7s that they gave a chop nose to that was similar to the Western Maryland units. I wonder if that was as low as you could cut the hoods without getting into a major reconfiguration of the hood internals. And in the case of visibility, you also have the bell out there in the way on this one.

They also had a bunch of RS-1s which they chopped the hoods on. There were some RS-2s and RS-3s with chopped noses, but it was a pretty uncommon procedure on RS-1s. Looks kinda strange, but I bet visibility was pretty good. Presumably they reconfigured the controls to run short hood forwards as well, since RS-1s were designed to run long hood forward.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
3/24/23 4:42 p.m.

D&H had their low-nose RS-3us, which were more than just a cosmetic change. They sent them to Morrison-Knudsen, where the nose was chopped, numberboards were added above the cab windshield, the dynamic brakes were relocated to the top of the long hood in a boxy enclosure, the long hood was made several inches taller, and the 1600hp 244 V12s were replaced with 2000hp 251 V12s. They looked great, but I've never seen a positive word about them from D&H crews. The big complaint was that 2000hp was too much for the weight of an RS-3 and as a result, they had lots of traction issues. D&H veterans joked that every time they came into the shop, they had to replace the wheelslip indicator light and buzzer because they were burnt out from running near constantly.

Also, in this photo it's paired up with one of the "back and forth" SD45s. D&H bought three SD45s, actually three of the four EMD demonstrator units, in 1966, which were the first EMDs on the roster. The D&H was never fond of them, partially because the SD45s were a bit of a problem child and also because they were the sole EMDs in the fleet, and so after three years they traded them off to Erie-Lackawanna, who was very much enamored with the SD45, for three GE U33Cs. The U33Cs arrived in E-L gray, yellow and red, and D&H just painted over the red with blue, while the EL fully repainted the SD45s. In the leadup to Conrail, because D&H still owned the SD45s and E-L still owned the U33Cs, they had to revert the trade, since the U33Cs would be property of Conrail, and so they were traded back. Again, D&H took the E-L-painted SD45s and just painted blue over the red stripe. Two years later, when the D&H purged a lot of their big 6-axle power, like the C628s and U30Cs, the SD45s were also sent down to Mexico.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/25/23 11:12 a.m.

In reply to NickD :

Any chance you can identify the manufacturer of this steam engine? What are the chances that it still might exist? (Google is failing me)...

Supposedly, the photo was taken in Ansonia Connecticut, and it is engine 12 of the Naugatuck Railroad, but I can't find any more info on it.

Evening Sentinel link does not seem to be sharable.

 

Engine No. 12 and its coal tender are building up a head of steam on the old Naugatuck railroad line in Ansonia. The name of the engine was the “Waterbury.” The sound of steam whistles, be they on the local factories or the locomotives entering and leaving town, were a familiar sound to generations of Ansonia residents. The New York, New Haven, and Hartford would eventually buy the old Naugatuck Railroad line through Ansonia.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
3/25/23 12:15 p.m.

Exemplifying the "Cheap & Nothing Wasted" mentality, the C&NW had an RS-3 that was involved in a pretty bad smash-up. They rebuilt it with an RS-11 long hood and an 1800hp 251 V12. The result was a humpbacked monstrosity, although it likely worked better than the D&H RS-3us

NickD
NickD MegaDork
3/25/23 12:26 p.m.
Woody (Forum Supportum) said:

In reply to NickD :

Any chance you can identify the manufacturer of this steam engine? What are the chances that it still might exist? (Google is failing me)...

Supposedly, the photo was taken in Ansonia Connecticut, and it is engine 12 of the Naugatuck Railroad, but I can't find any more info on it.

Evening Sentinel link does not seem to be sharable.

 

Engine No. 12 and its coal tender are building up a head of steam on the old Naugatuck railroad line in Ansonia. The name of the engine was the “Waterbury.” The sound of steam whistles, be they on the local factories or the locomotives entering and leaving town, were a familiar sound to generations of Ansonia residents. The New York, New Haven, and Hartford would eventually buy the old Naugatuck Railroad line through Ansonia.

The locomotive is long gone. There is not a ton of Civil War era locomotives in existence. They became obsolete very quickly and there wasn't much of a preservation mindset then. The steam chests have Rogers cast into them, so it came from Rogers Locomotive and Machine Worls out of Paterson, NJ. Rogers avoided the 1901 mergers that resulted in American Locomotive Company (Alco) but was bought by Alco in 1905. Alco stopped building locomotives there in 1913 but used the plant for parts storage until sometime in the 1920s before selling it off. The plant still exists actually as part of the Paterson Museum (amazing that the Rogers works exist, while Alco Schenectady is gone)

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/25/23 1:40 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

Thank you!

How late would something like this have likely been used?

NickD
NickD MegaDork
3/25/23 4:42 p.m.

In reply to Woody (Forum Supportum) :

Late 1880s, max. You had a flurry of innovations that pushed stuff into obsolence. Link-and-pin couplers were supplanted with Janney knuckle couplers, Westinghouse air brakes were introduced, the Bissell swiveling lead truck came out (the lead truck on your antebellum-era locomotives were rigid-mounted), the Mogul, Ten-Wheeler and Consolidation wheel arrangements largely supplanted the American type, superheaters and piston valves made saturated-steam designs and slide valves came out. It was basically cheaper and easier to replace locomotives than add all the new features. An example, the two locomotives that were present for the driving of the Golden Spike of the transcontinental railroad, Union Pacific's Jupiter and Central Pacific #119, were  almost immediately shuffled off into secondary and tertiary services and scrapped not long after the ceremony.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
3/26/23 9:20 a.m.

The last of the 4-4-0s built for use in North America were three Baldwin products turned out for Chicago & Illinois Midland's perfunctory passenger service in 1927. Sadly all three of them were scrapped.

The last 4-4-0s operating in general revenue though were in Canada. On Canadian Pacific's lightly-railed Chipman Branch, three 4-4-0s toiled in mixed service until 1959, some75 years after they were constructed.

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
3/26/23 8:00 p.m.

Of course, when it comes to 4-4-0s, none were ever as handsome as the six modernized by the Frisco in the Thirties. Disgusted with the poor reliability of their doodlebugs, the motorcars were put out to pasture, and passenger service over several branches were returned to steam power. Frisco bestowed these 4-4-0s with oil-burning conversions, superheaters, Coffin feedwater heaters, Nicholson thermic syphons, lightweight rods, Walschaerts valve gear, piston valves, and even Volatone air horns. Gorgeous little machines that hung on until the end of Frisco steam, although sadly, despite the number of surviving Frisco engines, none escaped the torch.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
3/27/23 11:00 a.m.

The M-K-T also had some 4-4-0s that they modernized for branch line service in 1923. They were on the job into the early '50s, and Otto Perry caught one at Supply, Oklahoma in January of 1939.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
3/27/23 11:17 a.m.

Reading & Northern hosted a speeder car club excursion this weekend and someone showed up with this BMC Mini converted to a speeder

NickD
NickD MegaDork
3/27/23 11:57 a.m.

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