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DjGreggieP
DjGreggieP Dork
4/11/24 11:12 a.m.
NickD said:

In preparation for it's Canada-USA-Mexico trip, Canadian Pacific #2816 has been out doing further testing. It's trip across three countries will begin on the 24th of this month at Calgary and then will make stops at Moose Jaw, Minot, Saint Paul, Franklin Park, Davenport, Kansas City, Shreveport, Monterrey and Mexico City to celebrate the Canadian Pacific-Kansas City Southern-Kansas City Southern De Mexico merger.

A neat little detail is that that first auxiliary tender is actually made from a D&H Challenger tender. The D&H had it in MoW service, and when CP bought out the D&H in 1991 they acquired the tender and later repurposed it into a canteen for the #2816 when they restored it to service. I'm hoping that next year, with the #2816 having made her big run, and being equipped with PTC, they'll run her on the Holiday Train, which runs on the old D&H as far south as Albany.

Is there a link to its itinerary? I could easily make it to MooseJaw to see it (3hr drive) but I have a feeling it'll be on a tuesday so I need to take a holiday

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/11/24 11:28 a.m.
DjGreggieP said:
NickD said:

In preparation for it's Canada-USA-Mexico trip, Canadian Pacific #2816 has been out doing further testing. It's trip across three countries will begin on the 24th of this month at Calgary and then will make stops at Moose Jaw, Minot, Saint Paul, Franklin Park, Davenport, Kansas City, Shreveport, Monterrey and Mexico City to celebrate the Canadian Pacific-Kansas City Southern-Kansas City Southern De Mexico merger.

A neat little detail is that that first auxiliary tender is actually made from a D&H Challenger tender. The D&H had it in MoW service, and when CP bought out the D&H in 1991 they acquired the tender and later repurposed it into a canteen for the #2816 when they restored it to service. I'm hoping that next year, with the #2816 having made her big run, and being equipped with PTC, they'll run her on the Holiday Train, which runs on the old D&H as far south as Albany.

Is there a link to its itinerary? I could easily make it to MooseJaw to see it (3hr drive) but I have a feeling it'll be on a tuesday so I need to take a holiday

Itinerary here

And it'll be at Moose Jaw on April 28th, so a Sunday

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/11/24 11:29 a.m.
Recon1342 said:

Those CP Hudsons are lookers, every last one of them. 

I'm usually not a fan of anything other than black on a steam locomotive, but CP did it right.  

I definitely prefer the unstreamlined version. The streamlined versions look like a beer can on wheels. During that weird time where Southern Railway was leasing CP #2839 for use on their corporate excursion it even was nicknamed "the beer can" by southerners.

Recon1342
Recon1342 SuperDork
4/11/24 11:46 a.m.

In reply to NickD :

Eh. Canada's still part of the Commonwealth, so some odd streamlining is to be expected. I like both versions.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/11/24 11:46 a.m.

Union Pacific is also gearing up for the #4014 to hit the road this year. It'll be making the first trip in July, which will be west from Cheyenne, WY on June 30th, to Roseville, CA, where it will be on display from July 12-13, before heading back to Ogden, UT for display on July 20th and 21st. Originally this was also supposed to include visits to Boise, Idaho, and Portland, Oregon, but UP dropped those after concerns about traffic on the northern corridor to the PNW. This is the second time that the PNW has gotten shafted on a visit from #4014. Back in 2022 it was supposed to go to Sparks, NV, Roseville, CA, Portland, OR, and Boise, ID and that whole trip was cancelled, again due to those lines being at capacity. UP had also been called up on the carpet by the STB at the same time over poor customer service and shipping delays, which I'm sure factored in, even if they wouldn't come out and say it.

 

 A second tour planned later this fall with stops in Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, and Illinois, among other states. Details of the second tour will be released later this spring. Also, no word on if the #844 will make an appearance this year, but it sure doesn't sound like it. What's wild is that the #844 hasn't run since 2019, when it did the centennial celebration of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad trip with the #4014. That's 5 years, a full third of it's 1472, with no appearances from the engine. Obviously she's expensive to run, and there are obviously capacity concerns on their lines, but still amazing.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/11/24 4:28 p.m.

UP #4014's tender has also begun receiving work at Silvis for an eventual swap back. Huh? The 3900-series Challengers and the Big Boys had very similar tenders, with the Challengers and the later second batch of Big Boys, #4020-#4024, having a tender with 25,000 gallons of water and 28 tons of coal or 6,450 gallons of oil, while the earlier Big Boys, #4000-#4019, using a tender with 24,000 gallons of water and 28 tons of coal. 

When UP restored the #3985, it was still set up for burning coal, although it was missing the stoker auger, with it having been cannibalized for another engine some point at the end of the steam era. The #3985 was put back in service with the discovery of a forward conveyor auger off a modern UP steamer in the weeds at Cheyenne’s Department of Public Works, which had been rescued from the scrapyard in the early 1960s by the city of Cheyenne with visions of using it to create a post hole digger. Early excursions with the #3985 were plagued with lineside fires, which were likely caused by steam locomotives no longer regularly running to burn back the weeds, and so the decision was made during the winter of 1989/1990 to convert the #3985 to oil-burning, which was done partially by taking the oil bunker from the tender of passenger Challenger #3977, preserved at North Platte.

When UP began restoring the #4014 in 2013, in anticipation of the 2019 anniversary, the decision was made to also convert the #4014 to an oil-burner, since the #844 was already set up for oil-burning and it cut down on the logistics of having coal supplies and loaders pre-positioned for it's tours, as well as the lack of ash pits throughout the system and lack of risk of lineside fires. There was a certain blueprint already in place, since UP had converted #4005 in the '50s, in anticipation of a coal miner strike, but when the strike failed to materialize, and it was determined that the #4005 couldn't make it between existing fueling depots, it was converted back to coal-burning. So the #4014 was converted to oil-burning, and to reduce time and cost of both restoring a tender that sat outside for decades and converting it for oil-burning, Ed Dickens made the decision to swap the #3985's behind the #4014, and the #4014's tires has sat outside since.

UP donated the #3985, and the 2-10-2 #5511 and DDA40X #6936, to the Railroading Heritage of Midwest America two years ago, and sent the #4014's tender with the #3985 to Silvis, Illinois. The #3985 has been undergoing a restoration to put it back in service, and it was announced that RRHMA would rebuild the #4014's tender and set it up for oil-burning and then trade it to UP so that both #3985 and #4014 will have the correct tenders again.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/11/24 4:33 p.m.

RRHMA has been going all-in on the overhaul of the #3985, and I'm curious what the actual mechanical condition is on that thing. Ed Dickens said that the #3985 was absolutely worn-out from 3 decades of hard-running under the Steve Lee era of the UP steam program. And I've heard some rumors that there was some pretty sketchy work done on the #3985 during that era too, like brake stands that still had asbestos on them and the generator with a hammer on a pull cord for when the generator stalled due to worn bearings. 

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/11/24 4:34 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/12/24 8:20 a.m.

East Broad Top announced yesterday that the #16 will be out of service until at least August. They took it down for it's yearly inspection (steam locomotives have a 31-day inspection, a yearly inspection, and then the big 1472) during the winter to have it ready for spring. Unfortunately during the inspection they found several cracked driver centers. Not super unexpected, you're talking 100+ year old cast iron that's subject to considerable forces. While EBT has new driver centers for the ongoing restoration of #14 and #15 on hand, the #14 and #15 are a different class of engine from the #16, #17 and #18 and so they are not compatible. You can technically weld drive wheel centers on a steam locomotive, but I remember hearing from the Strasburg shop crews that it's not a guaranteed success. You drill the ends of the crack, heat the whole wheel up, weld the crack and let it cool....and then 9 times out of 10, the crack spreads from the end points. And then even if it's a sucess, you always have that worry that "Is it going to crack again?". So, new wheel centers are being ordered for the #16, and in the meantime, GE 45-tonner M-7 and Brill doodlebug M-1 will handle operations.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/12/24 9:20 a.m.

From Kelly Anderson, Strasburg's retired chief mechanical officer on the subject of the EBT Mikados (Strasburg handled a lot of the mechanical work for EBT in the Kovalchik era):

"On the #14 & #15, all of the driving wheel centers needed to be replaced. Baldwin must of used a particularly potent recipe of their proprietary cast slag when making them, in that they weren't cracked so much as shattered. Seriously, we made a point of never removing a tire from any of them for fear of the wheel centers falling apart without the tires to hold them together. Every attempt to weld or braze repair ended in new cracking after a few days of operation.

Add the worn out axles and weld built up tires, and both locomotives were slated to have completely new sets of driving wheels built (with cast steel centers), which were ordered (with a possible hold on the second set) when I retired.

I never dealt with the drivers on #17, which was the only big engine in service in the '80's, so I have no idea if her wheel centers are interchangeable with the smaller engines. It's a safe bet that if #16's wheel centers have cracks, then the #17's and #18's do too."
 

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/12/24 11:22 a.m.
adam525i
adam525i GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/12/24 8:59 p.m.

So I've been in and out of Winnipeg a number of times over the past couple of years and was flying home from there today. Depending on how Google brings me through the city a number of times I've driven past the end terminal and yard for the Greater Winnipeg Water District Railway (also past the large CN yards on that side of town too). I always wondered about it so did some Googling, the railway was built in 1914 to build and service the water intake for the city on Shoal Lake on the Manitoba-Ontario border and is just over 100 miles long. The railway follows the aqueduct and is the only way to actually access the intake which helps with security. In the past it hauled people to cottages along with wood and gravel back into the city, now it is just there to service the water system. Here it is on Google Maps, it doesn't really look like anything has moved since the streetview shots were taken but this youtube playlist shows the equipment does get used. I wasn't able to stop and get any pictures today but this car is still parked in front of the terminal.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/15/24 12:26 p.m.

So this weekend is my trip down to Port Clinton to ride the RDC's up the old Reading Co.'s Shamokin Division, or at least almost as much as Reading & Northern owns. The line went from Philadelphia through Norristown and Pottstown to Reading, then up through Hamburg, Port Clinton, and Tamaqua to East Mahanoy Junction, and then headed west through Buck Mountain, Mahanoy City, Girardville, Ashland, Gordon, Locust Dale, Locust Summit, Locust Gap, Mt. Carmel and Nora to Shamokin. 

Reading & Northern owns from Reading to Nora. The line south from Reading to Phoenixville is owned by NS, while Norristown to Philly is owned by SEPTA, and the line west from Nora to Shamokin is owned by the Shamokin Valley Railroad. Back in the Conrail days, R&N used to occasionally run trips south to Philly over Conrail and SEPTA behind #425 and #2102, although the steam power and passenger cars were typically swapped out at Norristown for SEPTA EMU car. So the RDCs are departing from Port Clinton and going all the way to Mount Carmel, with photo runbys along the way. I'm guessing that Tamaqua Tunnel, Buck Mountain Tunnel, the old enginehouse at Gordon and maybe East Mahanoy Junction will be sites for runbys.

I had originally said I was going to go over to Strasburg on Friday and try to catch the #89 in action, and then go up to Pittston on Sunday and chase PIME/MEPI (Pittston-Mehoopany/Mehoopany-Pittston). That plan has since changed. I'd been watching the Strasburg live camera and the #89 had been running all last month. With it being off-peak season, they are only running one train, on the hour, each day, while during peak, they run two trains, staggered every half hour with a meet at Groff's Landing. With the #90 out of service for it's 1472, that means I had a 50-50 chance of catching the #89 or the #475 in service. Well, it seems they're firing one engine up, running it for 30 service days and then taking that engine out for it's monthly inspection and putting the other one in service. Well, they parked the #89 two weeks ago, and now the #475 is up and running for the next 30 days, and I've seen the #475 a bunch of times. Meanwhile, while looking at the PIME/MEPI schedule, I realized they go on-call at 5:00am and I really didn't feel like getting up that early. 

So, the new plan is, go down to Reading on Friday and chase the NRFF (North Reading Fast Freight, Reading to Pittston), which leaves Reading at 1:30pm. Then, on Sunday, I'm instead going to chase QASD/SDQA (Tamaqua-Shenandoah/Shenandoah-Tamaqua), since the call time for that job is 9:00am at Tamaqua Yard. And that way I can just get a single hotel in Hamburg for the entire weekend. I was otherwise having to look at getting a hotel in Pittston for Saturday night. 

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
4/15/24 12:46 p.m.

Hey Nick.  Do you know anything about the train they used in the most Mission Impossible movie, Dead Reckoning? It could be fake, but I don't think so.

Whatever it is, the cars are very nice.  Lots of crazy nice woodwork.  In the movie it's supposed to be in Austria I think.  When I saw it in the movie, one of my first reaction was:  "Hey, that's a coal burning steam locomotive!"

I cannot find any really good pics.  One of it flying off the bridge (this is certainly a mock up of the actual train), one that shows some of the interior and an exterior shot of one of the cars. I suspect you will be able to identify the engine type, even from the mock up photo(!)

Mission: Impossible train crashes into quarry in Stoney Middleton

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/15/24 2:22 p.m.

In reply to aircooled :

The whole scene is set in Switzerland, but was filmed in Norway and used a full-sized, self-propelled replica of a British steam locomotive. Kind of a mash-up there. They wanted to film on the Orient Express, but couldn't actually plunge it off a cliff, or even have actors and cameras set up on the roof. I believe the actual cars were used for some of the interior shots, but the locomotive was moved around with a diesel engine concealed onboard it, and the cars used for the fight scenes on the roof were full-size replicas as well. To simulate the train falling off the bridge, they actually hucked the whole full-size replica into an old closed open-pit mine and then replaced all the mine with the digital canyon. Ol' Tom Cruise loves doing as many practical effects as possible, and so they really wanted to chuck a full-size locomotive off the bridge, since they didn't think they could recreate the falling locomotive and cars in CGI convincingly.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/16/24 9:23 a.m.

CSX rolled out #1852, the Western Maryland heritage unit. It uses the red and white "circus" livery, and combined with the blue front end, the internet has jokingly dubbed it the Texas heritage unit because of it's similarity to the Texas flag.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/16/24 9:26 a.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/16/24 4:37 p.m.

A bit of a shocker yesterday was the announcement that the Wisconsin Great Northern has acquired Duluth & Northeastern 2-8-0 #27 from the Carlton County Fairgrounds in Barnum, Wisconsin. The shock came from the fact that, according to the WGN, this locomotive was apparently in danger of being scrapped and no one seemed to be aware of it until it was announced yesterday. When the D&NE retired the ex-Duluth, Missabe & Northern/Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range locomotive in 1966, they donated it to Carlton County, where it was put on display with a rare ex-Northern Pacific wooden bay window caboose. Not sure if it always had a roof over it (oldest dated photos I can find are from 2008 and show the roof) but Carlton County said that "it was deteriorating and they could no longer afford its upkeep." According to the county, they tried offering it free of charge to a bunch of museums and no one was interested, which came as kind of a shock to the rail preservation community, who again, hadn't heard anything until yesterday.

“I had heard a grapevine rumor that the locomotive was in danger of being scrapped because it had been offered to museums in the area and they were not able to take on the process of moving the locomotive,” WGN President Greg Vreeland said in a phone interview with Trains News Wire. “I called the president of the Carlton County Fair Association board and he told me indeed they were looking for it to be removed one way or another.

So, the #27, and the caboose, has been moved out of it's location and they will be moved by truck to Trego, WI, where the WGN is based. WGN has five ex-DM&IR heavyweight coaches, so they said that the #27 is an important acquisition. Will it run there? Not out of the question, but WGN says right now their primary focus is on the Mark Twain Zephyr that they're also restoring. The #27 will be evaluated and stabilized and then, if found to be in a condition where restoration is feasible, it will eventually receive an operational restoration.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/16/24 4:40 p.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/16/24 4:43 p.m.

Especially helpful is that the gentleman spearheading the move has experience with DM&N/DM&IR/D&NE 2-8-0s. He helped out with the restoration of sister engine, D&NE #28, which runs at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/17/24 9:37 a.m.

If there's one good thing about those new Siemens Chargers that Amtrak bought, it's that when they regularly fail, you'll get some weird leaders. On Monday, one of the two Chargers on the City Of New Orleans failed while on CN's Chicago Subdivision, which is ex-Illinois Central trackage, CN dispatched an Illinois Central SD70 "Death Star" to go rescue the 7+ hours late train. This resulted in the odd site of an ex-IC SD70 doing 70mph with an ex-IC train over ex-IC rails.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/17/24 9:39 a.m.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/17/24 9:40 a.m.
NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/17/24 3:01 p.m.

An IC "Death Star" is on the list of modern diesels I'd like to see preserved. They're pretty interesting, since they were the last new power purchased by IC, the last EMDs built with standard cabs and the last DC traction EMD road power. When the SD70 came out, EMD originally offered it as the SD70M, with wide cab and DC traction, and the SD70MAC, with wide cab and AC traction. NS at the time was pretty dead set against DC power and also didn't really want wide cabs, and they convinced EMD to offer an SD70, with Spartan cab and DC traction. Note, there was never an SD70AC (Spartan cab and AC traction) offered or built. NS bought a bunch of the straight SD70s, and then when cheapskate IC saw they were being offered, they also jumped at the chance to buy a bunch of their own. NS would eventually get a second batch in the lead-up to the Conrail split. Conrail had ordered some SD70Ms before the split and since the order would be going to NS and construction had not begun, NS asked that the order be converted to SD70s. EMD was backed up at the time, and the components ended up being shipped to Altoona and assembled in kit form by Conrail in the old Pennsy shops. It seems like NS regretted that decision in more recent years and had a bunch of their SD70s rebuilt by Progress Rail into SD70ACCs, which is a straight SD70 rebuilt with a wide cab and AC traction. That program seemed to be unsuccesful and the remaining unrebuilt units were sent to Progress Rail and scrapped, and so the only unrebuilt SD70s in the US are the IC units still running for CN. I'd like to see one saved, in IC colors, and Monticello seems like it'd be a good home for one, but the issue is, CN might go the same route of having them rebuilt to SD70MAC-spec rather than retire them. With railroads trying to avoid buying new power to avoid Tier 4 emissions, it seems likely that a lot of power will be rebuilt over and over, and the SD70s have a lot of good stuff that makes them prime for rebuilding.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/17/24 4:56 p.m.

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