ALL THINGS N&W 611

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Re: NW 611 Tractive effort underated? (TE Discussion)

Postby Allen Hazen » Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:52 am

Timz:
You say
"When Alco/UP said the 4-8+8-4 had 135,375 lb TE (which is what you get using 0.85-- cyl 23.75 by 32, drivers 68, pressure 300) they probably figured everyone could apply whatever roller-bearing correction they wanted to that figure."
I think you're right. By the time these locomotives were built, everyone who mattered knew that nominal tractive effort wasn't really a very important figure-- that at best it was a very rough indication of locomotive performance at low speeds-- so they didn't agonize about finding a better formula for its calculation!
... As to the N&W A class: My bad. I didn't check the arithmetic and thought the A.R.E.A. formula LeMassena referred to was the one we'd been discussing.
Thanks for the information about the A's maximum cut-off. That (see below) ought to cut the nominal t.e. a bit, but maybe not all the way down to 105,000.
---
And now, some fun numbers. Consider the Pennsylvania Railroad's I1s and I1sa 2-10-0. Cylinders 30.5" diameter, 32" stroke, boiler pressure 250 lbs/sq.in., driver diameter 62". The formula (if I've done my arithmetic right: you might want to check) with a "coefficient" of .85, gives a t.e. of 102,000 pounds, which would probably have been too much to be useful, given an I1's weight on drivers...
Published t.e., however, was 90,024 pounds for the original I1s design and 96,026 for the modified I1sa. I think the differences are attributable to limited cut-off: virtually the ONLY difference between the I1s and the I1sa was that the I1s had 50% cutoff and the I1sa had 78%. The numbers make sense to me (on my thoroughly amateurish understanding of the physics involved).

(((I think real-world effective cut-offs for locomotives without "limited cut-off" as a stated design feature would be a bit under 100%, and that the .85 coefficient in our formula takes this, among other things, into account. My description of the coefficient = 1 version of the formula -- steam exerting full boiler pressure on piston for full length of travel -- describes an idealized, probably unattainable, 100% cut-off. For 50%... think of steam as going into the cylinder right as the piston starts to travel (probably in the real world this isn't QUITE what happens, but suppose we get as close as practically possible to this ideal). For the first 50% of its travel, then, the piston has full-pressure steam pushing it. Then the admission of steam is cut off (to coin a phrase). The piston continues on its way, still pushed by the steam that is already in the piston, but pressure drops as the steam expands to fill the increasing volume: at the end of piston travel, the volume is twice what it was when steam admission was cut off, so the pressure is down to half of full pressure.

Now imagine a graph of the the force exerted on the piston: x-axis represents the motion of the piston, y-axis the pressure. From 0 to the 50% point, the graph will be level at the [[boiler pressure times piston area]] value, after which it will slope down, reaching half that value at the 100% point. Tractive effort is an average over the whole cycle, and what matters is the area under the graph. So a locomotive with 50% cut-off ought to have a t.e. of 87.5% that of a locomotive with -- practically unattainable -- 100% cut-off. I haven't worked out numbers in detail, but I think the differences between the I1s, the I1sa, and the imaginary 102,000 pound t.e. locomotive are about what this model suggests.)))

If someone with real engineering knowledge is reading this and I've made a bad blooper, I hope they'll correct me!
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Re: Nominal TE

Postby timz » Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:23 pm

A couple of minor points--

The only way to get 100% cutoff would be for the valve to have zero lap-- which would mean cutoff couldn't be reduced below 100%. Locomotives built after 1930 usually didn't have maximum cutoff longer than ... 86-87% maybe?

If you know the lap, lead and valve travel of the engine you can get a fair approximation of its maximum cutoff:
Divide twice the lap by the valve travel; take the arc cosine of the result
Divide twice the (lap plus lead) by the valve travel, take the arc cosine of that
Add the two arc cosines and take the cosine of the total-- subtract that from 1 and divide the result by 2. So for the I1s (valve travel 6, lap 2, lead 1/4) the cutoff comes out just under 0.5.

Just for the record-- remember the piston thrust is slightly less when the steam is pushing on the back of the piston (since the area of the back of the piston is slightly less than the front).
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Re: NW 611 Tractive effort underated? (TE Discussion)

Postby Allen Hazen » Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:20 pm

My steam locomotive reference library (gem of the collection: Alfred Bruce, "The Steam Locomotive in America," an Alco man's retrospective on the development of steam locomotive technology, written just after the end of steam production) has caught up with me after being in storage for a while... but I have some work deadlines to meet, so won't be thinking much about locomotives for a while. Maybe I'll post something here in a couple of weeks' time.
--
Further complication: steam locomotives with limited cut-off tended to have auxiliary steam ports for use in starting. So: would maximum tractive effort be calculated in a way allowing for these auxiliary steam ports?
Further question: Pennsylvania Railroad steam locomotive diagrams give t.e. to the pound, not rounded to the nearest hundred. Were these calculated by a industry-standard formula? Or did the "Standard Railroad of the World" have its own idiosyncratic formula? Or do their figures reflect (perhaps after some formula-calculated correction) test results on the Altoona test plant?
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Re: NW 611 Tractive effort underated? (TE Discussion)

Postby timz » Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:09 pm

Allen Hazen wrote:Were these calculated by a industry-standard formula?
Going thru Staufer's diagram book, looks like they used the usual formula for all the full-cutoff engines. Naturally they didn't use 0.85 for the I1 or K5 or C1 or S1.

It's not obvious how we should define the TE for an engine with limited cutoff and starting ports. How much effect do the starting ports have at, say 1 mph? Or 2 mph?
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Re: NW 611 Tractive effort underated? (TE Discussion)

Postby Allen Hazen » Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:14 pm

I'm not sure what the calculation MEANS, but there seem to have been accepted conventions as to HOW you calculate t.e. for locomotives with limited cut-off and starting ports: the 1941 "Locomotive Cyclopedia" (published by Simmons-Boardman, but with some sort of approval or sponsorship by the AAR mechanical branch) has a "deluxe" version of "our" t.e. formula, with different values of the coefficient for different combinations of cut-off and starting port. In rush, will post report on this later.
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Re: NW 611 Tractive effort underated? (TE Discussion)

Postby Fan Railer » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:36 pm

here's that spreadsheet i made a while ago. sorry it took so long for me to upload it...
http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key= ... utput=html
tell me what you think...
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Re: NW 611 Tractive effort underated? (TE Discussion)

Postby Cactus Jack » Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:19 pm

Sorry, you lost me with the multiple factors of adhesion as I can't get into the cell formatting and I didn't note a key or legend. Does this relate back to the cut off ?
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Re: NW 611 Tractive effort underated? (TE Discussion)

Postby Fan Railer » Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:16 pm

it's not that hard to understand, although it is a pain that google docs cut off the column headings (letters)

this sheet basically lays out the dimensions of the cylinders, drive wheels, and the operating pressures in the first 6 columns. then the next two columns are purely part of the calculation process, and have little to do with the final usable information.

the next 5 columns are the tractive effort calculations and actual provided ratings.
the factor of adhesion columns are just in correspondence with the provided ratings.

Factor of Adhesion (I) is when c=1
Factor of Adhesion (J) is when c=.85
Factor of Adhesion (K) is the actual factor of adhesion based on the provided value from internet sources.
ignore L.

hope that clears things up...
if you want me to send you a copy, just pm me your email.
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Rail excursions raise hope for return of the 611

Postby Jeff Smith » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:43 am

Rail excursions raise hope for return of the 611

Didn't see a specific 611 thread, just 614.

This summer, Norfolk Southern revived its steam excursion program, with a vintage locomotive pulling passenger cars through western Virginia. For many rail fans, that has raised an interesting question, Will the 611, Roanoke's classic steam locomotive, ever ride the rails again?

The old Southern Railway #630 steamed through Boones Mill last month. And this weekend, eager rail fans lined up for another excursion from Roanoke to Bristol.

Saturday's excursion was pulled by a diesel, one of Norfolk Southern's new heritage locomotives, but both runs had people talking about the possibility of bringing the 611 back into service.

Lawrence Hall worked on the railroad for 25 years, and would love to see his great grandson ride the streamlined J Class 611. "I worked on steam engines in 1957, a freight train, hauled coal from here to Crewe," Hall told WDBJ7.
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Re: Rail excursions raise hope for return of the 611

Postby Fan Railer » Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:19 am

Jeff Smith wrote:Rail excursions raise hope for return of the 611

Didn't see a specific 611 thread, just 614.

This summer, Norfolk Southern revived its steam excursion program, with a vintage locomotive pulling passenger cars through western Virginia. For many rail fans, that has raised an interesting question, Will the 611, Roanoke's classic steam locomotive, ever ride the rails again?

The old Southern Railway #630 steamed through Boones Mill last month. And this weekend, eager rail fans lined up for another excursion from Roanoke to Bristol.

Saturday's excursion was pulled by a diesel, one of Norfolk Southern's new heritage locomotives, but both runs had people talking about the possibility of bringing the 611 back into service.

Lawrence Hall worked on the railroad for 25 years, and would love to see his great grandson ride the streamlined J Class 611. "I worked on steam engines in 1957, a freight train, hauled coal from here to Crewe," Hall told WDBJ7.


Oh gosh, 611 is a beautiful locomotive. It'll be an all out foam fest when she runs on her own power again. :P
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Re: Rail excursions raise hope for return of the 611

Postby Fan Railer » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:12 pm

Interesting news from the Virginia Museum of Transportation as of recent:
http://fireup611.org/main/index.php
The Virginia Museum of Transportation is studying the feasibility of returning the iconic Norfolk & Western Class J 611 Steam locomotive to excursion service.
The Norfolk & Western Class J Locomotives were a marriage of beauty and power. The teardrop nose, modern lines, graceful curves and deep baritone whistle combined with unbridled power to make the engine the iconic symbol of modern steam locomotives......

....She was retired from excursions in 1994 and moved back into the Virginia Museum of Transportation, where she sits today, greeting tens of thousands of her fans who visit from across the globe every year.

Since her retirement, rail fans have clamored, hoped and dreamed that she return to the rails, to blow her whistle and steam over the Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountains once again.

For many of us, the 611 doesn’t rumble, she breathes.

We long to hear her breathe again. With your help, it may be possible to bring her back to life.
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611 Returning to Service

Postby kilroy » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:11 pm

Good news for sure. All they need is money so time to rob the piggy bank a little.

The Virginia Museum of Transportation announced today its intention to return the iconic Norfolk & Western Class J 611 Steam Locomotive to excursion service if her supporters will fund the project.
"We are pleased to say that we can Fire Up 611! But the time is now and it will take fans of the 611 around the world to stoke her fire," says Beverly T. Fitzpatrick, Jr., executive director of the Virginia Museum of Transportation. "Today we are kicking off the official Fire Up 611! Capital Campaign."
The Fire Up 611! Committee determines that $3.5 million will be needed to return the locomotive to the rails. The costs include a complete mechanical restoration of the locomotive, a shop maintenance facility, and support to develop the excursion program. Ultimately, the goal is to raise $5 million so that the 611 has an endowment to keep her running for years.


From the PR News Wire.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-virginia-museum-of-transportation-announces-its-intention-to-return-americas-iconic-norfolk--western-class-j-611-steam-locomotive-to-excursion-service-213478581.html
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Re: 611 Returning to Service

Postby Fan Railer » Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:41 pm

http://discuss.amtraktrains.com/index.p ... /?p=479504
The Davy Crockett, on 25 Oct 2013 - 8:04 PM, said:
This might not be a shock, but I just got an email today from the VA Museum of Transportation saying it is no longer a matter of if, but a matter of when:

October 25, 2013 - ROANOKE, VIRGINIA - The Virginia Museum of Transportation and the Fire Up 611! Committee announced today that the Fire Up 611! Capital Campaign raised the funds to mechanically restore the Norfolk & Western Class J 611 steam passenger locomotive.

Close to 2000 donations have poured in from across the United Statesand 15 foreign countries, demonstrating worldwide appreciation for the Roanoke-designed and built locomotive. With the current funding in place for restoration of the mechanical components for the steam engine, the campaign will turn its focus toward raising funds to provide the maintenance facility that will keep the locomotive running for decades.

"We have achieved a significant milestone, but there is still much work to be done," explains Beverly T. Fitzpatrick, Jr., Executive Director of the Virginia Museum of Transportation. "Our goal from the beginning has been not only to get the 611 up and running, but to also keep it operational for decades."

The fundraising campaign will continue until additional funds are raised to build a maintenance facility. Until those funds are raised, the Class J 611 will remain at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke, Virginia.

The Virginia Museum of Transportation launched the Fire Up 611! Campaign on June 28, 2013 with a goal of raising $3.5 million by October 31, 2013, in order to restore the 611 in time for excursions in Spring 2014. "We knew going in that we were operating on a very ambitious timetable to be able to begin excursions in the spring," adds Fitzpatrick. "Good things have happened and are continuing to happen. This is not a matter of 'if' she'll run again; it's a matter of 'when.'"


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Re: 611 Returning to Service

Postby Fan Railer » Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:00 pm

http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/new ... channel=00
Fair use quote:
“The Spirit of Roanoke”—Norfolk & Western Class J 611, which has sat silently at the Virginia Museum of Transportation for the past 20 years—will soon be headed to Spencer, N.C., for restoration by the North Carolina Transportation Museum.
Planned work includes a complete overhaul to meet current Federal Railroad Administration safety guidelines and certification requirements. The restoration is expected to take approximately nine months, in order for the iconic steam locomotive to participate in Norfolk Southern’s 21st Century Steam Program in 2015. The 37-bay Bob Julian Roundhouse on the grounds of the North Carolina Transportation Museum is one of the last remaining roundhouses in the U.S. that can handle a locomotive the size of 611.

The Fire UP 611! Committee of steam locomotive technology experts, business leaders, and railroad consultants conducted a feasibility study in 2013. The study revealed that the Virginia Museum of Transportation would need $3.5 million to restore, operate, and maintain 611. An additional $1.5 million was identified as needed for an endowment. “Although the original plan called for raising approximately $3.5 million prior to the start of restoration, the Fire Up 611! Committee and our Board of Directors decided to move ahead with restoration, now that $2.3 million has been raised,” said Virginia Museum of Transportation Executive Director Beverly T. Fitzpatrick, Jr. “There is a tight timeline to participate in Norfolk Southern’s 2015 21st Century Steam Program, as well as Amtrak’s return to Roanoke.”
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Re: 611 Returning to Service

Postby Allen Hazen » Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:38 pm

From the Railway Age article linked in Fan Railer's 29 April post:
“They were the most technically advanced steam locomotive design of any type that was ever in service anywhere in the world,” says William Withuhn, Curator Emeritus, History of Technology and Transportation, Smithsonian Institution and editor and co-author of Rails Across America: a History of Railroads in North America (Smithmark, 1993).

--

Well, it is a refined design: state-of-the-art bearing lubrication, newest design of connecting rods, and very good boiler proportions (made feasible by track that would support an immensely heavy engine). But basically it is a hum-drum American two-cylinder simple expansion type. The Norfolk & Western's own Y-6, as a compound-expansion drag freighter that was still capable of 50 mph at a pinch was arguably a more sophisticated piece of engineering (and almost certainly more fuel-efficient). I doubt that a French locomotive historian would think the J was more "technically advanced" than the 242A1.
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