Building a T-1 Duplex

Discussion of steam locomotives from all manufacturers and railroads

Moderators: slide rules, Typewriters

Building a T-1 Duplex

Postby kiddnormal » Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:07 pm

Hello all, as an obsessed T-1 fan, I'm interested in starting a fun discussion about the possibility & likelyhood of building a T-1 duplex similar to what the Pennsy had back in '42. Having said that, I would like to impose a few parameters for this discussion to keep it on topic. Let's start by saying the funds for this "project" will come from a private engineering firm who's CEO is a huge Pennsy railfan and is willing to fund 200 million U.S. dollars. The original blueprints are still out there (where I'm not sure) but I do have a print of the erecting copy (elevation) in my possession so others must exist. Our T-1 will run on oil instead of coal and be similar to the later T-1's built by the Juanita shops in respect to shrouding, prow, radiator shape, will have a booster engine and Poppet valves. (I feel they weren't given a fair shake, weren't properly used and would cost less to maintain because this engine will not run in excess of 100 m.p.h. as it would be for excursions & historical fascination.) She will have the exact same tender (modified for oil), an auxiliary water tender, a works car (similar to U.P.'s) and eight new passenger cars for railfanning trips. As far as trackage goes, a legal team will contact Norfolk Southern and see if they would be interested in selling (or renting) their right-of-way to the fourth mainline running along the Pittsburgh Division and we will install a "heavyweight steam only" rail line and making modifications to the existing N&S lines as not to disturb them. (This way P.R.R. #1361, N&W 1218 & N&W 611 and one of the B&O Allegheny's can run someday as well...AND THEY WILL) Having said that, let's start the discussion. Likely to happen? Anyone know where the blueprints are? Where do you think she should be built? Obviously I'd love for her to be U.S.A. made but doesn't sound likely; Great Britain, Japan, China, Germany???? What do you think she will cost? (Engine, tender, passenger cars) Likelyhood of her getting out west to stretch her legs on the U.P. lines? Enjoy the discussion, ponder the possibilities and most important dream big!!!!!
kiddnormal
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:39 am

Re: Building a T-1 Duplex

Postby BobLI » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:44 pm

<post redacted>

Site admin note: seriously, was that necessary?
BobLI
 
Posts: 975
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:46 am
Location: NY

Re: Building a T-1 Duplex

Postby Allen Hazen » Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:27 pm

British raiolway enthusiasts have done something similar, building a new 4-6-2 to the (just updated enough to allow operation in a modern environment) design of one of the final generation of British express steam locomotives from the late 1940s. The history (and finances) of that project might give useful guidance to speculation, bearing in mind that a T-1 is something like twice as big and would probably cost twice as much.

One problem for building a T-1: the T-1, like most of the final generation of American steam locomotives had a cast frame. Steel castings of that size and complexity may just be totally unobtainable today! (The British group didn't have this problem, as British steam locomotives did not have cast frames.)
Allen Hazen
 
Posts: 2344
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Edmonton, Canada (formerly Melbourne, Australia)

Re: Building a T-1 Duplex

Postby Allen Hazen » Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:46 pm

Wikipedia on the British project (Google "A-1 Tornado" and you'll find other relevant links):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LNER_Peppe ... 63_Tornado
---
Notes: Project started in 1990, actual construction in 1995, locomotive completed in 2008. (So, for permission to operate on main lines we are probably looking at the policies of ... whoever the corporate successors to Norfolk Southern in 2030 will be!) Cost around 3 million pounds. The A-1 pacific weighs about 115 tons, as against the T-1's 240. My guess is that cost proportional to weight is the best way of getting a very preliminary rough estimate: so, assuming that somewhere (China?) there is a foundry that can produce the frame casting, actual building might run to, oh, at a guess, maybe, $12 million.


The original A-1 Pacific design was coal fired: the British group building the new one considered going for an oil-fired design, but in the end stuck with coal because (i) new engineering and certification cost too much and (ii) coal is cheaper. Since there is an existing pool of experience in the U.S. with large oil-fired steam locomotives (UP 844 etc), and since the grade of coal used by the PRR may now be hard to get in the sizes PRR would have wanted to use (after all, locomotive coal isn't a big seller these days: coal miners don't have the incentive to produce it that they would have had in the 1940s), maybe oil(*) would be a better bet in an American project.

(*) Or LNG? The T-1 had a very large tender, so maybe an LNG tank could be fitted in without ruining the appearance.
Allen Hazen
 
Posts: 2344
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Edmonton, Canada (formerly Melbourne, Australia)

Re: Building a T-1 Duplex

Postby Allen Hazen » Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:01 am

Taking up specific points in the original post...

I've given my guesstimate of the locomotive cost.

As for where to build it... Maybe final assembly fould be done in one of the steam shops now incorporated into railroad museums (Streamtown? NS Pegram Shops?), though some parts (cast frames?) may have to sourced overseas.

"Likely to happen?" I wouldn't bet on it. There are a number of big dreams I's like to see come to fruition: restocking Gray whales in the Atlantic (the species that migrates along the California coast-- it was hunted to extinction in the Atlantic in about the 18th C, but modern heavy airlift aircraft are big enough to take one, in an appropriate "cradle" for a whale-out-of-water, from California to Europe) is one, probably not less feasible than building a new American steam locomotive of T-1 size. The main difficulty (other than fund raising) would be to get support of a large number of American railroad fans: my fear would be that there would be years of squabble between the ones who wanted to build a T-1, the ones who wanted to build a New York Central Hudson or Niagara, the ones who want a Milwaukee Hiawatha..., and that in the end none would get done. If you waqnt it to happen, I think you should look carefully into the history of the A-1 Tornado project: how did they manage to get support for that project rather than some competing idea?

" Anyone know where the blueprints are?" No, but I'd start looking in the Pennsylvania State Railroad Museum in Strasburg, which has a lot of PRR documentary material.
Allen Hazen
 
Posts: 2344
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Edmonton, Canada (formerly Melbourne, Australia)

Re: Building a T-1 Duplex

Postby BigLou80 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:21 pm

Allen,
I think we "could" do the casting in this country along with the rest of the construction in this country. While losing ground every day we still have some of the best technical capabilities in the world. China is not particularly good at doing highly precise one of a kind things.
BigLou80
 
Posts: 267
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:06 am

Re: Building a T-1 Duplex

Postby kiddnormal » Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:24 am

@Allen: many thanks for your posts and terrific insight. I figured around 12 million also.
@BigLou: I like your optimism but where do you think we could get it done? I grew up in Johnstown, PA and I can tell you certainly not there. Perhaps Pittsburgh????? Are there any foundries still in capable operation being large enough to cast such a large frame???? I completely agree that the construction will NOT be a problem for us to do here. I have to admit I'm not sure of the types of quality China "steel" puts out.
kiddnormal
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:39 am

Re: Building a T-1 Duplex

Postby BigLou80 » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:39 am

kiddnormal wrote:@Allen: many thanks for your posts and terrific insight. I figured around 12 million also.
@BigLou: I like your optimism but where do you think we could get it done? I grew up in Johnstown, PA and I can tell you certainly not there. Perhaps Pittsburgh????? Are there any foundries still in capable operation being large enough to cast such a large frame???? I completely agree that the construction will NOT be a problem for us to do here. I have to admit I'm not sure of the types of quality China "steel" puts out.



There are still a few large foundries operating in this country, not nearly the number that once was but given some time and money I am sure its possible.

China excels at making widgets by the millions, They really lack the technical skill to design AND build something like this. One of a kind large precision equipment is one of the few things we still have a lead on in this country. That being said china is gaining on us every single day aggressively encouraging and creating polices to improve in this area. All we are doing in this country is saying F you industry, and telling our kids if you don't go to college your worthless to our economy.

For now however Only the US, Japan, England, and Germany are probably capable of doing this project, if you need 1000 low equality versions then china might be able to produce them economically. Even then I am not sure I would want to be sitting next to that boiler at full pressure.
BigLou80
 
Posts: 267
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:06 am

Re: Building a T-1 Duplex

Postby RDGTRANSMUSEUM » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:39 am

Generally, when the one piece locomotive frames were cast in this country they cracked,and broke apart after a few years. if you can get into the right source, the drawings and correspondence files about the PRR T-1's will tell the story of how it was back then. maybe the RRM of PA?
visit us at : readingtransportationmuseum.org
RDGTRANSMUSEUM
 
Posts: 356
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:34 pm
Location: reading,pa

Re: Building a T-1 Duplex

Postby BigLou80 » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:51 pm

RDGTRANSMUSEUM wrote:Generally, when the one piece locomotive frames were cast in this country they cracked,and broke apart after a few years. if you can get into the right source, the drawings and correspondence files about the PRR T-1's will tell the story of how it was back then. maybe the RRM of PA?


Are you inferring that a cast frame is a bad idea? how are modern locomotive frames constructed ?

@kiddnormal
Cat can cast some pretty large parts for their quarry trucks, same goes for P&H and Bucyrus
BigLou80
 
Posts: 267
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:06 am

Re: Building a T-1 Duplex

Postby jgallaway81 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:11 am

I never ready ANY reports of the cast steel beds for the Allegheny's cracking, or the Niagara's, or the Big Boys, or the Challengers, etc. I would investigate this claim thoroughly before making ANY assumptions on its validity. I could theorize on the reasons it WOULD occur, but I'm not certain that the castings weren't so over-engineered (like everything else) for this exact reason.

One thing I would suggest would be to take the lessons that we've learned over the decades since steam ended to improve the design even more superior than it was intended. With a 200mil kitty, I would think, if poppets are truely necessary, then a full computer mockup of the entire engine assembly and full simulations carried out to ensure that ALL known problems are dealt with before metal is ever cut... moving electrons is cheap compared to cutting, welding up and cutting again steel. I would use Wardale's idea of having super-high quality sleeves pressed into the cylinder and valve castings. This would allow continual reboring of the cylinders due to wear... and then they got to bad, simply press out the old sleeves and press new ones in. Also, if coal-fired, consideration should be given to a GPCS firebox with a Lempor double-exhaust. The firebox would be a bit more difficult to hide, but were any of the original T1's ever modified with smoke-consumers? If so the GCPS system could be hidden in plain sight. With the shrouding I doubt anyone would be able to tell there was a double exhaust... until they noticed the twin exhaust gas streams coming out the top, or as it went under the observation bridges in Altoona.

As for the cast steel bed... I stop to think, with the precision and superior quality welds available, couldn't smaller parts be cast, machined and then welded together to for the full bed? I would think welded seams would hold up as well as the bolted-together parts of old and be even better than that.

As for modern frames, they are welded up from structural beams and the deck is just steel plate welded on top.

As for the whole modification of the Pittsburgh Line, I think 200 mill is about.... 30-40 percent of the total needed... and that doesn't include building the engine. A far superior option would be to negotiate a system enhancement project with NS that would allow a third track installed in places where dual track only exists. Combined with full CSS-261 signalling, that should provide far more capacity then was available under Pennsy's quad-tracks. A maintenance agreement with NS would allow the engines to run on the normal tracks with the understanding that repair fees due to dynamic augment caused defects would be part of the operating costs.

Also, the engine would HAVE to be equipped with LSL, GPS, alerter, speedometer, event recorder, PTC. Might as well through in MU capability as well.

As for boosters, this is a stickler with me personally. Many have stated that steam and diesel technology work best together.. diesel for starting, steam for high-horsepower @ speed running. I'd consider a rebuilt F3/7 B-unit with a genset for a modern diesel providing power to traction motors on the trailing truck, tender axles, etc. I've personally believed that "TractionBooster" technology would provide the ultimate high-power machines... for lighter-truck train service as well as passenger needs... remember, UP, SP, NYC, PRR, they were all doing "highspeed rail" in the 1920's... the Broadway Ltd, 20th Century Ltd, Hiawatha, City Of.... they all regularly hit speeds of 100mph. They say 844's 80" drivers regularly hit 110mph.

Just additional thoughts for consideration... I'll check back in later.. got to go push a train over the Allegheny summit now... later.
_________________
__ J. D. Gallaway __
http://me.fccorp.us
User avatar
jgallaway81
 
Posts: 605
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2006 3:00 pm
Location: Milepost PT236 on the Pittsburgh Line - Altoona, PA

Re: Building a T-1 Duplex

Postby kiddnormal » Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:40 pm

@jgallaway81: Many great suggestions!! The more read about boosters the more I think I want to scrap that idea from my original post. Seeing as how our T-1 will only be pulling 8 to 9 cars at most, as opposed to the 15 to 18 car load of her predecessor's day, a booster really would not be necessary.

Your suggestion for the shared line is a great one but something I think we should only consider if funds run short from R&D, design and production. However, what do you think the cost would be of your proposed "shared/third line" idea? A "heavyweight steam only" line would permit more than just the T-1 to roam. As well as running other refurbished steam trains, in an emergency, NS would be allowed to use the line for rescue, repairs etc. The convenience of the extra line is so that things like dynamic augment and general track maintenance wouldn't hinder NS's regular operation, as well as our ability to run her whenever we wished.

As far as the frame is concerned whether it is fully cast or welded piece by piece, research is demanded before production. (as per your suggestion of manipulating electrons vs. a 89 ton frame). But, the one piece frame was designed to increase stability at speed and while it did hinder it's ability at curves, I've never heard of problems with the frame cracking or splitting and think either suggestion is a good one.

Our T-1 was to be oil-fired not coal due to the existing experience of the U.P. steam-team as well as operating costs of oil vs. coal AND non-availability of "locomotive-sized coal", even in my old P.A. stomping grounds (Summerhill, Wilmore, Johnstown, Cresson & Portage) You'll have to forgive my ignorance as to all the electronics the locomotive would need. i.e. "Also, the engine would HAVE to be equipped with LSL, GPS, alerter, speedometer, event recorder, PTC. Might as well through in MU capability as well." The GPS, alerter, speedometer & E.R. are obvious, it's the others I do not know; if you could explain them please and THANK YOU for the great post!!!!
kiddnormal
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:39 am

Re: Building a T-1 Duplex

Postby Allen Hazen » Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:52 pm

--I hadn't heard of problems of cracking of cast-steel locomotive frames. (Use it long enough, of course, and something will happen: I believe some of the GG-1 were retired in part because of frame cracking. But that would have been after several decades of intense every-day service!) They were introduced for new steam locomotives around 1930 and were more or less universal for large American steam locomotives after that, so I assume that any problems they had weren't all that bad.

I don't know anything in detail about U.S. foundry capabilities in the modern age: I just have an impression that large steel castings tend to be imported nowadays. (Truck-frame castings for GE diesel locomotives-- not as big as a steam locomotive frame but perhaps analogous in the technical challenge-- have in recent years been imported from South Africa.)

The great thing about electronics is that the equipment is SMALL: it can be fitted into a small space and not affect the exterior aesthetics of the locomotive. So, for example, if you want m.u. capacity so diesel helpers can be controlled from the cab, a micro-computer (so: think of something the size of a hand-held computer under the engineer's seat) could monitor speedometer and throttle readings and generate the instructions for the trailing units).

There is one place where better electronics might be useful and not unfaithful to the original Pennsylvania Railroad design philosophy. Wheelslip control was an issue with the duplexes. I'm not sure the T-1 had it, but at least on the Q-2 there was an electronic system that monitored speedometer readings from front and rear sets of drivers and activated a stop valve in the steam lines if one set started going much faster than the other. It didn't work too well, but I'm sure the engineering problems of getting it to work would have been soluble... had the PRR tried to keep the duplexes in service rather than retiring them when they were as old as first graders.
Allen Hazen
 
Posts: 2344
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Edmonton, Canada (formerly Melbourne, Australia)

Re: Building a T-1 Duplex

Postby kiddnormal » Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:16 pm

@ Allen H. : In regards to the electronic regulators for steam on the Q-1 are you referring to the butterfly valve? These did pretty much what you described but were indeed a problem (if not a failure on Penny's part) because while they did work they did so to an extent that the locomotive would virtually come to a stand-still before evening out the speed of the respective drivers. But having a modern system of detecting wheelslip and arresting the problem is a definite plus in our discussions.
kiddnormal
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:39 am

Re: Building a T-1 Duplex

Postby Desertdweller » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:33 pm

Perhaps a system of controlling wheelslip could consist of a small electrical generator on one drive axle of each engine set. A sensor could detect variations in current output between the two units and adjust steam flow accordingly. It could also provide automatic sanding.

I found the concept of an electrically-operated booster to be intreging. Especially if the electricity were produced on-board (steam turbo-generator). I do wonder how much of this 21st Century stuff could be added to a T-1 without losing the original concept.

Maybe better call it a T-2?

Perhaps a better idea would be to come up with a totally up-to-date steam locomotive, in the sense of the ACE project of the 1980's. Only this time, try oil-fired steam running turbo-generators like Jawn Henry with current technology.

Les
Desertdweller
 
Posts: 639
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:28 pm

Next

Return to Steam Locomotives

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest