Random Observations

All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad

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Re: Random Observations

Postby jgallaway81 » Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:21 pm

Benjamin Maggi wrote:
jgallaway81 wrote:Sorry, but I disagree on the 14 better than 18.... you will never convince me that a 6-driver is better than an 8-driver.

18 has three things that make it completely superior to 14....
1) 8 drivers -


But for pulling passengers, a high-stepping ten-wheeler is surely better then a lowely consolidation?



Okay, if you want to do it this way :P - Certainly a high-stepping engine IS better than a consol for passenger service. Let me know when you find one. No.14's drivers only 8" bigger than No.18's little 50" ones. Now, if you want to see high-stepping, check out the 64" drivers of Middletown & Hummelstown No.91. (Short video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPDYaDy0TyU - Long Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPDYaDy0TyU, I ESPECIALLY like the long video at 5:20 as the engine climbs across Swatara Creek and the 3% grade to the Indian Echo Caverns. The grade here is steeper and the curve tighter than those found on Horseshoe Curve west of Altoona) Despite being built in 1910, CN built these E-10a's for branchline commuter service. As a result they regularly reached speeds of 60mph, and as the long video shows, she is still perfectly capable of lugging it out on the grades with her taller drivers.

Benjamin Maggi wrote:
jgallaway81 wrote: 2) 18 was built by the AMERICAN LOCOMOTIVE COMPANY (sorry, anything with "American" in it is special to me) -


Um, wasn't it built by COOKE in New Joyzee?
Here I quoth Wikipedia, because its simpler to copy/paste than to type it all out myself. -> The reference Wikipedia page here

Wikipedia wrote:The Cooke Locomotive and Machine Works, located in Paterson, New Jersey, manufactured steam railroad locomotives from 1852 until it was merged with seven other manufacturers to form American Locomotive Company (ALCO) in 1901. ALCO continued building new locomotives at the Cooke plant until 1926.


Benjamin Maggi wrote:
jgallaway81 wrote: 3) 18 runs!!!!!


In this case, I agree that an OPERATING 8-drivered engine is better than any static 6-drivered engine. If they would take the silly walkway off from the front of #18's smokebox, my opinion on #18 might change. I just like the way that the front of #14 looks... like a steamer should.


Well, I'm glad you agree on this one. You'd seriously make me question your sanity otherwise :P As for the front platform, While it MAY have been off the engine for a while on the A&A, it is in-fact the way it was delivered from Boyne City, I'm fairly certain. I still have some leads on pre-BCR pics that I have to explore, so I'm hoping to narrow-down the date this thing was added, or see if it was an OEM part for the Cuban order.

-J.D.
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Re: Random Observations

Postby Benjamin Maggi » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:44 pm

Touche (regarding point #2). As for the rest, I will someday hope for #14 to be at least cosmetically restored if not operational, and enjoy riding behind #18 over any other engine any day of the week. (My favorite engine is still #111, even over #14, but that is for personal and sentimental reasons)
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Re: Random Observations

Postby Mountcastle » Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:59 pm

I think that a fair comparison supposes both locomotives as either operational or as static, and either both in good repair or both derelict. In either case, 14 is superior, as it is more aethetically pleasing. No. 14 is larger, more majestic of design, and imparts a more romantic aura than does No. 18. Her classic Baldwin good-looks (and I don't mean Alec, Stephen or William) make her a genuine beauty. Furthermore, No. 14 will actually be an authentic antique in seven years' time, whereas No. 18 has a ways to go, yet. For all of those reasons, No. 14 makes either a better static display or a better romantic ruin than No. 18.

As for which is more suited to touristy passenger service (again, all things being equal), No. 14 wins again, for all of the reasons given above, and for its wheel arrangement (as has been argued elsewhere). With respect to which locomotive offers the superior cab ride, one might argue in favor of No. 18 on account of her smaller boiler and roomier cab. On the other hand, No. 18's whistle is located on the fireman's side, making the experience utterly unbearable without earplugs. Not so with No. 14 and her engineer side whistle. This is on the assumption that by "cab ride" one means a guest riding in the fireman's seat, of course. Apropos of nothing mentioned thus far, No. 14's bell has a grander sound than No. 18's. In every way, No. 14 was, for so many years, the flagship of the fleet, and the 'grande dame' of the A&A.

Finally, the tender in use is correctly paired with No. 14, not with No. 18. No. 14's tender is too large for No. 18 and looks it, thus robbing 18 of even more points.

In the realm of fair comparisons, then, No. 14 wins hands-down in my opinion. Apart from all of that exists reality, however: a world in which No. 18 is restored and operational and in which No. 14 is a rusting pile of steel. And in that world, No. 18 is queen. Long may she reign. That much having been acknowledged, however, I still hold out hope that the queen's reign will be supplanted by a restored No. 14, one day. Or, perhaps better stated, my hope is for a joint monarchy in which both locomotives rule the rails, together.
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Re: Random Observations

Postby Benjamin Maggi » Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:40 pm

I believe MountCastle put into words everything I have thought about the two engines, with the exception of the "cab ride" arguments as I have never considered them. Having only ridden in the cab of #112, and at the time thought that it was the most wonderful experience of my life (I was married a month later, so it didn't last long!) I can hardly comprehend what sitting in a real steam engine is like.

I am confident that #14 will not rust away to nothing. Either it will be returned to operation, stuffed and mounted like the other pieces of equipment for everyone to see and enjoy, or stored for longer where it will collect dust but not turn to rust. It seems inconceivable that it would be sold away.
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Re: Random Observations

Postby jgallaway81 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:13 pm

Mountcastle wrote:I think that a fair comparison supposes both locomotives as either operational or as static, and either both in good repair or both derelict. In either case, 14 is superior, as it is more aethetically pleasing. No. 14 is larger, more majestic of design, and imparts a more romantic aura than does No. 18. Her classic Baldwin good-looks (and I don't mean Alec, Stephen or William) make her a genuine beauty. Furthermore, No. 14 will actually be an authentic antique in seven years' time, whereas No. 18 has a ways to go, yet. For all of those reasons, No. 14 makes either a better static display or a better romantic ruin than No. 18. {/quote]


I disagree. The only objective argument here is that 14 has seven years to become an antique... and my research indicates that even that isn't an actual "written in stone" rule, just a guideline. Further, 18 has only an additional three years to attain the same status. By this guideline, C&O 614, N&W 611 and UP 844 are all worthless, being built in 1948, 1950 and 1944 respectively (Lima, Roanoke & ALCO-Schenectady)

Mountcastle wrote:As for which is more suited to touristy passenger service (again, all things being equal), No. 14 wins again, for all of the reasons given above, and for its wheel arrangement (as has been argued elsewhere). With respect to which locomotive offers the superior cab ride, one might argue in favor of No. 18 on account of her smaller boiler and roomier cab. On the other hand, No. 18's whistle is located on the fireman's side, making the experience utterly unbearable without earplugs. Not so with No. 14 and her engineer side whistle. This is on the assumption that by "cab ride" one means a guest riding in the fireman's seat, of course. Apropos of nothing mentioned thus far, No. 14's bell has a grander sound than No. 18's. In every way, No. 14 was, for so many years, the flagship of the fleet, and the 'grande dame' of the A&A.


Again, this is all subjective and in the eye of the beholder, and therefore not applicable to a debate regarding the adequacy of an engine for excursion service. Granted, I will provide you a point regarding the wheel arrangement.

A recent article (within the last five years) in Trains discussed this point thoroughly, and the consensus did in fact argue that the x-6-x arrangement was superior for excursion service. However, I argue differently for a main reason... 18 is lighter than 14. Because of the lower weight, she presents a lower factor of damage to the rail in operation. This might be mitigated by the fact that 14 has a 4-wheel lead truck, which would definitely provide superior tracking into curves as well as increased dampening of the hunting caused by the oscillation of the pistons. This advantage is decreased by the lower speeds and lower piston thrusts in service of the units in question.

A very interesting detail to investigate would be to put both engines on rollers and determine the actual dynamic augment present in each locomotive and make a determination based on simple mathematics to determine which engine presents a greater risk to the integrity of the rail. Again, as above, the lower piston thrusts, lighter weight and lower speeds of these two engines makes this argument less critical than in an engine that weighs in at 700-800 thousand pounds and regularly ran in excess of 60mph.

As an additional mechanical argument, lets go into the internal boiler design. While 14 IS superior in fuel efficency due to its front-end superheater, I would argue that the increased costs of maintenance on the aforementioned superheater assembly... the tubes and the header.. would mitigate the fuel efficiency advantages. Further, back when 14 was built, it may have been considered unnecessary, however today it is nearly universally accepted that a hydrostatic lubricator is NOT adequate to lubricate superheated cylinders. In order to bring 14 back to service, either the superheater should be removed, or the engine equipped with a mechanical lubricator, either way making it less original than it was.

Mountcastle wrote:Finally, the tender in use is correctly paired with No. 14, not with No. 18. No. 14's tender is too large for No. 18 and looks it, thus robbing 18 of even more points.

In the realm of fair comparisons, then, No. 14 wins hands-down in my opinion. Apart from all of that exists reality, however: a world in which No. 18 is restored and operational and in which No. 14 is a rusting pile of steel. And in that world, No. 18 is queen. Long may she reign. That much having been acknowledged, however, I still hold out hope that the queen's reign will be supplanted by a restored No. 14, one day. Or, perhaps better stated, my hope is for a joint monarchy in which both locomotives rule the rails, together.


Okay, 14's tender being coupled to 18 is true, we all know this. While I haven't had the opportunity to confirm this in actual tests, I believe that the tender frames of each unit are nearly identical in length, being within 2-6" of each other. The difference is that 14's water tank extends to the rear of the deck, while 18's water tank was cut short, leaving nearly a foot of open space at the tail end. This feature was most prominent in old narrow-gauge engines where they placed the locomotive's main air reservoir... usually as a retrofit to older non-automatic brake equipped locomotives. Why this was done is purely speculation, however my thought is that it reduced the weight of the tender shell for the lighter tracks of the Cuba plantations which this engine was built for.

Swapping tenders between engines was not at all uncommon. In fact, that is the reason that the practice of painting the unit number under the cab window and the generic railroad name on the sides of the tender was established. For a good example, look at ATSF 3751. At 11 years old, she was overhauled in 1938 which included swapping out her tender for a different one, increasing her water capacity to 20,000gal and her fuel capacity to 7,107gal.

Yes, it would be nice for 18 to have her tender back, but the only real reason to want this is because 14 would need it.

Having made this debate, lets go one step further.... (I'll add the next segment as a new post)
Last edited by jgallaway81 on Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Random Observations

Postby jgallaway81 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:58 pm

Random Suggestion for future plant upgrades:

1) Evacuate the shop... completely.

2) Call in structural engineers to evaluate the building for a safe restoration.

3) Depending on results of structural survey:
-> 3a) Raze building for wood. Sell timbers for use in home construction (antique aged wood is a hot commodity in upper-class home construction).
-> 3b) Completely restore building, use as living history demonstration on locomotive maintenance and operations.

4) Build new shop -> Depending on land availability and existance of old shop:
-> 4a) A 5-stall structure, most likely built after razing the original shop:
  • Diesel Storage: Basic unexciting stall. Capability for either three centercabs or one centercab and one GP-38-2 sized locomotive. Integral diesel exhaust active ventilation (fans) to provide for indoor startups, especially important in winter. Also provided for sanitary draining of main reservoirs to remove accumulated moisture. Also power hookups for emergency jump-starting/charging of the batteries as well as engine block heaters.

  • Heavy Maintenance Bay - Diesel: Extra spacing between adjacent tracks to provide for safe and efficient movement of tools and heavy equipment. Integral track-pit inspection bays with truck-drop capability with ability to remove truck from pit without moving locomotive. Overhead traveling crane for moving large sub-components of locomotive technology instead of moving dead engine to North Java for use of plant crane. This stall would also double for heavy maintenance of the snow plows, ballast cars, passenger coaches, or any freight car damaged online.

  • M.o.W. Equipment: This would be a dual-purpose heavy-maintenance and storage bay for the tampers, tie inserter, ballast regulator, etc.

  • Steam Bay #14: A dual-purpose: storage, inspection & overhaul bay. No.14 would be assigned her own bay, again track spacing being specifically chosen to allow safe & efficient movement of heavy tools and such. Overhead would be a traveling 5-ton crane for placement and removal of things such as domes, bell, stack, throttle-assembly, cab & front plate. Provisions would also be made for an power-ventilated exhaust vent stack allowing indoor firing of the boiler; as well as sanding the engines. This bay would also be equipped integrally with a track-pit inspection bay with removable safety grates covering the pit when not in use. Also integral with the pit design would be a wheel-drop pit with the capability to remove the wheels without needs to move the locomotive. Further features would also include positionable spotlights for increased safety and visibility during inspections and repair work; also included would be boiler-draining equipment.

  • Steam Bay #18: A dual-purpose: storage, inspection & overhaul bay. No.18 would be assigned her own bay, again track spacing being specifically chosen to allow safe & efficient movement of heavy tools and such. Overhead would be a traveling 5-ton crane for placement and removal of things such as domes, bell, stack, throttle-assembly, cab & front plate. Provisions would also be made for an power-ventilated exhaust vent stack allowing indoor firing of the boiler; as well as sanding the engines. This bay would also be equipped integrally with a track-pit inspection bay with removable safety grates covering the pit when not in use. Also integral with the pit design would be a wheel-drop pit with the capability to remove the wheels without needs to move the locomotive. Further features would also include positionable spotlights for increased safety and visibility during inspections and repair work; also included would be boiler-draining equipment.

-> 4b) A 3-stall structure, most likely built near the wye, while the old building is being stabilized and prepped for conversion to museum.
  • Diesel: The diesel Bay would be a combination storage and heavy-maintenance stall. Long enough to house five centercabs or one centercab and two GP-38-2 class locomotives. The extra space would be used for heavy rebuild work and would be located at the rear of the stall allowing regular operations to continue while rebuild work was progressing. The downside to this arrangement, due to Federal regulations providing for the safety of engine maintenance personnel, all overhaul/repair work would need to be stopped and all people in the clear before the operational unit entered or departed the track. The stall would include: integral diesel exhaust active ventilation (fans) to provide for indoor startups, especially important in winter. Also provided for sanitary draining of main reservoirs to remove accumulated moisture. Also power hookups for emergency jump-starting/charging of the batteries as well as engine block heaters. The rear segment would also be equipped with an integral track-pit inspection bays with truck-drop capability with ability to remove truck from pit without moving locomotive. Overhead traveling crane for moving large sub-components of locomotive technology instead of moving dead engine to North Java for use of plant crane. This stall would also double for heavy maintenance of the snow plows, ballast cars, passenger coaches, or any freight car damaged online.

  • Steam Bay #14: A dual-purpose: storage, inspection & overhaul bay. No.14 would be assigned her own bay, again track spacing being specifically chosen to allow safe & efficient movement of heavy tools and such. Overhead would be a traveling 5-ton crane for placement and removal of things such as domes, bell, stack, throttle-assembly, cab & front plate. Provisions would also be made for an power-ventilated exhaust vent stack allowing indoor firing of the boiler; as well as sanding the engines. This bay would also be equipped integrally with a track-pit inspection bay with removable safety grates covering the pit when not in use. Also integral with the pit design would be a wheel-drop pit with the capability to remove the wheels without needs to move the locomotive. Further features would also include positionable spotlights for increased safety and visibility during inspections and repair work; also included would be boiler-draining equipment. Because of the reduction in stall quantity, this version would be long enough to house both engines in a row. However, the design would place the heavy-maintenance in the rear of the stall, while storage would occur in the front section. The space NOT taken by No.14 would be used to store some of the M.o.W. equipment.

  • Steam Bay #18: A dual-purpose: storage, inspection & overhaul bay. No.18's would be identical to No.14's bay in all regards, just as stated above three times. The point of the extra-length to the bay would be assuming that each engine alternates service to the railroad, and only occasionally are doubleheaded or available for dual-service. While 18 leads the excursions for five years, 14 could be undergoing her 15-year/1472-service-day inspection/rehabilitation and vice versa. When an engine is running under a 1472 inspection, the M.o.W. equipment would be stored behind the engine, and in front of it while undergoing its 15yr inspections.


Once the new shop is built, other work could begin:
  • If its still in existence, the conversion of the old shop facility to a living-history museum on the overhaul and operation of steam locomotives on shortlines.
  • And the one everyone wants the most: starting the restoration to operational service of ex-E&LS 4-6-0 No.14
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Re: Random Observations

Postby BSOR Patarak » Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:34 pm

Just another thought on the 2-8-0 versus 4-6-0 for use on a shortline....2-8-0's having the longer and more rigid wheel base (all 4 drive axles connected with side rods) tend to not like operating in reverse on curvy track. Anyone wonder why the rear wheel on 18 was changed? Now this statement is open to much discussion...it is only a theory as to why the wheel wore the way it did. The A&A is a good case study for this as they have always operated the steamers as much backwards as fowards. Just thought I'd throw the idea out there.

Also to add to the wish list, an operational wye at Arcade and a wye or turntable at Curriers to eliminate the backwards running.
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Re: Random Observations

Postby Mountcastle » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:29 pm

I disagree. The only objective argument here is that 14 has seven years to become an antique...


That's very true. My arguments were totally...and completely...subjective. But none of that matters, because I'm right.

:wink:

I love your ideas about the engine house, however. The funny thing is I was imagining, recently, what sort of changes I would make to the engine house if it were up to me and I had unlimited funds. For my part, I would raze the existing structure and replace it with a new one of red brick with sandstone accents. The new structure would mimick the old in terms of shape, width, and height, however, as to harmonize, to some degree, with the past. The three bays would remain, but the new interior would be completely pristine, and much lightened; the dark, cavernous feel of the current structure a thing of the past. The interior would not be separated into stalls by walls, but only by columns or support beams, to give the interior a feeling of openness and flow.

The exterior would feature, above the door to the center bay, a large sandstone...plaque?...entablature?...don't know what you'd call it...featuring the inscription "ARCADE AND ATTICA RAILROAD. Est. 1917" with an older form of the A&A logo above the inscription. The bay doors and all the windows would be trimed with decorative sandstone 'frames'. The windows on either side would be large, evenly-spaced, and slightly arched.

The length of the house would be doubled, with the expansion to the rear. A two-story 'office' complex for the crew would occupy the rear half of the rear expansion, featuring offices, a meeting room, a kitchen/dining space, media room, and washroom/shower facilities. Rear doors would open onto an outdoor living space for the crew, with a barbeque, landscaping and a water feature. What? The crew should have a pleasant, relaxing space in which to unwind and have a beer after a hard day.

To the right of the rear expansion would be built a two story attached wing, with bays for the coaches, two to a bay. Obviously track would have to be added/reconfigured in the yard to accomodate this new feature. The upper floor of the coach bay expansion would consist of one great room in which a scale layout of the A&A--either in HO scale or N--would be created. That's one idea for the second floor, at any rate. The other is a restaurant. In any case, the entire complex (save the crew's quarters) would be open to the public, thus adding dimension to the tourist experience at the A&A.

This will all happen when I win the Power Ball and buy the railroad...after I restore No. 14, that is, and return her to her rightful place at the head of the excursion train.

:wink:
Last edited by Mountcastle on Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:44 pm, edited 11 times in total.
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Re: Random Observations

Postby Mountcastle » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:33 pm

Also to add to the wish list, an operational wye at Arcade and a wye or turntable at Curriers to eliminate the backwards running.


It wouldn't be the same experience for passengers riding in the gondola on the return trip if you were to turn the locomotive around at Curriers. Watching the steam engine on the trip back to Arcade is the best part of the ride!
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Re: Random Observations

Postby jgallaway81 » Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:02 pm

And there we agree. I very much enjoy the ride in the gon up against the smokebox.

However, I would spice things up a bit and spin the engines once in a while so that they run tender first LEAVING Arcade.

As a railbuff, I feel this has merit due to the fact that the run from Arcade to Curriers provides a longer "working' period than the return trip. So, that being, I thin k the gon should be against the smokebox when its chugging the most.

As for the wear to the wheel... While I feel confident that her longer wheelbase does play a factor in this, I think that one might find that "historically" the tighter curves on the railroad would rub on that side of the engine... The lengthy curve from Mill Street to Main; the curves on either side of the bridge, and the "kink" as the train pulled into Curriers. Each of these would likely cause wear on the fireman's side of the engine. My likely suspicion is that the pony truck prevented similar excessive wear on the lead driver on that side... running in reverse, you have two things to consider: the lack of a guiding truck to steal the engine into the curve, but also the lateral forces created by the tender as the engine shoves it into the curve. Depending on various forces present, the engine/tender drawbar might even being adding additional lateral force, steering the rear driver INTO the rail... I'm not certain on that one, I tried to envision the forces involved, but the multiple fulcrums (tender wheels, tender truck centerpins, drawbar bushings, etc) escape my ability to visualize it.

This also adds a more material reason to spin the engine: spinning the engine occasionally would help even out the tyre wear.

Someday, if you are all really good, I'll give you my entire renovations plan for the entire system. The location of the Western New York Railway Heritage Center (FINALLY a place to park the I1!!!), expanded excursion services, station reconfigurations, etc.
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Re: Random Observations

Postby Mountcastle » Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:57 am

Well, I for one shall be on my best behavior as I am just dying to read what you have in mind...and to see how it all compares with what I have in mind.

:wink:
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Re: Random Observations

Postby Benjamin Maggi » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:17 am

BSOR Patarak wrote: Also to add to the wish list, an operational wye at Arcade and a wye or turntable at Curriers to eliminate the backwards running.


I have wondered why the wye at Arcade isn't used more often or at all. I would think that turning the steamer around and running the train in "reverse" (engine pulling backwards to Curriers, then running forwards to Arcade) might make for some interesting and different pictures.

Unrelated turntable question: Didn't the A&A acquire one a couple of years ago as part of some display project? What happened to it?
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Re: Random Observations

Postby BSOR Patarak » Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:53 pm

Benjamin Maggi wrote:Unrelated turntable question: Didn't the A&A acquire one a couple of years ago as part of some display project? What happened to it?


They did purchase the CN turntable from Fort Erie. It was on the ground in Arcade for some time, but was sold to the Long Island Rail Museum at Riverhead. They are installing it for use when their PRR steamer is restored to operation.
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Re: Random Observations

Postby Alcophile » Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:48 am

Guess my wishlist isn't very long:

An Alco diesel.
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Re: Random Observations

Postby Benjamin Maggi » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:10 pm

An ALCO? Hum... they already have a steamer!
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