Who owned/operated Sharks (Baldwin RF-16)?

Discussion related to Baldwin Locomotive Works, Lima Locomotive Works, Lima-Hamilton Corporation, and Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton.

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Postby Alloy » Wed Sep 27, 2006 12:07 am

Wikipedia is certainly not the last word in any discussion, but on technical subjects, I've found it to be fairly reliable.

The article lists the Balwin model DR 4-4-15 as having two body styles. The "babyface" style was built in 1947-48, and the "sharknose" style was built in 1949-50. The New York Central is listed as purchasing the babyface model, along with Central of New Jersey and Missouri Pacific. But it appears that only the Pennsylvania is listed as a buyer for the sharknose model. The references listed are two Kalmbach books.


http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?tit ... d=40275866

Anyway, maybe I'm mis-intepreting the information that's there.
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Postby Typewriters » Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:27 am

Well, I suppose that some further clarification is needed. BEWARE Kalmbach publications, my friend!!!

The style of body commonly referred to as "Shark" on Baldwin and Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton locomotives was used on several models of locomotive. One general range was four-axle, single-engine freight units rated either 1500 HP or 1600 HP per unit and covered by model numbers DR-4-4-1500, DR-4-4-1600 and RF-16. The other range was double-engined road passenger locomotives with six axles (four powered, two idler) and covered by model number DR-6-4-2000.

In 1949, Baldwin was offering essentially the same competitive product as the other builders in the sense that it had single-engine freight and double-engine passenger units in its catalog, and at that time the decision was made to convert production of these models from the original, or "babyface" body style to the new "Shark" style. As it turns out, although the twin-engine passenger locomotive had sold to other buyers in the original body, only the Pennsylvania Railroad purchased this model following the conversion to the "Shark" body.

The freight units also converted to the new body, and buyers in the new body included Pennsylvania, New York Central and Baltimore & Ohio as first purchasers. The four-unit demonstrator (6000 HP) was bought by the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern but was later sold to B&O. Following events are as they were stated in my previous post as to the fate of these roads' units.

In the early or "babyface" body, two railroads purchased an odd 1500 HP single-engine design riding on A1A-A1A trucks for passenger service (DR-6-4-1500). Both New York Central and Seaboard Air Line owned such units; market for such a unit was understandably small. Also, the Chicago & North Western purchased one unit ostensibly of the twin-engine babyface design but which included only one engine and one powered truck (A1A) with baggage space at the rear, similar in concept to some Electro-Motive units.

I hope this clears up the confusion; keep in mind that the model numbers given above should be noted, and I note that the Wikipedia article only seems to cover DR-4-4-15 units. That is by far NOT all the Sharks built, however.

Looking at the Wikipedia page, I note that another piece of railfan misinformation has been perpetuated and should be removed. In point of fact, the Central of New Jersey's units of model DR-4-4-1500 were shorter than the same model units built for the New York Central and for the Missouri Pacific. This was due to what John Kirkland describes as an equipment rearrangement in the locomotives, and was not for the provision of steam generators; none of the single-engine four-axle units was built with a steam generator. He notes in his book that the option for steam generator in such units was, in fact, made available but this would have increased the length of the "A" units from 55 feet 6 inches (NYC, MP) to 61 feet. This is the same length as the A1A-A1A 1500 HP units built for New York Central and Seaboard Air Line.

Hope that clears this up for you. If you want to see some BLW related information make sure to click the www button, as I have some on my website.

-Will Davis
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Postby scottychaos » Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:44 am

anyone can change, delete, and update info on those wikipedia articles..
thats the whole point of the wiki concept..
so if you see something wrong, fix it! :P

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Postby Typewriters » Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:30 am

You do make a good point, Scotty, but here's why I refuse to take part in those things.

I have spent a great deal of time constructing several extremely large websites, concerning essentially two different hobbies. They bear my name, and I am solely responsible for their content and accuracy. This effort has covered many years of purchasing, researching and collaborating and I absolutely do not feel any need to essentially plagiarize my own content by reproducing it on such "Wiki" articles. Those "Wiki" things rather strike me as the internet equivalent of the "idiot's guide" with the exception that the content is not necessarily produced by educated persons in any such field and then filtered and simplified, but rather just produced by anybody and in point of fact largely plagiarized. You'll note I'm sure the familiar, and still wrong, wording right out of the Second Diesel Spotter's Guide (Kalmbach Books, ca. 1973-74) regarding those Missouri Pacific units. Not only then is this information plagiarized (did anyone contact Kalmbach to get permission to reproduce this wording exactly?) but it is incorrect.

That's the kind of thing that gets people in trouble in school when they simply copy articles from magazines or encyclopedias; when caught, this usually results in a grade of "F." We all know that.

(My website content on typewriters is plagiarized anywhere from one to twenty times AT ANY ONE MOMENT on e-Bay, as an aside.)

More challenging, and more rewarding, and something I was fortunate to learn many years ago is the effort to, as John Kirkland so rightly asserts, "take the time to come into possession of the facts." I have done this, and then further have taken a great deal more time to put various parts of this on the internet, for free. Thus, in researching a topic, while it might be true that some sort of wholly generic reference might be a good initial aiming point, if one really wishes to, say, research diesel locomotives in a serious way he should remove himself at once from that generic encyclopedic world and enter the world of railroad-oriented sites and forums, such as we have here. (Books from authoritative sources are also a good idea; Kirkland's volume on Baldwins is not just desirable but essential.)

Now, again as to the correction of the "Wiki" article, I suppose I could do that. Then, naturally, I'd wonder what else on there was incorrect. It would never end. Of course, somebody would come along and note my removal of the reference to the MP units, and, armed with their tattered and "trusty" Spotter's Guide, put it right back there. You see? There's no integrity of information in such a venue.

I absolutely understand how snobbish this all will sound to many. I also hope that many understand the need for a higher standard. I too was misled for many years by railfan-oriented publications, and began to discover this with the purchase and examination of just the first few actual technical materials from locomotive manufacturers and railroads. That finding, and discussion with railroaders, led to further application of that higher standard, and the results of just some of this are on my website for everyone to see. There are many other websites out there, so that persons attempting to find the truth about this or that locomotive, or technical detail, can find many and using such venues as we have here request others.

"Kick it up a notch" and leave those generic things alone, I say.

-Will Davis
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Postby Engineer James » Wed Sep 27, 2006 12:38 pm

I am glad u like them Alloy, Typewriter is right, the NYC did have units, and also these 2 particular units also operated on the Monagahala RR in West Virginia, then went to D&H for 6 months, then Castol Industries Bought them, and then, they were sold privately. They still remain on the MN in Escanaba, MI, in a closed unknown location roundhouse away from Railfans. Also If I am correct, #1205 has a scored crankshaft....

http://baldwindiesels.railfan.net/mign/index.html

Here is the link. This same story was told summer 2005 to us up in General Locomotives forum by member Alex Huff...

Enjoy...
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Postby Alloy » Thu Sep 28, 2006 11:27 pm

Typewriters wrote: Of course, somebody would come along and note my removal of the reference to the MP units, and, armed with their tattered and "trusty" Spotter's Guide, put it right back there.


Thanks for taking the time to try to clear all that up, Will. Basically, you're saying that the information in the Wiki article only covers the passenger units that were produced.

And you're right, the "revert " wars you'd fight would be bloody over there.



I also hope that many understand the need for a higher standard.
[

That's admirable, and I applaud your pursuit of it.

Now, we'll bring this hijacked thread back in for a landing...
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Postby deezlfan » Fri Sep 29, 2006 5:14 am

then went to D&H for 6 months,


The Baldwin RF16s were on the D&H for approx 4 years before being sold.
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PRR Sharks

Postby amtrakhogger » Fri Sep 29, 2006 11:02 am

I posted on another site about PRR Sharks but was corrected. I thought the model designation was BP20 but that is a PRR model type not a Baldwin model type.

I read about the MN enginehouse being burglarized several years back and some Baldwin repair manual were stolen.

Anybody know if there are any plans to restore or run these Sharks?
"I will stop at St. Avold."
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Postby Engineer James » Fri Sep 29, 2006 11:26 am

Amtrakhogger, not according to Mr. Larkin. He has kept them away from prying eyes, and as far as it is known they are still there. But, sadly I don't think there are that many Baldwin Reps. or even anybody except a select few who know how to redo a locomotive like this, and remake a Prime Mover of that calliber...

However, the E&LS has some other good road power Baldwin wise... A VO-1000 I think is still there and they also have some Alco stuff, and 2 or 3 F units..... So, the answer is no, unless there is a miracle that happens.....

:(
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Postby GOLDEN-ARM » Fri Sep 29, 2006 6:25 pm

So much wrong here, don't even want to start. If the pictures were "unseen" before, how did you see them, on a public website?
Those units operated for several years, on the D&H.
Undisclosed, unkown location? They are sitting in the machine shop, on the ELS, known to every Baldwin fan alive, as well as most others, with some years under their belts.
Select few? A diesel is a diesel (excepting OP FM types) ANYONE with the tools, and money, can work on those "Caliber Prime Movers".
One had a crankshaft failure, but it's replaceable, as is any component, in a diesel engine.
It's okay to post pix, but there is a great thread here, already, regarding the "sharks", let's not invent some history for them.
Regards :wink:
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Postby pennsy » Fri Sep 29, 2006 7:11 pm

Hi All,

Good shots of the Sharks in the D & H colors. However, I prefer mine in Tuscan Red with gold cats whiskers. I have an RF-16 in my HO gauge stable in just such livery and it is alive and well.
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Postby Allen Hazen » Sat Sep 30, 2006 2:00 am

For curiosity, how different were the DR4-4-1500 and the RF-16? The later unit had a hundred extra horsepower (supposedly), and the engine had a new designation (608A?), but were there significant changes other than engine upgrades?

And what exactly was the sequence of changes? Supposedly there were some late DR4-4-1500 built in the revised, RF-16, carbody (sometimes called, by railfans, "RF-15," which, since it is not an official Baldwin model designation, I will write ONLT in scare-quotes). Will refers to a DR4-4-1600: were a few of the last ones delivered with the higher horsepower rating before the official change to the RF-16 model?

(B.t.w. The Wikipedia page on the DR4-4-1500 has a link to their page on the RF-16, which has more information and no errors that I caught in a quick skim. The old "Diesel Spotter's Guide," for all its many flaws, served to introduce lots of people to diesel locomotive history: perhaps the Wikipedia's articles on locomotive types can serve a similar function for another generation!)
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Postby Engineer James » Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:32 pm

Never Believe Wiki..... Thats a hard but true statment.....

I still love the sharks, and there should be something done since Mr. Larkin cannot be that young, and has no family.....
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Postby Mimbrogno » Fri Oct 13, 2006 4:29 pm

GOLDEN-ARM wrote:So much wrong here, don't even want to start. If the pictures were "unseen" before, how did you see them, on a public website?
Those units operated for several years, on the D&H.
Undisclosed, unkown location? They are sitting in the machine shop, on the ELS, known to every Baldwin fan alive, as well as most others, with some years under their belts.
Select few? A diesel is a diesel (excepting OP FM types) ANYONE with the tools, and money, can work on those "Caliber Prime Movers".
One had a crankshaft failure, but it's replaceable, as is any component, in a diesel engine.
It's okay to post pix, but there is a great thread here, already, regarding the "sharks", let's not invent some history for them.
Regards :wink:


I'm afraid that you are rather mistaken on some accounts. Yes these engines operated for many years, first on the NYC, then Monogahela, and D&H before being sold to Chrome Crankshaft, and then leased to Michigan Northern, who wrecked them. They were stored in a private shed owned by John Larken, who accepted them in trade for payment of overdue rent. The shed was then burglerized, with many items being stolen. Equipment from builder's plates to horns to engine parts and tools was taken, and none has since been located (to my knowledge). After the robbery, John locked them away in another wearhouse, the location of which he has not disclosed. All you will find if you try to sneak into the machine shop is an arrest warrent for trespassing.

And yes, there are only a few people with experiance in dealing with these engines. Although I haven't much myself, I have enough to know that not just any mechanic can tend to these engines, and you can't use just any part off the shelf. The fact is that parts for these engines went out of production 30+ years ago, and just about all of the unused parts made have been used up. And crankshafts are one of the most specialized parts these engines have. Because of the amount of oil that must be delievered to the pistons for cooling is so high, the crankshaft has a very large oil feed ports. This means that the bearings and all other parts are much larger for the crankshaft's given length than on other common engines. Thus it takes specialized manufacturing tools to even make them, tools which are very difficult to procure.

Baldwin diesels are not like just any other diesel. They incorperate design philosophies and ideas that are simply not found elsewhere, although some are just now begining to be re-discovered. As such, they are quite a different kind of animal than what diesel techs know now.

That's not to say that they cannot be rebuilt, it's just that if they are going to be restored to running condition, they are going to need a lot of dedicated attention and a bit of generosity. The circumstances around them are unfortunate, creating a lot of frustration and regret for railfans and their owner. Hopefully, it won't always be that way.

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Postby Engineer James » Mon Oct 16, 2006 6:11 am

Matt, Welcome! I agree with what you are saying, it would take forever, and with the amount of money.. well, Lets just say it would take a Millionare to probably renovate one.....
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