Unidentified Locomotives

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Unidentified Locomotives

Postby Lensmeister » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:02 am

Hi all,

First post here. Sorry if this post is in the wrong place and can one of the mods please move it to the most appropriate place.

I'm from England and work on the Railways in the UK so my knowledge on American Railroads is limited so I hope you guys can help me. I am writing a blog post about my trip there all those years ago.

In 1995 I travelled to California and the San Diego and Arizona State Railroad whilst there I took many photos so I have a few that I cannot ID. I have tried their website but still having trouble locating some.

Sorry for the links but I couldn't get the [img] to work they all link to my Flickr album.:
Diesel Loco #408

Trolly car ?

1st Steam Loco

2nd Steam Loco

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Re: Unidentified Locomotives

Postby Allen Hazen » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:11 pm

Lensmeister--
Not many Americans could identify many British railway vehicles (on good days I can tell the difference between a Class 47 and a Class 56, but that's about it!), so fare questions, and I think this is probably the best forum on Railroad.net for it. There are people here who can doubtless answer more of your questions than I can.
--
Diesel 408 is a Fairbanks-Morse (company still in the Diesel engine business, as a subsidiary of something else, but built its last locomotive in the early 1960s) H20-44. This is a "road switcher" (American parlance for diesel locomotive with a narrow hood over the engine, so better visibility from the cab for "switching" (shunting) than locomotives with full-width carbodies would have, but with power enabling it to be used on main-line trains (often in multiple-unit sets with others of its own or different kinds). Unusually (for the U.S.: we didn't have anything comparable to the Class 20) it was built with no short hood: the operator's cab is at the end, a configuration otherwise limited to "switchers" in North America.
It was never a common type (96 built, the last in 1954): it was rated at 2000 hp at a time when most American road switchers were 1500 or 1600, and -- railroad managements being the intensely conservative people they are -- this may have hurt its sales. Most were scrapped decades ago, but one was used for many years on an industrial site (???Southwest Portland Cement???) somewhere in the southwestern U.S. (?Victorville, California?): my guess is that this would be that one. ... Looking at the dark band near the top of the side between the cab and the radiator compartment at the other end, I'd say it was modified at some point with extra ventilation openings and exterior dust filters: sensible if it was being used in a hot and dusty environment.
--
The tram car ("trolley car," as you politely called it for American readers (grin!)) is a PCC. That stands for "President's Conference Committee": designs were drawn up in the 1930s by a committee commissioned by a conference of the managements of many U.S. "street railways", to get a standardized (so, hopefully, cheaper to produce and support) and modern design to help them compete agains motor cars. Built, with slight variations, for many cities in the U.S. and Canada (Toronto had a large fleet of them) from the 1930s to the early 1950s. Somebody who knows their trolley lines better than I do should be able to identify which city this one comes from from the paint scheme.
---
Hope this helps!
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Re: Unidentified Locomotives

Postby Allen Hazen » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:22 pm

Steam locomotive 16 has a picture of a skunk, over faded lettering that I thin says California Western. The California Western was a short railroad, somewhere north of San Francisco, which for many years ran tourist trains (using both a self-propelled railcar and later a steam locomotive hauled train) under the brand name "Skunk" and "Superskunk."
Skunks are distantly related to raccoons and weasels, and are famous for their odorous secretions (which they can squirt from glands beside the anus for defence purposes)-- smell is sort of reminiscent of a ferret's, but more intense! My guess is that the C.W. got the name originally as a nickname applied to their self-propelled car because of its smelly exhaust.
--
The steam locomotive coupled behind it (in the same photo-- the link to "2nd steam loco" in your letter links to the diesel photo) is a tank engine. These were very rare on mainline U.S. railroads (almost all steam switchers were tender engines), but more common in industrial use.
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Re: Unidentified Locomotives

Postby Allen Hazen » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:27 pm

((Just looked at your website, saw the photo of 47815. The spotting features I usually depend on to distinguish Class 47 from Class 56 are on the cab front, not shown in your photo! But, from the absence of the large gridiron radiator opening on the side, I'd say this is a Class 47. The number is a bit of a hint, too. (Grin!) ))
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Re: Unidentified Locomotives

Postby edbear » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:57 pm

The trolley is lettered for Municipal Railway of San Francisco. SF bought some new but also bought quite a few used from St. Louis (Missouri) Public Service. I cannot tell is this was purchased new or secondhand.
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Re: Unidentified Locomotives

Postby John_Perkowski » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:30 pm

These are all from the Pacific Southwest Railroad Museum.

Here is their roster top page.
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Re: Unidentified Locomotives

Postby Allen Hazen » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:06 am

Thanks, Ed and John! (The great thing about Railroad.net forums is that if I post guesswork, it often stimulates people who actually know something to post in reply: thank you again.)
--
The potted history of the ex-Southwestern Portland cement, ex-Union Pacific H20-44 on the Pacific Southwest Railroad Museum website John linked to confirms my guess that it had been modified for better ventilation of the machinery compartment.
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Re: Unidentified Locomotives

Postby Lensmeister » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:18 am

Allen Hazen wrote:((Just looked at your website, saw the photo of 47815. The spotting features I usually depend on to distinguish Class 47 from Class 56 are on the cab front, not shown in your photo! But, from the absence of the large gridiron radiator opening on the side, I'd say this is a Class 47. The number is a bit of a hint, too. (Grin!) ))


Hi Allen,

Yep class 56s (or Grids as they are known) are easier to spot from the lack of a vent in the cab roof, and the gridiron (hence the name) on the front. Whereas the 47s (duffs, Spoons) have the vent and no Gridiron.

The 57s (Bodysnatchers or Zombies) are Class 47s that have been re-engined and had significant other alterations to the front end (additional types of couplings).


Thanks to everyone that has helped.
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Re: Unidentified Locomotives

Postby Allen Hazen » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:37 pm

The re-engining of some Class 47 (with EMD engines, and, i.i.r.c., traction alternators from scrapped Class 56) I knew about. Re-engining old diesels was done a bit in the U.S. in the late 1950s and early 1960s: typically replacing the engines of Baldwin, Fairbanks-Morse, or Also locomotives with e.M.D. engines. The practice was largely abandoned, apparently because it was found that the new and old components of the re-engined locomotive didn't "play nicely together," and that buying a whole new locomotive made more economic sense. (Though in the past few years there has been a bit of a come-back, re-engining old E.M.D. locomotives built with 645 or 567 engines with more fuel-efficient E.M.D. 710 engines.) The Class 57 project was interesting to an American onlooker in that it appeared that re-engining made sense to some people in Britain at a time when no major U.S. railroad thought similar projects made sense.
---
Class 47 and Class 56 have always struck me as, aesthetically, the best of BR's diesel locomotives. Perhaps because Class 47 was the most common class of big power and Class 56 was just being introduced when I first visited Britain in the late 1970s.
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Re: Unidentified Locomotives

Postby Lensmeister » Mon Oct 08, 2018 1:57 am

Allen Hazen wrote:T
---
Class 47 and Class 56 have always struck me as, aesthetically, the best of BR's diesel locomotives. Perhaps because Class 47 was the most common class of big power and Class 56 was just being introduced when I first visited Britain in the late 1970s.


I've always loved the 55s (Deltics), 37s (Noses, Syphons, Tractors), 40s (Whistlers) and 47s and all for different reasons.

When I was in the US (1995, 2001, 2006) I liked looking at the American traction sadly I only travelled on the one trip. Still when I retire I want to travel from East to West on trains ... the wife wants ME to drive LOL. What a choice eh? looking at a long strip of grey tarmac or looking out the window ... I know what I'll choose !
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