Semi-Streamlined Hudson

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Pensyfan19
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Semi-Streamlined Hudson

Post by Pensyfan19 »

Does anyone have any information of a semi streamlined New York Central Engine which once existed? I can't find a picture of it know but I believe it was engine number 5446 and had the front of a J1 Hudson and the rest of the body was streamlined, and it was pulling two coaches and a combine in that order.
(Even though my name is Pensyfan19, I am still a good fan of the New York Central)
"Look down, step over, and watch the gap!" - Dr. John Clarke, the Gap Rap, 2010

Sorry in advance if you do not agree with my opinion.

Pat Fahey
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Re: Semi-Streamlined Hudson

Post by Pat Fahey »

Hi Pensyfan19
Here is the photo you were looking for, NYC # 5446, Pat
Firefox_Screenshot_2020-01-07T15-17-18.973Z.jpg #2.jpg
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Pensyfan19
Posts: 189
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Location: somewhere on planet Earth, where the G5s once roamed

Re: Semi-Streamlined Hudson

Post by Pensyfan19 »

Pat Fahey wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:25 am
Hi Pensyfan19
Here is the photo you were looking for, NYC # 5446, PatFirefox_Screenshot_2020-01-07T15-17-18.973Z.jpg #2.jpg
I'm sorry, but that is not the picture I mentioned. I remember seeing it on pinterest under New York Central Locomotives once and I couldn't find it again since. I'll try to find it for this discussion though.
"Look down, step over, and watch the gap!" - Dr. John Clarke, the Gap Rap, 2010

Sorry in advance if you do not agree with my opinion.

Allen Hazen
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Location: Edmonton, Canada (formerly Melbourne, Australia)

Re: Semi-Streamlined Hudson

Post by Allen Hazen »

From George Elwood's marvellous "Fallen Flags" rail image site:
http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/nyc/nyc-s5446ajh.jpg
Photo taken in September 1941, so too early for general de-streamlining. My guess would be that this locomotive had been involved in some sort of collision damaging the front end, and so was (temporarily?) given a "standard" front end appearance, without removing the undamaged portions of the streamlining. (The smokestack is fascinating!)
I'll see if I can find out more.

Pensyfan19
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Re: Semi-Streamlined Hudson

Post by Pensyfan19 »

YES!!! THANK YOU!!! :-D That is exactly the locomotive I was looking for. Thank you very much for providing this interesting information as I have been wondering about this locomotive for some time.
"Look down, step over, and watch the gap!" - Dr. John Clarke, the Gap Rap, 2010

Sorry in advance if you do not agree with my opinion.

Allen Hazen
Posts: 2493
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Edmonton, Canada (formerly Melbourne, Australia)

Re: Semi-Streamlined Hudson

Post by Allen Hazen »

Pennsyfan19--
I've found out a bit more... and, as often happens, the more I find out the more questions arise.
Al Stauffer's book on the New York Central's Hudsons, "Thoroughbreds," has a photo of this locomotive with its de-streamlined front end from June 1938. This means that the grade-crossing accident, or whatever, that destroyed the original front-end streamlining occurred in the first few months of its career (the streamlined J3 Hudsons were, I think, built in early 1938). Since the photo on "Fallen Flags" dates from late 1941, it also means that the 5446 ran in "semi-streamlined" form for over three years.
Query: was its full streamlining ever restored? It would, I think, have been bad p.r. to spend time and money on cosmetic streamlining after December 7, 1941, and the streamlined fleet was destreamlined after the war, so maybe not.
--
I don't suppose that the Dreyfus-Streamlined Hudsons had a second headlight behind the round "nose," but what did the smoke-box door behind the dome look like? In other words, did restoring 5446 to operation after its accident just require mounting a headlight on an existing boiler front, or did a new smokebox door have to be made. Note that at least some Hudsons later received "Selkirk front ends," with flat smokebox fronts like the ones on the Niagaras.
---
The sizes (wheelbase and such) are close enough that a manufacturer of HO model steam locomotives could probably get away with using the same works for the New York Central's and several other railroads' Hudsons. (CP's, NYNH&H, and DL&W come to mind as railroads with Hudsons not too different in size from the NYCRR's.) But before going into railroads' Hudsons, how many visibly different New York Central Hudson versions were there?

Allen Hazen
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Location: Edmonton, Canada (formerly Melbourne, Australia)

Re: Semi-Streamlined Hudson

Post by Allen Hazen »

On the matter of NYCRR Hudson variants... See
https://www.railarchive.net/fantasysteam/index.html
for photos of the popper-valved J4b, a standard Hudson with "elephant ear" smoke deflectors, and a Dreyfus-style streamlined Niagara... (The boiler on the last looks just a tad small. Could these images perhaps have been ... photoshopped?)
(Grin!)

TrainDetainer
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Re: Semi-Streamlined Hudson

Post by TrainDetainer »

Allen Hazen wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:22 pm
Pennsyfan19--
I've found out a bit more... and, as often happens, the more I find out the more questions arise.
Al Stauffer's book on the New York Central's Hudsons, "Thoroughbreds," has a photo of this locomotive with its de-streamlined front end from June 1938. This means that the grade-crossing accident, or whatever, that destroyed the original front-end streamlining occurred in the first few months of its career (the streamlined J3 Hudsons were, I think, built in early 1938). Since the photo on "Fallen Flags" dates from late 1941, it also means that the 5446 ran in "semi-streamlined" form for over three years.
Query: was its full streamlining ever restored? It would, I think, have been bad p.r. to spend time and money on cosmetic streamlining after December 7, 1941, and the streamlined fleet was destreamlined after the war, so maybe not.
--
I don't suppose that the Dreyfus-Streamlined Hudsons had a second headlight behind the round "nose," but what did the smoke-box door behind the dome look like? In other words, did restoring 5446 to operation after its accident just require mounting a headlight on an existing boiler front, or did a new smokebox door have to be made. Note that at least some Hudsons later received "Selkirk front ends," with flat smokebox fronts like the ones on the Niagaras.
---
You may have answered your own question by not looking closely enough. If the information presented on this thread holds up, 5446 was built in 38, damaged in 38/early 39 (Thoroughbreds pic/date), rehabbed in a few months (pic posted by Fahey dated as 1939), and damaged again by Sept 41, and lost streamlining altogether in 47.

If you look at the 39 pic, the smokebox front is relatively clean for a short but well-defined distance behind the nose seam and nose is also relatively clean, so I'd guess the nose streamlining was restored relatively close to the picture date. A July 46 pic of the engine shows the front end streamlining restored but the shroud over the right main reservoir gone, so the streamlining was largely maintained even until just a year before the program was abandoned. So it would seem that incidents were as common for Hudsons as they are for any train today, and NYC was probably accustomed to replacing the streamlining more than you'd think. IIRC I have a pic of the streamlined engines without their 'dress' somewhere and the smokebox front was somewhat similar to the later Mohawk/Niagara fronts, but not as 'finished'. No second headlight underneath and West Albany and Collinwood probably had a stack of standard J-3 smokebox fronts and other spare parts on the lot so it probably wasn't a big deal to temporarily substitute a regular front after removing the damaged streamlining. The streamlining being a relatively rare item, they probably didn't keep a large inventory of spares on hand, maybe even had to order spares as needed from Schenectady after an initial small inventory was exhausted.

I can almost picture a fresh nose cone loaded on a truck and a second truck with the pilot cover making the short trip from Schenectady to West Albany. It would have been a rare event and of such short duration (maybe 45 minutes total even back then) that there probably aren't any pictures of it happening, but maybe someone will surprise us. Of course that brings up another question - did West Albany regularly send a local job back and forth to Schenectady for a parts/delivery run or use trucks? And how far back would they have switched to trucks for short runs like that?

Other points of interest - The temporary plain fronts are completely barren of other hardware like marker brackets, etc. - just a front with headlight/numberboard/oval and cut levers, and on de-streamlining in 47 the feedwater heaters were changed from Elesco to Worthington.

Allen Hazen
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Re: Semi-Streamlined Hudson

Post by Allen Hazen »

TrainDetainer--
THANK YOU! That is very interesting. And grade crossing (or whatever) incidents must have been fairly common (even on main lines, it seems, since streamlined J3 engines wouldn't have gone elsewhere very often) for the 5446 to need its streamlining restored twice in its first four years.
When I looked last the June 1938 photo in the Stauffer book, I at first thought the front was flat (à la L4 Mohawk and Niagara), but the lighting is such that I couldn't be confident.
The change in feed water heater is interesting: New York Central's mechanical department must have decided some time between 1937 (when the J3 engines started being built) and the early post-war years (when the streamlining came off) that they really preferred the Worthington type. I think the Worthington was a bit more efficient (i.e. better in transferring heat from exhaust steam to feed water), and my sense is that it was widely preferred on very late steam locomotives(*), but the New York Central had been an Elesco loyalist before the war.
---
(*) Possible case in point. "Classic Trains" (I think) about a year ago had an article on Union Pacific's "third order" of 4-8-8-4: locomotive that were to have been numbered 4025 to 4030, but in the end were not built. There were a couple of design changes, and one, as I remember it, was that the additional engines were to have had Worthington f.w.h. (I think they were intended for use on the Los Angeles and Salt Lake, and were to have been oil fired.)

D Alex
Posts: 174
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:15 pm

Re: Semi-Streamlined Hudson

Post by D Alex »

FWIW, according to my father, most of these locomotives were de-streamlined DURING the war, as part of a wartime metal drive, not after the war.

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