• 1938 or 2008? What the ...

  • All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad
All about the Arcade & Attica Railroad

Moderator: Benjamin Maggi

  by BSOR Patarak
Thank you. It made it in last second for the December issue. They put in a nice write up on the following page too! Thanks Railpace!
  by Otto Vondrak
Mountcastle wrote:If you ask me, they ought to bugger the diesels altogether and focus exclusively on steam power. What attention they'd receive, both within the 'railfan' community and in the media, as the only short line railroad in the United States operating steam locomotives for everyday operations.... I hope to be proved happily wrong, but I think that if the Arcade & Attica wants to see a bright future, it ought to look to the past.
You got a couple million in your pocket that you're not telling us about? Railroads are here to make money as a business, the steam is merely an "attraction." Diesels keep the cost of hauling freight down and make the steam runs cost-effective.

This thread is all over the place. On the very first page of this thread, I see a very nice photograph. Isn't that all that matters?

  by BR&P
IMHO, the purpose of a moderator is to keep an eye on forums to prevent slander, flame wars, obscenity or advertisements. If the thread goes "all over the place", so be it as long as things are civil (which they seem to be here) A couple others of us have - respectfully - pointed out problems with Mountcastle's all-steam proposal, and he has - respectfully - accepted those points. What's the beef?

Webster's defines "Forum" as "an assembly, program, etc, for discussion of public matters". We're all discussing various offshoots of ARA's steam operation which started the thread. Half the fun of these threads is that sometimes they take off on tangents just as interesting as the original, but quite different. That's what attracts participants.

And in fairness to the moderator, he DIDN'T lock the thread, only posted HIS opinion, to which he is entitled.

I think we all agree an all-steam operation is not practical. I'd bet we all agree we WISH it was! Even the Crab Orchard & Egyptian finally gave it up many years ago. Perhaps ARA could plan an all-steam WEEK sometime. The problem would be how to capture additional revenue from the fans once they get there to see it.
  by Otto Vondrak
BR&P wrote:IMHO, the purpose of a moderator is to keep an eye on forums to prevent slander, flame wars, obscenity or advertisements. If the thread goes "all over the place", so be it as long as things are civil (which they seem to be here) A couple others of us have - respectfully - pointed out problems with Mountcastle's all-steam proposal, and he has - respectfully - accepted those points. What's the beef?
Just sayin'... didn't want to loose sight of the fact that we had a nice photo on page 1 that started the conversation... and I didn't want to see Mr. Mountcastle to think we're ganging up on him or anything... if there was a real problem, youd'a seen an explanation or a directive by now.

And since when does Webster run this place anyway? :-)
  by thebigham
The weather was too bad when I went through NJ to get a pic of the new siding.

I did see some of the new green coaches as I drove past the Arcade station. I like the orange better.
  by ctclark1
I know we're kinda past this discussion, but I'm curious. Don't know why I didn't think to ask before...
Pat you said 111 was on there for pushing assistance only. Is 18 updated enough to have an air system on it? Or wouldn't you always need a diesel if you were to run freight with 18 to keep the car brakes off?

Or am I completely off base in thinking that 18 is from the era of handbrakes only?

And also, more curiosity, is 18 not strong enough to move today's generation of freight cars? Or were you just trying not to overstress her?
  by jgallaway81
No. 18 is equipped with two single-lung Westinghouse air pumps... (not sure on the diameter).

She is fully up to date, as any engine operating today would have to be, to be compliant with the regulations as set forth by the Federal Railroad Administration.

She was built in 1920 @ the Cooke Works in Patterson, NY by the American Locomotive Company (ALCo). Air brakes were part of the equipment mandated by an act of congress in the 1890's. Enforceable as of Jan 1st, 1898, the "Railway Safety Appliance Act of 1893" mandated automatic couplers; power brakes, controllable by the engineer (in fact, I believe the act specified air brakes, as opposed to the British preferred vacuum brakes); and safety hand rails/grab irons... all items which railroaders today take for granted.

As for the need for a diesel, you need to bear in mind that an empty car today weighs as much as a fully loaded car from the time 18 was built. A fully loaded freight car today is stenciled at 286,000 pounds fully loaded, and it isn't unknown for a car to be overloaded by several hundred pounds. Most new cars today are designed & built for the eventual 300,000 axle loadings. The Barber S-2 truck is designed to take 150tons per truck, although in reality it will be several decades if not centuries before we see that type of loading, even on the mainlines.

Six full loaded freight cars clock in at (286,000 x 6 cars) 1,716,000pounds, or 858tons. A modern 130-car coal train tallies in at 18,000tons, which requires two 4,000hp, six-axle DASH-9's/SD-70M-2's to pull on the level. Add moderate grades and the horses required increases to 12,000hp on three six-axle units. Add in the grades around Altoona, and you are looking at 18,000hp on the head-end (2x 3,000hp SD-40-2's & 3x 4,000hp DASH-9's) and 12,000hp on the rear (4x 3,000hp SD-40-2's).

18's train that day weighed in @ 4.76666% of a modern coal train. Assuming the horsepower/tonnage ratio holds (Figured moderate grades, requiring a 2-unit, 6,000hp, helper consist on the rear), No.'s 18 & 111 generated 857.99999999999horses that day, combined. Subtract the 380hp from 111 and you are left with 477hp generated by 18, which I'm guessing is in the 65%-85% maximum design drawbar horsepower (HP's that actually make it to the coupler for real work).
  by BSOR Patarak
So to put it in laymans terms, yes 18 has fully functional automatic air brake needed for today's trains. It also is capable of pulling the cars as far as horsepower goes. 111 was brought along for added "security" and to take it easy on 18. It was only used for pushing to climb the grade between Arcade Junction and West Main Street (the old B&S). It is not the most severe grade on the line, only it sits in a cut and was damp from the morning dew, cold temperatures and slight snow that was experienced. Also one cylinder cock was stuck open for a small part of the trip adding to the wet rail conditions. Once the train departed north from the Arcade station, 18 did all of the work with no troubles.
  by ctclark1
Ok, yeah, so for some reason I'm thinking airbrakes came later.

And as for taking it easy on 18, it certainly makes sense, be a shame to just get her back in full operation only to have something happen from too much stress on a spur-of-the-moment freight run. I was just curious how that went. Awesome to know she did it by herself once you got past Arcade. Did she pull all the way to Residorf's? It seems like that 8th video in the youtube series last posted shows them stopping at Curriers, did 18 stop there and 111 took over?

I certainly hope you guys do that on occasion in the future. (And let us know beforehand :P) It'd be really a really good photo op if 14 gets back on the road to see a doubleheader of 14 and 18 doing that without the diesels at all!
  by BSOR Patarak
The train did stop at Curriers. 111 continued on to North Java with 3 of the cars. Freight was backed up due to the track construction. The mill was also very congested and didn't really need the cars that day. They left 111 up at the mill for them to generate some empties for a later day. In fact we had to wait for track crews to get out of the way to get 18 back to the shop as it was.

  by jgallaway81
Pat, Just imagine the headaches if the A&A operated on something other than restricted speed!