Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: Smokeyja On: Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:32 pm

Yanche wrote:Here's that green steam power in use. Want that outside your bedroom window? :-)

Steam_Show_DSC_0637.jpg


That would be great!
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Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: Yanche On: Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:16 pm

Smokeyja wrote:
Yanche wrote:Here's that green steam power in use. Want that outside your bedroom window? :-)

Steam_Show_DSC_0637.jpg


That would be great!

I would keep the summertime mosquitoes away and maybe the stink bugs too. Might kill you sooner than cigarettes and high taxes.
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Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: Smokeyja On: Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:37 pm

Yanche wrote:
Smokeyja wrote:
Yanche wrote:Here's that green steam power in use. Want that outside your bedroom window? :-)

Steam_Show_DSC_0637.jpg


That would be great!

I would keep the summertime mosquitoes away and maybe the stink bugs too. Might kill you sooner than cigarettes and high taxes.


Obviously it wouldn't sit there all day and it's better than a neighborhood any day ;) . Those old steam tractors might have been slow but they could pull some plows. Major power! I love watching YouTube videos of these.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMnh9b2c ... ata_player

Check out this Model A chasing a steam train
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIB6b0HP ... ata_player
Smokeyja
 
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Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: wsherrick On: Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:07 am

Yanche wrote:
Smokeyja wrote:
Yanche wrote:Here's that green steam power in use. Want that outside your bedroom window? :-)

Steam_Show_DSC_0637.jpg


That would be great!

I would keep the summertime mosquitoes away and maybe the stink bugs too. Might kill you sooner than cigarettes and high taxes.


A few whiffs of coal smoke is far less bad for you than to inhale the carcinogenic cocktail that comes with diesel smoke. I've been in tight tunnels with steam engines pulling at full stroke and that's not nearly as bad to my sinuses as the train shed full of diesel exhaust I have to breathe everyday now.
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Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: staybolt On: Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:27 am

Reciprocating steam engines are gone for good sad to say. Primary reasons was poor thermal efficiency and closely followed by high maintenance costs. The ability of a diesel engine to have maximum tractive effort across a wide range of speeds was impossible for a open wheeled steam engine of the 1920 and 30s. The engines got larger and larger in size peeking during WW2 trying to keep the train crews to a minimum, UPs 4884 big boy and C&Os 2666 H-8. The film footage from the late 50s of the showing the UP big boys going up Sherman hill at 20 mph was impressive but in reality was a poor application of a locomotive that was designed for 50mph fast freight. The railroads could not wait to get rid of them after the WW2, with some hold outs such as N&W that had research and manufacturing into the early 1950s due to there proximity to the Appalachian coal fields. By the early 1960s even N&W dieselized as the realization that all you had to do for more horse power was to hook up a power unit and to go up a grade and turn it off down the grade. No more coaling towers and water stops... gone. Guy
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Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: Smokeyja On: Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:49 am

Have you noticed how slow modern trains move? My friend is a conductor for CSX and I don't think they ever get anywhere near 50mph . They have so many restrictions, it's nuts! There is a guy down the street from me that has a N&W caboose on a small stretch of track in his yard.
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Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: wsherrick On: Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:19 pm

Sorry, double post.
Last edited by wsherrick on Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: wsherrick On: Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:19 pm

Sorry, double post. Just deleted everything I wrote. I'll write it again later when I get the energy up.

But, the myth that diesels replaced steam because they were so much cheaper to run is a myth. Any objective, again OBJECTIVE, examination of what happened easily reveals that point. However, arguing the point with the deeply held religious view that steam is more costly to operate and maintain is tiring and I have doing it for 30 years.
The report I posted the above link to by Brown is 80 pages of painstaking examination of the subject. Brown was one of the most pretigious and respected Design Engineers at Gibbs and Hill. He was instrumental in designing the electrification of the Pennsylvania, building the tunnels into New York and designing the New York Subway System. He was no slouch. When this report came out it created quite a controversy at the time.
This is only one of the two objective reports that were EVER done on this subject. The other one was a study done by a European Engineer for the Santa Fe Railroad in the 50's. Both reports came to the same conclusion, but it was too late to change the course of the Railroad Industry.

To sum it up in one sentance. The railroads that dieselized first, went bankrupt first. They lost market share first, discovered that the new trap of going into debt for a form of power that wore out or had to be traded in for a new version of itself before the first version was paid for, was a mistake. They found out first. Maintainance costs DID NOT decrease, operatings COSTS did not decrease, but in fact went up in many cases. The railroads had to start running long slow trains to save money because diesels are very costly and inefficient to run at high speeds since their tractive effort maxes out at around 5 MPH, and thier horsepower curve drops quickly. The faster you want to go with with diesels the more units you have to hook togther to get the needed power. When they quit running high speed, high horsepower fast frieghts with steam it cost the railroads a competive edge. Shippers voted their view of the new railroad way by switching to trucks.
The only form of service that a diesel is less costly and better for is slow speed yard switching. There its low speed tractive effort is best utilized. On the road, high speed, high horsepower steam wins the contest.
Read, "N&W Giant Of Steam," by Jefferies. The N&W provided service at a lower cost with their modern steam fleet than the dieselized railroads they competed against. They tested their home built locomotives against the best that GM could produce. The steam engines either beat or tied the diesel performance and did it at a lower cost. But, you will say that the N&W dieselized anyway. Yes they did but it was not because they wanted to or because diesels were this miracle form of power. They were forced to because the support structure and the companies that made the components for the steam power were gone, or raised the cost of individual runs of parts greatly. That was just one of the changes that forced them to change over. The N&W went into great debt for the first time in its history to dieselize. This informtion is also in the report by Brown.
Rapid dieselization was one of the big factors in the rapid financial decline of the railroad industry as a whole during the following decades after WWII, I know this flies in the face of the Railfan religion, but those are the facts.
Last edited by wsherrick on Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:08 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: rockwood On: Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:49 pm

Smokeyja wrote:Have you noticed how slow modern trains move?

Out west they move quite fast. I have paced loaded coal and grain trains at 60MPH.

Out on the desert they really move.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZo0eRO82xw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xznP1Sfx0U
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Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: samhill On: Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:57 pm

They always have the train engineer take a drug test when someone tries to get around or under the gate coming down flashing lights & bells ringing, like what was he or she supposed to do?
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Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: wsherrick On: Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:08 pm

samhill wrote:They always have the train engineer take a drug test when someone tries to get around or under the gate coming down flashing lights & bells ringing, like what was he or she supposed to do?


Because as an Engineer is certified by the Federal Government and you get ground up in the investigation mill when anything happens. You as an Engineer are personally liable and some greedy family of the stupid person that got themselves killed, can sue you and ruin your life forever.
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Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: samhill On: Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:30 pm

I know that but it's just yet another of those stupid laws caused by way too many lawyers.
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Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: Smokeyja On: Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:23 pm

rockwood wrote:
Smokeyja wrote:Have you noticed how slow modern trains move?

Out west they move quite fast. I have paced loaded coal and grain trains at 60MPH.

Out on the desert they really move.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZo0eRO82xw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xznP1Sfx0U



I guess I should have said around the Richmond area. We also have the highest for the longet train viaduct in the US. They move about 35mph on that maybe a little faster. My conductor friend said his train almost hit two teenagers walking on it.
http://www.piedmontsub.com/Richmond.shtml

They have all kinds of federal speed limits I believe. One other thing I must mention.
Steam trains have a better wistle/horn not annoying like the newer ones.

William I must read the articles you have posted , I haven't had the time yet to sit down and take a look at them but they sound really interesting I am also going to pass them down to my CSX conductor friend.
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Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: Eric L On: Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:29 pm

I think it would be helpful to add a little more context to this discussion.

At about the same time (adjusted for the pause for WWII) that railroads were switching to diesel, the same thing was happening to inner city transport.
In the mid to late '30s, GM ran a major campaign to get cities to replace their streetcars and trollies with diesel buses.
They could order new buses, which were not confined to specific routes the way that rail vehicles were, at a steep discount, provided that they tore up their rail infrastructure (paved over rails, took down catenary lines, scrapped trolley cars, etc.).
Once they had destroyed their former, well-established, cheap, quiet, non-polluting (usually electric) systems, there was no way they could go back, and they were hooked and had to keep buying from GM, now at full price.

It was a brilliant scheme, and our cities still see the effects to this day.

- Eric
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Re: Steam Locomotives, will they ever make a comeback?

PostBy: Smokeyja On: Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:46 pm

Eric L wrote:I think it would be helpful to add a little more context to this discussion.

At about the same time (adjusted for the pause for WWII) that railroads were switching to diesel, the same thing was happening to inner city transport.
In the mid to late '30s, GM ran a major campaign to get cities to replace their streetcars and trollies with diesel buses.
They could order new buses, which were not confined to specific routes the way that rail vehicles were, at a steep discount, provided that they tore up their rail infrastructure (paved over rails, took down catenary lines, scrapped trolley cars, etc.).
Once they had destroyed their former, well-established, cheap, quiet, non-polluting (usually electric) systems, there was no way they could go back, and they were hooked and had to keep buying from GM, now at full price.

It was a brilliant scheme, and our cities still see the effects to this day.

- Eric


Wow Eric, Good call. GM sucked back then just like they suck today and we even bailed them out... :x
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