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 Post subject: Re: What kind of tender trucks are these?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:34 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:05 pm
Posts: 133
J3a -

A couple of notes on your linked pics - The Taunton engine is the Calumet, c/n223. Probably not export - Calumet & Hecla RR and Hecla & Torch Lake come to mind first, and C&H Mining Co. had a 'Calumet' Fairlie built by Mason. Why no sand box? They weren't required, probably cost extra at that point, pretty sandy in Michigan so maybe they didn't figure they didn't need them, or just weren't convinced at that time that sanders were of definite value. RRs often provided their own headlights post-delivery, but the lack of brackets/platform is interesting.

The NBR #7 (c/n 531) truck doesn't look all that special to me - a fairly common side-rocker-bearing archbar truck, although it's interesting that it has a stretched wheelbase and the springs don't rest directly above the boxes, but looks like it was common for at least the Mason NBR engines.

Wallace didn't have any info on the Mason 'demonstrator', if you don't have his book, and boy do I wish I had that USMRR engine locked up in a barn somewhere.


Some additional thoughts on the curved frame truck design - I tried several different variations, including an equalizing beam/swing motion design with both a long single spring group and the twin groups, the first reasoning being the appearance in one pic of a mechanism visible through the hole in the name plate. I eliminated this design possibility fairly quickly because of two things, space constraints and the fact that every good quarter view of these trucks has more than a little clear space/view under the tender frame (and it's not from builder's photo masking). There is clearly very little to these truck frames. Any equalizing beam design would require a center bearing, and at least one pic seems to confirm that there is only a very slender center pin present, as I drew. The arched transom/single casting design was suggested by all that open space and a greatly enlarged hi-res version of the OP's low angle Antelope pic, which shows the upward bottom arch from the far side of the front truck fairly well, and no lower mechanism or spring plank arrangement. I think the cast bolster may have a slightly higher arch to it than I drew, but that would mean spring groups with very different arches/end heights. It's a definite possibility though as I've seen some (photographic) examples of ellipticals like that from the period.

The side bearing rocker is fairly well visible/established and a simple support mechanism for it seems most likely, given what appears to be a desire for a relative simple truck design (again precluding a complicated/bulky swing/beam design). I took the rocker design from a combination of what's pictured and Hinkley and Baldwin drawings.

If any one can come up with other information/ideas on these trucks, please post.

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 Post subject: Re: What kind of tender trucks are these?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:51 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:05 pm
Posts: 133
Ron -

I strongly think this design was from an 'outside' vendor/inventor. McKay and Aldus and others built engines with these trucks (early on too), although that doesn't necessarily mean it wasn't a Mason design. Could have been anybody, could have been that Mason (or others) improved/tweaked the design as much as possible. I really think someone else came up with this design, maybe built a prototype, marketed it in a trade periodical and got a few bites, probably due to aesthetics and (advertised) simplicity. It happened a LOT back then, and some of the stuff you see in adds is down right comical. Epic fails aplenty.

I spent hours searching for a patent in the 1860s and found nadafrickin'thing, so it may also be that a patent was never granted, probably because they failed so quickly that any attempt to do so was worthless. The other place to look, although I doubt there is much out there, would be maintenance records from L.V., Eastern, and the few others who bought them to see if there's any mention.

The only other detail info I have are enlargements of the better scans, see my previous post to J3a. I realize the boxes I drew are not exactly to what's shown in the Highland Light litho, but I was just experimenting with the possibility of some type of secondary springing/flexibility there. The bearings seem to have nothing to do with the main frame design beyond that.

As an aside, there does seem to be a little detail variation in these trucks between the different lithos and photos, but overall I don't see any glaring difference in principle. I always take lithos with a grain of salt, as they are always subject to artistic interpretation and technical/financial concerns, even though some people insist on taking them as gospel, just like with old topographical maps being used as track maps by some.

I also think that given Mason's abilities and the fact that he only put out relative few of these, listed as customer request by Wallace, they were probably did not originate with him. He did fail at some things, but it seems like his goals put good function (slightly) above aesthetics. I wish we had a photo where we could read what's on that name plate....

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 Post subject: Re: What kind of tender trucks are these?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:57 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
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TrainDetainer wrote:
Ron -

I strongly think this design was from an 'outside' vendor/inventor. McKay and Aldus and others built engines with these trucks (early on too), although that doesn't necessarily mean it wasn't a Mason design. Could have been anybody, could have been that Mason (or others) improved/tweaked the design as much as possible. ....


Yes, I agree that the curved sideframe design may not have been originated by Mason. My main thought in suggesting that it was Mason’s design was as an alternative to the possible implication that the customer for the Highland Light designed the truck. But I had overlooked the fact that McKay & Aldus manufactured the same design as indicated in the OP here. What other builders used this truck design?

In Abdill’s book, CIVIL WAR RAILROADS, a photo of Mason locomotive, shop #225, named William Kidder for the Wilmington & Weldon RR, also shows this truck with the swayed sideframes.


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 Post subject: Re: What kind of tender trucks are these?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:15 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
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Train Detainer,

We have also discussed the type of tender trucks with tender side sills carried on elliptical leaf springs which transfer loading to the tops of the journal boxes; and have a telescoping center bearing that controls truck pivot, but carries no weight.

Apparently, with those trucks, the truck bolster and side frames are solidly connected to form a rigid “H” shaped frame. Therefore, as the wheels on each side individually rise and fall when passing over track irregularities (which differ from track surface on the opposite rail); the “H” form must twist within the truck bolster.

This element of the design seems problematic. It has the truck bolster twisting like a spring torsion bar, and that would seem to be prone to inducing fatigue cracking in the bolster.

What would be needed to remedy this is a pivot joint between the ends of the truck bolster and each side frame which would allow the side frames to rotate independently from each other in a vertical plane.

Regarding the sway frame trucks shown in the original post and as you have drawn their concept here, do you believe the curved side frames are solidly connected to the truck bolster to form a rigid “H” frame?


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 Post subject: Re: What kind of tender trucks are these?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:47 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:05 pm
Posts: 133
Ron -

Sorry for the delay. From the lithos and pics I have, it appears the arched sides are riveted to the main/center casting, so I do think the frame is a rigid H shape with no pivoting, just frame flex/warping. My main reason for experimenting with journal springing in the drawing study was primarily to see if there was enough room for it in there to compensate for rough track and frame rigidity. Both of these problems (with the lack of adequate compensation) seem to me to be primary reasons for the design's failure, with the secondary reason of load-bearing limitations. I take the short production period and such limited use as an indicator of the futility of the design, which should have been obvious to any master mechanic if my drawings are reasonably correct. It's aesthetically interesting, but just not functional for the job requirements.

Still, I'd like to resolve the questions about this piece of the technological development puzzle that made it at least as far as getting recorded in actual use. And the 'box-less' H frame design didn't go away - I'd compare some features of it to some modern designs like the (albeit inside bearing) trucks on the SPV cars now on another thread.


I had googled Arthur Wallace of the Mason Locomotives book but it appears he's no longer with us. Does anyone know what became of his material?

A second possible source of info might be Mallory Hope Farrell. Does anyone have contact info for him?

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 Post subject: Re: What kind of tender trucks are these?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:03 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Just something to add to the file:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... =3&theater

Image


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 Post subject: Re: What kind of tender trucks are these?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:12 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1361
J3a-614 wrote:



John Ott, the artist who recently made that painting, offers some detailed information at the facebook link. In describing the beautiful color scheme, he also mentions that there are small images of alligators on the side of the frame, just behind the cowcatcher pilot beam. The resolution is good enough that you can make out the alligator if you look for it. It seems like a really nice touch.


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 Post subject: Re: What kind of tender trucks are these?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:23 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:05 pm
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But he didn't say anything about those trucks. I'm not on FB, so I can't ask.

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 Post subject: Re: What kind of tender trucks are these?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:50 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Location: Inwood, W.Va.
TrainDetainer wrote:
But he didn't say anything about those trucks. I'm not on FB, so I can't ask.


Here's Mr. Ott's text, though as noted, he didn't say anything about the trucks.

Quote:
Nathaniel McKay had an interesting business career and built some very stylish locomotives before the massive McKay & Aldus Iron Works in East Boston shut down in bankruptcy in Dec. 1868. Ol’ Nate was either the brother or the son of the famous clipper ship builder Donald McKay (sources and ancestry sites don’t agree) and he entered the locomotive business in a big way, hiring one of William Mason’s lead draftsmen and a team of fancy painters and engine decorators. The early Central Pacific bought many of his engines. This engine, the Fitchburg RR’s “Marlboro,” was an 1867 passenger engine over-decorated to an amazing degree, painted in purple lake and carmine, with a ton of brass fittings and gold leaf. The tender trucks were sky blue. Wheels were vermillion. Cupids carrying ensigns were painted on the rear corners of the tender and an alligator, “looking very natural, as if he were about to crawl,” was painted on each side of the pilot. What cupids and alligators had to do with each other, I don’t know. At least now you know about one locomotive painted purple before the diesel era.


There certainly does seem to be a lot of Mason influence in this locomotive--all spoked wheels, hidden counterweights, and a generally clean design, compared with engines from other builders at the time.

How badly would some of us like to climb into an open platform coach for a ride behind this beauty on some still rural New England line?

I know I would.


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 Post subject: Re: What kind of tender trucks are these?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:44 am 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1361
J3a-614 wrote:
Of particular interest to me is this Taunton locomotive, which appears to be a stock engine, but lacking sanders, sand dome, and any provision for a headlight. It was common for engines in this time period to not be delivered with a light--these were often provided by the railroads, or as some have suggested, by the engineers themselves in the days of assigned engines--but this one even lacks the bracket you would normally see. Could this have been an export job?

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VB8T2VseoQQ/U ... +Agent.jpg



Getting back to the curiously detailed Taunton locomotive named “Calumet” that J3a-614 posted on the previous page:

Train Detainer, I just noticed your post from 1/7/17 commenting about the engine’s owner possibly having been Hecla & Torch Lake RR. I notice that you posted the construction number, and wonder if there is a record associated with that number that indicates what railroad bought this engine. H&TL had some interesting engines, but I don’t think they ever owned a 4-4-0. They did run out of Calumet, MI., although they were 49-inch-gage.

I wonder if the Taunton “Calumet” was for a railroad associated with Calumet City, IL, or possibly some other place called Calumet. There was also a Calumet, PA. that existed earlier than Calumet City, IL. Calumet, PA. existed in the probable timeframe of the Taunton locomotive named Calumet. There is also a Calumet, WI. I don’t believe that Calumet was ever used as a person’s name. It is an Indian word meaning ceremonial peace pipe.


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 Post subject: Re: What kind of tender trucks are these?
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 10:45 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3432
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Some more illustrations and text from John Ott on engines with these trucks, in this case, the Antelope, from the Facebook page, "Pre-1895 Railroads and Steam Engines:"

Image

Image

Image

Image

Mr. Ott's text is the story, noted earlier, of how the Antelope was supposed to be at Promontory Summit, but missed out. . .and some other details.

Quote:
Sometimes people get a shot at making history but are just simply fated to become also-rans; locomotives too. Nathaniel McKay, the wealthy younger brother of famed clipper-ship builder Donald McKay, went into building locomotives in a big way. In the 1860s, he took over his brother’s failing iron works on the East Boston waterfront, well-suited to the boiler-making and machinery-making needs of a major locomotive shop, and pilfered the best engine-maker money could buy— Benjamin Healy, for 13 years the shop foreman of William Mason’s top-quality locomotive works. Along with Healy’s knowledge came a lot of the Mason shop’s plans and patterns. This being an age before “intellectual property” was an issue, McKay and Healy got away with their industrial espionage and were soon fixed up for making imitation Mason engines on an industrial scale. They joined with financier George Aldus to form the McKay & Aldus Iron Works. Along came C. P. Huntington of the ambitious Central Pacific RR and the equally ambitious McKay soon had a contract to die for. In 1866-68 McKay & Aldus built 41 engines for the CP and loaded them on ships to be taken ‘round the Horn to California. Since McKay and Healy built really good imitation Masons, one of their engines was chosen by CP management to take company president Leland Stanford’s special train to the May, 1869, Golden Spike ceremony at Promontory, Utah— the #29, “Antelope.” The 2-car train (Stanford’s business car and a baggage car full of liquor and groceries) started from Sacramento on May 5 and all went well until it almost reached Reno. A group of Chinese laborers, unaware the special was coming, rolled a log downhill close to the tracks. They lost control of the 50 foot-long, 3-foot diameter hunk of timber and it came down just a little too close. Before the workmen could move the log, the “Antelope” steamed by and sideswiped the log, losing the engine’s pilot and badly damaging one side. The train limped into Wadsworth, NV, where the cars were hooked up to the regular eastbound train hauled by the #60, “Jupiter.” At the end of the regular train’s run, at Elko, NV, the “Jupiter” continued on, hauling the CP special away to Promontory and Glory. The “Antelope” was fixed and returned to less-history-making service, lasting until 1900 before it was scrapped. Nathaniel McKay went broke in 1869, having built too many locomotives on credit. He moved to Jersey City, tried locomotive building again, and went broke again. The US Government owed him a ton of money for building ironclad warships during the Civil War. He moved to Washington DC to lobby for his payment. He died in 1902 before he could collect. Benjamin Healy went off to build more imitation Masons for the Rhode Island Locomotive Works. Here’s my color rendering of the “Antelope,” a photo of the real deal around the time of the accident, a good side view of sister engine #28, the “Gold Run,” and another sister, #94, “Eclipse.”


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