Railway Preservation News

AFT 2.0
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Author:  ctjacks [ Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AFT 2.0

WVNorthern wrote:
In the more than 40-year interval, MANY sidings have been removed that at one time provided a good place for the Freedom Train to be easily viewed by the public. The siding in Delaware that was located at a racetrack (Delaware Park) is long gone as probably are many more.

This issue also was key to the demise of ArtTrain a few years back - unless you want to restrict your stops to small towns on short lines - and even on short lines sidings are falling into disrepair or disappearing throughout the midwest.

Try to think of locations where you could host AFT today in the New York City area - or near Chicago - that isn't on property a Class 1 RR owns, and has adequate space and parking. I can't come up with much.

Author:  NS 3322 [ Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AFT 2.0

Amtrak ran it's "40th Anniversary Train" in 2011, and for a number of years afterwards.

The "Christmas Carol Tour Train" toured the nation in 2009.

Maybe "copy and paste" some of the display sites from these trains?

In Michigan the Amtrak 40th Anniversary train stopped at the Jackson Amtrak Station and at the Grand Rapids Amtrak Station, respectively.
The Christmas Carol Tour Train stopped at the Henry Ford Museum (which has a connection train to the Amtrak Michigan Line).

Author:  p51 [ Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AFT 2.0

NS 3322 wrote:
Amtrak ran it's "40th Anniversary Train" in 2011, and for a number of years afterwards.

The "Christmas Carol Tour Train" toured the nation in 2009.

Maybe "copy and paste" some of the display sites from these trains?

I was the first person to see the Amtrak 40th train in Seattle. Those trains were relatively short. this site says they only had 5 cars on it: https://history.amtrak.com/exhibit-train/restoring-the-exhibit-train
That was much shorter than the Freedom Train, which had almost two dozen full/length passenger cars, three TTX flats and don't forget the locomotive, helpers and aux tender - for former Reading 2100.
Neither stopped at nearly the number of stops the 1975-76 Freedom Train did.
The AFT had 138 stops in 2 years. The Amtrak anniversary train had just over 40.
Not apples and oranges; more like apples and bowling balls!

Author:  co614 [ Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AFT 2.0

In response to a few points raised;

1. 614 test program...David Wardale book.....Important to keep in mind that the author worked on this project as an under study to the true professor Livio Dante Porta. Wardale was sent back to the UK by Porta when he had difficulty following instructions and thus his skewed editorials.
The primary purpose was to gather engineering data for the Foster Wheeler design engineers who were making the final design calculations for the new ACE 3000 prototype. The collapse in the price of oil in the mid 80's caused the primary financial partners BN and CSX to withdraw as the price they were paying for diesel fuel collapsed from a high in the $ 1.50 gal. area back to $ 0.40 gal. and the financial incentive to develop a modern coal fueled computer controlled locomotive disappeared.

2. Display sites for AFT 2.0...... Without a doubt one of our toughest jobs will be to find 125 sites in 48 states that can work. Each site must have a siding at least 1500ft. long that can be out of service as long as we're there on display ( varies based upon population in a 50 mile radius from 5-20 days), must be adjacent to a level, vacant field of 3.5 acres and within 1 mile maximum of a parking field capable of parking 3,000 autos.
Here's the good news;

A. Google Earth.....a tool we didn't have for AFT 1.0 It will allow us to do 90% of the initial site searches on the computer. It's the difference between Lewis & Clark on horseback vs. a drone flyover of all 48 states.

B. There are a total of 71 military bases in the lower 48 that still have live rail. Many will make ideal display sites as they have tons of open ground and lots of little used trackage. Assuming we have the strong support of the Pentagon I think that many of these 71 sites will get used.

C. Of the 138 sites used by AFT 1.0 a total of 63 still exist and of that about 37 will probably work for 2.0

D. Shortlines ...no doubt that nearly all of our display sites will be on regionals or shortlines for obvious reasons. Wherever possible we will try to use tourist roads who run steam and invite their power to lead us onto their property triple headed with our two road engines.

E. Dedicated sidings....It is possible that in a very few cases we will need to construct a pallet track siding just for our display?? It is also likely that in quite a few cases we will need to invest in new ties to bring an otherwise excepted track siding up to class 2 so that it's safe for our equipment.

With the advent of industry wide PSR which is resulting in the shutting of a number of large class 1 yards it's possible that a few of these could make good display sites???

I am confident that with a lot of R&D we'll be able to find sufficient workable display sites to enable us to share the celebration properly with all 48 states.

Thanks for your interest. Ross Rowland

Author:  steamfan765 [ Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AFT 2.0

I have an Idea that if Ross wants to use all these mainline steamers that are or about to go back in operation. I think he could use ATSF 3751 + 2926 to handle the train on BNSF from LA to Chicago and use SP 4449 and SP&S 700 for the northern part of the BNSF and Montana raillink. UP 844+4014 for the UP. Have the 261 handle the train in MN. and Wi. Ross could use if they're still operating Soo Line 1003+2719 to double head for MN and WI to handle the train when 261 is having it's boiler wash.

C&O 2716+614 to handle the train over the B&O C&O and WM. NKP765 + PM1225 handle the train over the former PM and NKP rails. Reading 2100+2102 all over PA and New England. N&W 611 and maybe NC&St.L 576 handle the train for the southeast maybe.

A question for Ross
for the Rolling stock he can't get a baggage, coach, RPO for pennies on the dollar anymore. I think he will have to use soon to be retired bi-level from Amtrak and communter cars from NJT and/or maybe Amtrak. he could maybe borrow some heritage cars from tourist roads private individuals etc but can't gut them out to make them into display cars but he could use them for the crew.

One Idea
Ross's crew could make some display cars by using containers and flat cars. he could weld containers to the flatcars cut holes on the sides and then add the artifact inside for the display they would protected from the elements and would be more cost effective by doing this I think. it may not be pretty but what matters is it gets the job done.


Author:  NS6770fan [ Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AFT 2.0

Maybe if PRR 1361 is done, she could be ran with something for PA and the states where Pennsy was king. Hey maybe we could get a T1 K4 doubleheader ;)

Author:  co614 [ Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: AFT 2.0

Thanks steamfan765 for the suggestion. We have looked at the possibility of using shipping containers amongst other possibilities. At this juncture the leading choice is to use auto parts jumbo box cars as they afford by far the greatest interior square footage for display use. Also, there are a good number of them currently available at very reasonable prices.

Should we go that route we will completely rebuild them into world class display vehicles worthy of carrying priceless one of a kind artifacts for 4 years through all kinds of ambient weather.

However, once again all these details remain academic until/unless we are successful in getting our corporate co-sponsors on board.

As for pairing different mainline capable steam locomotives to share in the honor of powering AFT 2.0 that's the easy part as there are ample candidates all dressed up and looking for a party to attend.

Thanks for your interest. Ross Rowland

Author:  steamfan765 [ Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AFT 2.0

another idea for Ross. in order to prevent diesels in the consists and power the train take a 70ft double door box-car turn it into a solar powered generator car. doing that provide power for the train and avoid the cost of diesel for the generator. do the same for the crew cars.

for the crew that will travel with the train take a couple retired Amtrak bi-level sleeper cars. I know it won't look grand but it does the job and reduce cost for hotels and maintenance because took two cars instead of four.

Author:  xboxtravis7992 [ Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AFT 2.0

steamfan765 wrote:
another idea for Ross. in order to prevent diesels in the consists and power the train take a 70ft double door box-car turn it into a solar powered generator car. doing that provide power for the train and avoid the cost of diesel for the generator. do the same for the crew cars.

for the crew that will travel with the train take a couple retired Amtrak bi-level sleeper cars. I know it won't look grand but it does the job and reduce cost for hotels and maintenance because took two cars instead of four.

Probably not going to work I think. The largest boxcar data I could find was CSX's 86' Auto Boxcar. ( https://www.csx.com/index.cfm/customers ... ormat=true ) Assuming the exterior dimensions listed on that page line up to the correct size of the car we have about 997.3 square feet of roof top space to work with.

Other estimates I have found suggest that 15-20 watts per square foot is produced in high sun conditions with solar panels. Assuming 20 watts max sun we get about 19.946 kW produced on the entire roof of the boxcar. Using the conversion 745.7 watts is equal to one horsepower we get a total of 26.74 horsepower production from our solar panel covered roof. A single motor in a Genset, for example a Cummins QSK19C I6 produces 700 horsepower. Simply put a 26.74 horsepower producing boxcar would not be that effective for helping move a long train. Of course we could put solar panels on the roof of the entire train, but if we are talking about historic passenger varnish in the consist do we really want to cover that with solar panels?

Of course using lithium batteries could increase the power capacity of the boxcar allowing it to store power while the train is idle. But the larger the battery bank, the less likely this boxcar is going to have space to store other functions a diesel locomotive would need, particularly a dynamic braking system. Furthermore; like an electric car its likely the solar panels won't produce enough electricity to power the entire battery bank, so this boxcar is going to need to be plugged in like a Tesla to charge overnight at every stop. How many rail yards are going to have the charging equipment to handle the battery needs of this boxcar?

I know solar power and battery power has great potential in the railroad world. I think the Byron Bay train in Australia is amazing. But, the Byron Bay generates most of the train's power using solar panels located at stationary locations trackside, then charging the train up while it is in station. The on roof panels of the locomotive itself only generate part of the power needed for the train, and even then it has a back up diesel engine in the event it runs out of solar juice. Lastly, the Byron Bay unit is just a DMU, not carrying any cars so it needs a lighter horsepower need than say a fully loaded steam excursion train carrying passenger varnish has.

Other battery powered trains I have seen in operations such as Disney's streetcar at their California Adventure theme park rely on regular charging by induction plates located under the tracks, not the sort of technology currently in wide installation outside these sorts of lines. The proposed BNSF battery switcher will also rely on regular charging between use.

Eventually the technology might be there when solar improves and batteries get more powerful and compact. But as of now its still in the near future realm of possibility and not a presently viable one. A diesel locomotive helper is currently the simplest and most economically viable option for any steam excursion that has restrictions on running without another locomotive's assistance. If aesthetics are an issue, get an F-Unit or E-Unit preserved to be the pusher. Personally though I'm happy to see mainline steam in any form even if its a boring SD70ACe serving as its helper unit...

Lets not forget that in the lack of a PTC waiver a diesel locomotive might be required to lead, not unlike the recent NW 611 ferry run to Strasburg. Until we get PTC compatible systems installed on steam engines we'd need to pray that any future mainline excursion is able to grab those PTC waivers.

Author:  Rob Gardner [ Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: AFT 2.0

I'm sure the costs of any and all PTC compliance can and would be factored into the cost of the event and the leasing costs of the steam locomotives.

Rob Gardner
ASR VP and 2100 Project Manager

Author:  Overmod [ Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: AFT 2.0

xbox, when he talks about 'power for the train' he means HEP or the equivalent, not traction power. The equivalent of about 25HP per car stored in typical solar-energy batteries or other methods would be a useful source for emergency and perhaps 'dead-in-train' lighting and small-space conditioning for riders, although I highly doubt this would either be adequate or 'at all' acceptable as safe for the precious documents and artifacts.

Assume instead that the cars will be wired for 440V HEP and some kind of multiply-redundant generating plant (with as few common-mode fault opportunities as possible) to supply this power would be included in the consist as it is for UP excursions.

Author:  co614 [ Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: AFT 2.0

Thanks to xbox and others for worthy ideas. I wish that solar could work as it would be nice to have such a pollution free source of power.

One of the many lessons learned from AFT 1.0 was what's needed to satisfy the curators at the museums that we ask to lend us their artifacts. On AFT 1.0 we carried a total of 512 artifacts lent to us by 285 museums and private collectors. The insurance manifest listed a total value for all 512 items at $ 55M ( 1975 dollars= $ about $ 200M 2019 dollars) with 13 items listed as "priceless" meaning they were so unique and one of a kind ( i.e. George Washington's draft copy of the Constitution with his notes in the margins) that if lost no amount of money could replace them.

When President Nixon ordered the Library of Congress, the National Archives and the Smithsonian to " give them whatever items they want" we began the in depth discussions with the curators to determine what conditions we'd need to meet to have them feel confident that we'd be able to return the loaned artifacts damage free.

Here's the basics of the conditions we had to meet in the 10 display cars ( ex-NYC bags) 1. Maintain interior temp. within 5 degrees of 70F regardless of exterior temp., 2. Maintain relative humidity within 7% of 55 % regardless of exterior conditions, 3. Have triple generator capacity so as to eliminate power failure, 4. Encase displayed artifact in plexi-glass to eliminate direct visitor contact, 5. Limit train speed to 45 mph max.

We hired GE engineering to do the calcs that determined what we needed to do to make the cars capable of achieving those conditions. We carried recording devices on each display car that kept the readings 24/7 on temp. & humidity and these discs were reviewed periodically by the lenders.

I'm grateful to say that we were able to return every one of the 512 ORIGINAL artifacts to the lenders without a scratch or blemish on them.

To meet these kind of interior requirements ( in ambient conditions from minus 20F to plus 130F) will take about 20 tons of a/c per display car ( Auto-parts box cars have 9,999 cubic ft. of interior space) and total gen-set capacity of 1,000 kw's with triple redundancy. Therefore one of the 24 cars in the AFT 2.0 consist will be a custom built generator car with 3 gen-sets @ 1,000 kw.

In addition we will have a "dust capture" system that will remove nearly all of the dust from your shoes as you come through the entrance car prior to entering the first display car. Important to remember that 15,000 visitors/day bring a lot of dust with them.

That's light years beyond what we could generate with solar even if we covered every sq. foot of the train with solar panels.

Maybe by the time to do AFT 3.0 ( 2076?) solar power will have advanced enough to make it a practical option???

I will be showing the large scale drawings of the whole AFT 2.0 project at the 2100 fund raiser in Cleveland on 9/21 and I think the drawings do a good job of visually showing all aspects of the plan including how we will make use of the huge interior space in the jumbo boxcars with today's display technologies ( 3D halogram projections, surround sound, smell-a-vision etc.) so you will experience a 4D ride through reality.

I look forward to meeting some of you there.

Thanks, Ross Rowland

Author:  Rob Gardner [ Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AFT 2.0

We are all looking forward to seeing Ross' AFT 2.0 presentation on September 21 as well as hearing firsthand about the challenges and victories associated with his decades of experience with mainline steam and the Reading T-1s. We are not sold out yet, so if you're interested in attending, don't delay in purchasing your ticket(s) before any more time passes as we do expect to sell out. Come see 765 that morning and early afternoon and come see Ross and the 2100 that afternoon and evening. We have a number of exciting announcements of our own to make that evening.


Rob Gardner
ASR VP and 2100 Project Manager

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