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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2021 9:34 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 980
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Baldwin's production diesels used De La Vergne engines which were heavy and ran at a low speed (625 rpm). They never really acquired a modern diesel prime mover.

Baldwin built the carbodies and running gear for Westinghouse electric locomotives so the Centipede 2-D+D-2 wheel arrangement for each half would not be unusual in an electric in 1945. However, the 3000 HP of each half of a Centipede is very low for that wheel arrangement. By contrast an electric MILW "Little Joe" or CSS&SB "800" has 5000 HP on the same wheel arrangement and era.

Baldwin power plants were not the most reliable and were overweight for their power. They made decent shifters and heavy haul engines. The Centipedes were downrated from 3000 HP to 2500 and put in pusher service at which they did not excel.

Union Pacific returned to the two locomotives on one frame concept with the DD35 through DD40X units from 1963 to 1969. These were successful on UP until EMD's solid state dash-2 controls made MU'd units as reliable as large single units.

One Centipede story. The two halves could not function independently and shared a number. Since both halves were "A" units, one half was, for example, 5823A1 and the other half 5823A2 and they stayed coupled to each other.

They were still in road service when one day a PRR shop had the A1 half of one pair and the A2 half of another pair in the shop. There was a train that had to go, but no motive power. The foreman knew he had a usable A1 and a usable A2 so he made an odd couple and sent them on their way. The two in the shop got repaired and coupled together and they went out as a second odd couple with the same numbers.

Then, one 5823 was coming East with a train and the other 5823 was going West with a different train. A1 was meeting A2. The Block Operator knew this was a future accident and told the dispatcher who told the superintendent. Soon 5823A1, A2 to 5834A1, A2 became 5811A to 5834A.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 10:38 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:51 pm
Posts: 130
Location: Bucureşti, Capitala României / Bucharest, Capital of Romania
But if they had more power, could they had been more succefoul?
A.C. before the solid state rectifiers (did they ever used Selenium rectifiers on locomotives?) was a little bit hard for rail transporation: either you had low frequency current (16 2/3 Hz., 25 Hz.) or using big stuff, like motor - generator or Mercury arc rectefires or ingnitrons. But they where the exception. "New Haven" E5 had ignitrons, but the locomotives where prone to fire because overheating.
In Romania they had the ideea of introducing 3 k.V. D.C. or 15 k.V. 16,7 (16 2/3) Hz. (German system), but the electrification was delayed because of the war and the lack of money and we finally adopted the modern 25-27 k.V. 50 Hz. system.

Among this scale model locomotives is a double electric obiously inspired by American design, but that never existed in real life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68P5AfnhIf8

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 8:41 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 980
Location: Philadelphia, PA
The Centipedes needed more than better engines.

16 2/3 Hz and 25 Hz allowed the use of commutator motors which gave you better speed control. In the USA residential power was (and is) 60 Hz but a number of industries used 25 Hz and the power companies had separate 25 Hz power systems for them. Safe Harbor dam on the Susquehanna River still has two generators producing 25 Hz power.

The NH EP-5 motors did have cooling problems but the very similar Virginian ELC rectifier motors did not. GE had learned: less horsepower, better cooling. VGN ELC became NH EF-4 and PC/CR E33.

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2021 4:55 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:51 pm
Posts: 130
Location: Bucureşti, Capitala României / Bucharest, Capital of Romania
I might be wrong, but I've read on anothe forum that there where domestic users that had 25 Hertz, near Niagra Fall.
This units where very long lasting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erie_Lackawanna_MU_Cars
How big where the triplex type locomovies compared to "Big Boy" and Y2?
If you go to 1:26 and 7:20 you can see the description of 2 trains, after which the images will come: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BqnDY3NMcA&t=543s
Well, they are passanger trains, but besides mail and luggage (baggage) cars, they seem to have freight cars too... or are just postal cars or cars to deliver good order by mail (remember the printing catalogues?).
Those centipides locomotives where beasts. I can't get my eyes out of them...
It's better that I didn't live in that era, to see the destruction of those beatius. But I get destruction of rail transport, here, in Romania...
Look what site I just found... the virtual tour... wow! https://rrmuseumpa.org/collections/roster/

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2021 8:53 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:24 pm
Posts: 75
Big industry on the eastern seaboard often used 25hertz. My dad worked on 25 Hertz systems in the ship yards for Bethlehem steel in the Baltimore harbor in the eighties. The Pennsylvania railroad used 25 Hertz as did the Reading.

I bought a bunch of modern 25 Hertz motors by mistake at an auction.


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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2021 11:54 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 980
Location: Philadelphia, PA
25 Hz power was available in many markets. Niagara Falls has a large number of Hydro generators generating both 25 Hz and 60 Hz power for both the US and Canadian sides.

Safe Harbor PA is another plant with a large number of Hydro generators generating both 25 Hz and 60 Hz power. It's near Harrisburg PA so the power is for US users only.

The original 1930 Lackawanna electrification used 3000 Volts DC.

US locomotives are larger and heavier than European and contain hardware that wun't fit in European locomotives. Until 1950, the preferred way to convert AC to DC in something as large as a locomotive was an AC motor turning a DC generator. The Virginian EL2B motors were Motor-Generator units.

After 1950, ignitron rectifiers became available for locomotives and in 1952 and 1953 PRR acquired four locomotives from Westinghouse (Baldwin carbodies). One pair had C-C trucks and one pair had B-B-B (European Co-Co and Bo-Bo-Bo)

In 1955 New Haven acquired 10 4000 HP C-C EP-5 motors with ignitron rectifiers that had cooling issues. In 1956 Virginian acqired 12 3300 HP C-C motors with ignitron rectifiers that ran reliably into the 1980's. PRR acquired 66 4400 HP C-C E44's from 1960-1963. The first 60 had ignitron rectifiers and the last 6 had silicon diode rectifiers. As ignitron rectifierrs failed they were replaced with silicon diode, a full licomotive at a time. Coal roads' and Amtrak's E60's had silicon diode rectifiers.

So that was the transition of rectifier technology until the AEM-7's (SJ RC-4) introduced modern electronics.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2021 9:38 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:51 pm
Posts: 130
Location: Bucureşti, Capitala României / Bucharest, Capital of Romania
Allmost everything in U.S.A. is bigger then in Europe.
Some of the locomotives used motor-generator when using A.C. Like the 12 wheelers of the "Great Northen".
How did the locomotives of "Pennsylvania" and "New Haven" looked?
Did they where radios that could be connected at 25 Hertz?

Again, thank you people for the informations provided.
It's intresting to learn things.

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2021 9:52 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
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Location: Back in NE Ohio
Amtrak used "Motor-Alternator" units to convert main input power to Head-End Power for their trains on E60 Electrics. If anyone has a file of employee Amtrak News letters, there was a photo published in one of them of a Motor-Alternator unit being installed in an E60 in the late 1980s (probably at Wilmington Shops). They were large. I remember hearing the car men's radio chatter at Washington Union Station talking about getting the "MA" hooked up and running during locomotive changes. They used the same term no matter what kind of locomotive they were working on, probably because it's easier to say "MA" than "HEP" quickly.


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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2021 11:26 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 980
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Amtrak did use MA sets for HEP in the E60's built with HEP. All Amtrak E60's used rectifiers for traction power and the E60's built with steam generators received rectifiers for HEP when they were converted.

Interestingly, with the MA sets HEP stayed on when crossing the bridge at Cos Cob (no wire on the bridge) while the rectifiers blinked. Must be the MA sets didn't have time to spool down.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2021 9:56 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
There was a question about boxcars in passenger service.

A number of roads equipped boxcars for mail & express service in passenger trains. The co$t less than baggage cars, were waterproof and could be sealed. So long as you didn't need a baggageman or express messenger on the car they were good.

You needed trucks suited to passenger speeds; the carbody must clear passenger platforms and the car must have steam and signal lines and passenger appliances.

Also, Pullman built some 2400 troop sleepers in WWII on boxcar drawings but with passenger equipment. They slept 29 military and 1 Pullman Porter on a 50 foot car. After the War Pullman didn't need them and the RR's bought them; many were converted for mail and express service.

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2021 1:12 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:51 pm
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Location: Bucureşti, Capitala României / Bucharest, Capital of Romania
Those boxcars where for mail and luggae, and not for freight? (through all that some big parcels, like bicycles can be consider freight).
If you do navigate on pages from here you can see more from U.S.A.: https://www.trains-worldexpresses.com/100/101.htm

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2021 3:20 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
There was another class of goods, called EXPRESS, that was handled on passenger trains. It was high value merchandise, or time sensitive, such as berries or fish, or live animals such as baby chicks or race horses. The business was developed by private companies, such as Wells Fargo or Adams Express, during the later years of the nineteenth century; These companies leased space in railroad baggage cars, because passenger trains were considerably faster, and made better connections than freight trains. After WWI these companies consolidated into the Railway Express Agency, Inc. that was owned by a consortium of railroads. REA eventually owned some of their own cars, such as express refrigerators, but continued to lease most equipment from the railroads. That is what is in the majority of the cars in your examples.

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2021 9:18 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
Both US Post Office Department and Railway Express leased space inside the express box cars, which were handled as if they were baggage cars. Passengers' baggage generally did NOT move in them, nor could they be occupied by a baggageman or postal clerk while they were moving in a train. Both Railway Express Agency and individual railroads also owned express refrigerator cars that could handle goods or produce that needed temperature control.

Shipping by express cost considerably more than by rail freight but it was a lot faster and more reliable. The same applies today but with FedEx and UPS.

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 7:37 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:51 pm
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Location: Bucureşti, Capitala României / Bucharest, Capital of Romania
The last 2 mentioned companies still use rail delevery?
Did any sleeping cars had shower cabs? I think I've seen a drawing of such car, but I'm not sure.

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 7:46 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:24 pm
Posts: 75
FedEx has in the past done ground freight, truck load and less than truck road by rail.
Ups relies heavily on rail freight, csx has several ups intermodal trains with containers or trailer on flat cars. These trains are highly targeted by criminals for robbery too.

Leonard Edwards in Baltimore if he isn't in jail will be out robbing the Ups train
Ricky Mungan in north jersey is well known for robbing intermodal trains including ups trains, once the leader of the Conrail Boyz gang he is serving yet another prison sentence for RICO violation


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