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Steam & Excursion > Follow-up on New Steam in China Thread


Date: 08/28/07 06:09
Follow-up on New Steam in China Thread
Author: wabash2800

The reason I asked that question was a gentleman on a New York Central group has rehashed the old question about having a New York Central steam loco built from scratch. Of course, most of us would prefer a Hudson but he would prefer a Niagara. :)

I bring up the usual arguments about the cost in probably millions (hundreds's of millions?) of dollars even if one could get someone like China to build it and that it would be more cost effective to rebuild a Mohawk, for example, rather than start from scratch even if the necessary blueprints could be found. I also asked how difficult it would be to estimate the cost of such a venture in the beginning and by the time you got in the ball park you might have run out of funding...

He says there are still building new "Northerns" in China. <G>

I also ask him with so few railroads hosting steam and the cost of insurance, if you build it, where are you going to run it? He says Lloyds of London will take care of the insurance. And he says it will be very popular as everyone appreciates an operating steam loco and perhaps the government could provide the funding on such a venture through a museum like the Smithsonian. He also points at the current UP program among others as proof. I told him that current experience is that even so, many folks rather film steam then ride behind it and pay the bills.

Another gentleman says that with today's steel technology in steel, even a cast frame wouldn't be a problem.

I commend him for his imagination and again I say such a venture is not impossible but Gee Whiz I hate to be a devil's advocate.

Maybe I'll eat crow some day. I think not.

All in fun.



Date: 08/28/07 09:05
Re: Follow-up on New Steam in China Thread
Author: MarkD

Well, your friend is making a lot of assumptions.
First of all, not everyone is evein itching to go for a train ride, let alone ride behind a big filthy steam locomotive.
Second of all, AFAIK, they never did build 4-8-4's in China.
Third of all, even if he could obtain insurance, there is no guarantee that any railroad would let him run regardless of insurance.
Fourth, there is actually enough steam running right now around this country that the meager demand from the general public for a steam train ride is pretty well fulfilled. His chances of selling enough tickets to make enough money to cover his fixed overhead, operating and startup costs are slim.
Fifth, even though a locomotive from China would likely cost a whole lot less than a locomotive built anywhere else in the world right now, it would, in all likelyhood, have to be something that they have patterns and tools to make. Moreover, the quality of construction there is pretty much what people the world over recognize in other manufactured items from China.
And there's a lot more.
But if he decides to go ahead with it, more power to him. It'll be an interesting project. One thing is for sure. If he has enough money, he can get whatever he wants built. And, with enough money he could run it on any railroad of his choice. Just buy the railroad...
Mark D.



Date: 08/28/07 10:00
Re: Follow-up on New Steam in China Thread
Author: DWBrown

China stopped building new steam in 1999, Two SY class 2-8-2s. Also they have never built a Northern. The only Northerns were built in the UK by Vulcan and shipped before the Revolution of 1949.

Setting up the patterns and having everything needed is very time consuming. What is the incentive, other than a lot of money paid to companies in China? China is pushing out diesels and electrics at former steam plants.

Your friend is just speculating and does not have enough information on what could be done.

Dale Brown



Date: 08/28/07 12:40
Re: Follow-up on New Steam in China Thread
Author: Keystone1

When I was in China in 1988, at the locomotive building plant in Datong, they were still building JS 2-8-2's. I asked specifically, and repeatedly, and clearly... if someone brought over to you, a complete set of drawings for, say... a New York Central Hudson, or a Pennsy T-1... would you/ could you, build it? The answer in English was the same, three times. "Our locomotive building plant builds QJ 2-10-2's and JS 2-8-2's. No other designs are possible." OK. Good luck on the Hudson, and if you are building a 4-4-4-4 Duplex... please inside connect the two sets of drivers this time, so they don't slip as easily. Thank you. Keystone1



Date: 08/28/07 13:19
Re: Follow-up on New Steam in China Thread
Author: NYCSTL8

Didn't the ACE 3000 try to do that??



Date: 08/28/07 13:49
Re: Follow-up on New Steam in China Thread
Author: wabash2800

They weren't trying resurrect something from the past. They were attempting to perfect steam as a form of motive power with microprocessors and a different fueling system among other things. The R&D was being developed at a time of rising fuel prices and fear of dependence on foreigh oil suppliers. They were hoping to come up with something that would be very practical in that environment and competitive with the diesel electric.

I always got a kick out the tandem side rods.

NYCSTL8 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Didn't the ACE 3000 try to do that??



Date: 08/28/07 18:25
Re: Follow-up on New Steam in China Thread
Author: Keystone1

Gee... 1984... "rising oil prices", and the "dependence on foreign oil". So, WHAT has changed? Seems like we need the ACE 3000 more now than ever! Ross, I know you are out there... what is new??? Any chance? Keystone1



Date: 08/29/07 10:24
Re: Follow-up on New Steam in China Thread
Author: wabash2800

Keystone:

I caught myself asking that same question when I wrote that. I think I'll start a seperate post on that and see if Ross will give us some input.


Keystone1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Gee... 1984... "rising oil prices", and the
> "dependence on foreign oil". So, WHAT has
> changed? Seems like we need the ACE 3000 more
> now than ever! Ross, I know you are out there...
> what is new??? Any chance? Keystone1



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