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Steam & Excursion > The Steam Era Had Facilities Other Than Those For Locomotives!


Date: 11/30/18 02:18
The Steam Era Had Facilities Other Than Those For Locomotives!
Author: LoggerHogger

Much has been written about all the various support facilities that were created to support the steam power that once was the exclusive motive power on this Country's railroads.  Everything from roundhouses to water tanks to oil/coal facilities along with backshops were directly needed as part of the cost of running these steam locomotives.  However there were other facilities that are often overlooked that were part of the overall cost of running steam power.  That was the facilities needed to support the crews for these engines.

One such crew structure was that of the railroad hotel.  These buildings were built by railroads at key locations to lodge the steam crews between runs when they were stationed away from their homes.  One common place to find such a hotel was at helper stations in the mountainous regions of steam powered railroads.

In this view we see Southern Pacific Cab Forward #4239 in 1946 passing the large SP hotel in Truckee, California.  This large hotel was used to house both helper and road crews in the moutian town of Truckee during the steam era when Truckee was a major helper station where helpers were added and dropped from SP trains crossing Donner Pass.

Once such company-run structures were to be found in many parts of steam railroads.  These were as necessary as any other building the railroad had to support the steam locomotives and their crews.

Martin



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/18 02:35 by LoggerHogger.




Date: 11/30/18 04:51
Re: The Steam Era Had Facilities Other Than Those For Locomotives
Author: cozephyr

Excellent caption on SP's railroad hotel.  Nothing like sleeping next to your job.  Railroads in recent years have used contract hotels away from the railyards such as Oak Tree Inn.

2017 Update-ONE Lodging Management Inc. unveiled Baymont Inn & Suites Wellington, Kan., one of 44 Oak Tree Inn hotels undergoing conversion to three of Wyndham Hotel Group’s brands as part of an agreement announced last month (November 2017).

“Over the past month and a half, we’ve transitioned three or four hotels each day to a Baymont Inn & Suites, a Travelodge, or a Super 8 brand,” says Robert Pratt, president of ONE Lodging Management. “It’s all about appealing to a wider audience and Wyndham’s brand recognition, reach in the economy lodging segment, and their award-winning loyalty program will ensure our hotels stay competitive in their markets.”



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/18 04:53 by cozephyr.



Date: 11/30/18 06:30
Re: The Steam Era Had Facilities Other Than Those For Locomotives
Author: E25

That's a great image, Martin.

Do you have any photos of the Crescent Lake, OR steam era facilities that you could post?

Best regards,

Greg Stadter
Phoenix, AZ



Date: 11/30/18 09:55
Re: The Steam Era Had Facilities Other Than Those For Locomotives
Author: PHall

Those railroad hotels weren't really part of the steam locomotive support network. They were needed even with electric or diesel power too. Crew sizes didn't change when you changed what was pulling the train.



Date: 11/30/18 10:20
Re: The Steam Era Had Facilities Other Than Those For Locomotives
Author: LoggerHogger

The number of crew most certainly did vary depending on the motive power used. 

A lash-up of diesel or electric power had only one crew for the entire lash-up.  Multiple steam engines used as helpers each had a 2-man crew assigned to each engine on the train.

Martin



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/18 11:47 by LoggerHogger.



Date: 11/30/18 11:31
Re: The Steam Era Had Facilities Other Than Those For Locomotives
Author: PHall

LoggerHogger Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The number of crew most certainly did vary
> depending on motive power. 
>
> A lash-up of diesel or electric power had only one
> crew for the entire lash-up.  Multiple steam
> engines used as helpers each had a 2-man crew
> assigned to each engine on the train.
>
> Martin

Each helper consist, be it steam, diesel or electric, had a crew too. The number of helpers may go down when diesels were used, to a point, the point being coupler/drawbar strength. But they still needed one crew per consist. DPU's were just science fiction back then.



Date: 11/30/18 11:45
Re: The Steam Era Had Facilities Other Than Those For Locomotives
Author: LoggerHogger

PHall Wrote:

> Each helper consist, be it steam, diesel or
> electric, had a crew too. The number of helpers
> may go down when diesels were used, to a point,
> the point being coupler/drawbar strength. But they
> still needed one crew per consist. DPU's were just
> science fiction back then.

Sorry, but that is quite incorrect. 

While the DPU you refer to is a fairly modern concept and came with the advent of satellites, you are forgetting that early electric and diesel lash-ups used one single crew through MU controls. 

Prior to DPU, multiple diesels and multiple electric locomotives coupled together, were operated through "MU" (multiple unit) controls.

The firs MU controls for electric locomotives was successfully installed in the Chicago "L" line in 1897.  The first MU installed successfully in diesel locomotives was in the 1920's.

If you need visual proof of what I am talking about, I have attached a 1956 photo of SP steam alongside a first-generation diesel locomotive.  Please take note of the MU cables on front pilot of the diesel
.
One of the big savings by going from Steam to diesel or electric in the early days was the payroll savings by using fewer crews on trains with helpers in MU operation.

Martin



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/18 12:05 by LoggerHogger.




Date: 11/30/18 12:14
Re: The Steam Era Had Facilities Other Than Those For Locomotives
Author: PHall

LoggerHogger Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> PHall Wrote:
>
> > Each helper consist, be it steam, diesel or
> > electric, had a crew too. The number of helpers
> > may go down when diesels were used, to a point,
> > the point being coupler/drawbar strength. But
> they
> > still needed one crew per consist.
DPU's were
> just
> > science fiction back then.
>
> Sorry, but that is quite incorrect. 
>
> While the DPU you refer to is a fairly modern
> concept and came with the advent of satellites,
> you are forgetting that early electric and diesel
> lash-ups used one single crew through MU
> controls. 
>
> Prior to DPU, multiple diesels and multiple
> electric locomotives coupled together, were
> operated through "MU" (multiple unit) controls.
>
> The firs MU controls for electric locomotives was
> successfully installed in the Chicago "L" line in
> 1897.  The first MU installed successfully in
> diesel locomotives was in the 1920's.
>
> If you need visual proof of what I am talking
> about, I have attached a 1956 photo of SP steam
> alongside a first-generation diesel locomotive. 
> Please take note of the MU cables on front pilot
> of the diesel
> .
> One of the big savings by going from Steam to
> diesel or electric in the early days was the
> payroll savings by using fewer crews on trains
> with helpers in MU operation.
>
> Martin

Did you miss the line about one crew per consist? I highlighted it for you.



Date: 11/30/18 12:31
Re: The Steam Era Had Facilities Other Than Those For Locomotives
Author: LoggerHogger

PHall Wrote:

> Did you miss the line about one crew per consist?
> I highlighted it for you.

Not at all.  You, on the other hand, clearly have missed "per lash-up" in my post.

Your comment in your first post:  "Crew sizes didn't change when you changed what was pulling the train." is just plain wrong.

 Consider this, a steam powered train with 4 steam engines total, required 4 seperate crews.   That same train with a 4-engine diesel lash-up MU'd together requires only one crew.

Contrary to your initial assertion,  the type of motive power used, even in the early days most definately did change the size of the crew needed for any given train.

Martin
 



Date: 11/30/18 14:41
Re: The Steam Era Had Facilities Other Than Those For Locomotives
Author: sawdust

On another point, thanks for the great photo!

kirk



Date: 11/30/18 20:03
Re: The Steam Era Had Facilities Other Than Those For Locomotives
Author: callum_out

Uh, you can MU with DPU but you can't DPU with straight MU, tis semantics!

Out



Date: 11/30/18 20:29
Re: The Steam Era Had Facilities Other Than Those For Locomotives
Author: norm1153

PHALL:  I really do not understand this statement:  "Those railroad hotels weren't really part of the steam locomotive support network."  Gee, they were built for/during the steam era. 



Date: 11/30/18 20:50
Re: The Steam Era Had Facilities Other Than Those For Locomotives
Author: RuleG

Interesting photo and narrative.  When was the hotel demolished?



Date: 11/30/18 22:34
Re: The Steam Era Had Facilities Other Than Those For Locomotives
Author: PHall

norm1153 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> PHALL:  I really do not understand this
> statement:  "Those railroad hotels weren't really
> part of the steam locomotive support network." 
> Gee, they were built for/during the steam era. 

Yes, they were built for use by train crews. What powered the trains made no difference. The crews still needed a place to get their rest at their away terminal.



Date: 12/03/18 07:27
Re: The Steam Era Had Facilities Other Than Those For Locomotives
Author: Jim700

At the time of this early '50s picture SP&S Wishram still had three company hotels located as noted by the three arrows (numbered in the order they were built) though they're difficult to see because of all of the poplar trees in the area.  Though all three hotels were still present when I was a kid growing up there, the smallest one (#1) was demolished by the time I entered school and the middle sized one (#2) lasted until the late '50s IIRC.  By the time I went to work for the SP&S only the largest one (#3) remained.  It was located just a little northeast of the beanery on the north side of the house track and adjacent gravel road.

I used hotel #3 at various times while working the Vancouver-Wishram local, the OT Rocket (mixed train to Bend) and the freight pool out of Wishram on the Sandy and on the Trunk.  As I recall, the price for a room was $1.50 or, if you felt filthy rich, 25¢ more would get you a sink in the room instead of going down the hall to the restroom for one.  I didn't matter how rich you were, there were no rooms with toilets or showers.

About a year after the BN merger a rather shocking experience at George Bunn's two-washer laundromat (located in the southwest corner of his general store building where a pharmacy and barber shop were many decades ago) convinced me that I'd had enough of the hotel life and needed to find a solution.  I put a load of white clothes, mostly under ware, in the washer and went into the store to buy some food.  Upon returning to get my clothes I found that all of them had turned bright pink!  Someone had used the washer to dye something and failed to rinse it sufficiently.  Ugh!  My solution was to build a motorhome out of a 1947 ex-Greyhound Silversides coach that was equipped with a washer and dryer.  The use of that motorhome for lodging in Wishram became tied in with the timing of the first attempt to end the life of hotel #3 as related in the last entry of nomosantafe's 04/16/2010 TO posting at https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?11,2172172,2172515#msg-2172515.

 




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