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Steam & Excursion > Question about NKP 759


Date: 01/12/20 17:49
Question about NKP 759
Author: NYCStL776

now I know this is probably a stupid question, but I figured I'd ask anyway. I have heard that one winter in the early 1970s, the 759 was supposed to spend the winter in a roundhouse on the Delaware and Hudson, but for some reason the agreement between the D&H and High Iron to run excursions on the D&H in the spring fell through, so they moved it out of the roundhouse into the cold. apparently, from what I was told, 759 was severely damaged when water left in the boiler froze, and, supposedly that is why the engine was retired. is any of this true? or is there another reason it was retired?(yes I'm aware that high iron was only leasing 759 from Steamtown but can't seem to find any information on when the lease would have been up) did any of this even happen? thanks.

Posted from Android



Date: 01/12/20 17:56
Re: Question about NKP 759
Author: HotWater

NYCStL776 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> now I know this is probably a stupid question, but
> I figured I'd ask anyway. I have heard that one
> winter in the early 1970s, the 759 was supposed to
> spend the winter in a roundhouse on the Delaware
> and Hudson, but for some reason the agreement
> between the D&H and High Iron to run excursions on
> the D&H in the spring fell through, so they moved
> it out of the roundhouse into the cold.
> apparently, from what I was told, 759 was severely
> damaged when water left in the boiler froze,

Just from memory but, there was no "water left in the boiler". Freeze damage did occur to what little moisture was remaining in the Worthington Feedwater pump.

and,
> supposedly that is why the engine was retired. is
> any of this true? or is there another reason it
> was retired?(yes I'm aware that high iron was only
> leasing 759 from Steamtown but can't seem to find
> any information on when the lease would have been
> up) did any of this even happen? thanks.
 



Date: 01/12/20 18:26
Re: Question about NKP 759
Author: wcamp1472

The 759 was returned by The High Iron Co. live & under steam, to Steamtown, Bellows Falls, Vt.
It then continued to be operated by Steamtown folks, NOT by High Iron.

Steamtown representatives worked out an arrangement with the D&H to store 759 inside a heated facility at Rouses Point, NY(?).
A subsequent dispute about "storage fees" led the D&H to move the engine outside.
In my opinion, the Steamtown crew was negligent when the engine was parked inside and not properly drained by them.

The High Iron Company was in no way associated with 759's operations while 759 was operated by Steamtown's
people.

I was working for the D&H as a shop employee in Colonie Shops, and was detailed to Bellows Falls to repair the freeze-up 
damage.   Doyle and I worked at replacing the freeze-damaged Worthington SA high-pressure water pump, and other 
freeze damaged equipment, like several superheater units, etc.

Eventually, the D&H and Steamtown's representatives reached a financially-based settlement. 
I was pulled away, by my D&H supervisors, from completing the repairs to 759, at Bellows Falls.
Later, the whole collection was towed to Scranton.

That's pretty much what happened.....

( While repairing the engine at Bellows Falls, I had occasion to talk to their CMO and I asked him how he could have
walked away from the 759 in the D&H building at Rouses Point, knowing that the appliances were full of water.  
Heating plants have a way of failing in the dead of winter.... Why did he take that risk?
He referred me to Steamtown's management for an answer.   To which I excoriated him for being so cavalier in attitude
and careless about the equipment under his care.
And for making much more work for his small staff of mechanics..) 

Wes Camp

 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/20 18:27 by wcamp1472.



Date: 01/12/20 18:49
Re: Question about NKP 759
Author: burlingtonjohn

At Steamtown, 20 Aug 15.

Regards,
Burlington John




Date: 01/12/20 19:06
Re: Question about NKP 759
Author: NYCStL776

burlingtonjohn Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> At Steamtown, 20 Aug 15.
>
> Regards,
> Burlington John
Wow, what a contrast between this photo and those just posted of the engine when its restoration had just been completed. and thanks to HotWater and wcamp1472 for the info, I didnt realize until yesterday that 759 was ever operated except by high iron.

Posted from Android



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/20 07:51 by NYCStL776.



Date: 01/12/20 19:11
Re: Question about NKP 759
Author: 4489

Seeing 759 dead and cold (literally) in Rouses Point (NY) yard saddened me to the core!



Date: 01/13/20 06:22
Re: Question about NKP 759
Author: co614

Truth be told my original handshake deal with Nelson Blount was that the 759 would be one of the eastern engines for the American Freedom Train journey if we were able to get the corporate co-sponsors to provide the funding needed to build it. Sadly, Nelson died in a private plane crash and wouldn't live to see the AFT come into being.

  After his death the Steamtown USA BOD hired a guy by the name of Bob Barbera to be the Executive Director. He issued a number of edicts regarding how he wanted us to start operating the 759 some of which I found cookoo at best. In example he wanted us to provide large heavy canvas sheets on both sides of the locomotive to hide the running gear so that " free loader railfans" couldn't photograph her in motion. He also insisted that we re-letter her tender with 4ft. high letters spelling out Steamtown USA and their Vermont phone number under neath. I told him to please be so kind as to deposit his edicts where the sun don't shine and as Wes stated we immediately sent her back to Vermont on her own power and in 100% good shape. 

   Barbera and his minions shortly thereafter pissed the D&H folks off enough that they pulled the poor engine out of the heated house into sub-zero temps and the rest is as Wes related.

    Darn shame as we had her in great shape and she would have made an excellent AFT 1.0 locomotive. 

     Sad but true. Ross Rowland 



Date: 01/13/20 18:29
Re: Question about NKP 759
Author: wcamp1472

As a follow-up... I had read on T.O,, a comment from Gary Bensman, while removing the asbestos from 759 at Scranton,
(several years ago), where Gary related his opinion that 759 remains the BEST. engine in the entire collection as a restoration candidate.
Both for suitability and for overall good mechanical condition.

I think Ross can attest to the mileage accumulated during the High Iron years as being under 40,000 miles.
Mechanically ( excluding boiler inspections) those locos could accumulate several 'hundred-thousand mike"  periods before requiring 
a complete wheels-up rebuild.

Also, it should not be necessary to rip-out all the flues and tubes.....the need for removal is to allow a complete ( circumferential) 
insoection of all the seams and rivets that are below the waterline.  It shortens the life of the flue sheets to needlessly remove
and replace the flues --- every 15 years.  All that flue-cutting, rolling, re-welding, and the unavoidable nicks and gouges
of the process prematurely wer-out the sheets.

The primary advantage of complete tubes replacement is the physical practice by the future
 "student boiler maker" candidates.   The installation of the new flues is primarily the art of flue rolling
and perfecting the welding skills to produce uniformly perfect  'seal-welds' st thefirebix end.  The purpose of the
seal-welds is the produce seamless, steel ring around the beaded end of the flue.

The flared end of the tubes sticking into the firebox is curled back to the flue sheet.  The process uses a #60 I-R 
air hammer and a tool that curls the tube outward and against the flue sheet. Thus, you have two separate pieces 
of steel ( the 1/2" thick rear tube sheet and the thin-walled tubing mechanically forced together --- both by rolling and 
beading the steel curl at the tube sheet.

Thermal stresses at the rear tube sheet can be extreme, and the tubes/sheets thicknesses are widely different.
It doesn't  take too many 'thermal cycles' before the mechanical connections all begin to leak...badly...

So, the 'seal weld' , if done properly and well-practiced, the weld will be singke-pass, deep penetration of both the thick sheet and the
thin tube-wall.  To weld two dissimilar-thickness, it take precision arc-control and a steady hand.  
it takes thousands of repetitions to build the precision, 'muscle-memory' hand skills, of the student boilermakers.

Sooo, the big advantage of complete tube-replacements is to provide the necessary " training sessions" for the new practitioners.
But, as I've said, repeated flue replacements endangers the holes in the flue sheets of all the restoration candidates.

It  requires a balanced approach to protect the sheets, and to build a skilled pool of available boilermakers --- with maintained
muscle-memory hands --- that leads to skilled practitioners of the "art of boiler making" --- by dedicated new craftsmen.

However, it is doubtful that 759 will ever be returned steam service.  
It took Steamtown how many years to restore an excellent condition, little used, 0-6-0 to service?  
More than two 1472-day boiler-tube removal periods? 12 to 15 years?

What about poor PRR 1361 ... how many years at Steamtown, all for nought ...
And the B&M 3713.......how long, so far?

Sorry for the rant..

W.

 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/20 19:23 by wcamp1472.



Date: 01/14/20 00:00
Re: Question about NKP 759
Author: steam1246

A number of years ago on Railway Preservation News, I authored a rather comprehensive piece detailing #759's tenure at Steamtown Foundation during the mid-1970's.  Upon publication of that "story", Ross Rowland commented it should become part of #759's "permanent record" at the Steamtown NHS site in Scranton.  I don't know if it ever happened, but it is still available on the Internet for anyone who knows how to look it up.  Perhaps some TO Internet computer guru--which I am not--can find it and post a link here on TO.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Ross Rowland mentions Bob Barbera in his post.  Bob Barbera  was not Executive Director of SF when High Iron brought #759 "home" to Bellows Falls in August, 1971; Edgar T. Mead, Jr. was  In fact, Andy Barbera (Bob's Dad) was part of the High Iron crew that brought #759 back to Vermont, and Mead offered Andy a job as "chief engineer" on SF's then-fledgling live steam program.  It was subsequent visits to SF to visit Andy during the early part of the 1972 season that led Bob to develop a highly successful TV advertising campaign--which ultimately led to Bob replacing Mead as SF's Executive Director.  Bob was NOT a railfan nor a rail preservationist--but rather a businessman.  He could not understand why many railfans and others who wanted to enjoy SF's train operations and museum displays would not financially support SF; in the early 1970's, there were a LOT of  railfans who thought SF should be running steam trains for them to photopgraph and enjoy for FREE; Bob eventually termed the "gate crashers" as FREELOADERS, and unfortunately, took some rather drastic measures to circumvent their activitiess.  In retrospect, Bob Barbera was partially right.  Come to think of it, within the past few months, when #611 visited Strasburg, Steve Lerro hired 7 off-duty Lancaster County sherrif deputies to keep the foamers (i. e.FREELOADERS) under control during his photo charters.  Some railfans, including a number of those well-known, haven't learned anything: have they?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Frederick G. Bailey--a dedicated SF employee for 17-1/2 years.



Date: 01/14/20 06:23
Re: Question about NKP 759
Author: co614

Thanks Fred for the details. Yes, Barbera had a point but his cures were IMHO out of left field and his manners were less than ideal if you get my drift. I just couldn't stomach his extreme dislike of all things railfan and didn't want to have to keep dealing with him. Easier to return the engine and find another than having to keep dealing with that wing nut. 

   Darn shame as his father Andy was a dedicated steam pro and a very skilled hogger. Barbera's acidic personality again surfaced itself with his dealings with the D&H RR as evidenced by the removal of the 759 from the heated roundhouse and into the sub zero cold. 

    Sad but true. Ross Rowland 



Date: 01/14/20 07:33
Re: Question about NKP 759
Author: seaboardc30-7

How much work would it take to get the 759 running again?



Date: 01/14/20 07:49
Re: Question about NKP 759
Author: HotWater

seaboardc30-7 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> How much work would it take to get the 759 running
> again?

For starters, the FRA mandated boiler re-certification.



Date: 01/14/20 08:04
Re: Question about NKP 759
Author: steam1246

Wes Camp is correct that Gary Bensman did a very favorable report on #759's current condition during his recent "asbestos abatement" on the locomotive.  A similar "condition report" was completed for all Steamtown NPS locomotives that Bensman abated--and sources connected with Steamtown NPS tell me those reports are very accurate as far as a "visual inspection" goes.  Bensman has identified for the NPS which locomotives should be "housed" for potential future operation, but that doesn't mean Steamtown NPS is listening.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             While its nice to remember what has happened at Steamtown over the years, and speculate about what could have/should have happened, let's look to preserve the truth about what DID happen.  I personally learned about F. Nelson Blount and his proposed Steamtown a couple of years before there ever was a "Steamtown" through my childhood friend Robert W. Adams;  "Bob" Adams became Steamtown first employee and eventually ended up owning Blount's Green Mountain RR after FNB's death.  Little did I realize back then that I would end up working for 17-1/2 years for Steamtown Foundation and 6-1/2 years for the Green Mountain RR.  My only wish today, at 72 years old, is that the Blount/Steamtown be told accurately for history's sake.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           #759 's history can be accurately traced.  It's future?  Probably the best we can do currently is refer to the Steamtown NPS FAQ post.  Answering a question posted there, NPS discusses the future operation of both #759 and Reading #2124; the conclusion is both could concievably run again--but the NPS concludes no one has ever come up with a restoration plan or the money to do the restoration.  Railfans, here's your chance to stop "wishing" and do something.  Good luck!  Interestingly. an individual who was involved in choosing #3713 as the "American" locomotive to be restored for mainline service has told me #759 should have been the first choice--but it lost out because sister #765 was operating in Indiana and a near duplicate, PM #1225, was running in Michigan.  Too bad, because #759 wouldn't have ended up in the locomotive shop for 23 years--and still maybe another five years away from steaming!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Frederick.G. Bailey   



Date: 01/14/20 08:51
Re: Question about NKP 759
Author: co614

IMHO Fred is correct in that the 759 could have been restored much faster and cheaper than the very involved, long and expensive drill being carried out to return the 3713 to life. 

   However, it does illustrate that most decisions are multi faceted and involve non machanical issues as well as hardware realities.   

    Regardless of your position on Steamtown NHS their track record to date clearly shows that unless you are 5 years old or younger your chances of seeing them restore either the 759 or the 2124 are minus zero. 

    IMHO-Ross Rowland    



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