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Steam & Excursion > When Your Run Is Over The Steam Crew Has One Last Place To Go!


Date: 02/13/20 02:36
When Your Run Is Over The Steam Crew Has One Last Place To Go!
Author: LoggerHogger

After another successful run of her Daylight train in July, 1950, this engine crew has only to head to the roundhouse before heading home.  That is just what we see as Southern pacific #4458 backs down the yard tracks in Los Angeles and heads to the roundhouse.

Once at the roundhouse, the crew will turn the engine over to the hostlers who will get her ready for tomorrow's run.  They will fill out the daily report that tells the roundhouse crews what adjustments and repairs are needed overnight.

When that is finally done, they will grab their grips and head for home and a shower only to repeat the whole process the next day.

Martin



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/13/20 02:41 by LoggerHogger.




Date: 02/13/20 07:23
Re: When Your Run Is Over The Steam Crew Has One Last Place To Go
Author: czuleget

In This case to Taylor round house i believe. 



Date: 02/13/20 10:05
Re: When Your Run Is Over The Steam Crew Has One Last Place To Go
Author: BCHellman

czuleget Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In This case to Taylor round house i believe. 

No, to the Alhambra Avenue roundhouse across the river, next to the General Shops, where most steam passenger power went for servicing. Taylor roundhouse serviced mostly freight power from Los Angeles Yard.



Date: 02/13/20 11:45
Re: When Your Run Is Over The Steam Crew Has One Last Place To Go
Author: dmaffei

4458 and 4459 had roller bearing rod bearings I believe. How much less maintenance did this eliminate?  I think there was a 100 mile rule on rod lubricant on the SP. The axle bearings were still fed by mechanical lubricator if I remember right. 4449 has had a distinctive "clunk" at low speeds. Was this a rod bearing noise?  Just wondering. Thanks for any info...



Date: 02/13/20 11:55
Re: When Your Run Is Over The Steam Crew Has One Last Place To Go
Author: HotWater

dmaffei Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> 4458 and 4459 had roller bearing rod bearings I
> believe.

Nope. The SP NEVER had any steam locomotives equipped with roller bearings on the rods. The two GS-5 locomotives, 4458 and 4459 were equipped with roller bearings on ALL AXLES. Timken supplied the roller bearings on 4458, while SKF supplied the roller bearings on 4459.

How much less maintenance did this
> eliminate? 

Now longer need to check the spring pad lubricators on all axles, plus no longer need a mechanical lubricator to supply the pressure fed journal oil to the babbitted crown bearings on the four drive axles.

I think there was a 100 mile rule on
> rod lubricant on the SP.

Nope. 

The axle bearings were
> still fed by mechanical lubricator if I remember
> right.

Not on the two GS-5 locomotives equipped with roller bearings.

4449 has had a distinctive "clunk" at low
> speeds. Was this a rod bearing noise? 

When drifting yes, the rods tend to clank. Not, however when under power.

Just
> wondering. Thanks for any info...



Date: 02/13/20 12:59
Re: When Your Run Is Over The Steam Crew Has One Last Place To Go
Author: wcamp1472

Another point...
The axles are NOT rigid in the frame...they MUST be able to shift, laterally, with resepct to one another.
The crankpin bearing surfaces are both wide and large in diameter....  the axles when in a straight line, equipped with a properly-machined set
of  new rod bearings will clank, primarily when no power is being applied.

Navigating curves and swithches, moves the axles, laterally with respect to each other.
When you shift the axles, the crank circles move away from each other, materially 'lengthening' the distance the rods must move to accomodte this displacement
..... if not machined with proper, liberal, clearances,  the broad cylindrical, brass rod bearings, would immediately bind-up, in the twisting of the rotating crankpins.

IT IS CRITICAL that plain rod bearings are originally machined with liberal clearances ---- ask the current 844 guys about
the 'lesson' they learned the hardway..

Most rod bearings are easily replaced when the clearances wear exceessively, 
Most large shops could apply a whole new set of (loose fitting) rod bushings, while locos were in for periodic 'boiler washes'..
The bigger the crankpin, in diameter, the greater  the need for larger clearances...

Roller bearings face the same -physical- problems with lateral dispalcement....so, Timken mounts the outer race of the rod bearings in loose, brass bushings...
pressed into the rod 'eyes';  such an arrangement allows a little free-play at each rod's mounting on the crank pins. 
Thus, RB rods have multiple brass  'wearing' surfaces, and with relatively loose clearances.

The brass bushings, together with the factory-constructed, free-lash of the rollers, cones and cups, allows the RB driving axles to laterally shift,
without 'binding'...( for auto mechanics, you'll be familiar with the procedure for 're-packing' front wheel bearings .... when reassembling the bearings 
[with fresh, clean grease], the instructions have you tighten the axle's retaining nut, then backing-off the tightened nut, typically by 'one-flat',
then applying the cotter and the nut retainer.  You are establihsing the free-lash of the wheel bearings.... And when jacked ( the wheel left to freely spin),
you can  grasp the top of the tire & rattle the whole front wheel on its axle ---- that's what's normally expected...  When on the ground, everybody is happy..

Imagine the 'free-lash' of the rod bearings and axle bearings of a full RB-equipped, modern steam loco.
Without proper free-play, ALL rolling-element bearings woudl soon seize-up.

A variant pioneered by SKF was the dual-roller, so-called 'spherical roller bearing'
The indiviaual rollers are barrel shaped, and the cones and cups are machined to form spherical rolling surfaces,
thus, you can move the axle at angle to the fixed cup (in the driving box) .... now, the axle can move at an angle to the fixed-cup
of the assemby.  I came across an old magazine adv. by SKF, showing the MILW Road, 4-4-2, Hiawatha-speedsters... all fitted with
the SKF 'spherical roller bearings,  especially the drivers, and 'independent' driving boxes --- not tied to each other with an
axle-surrounding, 'cannon housing'.

Because of the ease of accomadating the angular displacement  (so common on large steam locos), I would use spherical RBs on all rod & axle bearings,
if I were devising the 'specs' for a current-build loco project..

W..

(Next, we'll  explore the realities of having two kinds of bearings across a whole roster...a few RB-equipped locos doe not meat the rest 
of the locos don't need conastant attention.... thus, unless a whole fleet of locos is RB equipped, you cannnot realize any savings in man-power.
UP & SP faced that reality, and stayed with plain bearings on the rods....)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/13/20 13:03 by wcamp1472.



Date: 02/13/20 13:09
Re: When Your Run Is Over The Steam Crew Has One Last Place To Go
Author: dmaffei

Thanks for clearing up things. It would have been nice to have preserved a roller bearing GS5. Doyle would have liked it for sure. But that was not in the cards.. Glad we have the 4449 so well taken care off in Portland



Date: 02/13/20 13:11
Re: When Your Run Is Over The Steam Crew Has One Last Place To Go
Author: Elesco

Regarding the photo, the 4458 looks pretty clean considering that it has just run 400 miles.

For those who aren't familiar with the locations of the roundhouses in Los Angeles back in the day, here are aerial views published by Classic Trains a few years ago:

http://ctr.trains.com/~/media/Files/PDF/BEV/L.A.%201930s%20BEV.pdf

The Alhambra Avenue Roundhouse is labeled the LA General Shops Roundhouse in the first photo, and the Taylor Roundhouse isn't labeled, but is located at the left side of the Los Angeles Yard complex at the top edge of the picture.  The LA Union Passenger Terminal is out of the photo to the lower left.

The turntable at Taylor was long enough for cab-forward articulateds.

I made trips to both roundhouses with my dad in the early 50's.  He had no connection to the railroad, but we could just walk in and look around without any trouble.  We once went through the backshop at the General Shops, although it was on a weekend and pretty quiet as I recall.



Date: 02/13/20 14:01
Re: When Your Run Is Over The Steam Crew Has One Last Place To Go
Author: Elesco

Wes, 

Question:  how much clearance is typical with locomotive journal rod bearings?  I’m used to automotive engine rod bearings with 1 to 2 thousandths of an inch clearance, but the clearance for locomotive rod bearings must be huge by comparison!



Date: 02/13/20 14:13
Re: When Your Run Is Over The Steam Crew Has One Last Place To Go
Author: HotWater

Elesco Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Wes, 
>
> Question:  how much clearance is typical with
> locomotive journal rod bearings?  I’m used to
> automotive engine rod bearings with 1 to 2
> thousandths of an inch clearance, but the
> clearance for locomotive rod bearings must be huge
> by comparison!

Just from memory but, I seem to recall for new rod brasses, the clearance is .014". A very old Machinist mentor, now long passed, always told me that it was a LOT better to hear the rods, than it was to smell them, i.e. from overheated bearings due to too tight of a clearance.



Date: 02/13/20 14:49
Re: When Your Run Is Over The Steam Crew Has One Last Place To Go
Author: LarryDoyle

HotWater Wrote:

> Just from memory but, I seem to recall for new rod
> brasses, the clearance is .014". A very old
> Machinist mentor, now long passed, always told me
> that it was a LOT better to hear the rods, than it
> was to smell them,  .......

ROFL.  Good one, on basic steam locomotive technology, Jack.

-John



Date: 02/13/20 18:38
Re: When Your Run Is Over The Steam Crew Has One Last Place To Go
Author: wcamp1472

The bearings ha a "running-heat".....typically, you're 'safe' at under 180-degrees  F.

So, here's what happens...
As rod bearings heat up, the pins swell, and the brass bushings, likewise swell.
by many thousandths of an inch, at the same time, the 'eye' in the rod-ends, 
at first, when the rods are cold, but as the. the  rods warm-up, the immediate reaction
is that the rod hole CONTRACTS onto the brass bushing ---- after more than an hour,
the rod-end eventually warms-up, and the hole actually swells in diameter.

Note that the time is quite long to reach an even temperature of all three components:
the rod's hole, the brass bearing, and the crankpin all reach, virtually, the same temperature.

So, the safe course would be to take running temperatures of all the pieces...take the temps while HOT.
( it's easy to record the temps using today's, non-cintact, infrared, remote reading, hand- held thermometers) 
Since fhe bearing components are machined "cold", if machined to "too close", when put into 
service, the tight clearances wiil, upon warming-up, the tight clearances will,disappear, lead to the
bearings to become 'seized' ,,, the pieces all will galled-together..

So,  if it was me, I'd go with the heat-swelled dimensions..and reverse-engineer back down to the
cooler room temps...to derive clearance dimensions that could be used to machine the new pieces.

Driver axles are similar ---- exceotvtye masses are much greater... axles can be up to 12" inches,
and the mating crown brass must fit over the axle, across the entire top-half of the axle.
Axles, too, have a running-heat ---- and the 12" inch axle REALLY swellls... the crown brass surface will also 
get hot.... again, the first swelling direction is to clamp-tighter onto axle.... So,  again, the clearances are
changed by the unavoidable temperature increases of plain bearings.

The first rule is to have plenty of 'clearances' when machining new bearings....  you're machining the pieces 
which are cut and polished while 'cold' ... In operation , the bearings unavoidably heat-up and as a consequence
of heating, swelling is unavoidable..  Your job is to machine the clearances liberally, to withstand the 
break-in period as the bearings surfaces get hot, polish each other ..... after maybe several weeks, eventually 
the polished surfaces will cool down and the 'running heats' will be at lower temperatures, consistently.
like maybe 30 to 50 degrees cooler,  than when first run-together .....during break in periods. 

As you can tell, there is a lot of guess work in choosing the clearances ....err on the side of way-too loose
clearances on radial bearings, are tricky ...  But, a little too loose ...is way better, and may mean
more-often replacements.p--- but in excursion service, you don't want to set traps for yourself ...
and you don't want road failures... that YOU inadvertently caused...

W.

not proofed, yet 
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/13/20 18:52 by wcamp1472.



Date: 02/13/20 19:03
Re: When Your Run Is Over The Steam Crew Has One Last Place To Go
Author: gregscholl

LoggerHogger Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> After another successful run of her Daylight train
> in July, 1950, this engine crew has only to head
> to the roundhouse before heading home.  That is
> just what we see as Southern pacific #4458 backs
> down the yard tracks in Los Angeles and heads to
> the roundhouse.

Really cool Martin.  I just had some vintage films transferred, and there were a handful of vintage SP steam scenes, including one 4-8-4.  Yep 4458 on a passenger train
in Daylight colors(Color film).  I believe it was taken in Santa Barbara according to someone I showed it to.
Greg Scholl
http://www.gregschollvideo.com



Date: 02/14/20 16:14
Re: When Your Run Is Over The Steam Crew Has One Last Place To Go
Author: agentatascadero

Elesco Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Regarding the photo, the 4458 looks pretty clean
> considering that it has just run 400 miles.
>
> For those who aren't familiar with the locations
> of the roundhouses in Los Angeles back in the day,
> here are aerial views published by Classic Trains
> a few years ago:
>
> http://ctr.trains.com/~/media/Files/PDF/BEV/L.A.%2
> 01930s%20BEV.pdf
>
> The Alhambra Avenue Roundhouse is labeled the LA
> General Shops Roundhouse in the first photo, and
> the Taylor Roundhouse isn't labeled, but is
> located at the left side of the Los Angeles Yard
> complex at the top edge of the picture.  The LA
> Union Passenger Terminal is out of the photo to
> the lower left.
>
> The turntable at Taylor was long enough for
> cab-forward articulateds.
>
> I made trips to both roundhouses with my dad in
> the early 50's.  He had no connection to the
> railroad, but we could just walk in and look
> around without any trouble.  We once went through
> the backshop at the General Shops, although it was
> on a weekend and pretty quiet as I recall.

So, I viewed that photo, and came up with pretty much the opposite observation......that she looked pretty darn grimy for just having hauled the Daylight this day in 1950.  When living in Atascadero, I saw the Daylights, and a LOT more, just about every summer day, starting with the summer of '52.  At first the Daylight power was pristine, certainly washed after every run, as was the consist.  As the end of steam neared (in my opinion, not the case yet in '50), steam, and particularly the GSs, no longer received the former loving care, as though the power was ordered to never be washed again.  Also, the poor GSs appeared to be partially cannibalized while still in service......not true, of course, but I'd see GSs running in service with their streamlining/Daylight paint partially dismantled, and, gradually, I'd see them de-skirted and in full basic black.  While the Daylight engines were beautiful, perhaps the most attractive attempt at streamlining ever applied to a steam locomotive.......those same GSs were very handsome in basic black.

AA

Stanford White
Carmel Valley, CA



Date: 02/14/20 22:12
Re: When Your Run Is Over The Steam Crew Has One Last Place To Go
Author: weather

Folks that regularly visit this forum do not know how lucky we are to have Jack and Wes available to answer technical questioins like this and explain it in such a way that we can all understand the meaning.
These two gentlean have near 90 years of steam experience between them dating back to the early and mid 70s at the dawn of the American Freedom Train and the #4449. any thanks Wes and Hot Water!



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