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Steam & Excursion > Dear Plywoody

Date: 10/16/20 21:07
Dear Plywoody
Author: Dreamer

What is the tie spacing in a pit? Please remember that 2926 issues were over a pit. I do not think the number of spikes was the issue.


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Date: 10/17/20 03:47
Re: Dear Plywoody
Author: wcamp1472

IIRC, it was not a usual 'loco inspection' pit.
It was a deeper, shorter pit, like for driver-set  removal, etc.
It seemed to me that over-weight capaciity of the original supporting  bridge
was the issue; nothing to do with spiking, per se.

The original bridge design was essentially a temporary solution, and when
the fully loaded, water weight of the loco & tender entered onto the structure,
the 'bridge' collapsed, and the loco's trailer truck partially sagged into
the hole where the bridge had failed.

But, again, I'm surmising from the photo evidence.  
Be sure to visit their photo collection at their excellent web site,
and see for yourself the situation they were faced with.

The photo entire documentation that they've posted on their site
is the best photo record I've ever seen of a loco tear-down, repair and
inspection.   It's an excellent record, warts and all, of their accomplishments,
solutions and dogged persistence.  The 2926 has become the teacher to a whole
swarm of students --- she is teaching them invaluable lessons, with every passing day.

There remains ahead the daunting task of 'operational drama' that awaits them---
there will be a whole myriad of complications, faiutres, do-overs, etc.
Many more derailments await them in the future, most will be minor, nuisance-type

No restoration escapes the vagaries of correcting mistakes that humans
set for themselves.  It is working-out the kinks and problems that arise,
where the sense of accomplishment becomes more and more rewarding.

Stuff like this happens... the main thing is that no one was injured or hurt as a result
of the incident.  See also the corrected and upgraded bridge design and pit-reconstruction.
You will be impressed.

My favorite safety slogan: "Safety is NO accident!" 


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/17/20 03:55 by wcamp1472.

Date: 10/17/20 06:21
Re: Dear Plywoody
Author: PlyWoody

Thank You Wes to help reply.  Maybe there is still time to prevent a disaster as a long while ago I posted a very shocking claim that the 2926 will derail again, and if so, it would be all over for ever getting the beautiful locomotive out of its cocoon.  My forecast had nothing to do with of the inspection bridge structure failure.  It was from my watching the work of a gardening company hired to construct some track for the NMSL&RH Society.  And I listened to the movement of the protesting wheels of the giant locomotive as it was pulled into and out of the cocoon engine shed.  
I felt the organization has not considered anything below the wheels of their locomotive but the pit accident should have changed that fact.  But my message was not received well as an additional problem, and I was forgotten as a kook. Someone even suggested more spikes was an overkill.  But then when I posted about their siding track between the street and the switch into the industrial track, they considered the track might be an issue.  They put out call for some financial help to pay an established railroad contractor to review and work over the government’s track so they could switch in the service car behind the locomotive.

If those videos of the track spiking are still in photo file, anyone can go back and review what I saw and that track is still there and some of the spikes can still be very closely inspected to look for killed spikes with bent heads and compression onto the rail, and the angle of the spike head.  Plus, they can count that there are only 4 spikes per tie.  In the following naysayer attacks on me, the Union Pacific and the BNSF standard plans were both exposed here on TrainOrder.com.  Both plans confirmed to me that the 4 spikes per tie were not sufficient for the intended plans to yo-yo that heavy locomotive on the track as it is.
Then I looked at Google aerial photo and could measure the curve west of the cocoon and using the 62’ measurement procedure it looked like it may be sharper than 10 degrees and would require a wider gage that 4’8 1/2”, reconfirming my forecast of a track derailment.  And the curve section requires additional spikes per standard plans.  I suspect that curve track was never built with any wider gage for that curvature so therefore can be a restricting and pressing factor on the rails when wider gage would be correct. I doubt the organization ever used my suggestion of using the 62’ chord and measuring the curve and gage of rails.
I realize some of this track has been built over with timbers and possibly cement but it should be entirely reviewed for these suggestions.  They cannot afford one track incident, especially on their own track even at the tiny expense of a few extra well driven spikes.

Now, I would like to ask if BNSF is replacing any welded rail or adding any new rail on the Raton line that The Southwest Chief is operating over?  Where is that removed rail going?  Most of it will have little value and BNSF might consider taking the welded or jointed rail they pick up and going up on the Santa Fe Southern and disposing of it for rail upgrade of that branch. That would then permit the 2926 to be able to travel to and from Santa Fe to Lamy and maybe on to Las Vegas and French.  The organization should very soon study every tie in the siding tracks at La Vegas if they ever hope to travel there, and make plans how that track can be rebuilt to handle the heavy locomotive.  Plan ahead.  I believe the wye tracks at French will be fine as many work trains are now using it, but it could be checked in advance.  And the wye track at Lamy should be rebuilt if not too sharp for the 2926.  Use the 62’ chord method on it also.  Good luck 2926. I miss my dear friend Ernie Robart.  Do this for him.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/17/20 06:47 by PlyWoody.

Date: 10/17/20 09:39
Re: Dear Plywoody
Author: wcamp1472

I agree totally...
An additional reality is that the roller bearings rods, when in place, together with the 
tight clearances allowed by the Timken 'cannon tube' axle roller bearing application
really does argue for wider track gauge.  

The 4 driver-axles, when fully connected with the Timken rods, form a very rigid structure
when compared to the needed flexibility for axle-shifting. It would have assisted the traversing
of the fresh trackage, had the side rods been removed--- allowing the axles to slew,
even a little bit,  in that apparently tight curvature.

However, it appears that the engine made it to its present location,  without incident.
But I'd bet that the rails were forcibly spread apart , as the loco was
dragged thru that trackage.

Do not be discouraged at the disparaging remarks, or loud criticism of you suggestions ---
people will either take your comments as worthy of consideration, or not.  

Your life time of experience is very valuable, but over-confidence coupled with arrogance
and ignorance is a deadly cocktail that too many volunteer outfits willingly guzzle --- while
disparaging those useful types of comments & your advice and concern...

Custer was seriously & deeply warned to NOT venture into Little Big Horn territory with his 'expedition'...
However, he felt that he knew better than others... He and his detachment paid the price..

In such cases, it's better to run away, that walk --- to avoid being caught by flying debris, etc.
Save your advice for those folks who ask: " Tell me more!"...
At least, they will consider your advice, and proceed --- using the guidance or not..

Be well, be safe and continue to explain the why.  I have learned so much from your recent 
writings --- I now know more stuff than I had ever known about.


(Back in 1968, while traversing a brand new wye configuration ( all new ties, rail and spikes)  --
with no widened gauge--at a re-built PC yard at Selkirk,NY.
 We were headed around one tightly curved leg with NKP BERK, #759 so tight that we
had three drivers about 4 inches in the air as we walked the engine around----that was scary...

God watched out for us and provided a steady rain to ease navigating the tight-gauged track...  
759 did NOT derail, and I had held my breath for more than 10 minutes...as we walked the engine
through..with 3 drivers in the air....  I still don't know why the taper-tread drivers on the inside
of the curve did not slip off the wet rail-head?  
There was some vector-physics at work that I've never figure-out!
Scary stuff!)

Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 10/17/20 09:59 by wcamp1472.

Date: 10/17/20 12:52
Re: Thanks and what is happening in Cumberland 1309?
Author: PlyWoody

Thank you Wes for the very encouaging support regarding the naysavers.

My next quest is to see if the Western Maryland Scenic has installed inter rail guard rails on the very sharp curve leading into the Frostburg station.  The curve was told to me to be half degree tighter than the design of the locomotive limits..   That can still work if the track gauge is increased 1/2" to 57" and guard rails be installed so the pilot wheel will not climb over the rail head.  What is happening at Ridgeley?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/18/20 04:24 by PlyWoody.

Date: 10/17/20 13:59
Re: Thanks and what is happening in Cumberland 1309?
Author: wcamp1472

The locomotive designers were ahead of the ‘operators’ when it comes to allowable curvature...
Mostly ‘horizontal’ curvature , but also they would have made liberal allowances on the
vertical curves ,and protected their frames and tenders, etc., from ruination.. by careless
operation by daring crews... 

On horizontal curves, a bare loco ( without tender attached) can navigate very sharp
curves.... sharper than when coupled to tender.  If the design specs designated an ‘approved’
maximum degree of curvature, the designers adjusted the length of the drawbars to have the
front corners of the tender “crunch“ the loco cab when the  (decreasing radius)  curve reached the design specifcation limit !

That way the dumb crews would stop proceeding before tearing-up trackwork or derailing the
engine or tender, or both. So, a loco that, by itself ( axle free-play), could navigate, say
a 25-deg curve, would be mated to the Tender, and the drawbar's length would be designed for
the cab/tender “foul point” a little tighter than the two bodies navigating curves tighter than
the “design specs”.   Or, the maximum degree of curvature-allowed would be 21 or 22 degrees,
and spec'd-out as "20-degrees maximum" on the published general dimensions.

When the tender/cab handrails rubbed, and cab/tender’s corners crunched, that was a visible
  ‘sign’ to STOP !!  to the operating crews..  Also, the floppy deck gangway plate would get severely bent,
also by design....It's cheaper than more severe  damage that could result if the two major 
'bodies' were forced together...

Wes Camp   

Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 10/17/20 20:20 by wcamp1472.

Date: 10/17/20 14:14
Re: Thanks and what is happening in Cumberland 1309?
Author: callum_out

Yes Wes, visual indicators are sometimes the best information.


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