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Steam & Excursion > Audio: 759 On Horseshoe

Date: 03/03/21 08:57
Audio: 759 On Horseshoe
Author: MaryMcPherson

Here it is: a recording of 759 on Horseshoe Curve.  This recording appeared on a long out of print LP called "Berkshire In The Alleghenies," released by Pilot To Tender Records.

This was one of at least three 759 LP records that I have found by Pilot To Tender, with the others being "Berkshire On Blue Ridge" and "Berkshire To Shenandoah."

Mary McPherson
Dongola, IL
Diverging Clear Productions

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/03/21 10:04 by MaryMcPherson.

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Date: 03/03/21 10:09
Re: Audio: 759 On Horseshoe
Author: wcamp1472

Thank you, Mary...

The long whistle series about 2/3 the way into the sequence is at about the 
apex of the Curve and in front of a jam-packed crowd in the viewing area.
. [ that whistle's  'chortle'  at the end of the grade crossing sequence,
is my 'signsture']

Because of 'curve resistance', the 180-degree curved region of Horseshoe
is' "flat", with no change in elevation.   That's so that the train's  
flange drag/friction remains a constant 'drag', as if the train was on a tangent
track at about the same inclination as 1 1/2 % ro 2% 

I have compared the sound recording of a PRR 2-10-4*, J1, rounding the Curve 
in the '50s with a decent freight train.   The J1's apparent speed is very comparable to the759's,
which is reasonable since both are fitted with 69" drivers.... it's interesting that the Lima Berks
came about, after the successful design of the C&O 2-10-4 order.  Berk's were scaled-down 
to be 2-8-4.

The PRR J1 class was a virtual copy of the C&O blue-print, 2-10-4s, which was
allowed by the WW2, WPB --- as an acceptable design, rather than a totallly new PRR possibility.
I think PRR built 110 or so copies... I wish we'd had one of those to restore..

Thanks for the memories..


*The J1 sound track is on an double (?) LP album of ALL PRR locos...I forget its title..

Date: 03/03/21 10:37
Re: Audio: 759 On Horseshoe
Author: MaryMcPherson

Here is a portion of that said recording of a J1 on The Curve.  It was recorded on a wire recorder by John Prophet, and has been used in numerous releases by Semaphore Records over the years.  It has appeared in two boxed vinyl LP sets, a single LP record, at least one 7" 33 1/3 record, CD reissues, and a two CD set.

Mary McPherson
Dongola, IL
Diverging Clear Productions

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Date: 03/03/21 11:44
Re: Audio: 759 On Horseshoe
Author: steamfan759

Mary -  Thanks for posting this and I remember that trip like it was yesterday.  It still ranks as the best fantrip that I have ever been on and you simply had to be there!  The only thing that I could not hear was when Wes had all of the safety valves lifted!!!!


Date: 03/03/21 11:46
Re: Audio: 759 On Horseshoe
Author: co614

Thanks Mary. Great memories. Ross Rowland 

Date: 03/03/21 12:48
Re: Audio: 759 On Horseshoe
Author: wcamp1472

On the recording of 759, the three pops can be heard as 
a steady, continuous HISSSSS, as we went by the crowd.

Across the Globe, All people understand three things about steamers:
the whistles, the side rods & wheels, and THE SAFETIES .  
They need no explanations... 3 years old, to 103...makes everybody smile.

The crowds, those two days, were mmense, and tight together, the 1,0000 passengers were
back in the train so I knew, at the fight we were waging, all those fans, passengers & people
would want to know about the 'limit'...
Did 759 have any 'more ooomph'  to give?

So,I gave them the answer!!
And they ALL gave a rousing cheer and waving wildly, smiling. as we continued the FIGHT. !!

With the stoker, I rolled-in a lot more green coal onto the deep heel at the rear of the grate,
blew-off the firing-table, and POW, up went pop #1.  
( if you tried to look in there, the white-hot fire would burn your face OFF...in 5 seconds)

Got all three up, going around by the crowd, then I blew the whistle as we went by.
you can hear the 3 pops, as the whistle is blowing...
( I'll listen to the tape and give you the time-marker when the safeties went up)...

One ( first to lift ) has a domed sound -diffuser, 'muffler',  over the pop;  
other two are NOT muffled, they're a straight-shot, when lifted.  
3rd one goes up at about 255-260 psi*.
 ( And Ross gets more Tractive effort!!!)

Thats the kind of trip you buy, when Ross Rowland gives you trip to ride.
Don't ever miss the chance to ride,  
Everybody gets wonderful memories, they'll never forget ...
I've got thousands of memories, and also thousands of friends..over the years).

( *estimated T.E. .....  about 70,000 lbs, vs 64,100 [book] ... Ross was sanding the whole way to Gallitzin).

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/03/21 12:50 by wcamp1472.

Date: 03/03/21 17:35
Re: Audio: 759 On Horseshoe
Author: rkennedy2

Wonderful memories of a fantastic trip!

Date: 03/03/21 18:11
Re: Audio: 759 On Horseshoe
Author: steamfan759

My Dad took these at Harrisburg on the morning of the first trip.  What a day it was and I also still have my Welcome Aboard around here someplace.  Great memories!


Date: 03/04/21 07:30
Re: Audio: 759 On Horseshoe
Author: co614

I'd be remiss if I didn't post a thank you here to my engine crew led by Wes Camp and Hank Webber who at my request had the 759 looking sharp both mornings of the Horseshoe Curve trips as evidenced by the above photo. My mandate to the crew was to get our locomotives looking as close as possible to how they looked in their formal builders photos when new.  As the photo shows they achieved that objective with a lot of hard work and dedication. 

   I know there are two schools of thought on appearance. One is mine per the above and the other is " run 'em like they use to, filthy dirty is good". 

   To me, whenever we go out with steam the locomotive is the star of the show and where all eyes will be focused. I feel we're representing all the men & locomotives that have come before us who played a part in the great story of how steam railroads enabled the nation to grow from an unsettled wilderness into the world's industrial powerhouse and we need to show our admiration and respect for that role. 

    We also ALWAYS carry the American flag for obvious reasons even though even that has its detractors believe it or not. 

    Thanks for the great memories. Ross Rowland 

Date: 03/04/21 16:29
Re: Audio: 759 On Horseshoe
Author: wcamp1472

The appearance of both the loco and the cars was due to the armies 
of volunteers that helped all along the way.

We NEVER had a serious injury suffered by any of crew, paid as well as

The crews formed up, casually at first, but soon coalesced into self-cooperating teams.
Some were avid coach guys, a few were steam engine fans, all worked hard and long hours.

We tried to remember to buy the community of workers, lunches and meals for everyone.
The 'train prep' gangs were superb... Ross wanted all the coaches, and seats,
and vestibules newly cleaned and shined...  The  Volunteer Army worked-over every
car and coach, coupler to coupler, from dawn to dusk..  

Especially demanding WORK was the train prep in the 'next-day' trips, 
like Horseshoe..  Ross wanted the Sunday ticket-holders to have the train as clean
and neat as the first day's train.   The car crews worked feverishly, overnight,
to have everything spic&span, for the next morning..

The loco crew had only the engine and tender's to wash and clean...
The coach gang had all the cars, insides and outsides, all,the windows,  to. wash,
clean and shine..sweep, remove the trash and clean the facilities.

It was a tremendous effort, in a few hours, that  money can't buy --- the camaraderie,
the teamwork, the physical labor all came from the hearts and backs of the HICO
volunteers teams.  That's where I started, and where we ALL began, as volunteers, to start out.

But , it was Ross's insistence on superb appearances and total car  cleanliness for our customers.
that carried the message.   RR was always focused on giving our paying customers their money's worth,
on every excursion.   Both on the cars and 'meaningful, historical  track trips'...

Super-clean was a High Bar for us to reach, but all the team members caught the passion, and its their 
hard work that was the hallmark of the HICO teams .... but, Ross also continued to build many subseqent
teams and varied steam engines.   All similarly shiny, clean and hospitable.

it's his ability to build many teams, across many venues, RRs and STATES, and Nationwide.
That's what LEADERSHIP looks like..... across many teams, many endeavors, many years.

This is a shout-out and thank you to all the team members, across the years that worked hard
and made ALL the trips great successes for our customers, families, grandparents and grand kids.

It was those hundreds of volunteers and workers that made all that WORK & accomplishment possible.

Ross's record for these accomplishments is un-matched , across this land.

Thank YOU, RR ... for ALL the years of successes, and the hundreds of clean, washed cars..
and all those happy, smiling family groups, fans and volunteers.


Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/04/21 17:46 by wcamp1472.

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