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Steam & Excursion > Anybody recall troubles in excursion May ‘77 ?


Date: 01/04/22 06:24
Anybody recall troubles in excursion May ‘77 ?
Author: wcamp1472

I'm trying to recall a PC RR. excursion on the Allegheny mainline over Gallitzin 
hauled by ex-RDG 2102 & loco 4070.

I seem to remember that 4070 had a 'steam failure' or other breakdown...
Any excursion details?

I was working on the D&H  at Oneonta, NY, at the time.

W.

 



Date: 01/04/22 08:13
Re: Anybody recall troubles in excursion May ‘77 ?
Author: ClubCar

wcamp1472 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm trying to recall a PC RR. excursion on the
> Allegheny mainline over Gallitzin 
> hauled by ex-RDG 2102 & loco 4070.
>
> I seem to remember that 4070 had a 'steam failure'
> or other breakdown...
> Any excursion details?
>
> I was working on the D&H  at Oneonta, NY, at the
> time.
>
> W.
Wes, I was not there but I do recall from a friend of mine who was there that the 4070 broke a rod and completely disabled the train.  I believe that Penn Central had to rescue the train with a diesel engine and remove the 4070 since the broken rod was jamming up the engine.  I hope that my memory of this event is correct.
John in White Marsh, Maryland 



Date: 01/04/22 08:22
Re: Anybody recall troubles in excursion May ‘77 ?
Author: train1275

I believe it was May 15, 1977, The 2102 lettered Allegheny and the 4070. The 4070 snapped an eccentric rod at the reverse yoke. and the trip was completed with diesels. (TRAINS Magazine October 1977 Page 18).  Happened on the return trip ascending the hill.

Steam Tours, Inc. Pittsburgh-Altoona R/T.  

However I think the same duo ran another trip the next weekend, May 22, 1977.  *Subject to verification *
 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/04/22 08:25 by train1275.



Date: 01/04/22 08:56
Re: Anybody recall troubles in excursion May ‘77 ?
Author: 611Doug

I was there as a sophomore at Penn State Altoona.  The train came to a stop  in the vicinity of Millers Curve, east of the Horseshoe curve.  I was taking pictures with a Polaroid Instamatic, well they did not survive.!
In those days we just pulled off on Kittaning Point Road , climbed up the embankment to the tracks and helped supervise.

Doug



Date: 01/04/22 09:07
Re: Anybody recall troubles in excursion May ‘77 ?
Author: JimO

I was on the May 22nd trip, 13yo at the time. That trip went without a hitch, though long and delayed and accompanied by an ex-PC SD45 and SD40. The week before, the 4070 threw a rod just east of the Curve on the way up the hill. I believe both steam engines returned to Altoona until repairs were made. The excursion continued back to Pittsburgh, probably with a diesel helper set. Seems to me the eccentric rod mentioned, the main rod on the firemans side, was just dropped, because they made repairs that week and ran the following weekend.



Date: 01/04/22 14:55
Re: Anybody recall troubles in excursion May ‘77 ?
Author: MontourMan

Wes, give me a call about this excursion.
Its a lengthy story with many details including repairs to 4070.
I was crewing in the 2102 cab when the incident took place.
Tim (Age of Steam RH)
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/04/22 14:57 by MontourMan.



Date: 01/04/22 18:11
Re: Anybody recall troubles in excursion May ‘77 ?
Author: RuleG

ClubCar Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> Wes, I was not there but I do recall from a friend
> of mine who was there that the 4070 broke a rod
> and completely disabled the train.  I believe
> that Penn Central had to rescue the train with a
> diesel engine and remove the 4070 since the broken
> rod was jamming up the engine.  I hope that my
> memory of this event is correct.
> John in White Marsh, Maryland 

It would have been a Conrail locomotive as the excursion operated a year after Conrail replaced Penn Central.



Date: 01/05/22 14:46
Re: Anybody recall troubles in excursion May ‘77 ?
Author: march_hare

My buddy and I were chasing that one eastbound, having chased a Chessie Steam Special run a day or two previous. We had to break off and head home since both of us had commitments in Albany the next day. We really wanted to see him come up grade through Horseshoe Curve, but it was not to be. Later found out that he never made it there in daylight. 



Date: 01/05/22 23:04
Re: Anybody recall troubles in excursion May ‘77 ?
Author: JimBaker

Reversing Yoke ?? 
It looks to me like the Eccentric Rod.
Is there another name for it?

James R.(Jim) Baker
Whittier, CA



Date: 01/07/22 11:08
Re: Anybody recall troubles in excursion May ‘77 ?
Author: randgust

Years later when I was doing a feasibility study in the 90's for the Museum on fall excursions up the curve (which actually happened for a number of years) the Conrail executives had STILL not forgotten that incident, and the reason for the 'H@%% NO!' reaction of any steam up the curve.  That went well into the intial 1361 discussions as well.  "All steam" was branded as unreliable after that.     Never mind that PRR/PC/Conrail made a regular practice of putting the oldest, most failure-prone, and needy diesel power as helpers on the curve, where they could at least roll back down the hill if nothing else.



Date: 01/07/22 16:20
Re: Anybody recall troubles in excursion May ‘77 ?
Author: MaryMcPherson

An outfit called Adventures In Sound was recording aboard the locomotives and captured the moment that 4070 threw the rod.  4070 is heard on the left, with 2102 on the right.  That train stopped in a hurry.

Mary McPherson
Dongola, IL
Diverging Clear Productions

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Date: 01/07/22 16:48
Re: Anybody recall troubles in excursion May ‘77 ?
Author: wcamp1472

OUCH!
A damned shame!

In the excursion business,  Its bad when when you have a road failure.

A lot of times eccentric rods got  bent if the lubrication to the spool valves 
gets compromised...or, also,  if there's problems with broken 'valve-rings'...

Here, it was apparently a missing bolt at the bottom of the Walschaert 
link,  badly bent eccentric rod --- when the front of the eccentric rod fell 
onto the R-O-W and got bent double..

( it's hard to understand how that happened ... with the nut, locked by a Cotter,
unscrewed and bolt fell out, or maybe the bolt broke in two?... but, they never found
the missing bolt --- from the front of the eccentric rod.  
What happened is WHAT happened..)

They took down the other side's eccentric rod, and got towed.  
The two steamers were replaced by 2 CR diesels that pulled the train ...
..to return the passengers to place of origin..  The two steamers 
  limped back to their shop, later the next morning.

A week later, after an experienced crew straightened-out the bent eccentric,
the 4070 was back on the road..

W.

 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/07/22 18:11 by wcamp1472.



Date: 01/08/22 21:46
Re: Anybody recall troubles in excursion May ‘77 ?
Author: DRGWMark

MaryMcPherson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> An outfit called Adventures In Sound was recording
> aboard the locomotives and captured the moment
> that 4070 threw the rod.  4070 is heard on the
> left, with 2102 on the right.  That train stopped
> in a hurry.

Great catch! ...for a not-so-great happening.

One of the posts above talked about how 4070's failure killed any hope of steam excursions on Horseshoe Curve. I guess the rest of Conrail was more open to the idea, since engines like 765 did pull a few excursions elsewhere on the system afterwards... until the infamous 1988 NRHS convention. After that, no more steam trips except for C&O #614 running trips under NJ Transit/Metro-North auspicies in 1996-1998.



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