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Steam & Excursion > Frisco Friday: 1522 at Fond du Lac


Date: 01/13/22 21:26
Frisco Friday: 1522 at Fond du Lac
Author: ironmtn

Basking in beautiful evening light, and showing some valve oil on her rods after a proud and solid day's work, Frisco 1522 rests outside the Wisconsin Central's enginehouse at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin on Saturday evening July 23, 1988.  The engine had just completed a one-way ferry trip and break-in run from Chicago on WC's ex-Soo Line tracks. This was after another one-way ferry move and break-in trip from St. Louis via C&NW the day before.

On the following Monday, 1522 would run further break-in trips on WC to Stevens Point, Wisc. and return before laying over in Fond du Lac until mid-August. She would then return to Chicago for a pair of roundtrip Chicago - Fond du Lac public excursions, before finally heading back to her home in St. Louis.

A beautiful memory from happier times. Enjoy.

MC




Date: 01/14/22 02:16
Re: Frisco Friday: 1522 at Fond du Lac
Author: IC_2024

I remember catching her in Burlington, WI and then being late for my Amtrak job in Chicago acct of it-haha!!
Was this close to the end for the steamer when she experienced a catastrophc failure on her way back to STL?!?  It's been so many years ago I cannot remember now...



Date: 01/14/22 02:49
Re: Frisco Friday: 1522 at Fond du Lac
Author: gbmott

Really nice Mark, what a handsome locomotive.
  -- Gordon



Date: 01/14/22 03:55
Re: Frisco Friday: 1522 at Fond du Lac
Author: wcamp1472

"Catastrophic failure?"

Anybidy have the explanation about that occurrence?
'd like to know what took place.


W.



Date: 01/14/22 06:45
Re: Frisco Friday: 1522 at Fond du Lac
Author: ironmtn

wcamp1472 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "Catastrophic failure?"
>
> Anybody have the explanation about that
> occurrence?
> I'd like to know what took place.
>
>
> ​W.

There was none. Certainly nothing that could be categorized as "catastrophic".

The entire purpose of the trip to Wisconsin was to conduct break-in runs following the engine's restoration. Those trips were entirely successful overall.

As trip director of the St. Louis Chapter NRHS, and with experience in managing Southern and NS steam excursions. and in cooperation with the 1522 group, I had been trying to negotiate an opportunity for an excursion with Norfolk Southern. Carl Jensen, who ran the NS steam program at the time, was tentatively open to the possibility, but only after the 1522 completed some successful break-in trips. But NS was not open to conducting those break-in trips on its railroad. There had been similar responses from BN and UP.

Somehow I learned that C&NW might have some possible interest. I contacted Chris Burger, then a senior manager with the Northwestern, about the possibility that the 1522 could run on their railroad. He expressed some openness, and things moved on from there. In some way that I do not recall, the Wisconsin Central also became involved, and C&NW's role became one of acting as a host for the ferry trips to and from Chicago to go onward to the WC up in Wisconsin. Once I had opened the conversation, the 1522 group took over and worked out the operational details with the two railroads. Both railroads were very good to work with. Chris Burger recently completed a series of articles in Classic Trains magazine about his career, mainly with NYC and C&NW. He had a key role in the Northwestern's earlier steam program with C&NW 1385.

Because of the  success of the trips on the C&NW and the WC, I was then able to go back to Carl Jensen at NS and negotiate for the 1522's first trips with them, a pair of roundtrip excursions to Decatur, Ill. on ex-Wabash track. The break-in trips' success also opened the door with BN.

Bottom line: Had there been any failures, much less any "catastrophic" failure during any of those trips, NS would have firmly said "no" and slammed the door shut to the Decatur trips, and BN likely would have done the same. Neither of those things happened. Both railroads welcomed the 1522, and we had successful trips with them both.

The 1522 did have a bearing failure much later on a trip to Galesburg, Ill. But that was years later, and had nothing to do with these trips. That was serious, but again I would not call it "catastrophic". BN dealt with it professionally, and the 1522 continued to operate with them.

My friend Don Wirth (Frisco1522) may wish to add other details.

MC



Date: 01/14/22 07:37
Re: Frisco Friday: 1522 at Fond du Lac
Author: wcamp1472

Thank for the thorough explanation, above.
Its a fine Loco, complete with a booster axle!

4-8-2s are very cool & capable locos.
Ideal excursion locos, the right ratio of grate areas to train consists.
( even if oil burners...a proper volume of firebox proportions..)

In my experience, "Plain bearing" problems are more easily solved
with limited shop resources,  than 'issues' with 'rolling element'  bearings,
if they're of obsolete dimensions..and no longer 'in stock"..

Wes Camp



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/22 07:42 by wcamp1472.



Date: 01/14/22 08:11
Re: Frisco Friday: 1522 at Fond du Lac
Author: engineerinvirginia

Between Timken and SKS mountains can be moved.....if you have money. 



Date: 01/14/22 08:27
Re: Frisco Friday: 1522 at Fond du Lac
Author: gregscholl

I was there for most of these trips.  I did a video, but never converted it to DVD (Should do that sometime I guess).  I remember I drove over 7,000 miles in capturing video on 3 trips.  Where is Don Wirth commenting....he was there for all this.  One evening I hooked up my 3/4 tape deck to the TV in the motel and bunch of 1522 guys came over.  I think I was showing them the freight from St. Louis to Fon du lac.  Good times.
Greg Scholl
http://www.gregschollvideo.com

https://www.gregschollvideo.com/images/slsf1522.jpg



Date: 01/14/22 08:32
Re: Frisco Friday: 1522 at Fond du Lac
Author: HotWater

engineerinvirginia Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Between Timken and SKS mountains can be
> moved.....if you have money. 

1) It isn't the price of the roller bearings, but the extreme amount of work involved, from re-machining the frame to removing the drivers from the axles.

2) It is "SKF".



Date: 01/14/22 09:28
Re: Frisco Friday: 1522 at Fond du Lac
Author: MaryMcPherson

1522's first run-in with bearing problems came after the successful showcase excursion down to Newburg, Missouri, and back during the 1990 NRHS convention.  The locomotive developed problems with the pilot truck on the way to Railroad Days in Galesburg, Illinois.  As I recall, the problem was diagnosed as having been caused by uneven weight distribution (with no direct involvement on my part, take that with a grain of salt).

The locomotive's pilot truck was rebuilt and converted to roller bearings after that failure, and break-in runs on the new bearings were conducted in October, 1991.  These trips were not publicized, but I learned of them through contacts with the St. Louis Chapter of the NRHS.

1. On the 26th, 1991, the locomotive took a freight consist down to Valley Park, Missouri, in the western suburbs of St. Louis, and turned on the wye before heading back downtown.  Here is the train rolling into Valley Park.

2. After the successful run the day before, the locomotive made a more demanding break-in run down to Newburg and back on the 27th.  Here is the train headed west at Allenton, Missouri.

These successful break-in runs paved the way for years of future operations of the 1522.

Mary McPherson
Dongola, IL
Diverging Clear Productions






Date: 01/14/22 10:27
Re: Frisco Friday: 1522 at Fond du Lac
Author: wcamp1472

Rolling element bearings are constructed with a limited amount
of free-play, radial & axial.   There is no 'break in' period when properly installed.

If you've ever ( old style) 're-packed' automotive front wheel bearings, you'll 
remember the instructions to "tighten the castellated retaining nut, then
loosen the nut 'one-flat', and apply the cotter key and dust cover.'

As long as the rolling element bearings are not distorted, or forced, at time of 
installation, they will run for the estimated number of hours, from the manufacturer.

Rolling element bearings have a predictable service life ( based on laboratory testing),
generally in the houndreds of thousands of hours.  

Plain bearings have no such parameters --- under normal,operating conditions,
plain bearings always ride on a microscopically-thin oil film.  

However, matched pairs of tapered roller bearings ( also 'spherical'*. roller bearings)
more easily control and 'roll-with' end-wise, 'axial' loading and sudden end-thrusts...
They are much better suited to the dynamics of the forces applied to things 
like the pilot trucks of steam locomotives, and also the loadings found on 
rsilroad freight and passenger cars axles.

It was a very smart investment to upgrade 1522 to roller bearing pilot truck axles.

But, there is never a "break-in period" needed for this kind of application.
The wheel and axle assembly either "freely spins" at time of installation, or it 
doesn't.  

However, there is the 'emotional worry-period' after RB installation, that is
important to honor, and to do the satisfying testing,  "petting" and discussions
of the success.

W.

( * So-called spherical roller bearings use barrel shaped rollers....
    ther are two rows of the rollers and both the cone and the cup ---
     the inner faces of the inner race and the outer races have curved 
    running surfaces for the barrel rollers... That arrangement allows
    the inner race to pivot at a angle to the outer race, and still provide
    Bearing function to the axle... NYC Hudsons used SKF [spherical bearings]
    on the main axleas, well as the Milwaukee Road 4-4-2 high speed screamers..)

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/22 20:38 by wcamp1472.



Date: 01/14/22 10:31
Re: Frisco Friday: 1522 at Fond du Lac
Author: MaryMcPherson

wcamp1472 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It was a very smart investment to upgrade 1522 to
> roller bearing pilot truck axles.
>
> But, there is never a "break-in period" needed for
> this kind of application.
> The wheel and axle assembly either "freely spins"
> at time of installation, or it 
> doesn't.  

I'm sure it was testing the rebuilt truck to make sure no more issues would turn up.

Mary McPherson
Dongola, IL
Diverging Clear Productions



Date: 01/14/22 11:23
Re: Frisco Friday: 1522 at Fond du Lac
Author: Spoony81

Several months ago the Burlington Northern Fans Facebook page had a series of photos documenting the rebuilding of the F9's into Executive Units BN1 and BN2. One set of pictures was the primer painted Executive F's passing 1522 at Augusta, IL getting its pilot truck bearing fixed with a homemade pit

Photos courtesy of Gary Siefken 
 






Date: 01/14/22 11:30
Re: Frisco Friday: 1522 at Fond du Lac
Author: MaryMcPherson

I seem to remember reading where they cut the rail and made it into a makeshift drop pit.

Mary McPherson
Dongola, IL
Diverging Clear Productions



Date: 01/14/22 11:38
Re: Frisco Friday: 1522 at Fond du Lac
Author: Spoony81

MaryMcPherson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I seem to remember reading where they cut the rail
> and made it into a makeshift drop pit.

Yep, you can see the gap and the rail sitting off to the side in that 2nd pic. It also looks like a wet and miserable day 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/22 11:38 by Spoony81.



Date: 01/14/22 15:27
Re: Frisco Friday: 1522 at Fond du Lac
Author: redberan4449

Rode and chased this locomotive many times.  Loved every minute.  Great memories.

The first photo was trackside in Missouri during the 1990s.  The 2nd photo was taken eastbound at the top of Rolla Hill, again during the 1990s.  The 3rd photo was taken on Day 2 of the Chicago to Fond du Lac excursion in the 1980s (1987 or 1988?). 

redberan4449

 








Date: 01/14/22 15:35
Re: Frisco Friday: 1522 at Fond du Lac
Author: akpsteam

MaryMcPherson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> 1522's first run-in with bearing problems came
> after the successful showcase excursion down to
> Newburg, Missouri, and back during the 1990 NRHS
> convention.  The locomotive developed problems
> with the pilot truck on the way to Railroad Days
> in Galesburg, Illinois.  As I recall, the problem
> was diagnosed as having been caused by uneven
> weight distribution (with no direct involvement on
> my part, take that with a grain of salt).
>
> The locomotive's pilot truck was rebuilt and
> converted to roller bearings after that failure,
> and break-in runs on the new bearings were
> conducted in October, 1991.  These trips were
> not publicized, but I learned of them through
> contacts with the St. Louis Chapter of the NRHS.
>
> 1. On the 26th, 1991, the locomotive took a
> freight consist down to Valley Park, Missouri, in
> the western suburbs of St. Louis, and turned on
> the wye before heading back downtown.  Here is
> the train rolling into Valley Park.
>
> 2. After the successful run the day before, the
> locomotive made a more demanding break-in run down
> to Newburg and back on the 27th.  Here is the
> train headed west at Allenton, Missouri.
>
> These successful break-in runs paved the way for
> years of future operations of the 1522.

I remember hearing that they were on their way from St. Louis to Minneapolis/St. Paul for excursions on the Soo Line before the Soo Line turned 1522 back south after the engine only made it as far as north of Davenport, IA and then had the lead trucks replaced in Galesburg, IL.  



Date: 01/14/22 15:49
Re: Frisco Friday: 1522 at Fond du Lac
Author: MaryMcPherson

akpsteam Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I remember hearing that they were on their way
> from St. Louis to Minneapolis/St. Paul for
> excursions on the Soo Line before the Soo Line
> turned 1522 back south after the engine only made
> it as far as north of Davenport, IA and then had
> the lead trucks replaced in Galesburg, IL.  

I cannot refute nor confirm.  I'm sure someone around here knows, though.

Mary McPherson
Dongola, IL
Diverging Clear Productions



Date: 01/14/22 17:30
Re: Frisco Friday: 1522 at Fond du Lac
Author: ironmtn

MaryMcPherson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> akpsteam Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I remember hearing that they were on their way
> > from St. Louis to Minneapolis/St. Paul for
> > excursions on the Soo Line before the Soo Line
> > turned 1522 back south after the engine only made
> > it as far as north of Davenport, IA and then had
> > the lead trucks replaced in Galesburg, IL.  
>
> I cannot refute nor confirm.  I'm sure someone
> around here knows, though.

That is essentially correct. The lead truck was not replaced in Galesburg, but repaired. I was following that trip north with a friend (I was not involved in operations), and we stayed in Davenport that night. When 1522 went into the BN diesel shop at Galesburg, we were lucky enough to get inside, watched some of the repair work, and helped the 1522 crew out with some needs. The BN shop forces were very professional and helpful, and the shop was an impressive operation. I've probably got slides somewhere. After all of this discussion, I'll have to locate them again.

I hasten to add once again: all of these events with the pilot truck bearings were much later, literally years later, and well after the date of the image that I posted for this thread, and the related initial trips to Wisconsin. And also well after successful trips on NS in October 1988 to Decatur, Ill., in May 1989 to Moberly, Mo. and the 1990 NRHS Convention in St. Louis. Those events quite simply never would have happened were it not for the successful break-in trips up in Wisconsin which were the original subject of this thread.

MC



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/22 17:50 by ironmtn.



Date: 01/15/22 13:28
Re: Frisco Friday: 1522 at Fond du Lac
Author: callum_out

And it was our experience that if you had problems with the SKF spherical rollers that the Cooper splits were much easier to
install and ran many degrees cooler. Never did a locomotive but the mining apps made a steamer look like child's play. So, the
1522 and my favorite steam locomotive, really wish it were still running. Sight and sound way better than the 4014!

Out 



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