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Author Topic: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report  (Read 119778 times)

ReadingBob

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1170 on: November 20, 2021, 10:50:50 AM »
 :)  I always enjoy your tales from the A&S Bill.
Bob Butts
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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1171 on: November 28, 2021, 10:02:13 AM »
Saturday report will be posted later this morning.  Sorry about that.

Judge

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1172 on: November 28, 2021, 11:46:12 AM »
Saturday Report (BelateddD) November 27, 2021.

The Bored Directors met precisely at 0830 hours to discuss serious business effecting the Town of Tahope and its commercial progress.  The contractors submited a report to advise of the substantial progress being made on the "Pub Crawl Enhancement."  Short-cuts are being made in order to schedule time for another build.  The archetects are supposed to deliver the plans and materials on Monday, November 29, 2021.  Meanwhile, when there is a lull in building construction, the Plants and Grounds crew will be sprucing up the area across from Butts Bar-B-Que. 

When the meeting adjourned, a freight train powered by L&N L-1 4-8-2 #415 climbed up the Ovalix, albeit with serious pusher service from GP7 1803.  The train was spotted a the main yard on the east side of Summit and a Pennsy passenger train (The General) was given her chance to show her stuff.  (For those readers who subscribe to MR or RMC, Walthers has been touting their version of The General along the lines of "A Train You Can Model" for several months.  Little did they know the A&S already had one in regular service.)  Our General travels a slightly different route than the route indicated on the Pennsy map.  Ours runs from New York to Miami during the winter season and uses the Seaboard route to get there.  A video of a different Pennsy train is provided at the end of this report.  The Broadway Limited swings South to Florida during the winter under an accommodation agreement the Pennsy has with the A&S.  It provides service to and from New York to the Sanlando Station in Tahope on a weekly schedule.

Meanwhile, a Central of Georgia freight, powered by two of CofG's beautiful E7A's toured the Midlands and provided delivery of goods to various customers along the way. 

Our guests arrived around 10:00 a.m., including some of the Saturday Butty Group (Greg DeMayo and Curt Webb) along with Curt's father.  This obnoxious bunch caused little damage to the railroad and all of us traveled the mile or so to Del Dio's for lunch.  The Saturday meeting terminated after lunch so those of us of the Gator persuasion could watch the annual Florida-Florida State football game.  This year's match-up was between two 5-6 teams who played down to their level of competition.  Florida managed to barely squeek out a win in the fourth quarter for a 24-21 finish.

This week's story has its inspiration from a tale told in the December, 1939 edition of Railroad Magazine.  It has to do with hot boxes, which were a constant problem back in the day and still are a problem on most of our HO empires.

                                                                                                                   HOT BOXES

The Seaboard has one Miami to New York daily hotshot that provides perishables, such as tomatoes, lettuce, mangos, and other vegetables from South Florida and citrus from Central Florida to the markets and restaurants from Washington, D.C. to New York City.  This train is given high priority and the consist is usually composed of the best equipment.  The train, named the Fruit Grower’s Express, is diesel-powered and only stops for crew changes, one of which occurs at the A&S station in Sanlando. 

In late November 1951, the first Florida “cold snap” had come and gone and the citrus was ripening and ready for picking.  Ethan Douglas drew the FGX as engineer on November 27, along with Conductor Willie Wright, fireman George Whittle, head shack Charles Tanner, and hind shack Tom Miller.  The FGE pulled out of Sanlando on time at 8:07 a.m., powered by three E7 diesels. 

Willlie Wright and Tom Miller perched themselves in the cupola of the SAL crummy and kept a look-out over the train for any observable defects that might interfere with the train’s progress.  In those days, before the common use of roller bearings on freight cars, the truck journals were regularly inspected and carefully packed with oil-soaked waste to eliminate the friction that would cause a “hot box.”  A hot hox can result in the failure of a wheel and cause a derailment if not repaired.   

Lubrication experts will tell you that insufficient packing, waste with poor capillary attraction, a worn-out brass, a rough journal, or lack of lubrication are the main reasons for hot boxes.

The train was about 50 miles from Jacksonville when Miller spied a wisp of grey smoke coming up from one of the mid-train reefers.  It had to be a faulty brake or a hot box.  Either one would cause the conductor to stop the train.  Miller held out a yellow fusee from the cupola to signal the engineer to stop.  Tanner spied the fusee and Douglas eased the train to a stop.

The head shack and the caboose crew walked toward the source of the problem and soon had it located.  Miller pried upon the journal box cover with his hook.  The experienced crew looked into the box and immediately saw the problem.  A car toad had packed the journal box too tightly and grease (dope) was not getting to the journal.  Miller removed the waste with his hook and replaced it with new waste soaked in “dope.”

Soon, Douglas eased the throttle up a couple of notches and the FGX was back up to speed.  The stop had cost nearly 30 minutes, but by the time the train reached Washington, D.C., the time had been made up. 

Today, there are no journal boxes on freight cars.  Roller bearings have replaced them and hotbox detectors notify the engineer to stop the train if in the unlikely event, a hotbox occurs.  The conductor, the hind shack, and the caboose have also been replaced. Computers handle the conductor’s paperwork involving the consist and the hotbox detector eliminated the need for a rear brakeman.  These things also eliminated much of the romance of freight travel.  But that’s progress.

Here is a short video of Pennsy's Broadway Limited making a whistle-stop at Tahope's Sanlando Station:

                                                                                 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vD0uwakaHo&t=19s


 
« Last Edit: November 28, 2021, 09:15:21 PM by Judge »

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1173 on: November 28, 2021, 12:26:46 PM »
Another interesting story Bill.
Curt Webb
The Late Great Pennsylvania Railroad
Freelanced PRR Bellevue Subdivision

GPdemayo

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1174 on: November 28, 2021, 02:14:21 PM »
"Obnoxious bunch" Bill?.....good story.  ;)
Gregory P. DeMayo
General Construction Superintendent Emeritus
St. Louis & Denver Railroad
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Judge

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1175 on: December 04, 2021, 02:53:54 PM »
Saturday Report- December 4, 2021

The Board of Directors met at 0830 hours.  The agenda was limited to discussion of the director's various medical issues, mainly the CEO's upcoming surgery scheduled for Monday.  Estimates are that he will be home from the hospital by a week from today.  All of the employees of the Atlantic & Southern Railroad, both management and labor join hands in wishing him the best of luck. Please do not send flowers - Send money instead.  The ticket agent needs to upgrade his office.

After the board meeting, the team adjourned to run trains.  An ACL freight, powered by a purple and silver brace of F3's was brought up from The Bottoms and it climbed up the Ovalix to The Midlands without difficulty.  The mixed freight made its way around the area, dropping off and picking up freight cars and generally showing her stuff.  Along the way, she was turned on the wye located near the Ovalix and she worked the industries located on the Tahope Penninsula.

A movie company hired by A&S management shot a video of the beautiful train.  The video was shot several times due to various glitches but it can be seen with the link located at the end of this report.

The story this week has its origin in tgh April, 1938 edition of RAilroad Magazine.  The caboose was part of the lore of railroading in the day before technology and managerial concerns about the cost of labor.  This week's story is about one of the ACL's crummys which was the home of Donny "Short Stack" Turner and his cousin Newton (Newt) Ray Lee Fisher on their regular run until the wreck occurred.

                                                                                                     THE LITTLE RED CABOOSE

The crew that drew the trip from Tampa to Tahope that foggy December morning included “Fatso” Johnson, as engineer, Newton Ray Lee (Newt) Fisher, as fireman, Willie Hatch as head shack, and Newt’s cousin, Donny (Short Stack) Turner, as hind shack. 
   Newt and Short Stack were just about at the end of their rope living in The Bottoms so they decided to make the caboose used on their regular runs their home.  It beat paying for an apartment they would sleep in six nights a month. 
The caboose was a standard M-3 ACL crummy, manufactured after the war with steel sides.  It had a cupola where the con or the hind shack could observe the train, a desk for the con to use to flip tissue in route, racks for waybills, and an order hook hanging from a peg near the desk.    There were also cabinets for tools, chains, knuckles, wrecking frogs, jacks, and buckets of dope for hot boxes. 
The desk was located right across from the coal-fired stove.   The stovetop provided heat for fried potatoes, corn beef hash, and fried eggs at breakfast time and for a variety of delicacies at lunch and dinner.  During the winter, even in Florida, the crew kept a smoldering fire going all day and night.   
Newt and Short Stack painted over the drab sand color paint on the interior of the crummy and gave the walls a couple of coats of light green.  They painted the ceiling dark green and hung pictures on the walls.  They swapped out the oilcloth cushions and replaced them with real mattresses.  White curtains decorated the windows.  The galley was much improved, with an ice-cooled refrigerator and a vegetable bin. 
They oiled the suspension springs on the trucks and adjusted them to where the crummy rode like a Pullman.
The boys liked the caboose so much they took up residence there and quit going out at night to howl in the local joints. 
The conductors began fighting for assignment to the caboose’s runs and, on the day in question, Bud Millstone pulled the duty. 
Things went well for the first part of the trip.  However, Millstone got busy with his waybills and Short Stack fell asleep on his bunk as the train reached Auburndale.  That is where the ACL rails from Miami join the rails to Jacksonville via Lakeland and Orlando.  The Miami-Chicago Floridian was scheduled with right over Fatso’s freight, but if was running behind time so Fatso was given the clear to run ahead to Orlando. “Fatso’s” freight sped past Auburndale with the Floridian close behind.  Fatso slowed for a herd of cattle crossing the track near Kissimmee and the Floridian plowed into the rear of the train, derailing the caboose and causing it to be destroyed by fire from the overturned stove. 
The investigation that followed blamed Short Stack for not flagging the Floridian in time to avoid the accident and he was awarded brownies and demoted to the job of car tonk.  He took the demotion in stride.  After all, he had been demoted before. 
Newt, who suffers from a fear of accomplishment, said, “After this adventure, I feel like I can accomplish anything.  I’ve always wanted to say that and now I’ve accomplished it.”   
   And both Short Stack and Newt, after being barred from entry to any of the railroad’s cabooses, moved back to The Bottoms.

    Here is a link to a short video of the mixed freight coming out of downtown Tahope - before the incident that destroyed the caboose.

                                                                                       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsi4N4nWmFA



 

ACL1504

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1176 on: December 04, 2021, 04:43:31 PM »
Judge,

Loved this story. What those boys from The Bottoms lack in intelligence is off set by an adventurous spirit!

Tom  ;D
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Tom Langford
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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1177 on: December 04, 2021, 04:59:47 PM »
Great story Bill, I don't think this could happen with a Pennsy freight. ;D
Curt Webb
The Late Great Pennsylvania Railroad
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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1178 on: December 05, 2021, 07:23:59 AM »
Another great story and video. 


Jeff

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1179 on: December 05, 2021, 09:18:38 AM »
Good story Bill.....those boys from the bottoms are quite a colorful bunch.  :)
Gregory P. DeMayo
General Construction Superintendent Emeritus
St. Louis & Denver Railroad
Longwood, FL

deemery

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1180 on: December 05, 2021, 09:34:30 AM »
For you operators out there, this story raised a question in my mind:


The passenger train was running late, so the dispatcher released the slower freight.  Ignoring the accident that stopped the freight, what's the guarantee the passenger train doesn't catch up and rear-end the slower freight?  (This all reminds me of an Algebra 2 story problem...)  Would orders have to be passed to the Passenger train to limit its speed? 


dave
Modeling the Northeast in the 1890s - because the little voices told me to

Judge

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1181 on: December 05, 2021, 09:58:01 AM »
Dave - Thanks for your thoughtful question.  I suppose, in 1950, when the freight passed a station, the engineer would receive orders to "go into the hole" until the passenger train passed. This would have been coordinated by "brass pounders" who acted as dispatchers along the line.  At least that is the way stories are told in my old copies of Railroad magazine.

And thanks to all of you who take the time to read my whimsical missives.

Bruce Oberleitner

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1182 on: December 05, 2021, 01:29:06 PM »
Hi Tom.
Wishing you all the best for Christmas and the upcoming surgery. 

BTW, don't let them tell you you can't have any Diet Pepsi during your recovery!  Nothing heals the body better than a cold Diet Pepsi.  I believe!

 ;D ;D 8)

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1183 on: December 05, 2021, 02:24:10 PM »
Tom,
 Thanks for sharing that great video. Those F units look really nice in that ACL paint.
Good luck going forward.
 Will be thinking of you as I drink my Pepsi here.....
Tommy
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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1184 on: December 11, 2021, 08:32:14 AM »
Saturday Report - December 11, 2021

No Saturday Report today due to the A&S's CEO having a date with his medical team in anticipation of his surgery scheduled at the first of the new year.

    There is a story this week.  Your reporter's wife of 47 years, Cindy, recently bestowed upon him a book entitled "American Steam Locomotives - Design and Developmnet 1880-1960.  This book of over 450 pages contains more information about the engineering and physics involved in manufacturing and operating steam locomotives than a lawyer with no engineering background can absorb, but it is interesting reading nonetheless.  The chapter on WWI's United States Railroad Administration is most interesting for its historical aspects and the highlights will be presented here in at least two installments. 

    Wouldn't you love to have been given a chance to sit in on the meetings when the USRA Committee adopted the designs of the famous USRA locomotives?  Hopefully, you will get the flavor of what that may have been like.  Imagine, the motive power bosses of most of the major railroads sitting down and agreeing on standard designs?  The group included such luminaries as J. T. Wallis, architect and designer of Pennsy's K4.  Fortunately, no one who was familiar with the words "internal combustion" was included.

    The USRA was formed due to wartime necessity.  Many railroads were relying on outdated locomotives that simply were not up to the task to handle wartime traffic.  The USRA locomotives provided much-needed relief to railroads needing modern motive power.
   
                                                                                Federal Takeover – The U.S. Railroad Administration (Part One)
                                                                                                                   1917-1920

    In December 1917, President Wilson entered an executive order federalizing the railroads.  He claimed authority for such a move to be in the declaration of war and the Mobilization Acts of April and August of that year.  Treasury Secretary William G. McAdoo became Director-General of Railroads in addition to his other duties.
   The first item of business was to reduce the log jam of freight trains transporting military equipment to ports in the east. Next came the standardization of freight cars.
   McAdoo, being impatient with the failure of the railroads to adopt standard designs for steam locomotives, appointed a new committee on engines.  The locomotive manufacturer’s committee recommended several basic designs based on popular general types, including both freight and passenger locomotives. 
       Ultimately, a board of nine members was appointed. Three members were appointed by each of the three USRA Regional Directors.  The Chicago and Northwestern, a major but not dominant line, had two members, including the chairman and the road’s superintendent of motive power; New York Central and Santa Fe were represented, while the Pennsylvania, Southern Pacific, Union Pacific, and Baltimore and Ohio were not. This “oversight” was eventually corrected and representation became more equitable.  J. T. Wallis, superintendent of motive power for the western lines of the Pennsy, and leading architect of the design of the K4 Pacific, simply showed up at the initial meeting of the committee and stayed. The B&O, the Milwaukee Road, Erie, Norfolk and Western, Southern Pacific, and Illinois Central gained members and the committee went to work.  The builders had limited, unofficial participation in the process.  The railroad mechanical engineer staff knew just as much about the theory and practical issues of locomotive design as did the builders.
   McAdoo let his own views be known.  He envisioned a kind of “flying squadron” or “circulating reserve” of government-owned engines sent out as needed to railroads experiencing motive-power shortages.  These locomotives needed to be of standard design in order to be interchangeable from road to road. 
   “There was more than a purely engineering or operational agenda here.  McAdoo was a Democratic Party progressive and spokesman for the view that an activist government should intervene forcefully to correct capitalist abuses.  He foresaw his new locomotives – with a big “U.S.” emblazoned on their tenders – as symbols of government-to-the-rescue, bailing out a failed private industrial empire and thus helping reassert citizen control over that industry’s former oppressions.”  Unfortunately, for McAdoo, the war ended before he could “transform all the railroads, these separate competitive systems, into one great unified transportation system.”

   To be continued.  Next week – Successful Locomotive Designs.
 
   

 

 

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