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Author Topic: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report  (Read 96276 times)

nycjeff

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1050 on: July 13, 2021, 11:56:09 PM »
Your Honor, I'm so glad that you are doing better getting around. Back surgery is no small thing. Also, great story !  Jeff
Jeff Firestone
Morristown, Arizona
modeling the New York Central in rural Ohio in the late 1940's

Judge

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1051 on: July 26, 2021, 03:59:25 PM »
Missing Saturday Reports. 

Sorry about the misssing Saturday reports for the last two Saturdays.  I have had compooter problems recently and my compooter is in the shop.  I hope to have it back before Saturday this week.  I was able to get an old compooter up and running this mornning and I am using it to compose this missive. 

PaulS

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1052 on: July 27, 2021, 08:21:36 AM »
Glad to hear it was only compooter issues Judge and nothing more ...
Hope you are back on line soon, and that your back is coming along as planned
be well,
--Paul
Modeling the Atlantic & White Mtn Railway

BandOGuy

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1053 on: July 27, 2021, 08:44:41 AM »
Phew!
Glad it's the computer(s) acting up or failing and not Your Honor!
Had us worried, sir.
Working on my second million. I gave up on the first.

Judge

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1054 on: July 27, 2021, 03:24:14 PM »
I want to thank all of you who thought my absence from the Forum was for health reasons. 

I am told by my many doctors that I am recovering as expected from back surgery and my vitals are better than someone much younger.  My cardiologist said I was good for another decade. 

Thanks for showing concern.  I am using a backup compooter today but I expect my other compooter to be returned today.

Ever wondered how EMD, ALCO, and Baldwin delivered new diesels to railroads and trained crews on how to operate them?  I'll try to cover this subject next Saturday.

deemery

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1055 on: July 27, 2021, 04:12:06 PM »
Glad your body is doing better than your compooter!


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 #1056 on: July 31, 2021, 05:16:37 PM »
Saturday Report - July 31, 2021 - Atlantic & Southern Railroad

The Board of Directors met promptly at 8:30 a.m.  The A&S took delivery of the new Walthers Mainline ACL SW7 switcher.  The price is right for this little jewel.  It looks great and easily pulled a freight train consisting of 10 cars and a brass caboose up the one percent grade on the ovalix from the Midlands to Summit.  The downside is the inferior Locsond decoder.  This sound system would be perfect for those who are satisfied with train sets, but it fails to impress the officials of the A&S.  The unit will be sent to the Shops in Tampa for conversion to TCS WOW Sound.  While on the subject of new deliveries, the A&S recently acquired an S-12 Baldwin switcher manufactured by Bowser.  The unit looks great and the WOW Sound decoder picks up the clatter of the Baldwin prime mover perfectly.  The unit is decorated for the C of G and it will pull more cars up the ovalix than the SW7.

Since we were running Central of Georgia engines, we switched to a C of G SD9 and moved our freight train through downtown Tahope.  As the train returned towards the mainline, the crew stopped at sweaty Betty's Diner for lunch.  Bob Butts arrived about that time and we took or lunch break at Del Dio's restaurant. 

This week's story involves the delivery of diesel locomotives to railroads in the days when steam was still king.  The article for which your reporter is indebted for the information contained in the story was published in Trains Magazine, November 1980, by a retired EMD diesel instructor.  That job must have been quite an adventure, at least when deliveries were to railroaders who had never been around a diesel before.

                                                                                                                  DELIVERING EMD’S LOCOMOTIVES

The Atlantic Coast Line took delivery of passenger diesels (E6s) 1940.  They reigned as the power for name trains along with E7s and many of them remained in service right up until AMTRAK took over passenger operations.

The E6s performed well enough but there were problems with reliability until some of the bugs were worked out.  In those days, railroaders used to say they would couple up three E6s to a passenger train and hope that two of them would make it to the end of the run.  Another problem was caused when the locomotive traveled through a rainstorm, which happens regularly in Florida.  The louvers regulating air intake into the engine room were supposed to be automatic but they had the habit of sticking in the open position.  Entering the engine room in the rain while the train was making 70 mph was like standing in a hurricane.  This problem was solved as the engines came in for repairs and maintenance.

E7s began to arrive in 1945.  The E7s had the bulldog nose which allowed nose-to-nose MU connections and their engine room was redesigned to allow dynamic brakes.  Not all of the bugs were worked out of the E7s upon delivery.  Passenger locomotives in those days had to have a steam boiler which drove the heating and air conditioning in the passenger cars.  The generators would work for maybe half an hour before giving trouble.  The system was complicated and difficult to understand.  Boiler failure resulted in the resurrection of ACL’s Pacific locomotives during the first six months of E7 operation.

In the early days of diesel delivery, crews used to steam engines had to undergo considerable retraining.  Fortunately, EMD had a plan.  Instructors arrived with the diesel orders and they stayed until the engine crews became proficient in the operation of the new locomotives.  Many of these EMD employees were former railroaders who had been trained on the ins and outs of the diesel's engine and electric system.
 
In the beginning of diesel delivery, the new locomotives arrived deadheaded behind other locomotives, sometimes steam engines.  A baggage car accompanied the diesels, full of parts and equipment that EMD provided to the new owners.  Sometimes, a sleeper was provided for the comfort of the onboard instructional staff and the maintenance instructors.

The first day of instruction involved the orientation of the new locomotives.  Engineers who were used to driving steam engines were taught basic things such as “This is the headlight switch.  This is the throttle – it has eight notches.  When you push the throttle away from you, the engine goes faster.  This is the brake system.”  Railroad crews liked some aspects of diesel operation – they could wear street clothes to work instead of greasy overalls and diesels did not burn coal so worrying about cinders became a thing of the past.

One of the problems steam engineers had to overcome was the fact that when the throttle on a diesel was closed so the train could drift into a station, there was considerably less friction working to reduce speed than on a steam locomotive, with its huge drivers, side rods, and other moving parts.  Many a new diesel driver overshot a station by failing to apply brakes sooner than his usual practice.

The job of being an EMD instructor was interesting and, at least at the beginning of dieselization, challenging.  Conversion from steam to diesel-electric had its challenges for many railroaders and some of them groused about the minimal level of skill it took to run an E unit as compared to a steamer.  One of the complaints made by EMD instructors was that deliveries to southern railroads always seemed to be in the summer and deliveries to northern railroads always seemed to be in the winter. However, the job allowed instructors to travel around the country and many of them worked for EMD until retirement.


 

BandOGuy

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1057 on: July 31, 2021, 07:52:44 PM »
Great to have you back "on the bench" or behind a repaired PC Your Honor.
Saturday's struggling to get back to normal.


Working on my second million. I gave up on the first.

GPdemayo

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1058 on: August 01, 2021, 09:58:28 AM »
Lots of good info about the steam to diesel era Bill, good yarn.  8)
Gregory P. DeMayo
General Construction Superintendent Emeritus
St. Louis & Denver Railroad
Longwood, FL

jrmueller

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1059 on: August 01, 2021, 10:04:38 AM »
Judge - Interesting information on the steam diesel transition period. I imagine there was quite a bit of “grousing” amongst the steam guys their lessons.  Jim
Jim Mueller
Superintendent(Retired)
Westchester and Boston Railroad

postalkarl

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1060 on: August 01, 2021, 02:43:47 PM »
Hey Judge:

Glad to hear you are doing well.

Karl

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1061 on: August 07, 2021, 09:23:24 AM »
Saturday August 8, 2021.

There was no meeting of the Atlantic & Southern Board of Directors this morning because it is time for the babe's monthly trip to Mount Dora for her hair appointment.

However, there is a story this week and it is an interesting one. Your reporter's wife of nearly 46 years, Cindy, included in her Christmas gifts this year a copy of a Trains Magazine publication entitiled "Real Storries of the Rails."  The book includes a number of stories, some of which directly trace historical matters involving the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad.  One of the stories invlove a Coast LIne Pacific locomotive numbered 1516.  That number happens to be the number of one of the engines that regularly runs through the whimsical swamp known as Tahope County, Florida.  I have condensed (selectively compressed) the story to fit within my Saturday Report limits, but I think you will get the idea of what it was like to be a green as green gets fireman in 1947.  Note:  The location of this tale has been changed to fit it into Central Florida.  Much better than on the old AB&C in Alabama.

And, as a special treat, a video of 1516 in action pulling through the station in Sanlando is included courtesy of Langford-Eaton Railway Productions.

                                                                                                                  Firing ACL 1516 on the Southland in 1947.

   The regular fireman called in sick and Franklin Smith’s name came up on the extra board for the Southland’s run.  Smith, who had just signed on as a fireman, was a green as green gets.  He knew he was entrusted with great responsibility firing on a crack varnish like the Southland.  So, on that foggy night in December, he climbed up into the cab of ACL 1516 and prepared for what would turn out to be a memorable ride. 
   The 205.5-mile trip began in Jacksonville Florida, and terminated in the division point at Lakeland. From there a different crew and a different engine would pull the Southland into St. Petersburg and points south to Ft. Myers.   
   The engineer, Russel Taylor, called to Franklin above the sound of 1516’s boiler noise and said he was worried about the engine.  There had been trouble with the blower on the last run.  1516 was a little different from the other USRA 1500’s in that during her last shopping her cylinders had been made smaller in an experiment to save fuel.  Engineers found that unless the reverse lever was well forward, a touch of the blower was needed to to maintain 210 lbs. pressure even when the engine was working.   Taylor told Franklin he would “run her light” and instructed hm to keep the blower on enough to maintain pressure. 
   Taylor got the highball and gave the chime whistle a couple of short blasts as the engine began to move down the main towards Palatka. 
   The fire looked nice and level with no clinkers so Franklin gave it a few scoops as Russel increased speed.  About that time, a thick fog closed in.  The headlight provided no visibility as 1516 cleared past the outskirts of the city at 60 mph.  Franklin cut in the stoker and hoped he could see the order board and catch the hoop at Palatka.
   Russel motioned to Franklin that he was about to shut her off for the slow order over the St. Johns River drawbridge.  When the noise of the exhaust died down, Franklin asked Russel how he knew where he was considering they could not see ten feet in front of the engine.  Russel replied “I watch the ground just below the cab and I’ve been over this route so many times that I know by the way the engine acts just where I am.”  Russel explained that there were 38 dips between Jacksonville and Palatka, and he knew every one of them.  Franklin became apprehensive upon hearing what he was going to experience going through dips in the track while trying to fire a bucking steam locomotive. 
   The schedule called for the first meet to be at St. Augustine. ACL freight 210 was supposed to be in the hole awaiting the Southland to pass through.  But when their train arrived at St. Augustine, Franklin could not see 210 because of the fog. 
   When they arrived at St. Augustine, they were doing over 60 mph and ran over some torpedos.  Number 210 was in the hole as expected, but ten or more freight cars were fouling the mainline up ahead.  Russel hit the air and the train gradually slowed.  Russel hoped 210 would clear behind them and allow them not to stop, but that didn’t happen.  The engine finally came to a stop a few feet from 210’s hind shack, who was waiving his flag with all his might.  Franklin worried that the rapid deceleration may have disturbed some of the passengers, who were by that time enjoying ACL’s famous French toast breakfast in the diner.
   The Southland proceeded on to Palatka and things began to happen with 1516.  The pressure began to drop: 205 – then 200 – then 190.  Clinkers were building up in the firebox.  Franklin shook the grates to no avail.  Russel said, “Leave the fire alone or we will be in trouble.”  “We’re losing steam,” Franklin retorted.  “What are we gonna do?” “ Let her ride into Deland.  With 150 pounds we are alright and you can clean up the fire when we make the passenger stop.  Shut off the stoker and use the scoop.  Spread the coal around and keep that damn blower on as hard as she’ll go.”
   The train raced towards Dothan with Franklin staggering all over the cab, occasionally missing the fire door completely and spreading coal all over the place.  Russel made a comment about greenhorn firemen as they finally approached Deland with 180 pounds of pressure. 
   Russel decided to lend a hand with the fire when he realized the pressure had dropped down to 150 pounds.  Franklin had inadvertently left the injector on and cold water was flowing into the boiler.  Russel shut off the feedwater pump and gave Franklin – the questionable fireman – a baleful eye.  By now, there were hot clinkers all over the deck and when Franklin shook the grates again half the fire dropped onto the tracks.  It took both of them to level the fire. 
   By then, the pressure registered 160 pounds and Russel said, “I don’t give a damn if you only have 10 pounds, we have to get this train moving.”  1516 reluctantly edged off and Franklin worked the fire.  The pressure was climbing and it looked like they were going to make it.
   As the train approached Sanford, the blower pipe broke and steam pressure began to fall again.  Russel said he would try to fix it at the next stop seventeen miles ahead when they stopped for water.  By the time they spotted under the water spout the pressure was down to 180 pounds. 
   Russel crawled out on the boards and attempted to repair the blower.  After ten long minutes, the conductor approached the engine and said, “Just what are you two monkeys doing to my train?  Let’s get the hell out of here. We’re thirty minutes late already.’  So 1516 shuffled off with Russel and Franklin hoping they could muster up enough steam to make the last 54 miles. 
   When they finally pulled into the Lakeland station, the division superintendent met them and he was not happy.  They were 45 minutes late and had delayed every train on the line.  Fraklin figured the fault would land on his shoulders and he calculated that unemployment compensation would only amount to $53.00 a week. 
   The next morning Franklin was called into the Superintendent’s office and he was prepared for the worst.  However, the Superintendent said, “Russel told me you did a good job under the circumstances.  However, I’m going to assign you to the yard goat until you get more experience.”   
   Franklin gladly fired the 0-4-0 yard goat for the next six months.  It could only move a few cars at a time but it ran on a teaspoon of coal and the daily run was to tend to the industries in downtown Lakeland and Bartow.  Franklin was finally allowed to go back to firing on the mainline and his memory of that night on the Southwind faded over time.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZ2l2gXLQ-8         
 

jrmueller

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1062 on: August 07, 2021, 11:07:29 AM »
Thanks Judge for our Saturday story. Exciting!  Jim
Jim Mueller
Superintendent(Retired)
Westchester and Boston Railroad

Zephyrus52246

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1063 on: August 07, 2021, 11:18:45 AM »
Great story!  Nice video as well.

Jeff

deemery

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #1064 on: August 07, 2021, 01:13:30 PM »
It's good to read a story where the superintendent is not an a-hole.


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

 

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