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The Unofficial Choo-Choo Thread

 
Old 12-03-2010, 01:16 AM
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Talking The Unofficial Choo-Choo Thread

A few people have shown interest in my work with SP 4449, one of the steam locomotives owned by the City of Portland and maintained by a group of volunteers. I figured I would start this so everybody can enjoy as we work on it and take her places. Also, I'm more than willing to answer questions anybody might have about how these amazing and majestic machines operate. Make sure you read the captions...I'll throw in some cool facts from time to time.

This week we are preparing the locomotive for Holiday Express which is a short, low-speed ride down the Oregon Pacific Railroad. The operation is a big money maker for the Friends and the rail heritage foundation so making sure everything is working. Here are pictures from today as well as two videos.

The locomotive sitting at idle with steam drifting around. When it is fully warmed up, the 4449 is actually an inch and a half LONGER than when she's cold!


Running what the crew calls a 'marshmallow fire'. At speed this fire would never create enough steam to keep the locomotive moving but at idle, it's just fine. The jet of flame you see is actually the fuel oil being atomized and ignited.


The boiler pressure gauge on the engineer's side. Note 300 PSI is marked in red as it is the boiler's designed operating pressure. The GPS at the top right of frame is not original equipment.


Here are two videos. The first is a walk-around of the locomotive at idle; the whining noise in the background is the dynamo (steam generator) running to provide electrical power to the locomotive's lights.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Q6brYBoDT8

This is a video of the fireman manually running the water injector. This forces water into the boiler, cools it slightly and causes a slight reduction in boiler pressure (in this case from 256 to 250 PSI).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JT_UgvII-DA
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:22 AM
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4449 Fact Sheet

Original Owner: Southern Pacific Railroad
Class: GS-4 (Golden State; later 'General Service')
Order Size: One of 20 (last locomotive in the first of two GS-4 orders)
Original Service: 1941-1957 (was stored in serviceable condition for about a year)
Stricken from Roster: 1958
Other Survivors: None
Restored: 1974-1975
Wheel Arrangement: 4-8-4 (four leading truck wheels, eight drive wheels, and four trailing truck wheels)
Length: 101 feet, 5 inches (includes tender)
Width: 10 feet
Height: 16 feet
Drive Wheel Diameter: 80"
Fully Laden Weight: 865,750 lbs. (locomotive & tender)
Top Speed: 120 mph (federal law currently limits all passenger trains to 79 mph but when 4449 ran in regular service, 100+ mph was not uncommon, especially when trains were running late)
Boiler Operating Pressure: 300 psi
Horsepower: Essentially unlimited although the generally accepted figure is 17,000 horsepower
Fuel: Bunker Oil
Fuel Capacity: 5,880 gallons
Water Capacity: 23,300 gallons
Fuel Consumption: 10 gallons per mile
Water Consumption: 100 gallons per mile
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:54 AM
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Thanks Portland. I really enjoy stuff like this.






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Old 12-03-2010, 10:50 AM
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Nice!

Thanks for posting the vids.


She purrrrrrrssssssss......
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:55 AM
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Sweeeeet

I need to check that out next time I'm up there.
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:58 AM
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I <3 trains. Good thread!
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:59 AM
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That train is sweet.
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:00 AM
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Cool. Thank you
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:53 PM
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I just spent the last hour watching train videos on youtube...
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:42 PM
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Nice thread....keep on posting!
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by yumcha View Post
i <3 trains. Good thread!

+1
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:32 PM
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Well this has to be in here


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Old 12-03-2010, 10:55 PM
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Shot today, here is a video of the locomotive easing into Oaks' Park Station with her "new" Hancock 3-chime steam whistle that was fitted by yours truly. The old whistle was ready for retirement and this new one is loved by everybody, including the boss. He can play that whistle like nobody else. Turn up your speakers and enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jr5jvqoht_c
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:59 PM
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Sweet.
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:37 PM
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Very cool.
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Old 12-04-2010, 02:17 AM
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Very interesting. I starting watching a quite a few SP 4449 videos on youtube after seeing this thread. Apparently, it visited Chicago last year. It would be cool if it comes back. I would also love to visit the Illinois Railway Museum.
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Old 12-04-2010, 02:27 AM
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Originally Posted by RyanCHICL View Post
Very interesting. I starting watching a quite a few SP 4449 videos on youtube after seeing this thread. Apparently, it visited Chicago last year. It would be cool if it comes back. I would also love to visit the Illinois Railway Museum.
You guys have your very own 4-8-4 steamer in the Midwest.

YouTube 'Milwaukee Road 261' and thank me later.
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Old 12-04-2010, 02:33 AM
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Just checked out the 261, very cool.
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Old 12-04-2010, 02:35 AM
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She was this close >< to going back to being stuffed and mounted at The National Rail Museum in Wisconsin but in what was like something out of a movie, the volunteer group stepped up at the last minute and used almost all their funds to flat out buy her. Sale price? $225,000. It was best for everybody; the museum was getting a shitload of bad press for not relenting on the lease agreements and the locomotive gets to run again. As soon as she's done with her 15 year boiler rebuild, she'll be back on the road.
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Old 12-04-2010, 02:37 AM
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The Chicago Metra line I use to go into the city actually uses part of the old milwaukee road.
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Old 12-04-2010, 02:47 AM
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BTW, in several videos, I was reading posts about DPU's. Are DPU's another engine?
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Old 12-04-2010, 03:30 AM
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Originally Posted by PortlandRL View Post
She was this close >< to going back to being stuffed and mounted at The National Rail Museum in Wisconsin but in what was like something out of a movie, the volunteer group stepped up at the last minute and used almost all their funds to flat out buy her. Sale price? $225,000. It was best for everybody; the museum was getting a shitload of bad press for not relenting on the lease agreements and the locomotive gets to run again. As soon as she's done with her 15 year boiler rebuild, she'll be back on the road.
Awesome, Glad they saved her.
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Old 12-04-2010, 02:03 PM
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Sorry folks....Photobucket is being super and says I've exceed my bandwidth limit. I'm going to stop adding to this account and sign up for a new one because they want me to join Pro and I don't have the money for that. The above photos should reappear on the 13th.
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Old 12-04-2010, 02:11 PM
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Use flickr
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Old 12-04-2010, 02:18 PM
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Never been a particular fan of trains, but this thread has got be really interested. This is some very cool stuff. Glad to see you got the chance to work around them
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:18 PM
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What a dumbass, passing on a chance with the NFL to ride choo-choo trains. /redtext


http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shu...urn=nfl-292927
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Old 12-08-2010, 02:23 AM
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This is not the 4449 but it is Santa Fe #3751, another oil burning 4-8-4 based in Southern California. This video was shot by somebody else last year during her runs on the Surf Line. Here the train is traveling about 55 mph and since it has the same diameter wheels (80") as the 4449, it will give you an idea of how the Walschaerts Valve Gear works. The Walschaerts movement is one of my favorite pieces of engineering, period. It's so simple yet so reliable it simply boggles the mind.

Skip forward to 1:05 to see the shot of the drivers and the Walschaerts gear in action.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5uQz_V0sbI
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Old 12-08-2010, 02:48 AM
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Another cool train. It's incredible the engineering that goes to build these trains. Looks like this one is coming to Illinois in 2011 for Train Festival.

Last edited by RyanCHICL; 12-08-2010 at 02:51 AM.
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:55 AM
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I figured this would be an appropriate thread to share some photos from our ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad from this past October 2010. Here's a brief description of the train ride...

From the moment you step aboard the fully-restored vintage train, you are whisked back to a time of luxurious and leisurely train travel. FP7 locomotives, two of only 12 remaining in North America, are the muscle that pulls the renovated consortium of cars. Running from Clarkdale to Perkinsville, the Verde Canyon Railroad is a stress-free wilderness adventure…at 12 mph.

The train passes towering crimson pinnacles; near ancient Indian ruins; over fortified trestles; past a monocline fault and through a manmade 680-foot tunnel on a four-hour rail journey from the old mining town of Clarkdale to the Perkinsville ghost ranch and back.
And the photos...













































That last photo is of a pack of javelinas, which are these pig-like wild animals found in here in Arizona. They're pretty rare to see, so it was cool to spot them running through the canyon on the train ride.
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Old 02-06-2011, 03:05 AM
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Very cool, man! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-06-2011, 06:39 AM
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Here is my contribution....





Cool pics.
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:06 PM
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^
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Old 02-06-2011, 01:04 PM
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Awesome! Is that at Strasburg?
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by RaviNJCLs View Post
Here is my contribution....





Cool pics.
I'll see your Thomas and raise you a Theodore



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Old 02-06-2011, 07:13 PM
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PortlandRL, a couple of questions.

1. From cold, how long does it take for the boiler to reach operating temperature and pressure?

2. Does the boiler heat the entire load of water at once? Like a home water heater, or is more along the lines of how an instant water heater works? Where only the water that will be immediately used is flashed into steam. (I hope that makes sense, it was the only analogies I can think of at the moment.)

My dad is a retired dispatcher. I've gotten to ride in the cab on the big diesel electrics, but never a steam locomotive. I'm envious!
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:33 PM
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i raise you both an Toad (i think)


and a Mavis

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Old 02-06-2011, 07:37 PM
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btw look it's Thomas shunting
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by PortlandRL View Post
Awesome! Is that at Strasburg?
Looks like it.
http://www.strasburgrailroad.com/day...ith-thomas.php


I used to love going to the Strasburg Railroad when I was a kid!
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by mcflyguy24 View Post
Looks like it.
http://www.strasburgrailroad.com/day...ith-thomas.php


I used to love going to the Strasburg Railroad when I was a kid!
I'm hopefully going to take my son there for the first time this June. He'll flip out.
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by PortlandRL View Post
Awesome! Is that at Strasburg?
It is. We went last year. We may try to go back again this year. He is kinda out of the Thomas phase and they haven't had "Optimus Prime and Bumblebee Day" yet.
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