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U.S. once again home to the world's largest operating steam locomotive

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by dontpanic, May 4, 2019.

  1. dontpanic

    dontpanic

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    My son just texted me the link:



    "Published on May 3, 2019
    They said it couldn't be done. It was too heavy, too long, it burned too much fuel, and would cost too much to restore. But they were wrong. Union Pacific, Big Boy #4014, now holds the title of the Worlds largest operating steam locomotive. This locomotive underwent a frame up rebuild and is now better than new. This was a big day for the #4014. It was the first time it was taken out of the yard and onto the main line."

    Holy crap, that thing is big....
     

  2. tommyh

    tommyh

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    Steam is king.

    When you look at the shear size of these locomotives and realize "back then" they were built with muscle and sweat, by hand. Think of one pulling a train, capable of 80 to 100mph, that's POWER!
     
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  3. LoginName

    LoginName NES Member

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    Ocasio-Cortez will have a massive stroke when she sees that video. [banana]
     
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  4. appraiser

    appraiser NES Member

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  5. Uzi2

    Uzi2 NES Member

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    And somewhere along its path a punk with a can of spraypaint waits and some shut in soccer mom is dialing 911 to report a train on fire.
     
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  6. enbloc

    enbloc NES Life Member NES Member

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    I don't trust air I can't see...
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  7. TC McQuade

    TC McQuade NES Member

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    That's cool! Some Facts

    Big Boy No. 4014
    Twenty-five Big Boys were built exclusively for Union Pacific Railroad, the first of which was delivered in 1941. The locomotives were 132 feet long and weighed 1.2 million pounds. Because of their great length, the frames of the Big Boys were "hinged," or articulated, to allow them to negotiate curves. They had a 4-8-8-4 wheel arrangement, which meant they had four wheels on the leading set of "pilot" wheels which guided the engine, eight drivers, another set of eight drivers, and four wheels following which supported the rear of the locomotive. The massive engines normally operated between Ogden, Utah, and Cheyenne, Wyo.

    There are seven Big Boys on public display in various cities around the country. They can be found in St. Louis, Missouri; Dallas, Texas; Omaha, Nebraska; Denver, Colorado; Scranton, Pennsylvania; Green Bay, Wisconsin; and Cheyenne, Wyoming.

    Big Boy No. 4014 was delivered to Union Pacific in December 1941. The locomotive was retired in December 1961, having traveled 1,031,205 miles in its 20 years in service. Union Pacific reacquired No. 4014 from the RailGiants Museum in Pomona, California, in 2013, and relocated it back to Cheyenne to begin a multi-year restoration process.

    Vital Statistics
    Tender Type: 14-wheeled
    Water Capacity: 24,000 gallons
    Fuel: Coal**
    56,000 lbs.
    Gauge of Track: 4 ft. 8-1/2 in.
    Cylinder: Diameter: 23 3/4 in.
    Stroke: 32 in.
    Driving Wheel Diameter: 68 in.
    Boiler: Outside Diameter: 106 9/16 in.
    Pressure: 300 lbs.
    Fire Box: Length: 235 1/32 in.
    Width: 96 3/16 in.
    Tubes: 2-1/4 in. Diameter: 75 x 22 ft. 0 in.
    4 in. Diameter: 184
    Wheel Base: Driving: 47 ft. 3 in.
    Engine: 72 ft. 5 1/2 in.
    Engine & Tender: 132 ft. 9 7/8 in.
    Weight in Working Order,
    Pounds:
    Leading: 97,000
    Driving: 540,000
    Trailing: 125,000
    Engine: 762,000
    Tender: 427,500
    Evaporating Surfaces,
    Square Feet:
    Tubes: 967
    Flues: 4,218
    Fire Box: 593
    Circulators: 111
    Total: 5,889
    Superheating Surface,
    Square Feet:
    2,466
    Grate Area: 150
    Maximum Tractive Power: 135,375 lbs.
    Factor of Adhesion: 4.00
    **Current configuration. Plans call for a conversion to No. 5 Oil
     
  8. Bill Katt

    Bill Katt NES Member

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    There used to be one up in Vt. when I was much younger.
     
  9. KBCraig

    KBCraig NES Member

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    When you look at almost any machinery from that day compared to now, you'll be amazed at how the old stuff was perfectly balanced and vibration-free.
     
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  10. M1911

    M1911 Moderator NES Member

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    I’ve seen one in a museum. Yup, they are fricking huge.
     
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  11. GiveMeLiberty

    GiveMeLiberty NES Member

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    Very cool; thanks for sharing.
     
  12. Davidk

    Davidk NES Member

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    There is a train museum near me in St. Louis that has one. Its amazing to stand next to it
     
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  13. calsdad

    calsdad NES Member

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    They weren't really "built by hand" - there was a crap-ton of machinery that helped build those things - and most of it has disappeared.

    I watched some videos on Youtube a few weeks back of the airplane factories during WW2 - and the amazing part to me was the level of industrial machinery that was being used back then. All that's really happened since the WW2 era is that numerical machine controls were invented (they actually had some of that even back then) - and then those controls were "computerized" from mechanical to electronic starting somewhere in the 1970s I believe.

    The true modern day advancement has been in repeatability and measurement. The modern day controls allow the machines to build the same EXACT part over and over and over again by monitoring output. Back in the WW2 era that relied on the skilled human operator to accomplish as he monitored the output of the machine he was running.

    I watched a video about them restoring those locomotives - and they said one of the issues was that the machines that were used to build them , just simply didn't exist any more.

    It's pretty impressive to see the things that were built way back in the WW2 era - and even before. I think there's a bridge in New York city's Central Park - whose spans are made out of SINGLE pieces of cast iron. That's impressive. And I don't think the capabilities to do that exist anywhere in the world any more.

    Look at battleships - those big RIFLED main batteries were first cast - then turned out on massive lathes - and then rifled, all using massive machinery. And they were doing this as far back as WW1.

    There's an entire world of industrial capability and knowledge that has been lost to the modern world.
     
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  14. The5thDentist

    The5thDentist NES Life Member NES Member

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    How did I miss this thread?

    Yea, I've been watching this for the past two years. This is literally the equal of a young Elvis making a comeback.

    UP has three steam engines.
    The 844, a Northern type engine with a wheel arrangement of 4-8-4, which was NEVER retired. Passenger loco.
    The 3985, one of UP's own design Challenger locomotives, which were also passenger locos. Wheel arrangement of 4-6-6-4, which was restored over 20 years ago and is currently undergoing service.
    And now the 4014, which was designed for freight service. Again, this was a custom design for the UP.

    There are a ton of videos of UP steam in action on YT.
     
  15. greencobra

    greencobra NES Member

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    i missed this the first time through. i was getting bored at first until the camera pulled back and i saw the size of it. holy shit! the thing is massive!
     
  16. Steve Marshall

    Steve Marshall

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    Modern technology has the potential to blow the doors off of technology of even 50 years ago. That CNC is capable of mind-boggling accuracy is true only if the "workers" are fully invested in their craft. Most aren't. Back in the day, circa WW2, e.g., GE used to train people. The cream ended up as Machinists and Inspectors. The rest swept floors, ran drill or kick presses. Go to any successful Machine Shop or Precision Sheet Metal Shop today and you'll find the 5% who are Superstars. You'll also find those in it for a paycheck period. As a retired Mechanical Inspector of 35 years duration, I worked with thousands of people. It was always a pleasure working with the 5%ers. That type were the same people who started the Industrial Revolution and yes, built those trains.
     
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  17. The5thDentist

    The5thDentist NES Life Member NES Member

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    'MURICA!!!

    Pacing begins at the 1:56 mark. The diesel is there to provide Dynamic Braking [a.k.a. regenerative braking] which you can hear working as the train rolls on a downhill near the end of the video.
    ENJOY!
     
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  18. The5thDentist

    The5thDentist NES Life Member NES Member

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    Same guy. LOOK AT THE STEAM!!!
     
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  19. Arto

    Arto NES Member

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    We used to make steam turbines in Fitchburg.....
     
  20. Spanz

    Spanz NES Member

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  21. timbo

    timbo Navy Veteran NES Member

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    Can you imagine the absolute rush the engineer must be having running that behemoth?
     
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  22. timbo

    timbo Navy Veteran NES Member

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    I think the horses are having a blast running along side the locomotive...
     
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  23. GiveMeLiberty

    GiveMeLiberty NES Member

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    Love this stuff. There should be a megathread on old machinery, equipment, etc....
     
  24. Fixxah

    Fixxah NES Member

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    Edaville?
     
  25. Me Have ADD

    Me Have ADD

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    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
  26. Me Have ADD

    Me Have ADD

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    I would love to see this making runs on the East Coast, but it will only be riding on Union Pacific rails. It's too bad because the majority of early American railroads originated "back east" before the Civil War and well before the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. Our own South Station was the busiest railroad station in the world shortly after it opened. An interesting documentary about New England railroading:
    View: https://youtu.be/G6TadIYmlXY
     
  27. Koolmoose

    Koolmoose NES Member

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    That one is now in Scranton PA at Steamtown. US parks department.
    IIRC the man that started Steamtown in Bellows Falls VT was killed in a small plane crash and the museum suffered financially after his death. Plus the VT winters weren’t kind to iron stored outdoors. The collection was moved to PA.
     
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  28. mwalsh9152

    mwalsh9152 NES Member

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    North Conway Scenic Railroad has a steam locomotive. It was in for a major service for the past few years, but going for a ride on one is an experience you need to have.
    Here's one of the pictures I took of it.
    6656645617_ee7d0a2035_b.jpg
     
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  29. calsdad

    calsdad NES Member

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    "There is a lot of magic in a railroad"

    LOL. That surely applies to whoever is running the MBTA ......
     
  30. calsdad

    calsdad NES Member

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    Those Big Boy locomotives were from the WW2 era. I hadn't thought of this before - but for some reason it just entered my mind to go and look for what the largest European locomotives from the era were. My takeaway from watching WW2 movies since I was a kid was that European railroads used smaller cars, smaller locomotives - etc.

    Interesting to compare the Big Boy specs:

    Union Pacific Big Boy - Wikipedia


    Against one of the largest German locomotives:

    DRG Class 45 - Wikipedia


    Big Boy : locomotive weight 381 tons
    DRG45 : locomotive weight 125 tons

    Big Boy : 6290 HP
    DRG45 : 2761 HP
     

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