Sunday, March 31, 2013
This was the nickname of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St Paul and Pacific (Milwaukee Road)'s EF-4 and EP-4 class electric locomotives. Together they comprised 12 units built by General Electric as part of a larger 20-unit order for export to the Soviet Union in 1946, and were originally designed to operate on the Soviet Railways (SZhD)'s 3,300 volt DC overhead system.
However, because of deteriorating relations with the Soviet Union, GE did not deliver them. Fourteen were built to the Russian broad gauge (5 ft or 1,524 mm) and the final six were built to standard gauge.
The Milwaukee Road had offered to buy all twenty, plus the spare parts inventory, for $1 million, little more than scrap value—an offer which GE accepted. However, the Milwaukee's Board of Directors would not release the money.
After the start of the Korean War, the Milwaukee needed more locomotives on their electrified mainline, and was also beset by a coal strike which necessitated sending most diesels back East (Milwaukee Lines East steam engines still burned coal, unlike Lines West steamers which were oil-burning). The Board of Directors returned to GE only to discover that eight locomotives and all the spare parts had been sold, and that the price for the remaining twelve locomotives was $1 million. Of the eight sold, three had gone to the Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad (the South Shore Line), and five to the Companhia Paulista de Estradas de Ferro of Brazil.
The Milwaukee's railroaders referred to the units as Little Joe Stalin's locomotives which was eventually shortened to simply Little Joe.
The Milwaukee was not impressed with these locomotives to begin with, finding them prone to wheelslip. The WW1-vintage General Electric motor-generator substations had difficulty supplying more than two EF-4s under heavy load and the controls were initially labelled in Russian.
After being given increased weight, and provided with adequate power, the EF-4s were excellent performers and very reliable. Some substations were later modified to supply up to 3,400 Volts to provide more power. Three units used on the South Shore Line were designed for 1500 Volts.
Later modifications to the EF-4s included the removal of driving controls and windows at one end to allow the relocation of some troublesome electrical equipment (improved main circuit breakers) into a cooler environment. (The model for this modification was the EP-4s, in which the Milwaukee workshops replaced the operating controls in the "B" end with a steam generator before they entered service.) The loss of this cab was inconsequential, as many Milwaukee electric locomotives were normally turned at the end of their runs in Avery, Deer Lodge or Harlowton, the road having preferred to maintain only one set of controls even on double-ended units. The most important and final major modification was the provision of multiple unit controls for trailing diesel-electric locomotives. It was not uncommon to see several diesel-electric locomotives being led by, and controlled from, one or two Little Joes or a set of Boxcabs in the 1960s and 1970s (as in the first pic)
The main external difference that distinguished class EP-4 from EF-4 was the use of roller bearings on all axles on the E20 and E21 as delivered. The EF-4s were delivered with roller bearings on the forward (unpowered) trucks only, though they would have individual roller bearing axles substituted piecemeal in the shops whenever an original plain bearing axle on the motorized sets burned out or otherwise failed.
The Little Joes lasted until the end of electric operation on the Milwaukee on 15 June 1974, by which time they were the Milwaukee's only electric road locomotives, all the GE Freight Motors (except two which were used together in multiple unit operation as the Harlowton switcher) having succumbed to old age.
Axle arrangement 2-Do+Do-2
Length: 88 ft 10 in (27.08 metres)
Width: 10 ft 7 in (3.23 metres)
Height: 14 ft 5 in (4.39 metres)
Locomotive weight 545,600 lb (247.5 tonnes)
Weight on drivers: 406,000 lb (184 tonnes)
Traction motors GE750
Top speed 68 mph (109 km/h)
Power output: One hour: 5,530 hp Continuous: 5,110 hp
Tractive effort 75,700 lbf (337 kN)
Locomotive brake Air, 8-EL
(edited from wikipedia)
at 12:31 PM
Saturday, March 30, 2013
This has long been considered as one of the best places to observe Union Pacific action which is constant. No. 3920 was built in 1937, renumbered 3820 in 1944 and scrapped not long after this pic was taken. Today the trains are longer, heavier and have greater power than in steam days although big steam had a more dramatic effect.
at 11:17 PM
at 10:33 PM
The prototype of the Ed class is seen at English Electric's Preston plant prior to being shipped to NZ in 1938. For much more, see the book Railway Electrification in Australia and New Zealand.
at 7:35 PM
One of the key ingredients for smooth traffic flow. Originally tram/streetcar tracks were laid along main city streets as there wasn't much competition from independently powered and steered vehicles. But as the latter increased in the 20th century the trams were in the way and they went. Modern thinking is that private cars should be kept out of city centres as much as possible.
See the earlier post on Bordeaux's modern light rail.
at 12:59 PM
at 4:34 AM
The actual BMW M1 (E26) was produced as a 2 conventional door sports car from 1978 to 1981, a total of 456 being made. This was a result of an agreement with the Italian automaker Lamborghini to build a production racing car sold to the public. It was the only mid-engined BMW to be mass produced and employed a twin-cam M88/1 3.453 litre 6-cylinder engine with Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection.
The design above was presumably promulgated as a proposal in the late 1970s before finalization of the actual design.
at 4:26 AM
Friday, March 29, 2013
at 8:07 AM
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Two years before the end. If you want to see streetcars there now you need to go to the Baltimore Streetcar Museum at 1901 Falls Road (see earlier post). But, as in other North American cities, there is now a campaign to bring the streetcars back - details.
at 8:33 PM
One of 7 trolley style freight locomotives, (45 tons, 500 hp, built circa 1914) that were used on a steep (4-5%) and winding 9-mile (14.5 km) section of the Skagit Railway over which steam power was impractical. As well as the locos, two electric box motors from defunct Seattle and Tacoma lines provided the motive power. Four classic wooden interurban cars from the Puget Sound Electric Railway and five more from the Oregon Electric were all demotorized and used as passenger trailers. The line had no electric-powered passenger cars, although they had two old J.G. Brill rail-buses for low-volume through service with the steam division.
Both the electric operations, and the railway itself, ended in 1954. More info here
at 7:16 PM
With Union Pacific's huge Bailey Yard nearby, North Platte is a railroad town, and Union Pacific, like the other railroads, is keen to celebrate its role and heritage with communities and its fans. A reader has sent us this link to a webpage detailing events that will be occurring this coming September including steam locomotives.
at 10:05 AM
|Three Union Pacific trains are seen at Caliente, California, on a spring day|
The Union Pacific media release:-
Union Pacific honored for effort to test experimental locomotives to further reduce emission
"Union Pacific consistently works to reduce locomotive emissions by developing and implementing new technology," said Mike Iden, Union Pacific general director, car and locomotive engineering. "This award recognizes our industry-leading role in emissions reduction and the positive impact that these efforts have on the communities where we operate trains."
Union Pacific's Green Leadership Award stems from the company's $20 million investment to launch a series of 25 experimental locomotives based in California as part of a rigorous test of emissions-reducing technologies. This initiative is Union Pacific's latest effort to further reduce emissions and move closer to the U.S. EPA's Tier 4 locomotive emissions standards for new locomotives starting in 2015.
About Union Pacific
Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP). One of America's most recognized companies, Union Pacific Railroad links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail, providing a critical link in the global supply chain. From 2007-2012, Union Pacific invested $18 billion in its network and operations to support America's transportation infrastructure, including a record $3.7 billion in 2012. The railroad's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Coal, Industrial Products and Intermodal. Union Pacific serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers, operates from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways, connects with Canada's rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major Mexico gateways. Union Pacific provides value to its roughly 10,000 customers by delivering products in a safe, reliable, fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible manner.
at 9:26 AM
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
at 9:25 PM
The Calliope Dock stone drydock in the grounds of the Devonport Naval Base was built in 1888 to service ships of the British Royal Navy, and is still in use. It was named for Calliope Point, out of which it had been hewn by hand over three years. Coincidentally, one of the two first ships to enter it was HMS Calliope (the first ship visible in the pic?).
at 12:32 PM