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THE GREAT TRAIN THREAD!!..

pistolero1911

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I wonder if that's actually Panama Canal construction. The RR equipment is European looking, but that is definitely a US made shovel (Marion?). Gotta hand it to those guys that could load those dinky cars with that dinosaur.

ICC = Isthmian Canal Commission , the constructor of the Panama Canal, right you are.
 

12v71

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Some pics I got last summer at Odair Wa. The building is the US Bureau of Reclamation transload facility. Heavy objects were brought in by rail and transferred to a huge lowboy for the final leg of the trip to Grand Coulee dam. There's two 100 ton bridge cranes inside.
The tracks to the left of the building used to go all the way to the dam before Banks Lake was filled.
ETA... This is Rattlesnake heaven.
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Col. Bat Guano

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About 15 years ago, the Southern Pacific 4449 "Daylight" visited town. I didn't even know that it was making an appearance, but I heard it from a few blocks away and knew that something different was chugging through town. I grabbed my camera and headed for the tracks to check things out. They backed up the line and did a few passes by the spectators. It was a real beauty!

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Slaughter

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There is an excellent 8 inch gage live steam railroad with nearly 2 miles of track in our local foothills. Mesa Grande Western Railroad.

They have rebuilt a lot of the rail bed after a brush fire a couple years ago. These machines are truly a labor of love. Probably even CRAZIER love than building FALs.

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12v71

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Found some more Milwaukee road pics from the Othello Wa. yard.
This one from 1965 with GP7 power
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This one from 1974 with GE power. Oh, check out the farmall pickups.
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This last one is a set of Boxcab electrics in 1974 waiting to be towed to a scrapyard. In 1974 the power in the overhead had been turned off for good.
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ExCdnSoldierInTx

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Not really, EMD 567 was 8.5" bore, the 645 was 9-1/16" . The Alco 244 and 251's were 9" bore. Pretty close in size. I have worked with 601 Cleveland Diesels (marine) that had a 10" bore.
I spent my early teens living along the CPR mainline in Saskatchewan. It was mostly EMD power back then, mostly SD40-2s and similar with the 645 V16 turbo two strokes. CPR didn’t use GEs at all then, but was also big into Alco/MLW stuff as well, although that usually didn’t make it that far west. They came through every 15-20 minutes with mostly a mile or so worth of grain cars or tanks. CP didn’t use helpers in that area, just always a minimum of 4 on the front, and sometime up to six.

We could hear those big EMDs for miles with their radiator fans screaming and the two cycle diesels humming along. When an Alco was along as well, it could be more felt than heard. That 4 stroke thumping almost sounded lazy compared to the frantic EMDs. But with every notch up on those Alcos they’d blow massive columns of black smoke for 15-20 seconds as the turbos finally caught up to the extra fuel.

One memorable moment was a lash up of 4 EMDs and 2 Alco six axle units, one Alco which had a fully involved fire coming out the hood doors and stack. I mean that thing was seriously burning. But they just kept the power on to get into the yard about 15 miles west of where I was.
 

raubvogel

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There is an excellent 8 inch gage live steam railroad with nearly 2 miles of track in our local foothills. Mesa Grande Western Railroad.

They have rebuilt a lot of the rail bed after a brush fire a couple years ago. These machines are truly a labor of love. Probably even CRAZIER love than building FALs.

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Need some dinosaurs chasing after them

Jokes apart, I do feel this country lost something when it went from trains to trucks as the primary means of cargo transportation
 

ExCdnSoldierInTx

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Compared to CPR, the Canadian National used some really oddball shit, the strangest being these creations.

They called them the GMD-1 and were an adaption of the SW type end cab switchers into genuine road units. They could handle the light track on a lot of the branch lines into small towns for grain car and potash pickup.
CN and CP also had a road unit based on the standard SW1200 that they called the SW1200RS. It was identical to the switchers but had road trucks and higher gearing.
The GMD-1 and SW1200RS all used non turbo 567 V12s, and there was nothing like them in the world when 5 or 6 of them were digging in trying to keep a grain train rolling up a grade. The almost agricultural sound would give me one serious boner. Sounded like they were trying to shake loose every nut or bolt from them.

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ExCdnSoldierInTx

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SW1200RS, both CP and CN used piles of these things. CP in particular wasn’t in to massive super power locos like UP, even though they covered a lot of similar topography. They just lashed together as many smaller units as were needed. Redundancy and multi use units I suppose.
The SW1200RS always ran long hood forward on both lines, where the GMD-1 ran short hood forward.
Canadian roads had some oddball but iconic units.
Many of the GMD-1 and 1200RS units were sold off in the early 2000s to US branch lines. Not a bad record for 1sr Gen diesel locos originally put into service in the 1950s. Over half a century service with the original lines and still soldiering on today through the USA.
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12v71

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Canadian roads used the full body bullnose GMs for passenger service pretty much exclusively. They kept the utilitarian looking standard hood units for freight.
I can remember in the 1970's when BN was still using ratty old F-units on freights. Run 5 units and hope to make it home on 3.
 

ExCdnSoldierInTx

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I was blessed to witness the double header of two mainline steamers CP 2816, a Hudson, and Milwaukee Road 261, a Northern when they toured Wisconsin and Illinois in 2007. This was probably the only time I’ll ever see two top dawg passenger locos double heading on actual mainlines. And it wasn’t just a short run either. They put some serious miles on these two, and hauled a long passenger mix of Milwaukee and CPR passenger cars.
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12v71

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I was blessed to witness the double header of two mainline steamers CP 2816, a Hudson, and Milwaukee Road 261, a Northern when they toured Wisconsin and Illinois in 2007. This was probably the only time I’ll ever see two top dawg passenger locos double heading on actual mainlines. And it wasn’t just a short run either. They put some serious miles on these two, and hauled a long passenger mix of Milwaukee and CPR passenger cars.
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In the 1940s Milwaukee 261 was assigned to run between Othello Wa, and Avery Idaho in the electrification gap. I think 261 was actually built in the Milwaukee shops. The rest of the 260 class were purchased from Alco.
 

ExCdnSoldierInTx

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I can remember in the 1970's when BN was still using ratty old F-units on freights. Run 5 units and hope to make it home on 3.
The Fs lasted into the 80s with the merged passenger service VIA. They kept mostly the CP units because the A units were the “FP7 and FP9” with the longer carbodies to accommodate steam generators for passenger car heat. They were kept looking pretty good because they were always on the head of some crack trains. And they were all geared high so would have been useless on freight, anyway.
My Dad’s family was all CPR, and I was the very first in our family to not ever work for the CPR. Not even as a hosteler’s helper as a kid. It was offered, being that his family had been with the Road for over a hundred and thirty years. I disappointed more than a few, being that I would have had a secure lifetime career and be pretty much untouchable. My great grandfather took the first EMD FP7 units across Canada during the 50s. It was his last run before he retired. My Grandpaa is on old newsreels hanging out of the cab of a Hudson as he pulls Princess Elizabeth’s train into Toronto.

I got lots of cab rides as a kid, and the only thing it did was convince me my future lay in aviation.
 

ExCdnSoldierInTx

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In the 1940s Milwaukee 261 was assigned to run between Othello Wa, and Avery Idaho in the electrification gap. I think 261 was actually built in the Milwaukee shops. The rest of the 260 class were purchased from Alco.
I can’t say for sure, but Mke 261 made a shit ton of smoke compared to 2816, so I thought at the time that 261 was still burning coal, where 2816 had an oil bunker retrofitted during her rebuild. She alsohauled an extra water tender to stretch her range somewhat.
 

12v71

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I can’t say for sure, but Mke 261 made a shit ton of smoke compared to 2816, so I thought at the time that 261 was still burning coal, where 2816 had an oil bunker retrofitted during her rebuild. She alsohauled an extra water tender to stretch her range somewhat.
261 is an oil burner, always was for running over the eastern Wa, deserts.
 

raubvogel

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The only steam locomotives I have ever seen in my life were those tiny (by comparison) European ones. Comparing them with the old transcontinental American ones is like comparing an Isetta with a 50s Cadillac.
 

ExCdnSoldierInTx

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261 is an oil burner, always was for running over the eastern Wa, deserts.
She sure belched the black smoke, though. The CPR steam program had some “borrowed” UP steam guys as engineer and fireman while she ran her first few years after restoration. The head engineer was also a road engineer for the UP steam program. He could really make that thing run clean. The 2800s were all coal fired up until the end, but the big western 2-10-4s were all oil fired. The 2-10-4s were mainly helper units for the big grades, much like the SP Cab Forwards. They had small drivers for power on the grades.
Hudsons were shit in the mountains. Too big of drivers.
 

ExCdnSoldierInTx

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The only steam locomotives I have ever seen in my life were those tiny (by comparison) European ones. Comparing them with the old transcontinental American ones is like comparing an Isetta with a 50s Cadillac.
yeah the had the huge power in the North American west. Truly massive units. Some British stuff wasn’t huge, but seriously fast.
 

12v71

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The Fs lasted into the 80s with the merged passenger service VIA. They kept mostly the CP units because the A units were the “FP7 and FP9” with the longer carbodies to accommodate steam generators for passenger car heat. They were kept looking pretty good because they were always on the head of some crack trains. And they were all geared high so would have been useless on freight, anyway.
My Dad’s family was all CPR, and I was the very first in our family to not ever work for the CPR. Not even as a hosteler’s helper as a kid. It was offered, being that his family had been with the Road for over a hundred and thirty years. I disappointed more than a few, being that I would have had a secure lifetime career and be pretty much untouchable. My great grandfather took the first EMD FP7 units across Canada during the 50s. It was his last run before he retired. My Grandpaa is on old newsreels hanging out of the cab of a Hudson as he pulls Princess Elizabeth’s train into Toronto.

I got lots of cab rides as a kid, and the only thing it did was convince me my future lay in aviation.
All the oldsters on my mother's side of the family were railroaders from the Spokane Wa. area. Milwaukee, Great Northern, and Northern Pacific. Had a great uncle that signed on as a fireman later to be an engineer with the Milwaukee in 1946 and retired in 1974. They lived in a railroad house in Newport Wa. and always had his pair of GPs idling next to the house, I remember listening to the "ying, ying, ying" at night when we would visit. In 1972 I got to ride along with him and his crew while they switched the Diamond Match mill and hauled loaded cars to Spokane and empties back.
Family get togethers with those guys were always fun when they started bashing each others railroads.
My Great grandfather was Irish right off the boat and he was the section manager on the Milwaukee Spokane to Kettle falls line for nearly 50 years. He was quite the character, Had another Great uncle that was an engineer for the Spokane, Portland, and Seattle in the Steam days.
 
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