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Hiawatha dieselization

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  • william wendt
    If steam is so much better than diesel at high speed, then how come the Milwaukee Road dieselized the Hiawathas, perhaps the fastest steam trains ever in
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 30, 2007
      If steam is so much better than diesel at high speed, then how come the Milwaukee Road dieselized the Hiawathas, perhaps the fastest steam trains ever in regular service?

      The answer might be in a bit of dot-connecting in John Gruber and Brian Solomon, The Milwaukee Road's Hiawathas, printed last year. On p15 we find:

      "The continuing escalations in train speeds essentially ended after 1946 when two Burlington trains crashed near Naperville, Illinois, bringing regulation by the Interstate Commerce Commission. High speeds were still possible with sophisticated signal equipment, but there were no more spectacular breakthroughs similar to those in the 1930s."

      On p137 we find:

      "Although the Super Domes' great weight seems to contradict Milwaukee's earlier lightweight philosophy, by the early 1950s, the days of the Hiawatha sprinting along at 110 miles per hour or more on super-tight schedules had faded. The Interstate Commerce Commission ruling of 1947 and the growth of commercial airline travel had contributed to a slowdown in American passengr train service. Railroads such as the Milwaukee were no longer vying for the high-speed transport market and instead had chosen to focus on luxurious travel and the sightseeing business."

      On p10 we find, after noting a Milw proposal to increase speeds:

      "... However, as reported by Gerard Vuillet in Railway Reminiscences of Three Continents (1968), 'A gentleman's agreement existed betwen the three lines competing for the Chicago-Twin Cities traffic, and as the others could not follow, the contemplated acceleration did not take place.' In 1940, the Burlington wanted to shorten the Zephyr's schedule, but it could not get agreement, either."

      In other words, steam's superiority did not matter. Elsewhere the book notes Milw's pre-war purchase of two-unit diesel sets and its postwar dieselization as part of the general tide. Obviously the dieselized Hiawathas performed adequately if not quite superbly.

      This book has lots of interesting material on other things, amidst a few minor frustrations here and there. There is a splendid photo from the rear showing a Skytop of the 2004 261 fan trip, taken not far from my place in Chicago. If you squint a bit you can see the bridge from nowhere to nowhere, the old elevated structure left in place as a signal bridge when the rest was torn down in the early 1950s.

      One might check the much berated Mr. LeMassena's 1968 article on Big Steam, which noted that the three 84" driver 300lb. boiler pressure Hudsons could have set unassailable speed records with poppet valves. I have wondered how much less steam high-speed rail would cost compared to electrification.


      ---------------------------------
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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • william wendt
      If steam is so much better than diesel at high speed, then how come the Milwaukee Road dieselized the Hiawathas, perhaps the fastest steam trains ever in
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 30, 2007
        If steam is so much better than diesel at high speed, then how come the Milwaukee Road dieselized the Hiawathas, perhaps the fastest steam trains ever in regular service?

        The answer might be in a bit of dot-connecting in John Gruber and Brian Solomon, The Milwaukee Road's Hiawathas, printed last year. On p15 we find:

        "The continuing escalations in train speeds essentially ended after 1946 when two Burlington trains crashed near Naperville, Illinois, bringing regulation by the Interstate Commerce Commission. High speeds were still possible with sophisticated signal equipment, but there were no more spectacular breakthroughs similar to those in the 1930s."

        On p137 we find:

        "Although the Super Domes' great weight seems to contradict Milwaukee's earlier lightweight philosophy, by the early 1950s, the days of the Hiawatha sprinting along at 110 miles per hour or more on super-tight schedules had faded. The Interstate Commerce Commission ruling of 1947 and the growth of commercial airline travel had contributed to a slowdown in American passengr train service. Railroads such as the Milwaukee were no longer vying for the high-speed transport market and instead had chosen to focus on luxurious travel and the sightseeing business."

        On p10 we find, after noting a Milw proposal to increase speeds:

        "... However, as reported by Gerard Vuillet in Railway Reminiscences of Three Continents (1968), 'A gentleman's agreement existed betwen the three lines competing for the Chicago-Twin Cities traffic, and as the others could not follow, the contemplated acceleration did not take place.' In 1940, the Burlington wanted to shorten the Zephyr's schedule, but it could not get agreement, either."

        In other words, steam's superiority did not matter. Elsewhere the book notes Milw's pre-war purchase of two-unit diesel sets and its postwar dieselization as part of the general tide. Obviously the dieselized Hiawathas performed adequately if not quite superbly.

        This book has lots of interesting material on other things, amidst a few minor frustrations here and there. There is a splendid photo from the rear showing a Skytop of the 2004 261 fan trip, taken not far from my place in Chicago. If you squint a bit you can see the bridge from nowhere to nowhere, the old elevated structure left in place as a signal bridge when the rest was torn down in the early 1950s.

        One might check the much berated Mr. LeMassena's 1968 article on Big Steam, which noted that the three 84" driver 300lb. boiler pressure Hudsons could have set unassailable speed records with poppet valves. I have wondered how much less steam high-speed rail would cost compared to electrification.


        ---------------------------------
        Need a vacation? Get great deals to amazing places on Yahoo! Travel.

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • jeffro
        We always try to break down the larger differences between diesel and steam power by using data from dynamometer tests times and such .The N&W clearly proved
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 30, 2007
          We always try to break down the larger differences between diesel and steam power by using data from dynamometer tests times and such .The N&W clearly proved in it's tests utilizing one of their modern mallet designs against EMD demonstrators that steam could beat diesels in a number of performance scenarios.What we leave out of these discussions as intriguing as they are is that the increased capital needed to keep steam in the picture ushered it out the door.
          Labor reduction,facility simplification and power availability saves money,period.postwar economic slumps and the devastation of the European rail network meant that cheap was in . Don't misunderstand me ,the know-how was there to create a machine that could work wonders with a little hot H2O but it wasn't cheap.Railroad companies don't like large payrolls and when you remove the labor intensive machine and replace it with a cheaper alternative they'll bite every time.What most publications won't tell you is that group of people who would turn,service and fix one of the big streamlined steam Hiawathas was cut probably as much as 75% .add a 4 unit set of EMD's little wonders, you've tripled your horsepower and other than occasionally fueling/sanding and a good wash that set could be on another run in under an hour.Then as now it's a bottom line world .You want to maintain that high speed schedule? add another unit.

          Jeff Rich
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: william wendt
          To: steam_tech@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Monday, July 30, 2007 11:02 AM
          Subject: [steam_tech] Hiawatha dieselization


          If steam is so much better than diesel at high speed, then how come the Milwaukee Road dieselized the Hiawathas, perhaps the fastest steam trains ever in regular service?

          The answer might be in a bit of dot-connecting in John Gruber and Brian Solomon, The Milwaukee Road's Hiawathas, printed last year. On p15 we find:

          "The continuing escalations in train speeds essentially ended after 1946 when two Burlington trains crashed near Naperville, Illinois, bringing regulation by the Interstate Commerce Commission. High speeds were still possible with sophisticated signal equipment, but there were no more spectacular breakthroughs similar to those in the 1930s."

          On p137 we find:

          "Although the Super Domes' great weight seems to contradict Milwaukee's earlier lightweight philosophy, by the early 1950s, the days of the Hiawatha sprinting along at 110 miles per hour or more on super-tight schedules had faded. The Interstate Commerce Commission ruling of 1947 and the growth of commercial airline travel had contributed to a slowdown in American passengr train service. Railroads such as the Milwaukee were no longer vying for the high-speed transport market and instead had chosen to focus on luxurious travel and the sightseeing business."

          On p10 we find, after noting a Milw proposal to increase speeds:

          "... However, as reported by Gerard Vuillet in Railway Reminiscences of Three Continents (1968), 'A gentleman's agreement existed betwen the three lines competing for the Chicago-Twin Cities traffic, and as the others could not follow, the contemplated acceleration did not take place.' In 1940, the Burlington wanted to shorten the Zephyr's schedule, but it could not get agreement, either."

          In other words, steam's superiority did not matter. Elsewhere the book notes Milw's pre-war purchase of two-unit diesel sets and its postwar dieselization as part of the general tide. Obviously the dieselized Hiawathas performed adequately if not quite superbly.

          This book has lots of interesting material on other things, amidst a few minor frustrations here and there. There is a splendid photo from the rear showing a Skytop of the 2004 261 fan trip, taken not far from my place in Chicago. If you squint a bit you can see the bridge from nowhere to nowhere, the old elevated structure left in place as a signal bridge when the rest was torn down in the early 1950s.

          One might check the much berated Mr. LeMassena's 1968 article on Big Steam, which noted that the three 84" driver 300lb. boiler pressure Hudsons could have set unassailable speed records with poppet valves. I have wondered how much less steam high-speed rail would cost compared to electrification.

          ---------------------------------
          Need a vacation? Get great deals to amazing places on Yahoo! Travel.

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • wholelephant
          Talk about wonders? James Marshall, Santa Fe, The Railroad that Built and Empire, wrote: ... Engine builders could produce 300 mile-an-hour engines tomorrow-
          Message 4 of 6 , Aug 11 10:10 AM
            Talk about wonders?

            James Marshall, Santa Fe, The Railroad that Built and Empire, wrote:

            "... Engine builders could produce 300 mile-an-hour engines tomorrow-
            if anyone could make track to hold them at that speed..."

            He then goes on to disuss centrifugal force, straightening curves,
            flattening hills, and the much larger expenses on track work that
            speed requires. That was after bemoaning standard guage instead of 6'.

            So figure is one reason why I did not quite pick up on a reent
            proposal for some humongous steam drag engine, one which did not even
            mention the N&W Y6b, which was that exquisite rarity, a truly
            effective stdrag engine.

            But check my first posting here as to where steam's real usefulness
            lies.

            --- In steam_tech@yahoogroups.com, "jeffro" <jeffro62@...> wrote:
            >
            > We always try to break down the larger differences between diesel
            and steam power by using data from dynamometer tests times and
            such .The N&W clearly proved in it's tests utilizing one of their
            modern mallet designs against EMD demonstrators that steam could beat
            diesels in a number of performance scenarios.What we leave out of
            these discussions as intriguing as they are is that the increased
            capital needed to keep steam in the picture ushered it out the door.
            > Labor reduction,facility simplification and power availability
            saves money,period.postwar economic slumps and the devastation of the
            European rail network meant that cheap was in . Don't misunderstand
            me ,the know-how was there to create a machine that could work
            wonders with a little hot H2O but it wasn't cheap.Railroad companies
            don't like large payrolls and when you remove the labor intensive
            machine and replace it with a cheaper alternative they'll bite every
            time.What most publications won't tell you is that group of people
            who would turn,service and fix one of the big streamlined steam
            Hiawathas was cut probably as much as 75% .add a 4 unit set of EMD's
            little wonders, you've tripled your horsepower and other than
            occasionally fueling/sanding and a good wash that set could be on
            another run in under an hour.Then as now it's a bottom line
            world .You want to maintain that high speed schedule? add another
            unit.
            >
            > Jeff Rich
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: william wendt
            > To: steam_tech@yahoogroups.com
            > Sent: Monday, July 30, 2007 11:02 AM
            > Subject: [steam_tech] Hiawatha dieselization
            >
            >
            > If steam is so much better than diesel at high speed, then how
            come the Milwaukee Road dieselized the Hiawathas, perhaps the fastest
            steam trains ever in regular service?
            >
            > The answer might be in a bit of dot-connecting in John Gruber and
            Brian Solomon, The Milwaukee Road's Hiawathas, printed last year. On
            p15 we find:
            >
            > "The continuing escalations in train speeds essentially ended
            after 1946 when two Burlington trains crashed near Naperville,
            Illinois, bringing regulation by the Interstate Commerce Commission.
            High speeds were still possible with sophisticated signal equipment,
            but there were no more spectacular breakthroughs similar to those in
            the 1930s."
            >
            > On p137 we find:
            >
            > "Although the Super Domes' great weight seems to contradict
            Milwaukee's earlier lightweight philosophy, by the early 1950s, the
            days of the Hiawatha sprinting along at 110 miles per hour or more on
            super-tight schedules had faded. The Interstate Commerce Commission
            ruling of 1947 and the growth of commercial airline travel had
            contributed to a slowdown in American passengr train service.
            Railroads such as the Milwaukee were no longer vying for the high-
            speed transport market and instead had chosen to focus on luxurious
            travel and the sightseeing business."
            >
            > On p10 we find, after noting a Milw proposal to increase speeds:
            >
            > "... However, as reported by Gerard Vuillet in Railway
            Reminiscences of Three Continents (1968), 'A gentleman's agreement
            existed betwen the three lines competing for the Chicago-Twin Cities
            traffic, and as the others could not follow, the contemplated
            acceleration did not take place.' In 1940, the Burlington wanted to
            shorten the Zephyr's schedule, but it could not get agreement,
            either."
            >
            > In other words, steam's superiority did not matter. Elsewhere the
            book notes Milw's pre-war purchase of two-unit diesel sets and its
            postwar dieselization as part of the general tide. Obviously the
            dieselized Hiawathas performed adequately if not quite superbly.
            >
            > This book has lots of interesting material on other things,
            amidst a few minor frustrations here and there. There is a splendid
            photo from the rear showing a Skytop of the 2004 261 fan trip, taken
            not far from my place in Chicago. If you squint a bit you can see the
            bridge from nowhere to nowhere, the old elevated structure left in
            place as a signal bridge when the rest was torn down in the early
            1950s.
            >
            > One might check the much berated Mr. LeMassena's 1968 article on
            Big Steam, which noted that the three 84" driver 300lb. boiler
            pressure Hudsons could have set unassailable speed records with
            poppet valves. I have wondered how much less steam high-speed rail
            would cost compared to electrification.
            >
            > ---------------------------------
            > Need a vacation? Get great deals to amazing places on Yahoo!
            Travel.
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • Renaud (Ron) OLGIATI
            On Saturday 11 August 2007, my mailbox was graced by a missive ... Now, where is it that they use miles of 6 gauge track in the UK ? Cheers, Ron. -- The first
            Message 5 of 6 , Aug 11 12:36 PM
              On Saturday 11 August 2007, my mailbox was graced by a missive
              from "wholelephant" <wholelephant@...> who wrote:

              > That was after bemoaning standard guage instead of 6'.

              Now, where is it that they use miles of 6' gauge track in the UK ?

              Cheers,

              Ron.
              --
              The first rule of magic is simple.
              Don't waste your time waving your hands and hoping
              when a rock or a club will do.
              -- McCloctnik the Lucid

              -- http://www.olgiati-in-paraguay.org --
            • william wendt
              This book was printed in 1945. Sorry about whizzing it out a bit fast. wholelephant wrote: Talk about wonders? James Marshall, Santa
              Message 6 of 6 , Aug 11 1:50 PM
                This book was printed in 1945.

                Sorry about whizzing it out a bit fast.

                wholelephant <wholelephant@...> wrote:
                Talk about wonders?

                James Marshall, Santa Fe, The Railroad that Built and Empire, wrote:

                "... Engine builders could produce 300 mile-an-hour engines tomorrow-
                if anyone could make track to hold them at that speed..."

                He then goes on to disuss centrifugal force, straightening curves,
                flattening hills, and the much larger expenses on track work that
                speed requires. That was after bemoaning standard guage instead of 6'.

                So figure is one reason why I did not quite pick up on a reent
                proposal for some humongous steam drag engine, one which did not even
                mention the N&W Y6b, which was that exquisite rarity, a truly
                effective stdrag engine.

                But check my first posting here as to where steam's real usefulness
                lies.

                --- In steam_tech@yahoogroups.com, "jeffro" <jeffro62@...> wrote:
                >
                > We always try to break down the larger differences between diesel
                and steam power by using data from dynamometer tests times and
                such .The N&W clearly proved in it's tests utilizing one of their
                modern mallet designs against EMD demonstrators that steam could beat
                diesels in a number of performance scenarios.What we leave out of
                these discussions as intriguing as they are is that the increased
                capital needed to keep steam in the picture ushered it out the door.
                > Labor reduction,facility simplification and power availability
                saves money,period.postwar economic slumps and the devastation of the
                European rail network meant that cheap was in . Don't misunderstand
                me ,the know-how was there to create a machine that could work
                wonders with a little hot H2O but it wasn't cheap.Railroad companies
                don't like large payrolls and when you remove the labor intensive
                machine and replace it with a cheaper alternative they'll bite every
                time.What most publications won't tell you is that group of people
                who would turn,service and fix one of the big streamlined steam
                Hiawathas was cut probably as much as 75% .add a 4 unit set of EMD's
                little wonders, you've tripled your horsepower and other than
                occasionally fueling/sanding and a good wash that set could be on
                another run in under an hour.Then as now it's a bottom line
                world .You want to maintain that high speed schedule? add another
                unit.
                >
                > Jeff Rich
                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: william wendt
                > To: steam_tech@yahoogroups.com
                > Sent: Monday, July 30, 2007 11:02 AM
                > Subject: [steam_tech] Hiawatha dieselization
                >
                >
                > If steam is so much better than diesel at high speed, then how
                come the Milwaukee Road dieselized the Hiawathas, perhaps the fastest
                steam trains ever in regular service?
                >
                > The answer might be in a bit of dot-connecting in John Gruber and
                Brian Solomon, The Milwaukee Road's Hiawathas, printed last year. On
                p15 we find:
                >
                > "The continuing escalations in train speeds essentially ended
                after 1946 when two Burlington trains crashed near Naperville,
                Illinois, bringing regulation by the Interstate Commerce Commission.
                High speeds were still possible with sophisticated signal equipment,
                but there were no more spectacular breakthroughs similar to those in
                the 1930s."
                >
                > On p137 we find:
                >
                > "Although the Super Domes' great weight seems to contradict
                Milwaukee's earlier lightweight philosophy, by the early 1950s, the
                days of the Hiawatha sprinting along at 110 miles per hour or more on
                super-tight schedules had faded. The Interstate Commerce Commission
                ruling of 1947 and the growth of commercial airline travel had
                contributed to a slowdown in American passengr train service.
                Railroads such as the Milwaukee were no longer vying for the high-
                speed transport market and instead had chosen to focus on luxurious
                travel and the sightseeing business."
                >
                > On p10 we find, after noting a Milw proposal to increase speeds:
                >
                > "... However, as reported by Gerard Vuillet in Railway
                Reminiscences of Three Continents (1968), 'A gentleman's agreement
                existed betwen the three lines competing for the Chicago-Twin Cities
                traffic, and as the others could not follow, the contemplated
                acceleration did not take place.' In 1940, the Burlington wanted to
                shorten the Zephyr's schedule, but it could not get agreement,
                either."
                >
                > In other words, steam's superiority did not matter. Elsewhere the
                book notes Milw's pre-war purchase of two-unit diesel sets and its
                postwar dieselization as part of the general tide. Obviously the
                dieselized Hiawathas performed adequately if not quite superbly.
                >
                > This book has lots of interesting material on other things,
                amidst a few minor frustrations here and there. There is a splendid
                photo from the rear showing a Skytop of the 2004 261 fan trip, taken
                not far from my place in Chicago. If you squint a bit you can see the
                bridge from nowhere to nowhere, the old elevated structure left in
                place as a signal bridge when the rest was torn down in the early
                1950s.
                >
                > One might check the much berated Mr. LeMassena's 1968 article on
                Big Steam, which noted that the three 84" driver 300lb. boiler
                pressure Hudsons could have set unassailable speed records with
                poppet valves. I have wondered how much less steam high-speed rail
                would cost compared to electrification.
                >
                > ---------------------------------
                > Need a vacation? Get great deals to amazing places on Yahoo!
                Travel.
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >






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