Planning, dudes. (Photo by BobbaLew.)
—The above photograph has more forethought than I’ve done before.
That is, I visualized
the picture before taking it.
Usually it’s just “shaddup-and-shoot;” artistic judgment is after.
The September 2016 entry of my own
calendar is a westbound Norfolk Southern stacker on Track Two under the Interstate-99 overpass at Tyrone (“tie-ROWN;” as in “own”).
The curve in Tyrone is fabulous.
It’s where the old Pennsy from Harrisburg turned south toward Altoona.
Use the bridge as a frame, using strong telephoto. No sky; no mountains.
The old station at Tyrone, now a community historical center, had a walkway where I could set up my tripod.
There was a fence, but it was vertical rods about seven inches apart. I could shoot through the rods.
I was alone, so I set up and waited, listening to my railroad-radio scanner.
About an hour passed: NOTHING!
I considered leaving, but then the Altoona-East dispatcher said he had three westbounds comin’.I ain’t leavin’.
I got at least two, and this is one of them.I don’t believe it.
My picture is exactly
Often they aren’t.Beauty that failed. (Photo by Bert Pennypacker©.)
—Probably the best
photograph Pennypacker ever did.
The September 2016 entry of my Audio-Visual Designs black-and-white All-Pennsy Calendar
is Pennsy’s attempt to replace the hoary old K4 Pacific
(4-6-2), developed in the teens.
|This is K-4 #3750, stored unserviceable outside at Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, one of only two remaining K4 Pacifics. The other is #1361, apart in Altoona. (Photo by BobbaLew.)|
It’s a T1 duplex (4-4-4-4), essentially Pennsy’s 4-8-4 with multiple drive-pistons.
Pennypacker was like my mother, a motor-drive. He shot anything and everything = a blizzard of photographs.
Most of his photos are uninspiring; shots for-the-record.
Yet here comes the westbound Duquesne
with T1 power on the point. We’re at Pennsy’s famous S-curve at Duncannon north of Harrisburg.
Pennypacker sets up trackside, and snags his best photograph, one that made the T1 look great.
In my humble opinion, this photograph should be the calendar-cover, not that Decapod (2-10-0) shifting hoppers at Sodus Point.
|The calendar cover, and April. (Photo by Jim Shaughnessy©.)|
During the late ‘20s and ‘30s most railroads developed 4-8-4 steam-locomotives, but Pennsy didn’t because it was pouring immense investment into electrification of its east-coast lines.
Those two driver-sets are on a common frame, not articulated.
When WWII broke out Pennsy had tired old steam-locomotives, barely able to keep up with the explosion of traffic.
|Norfolk & Western’s “A” (2-6-6-4).|
|A Chesapeake & Ohio T-1 (2-10-4). (Photo by Bert Pennypacker.)|
|The square-sided Belpaire firebox on a Pennsy Santa Fe (2-10-2).|
|Pennsy’s J-1 (2-10-4) in Altoona, ready to push uphill. (Photo by Don Wood.)|
|A Q-2 (4-4-6-4). (Pennsylvania Railroad.)|
The war-effort didn’t allow Pennsy to develop new locomotives. They had to shop around. Pennsy tried Norfolk & Western’s “A
” (2-6-6-4), and Chesapeake & Ohio’s T-1
Both lacked Pennsy’s signature square-sided Belpaire firebox
Afraid of articulation (the A was articulated), Pennsy went with the 2-10-4, which became their J1
The J1 was more a high-speed locomotive, not well-suited to a mountain railroad. But Pennsy was more than a mountain railroad.
And a newish J was better than a wheezing old Decapod (2-10-0) in need of repair.
The J1 didn’t solve the passenger problem.
The J is a freight-locomotive, 70-inch drivers.
Pennsy never went beyond 4-6-2. Electrification.
Doubleheaded K4s could keep up with more modern power, e.g. New York Central’s Hudsons (4-6-4), its Mohawks (4-8-2), and later Niagaras (4-8-4).
Double- or triple-headed steamers require multiple crews; steam-engines can’t MU.
But Pennsy could afford multiple crews.
After the war Pennsy went whole-hog. Duplex freight locomotives were developed (the 10-drivered Q
Apparently the T1 was developed just before the war - the first builds were in 1942.
Industrial designer Raymond Loewy
(“LOW-eee”) was brought in to style the T1. He had previously done much work for Pennsy including improving the styling of the GG-1
“Duplex” is Baldwin Locomotive Works
, who made reducing side-rod weight a selling-point. For an eight- or ten-drivered locomotive side-rod weight can be substantial.
Heavy side-rod weight pounds
the rail. It can be counterbalanced, but counterbalancing pounds the rail too.
Multiple cylinders reduce side-rod weight by reducing side-rods and the length of the connecting rod.
But disconnecting driver-sets allows the front driver-set to become slippery, since it’s carrying less weight.
T1s were capable of 100 mph, yet the front driver-set night break free and start spinning wildly, even at that speed.
The only offset was to back off the throttle.
Driving a T1 was always a balancing act. Too much throttle might send the front driver-set slipping.
|An original Loewy T1 at Baldwin Locomotive Works.|
|The T-1 evolved over building. Skirting is gone, chamfers are less, but it still has portholes. Soon they will be gone too, and the number-plate will move up under the headlight. (Pennsylvania Railroad.)|
Only two locomotives had the actual Loewy styling. The railroad made Loewy’s styling manageable.
Side skirting was removed, etc, etc.
But the T1 continued to use Franklin Poppet valves
Most steamers used piston valves. A piston rocked back-and-forth exposing ports.
Poppet valves, like a car engine, were more precise.
But operation was difficult.
Valve timing had to be variable, easy with piston valves, but difficult with poppets.
Ya might need full valve travel for start-up, but ya can’t keep it at that once rolling. It would consume all the steam.
The later T1s weren’t the gorgeous Loewy prototypes. This is the later look, but looks pretty good.
That’s the photograph. I’ve seen others that look terrible.
Too bad Loewy’s styling wasn’t applied to something other than duplex — they’re too slippery.
Now that caption: “Beauty that failed.”
As a duplex the T1 was more challenging than a regular steamer. Imagine driver-slip at 100 mph!
Those poppets were also hard to maintain. Baldwin wanted to build T1s with Walschaerts
-activated piston valving, but Pennsy refused.
I’m more inclined to think locomotive maintenance was more tied to Walschaerts than poppets. Walschaerts had been around for years, and was easy to maintain. This is like auto mechanics in the late ‘50s and ‘60s refusing to work on Corvette fuel-injection.
T1s were also smoky, for some reason.
The gorgeous T1s were an overstep; plus dieselization was imminent.
None were saved. Steam passenger locomotion on Pennsy ended with the K4.I’m always a sucker for yellow hotrods. (Photo by Scott Williamson.)
—The September 2016 entry in my Oxman Hotrod Calendar
is a ’27 Track-T roadster turned into a hotrod.
My October 2016 Classic Car
magazine has a feature on track-T racecars.
|1915 brass-T speedster. (Photo by Richard Lentinello.)|
Backyard racers were modifying Model-T Fords into racecars, even the humble four-cylinder Model-T engine.
The company Frontenac made a lotta money at it: overhead-valve and even double overhead cam conversions.
How does one get the old Model-T four-banger to hold together if it can really rev?
A Model-T’s crankshaft wasn’t made for racing.
And normally the Model-T engine was a flat-head, a water-cooled Briggs & Stratton lawnmower engine.
Frontenac was gonna go into car manufacturing, but was a victim of 1929 and the following Depression.
Yet people converted Model-Ts into racecars with Frontenac cylinder-head conversions.
The calendar car pictured has a Chevy SmallBlock.
But it does have a hand-formed aluminum “Sprint-Car” nose. The hood and engine side-panels are also hand-formed aluminum.
I can think of pictures of other yellow hotrods.
|The Milner coupe.|
|’32 three-window with NASCAR “Cammer” engine. (Photo by Scott Williamson.)|
|(This thing has an Indy four-banger.) (Photo by Scott Williamson.)|
One is of the Milner coupe from American Graffiti.
Another is a picture I ran long ago of a ’32 three-window with the gigantic NASCAR “Cammer” engine.
427 cubic inches, single overhead cam with cast-iron heads = overkill in a street hotrod.
How can you expect such a thing to corner with that much weight on the front? Ya couldn’t even go to the grocery!
The color of both cars is right.
The calendar-car is also right, but has a two-piece windshield, probably Duvall
. I prefer the stock Ford one-piece, chopped if necessary.
I doubt the car is drivable,
it rides too low. You’d scrape just getting in your driveway.
But it looks great;
I can almost accept that two-piece windshield.ENOLA (“ay-NOLE-uh;” as in “hey”). (Photo by Tom Klinger.)
—The September 2016 entry in my All-Pennsy color calendar
is the clogged locomotive ready-tracks at gigantic Enola Yard
across from Harrisburg.
Enola Yard was built in 1905 to take pressure off Harrisburg. The original Pennsy was from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh, but became so successful
Harrisburg became a bottleneck.
Not much land was available in Harrisburg to allow expansion, so Pennsy went across the river.
The original Pennsy crossed the Susquehanna at Rockville/Marysville north of Harrisburg.
Enola was built, and according to Google satellite-views a bypass was also built off the Pennsy main from Philadelphia at Parkesburg (“Parks-burg;” not “parkers-burg”) east of Lancaster, to miss the grade and sharp curves at Gap, PA., and get freight to that new yard.
That bypass accessed the Susquehanna well south of Enola Yard into a Pennsy branch parallel to the river.
The Enola access then used another bridge to cross the Susquehanna upriver near Locust Grove.
That line was electrified, but is now abandoned.
Enola became a destination for most Pennsy freight.
It also was the end of Pennsy’s electrification of the east-coast megalopolis.
Freight had to be transferred from electric to non-electric power, or vice versa.
Looking at this picture I see an E44
, #4408, coupled to a filthy ancient P5
Geeps are behind, plus even a Baldwin diesel (I think that’s what it is, although it may be Fairbanks-Morse).
Plus an Alco covered-wagon. (“Covered-wagon” is what railroaders call cab-units.)
The picture is 1961 = four years past steam on Pennsy.
Electrics hauled westbound freight into Enola from the east, for switching to non-electric to continue west.
Eastbound freight from the nation’s interior got switched to electric in Enola.
Harrisburg itself was also the end of Pennsy’s electrification, but freight usually went to Enola.
Freight using Enola could bypass grades toward Philadelphia, the original railroad out of Philadelphia that ended up being Pennsy.
In 1957 my parents moved from south Jersey to northern DE. And in late 1962 I began college in western NY.
I moved to Rochester (NY) after graduating in 1966.
In order to visit my parents in northern DE I used the route I used to get to college.
It goes through Harrisburg.
That route changed. Expressways were built that now have me going around
In fact, I no longer use that route. I often use the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
It misses Harrisburg entirely.
Both parents are long-gone. They eventually moved to FL, but I still have a brother in northern DE.
Using my Harrisburg route I’d cross the Susquehanna north of Harrisburg.
But often I’d continue down the west side of the river trying to find a better route that crossed south of Harrisburg.
I never found one; Route 15 turned into a two-lane with traffic-lights.
But it was next to Pennsy, and there would be Enola,
its locomotive ready-tracks, just like this picture, clogged with diesels and electrics.
I’m glad Klinger took this picture. It’s not dramatic, but what I saw.The jet-age begins. (Photo by Philip Makanna©.)
—The September 2016 entry of my Ghosts WWII warbirds calendar
is a Messerschmitt Me262
, the first successful jet fighter.
I’ll let the Internet weigh in:
“Mustang pilot Bud Anderson had the new German jet fighter in his sights. But as he closed in, the jet ‘just shrank up and vanished.’
The Messerschmitt Me262, the world’s first jet fighter, streaked away from him at more than 540 mph, 100 mph faster than the P-51.”
was a fabulous
fighter-plane, fast and maneuverable.
That is, fast for a propeller-airplane.
The P-51 lacked what fighter-pilots desire most: the speed
the Me262 had.
All an Me262 pilot had to do was put the hammer down,
and off it went: skedaddle.
“From the 1930s, engine designers in several countries were trying to develop a radically new alternative to the reciprocating (piston) engine.
The Germans focused on turbojet research, and stole a march on the others. By 1938, BMW and Junkers had promising engine programs, while Ernst Heinkel and Willi Messerschmitt designed airplanes to carry the jet engines.
Heinkel’s He 2800 flew first and seemed to have more potential, but Messerschmitt (the regime’s favored designer) succeeded in getting his Me262 approved for production. The He 2800 was shelved.
While very fast, the Me262 was not without drawbacks and problems. The novel Jumo 004 engines were short-lived and unreliable, prone to flaming out and catching fire.
Of course, the Me262 was a twin-engined aircraft, and it could fly well with just one working engine. Landing was a different matter; asymmetric thrust made landings very tricky.
The jet could not accelerate quickly, requiring extra-long airstrips for take-off. Nor could it decelerate quickly, and ‘go-arounds’ on landings were impractical. It could not turn well, and lost a lot of speed in hard turns, critical drawbacks in aerial combat. Handling was challenging, and only for experienced, skillful pilots. While the Me262 could fly like Hell and was heavily armed, that was all it had.
The Me262 required concrete runways, instead of the Luftwaffe’s usual tarmac, and left tell-tale scorch-marks on take-off. Shortly, Allied reconnaissance figured out that these fields housed the new jets, and also quickly learning the 262’s vulnerabilities during take-off, Allied fighters began patrolling the areas.
While the Reich turned out an impressive number of Me262s (1,433), pilot training, poor maneuverability, vulnerable bases, overwhelming Allied air superiority, even Nazi politics, all conspired to prevent the world’s first jet fighter from making a real difference in the war.”
An Me262 might lack the maneuverability of a P-51, but it had skedaddle.
Fighter-pilots love speed.
And speed works both ways. A jet could swoop in and attack much faster.
American aviation quickly converted to jets: Lockheed its F-80 Shooting-Star,
and North American its F-86 SabreJet
Republic Aviation, manufacturer of the P-47 Thunderbolt
, developed the F-84 ThunderJet
Naval aviation did this too. Chance-Vought, manufacturer of the fabulous Corsair
aircraft-carrier fighter-plane, brought out its jet-powered F7U Cutlass
Fighter aviation was advancing by leaps and bounds. The Me262 was the beginning. It showed the potential of jets over propeller airplanes.Déjà vu. (Photo by Sam Wheland.)
—I feel like I’ve seen this photograph before
— same location, same photographer.
The September 2016 entry in Norfolk Southern Employees’ Photography-Contest calendar
is a Norfolk Southern freight carrying 10 locomotives for Mozambique.
|It’s a train of welded rail. (Photo by Sam Wheland.)|
Interesting to me is the export locomotives appear identical to the locomotive pulling the train.
Although probably not exactly.
8409 is a General Electric Dash 8-40CW
, 4,000 horsepower, built in 1993.
The number-boards are located differently, but everything is General Electric.
More-than-likely the export locos are a more recent iteration.
The major difference is track gauge, which is why the export units are on flatcars. The gauge in Mozambique is three feet six inches.
I wonder about the location of this picture. The train is eastbound, which means it’s into morning light.
It was a cloudy day, which is why photographer Wheland is up on a bridge — to avoid gloomy skies.
But the sun peeked through as the train approached. Often it’s the other way; I know all about it.
Only one unit, and behind are auto-racks. If I am correct, it may be 10J, the eastbound equivalent of westbound 11J, which my brother and I have photographed.
|11J past Cresson, PA. (Photo by Jack Hughes.)|
There is an idler, that gondola in front of that first export locomotive.
The train is in Huntingdon, PA, on Pennsy’s old Middle Division. I always wonder if photographer Wheland is on the same bridge as Don Wood was photographing M-1 steamers (4-8-2) in the ‘50s.
Probably an Austin-Healey 3000.
—I usually run my Jerry Powell classic-car calendar separate,
because it’s not one I ordered.
Jerry Powell is my niece’s boyfriend. He’s a car-guy
like me. He got it for me as a Christmas present.Not this time.
An Austin-Healey is not that desirable; at least not to me.
But my Tide-mark
Classic Car calendar is one of those gigantic Chrysler land-barges from 1970.
The Healey is very much a sportscar, an open roadster.
The Healey first came as four-cylinders — to my mind more attractive.
Later Healeys moved up to an inline six. This calendar-car is a six, probably a 3000.
The Healey was a response to postwar America’s lust for sportscars.
First were the antediluvian MG “Midget” series
, especially the TC and TD.
Triumph made a sportscar — I had one, a 1958 fishmouth TR-3.
|My TR-3. (Photo by BobbaLew.)|
MG moved on to market a more modern sportscar, the MGA
. I considered buying one, but bought the Triumph instead.
The pinnacle was Jaguar, its XK120
and later XK-E
I consider the XK-E the most beautiful car of all time.
A surfeit of British sportscars, and in the middle was Healey.
And it was available with a six.
A guy at my college had one. I remember him driving it one night on the college sidewalk.
That sidewalk was wide enough to be a road.
He lusted after my Triumph, a gutsy old drag-racer.
But his Healey was more civilized.
I remember running a parade around the campus. We called it the Houghton Grand Prix — Houghton
(“HO-tin;” as in “hoe,” not “how” or “who”) was the name of my college.
I declared myself the winner because my car made the most noise.
Well of course, I was competing against Detroit-Iron, a ’56 Dodge two-door hardtop, a well-muffled Mustang, and others.
That was the time that guy drove his Healey down the sidewalk.
I had to leave my car running on the college Quad, because its starter was burnt out. We had to push-start it.
Why? (Photo by Dan Lyons©.)
—The September 2016 entry in my Tide-mark Classic-Car calendar
is a 1970 Chrysler 300 convertible.
Why would anyone would make a collector-car out of such a dinosaur?
Perhaps it was because ‘70s cars were the last of a grand American tradition: insanely big cars with humongous V8 motors.
|Our E-250 in South Dakota. (Photo by BobbaLew.)|
I had one myself: a 1979 Ford three-quarter ton van.
I thought the world
of it, despite its swilling gas at 10 mpg.
It had the giant 460 cubic-inch V8, probably the ambulance motor. Four-barrel Holley carb, but not the gigantic toilet-mouth venturies. Smaller but four.
The carb wasn’t designed for high-rev breathing. It was more for generating maximum low-speed torque.
Olde Henry woulda been proud.
The front swing-arms were beautiful forgings.
I completely rebuilt the cooling-system prior to vacation across the country in 1987.
That’s because it overheated during an earlier summer trip to VA.
I recored the giant radiator from three rows to four. That radiator was big enough to heat an airport hanger.
I replaced all the hoses, all but one unseen that burst a few years later.
I also made new steel tubing for the tranny-cooler.
110 degrees up to Mt. Rushmore, air-conditioning on full-blast,
and it didn’t overheat.
When I rolled down the window at toll-booths, the toll-takers thanked me.
That van was the ultimate turnpike cruiser. All the way to Montana on Interstate-90, cruise-control set at 70.
$678 total gas for that trip, but no motels. Camped out in it every night. 100 degrees next to the Missouri River, down to 38 degrees next to the Tetons.
Pulled into a lonely gas station in Wyoming, and “Toss another steak on the grill, Martha. 40 gallons!”
No doubt this gigantic Chrysler would be as much fun.This is America,
not England. Wide open spaces = put the hammer down!
Traveling in a tiny Ford Focus would be a drag.
I know; I did it in a tiny Volkswagen Dasher stationwagon in 1980 — all the way to the Pacific.
When Chrysler’s 300-series debuted in the late ‘50s, ne’er-do-wells soon were racing the full length of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
100 mph average or more!
Most desirable were the 1958 300s
, 392 cubic-inch Hemi
power. The engine drag-guys loved because it breathed so well.
By 1959 the Hemi was gone,
so 300s switched to a 413 cubic-inch B-block
with long intake runners to boost intake with sonic wave induced supercharging.
Two four-barrel carbs, each way out at the sides of the motor — to accommodate those long intake runners.
By 1970 Chrysler’s 300-series was winding down. Gas was no longer cheap. The last 300s were 1971; by now the engine was a 440 cubic-inch B-block.
1970 was the last full-size Chrysler convertible.
The name “300” was resurrected 28 years later. As was “Hemi.” I don’t know if it’s actual hemispherical combustion-chambers.
“Fuselage” styling it was called; introduced in 1969.
I rented a full-size 1970 Plymouth Fury while my TR-250
was in the shop. “That hood is big enough to land a Navy Corsair fighter-plane!”
Labels: Monthly Calendar Report