UPS train (21E) into Portage. (Photo by BobbaLew.)
—“I don’t think you’ve ever been to the trailer,” I said to my railfan brother-from-Boston.
The December 2016 entry of my own
calendar is westbound train 21E, the so-called UPS train, charging off the 1898 bypass into Portage, PA.
“What’s the trailer?” my brother asked.
“An abandoned highway trailer is parked trackside behind the Portage station. It’s a good place to shoot,” I said.
“It’s near where the 1898 bypass merged back into the original Pennsy main.”
That bypass is now the Main, but Pennsy’s original line through Portage still exists as a branch that serves Sonman coal loadout.
Sonman was once a mine. 63 miners died there in 1940 in an underground explosion — methane gas.
I say “so-called” because I get conflicting reports about the UPS train.
My railfan friend from Altoona, Phil Faudi (“FOW-dee;” as in “wow”) says 21E is the UPS train.
My brother insists there are others, like 21J.
All I know is Phil says 21E gets an additional locomotive, in this case three instead of two.
The train begins at Morrisville Yard in PA, near the Delaware River.
It heads west on the old Reading (“redd-ing;” not “reed-ing”) line to Rutherford, PA near Harrisburg. There it loads UPS trailers from all over the northeast, but mostly New York City.
The train is cross-country.
Norfolk Southern hands it off to Burlington Northern Santa Fe near Chicago.
The train is premier service
from Rutherford to San Bernardino near Los Angeles, but ends in Los Angeles.
The train is mostly trailer-on-flatcar, although often it has containers, sometimes doublestacked.
FedEx is also using the train.
We parked behind the trailer. It’s only a shorty, 25-40 feet at most. And only one axle.
I set up my tripod and telephoto — the picture is fairly strong telephoto.
Here comes 21E; our scanners told us it was coming, if not Phil.
Phil used to lead me around, but his wife has multiple sclerosis, so he stays home.
He monitors his scanner, and calls my cellphone to tell me a train is coming.
He gets Altoona at his house. In Portage we don’t — that’s the other side of the mountain.
Winter is coming; snow is between the tracks.
Soon it will cover the ties, so all that’s visible will be the railheads.
They might even have to plow. Snow can be heavy up on Allegheny Mountain.The ultimate macho-machine! (Photo by Dan Lyons©.)—Here it is,
the car all the little boys in their 50s and 60s lust after.
The December 2016 entry in my Tide-mark Classic-Car calendar
is a 427 Cobra, model-year 1966.
Cobras were AC
, a British sportscar manufacturer.
Back in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s car-guys became aware of swapping the engine in a British sportscar, usually to hot-rodded Detroit-iron.
MG-As or Austin-Healeys with the new Chevy V8.
Racer Carroll Shelby
from Texas wanted to install Detroit-iron in a British sportscar, and AC was interested. It’s sportscar was the AC Ace.
He wanted to compete with Chevrolet’s Corvette.
Shelby negotiated Ford’s new small V8, 260 cubic inches. The first AC Cobras were 260.Shel was in the car-biz.
His AC Cobra went to 289 cubic-inches when Ford increased the displacement of its new V8 yet again. It started at 221.
And AC Cobras were being raced.
Next step, to make Cobras extremely competitive,
was a Big-Block motor, like Ford’s 427 NASCAR side-oiler engine.
Those first Big-Block Cobras were undriveable.
Way too much motor in a flimsy chassis. And gobs
The car had to be redesigned. The frame was strengthened with bigger tubing.
Stuff your foot into any 427 Cobra and hang on for dear life!
That motor could bend things.
A few years ago I saw a 427 Cobra at a car show.
“Is it actually a 427?” I asked the owner.
“No it’s not,” he replied sheepishly. “It’s Ford’s new 4.9-liter 32-valve.
The 427 was sick. I had to replace it.”
|NOT fuel-injection. (iPhone photo by BobbaLew.)|
Reminds of a ’57 Fuel-Injection Chevy I recently saw.
“Why ain’t the hood open?” I asked.
“Because it’s no longer Fuel-Injection,” the owner said.
“I had to install a crate-motor.”It’s a Hemi! (Photo by Scott Williamson.)
—There are three
1932 Ford models the hot-rodders love. The three- and five-window coupes, and the roadster.
The December 2016 entry in my Oxman Hotrod Calendar
is a Deuce five-window coupe.
|The Milner coupe from American Graffiti, a five-window.|
Three-window coupes have three
windows beside the windshield. Five-windows have a small window behind the door-post, making five total beside the windshield. Roadsters are not convertibles; their top does not retract. It can only be removed.
I prefer the three-windows.
The three-window pictured is fabulous.
Mainly because it’s yellow, my preferred color.
It was advertised at $39,500; I expected a lot more.
The car-body was fiberglass, which I can accept if it’s finished well.
Supposedly it’s drivable, and reliable. With a blower? I’ve seen such, but that’s not Granny’s car = start it and forget it.
Everything I’ve pictured looks drivable except the calendar-car.
The early Hemi was incredibly heavy,
those gigantic cast-iron heads.
They were called the Hemi because of their hemispherical combustion-chambers, valving on each side.
The Hemi was the pinnacle of Detroit-iron, introduced in 1951, replaced after 1958.
They breathed extremely well;
valving 90° from the crankshaft, whereas most V8s had their valves in a row parallel to the crankshaft.
The intake-valves could be aimed at the intake manifold, but so were the exhausts.
Standard V8s aimed both valves at the intake-manifold, since they were all in a row.
Exhaust therefore had to navigate a contorted passageway to get back over to the exhaust-header, if it was outside the head. (Most were.)
Unlike standard Detroit V8s a Hemi needed two
rocker-shafts on a wide cylinder-head casting. Which is why they were so heavy.
Heavy as they were, drag-racers like Don Garlits, loved
the Hemi; it could be extremely powerful
NASCAR racers got a second iteration during the ‘60s: Hemi heads on the Chrysler B-block. It was so dominant NASCAR outlawed
I have a tee-shirt depicting a Hemi-powered hotrod. “It’s a Hemi,” it says.
There was my caption.
The calendar-car also appears to have Hilborn fuel injection, a racing application. How does one handle such a thing on the street?
I bet ya need to manually spray gasoline in the injection mouths to get it started.
|I shoulda asked. (Photo by BobbaLew.)|
I did come across a cherry three-window a couple years ago at a local car show. Chevy SmallBlock with triple deuces.
The only things wrong were -a) its color, and -b) it mighta been auto-tranny.
The blown yellow three-window was auto-tranny.I shoulda asked.
Looks like 1969.—Behold,
the reason Jerry Powell bought me this calendar.
Jerry is my niece’s boyfriend. He’s a car-guy like me. He got it for me as a Christmas present.
The December 2016 entry in my Jerry Powell “Classic-Car” calendar
is a Boss-302 Mustang, 1969 I think.
It has headlights where a 1970 has fake vents.
To me a 1970 Boss-302 Mustang is the most desirable
collector-car ever made. I imagine I told Jerry that once.
But I wouldn’t buy a Boss-302. Its motor is too much a race-motor.
I prefer a 1970 351 Mach 1. Same car, same motor detuned, so more civilized = streetable.
Ford’s Boss-302 was their counter to the Penske
(“Penn-skee;” as in “ski”) Camaros, early in Sports Car Club of America’s Trans-Am
The Penske Camaros had Mark Donohue as lead driver.
|The 1969 Penske Z28 Camaro driven by Mark Donohue.|
Pony-cars, e.g. Ford’s Mustang, the Chevrolet Camaro, Pontiac’s Firebird, the Plymouth Barracuda, the Dodge Challenger, and even AMC’s Javelin, all raced the Trans-Am.
They were all factory teams.
For 1970 AMC attracted Penske/Donohue away from Camaro.
People like me were upset. Money skonked Chevy’s fabulous
Boss-302 Mustangs were entered by old NASCAR car-owner Bud Moore
, and Moore applied his considerable savvy to the Boss-302.
He wasn’t the driver. He had Parnelli Jones
(“parr-nell-eee”), who won the 1963 Indy 500, plus George Follmer
, a sportscar racer.
The trick to getting any solid-axle American sedan to handle well, is getting that rear axle to stay put.
A simple Hotchkiss rear-suspension
, the rear axle on two parallel leaf springs, is a disaster
The springs flex,
and steer the axle some other direction than the car.
Locate that axle with trackbars and a Panhard rod
, and the springs don’t flex. The axle is held straight ahead.
Many years ago in 1969 I attended a Trans-Am race at Bridgehampton Race Course
out at the end of Long Island.
Jones had the pole, with Follmer second, and Donohue perhaps third in a Penske Z28.
I hiked to a long downhill curve just after the start-straight. It would be a rolling start, the cars two-by-two.
Jones and Follmer sailed over the top of that curve, which was blind, at 165 mph,
side-by-side, Jones leading.That’s goin’ to my grave.
|The red-and-black paint scheme on Follmer’s 1969 Boss-302. (Photo by Sam Attal.)|
Down the hill they charged.
|Follmer’s mustard-yellow Boss-302 (1970 Bridge Trans-Am). (Photo by BobbaLew.)|
At bottom trackbars and exhausts scraped the pavement. Sparks flew
Follmer eventually won ahead of Donohue who lost his brakes. Jones dropped out with mechanical problems.
The mustard-yellow car pictured is Moore’s second paint-scheme.
The first ones I saw at the Bridge were 1969 models, and have a red and black scheme used on Moore’s earlier Cougar Trans-Am racers.
To me, Moore’s Boss-302s were the best
cars in the series, even though I’m a Chevy-man.
Not a Tiger-Shark! (Photo by Philip Makanna©.)
— The December 2016 entry of my Ghosts WWII warbirds calendar
is a Curtiss P-40
Thankfully it’s not painted the Tiger-Shark scheme.
Seems like every P-40 I see is painted a Tiger-Shark.
|The Flying Tigers paint-scheme. (Photo by Philip Makanna©.)|
That giant radiator-scoop invites shark’s teeth; which look good on a P-40, but not much else.
I’ve even seen shark’s teeth on a military Piper-Cub.
As if such an airplane were a threat to all-and-sundry.
It wouldn’t take much to shoot a Piper-Cub outta the sky. They don’t even have guns.
Most P-40s had the water-cooled Allison V12
The Flying Tiger squadron was Claire Chennault’s 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force, comprised of pilots from the U.S. Army Air Corps, Navy, and Marine Corps. They were recruited under presidential authority to defend China against the invading Japanese.
The Tigers trained in Burma. Their first combat was shortly after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. America was unable to bomb Japanese cities until the B-29
, flying from China, long after Pearl Harbor.
I’ll let my WWII warbirds
site weigh in:
“The P-40 fighter/bomber was the last of the famous “Hawk" line produced by Curtiss Aircraft in the ‘30s and ‘40s, and it shared certain design elements with its predecessors, the Hawk and Sparrowhawk.
It was the third-most numerous U.S. fighter of WWII. An early prototype version of the P-40 was the first American fighter capable of speeds greater than 300 mph.
Design work on the aircraft began in 1937, but numerous experimental versions were tested and refined before the first production version of the P-40, the Model 81, appeared in May 1940.
By September of that year, over 200 had been delivered to the Army Air Corps. 185 more were delivered to the United Kingdom in the fall of 1940, where they were designated the Tomahawk Mk I.
Early combat operations pointed to the need for more armor and self-sealing fuel tanks, which were included in the P-40B.
These improvements came at price: a significant loss of performance due to the extra weight. Further armor additions and fuel tank improvements added even more weight in the P-40C.
Curtiss addressed the airplane’s mounting performance problems with the introduction of the P-40D, which was powered by a more powerful version of the Allison V-1710 engine, and had two additional wing-mounted guns.
Later, two more guns were added in the P-40E, and this version was used with great success (along with their earlier mainstays, the B-models) by General Claire Chenault’s American Volunteer Group, The Flying Tigers, in China.”
Right after Pearl Harbor, the Curtiss P-40 was all that was available, so Chenault engaged P-40s rejected by Britain.
Chenault trumpeted a new sort of air-combat, dogfights wherein enemy fighters, attacking Allied bombers, were shot down.
But it wasn’t the dogfight tactic of WWI = a single fighter-plane strafing a single enemy fighter.
Multiple fighter-planes attack the single enemy fighter, and thereby have more success shooting it down.
So the “Tigers,” flying antique fighter-planes, had much success shooting down Japanese planes, which were more agile, and faster.
The Tigers made it possible for America to believe it was possible to defeat the Japanese. And that was shortly after Pearl Harbor, when the Japanese were a colossus.
Unfortunately the P-40 was not the later P-51 Mustang
, which was more powerful, faster, and more maneuverable. A P-51 also had much more range.
The P-51s could stay with long-range bombers from England over Germany. A P-40 couldn’t.(Sorry railfans; what remain are not that good this month.)Easier than usual. (Photo by Robert Malinoski.)
—The December 2016 entry in my All-Pennsy color calendar
is a Pennsy I1sa Decapod (2-10-0) pulling an ore train past tiny Halifax, PA. So it says......
Pennsy crews hated
the Decapods. They rode rough.
But they were incredibly powerful, especially for a locomotive designed when it was.
The Dek was designed in the ‘teens, a 10-drivered Consolidation (2-8-0).
Most of its weight was on its drivers. The only wheels not pulling were the two on the pilot truck.
The Dek was designed because Pennsy’s freight-engines at that time were strapped.
The L1 Mikado (2-8-2) and Consolidations (2-8-0).
Deks were so big crews called ‘em Hippos.
The Dek was also Pennsy’s first try at coal-stokers. Even two
firemen couldn’t keep up with the coal-demand of a Dek.
I did a GoogleMap search for Halifax, and found it’s on the Susquehanna River south of Northumberland.
I can’t tell which way the train is going; loaded ore usually goes north toward Northumberland.
But it looks southbound.
I did all kinds of poking around with GoogleMaps and StreetViews. The train is also into the sun.
In GoogleMaps the railroad is west of town. And there’s the town east of the railroad.
The railroad is the old Pennsy line on the east bank of the Susquehanna. In GoogleMaps the river is near the railroad. But I can’t get a view of both railroad and river.
I also can’t conceive of iron-ore moving south. Usually iron-ore was unloaded from a ship at Pennsy’s huge
Philadelphia terminal, and then moved by train up to Northumberland.
There it became the oft-photographed Mt. Carmel ore train, two Deks up front, and two more pushing. It went up Pennsy’s Mt. Carmel branch for interchange with Lehigh Valley
Railroad, destined for steel mills in Bethlehem, PA.
It’s captioned an ore train, but also may be returning empty to Philadelphia.
I see that often at Allegheny Crossing, loaded coal trains headed east, empty westbound.
Pennsy had later steamers more powerful than a Dek.
But for difficult terrain the Dek was perfect.
|The only remaining Pennsy Dek, #4483. (Photo by Chris Galka©.)|
For that reason many hung on for years, especially in hilly PA.
The last steam-powered train on Pennsy in 1957 was led by a Dek: coal into Altoona (PA).
Only one Pennsy Decapod remains, #4483, stored unserviceable near Buffalo NY. It’s a veteran of heavy coal trains up to the wharf at Sodus Point, NY.The Southern Railway Heritage-Unit leads. (Photo by Eric Johnson.)
—The December 2016 entry in my Norfolk Southern Employees’ Photography-Contest calendar
is Norfolk Southern’s Southern Railway Heritage-Unit, #8099, leading a doublestack in Larimer, PA.
I looked in GoogleMaps. Larimer is near Pittsburgh. It’s probably the old Pennsy main toward Allegheny Crossing.
It became Conrail
So did the New York Central Water-Level route across NY. Water-Level because it more-or-less paralleled the Erie Canal — and Hudson River.
Conrail broke up and sold in 1999. Most of the PA railroads went to Norfolk Southern, and New York Central across NY went to CSX.
West of Buffalo and Pittsburgh, PRR and NYC went this way and that. Mainly to Chicago and St. Louis.
Norfolk Southern has both Pennsy
and New York Central
Heritage-Units, as well as and Penn-Central
There are 20 Heritage-Units
, new locomotives painted the schemes of Norfolk Southern predecessors.
Norfolk Southern began as a merger of Southern Railway with Norfolk & Western in 1982. There also is a Norfolk & Western
Norfolk Southern expanded quite a bit when Conrail was sold.
At first Conrail was going to CSX, but Norfolk Southern entered the fray.
The end result more-or-less reflects what was intended years ago: New York Central going with Chessie, and Pennsy merging with Norfolk & Western.
That didn’t happen. Merger of Pennsy with Norfolk & Western was scotched, and Pennsy merged with New York Central, forming Penn-Central, which soon went bankrupt.
Conrail was formed by the government to save northeast railroading, including many other northeast bankrupts.
Conrail eventually privatized,
becoming successful enough to attract CSX — and Norfolk Southern.
Many other railroads were components of Norfolk Southern. Erie, Central of Georgia, Monongahela, Nickel Plate, Delaware Lackawanna & Western, and Reading for example. Some had been part of Conrail.
All have Heritage-Units.
Railfans keep track of Heritage-Units. They even have websites.
How many times have my brother and I been joined at a photo-location by a fan chasing a soon-to-appear Heritage-Unit?
We’ve photographed quite a few: Virginian
for example. As well as 8102
, the Pennsy Heritage-Unit.
The Heritage-Units are nothing special. Just a fancy paint-job on a new EMD SD70ACe
, or General Electric’s ES44AC
Norfolk Southern got a gold-mine getting Pennsy’s old Juniata (“june-ee-AT-uh”) Shops near Altoona. It was probably intentional.
Many surplus locomotives from other railroads or leasers await rebuild at Juniata Shops.
are both Juniata rebuilds.
Juniata has also built various experimentals, battery-powered and natural gas.
And their paint-crew is having a field day,
although the SD70ACe Heritage-Units were painted by EMD.
It’s December; we need a snow-picture. Photographer Johnson supplies same, heavy snow near Larimer, PA.
Except it looks like February to me. Too much snow.
A lucky shot. The Southern Railway Heritage-Unit is leading.An experiment that more-or-less failed. (Photo by William A. Raia — courtesy Joe Suo Collection©.)
—Only one of these was built.
The engine is not a piston-powered steam-engine. It’s powered by a steam-turbine.
The December 2016 entry of my Audio-Visual Designs black-and-white All-Pennsy Calendar
#6268 (6-8-6), powering through the many tracks in a Chicago junction.
Many eastern railroads terminated in Chicago, many at union stations (multiple railroads).
Those railroads crossed each other willy-nilly. This junction had 26 diamonds, some through turnouts (switches).
Dispatchers had to keep trains from plowing into each other, 150+ trains per day.
A turbine powered steam-engine was an attempt to harness ship steam-turbines to railroading.
I’m not sure why only one was built, but I think it used a lot of coal.
The drivers are connected by side-rods. Look carefully and you’ll see the steam-turbine between the second and third drivers.
Pennsy built a number of experimentals. The glitzy S1
(4-4-4-4), styled by Raymond Loewy
(“LOW-eee”), was an experimental.
It wasn’t very successful. It had HUGE
84-inch drivers on a long unhinged frame. (Pennsy’s E6 and K4 use gigantic 80-inch drivers; 72 inches [the size the M1 used], are six feet.)
It wasn’t articulated — a duplex = eight drivers with four pistons on a single frame. That’s Baldwin Locomotive Works
’ solution to rail-pounding heavy side-rod weight.
With its gigantic driver wheelbase, it needed straight railroad. Use in PA was impossible.
Give it straight railroad, and it could easily top 100. Speed-records were alleged at over 140 mph. Pennsy was fined for 156 mph.
It was soon taken out of service — not enough engine weight on the drivers, which led to slippage and resultant damage. With its long rigid driver-wheelbase, it couldn’t handle curvature. The desire was to replace Pennsy’s aging K4 fleet, but it was too hard to operate.
It only operated between Chicago and Crestline, OH; the straight racetrack it needed.
It also was displayed at an “American Railroads” exhibit at the 1939 World’s Fair.
The S2 also preferred straight track, lines in Ohio and Indiana.
Like Chrysler’s gas-turbine cars of the ‘60s, I think the S2 was fuel-hungry starting from stop. Do that often, and you’re guzzling fuel — in this case coal.
Give it a long enough distance to cover, and it will be economical. Gas-turbine cars were the same.
Stop-and-start often, and the piston steam-engine wins.
Steam-turbines were great for a ship. Distances covered were vast
— hours and hours at constant fuel consumption.
Turboprop aircraft work as well, cruise for hours at constant minimal fuel usage.
Pennsy was trying to continue coal use. Various experimentals were tried, but dieselization was winning.
Side-rod steam-engines pound the rail, and do not supply constant drive-torque like a diesel-electric.
(Yr aging Fthfl Srvnt is considering cutting back to just his four train-calendars, in order to avoid getting so far behind with other duties.
I get seven or eight calendars, four train, one propeller airplane, and two or three car calendars.
[To me they’re not calendars. They’re wall-art that changes monthly.]
Previously I blogged them all. Grass went uncut, unopened mail piled up, laundry went undone, my bed was never made.
With increasing age I often hafta nap, plus I have a dog who loves walks, especially through woods in a nearby park.
Occasionally my Monthly-Calendar-Report has been late. Other topics don’t get blogged, including daily madness worthy of blogging.
I could do it previously, but my wife died.
A friend commented I seem drawn to conspicuous consumption of carbon, especially hydrocarbon.
-Railroad steam-locomotives = coal.
-Cars and hotrods = gasoline.
-Propeller airplanes = gasoline.
-And now diesel railroad locomotives = diesel fuel.
Conveyances motivated by exploding carbon activating throbbing pistons.
Lots of other duties await.
Calendar-Reports are fun, but they gobble time.)
Labels: Monthly Calendar Report