ac6000cw's North American visit

Discussion in 'Photography Sites, Blogs & Videos' started by ac6000cw, 9 Apr 2015.

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  1. ac6000cw

    ac6000cw Established Member

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    I thought I'd start off with some modern motive power from a trip in 2013:

    [youtube]?v=lyBWoOZg0cI[/youtube]

    (or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyBWoOZg0cI )

    I picked this one because the first train has a matched set of EMD SD70ACe's on the front and a matched set of GE ES44AC's pushing on the rear, so it's a contrast of design and noise. The squealing noises at the start are not because it's a sharp curve, it's the sound of state-of-the-art traction control laying down serious tractive effort on wet rails climbing a 1.4% gradient plus curvature (it's dropping into carefully controlled wheelslip/wheelcreep).

    This train should be 115 wagons long, which if they are fully loaded at 130 tonnes (gross) each gives about 14,900 tonnes train weight, plus 800 tonnes of locomotives - a typical US coal train. Total length about 1.2 miles, and it took about 5 1/2 minutes to go by....(I did film all of it, but you'd get bored ;)). Each loco is rated at 4400 hp, and can produce over 800kN of tractive effort at very low speeds - the 33 tonne axle load helps here :)

    The line is the Norfolk Southern (ex-Norfolk & Western) mainline between Bluefield and Iaeger, West Virginia, in the vicinity of Elkhorn Tunnel.

    Trivia question - if you went back to the 1930s in this area, what infrastructure would be very obvious here which has now gone without trace ?
     
    Last edited: 22 Apr 2015
  2. atsf_fT

    atsf_fT Member

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    11 kV, 25 Hz overhead electrification -1913 -1950 , also probably a water tower for 2-8-8-2 Y2s /Y6s etc - slogging there way up at 5 mph.
    ;)
     
  3. ac6000cw

    ac6000cw Established Member

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    Yes, spot on :) - it would have looked something like this:

    [​IMG]


    The interesting thing was that in 1950 (having decided to spend the money on digging a larger, double-track summit tunnel and re-aligning the line on either side to reduce the gradient from 2% to the current 1.4%), Norfolk & Western went back to steam power for the next few years - massive 2-8-8-2 Y-series Mallet compound articulated locomotives front and rear, as you said. I think when all the other 'mountain' electrification schemes in the US were dismantled they went straight to diesel power - as did the N&W at the end of the 1950s.

    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---

    A few trains on Horseshoe Curve, just west of Altoona, Pennsylvania, USA.

    Originally built by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1854, it's now part of the Norfolk Southern Railway system. In steam days there were four tracks here, now reduced to three, and it's one of the few places left in the US which still makes extensive use of manned 'helper' locomotives (banking engines) - all 'classic traction' 30+ year old EMD SD40-2's.

    This is a natural train-watching ampitheatre - it's had a public viewing park at the apex since 1879! The video is a small attempt to give you a flavour of the atmosphere there on a warm Sunday in September 2007 (as well as the noise of hard-working diesels climbing the hill ;))

    More info - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horseshoe_Curve_(Pennsylvania)

    [youtube]?v=48z0doMvM2E[/youtube]

    (or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48z0doMvM2E )


    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---

    Steam on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad

    I'm not really a 'steam' person, but this was a classic case of being in the right place at the right time - a lovely Sunday morning and some time to kill before having a ride behind a classic EMD diesel (the one in my avatar).

    The Western Maryland Scenic runs tourist trains between Cumberland, MD (very much a railroad town) and Frostburg (a touristy town up in the hills) using 16 miles of the old Western Maryland Railway route.

    2015 will be the last season for the 2-8-0 steam loco in the video (known as 'Mountain Thunder') due to a major 1,472-day mandatory inspection being required. It's place should be taken in 2016 by a much larger 2-6-6-2 articulated loco, currently being restored in Cumberland.

    If the sound of the 'lonesome whistle' echoing across the valley doesn't tingle your spine, you 'ain't got no soul' - enjoy ! ;)

    [youtube]?v=kjhMq-eDqdI[/youtube]

    (or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjhMq-eDqdI )
     
    Last edited: 22 Apr 2015
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