Reply to "What happens when traction tires fall off of a 1:1 scale locomotive"

I think I've posted this item somewhere else on the OGR forum but since we are talking about locomotive tires and things that can happen to them I thought it would be worth posting this (again?).

  "#276, a Baldwin, had just come back from the shops in Salida, completely overhauled.  She had new, full tires.  The first engineer who took her out on a breaking-in run said she was the easiest riding locomotive he had ever operated. Shortly after the break-in she slipped a tire.  She was towed to Grand Junction where the tire was removed and a new one ordered.  It arrived, was heated cherry red, slipped over the wheel, and allowed to shrink into place.  When 276 when back into service she rode so rough that the crew couldn't stay in the cab and they refused to take her out again. 

  The master mechanic had her wedges dropped to make sure none of them were stuck.  She was reassembled and the second crew who took her out had the same complaint as the first.  Everything possible was done to improve her riding qualities.  Different officials from the mechanical department went out with engine crews and tried to find the trouble.  This went on for about a month.  Then I was called to run her.  Those Grant 200's I'd fired between Salida and Pueblo rode like Pullmans in comparison to this little Baldwin.

  She rode so rough it seemed she would shake every pipe and fixture off her boiler.  It was impossible for a crew to stay in her cab.  The faster you went the rougher the ride.  As I was coming back after my first exhausting ride I had an idea.  When I got to Grand Junction I headed straight for the roundhouse and the master mechanics office.

  I walked in and said," I think I know what's wrong with #276.  I think she's got one wheel larger, or smaller, than the others."
  "Bosh", snorted the master mechanic. "That engine came from the backshop with all new tires and the one she slipped was replaced from stock.  It's exactly the same size as the others."
  "Maybe you're right," I agreed. "But did you try calipering it?"
  "I don't think so. I'll do that right this minute just to convince you you're having pipe dreams."
  He led the way outside.  That one tire was a half inch larger that the others! When it was turned down to exact size and replaced, the little 276 was once more the best-riding engine we had."

  From Little Engines and Big Men-Lathrop

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