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Largest/heaviest steam locomotives:   DM&IR 2-8-8-4 (699,700 lbs),  Big Boy (772,000 lbs), Northern Pacific 2-8-8-4 (717,000 lbs), Southern Pacific  AC-9 2-8-8-4 (689,900 lbs), C&O 2-6-6-6 (724,500 lbs), Western Pacific 2-8-8-2 (663,100 lbs).  These weights were published in "Steam's Finest Hour", a book written by "Trains Magazine's" David P. Morgan, and released in late 1959. According to Wikipedia, the C&O 2-6-6-6 was erroneously weighed at Lima, and was re-weighed by the railroad (apparently  prompted by complaints from operating crews, whose pay rates were determined by the weight of locomotives) and found to be 771,300 lbs.

The weight of the Virginian's 2-6-6-6's is a bit unclear from the historical record. Believe they were as heavy as the C&O counterpart, but are listed on websites as weighing 753,000 lbs.

Yeah, I did see that on the government page, but I was wondering what it all comes down to? Saw metallurgy, and other such things which of course make sense. Is the metal deteriorating, etc, etc. I know that would be one of the things, just wanted to understand what the timeline is.

The inspection mandated by the FRA, after 1472 days of operation or 15 years, whichever comes first, is all about the boiler. The entire boiler must be ultrasound tested, every square foot, both inside and outside, which obviously is checking thickness of the various steel sheets. Once all the calculations and data is submitted to the FRA for approval, the FRA re-certifies the boiler for another 1472 days or 15 years. Depending on the resources available, such an inspection could take a year or more, if done solely by volunteers, or only a few months if done by a qualified contractor or fully experienced & equipped locomotive shop.

Addendum:   Re the Baltimore & Ohio EM-1 2-8-8-4, their weight was 628,700 lbs.  A goodly number of locomotives out weighed them. For example, The Rio Grande's L-105 4-6-6-4's weighed 641,900 lbs and the Northern Pacific's Z-8 4-6-6-4's weighed 644,000 lbs. There is a relatively simple explanation for the disparity in weight for the EM-1 vs. big western steam locomotives: western locomotives tended to be approximately a foot taller and a foot wider then their eastern counterparts. Why?  The eastern railroads were built earlier in the 19th century to accommodate smaller locomotives. Out east, the clearances were less generous.

@Hot Water posted:

The inspection mandated by the FRA, after 1472 days of operation or 15 years, whichever comes first, is all about the boiler. The entire boiler must be ultrasound tested, every square foot, both inside and outside, which obviously is checking thickness of the various steel sheets. Once all the calculations and data is submitted to the FRA for approval, the FRA re-certifies the boiler for another 1472 days or 15 years. Depending on the resources available, such an inspection could take a year or more, if done solely by volunteers, or only a few months if done by a qualified contractor or fully experienced & equipped locomotive shop.

Thank you. I knew that locomotives had firing days but didn't know that was about 15 years. I do remember being told at Strasbourg that a firing day is considered whenever the locomotive not burning. I think the person had said as long as the locomotive is burning, or being stoked that is still whatever day it was fired. #90 was sitting in the shop with some smoke coming from the stack, but appeared to be unmanned. Guess it was burning out.

Thank you. I knew that locomotives had firing days but didn't know that was about 15 years. I do remember being told at Strasbourg that a firing day is considered whenever the locomotive not burning. I think the person had said as long as the locomotive is burning, or being stoked that is still whatever day it was fired. #90 was sitting in the shop with some smoke coming from the stack, but appeared to be unmanned. Guess it was burning out.

Dave,

The FRA considers a "service day" (or firing day if you will) as any time within a 24 hour period that there is pressure above atmosphere in the boiler AND their is a fire in the firebox. The reason that the rule/law is written that way is to allow for hydrostatic boiler testing (pressure above atmosphere), but no fire in the firebox, thus NOT adding a "service day".

@superwarp1 posted:

"Sandberg said RRHMA will initially be talking to regional and short line railroads to explore opportunities to operate the steam locomotives after restoration."   From the Trains Article

Research the friends of 261.

Steve has done a remarkable job with the Milwaukee Road S-3 #261 and all his equipment over the many years. I think the 261 may operate down that way as well, but will not say where.

@mark s posted:

Largest/heaviest steam locomotives:   DM&IR 2-8-8-4 (699,700 lbs),  Big Boy (772,000 lbs), Northern Pacific 2-8-8-4 (717,000 lbs), Southern Pacific  AC-9 2-8-8-4 (689,900 lbs), C&O 2-6-6-6 (724,500 lbs), Western Pacific 2-8-8-2 (663,100 lbs).  These weights were published in "Steam's Finest Hour", a book written by "Trains Magazine's" David P. Morgan, and released in late 1959. According to Wikipedia, the C&O 2-6-6-6 was erroneously weighed at Lima, and was re-weighed by the railroad (apparently  prompted by complaints from operating crews, whose pay rates were determined by the weight of locomotives) and found to be 771,300 lbs.

The weight of the Virginian's 2-6-6-6's is a bit unclear from the historical record. Believe they were as heavy as the C&O counterpart, but are listed on websites as weighing 753,000 lbs.

I don’t know what the circumstances were that caused the Virginian to buy the AG class 2-6-6-6 articulated but they were even less of a match for their assignments than their C&O cousins. They hauled coal trains at 35 mph from Roanoke to tidewater at Norfolk. The never were able to reach their peak horsepower range of 45 Mph in that service.

FYI: the classification AG was not some reference to “Allegheny” as some might believe. The Virginian assigned the class letter A to various articulateds and subclass letters to indicate variations. The AGs were the seventh group of A class engines and thus got the subclass letter G, there having been classes AA through AF preceding them. Interestingly, previous A class engines had different wheel arrangements, ranging from 2-6-6-0 to 2-10-10-2 and were all compounds. The AGs were of course simple.

Allegheny was strictly a C&O monicker.

Last edited by Nick Chillianis

I always like to hear about enthusiasm like this, and we can only hope they have the money and time to restore these. Given that UP was basically going to scrap them, or maybe give them to someplace to display them statically, this to me is a good thing. I suspect they will run the challenger as oil fired, not an expert on steam but quite honestly building an oil fired tender shouldn't be that big a deal, it is an oil tank in a box *shrug*..seems to me it would be more time consuming to rebuild the engine to run on coal again. Coal has the fire problem, plus the other thing is that as expensive as oil can be, coal is expensive and with coal mining in decline as power plants convert, it may be harder and harder to get coal to boot.

The analogy to the FRA rules is airplane regulations, FAA regulations require there are time intervals for inspections (I don't remember the intervals/levels, in the UK they call then Class A , Class B and Class C). At those intervals certain inspections happen and certain parts have to be swapped out for new or rebuilt ones (the ones swapped out get tested and if needed, rebuilt, to be used again). The second level requires more, then the third level, After a certain length of time the plane basically is almost torn apart and inspected stem to stern, they look at the airframe and the structural members, pressure test the fuel tanks, you name it...and that sounds a lot like the FRA 15 year inspection looking at the form (albeit in a different way).

I am sure it is a challenge, given that they pirated it for parts for 4014, and it hasn't been run in a while, but it doesn't sound like something that with money and time they can't do. I am sure it will be costly and require finding ways to scrounge up parts that can be rebuilt or made from scratch, but if the guy has the donors, it sounds great.

And if they fail, the engines will be no worse off than they would with the UP, where they likely would have ended up scrapped or maybe given to someplace for static display *shrug*.  One thing I will note, it sounds like the UP team would rather these engines have a home where it can run, they could have easily scrapped them or given them away to a museum that would put them on static display. I can understand why they had to get rid of them, I am sure the beancounters were harping on them about having stuff in inventory "not doing anything".

@mark s posted:

Largest/heaviest steam locomotives:   DM&IR 2-8-8-4 (699,700 lbs),  Big Boy (772,000 lbs), Northern Pacific 2-8-8-4 (717,000 lbs), Southern Pacific  AC-9 2-8-8-4 (689,900 lbs), C&O 2-6-6-6 (724,500 lbs), Western Pacific 2-8-8-2 (663,100 lbs).  These weights were published in "Steam's Finest Hour", a book written by "Trains Magazine's" David P. Morgan, and released in late 1959. According to Wikipedia, the C&O 2-6-6-6 was erroneously weighed at Lima, and was re-weighed by the railroad (apparently  prompted by complaints from operating crews, whose pay rates were determined by the weight of locomotives) and found to be 771,300 lbs.

The weight of the Virginian's 2-6-6-6's is a bit unclear from the historical record. Believe they were as heavy as the C&O counterpart, but are listed on websites as weighing 753,000 lbs.

Going off memory the C&O units being over weight caused be problems with the C&O bridges. The C&O had a max weight allowable.  I believe C&O ran the engines caused damage to the bridges which Lima had to pay to repair and possible upgrade them for the weight. I vaguely remember a nice article with the details.  I would Assume the C&O figured out the problem real quick and weighed the locomotives. 

@CSX FAN posted:

Going off memory the C&O units being over weight caused be problems with the C&O bridges. The C&O had a max weight allowable.  I believe C&O ran the engines caused damage to the bridges which Lima had to pay to repair and possible upgrade them for the weight. I vaguely remember a nice article with the details.  I would Assume the C&O figured out the problem real quick and weighed the locomotives.

Indeed, Lima was sued for millions of dollars (in the 1940s!) because of the excessive weight of the Alleghenies.  This was one of the financial daggers from which it never recovered.  See "The Allegheny -- Lima's Finest" for details.

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