I've read the past messages about this question.  Car floating would be the first choice.  Locomotives, even larger ones, could be moved by car float.

The rule of no operating locomotives on the transfer bridge or car float concerns movements of cars on or off a float. As that is done, the grade keeps changing on the transfer bridge as loads move from land to the car float on water and vice -versa. A locomotive works best and safest when its on level track.  The changing grade of the transfer bridge as loads are moved on or off creates the hazard of slipping and sliding drivers, with a loss of braking control.  

Car floats are strongly built. They are basically bridges under each track that are encased in a hull with a deck on top. Not only did they need to hold weight but endure moving weight as the loads came on and off. The floats also had to resist twisting when docked, as laden weigh changed from side to side during loading / unloading moves. The float had to be level side to side and on even keel fore and aft when ready to depart. It was tied to the transfer bridge with large, heavy, steel locking bars. If the float was not level when loaded, they could not be easily disengaged. An uneven float was very difficult to land and secure at the destination terminal.

Knowing the weight of cars being loaded enabled the crews to keep it level when loaded.  Cars were frequently weighed before loading onto a car float.  The exchange of steam locos between the PRR and LIRR was likely done at night by car float, when harbor traffic was minimal. Their fires would be dropped before loading and the loco and its tender weighed.  A switcher would put it aboard the car float like any other load, using or idler cars. Locomotives moved onto car floats for the most part,  were handled like any other load and not put aboard under their own power. Their weight would be balanced with additional loaded cars. 

I have a 1938 photo of  B&O's steam locomotive, the George H. Emerson, Class N-1 4-4-4-4 on a car float at the PRR Greenville NJ Terminal. A B&O float and tug were used to move it to Long Island City, and from there to the New York World's  Fair to be an exhibit.  The loco is centered  on an interchange float, having three tracks and a twelve 50' car capacity at 1,250 tons. The weight of the Emerson is balanced by loaded PRR quad hoppers on the opposite side, as well as a loaded gondola to trim the weight, behind the Emerson's tender. (I seem unable to upload that photo from my computer). 

The Emerson was 117' long overall, with a total weight of engine and tender at 741,550 lbs. - about 371 tons. Weight on drivers was 240,350 lbs. over a 19' 9" wheelbase. The fire had been dumped. Steam was still in the boiler. The fire would be restored in LI City for the short run to the Fair at Flushing Meadows. Lackawanna also exhibited one of its new 4-8-4's at the Fair in the same manner.

So, why did B&O use the PRR Greenville Terminal?  The iron 1888 B&O swing bridge linking Staten Island to NJ could not handle the 4-4-4-4's weight.  And, St. George Yard on Staten Island had wooden Howe truss transfer bridges rated at about 200 tons, as did also the CNJ at Jersey City. After the Fair, the Emerson went back to the B&O the way it had arrived.  For a short stretch, PRR hosted a duplex drive 4-4-4-4 almost a decade before they built some of their own.

S. Islander  

 

 

S. Islander posted:

I've read the past messages about this question.  Car floating would be the first choice.  Locomotives, even larger ones, could be moved by car float.

The rule of no operating locomotives on the transfer bridge or car float concerns movements of cars on or off a float. As that is done, the grade keeps changing on the transfer bridge as loads move from land to the car float on water and vice -versa. A locomotive works best and safest when its on level track.  The changing grade of the transfer bridge as loads are moved on or off creates the hazard of slipping and sliding drivers, with a loss of braking control.  

Car floats are strongly built. They are basically bridges under each track that are encased in a hull with a deck on top. Not only did they need to hold weight but endure moving weight as the loads came on and off. The floats also had to resist twisting when docked, as laden weigh changed from side to side during loading / unloading moves. The float had to be level side to side and on even keel fore and aft when ready to depart. It was tied to the transfer bridge with large, heavy, steel locking bars. If the float was not level when loaded, they could not be easily disengaged. An uneven float was very difficult to land and secure at the destination terminal.

Knowing the weight of cars being loaded enabled the crews to keep it level when loaded.  Cars were frequently weighed before loading onto a car float.  The exchange of steam locos between the PRR and LIRR was likely done at night by car float, when harbor traffic was minimal. Their fires would be dropped before loading and the loco and its tender weighed.  A switcher would put it aboard the car float like any other load, using or idler cars. Locomotives moved onto car floats for the most part,  were handled like any other load and not put aboard under their own power. Their weight would be balanced with additional loaded cars. 

I have a 1938 photo of  B&O's steam locomotive, the George H. Emerson, Class N-1 4-4-4-4 on a car float at the PRR Greenville NJ Terminal. A B&O float and tug were used to move it to Long Island City, and from there to the New York World's  Fair to be an exhibit.  The loco is centered  on an interchange float, having three tracks and a twelve 50' car capacity at 1,250 tons. The weight of the Emerson is balanced by loaded PRR quad hoppers on the opposite side, as well as a loaded gondola to trim the weight, behind the Emerson's tender. (I seem unable to upload that photo from my computer). 

The Emerson was 117' long overall, with a total weight of engine and tender at 741,550 lbs. - about 371 tons. Weight on drivers was 240,350 lbs. over a 19' 9" wheelbase. The fire had been dumped. Steam was still in the boiler. The fire would be restored in LI City for the short run to the Fair at Flushing Meadows. Lackawanna also exhibited one of its new 4-8-4's at the Fair in the same manner.

So, why did B&O use the PRR Greenville Terminal?  The iron 1888 B&O swing bridge linking Staten Island to NJ could not handle the 4-4-4-4's weight.  And, St. George Yard on Staten Island had wooden Howe truss transfer bridges rated at about 200 tons, as did also the CNJ at Jersey City. After the Fair, the Emerson went back to the B&O the way it had arrived.  For a short stretch, PRR hosted a duplex drive 4-4-4-4 almost a decade before they built some of their own.

S. Islander  

 

 

Thank you. I guess that answers all of my questions.

S Islander: I believe you answered the question in a very knowledgeable manner! Car floats it was - minimal labor (No rod drops!), NO long roundabout journeys or pesky tunnels - just point-to-point across the Hudson pretty as you please! THANK YOU, Sir!  ☺

vita sine litteris mors est  (Seneca)

S. Islander posted:

I've read the past messages about this question.  Car floating would be the first choice.  Locomotives, even larger ones, could be moved by car float.

The rule of no operating locomotives on the transfer bridge or car float concerns movements of cars on or off a float. As that is done, the grade keeps changing on the transfer bridge as loads move from land to the car float on water and vice -versa. A locomotive works best and safest when its on level track.  The changing grade of the transfer bridge as loads are moved on or off creates the hazard of slipping and sliding drivers, with a loss of braking control.  

Car floats are strongly built. They are basically bridges under each track that are encased in a hull with a deck on top. Not only did they need to hold weight but endure moving weight as the loads came on and off. The floats also had to resist twisting when docked, as laden weigh changed from side to side during loading / unloading moves. The float had to be level side to side and on even keel fore and aft when ready to depart. It was tied to the transfer bridge with large, heavy, steel locking bars. If the float was not level when loaded, they could not be easily disengaged. An uneven float was very difficult to land and secure at the destination terminal.

Knowing the weight of cars being loaded enabled the crews to keep it level when loaded.  Cars were frequently weighed before loading onto a car float.  The exchange of steam locos between the PRR and LIRR was likely done at night by car float, when harbor traffic was minimal. Their fires would be dropped before loading and the loco and its tender weighed.  A switcher would put it aboard the car float like any other load, using or idler cars. Locomotives moved onto car floats for the most part,  were handled like any other load and not put aboard under their own power. Their weight would be balanced with additional loaded cars. 

 

 

Thanks SI man, I'll go with the car float now, although it was fun thinking about how I'd do the Penn Station move.  I'm glad to see some technical info about car float structures and other reasons to need a very robust structure.

I think I found how to post a photo.  Here is the one I mentioned previously showing  B&O's duplex drive 4-4-4-4 on a car-float in 1938. 

Note in this case, the middle track is empty and the loads are on each side of the float. This helps reduce the possility of the float 'rolling' (rocking side to side) when encountering wakes of other vessels.

It doubled the weight of the Emerson as ballast, to make the float more stable than if the locomotive alone was on the center track.  

S. Islander

 

 

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The roundhouse near Jamaica was fully equipped to handle most steam maintenance according to author Ron Ziel. They, of course, did not have a dynamometer setup for steam like that at PRR's Juniata Shops, nor did they have the capability to construct steam locomotives. They likely had a Niles wheel lathe and quartering machine on the premises.

vita sine litteris mors est  (Seneca)

I emailed a friend of mine who has a great deal of knowledge regarding LIRR history. His information supports S. Islander’s answer. His answer: Leased PRR engines were brought to Long Island by car float at Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Their pilots were removed in the process.  This had to be done when engines were loaded onto and unloaded off of car floats because the weight of the front of the engine would depress the car float when being moved onto and off of the pier.  The PRR leased locomotives to the LIRR from 1900 until October, 1951, on a monthly basis as needs arose.  In October of 1951 all remaining PRR-leased locos had been returned to the parent road with one odd exception occurring in August, 1955. 
The K4s locomotives were used not only on runs to the Hamptons and Montauk, beginning with the construction of the  much stronger "K4 bridge" over the Shinnecock Canal in 1931, but also ran on the Main Line and the Port Jefferson branch, and they ran throughout the year, not just summer. Also, some K4s locomotives spent a great deal of time on the LIRR and one in particular, #5406, was built by the PRR's shops and spent its entire lifespan in LIRR service until returned in 1950-51.

Hope my friend’s information sheds a little more light. 

Andy

My grandfather's house was located close to the Hicksville wye where an LIRR "protect" engine was usually kept in the early diesel era in case of a breakdown. On one occasion, there was a K4  spotted on the wye. My friend and I walked up to the unmanned loco, but we thought better about climbing on the engine which was under steam. Glad we made the right decision!

vita sine litteris mors est  (Seneca)

This is really an interesting thread, it is one of those questions that seems so obvious yet no one thought to ask it....and after searching around I could find no reference to it, which is pretty wild given all the rail information out there. I actually asked this question a couple of places on the net I go to where there are knowledgeable train people, and they all scratched their heads, but to a person they said car float was the most likely method, obviously pre the bridge/tunnels being built, but likely even post then. To a person they all said that car floats could carry pretty big loads as @S.Islander showed with his posted picture and they said logistically that was the easiest and cheapest way to transport them in the post connection era, the cost of transporting them via the poughkeepsie bridge link over the New Haven and the bother, or trying to get them through the tunnels, wouldn't be worth it in their opinion, car floats were existing service over their own tracks.

To a person they were amazed that they had never run across this question before or that there wasn't anything out there about it.  They also pointed out that engines in the early days of the LIRR were likely relatively light compared to later engines, but it still was something of a feat to be able to float them at the time. I don't know for sure, but I think I remember reading some of the early engines the LIRR had came from England, wonder if they shipped them directly from there to Long Island?

The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

Got another response on this in another place I posted the question. The person said that the engines were shipped via car float, probably to Brooklyn, and had been long before the LIRR was bought by the Pennsylvania. 

He added one new thing, he said he is aware of only one case where a stream engine went through the tunnels, he said an inspection train with PRR officials went through with an Atlantic and one coach. Basically they built up a head of steam on the NJ side, then ran through the tunnels without firing up, running (I guess) on the steam it had, he felt it was feasible. Said the engine went back likely via the Brooklyn float. 

The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

bigkid posted:

Got another response on this in another place I posted the question. The person said that the engines were shipped via car float, probably to Brooklyn, and had been long before the LIRR was bought by the Pennsylvania. 

He added one new thing, he said he is aware of only one case where a stream engine went through the tunnels, he said an inspection train with PRR officials went through with an Atlantic and one coach. Basically they built up a head of steam on the NJ side, then ran through the tunnels without firing up, running (I guess) on the steam it had, he felt it was feasible. Said the engine went back likely via the Brooklyn float. 

You can't build up a head of steam without a fire.  Perhaps they could have dropped the fire at Manhattan transfer - not a simple thing to do.  Would have required a move from ash pit to the train on the main.  You could have had full steam pressure leaving Harrison but how about at the low point of the tunnel to Long Island ?  Most likely it was in 1908 which was the legal end of steam operation in tunnels in Manhattan.  The LI tunnels were completed 3/18/1908 and the law was effective 7/01/1908.

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