IMHO, this is not much different than the N&W 1218. It can be restored. As things are today, neither likely will be restored. At least there is no talk about cutting either of them up for scrap. They exist as preserved relics. There are memories of when they did run in recent history. We have that much. There are many museum pieces that have not been under steam since the 50s.

Am I happy that 4014 was returned to steam? Sure. In my perfect world every surviving steamer would be on the ready track awaiting orders. As for sharing parts, from what I understand the 611J has some 1218 parts on it. Who is complaining about that?

Engineer-Joe posted:
Rusty Traque posted:

The Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation owns and maintains 4449.  The UP had nothing to do with it, other than being stored in an ex-SP roundhouse that UP owned in Portland, Oregon until 2012.

Rusty

Thanks.

Hmmm. I thought HW worked for the UP steam program? 

First, SP 4449 was donated to the city of Portland, OR by the SP, back in the late 1950s. The locomotive was subsequently selected to pull the American Freedom Train, "borrowed" from the City of Portland, and removed from Oaks Park in 1974 for restoration & overhaul. The Chief Mechanical Officer & Engineer was Doyle McCormack, who is still "in charge" of 4449 and any and all work, as part of the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation. I was assigned to the crew of 4449 by EMD of GM, back in 1975 as liaison, and have been involved with 4449 ever since. The UP NEVER had anything to do with 4449, although Steve Lee and his crew were good friends with most of the 4449 crew members, i.e. professional courtesy.

Second, I was a contract Fireman for the UP Steam Crew, as needed for long trips, for some 17 years, retiring from that at the end of 2010, when Steve Lee retired from UP. 

Why did Steve retire? Is he up in years? So Ed essentially replaced him? About the 4449, since UP gobbled up SP in 1996, it can’t run on home rails anymore? UP won’t allow any steam other than its own. BNSF would allow steam, but now with Amtrak banning most excursions there’s no reason to run on BNSF with 4449 except if they are going to an event like Train festival or something.

Robert K posted:

Why did Steve retire?

He was old enough and had more than enough years of service.

Is he up in years?

Yes, so to speak, i.e. he was at the age that he could retire anytime he liked.

So Ed essentially replaced him?

Yes.

About the 4449, since UP gobbled up SP in 1996, it can’t run on home rails anymore?

That pretty well covers it.

UP won’t allow any steam other than its own.

Sure looks like it, now.

BNSF would allow steam, but now with Amtrak banning most excursions there’s no reason to run on BNSF with 4449 except if they are going to an event like Train festival or something.

There are no longer any such "events", as every time someone try's to "plan" such an "event", the costs for transportation (dead head moves) and liability insurance are so unbelievably high, the actual "event" never happens.

 

smd4 posted:
p51 posted:

It just staggers my imagination that anyone would prefer a Challenger over a Big Boy...

The Challenger is a much better looking, better-proportioned engine. Staggering, huh?

This exactly.  One of the reasons I have never had interest in a model of a BB.  Plus the story behind how 3985 came back to life is so awesome.  4014 lacks any of the romance, it's just bigger.  I mean if your one of the bigger is better crowd, then more power to you, I just don't subscribe to that philosophy.  The Challenger class in general is just a great multipurpose locomotive and every iteration looks good in my eye, from the D&RGW, to the WM, the Clinchfield and so forth.

Before the 4014 rebuild, I heard the story that the BB's were so long they could only run on some UP lines.  This year 4014 ran in many places outside the pre-1982 UP.  Some places 4014 could not go, like rast of the Houston Amtrak Station, so the train hadto back up to Chaney Jct.

So what caused the "change"?

 

The TEXAS SPECIAL:  The REAL RED streak of the golden prairies!

Dominic Mazoch posted:

Before the 4014 rebuild, I heard the story that the BB's were so long they could only run on some UP lines.  This year 4014 ran in many places outside the pre-1982 UP.  Some places 4014 could not go, like rast of the Houston Amtrak Station, so the train hadto back up to Chaney Jct.

So what caused the "change"?

What "change"?   Is this another rhetorical question? 

 

wb47 posted:

Sad that the same “Never Dickens”  folks have resurfaced.  Join UPHS, this year’s convention is in Cheyenne, there is to be a steam shop tour. 

  And don't forget the Sherman Hill Model Railroad Show !

CHOO-CHOO MIKE

High Plains 3 Railers at the 

Sherman Hill Train Show

Cheyenne, Wyoming

May 16th and 17th 2020

 

 

Dominic Mazoch posted:

Before the 4014 rebuild, I heard the story that the BB's were so long they could only run on some UP lines.  This year 4014 ran in many places outside the pre-1982 UP.  Some places 4014 could not go, like rast of the Houston Amtrak Station, so the train hadto back up to Chaney Jct.

So what caused the "change"?

 

William Kratville's book mentions that Big Boys were cleared for operation all the way to Los Angeles, CA.  It also mentions that they occasionally took trains to North Platte, NE.  So they were capable of running the entire length of the Overland Route, even in the 1940s.  However, it made more sense operationally to use them on the railroad's most demanding mainline grades, which were the eastbound Wahsatch grade in Utah (1.14%) and Sherman Hill westbound (1.55% prior to 1953).  The UP upgraded several turntables between Cheyenne and Ogden for that reason. 

In the years since the steam era, many railroads made right of way improvements to accommodate larger, heavier rolling stock.  The side effect of that is that large steamers like the Big Boy can run to more places than they could originally.

So I would say the change is due to 2 things:  1) The railroad had a desire to showcase the 4014's operational status across its system in the Golden Spike anniversary year and 2) Railroad rights of way in general are more forgiving for large loading gauge equipment than they were in the steam era.

Scott Griggs

Louisville, KY

 

Rich Melvin posted:
Dominic Mazoch posted:

After seeing both the 844 and 3985, I was actually disapointed seeing 4014.

I can understand your disappointment. Most of the time they just shove the thing around with diesels. What's to enjoy about that?

Rich,
You are one who should not be presenting a tone that is judgmental!
If I remember correctly, you told of how 765 got pushed along by diesels too. Something about saving coal & water. Then 844 did the same.
I can understand why diesels are taken along for the ride and there are a lot of others out that need to understand it too!

Big Jim posted:
Rich Melvin posted:
Dominic Mazoch posted:

After seeing both the 844 and 3985, I was actually disapointed seeing 4014.

I can understand your disappointment. Most of the time they just shove the thing around with diesels. What's to enjoy about that?

Rich,
You are one who should not be presenting a tone that is judgmental!
If I remember correctly, you told of how 765 got pushed along by diesels too. Something about saving coal & water. Then 844 did the same.

Well, not really. Prior to 2011, neither 844 nor 3985 required diesel LOADING assistance, except on mountain grades with tunnels. Even when 844 or 3985 DID have diesels MU'ed, the steam locomotive was generally worked at full throttle with only marginal assistance from the MU'ed diesel (except in a tunnel, of course).


I can understand why diesels are taken along for the ride and there are a lot of others out that need to understand it too!

Taken "along for the ride" is one thing, but when the steam locomotive is barely worked, that is a whole different story.

 

Big Jim posted:
Rich Melvin posted:
Dominic Mazoch posted:

After seeing both the 844 and 3985, I was actually disapointed seeing 4014.

I can understand your disappointment. Most of the time they just shove the thing around with diesels. What's to enjoy about that?

Rich,
You are one who should not be presenting a tone that is judgmental!
If I remember correctly, you told of how 765 got pushed along by diesels too. Something about saving coal & water. Then 844 did the same.
I can understand why diesels are taken along for the ride and there are a lot of others out that need to understand it too!

I think Rich will tell you that for 765, using the diesels was/is done only on long deadhead moves.

 
CHOO-CHOO MIKE posted:
wb47 posted:

Sad that the same “Never Dickens”  folks have resurfaced.  Join UPHS, this year’s convention is in Cheyenne, there is to be a steam shop tour. 

  And don't forget the Sherman Hill Model Railroad Show !

Bob Krieger is a member of Sherman Hill Model Railroad Club. He's still running 3985 … just on a smaller scale.  He's also an officer in the UPHS.

If you don't know who Bob is, he was a part of the 3985 story from the very start. When getting it running was just an idea of some men. He's a super nice guy … always willing to share his expertise and insights on all things Union Pacific steam shop… from 3985 up to today. With Bob, it's all about the machines … not him.

EBT Jim posted:
 
CHOO-CHOO MIKE posted:
wb47 posted:

Sad that the same “Never Dickens”  folks have resurfaced.  Join UPHS, this year’s convention is in Cheyenne, there is to be a steam shop tour. 

  And don't forget the Sherman Hill Model Railroad Show !

Bob Krieger is a member of Sherman Hill Model Railroad Club. He's still running 3985 … just on a smaller scale.  He's also an officer in the UPHS.

If you don't know who Bob is, he was a part of the 3985 story from the very start. When getting it running was just an idea of some men. He's a super nice guy … always willing to share his expertise and insights on all things Union Pacific steam shop… from 3985 up to today. With Bob, it's all about the machines … not him.

Correct. I was bob's Fireman on 844 and 3985 for many, MANY years on the "longer trips", and can attest to his overall friendliness with everybody he comes in contact with. We had lots of good times together. 

 

Big Jim posted:
Rich Melvin posted:
Dominic Mazoch posted:

After seeing both the 844 and 3985, I was actually disapointed seeing 4014.

I can understand your disappointment. Most of the time they just shove the thing around with diesels. What's to enjoy about that?

Rich,
You are one who should not be presenting a tone that is judgmental!
If I remember correctly, you told of how 765 got pushed along by diesels too. Something about saving coal & water. Then 844 did the same.
I can understand why diesels are taken along for the ride and there are a lot of others out that need to understand it too!

Yes, we have used diesels behind the 765 on occasion. However, those diesels were there to stretch the coal and water in order to make a long deadhead move work out. We didn’t use them because we were afraid we might break something if we worked the 765 hard. We’ve operated the 765 with the throttle on the roof for hundreds of miles, at speeds up to 70 mph. That’s something the 4014 has yet to do, and likely never will. The diesels can’t go that fast... 

Rich Melvin

If at first you don't succeed, don't try sky diving... 

Also 4014 got on the road the day before going to the 150th event.  The trip to LA and TX was just after that.  Caution on these trips OK.  But after that....

Also, having a diesel on trips going tbrough long tunnels a good idea fore safety....

The TEXAS SPECIAL:  The REAL RED streak of the golden prairies!

Big Jim posted:
TexasSP posted:
I mean if your one of the bigger is better crowd, then more power to you,

Take a look around!
Seems to me, that is exactly what the UP was!

Not really, they wanted solutions and went for what worked for specific applications.  They weren't simply going bigger just to go bigger.

TexasSP posted:
  They weren't simply going bigger just to go bigger.

Yeah, they clearly wanted to go for headlines. Not only would they have the largest steam locomotive currently running (a fact that could change on any given day), they wanted to say they had the largest one ever made.

It makes for excellent copy for a non-train-fan writer/editor.

Beats me why so many people in the hobby can't see the simple logic behind that.

p51 posted:
TexasSP posted:
  They weren't simply going bigger just to go bigger.

Yeah, they clearly wanted to go for headlines. Not only would they have the largest steam locomotive currently running (a fact that could change on any given day), they wanted to say they had the largest one ever made.

It makes for excellent copy for a non-train-fan writer/editor.

Beats me why so many people in the hobby can't see the simple logic behind that.

You're confusing two different things I am discussing, which may mean I haven't been clear.  As to UP's use of big motive power in the past, I am saying they weren't doing this simply to be bigger for bigger's sake.  They were seeking efficiency.

As to the current use of the BB, I agree, it was bigger for bigger's sake, more marketing than anything.

Going back on comments about Ed, to be clear, I didn't know him from Adam when he took over.  I do not like the direction UP and he have taken the steam program.  I think it will be a mistake.  What makes me not like him as a person is the negative comments against the former steam crew (who I also don't know) that ran a successful operation for 30+ years.

Rusty Traque posted:

I wonder if the mystique about the Big Boys would be the same if it would have been called the "Wasatch" class as UP originally intended.

They could have called them "Hello Kitty" engines and I doubt anyone would have cared. Frankly, "Big Boy," today, invokes snickering as it has connotations it didn't have in 1941. I wish they'd had called them something else and that name stuck...

Dominick, I agree with you fully. I would also love to see a Centennial on the high iron again, double-heading with a 4000!

Trainmaster04 posted:

Here's a vid of 3985 pulling a stack train. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhgHrDbN4EU

Note, not mine.

Great video!!  It appears that there may have been over 80 loads.  My understanding is that stack trains tend to be very heavy AND have considerably fewer braking wheels as they share trucks, may be something like 30% less!!  

As for the future of 3985, she’s in the best place possible to wait out the cold winter of political unfriendliness.  UP most certainly wants to maintain ownership of 3985 thereby eliminating the possibility of private investors doing that which UP may not approve of, which was also one of several compelling reasons for UP to purchase 4014.  Had the 4014 been “On loan” by UP to the museum, it’s likely that it would still be sitting in Pomona, CA.  While there may be other BB’s for sale, I’d guess the investment necessary to restore would have been prohibitive thus further reducing the chances that it would have ever happened.  Personally, I believe the 3985 WILL run again under better circumstances, it’s just a matter of time.  How many management changes has she seen?  They’re all gone while she patiently waits.  

I assume UP deeply regretted putting 4023 (the only survivor of the 1944 order) up the hill in Omaha once they decided they might want one running again.

I have Ron Ziel's "Twilight of Steam Locomotives" book where it shows her sitting next to 3985 inside a roundhouse and noting both had recently been shopped before putting them both inside. Then again, they'd have had to take any BB apart for the rebuild, no matter which one. But UP still owned it in recent years as I understand and when it was down at the shops, it would have been such an easier move to get her to Cheyenne...

Dominic Mazoch posted:

Also 4014 got on the road the day before going to the 150th event.  The trip to LA and TX was just after that.  Caution on these trips OK.  But after that....

Also, having a diesel on trips going tbrough long tunnels a good idea fore safety....

Not exactly correct.  Between the 150th event and the LA/TX trips there was a swing through the Midwest including a trip up to Duluth in MN and then to Chicago before returning to Cheyenne.  Was there and have pictures.

I've never seen 3985 first hand so I can't compare.  For me, 4014 was impressive though didn't seem quite as big when up close - I guess I'm not sure what I really expected.

p51 posted:

I assume UP deeply regretted putting 4023 (the only survivor of the 1944 order) up the hill in Omaha once they decided they might want one running again.

No, they didn't! Previously, long prior to the 4023 being moved to its current location  "up on the hill", Steve Lee made a personal proposal to CEO Dick Davidson, to allow the towing of 4023 to Cheyenne for full restoration. Mr. Davidson actually agreed! During the process of obtaining a waver from the FRA to tow the 4023 without working air brakes, sandwiched between two big diesel units in DPU. The FRA agreed, and the project moved forward to have the Steam Crew Support equipment moved to Omaha, where necessary work could begin on 4023. At the last minute, some lower level executives found out about "the plan", and quickly went to CEO Davidson to talk him out of the whole project. Thus, Mr. Davidson back-peddled and decided against the project to return 4023 to active service. 

Later, 4023 was placed "up on the hill"!

I have Ron Ziel's "Twilight of Steam Locomotives" book where it shows her sitting next to 3985 inside a roundhouse and noting both had recently been shopped before putting them both inside. Then again, they'd have had to take any BB apart for the rebuild, no matter which one. But UP still owned it in recent years as I understand and when it was down at the shops, it would have been such an easier move to get her to Cheyenne...

See above information.

 

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