Niagara Blueprints

Today Amtrak just announced they will no longer operate excursions and charter moves effective at end of April 2018. Pretty much all the mainline public excursions run in recent years became reality thanks to partnering  with Amtrak to keep insurance costs down from what I understand.

If this Niagara project is a success where is it planned to operate? It may be cost prohibitive to obtain the insurance needed to operate a public excursion if the Amtrak partnership is no longer possible.

smd4 posted:
GenesisFan99 posted:
smd4 posted:
GenesisFan99 posted:

I'm pleased to report we now have Know Thy Niagaras on order, so drawings will soon be in-hand.

You realize that you will need several hundred drawings, right? Every single part on the engine will need a detailed drawing, with all dimensions, sometime even down to the bolts used.

Yes, we realize this. That book will give us many of the drawings we need.

No, I don't think it will.

There's a big difference between drawings and blue prints. The drawings that you are going to get in a book are probably great for a model builder. Not so much if you want to know the exact diameter and length of the main crankpin, though, or the exact dimensions of the drawbars, or the exact size and shape of a driver box. Or the size of the shoes and the taper of the wedges. You get the idea.

The book is the most comprehensive book on Niagaras so far. I'm sure there will be 1:1-worthy drawings in there, but yes, I see where you're coming from.

645 posted:

Today Amtrak just announced they will no longer operate excursions and charter moves effective at end of April 2018. Pretty much all the mainline public excursions run in recent years became reality thanks to partnering  with Amtrak to keep insurance costs down from what I understand.

If this Niagara project is a success where is it planned to operate? It may be cost prohibitive to obtain the insurance needed to operate a public excursion if the Amtrak partnership is no longer possible.

That's not good at all. We did plan to operate as Amtrak partners, but now that doing so is no longer possible, we may be in trouble. I do know that Metrolink here in Southern California is not opposed to steam excursions, so perhaps they are an option. 

The previous plan was to run wherever made economical sense and wherever we were allowed to go.

GenesisFan99 posted:

That's not good at all. We did plan to operate as Amtrak partners, but now that doing so is no longer possible, we may be in trouble. I do know that Metrolink here in Southern California is not opposed to steam excursions, so perhaps they are an option. 

By the time this project gets completed, if ever (what's the estimate? 20 years? 30?), the rules will probably be completely different, so I wouldn't be too concerned at this point.

Steve

 

smd4 posted:
GenesisFan99 posted:

That's not good at all. We did plan to operate as Amtrak partners, but now that doing so is no longer possible, we may be in trouble. I do know that Metrolink here in Southern California is not opposed to steam excursions, so perhaps they are an option. 

By the time this project gets completed, if ever (what's the estimate? 20 years? 30?), the rules will probably be completely different, so I wouldn't be too concerned at this point.

We’re thinking 30 years right now as we’re making sure we get all reference material required. That may change, but it’s the most realistic estimate at this point.

smd4 posted:

Why are you doing yet another 4-8-4 (and not a particularly good-looking one at that), when you could re-create one of, if not THE most iconic steam locomotives ever built, the NYC J-class Hudson?

Looks are a highly subjective quality.

I happen to belong to the "beefier the better" school of locomotive appearance.

I much prefer the bulkier J3 Hudsons to the original J1 locomotives, for example.

I also prefer the late PRR look with cast steel pilots and chin plates as opposed to the as-built, daintier appearance of the K4s Pacifics.

There is nothing wrong in my eyes with the NYC Niagaras, with the possible exception of the googly-eyed appearance of the twin sealed beam headlight. I much prefer the old-school Pyle headlamps that they carried when new.

The Pyle National twin-sealed beam headlights went into production in 1949, so the Niagaras were in service for 3 years before they were retrofitted with the new headlights. The air horns were also added after the engines had been in service for some time.

I also love the UP 844's looks.

 

GenesisFan99 posted:
smd4 posted:
GenesisFan99 posted:

That's not good at all. We did plan to operate as Amtrak partners, but now that doing so is no longer possible, we may be in trouble. I do know that Metrolink here in Southern California is not opposed to steam excursions, so perhaps they are an option. 

By the time this project gets completed, if ever (what's the estimate? 20 years? 30?), the rules will probably be completely different, so I wouldn't be too concerned at this point.

We’re thinking 30 years right now as we’re making sure we get all reference material required. That may change, but it’s the most realistic estimate at this point.

I'll ask this question again: Who/whom is this "we" you keep referring to?

Thirty years ago $10 million was worth about $1 million in today's money. So I would adjust your $10-12 million needed over the next 30 years to account for inflation to say $40-50 million, if you pay as you go.

Good luck with the project and build what you want. Most of us will be long gone before it moves under its own power.

USMC 1966-69

GVDobler posted:

Thirty years ago $10 million was worth about $1 million in today's money. So I would adjust your $10-12 million needed over the next 30 years to account for inflation to say $40-50 million, if you pay as you go.

Good luck with the project and build what you want. Most of us will be long gone before it moves under its own power.

Thanks GVDobler! We are prepared to pay about 62 million total when accounting for other things in the plan and inflation. We now have the book Know Thy Niagaras, which will be very helpful in the coming months. The current plan is to hunt down a WABCO E2 for a good price. 

I'm aware of the tender issue. We're not firing with coal so the tender is being re-thought anyway. We also know that it's good practice to have an extra water tender, so for sure that will happen. It seems L&N Big Emma tenders are popular for water tender conversions.

So I'm back with some questions. If some fabrication and assembly were to be done by the group, what type of welding would be acceptable? I'm learning arc welding later this year and so I did some preliminary research. I was told it's the strongest weld, but just wanted to make sure I knew what the best was. 

I also wanted to know where you guys would recommend sourcing a tender as an auxiliary tender from, what the essential machinery is, and where to find that as well. I know where to find locomotives and passenger cars, but haven't really been able to find a place that has tenders. As always your help is much appreciated.

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