Union Pacific Steam Shop Update • February 27, 2019 • Ongoing

Steam Update: Big Boy’s Restoration Nearly Complete

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1 Jan 20192 Ed Dickens3 Centering Device4 Top wear liner front5 Steel Track Wedge6 Spherical Exhaust7 Exhuaut Slip Joint8 Spherical Exhust Slip Joint9 over head crane10 logo in deck11 The TeamUP Steam Club Logo

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Gary: Rail-fanning from Detroit, My Hometown via UP Steam Club

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Original Post

Wow!  UP corporation is providing funds to rebuild one of the largest locomotives ever to ride the American rails. Wow! UP will be allowing the UP 4014 to ride their 32000 miles of rail in 23 states to celibrate the 150th anniversary of the joining of the US transcontinental railroad. Wow! Progress is being made on the restoration of Bigboy UP 4014 to celebrate this historic event!! Wow! Sorry but this is a pretty big deal! Thanks for posting Gary!

FORMER OGR CEO - RETIRED posted:

Yawn...

LMAO.

question for Hot Water, you stated in an interview maybe on Notch six that when 3985 was converted to  oil, it took six months to figure how to properly draft the fire on the challenger.  If correct, I’m wondering how the UP steam crew can do the same with May right around the corner.  How difficult was it on 3895?

now keep it  sane people, and respectful. 

superwarp1 posted:
FORMER OGR CEO - RETIRED posted:

Yawn...

LMAO.

question for Hot Water, you stated in an interview maybe on Notch six that when 3985 was converted to  oil, it took six months to figure how to properly draft the fire on the challenger.

Actually it took a lot longer than six months (I don't remember staying that anyway). It took some years to sort out the proper drafting in order to improve the ease in firing 3985.

 If correct, I’m wondering how the UP steam crew can do the same with May right around the corner.

I don't care to speculate.

 How difficult was it on 3895?

She was EXTREMELY difficult to fire, plus she made LOTS of smoke, no mate what you did!

now keep it  sane people, and respectful. 

 

LaramieJoe posted:

Thanks, Gary for posting it. It is impressive work. We're told that Laramie will be one of the first runs. 

I'm pretty sure that Cheyenne to Laramie will NOT be one of the "first runs" for 4014. Historically, break-in runs for the steam locomotives out of Cheyenne, run south towards Denver, where there is a good sized wye for turning the whole consist (about halfway to Denver, but can't remember the name of the town, maybe Greely?).

Tranz4mr posted:

Wow!  UP corporation is providing funds to rebuild one of the largest locomotives ever to ride the American rails. Wow! UP will be allowing the UP 4014 to ride their 32000 miles of rail in 23 states to celibrate the 150th anniversary of the joining of the US transcontinental railroad.

WOW! I can't wait! The UP main line runs a mile from my house. We haven't had a big articulated steamer near Chicago since the early nineties......WOW!

" No matter how far we travel, the memories will follow in the baggage car."

Que the "Ed Dickens is the Devil Incarnate" comments!

Great news to hear from them there at the UP Steam Shop. She'll be quite a sight to see! Probably the most impressive feature so far from that video is all the various parts and precise machining that goes into getting everything to fit precisely together and function properly. Impressive! 

LaramieJoe posted:

Thanks, Gary for posting it. It is impressive work. We're told that Laramie will be one of the first runs. 

Hi Dr. Russo: Your welcome, yes it is very impressive and historic. We are seeing railroad history as it happens. Jim Wrinn: Editor of “Trains Magazine” has been reporting on the Union Pacific Steam Shop for the past several years. Jim and his reporters will be out west to cover this story and the “Transcontinental Railroad Sesquicentennial”.

I post my e-mail address in my OGR Forum Home Page, please forward me any information you have from Laramie as related to the UP Steam Shop and the Sesquicentennial.

1B Official UP Steam Club

Thanks: Rail-fan & take care.

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bob2 posted:

What a gigantic undertaking!  If they can do that, is 4294 a possibility?

No. SP cab froward is beautifully stuffed & mounted within the California State RR Museum, and is the only SP cab forward remaining in the world. There were 8 UP 4000 class locomotives saved.

 

Hot Water posted:
superwarp1 posted:
 How difficult was it on 3895?

She was EXTREMELY difficult to fire, plus she made LOTS of smoke, no mate what you did!

 

 

Jack,

How much of that was due to the relatively light trains and therefore lesser draft on the fire?  The overwhelming comment I've been told by the majority of those that had the chance on the NS side of things was that 611 was far easier to fire than 1218 because the J was actually working as opposed to the A being so overpowered it would drift more often than not.  The one differing comment was one who preferred the 1218 since it was far easier to catch up if you got behind--no surprise.

Kevin

kgdjpubs posted:
Hot Water posted:
superwarp1 posted:
 How difficult was it on 3895?

She was EXTREMELY difficult to fire, plus she made LOTS of smoke, no mate what you did!

 

 

Jack,

How much of that was due to the relatively light trains and therefore lesser draft on the fire? 

Not really, as no matter how hard my Engineer worked her, 3985 was simply a bear to maintain 280psi steam pressure AND a proper level of water in the glass, without large volumes of black smoke. She was converted from coal burning to oil burning in 1989/1990 in preparation for the 10th anniversary celebration of the California State RR Museum. Every time I fired her, it was a bi&%$, until about 200 or 2001 when additional firebrick was added (for more/better heat retention) and the air intake tubes were corrected. After those improvements, made by the PE from the Hawaiian Boiler Company that was there in Cheyenne putting the complete new firebox in 844, I no longer had difficulty maintaining proper boiler pressure AND water in the gauge glass, with very little smoke.  

The overwhelming comment I've been told by the majority of those that had the chance on the NS side of things was that 611 was far easier to fire than 1218 because the J was actually working as opposed to the A being so overpowered it would drift more often than not.  The one differing comment was one who preferred the 1218 since it was far easier to catch up if you got behind--no surprise.

Kevin

 

Casey Jones2 posted:

What I've been wondering lately is why we never see any of the Heritage Diesels go out on the road??

If you are referring to the various Heritage painted diesels, the UP has, they are always "out on the road" all over the system.

If you are referring to the three executive E Units (A-B-A) and the DDA40X, those units are not conducive to hauling freight on a daily basis, plus there aren't that many folks remaining on the UP, in the shops, that know how to troubleshoot & work on them, let alone replacement specialized parts/components.

Chuck Sartor posted:

Not specifically, but both the double D and the E's have engine problems.

Funny how times have changed. Both the Executive E Units and the DDA40X were always assigned to Cheyenne, and generally maintained by the Steam Crew, prior to 2011. Apparently none of the newer folks at the Cheyenne Steam Shop know anything about those "historic" diesel units, thus the units are shown as "out of service".

Pingman posted:
Rich, I'm reminded of a retired CEO of a fortune 100 company telling me that "There is nothing so former as a former CEO."

As for your comment, 

Yeah...you’re right. I’m about as “former” as you can get. And I like it this way. 👍🏼

As for my comment, I’m sorry, but I just can’t get interested in a steam locomotive that will be all show and no go while the diesel coupled behind it does all the work.

Rich Melvin

Dominic Mazoch posted:

Was not the problem with the one 4000 converted to oil was it used a lot of it.

Yes, #4005 did use lots of oil fuel, and as a result the UP did NOT want to invest in an oil fueling facility on Sherman Hill, for just one class of only 25 locomotives. Thus, #4005 was converted back to coal burning.

AmeenTrainGuy posted:

I am a bit confused. Will the bigboy be able to run without a diesel engine coupled to it?

Hopefully, yes.

Why is it that the diesel engine has to do all the work while the steam engine is just there for show?

Lots depends on the size/weight of the passenger train behind and the grades. The diesel is also used primarily for dynamic braking on steep/long down grades. Previously, i.e. prior to 2011, many steam operations on the UP were operated without any diesel, in non-heavy grade territories.

 

Hot Water posted:
AmeenTrainGuy posted:

I am a bit confused. Will the bigboy be able to run without a diesel engine coupled to it?

Hopefully, yes.

Why is it that the diesel engine has to do all the work while the steam engine is just there for show?

Lots depends on the size/weight of the passenger train behind and the grades. The diesel is also used primarily for dynamic braking on steep/long down grades. Previously, i.e. prior to 2011, many steam operations on the UP were operated without any diesel, in non-heavy grade territories.

 

Is there something about the way 4014 is being restored that will reduce its braking capability?

Or does the need for a diesel on grades reflect some other change in the way 4014 would be operated today, vs when the Big Boys were in regular service?

Professor Chaos posted:
Hot Water posted:
AmeenTrainGuy posted:

I am a bit confused. Will the bigboy be able to run without a diesel engine coupled to it?

Hopefully, yes.

Why is it that the diesel engine has to do all the work while the steam engine is just there for show?

Lots depends on the size/weight of the passenger train behind and the grades. The diesel is also used primarily for dynamic braking on steep/long down grades. Previously, i.e. prior to 2011, many steam operations on the UP were operated without any diesel, in non-heavy grade territories.

 

Is there something about the way 4014 is being restored that will reduce its braking capability?

Or does the need for a diesel on grades reflect some other change in the way 4014 would be operated today, vs when the Big Boys were in regular service?

Most likely there will be a diesel in the consist to provide enough additional power that the Big Boy can get enough miles between needing water and fuel that they won't have to stop and refuel/water as often.  Even converted to oil the engine will need a bunch of liquids if it's out on it's own power...

Professor Chaos posted:
Hot Water posted:
AmeenTrainGuy posted:

I am a bit confused. Will the bigboy be able to run without a diesel engine coupled to it?

Hopefully, yes.

Why is it that the diesel engine has to do all the work while the steam engine is just there for show?

Lots depends on the size/weight of the passenger train behind and the grades. The diesel is also used primarily for dynamic braking on steep/long down grades. Previously, i.e. prior to 2011, many steam operations on the UP were operated without any diesel, in non-heavy grade territories.

 

Is there something about the way 4014 is being restored that will reduce its braking capability?

No. Steam locomotives essentially have no braking ability, unless they are running/moving light, i.e. without any train. One of the golden rules of operating a steam locomotive is; NEVER use the engine brakes when slowing a train!

Or does the need for a diesel on grades reflect some other change in the way 4014 would be operated today, vs when the Big Boys were in regular service?

Back in the days of steam, the train brakes were used, as that was the ONLY way of maintaining train speed on depending grades. With the advent of diesel, which were equipped with dynamic brakes, the use of train braking was drastically reduced, resulting in major reductions in brake shoe wear and wheel wear. The UP thus adds a modern diesel unit which can be used as need for addition pulling power with a heavy passenger train, and saves disc brake shoe and wheel wear, by using the dynamic brake on the diesel unit.

 

I have to ask, why do Union Pacific steam locomotives always have to have a diesel behind them? And who's to say it's doing all the work? I think the Big Boy should be able to handle terrain like that solo with no problem.

Nick

Part-time Ferroequinologist

Pennsy Productions - Bringing you the best railroads of the Midwest

“It’s a good thing to let another generation know what a steam locomotive is.” - W. Graham Claytor, Jr.

Hot Water posted:
Casey Jones2 posted:

What I've been wondering lately is why we never see any of the Heritage Diesels go out on the road??

If you are referring to the various Heritage painted diesels, the UP has, they are always "out on the road" all over the system.

If you are referring to the three executive E Units (A-B-A) and the DDA40X, those units are not conducive to hauling freight on a daily basis, plus there aren't that many folks remaining on the UP, in the shops, that know how to troubleshoot & work on them, let alone replacement specialized parts/components.

Right...Thanks as referring to the Executive E Units and the DDA40X 

I just found a UP tour video from last year that explains why these units are sitting. Seems none of the "pilot" engineers like the DDA40X as it rides too rough and the E Units need new wheels as the truck frames are so low that they hit stuff while going thru a grade crossing?

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