Y Class, Etc

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sat Jun 29 15:00:58 EDT 2013

. Were the DMIR Yellowstones more expensive to build (buy) than a Mallet of comparable power? I haven’t seen the figures, but my guess is that they were, and Baldwin was happy to get the extra money. Did they cost more to run than a Y-6? Again, I haven’t seen any figures, but my guess is that they did. How much faster did they get over the road with those ore trains than a Y-6 could have gone? Again, an educated guess says that the difference, if any, was paper thin. As far as gross-ton-miles per train hour per dollar is concerned, my money is on the Y-6.

One steam book claimed the Yellowstones could haul 18,000 tons
to the Lake. Don't know that the Y-6s ever operated east of
Crewe, but the slow freight rating was 14,400 tons. Eastbound,
traffic control ended at Disputanta and it became "go with the
flow". If a coal train didn't have a 90 minute lead on say
No. 4, it was held there until NO. 4 passed. A 2-8-8-4 hauling
190 ore jennies would probably die on the HOSL waiting on 1st
class schedules.

There were tonnage ratings, but quite frankly, N&W probably
didn't know how much tonnage the locomotive was hauling. Export coal wasn't scaled until it dropped off the barney yard at Lamberts Point, so it was possible the trains were hauling more than the estimated tonnage. Growing up with Baldwin AS-616s, you didn't add one ounce over the rating -- exceeding the tonnage rating can be more disastrous to a diesel-electric -- maybe not the first time, but keep it up and you'll burn up the traction
motors. In a study for the Mechanical Department, the results
showed there were coal trains going up the Shenandoah 1800 tons over the rating. Why ? Because the yards were building the train first and if they happened to be over tonnage for the power supplied--tough. Maybe the same practice was in place in the steam era.Steam locomotives don't burn up traction motors.
Harry Bundy

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