Disparaged Y class engines!

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Wed Jun 26 18:18:14 EDT 2013

If track was not designed the way it is, the simple weight of any train
would crush it all. Doesnt happen. Counterbalancing is done for a reason
or every steamer would be jumping off the track. The track is
deliberately built to take the punishment. A lot of discussions wobble
on the 2-10-4 in Pittsburgh about its weight and counterbalancing
effects, the bottom line the B&LE was built for this engine to run on,
or they would never ordered the engine. Railroads know about the Steam
loco characteristics during the steam days and built for it. All the
crying I keep hearing is about todays diesel characteristics vs steam,
railroads may have adjusted their trackwork to not need to keep to steam
standards so may not survive the regular daily rod pounding. The issue
may be more about how often you need to do track maintenance and you
know business, cut costs/improve profits. But a lot of todays
engines/cars are bigger heavier and track has to survive all of that. I
would be more worried about worn bearings causing the rod to clank, that
would be more stressful for the engine and track. But they were big and

I remember standing beside the track when the doubleheader 1218 and nkp
587 ran past me in Indiana and 587 was stomping the rails with its rod
shock, you could feel it on the ground as it passed, but didnt hurt the
track, 1218 didnt have this stomp.


On 6/26/2013 3:43 PM, nw-mailing-list-request at nwhs.org wrote:

> Subject:

> Re: Disparaged Y class engines!

> From:

> NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>

> Date:

> 6/26/2013 2:50 PM


> To:

> NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>



> Mark,


> Where did this thread occur? I'd like to track it down.


> Some quick comments:


> Some Challengers had different parts (valve gear mostly) on the front

> and rear engines, e.g., DRGW Baldwin L-105's and possibly the WM

> 1200s. I believe that most of the ALCO Challengers used the same

> valve gear parts front and rear.


> The 57" driver observation was only true early on. The final versions

> of the Y5s-Y6s had 58" drivers.


> There are many tales of Y5/6's being run at 60 plus, but whether it

> was a good idea is open to question. I believe N&W officially limited

> the Y6's to 50 mph.


> The C&O H8's may have less-than-optimally applied on the grades out of

> Hinton, but this was only a small part of their operating territory.

> I checked this out, just because I was curious, and found that about

> 75%-80% of their operating territory was flatter and would allow them

> to operate at higher speeds. Counteracting that, I don't recall that

> C&O ever increased train size above 160 cars, the same size as the T1

> 2-10-4's were assigned. So, what was the advantage of the greater

> capacity and weight of the H8s?


> Overall, some of the responses have a grain of truth in them, but the

> discussion itself is not well thought out. That's why I'd like to see

> what the original thread looked like and who was involved.


> Dave Stephenson


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