Steam on Madison Incline

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Allen Hazen
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Edmonton, Canada (formerly Melbourne, Australia)

Steam on Madison Incline

Post by Allen Hazen » Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:53 pm

I know that in the diesel era the Pennsylvania Rail Road bought SD-7 locomotives (with, of course, dynamic brakes... which they didn't get on their later SD-9, which were intended for yard/transfer service) for use on the Madison, Indiana, hill. What sort of power did they use their in the steam era? In particular, the modern (20th C) steam era. (I have a vague recollection that they had a specially designed, one-off, locomotive for the hill in the 19th C.)
And did power assigned to Madison have any special features (e.g. double air pumps?) to cope with the steep grade?

CarterB
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 9:19 am
Location: Bergen County, New Jersey

Re: Steam on Madison Incline

Post by CarterB » Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:38 am

Reuben Wells still exists
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reuben_Wells_(locomotive" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)#/media/File:Reuben_Wells_1.jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reuben_Wells_(locomotive" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)

Then PRR built class C30 0-8-0T #8434 blt at Columbus shops 1895. 50" drivers.
then same type #8542 blt 1910
http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/prr8434s.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Then two specially equipped 2-8-0 s class H6 #8329 #8565 that served until dieselization in 1953
http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/prr8329s.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Bring back the Slumbercoaches!!

Allen Hazen
Posts: 2474
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Edmonton, Canada (formerly Melbourne, Australia)

Re: Steam on Madison Incline

Post by Allen Hazen » Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:52 pm

CarterB-- Thanks for the comprehensive (and very quick!) answers! I'llhave to compare the photo of 8329 you linked (thanks!) to other photos of H6 to see if they hint at the special equipment these two Madison Hill assigned locomotives had.
--
If two H6 consolidations could handle the traffic, wasn't a pair of SD-7 a bit of overkill? PRR's semi-subsidiary, the Lehigh Valley, had dynamic brake equipped SW-8, which I would have thought adequate as H-6 replacements.

Allen Hazen
Posts: 2474
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Edmonton, Canada (formerly Melbourne, Australia)

Re: Steam on Madison Incline

Post by Allen Hazen » Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:30 pm

Looking at the photo 8329...
H6 locomotives were built with air reservoirs under the cab, but those surviving into the late steam period had pilot deck reservoirs like that shown. Is the piece of equipment above the running board just ahead of the cab an extra air compressor? (Standard location of air compressors was on the left side of the locomotive.) And the piping beneath the running board is... extra cooling pipe for the air system? So I'm willing to believe that it had additional air-brake capacity to fit it for Madison Hill service.

mp15ac
Posts: 295
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2004 10:05 am
Location: Long Island

Re: Steam on Madison Incline

Post by mp15ac » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:11 am

Allen Hazen wrote:CarterB-- Thanks for the comprehensive (and very quick!) answers! I'llhave to compare the photo of 8329 you linked (thanks!) to other photos of H6 to see if they hint at the special equipment these two Madison Hill assigned locomotives had.
--
If two H6 consolidations could handle the traffic, wasn't a pair of SD-7 a bit of overkill? PRR's semi-subsidiary, the Lehigh Valley, had dynamic brake equipped SW-8, which I would have thought adequate as H-6 replacements.
Lehigh Valley wasn't running their SW-8's on grades like Madison Incline. Also, the SW7' were 1500 hp versus 800 hp for the SW8's.

Stuart
The light at the end of the tunnel may be the headlight of an on-coming train.

Allen Hazen
Posts: 2474
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Edmonton, Canada (formerly Melbourne, Australia)

Re: Steam on Madison Incline

Post by Allen Hazen » Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:34 pm

Stuart--
Fair enough. The d.b. equipped SW-8 just struck me as an appropriate solution for very heavy grades: two of them would be equivalent in power to an SD-7, but with eight powered axles instead of six.

Allen Hazen
Posts: 2474
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Edmonton, Canada (formerly Melbourne, Australia)

Re: Steam on Madison Incline

Post by Allen Hazen » Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:30 pm

First, correction: just looked at a photo, and, contrary to what I thought I remembered (at least some) PRR SD-9 did have dynamic brakes.

But back to dieseling Madison Hill...
A PRR H6 Consolidation had a tractive effort of 42,170 pounds. With 56" drivers connected by side rods and something like 160,000 pounds on drivers (the only figure I saw, looking at Stauffer's book just now, was 186,000 pounds for the whole locomotive: since the pony truck isn't loaded as heavily as the driving axles, 40,000lbs/axle seems like a reasonable ballpark figure) I'm willing to assume that this was achievable in practice.

An EMD SW-8 switcher weighed 230,000 pounds. (That's the basic model: one with dynamic brakes might have been a bit heavier, but 230,000 is good enough as a ballpark estimate.). EMD advertised it as having a starting tractive effort of 69,000 pounds, but admitted that this was at 30% adhesion. Prudent motive power dispatchers in the earlier decades of dieseldom (= before GE's B36-7 and EMD's 50-series with their advanced wheelslip control systems) thought 18% was a more realistic figure for dispatching: tractive effort you could assume if you didn't want trains stalling on the hill even on rainy autumn (= wet leaves on rail) days. 18% of 230,000 is 41,400 pounds. So: SW-8 ought to be able to replace H-6 on very close to a one-for-one basis. Note that the PRR didn't bother ordering m.u. on its two SD-7: they assumed that there would seldom be enough traffic on the Madison Hill to warrant using both of them. (There was a photo in, I think, "Trains," of a rare, perhaps one-time-only, use of double-headed SD-7 on the Madison Hill when something like a big transformer was shipped by that route.)

So I think they could have made do with a pair of d.b. equipped SW-8.

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