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Today's Double Header

Discussion in 'General' started by CWRailman, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. CWRailman

    CWRailman Premium Member

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    Once a common site across many countries. Today such trains rekindle memories for some and for younger generations they are more of a curiosity.
    Chama 227-Edit-2.jpg Fuji X-T2, ISO 200, 1/300ss, aperture priority, 18-55mm lens, f 7.1 at a focal length of 55mm
     
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  2. Mike Gorman

    Mike Gorman Premium Member

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    Denny, are these working locos or preserved and enthusiast operated?
     
  3. CWRailman

    CWRailman Premium Member

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    @Mike Gorman The railroad has five or six operating locomotives which they use to run their daily passenger consists such as this so I guess you could say they are "working" locomotives as people pay a good amount to ride this train. There is also one locomotive that is owned by a group and does operate on this railroad. Depending on the season and advanced ticket sales, they will run one to two passenger trains per day. In addition on numerous occasions they run specialty trains composed of just freight equipment or a combination freight and passenger. These are meant to represent how revenue freight traffic was handled on the railroad when it was servicing customers along the route which it no longer does. Once the roads were built into these remote areas all revenue is now handled by trucks. These "freights" are usually operated as photographers specials. A bunch of photographers board the train and are taken to a spot along the right of way. They deboard, the train backs up, signals by two toots of the whistle and does one or two run by's. These photographer specials are not well advertised except in railroad periodicals but it's not unusual for them to attract fifty to seventy five photographers who pay good money for the experience. On a regular day, if advanced ticket sales indicate the train will have to include many passenger cars, then a double header such as this is run to get the consist up and over the rather steep grades that are found on the first 12 miles of the route. Then the lead engine is uncoupled and after the consist passes it turns on the wye and returns to the yard. On this day for this normally scheduled passenger consist, at this location, there were about thirty of us taking similar images and filming the train. (As I noted previously almost all were using "real" cameras.) Once it passed many jumped into their vehicles and sped to the next photo op location. Sharon and I were on the motorcycle which sometimes makes such "chasing" of trains easier.
     
  4. leoda1945

    leoda1945 Premium Member

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    Nice picture (as always). Love the story.

    Dumb question .... those are coal burning ???
     
  5. CWRailman

    CWRailman Premium Member

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    Yes they are coal burning loco's.
     
  6. leoda1945

    leoda1945 Premium Member

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    So they must be more efficient (miles/pound) that wood burning?
    I am not politicizing the coal issue, I just never knew anyone else to ask ( I'm a retired mechanical engineer and just curious )
     
  7. CWRailman

    CWRailman Premium Member

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    @leoda1945 Wood has not been used as fuel for locomotives since around 1900. Difficult to come by and much lower BTU. As locomotives became bigger and the fireboxes larger, burning wood as a fuel became impractical. There are a few locomotives around that were originally built as wood burning but to the best of my knowledge except for one or two, they have all been converted to burn oil. Steam locomotives from around 1890 to the end of production were designed to operate on oil or coal, depending on what was plentiful in the regions in which they operated. The first coal fired locomotives, and small locomotives such as these, were hand fired which means the fireman has to hand shovel the coal from the tender into the firebox to keep the fire going and maintain steam pressure especially up grades. Later larger locomotives used on class A railroads had an "auger" screw type device built into the tender which automated the transfer of the coal from the tender through a sort of chute and up into the locomotive firebox. Over their life time, some coal burning locomotives were converted to oil as it required less maintenance, was easier to operate for the crew and was a bit cleaner in operation. With a few exceptions, most of the locomotives used by the logging railroads were oil fired as it reduced the possibly of sparks from the stack setting off bush and forest fires. In addition, the oil was a lot easier to transport to remote regions in which these locomotives operated and easier to store and handle then coal. However oil was in some areas more difficult to come by and from what I was told, more expensive. As far as BTU generation I have no idea which was better. You can probably Google the type of oil burned in steam locomotives if you want more info. It is also easier to get an oil fired locomotive from cold to operating temperatures.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
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  8. leoda1945

    leoda1945 Premium Member

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    Thanks for the education. Very interesting.
     
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  9. Mike Gorman

    Mike Gorman Premium Member

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    Thanks Denny superb answer as usual!
     
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  10. Ean50

    Ean50 Well-Known Member

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    I saw two or three steam locomotives in Trinidad (Cuba). Smaller than the two in your picture. Two of them are in (bad) working conditions and are use to bring people (mostly turists) to a near Valley. Valle de los Ingegnos.
    The trains are often in maintenance (maybe one week every two days, roftl, 'cause the lack of pieces) and, in this case, the service will be done by a Diesel, but if you are lucky you can catch the steam one for very few dollars. At the main station in Trinidad everybody can also get inside the locomotives. No controls at all but the experience is a little delusional for me because the bad shape of the interior.
    In google you can find some image Please login or register to view links
     
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  11. Earley Man

    Earley Man Premium Member

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    Yet another one of your railway images with the locos at just the right angle and perfectly positioned in the frame.
     
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  12. crashton

    crashton Premium Member

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    Great photo CW. A fine portrait of living breathing iron horses.
     
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  13. George S.

    George S. Premium Member

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    Interesting angle/vantage for 55mm. You must have been close. What were you standing on?
     
  14. CWRailman

    CWRailman Premium Member

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    @George S The easiest way to answer your question is with this photo. At this point the railroad runs alongside but down below New Mexico/Colorado route 17. We were standing alongside the road along with nearly 30 other people who had formed a photo line of sorts along the road, several of whom you can see here, getting ready to photograph the procession. This is a shot taken just after the locomotive appeared. For several miles before this point the train is too close to the side of the road and is closely bordered by trees and you can only really photograph the top of it. The 55mm focal length was enough to get the two locomotives as they started around the curve which would lead the train away from the road. They would then run somewhat parallel to the road but be about a quarter mile in the distance. We picked them up again when they got a bit closer.
    Chama 216 Reduced.jpg
     
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  15. DaveRosser

    DaveRosser Member

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    I rode this line a few years ago while on holiday in the states, a great experience. A few years later and out of the operating season my wife and I visited the depot, as soon as we said we were volunteers on a preserved steam railway back in the UK we were welcomed with open arms.
    Interesting the train in the picture is double headed, on our trip we had a single loco.
    For those that don't know this is what is called narrow gauge in the USA.

    Dave
     
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  16. George S.

    George S. Premium Member

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    Thank you for the explanation, CW, Cheers!
     
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