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  • Grand Canyon locomotive

    At the South Rim a few days ago I spotted this locomotive, steaming away on its journey to Williams (a town on old Route 66). It struck me as being at least as "scenic" as the Grand Canyon itself.

    The website for the railroad does not appear to identify the locomotive. I'll bet it's quite common, and that any of you railways buffs can easily identify it. I'm curious where it was built, and how much could it pull?

    Allan Ostling

    Phoenix, Arizona

  • #2
    This is one time when an extra big pic is warranted.

    And yes you're right, it is very scenic, I think probably more so than a big ditch.
    Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
    Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

    Location: British Columbia

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    • #3
      Thanks Google;

      http://www.martynbane.co.uk/modernst...ay/gc/4960.htm
      Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
      Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

      Location: British Columbia

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      • #4
        We took that ride a few years ago. It was, without a doubt, one of the better parts of "seeing the Grand Canyon". The view at the canyon itself was impressive, for about 30 minutes I guess. Short of hiking down Bright Angel (which I’m no longer up to, but we did go a mile or so down) or one of the other trails, I don't see much to keep my interest beyond an hour tops. But the train ride was cool, as was the scenery along the way...
        Russ
        Master Floor Sweeper

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        • #5
          I want one! I want one! I want one!!!!!
          Paul A.
          SE Texas

          Make it fit.
          You can't win and there IS a penalty for trying!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Willy
            Willy,

            The link does indeed answer my initial questions. I'll ask another, displaying my general ignorance of steam locomotive design: What are the folded tube heat exchangers on both sides of the locomotive for? They rather look like condensers, but I thought locomotives ran non-condensing open cycles.
            Allan Ostling

            Phoenix, Arizona

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            • #7
              The locomotive illustrated was built by Alco (American Locomotive Company), it has their distinctive rectangular builders plate on the side of the smokebox. Baldwin used circular builders plates and Lima Locomotive Company used diamond shaped plates.

              The grid of pipework along the side is the cooler for the compressed air from the Westinghouse pump. Air heats up in the compressor and these grids allow the air time to cool down before it reaches the main reservoir.

              Malc

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              • #8
                Further to my previous reply, The Westinghouse air pump (compressor) can be seen immediately to the left of the cooling grid. This compressor is of the cross compound type, that means that the steam side is a compound arrangement and the air side is a two stage compressor. The high pressure steam piston drives the second stage air piston on a common piston rod and the low pressure steam piston drives the first stage compressor piston also on a common piston rod. In each stage, the steam cylinders are above the air cylinders.

                The main air reservoir is probably behind the cooling grid pipes beneath the walkway and is most likely duplicated on the opposite side of the locomotive to give the required air reservoir capacity.

                The main use for the air is of course the brakes, but it is also used for the sanders, the bell ringer and is often used to open the firehole door, although not on this loco as it is obviously oil fired (the oil tank can be seen in the tender where the coal would be if it were coal fired).

                Malc

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                • #9
                  I am not convinced (yet) that the locomotive Aostling saw is the one on the "martynbane" website, numbered 4960. Aostlings photo might show the locomotive for-shortened, so maybe the smokebox and boiler length differences are just imaginary, but there seem to be some other slight differences. For example, the two "drums" on top of the boiler (one for sand?, one for steam?) look to be different. The exhaust looks different too. Not sure why the number would be changed either.
                  Last edited by Peter S; 07-10-2007, 08:08 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Peter S
                    I am not convinced (yet) that the locomotive Aostling saw is the one on the "martynbane" website, numbered 4960. Aostlings photo might show the locomotive for-shortened, so maybe the smokebox and boiler length differences are just imaginary, but there seem to be some other slight differences. For example, the two "drums" on top of the boiler (one for sand?, one for steam?) look to be different. The exhaust looks different too.
                    You are right, Peter,they are different locos, the numbers are different for a start, , 4960 and 29, and 4960 is a Baldwin built loco (circular builders plate) and 29 is an Alco built loco (rectangular builders plate)
                    Thy are both similar type locos of the 1920s or 30s, 2-8-0 (or 2-8-2) built for freight or local passenger service.

                    Malc.

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                    • #11
                      The 29 is an ALCo Consolidation (2-8-0) from the Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad. It spent most of its career hauling iron ore jennies into Marquette, Michigan (in the UP, upper peninsula). It, and eight or nine others, sat in the weeds alongside the Marquette & Huron Mountain line for a decade or so before going to the GC. I'm glad to see the old gal getting such attention. Thanks for the great photo!

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                      • #12
                        She was built in 1905. Originally ,I believe, for a mining road on Michigan.

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                        • #13
                          jeez i love those old engines, cryin shame they we replaced with those tasteless, characterless, bland diesels. except for computers/internet and the benefits of modern medicine (no one wants to do the whole polio thing again) I swear i was born 100 years too late

                          thanks for posting it and Malc thanks for all the good info
                          .

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mcgyver
                            jeez i love those old engines, cryin shame they we replaced with those tasteless, characterless, bland diesels. except for computers/internet and the benefits of modern medicine (no one wants to do the whole polio thing again) I swear i was born 100 years too late

                            thanks for posting it and Malc thanks for all the good info
                            Here's a link about the Grand Canyon RR's fleet of engines and cars :

                            http://www.thetrain.com/learnmore/fleet/



                            Restoration on Locomotive No. 29 was completed in early 2004. It took more than 26,000 man-hours and cost approximately $1 million to restore the locomotive. A SC-3 class locomotive, Locomotive No. 29 was built in 1906 by ALCO in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a 2-8-0 consolidation-type locomotive and weighs 185 tons.
                            Grand Canyon's former #18 & #20 were traded to Mt Hood Railway in Oregon (Columbia Gorge) and moved there last month (June). News blurb :

                            http://www.thetrain.com/news/archive/NR041707.cfm

                            #18 was just fired up a few days ago at its new home !!

                            jeez i love those old engines,
                            You're not the only one, I wasn't even born yet when the steam engines were on their last puff (1961) .... no comparison with those dismals, errrr diseasals

                            I came down with steam disease 6-7 years ago (kinda snuck up on me), thankfully there's no known cure ... Heck I even went to China 2 years ago to catch the twilight of steam there and boy am I glad I did, what a trip !!

                            Mike

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