Locomotive extinction....D58's and C34's!

 
  a6et Minister for Railways

The big issues for the D58 was not having enough adhesive weight for a tractive effort of 55,008lbs, and retaining three cylinders, a concept abandoned by US builders by 1930 due to the much higher cost of maintenance. At a time when cheaper diesels were becoming available, the D58 design needed to be cheap and practical to run, and it wasn't. The way I see it the designers should have adopted one of two choices...

1. If the tractive effort was more important, then the adhesive weight should have been increased to at least 223,850lbs. A two cylinder D58 built to that standard would have had cylinders 23.5x28, boiler pressure of 255psi and a tractive effort of 55,860lbs.

2. If the adhesive weight could not be increased (most likely) tractive effort should not have exceeded 52,455lbs for the 212,000lbs on the drivers. This design could use a pair of cylinders 23x28 with a boiler pressure of 250psi.

Hard choices needed to be made during the design phase, and ultimately the compromises made were the cause of the D58 debacle.
Sulla1
I have no argument re the technical aspects of the 58cl, however what it highlights is that many crews worked them out as to how to drive & fire them, bringing them up to a fair standard.

A similar situation existed on the Short South when the 36cl had their load increased to haul the same as standard goods, 59 & 38cl. No where else in the state did that occure, when considering it with the western working that occasioned the so called 75% load for most general goods trains on the Lithgow - Oge section, meaning standard goods engines were reduced in loads by 25% to that of a 36c but ran up the grades at the same running times as a pig.

On the South, also when the big engines were running, they both took the same load of 900 tons, but garratts, were only allowed 100 tons more than the standard goods engines when they had the old short coal bunkers, as the bunkers were increased they took the same load as both big engines.

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  jayrail Assistant Commissioner

Location: te Anau Southern Alps NZ
The recent posts by members who actually knew the 57s/58s has been most illuminating. As a poor observer of these locos in action, plus  as a  photographer of them  as   photo subjects , to hear the stories of actual operators, has been a  most valuable historic background.
It is not a reality to have them back in new construction, however a commendable thread. RIP
  Restorer Beginner

Actualy Jayrail, and those that thought it couldn't be done, any steam train can be bought back from the dead!, the americans are still large scale casting iron/metal, so the frame and wheels and other parts could be cast there after that the fabrication of pipes, handles etc could be done here, with ease as most of the parts on the tenders could be cut from steel plate on a cutting table. AND, the LNER peppercorn was a totally scrapped engine, yet a new one was built in 2008!, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LNER_Peppercorn_Class_A1_60163_Tornado
  hunslet1915 Chief Train Controller

As Restorer says, a "new" locomotive to the same or similar design can always be built.

There are a few caveats, however:
Money - mega-heaps of it!
Redesign to meet current operational requirements.
Expertise & willingness - much has been lost in recent years with the outsourcing of industry overseas.
Somewhere to do it, with rail access naturally preferred.
A regular source of income to maintain the locomotive, once built, along with a suitable location keep it.

I think we should count out blessings that "big engine" 6029 will be returned to operational condition during this year.
  a6et Minister for Railways

As Restorer says, a "new" locomotive to the same or similar design can always be built.

There are a few caveats, however:
Money - mega-heaps of it!
Redesign to meet current operational requirements.
Expertise & willingness - much has been lost in recent years with the outsourcing of industry overseas.
Somewhere to do it, with rail access naturally preferred.
A regular source of income to maintain the locomotive, once built, along with a suitable location keep it.

I think we should count out blessings that "big engine" 6029 will be returned to operational condition during this year.
hunslet1915

Agree in total.

The thing is that say a 57cl was built is where would you get it done?  If the German experience with 3801's boiler is anything to go by & the cost of it alone, that would all but rule out the prospect of it being done there.

That would mean a look at the U.S to see what they are capable of, or perhaps China.  China does have the skills as steam is still operating there, & while one of their main workshops no long overhauls engines there, they do have travelling crews that will go to sites where steam still operates to recondition the engines.

Would China or the U.S be capable of building a frame to the same design that is a cast frame rather than any other type of heavy frame? I would think the frame & cylinder components could likely be the main problem associated with such a project.  Those items would likely be needed to be built overseas as well as perhaps the boiler, unless a local firm could step up to the plate.

The tender, & most of the other components, could still be made here in Australia, & the assembly of the engine could also be done as well, it may require a fair degree of upgrading of the LES, but that would be a long term benefit to all who would use it anyway.

The question then becomes, how close to the original would be acceptable?  For operational purposes, you would have roller bearings on all wheels, & valve gear where possible.  I would also believe that the multi stage regulator with external rodding would be a better option, although that would make it look more like a 58cl.

Anyway its a pipe dream.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Actualy Jayrail, and those that thought it couldn't be done, any steam train can be bought back from the dead!, the americans are still large scale casting iron/metal, so the frame and wheels and other parts could be cast there after that the fabrication of pipes, handles etc could be done here, with ease as most of the parts on the tenders could be cut from steel plate on a cutting table. AND, the LNER peppercorn was a totally scrapped engine, yet a new one was built in 2008!, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LNER_Peppercorn_Class_A1_60163_Tornado
Restorer


Exactly where in the United States are really large castings being made?

Even GE locomotive truck castings are being made in China now, although they can still make them in the USA.

But locomotive bed castings were only ever made in one foundry which has long been closed.

The largest locomotive casting ever made was the Pennsylvania S-1 6-4-4-6 cast in 1939.
This locomotive was the same size as a Union Pacific "Big Boy" (although its tender may have been longer, so the loco may have been shorter). I recall being told that this frame casting was the longest casting of any type ever made.

But even one of the smaller locomotive beds, such as the NSW 38 and 59 classes are much longer than any current casting I am aware of, and would require much more complex moulds than currently in use, even if you decided to leave out things like the integrated air reservoir.

It would be incredibly expensive to get a locomotive frame cast, even if someone was willing to try.

I have actually watched a foundry in operation for a week as part of my training as an engineer and there were many more failures than successes even on fairly simple castings (none due to my input).

It took about twenty years to build "Tornado". It was named after the RAF fighter and that aircraft was nearly out of service by the time the locomotive was complete. And while there was no remaining A1, the very similar A2 still existed (as "Blue Peter") which was almost the same except for 6'2" driving wheels compared to the 6'8" on the A1.

But the A1 had plate frames and relatively small castings (the wheel centres might have been the largest, with three separate castings for the cylinders).

It would be possible to weld a locomotive bed. This was done in Germany in the 1950s and a small narrow gauge frame was fabricated fairly recently.

But we have to look after the frame castings we still have. There won't be any more being made.

M636C
  Restorer Beginner

Yes, china is now taking over the heavy industry of the world, and they could do it, and labour is cheap there, all one needs to do to get a frame cast is a smelt with the volume capacity of larger of the frame, then some space on the ground, and wood for framing, and casting sand!, casting is a time consuming tedious delicate process, but it can be done. But a frame of composite parts welded together is probably cheaper, quicker and more stronger!. Casting was largely out-dated by large automated cutting tables, because any factory can get the table relatively cheap compared to a smelt, and hire some welders!. I have seen wooden cast blanks for casting iron gears over 6 foot in diameter, and the most time is in making the blanks, and packing the sand!, it's an art, although vary rare, there are those out there that know how to do it still!.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Yes, china is now taking over the heavy industry of the world, and they could do it, and labour is cheap there, all one needs to do to get a frame cast is a smelt with the volume capacity of larger of the frame, then some space on the ground, and wood for framing, and casting sand!, casting is a time consuming tedious delicate process, but it can be done. But a frame of composite parts welded together is probably cheaper, quicker and more stronger!. Casting was largely out-dated by large automated cutting tables, because any factory can get the table relatively cheap compared to a smelt, and hire some welders!. I have seen wooden cast blanks for casting iron gears over 6 foot in diameter, and the most time is in making the blanks, and packing the sand!, it's an art, although vary rare, there are those out there that know how to do it still!.
Restorer

As I indicated above, while I believe China may be able to build them I am not certain that the locations that had the steam locomotive abilities are any longer in the position of building them likewise the loco's they built previously did not have cast frames such as was built for the 57's & others.

I can recall in the early 2000's that Tangshan works had advertisements for steam construction but it has not been there for a long time.  A couple of workshops to the south of Beijing was doing some work for smaller operators on QJ's, also someone was supplying parts to be sent to the U.S for the QJ's sent over there.  The shops that overhauled the engines for Iowa has been closed down for some time.
  5711 Assistant Commissioner

Interesting to read that there are still facilities that could perform such a task.
I would agree that China would most likely be the source of the majority of parts and construction.

But the million dollar question is - who in their right mind would even consider rebuilding an extinct locomotive. I mean a D58 would be my choice if I was given the opportunity only because it would be a great sight to see one in person - if cost was no barrier. I agree that building a more efficient version would be better just to avoid the shortfalls of the original.

With data plans of the class available and new computer software, a reconstruction at least in a 3D format would be the first logical step.
It would be very much like Jurassic Park ( or Jurassic Yard ) .

I can not for one imagine a person who would have the $$$ to commit to such a venture - maybe a collaboration with Pacific National and the RTM would engage in such mammoth task....they did it in the US with the Big Boy!!
  Restorer Beginner

One thing about steam engines is that they were always built to modern standards when built, and upgraded when bought/sold. Building the frame from composite parts would happen today if the class were in operation today, the frame is buried under most of the engine, and boiler fabrication is happening everywhere in Australia, all the coal fired power plants!? and their boilers are far bigger than any steam train boiler, NSWR would probably have the plans somewhere, and thus its just a job of altering some of the cast parts to composite parts, and giving the job to boilermakers/fitters, as was back in the day they were produced!. As for storage, Thirlmere or another steam train society that has the capacity for looking after it could take it!. Cost, I am sure that just about any steam society would volunteer to put it together if they were supplied with the parts/material to do so!, so the only real up front cost is materials, and some expertise on a cutting table, and putting the boiler together. Mind you the boiler would be modernised a lot for construction as modern technology is better today than when the class was released, but would anyone really notice as the boiler is buried under all the thermal sheeting!?.

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