Big Engines for Big Work

Joseph l.Cox By Joseph l.Cox, 7th Nov 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/322q7qaq/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Transport>Trains

This tells about the big engines and the power it took to pull 100 railcars over Donner Pass, and my observations as ayoung man, and a little railroad history. you are welcome to make any kind of comment on this article.The pictures are from Wikipedia, I had many similar picture ,but over time they have been lost or destroyed. The text is all my own.

Power to do the work

These Big Engines are called Locomotives! The big ones used here on the mainline track across America are among the biggest in the world. The Baldwin steam locomotive was the favored engine of the Southern Pacific Lines, the main engine they produced was similar to engine #2479 they were a 4-6-2 configuration and were the engine of choice until the Baldwin company came out with a 4-8-2 model. The 4-8-2 was better for long haul over the Sierra’s or the Rocky Mtns. They were bigger and had 8 drivers instead of 6, therefore more traction to pull the load.

The 4-6-2 was a speed demon capable of 70 mile per hour, which they had to do as: when they left San Francisco and they arrive in Los Angeles the total time had to average 45 mph including stops. So you can see they had to Hi-Ball where they could. The Engine weighed 300,000 pounds, putting 180,700 pounds on the drivers, so they had the traction to pull many rail cars.

Donner Pass Needed Big Power To Move the Snow

My friend Phil and I used to drive over to Colfax, California to watch them adding engines to the trains getting ready to go over Donner Pass, and if it was snowing on the pass they would also add a snow plow, I don’t know how many of you have ever seen a train going over the mountain with a snow plow on the front, blowing snow out of its way. It is a sight to behold to watch it digging into the drifts ten or twelve feet deep. Onetime I was parked by the highway watching, and you could not see the train, the only thing you could see was the stream of snow the plow was throwing off the tracks.

The rotary snow blowers had no power of their own as their power plant was used to power the blower, so they were pushed by another engine, the other interesting thing is, and on a long train and in a big storm they would have a snow blower at the back of the train. Why you say? What if it was snowing so hard the train got stuck going forward and there was so much snow they could not back up, so they put an engine and a plow at the back to pull them backwards if need be. Pretty smart, I would say.

WHO Would Think to Invent a Blower to Move Snow

The rotary snow plow was invented by a Canadian dentist, in 1874 he did not do anything with his patent, but sold it to someone else who then promoted it to the railroads. Donner Pass so much snow it still warrants the use of the rotary plows, as do some of the passes on the Northern Pacific Line. On the lines where they get less snow a different plowing method that won’t handle the deep snow of passes like Donner, is used.

What is in Those Rail cars?

We always used to wonder what was in all those cars going over the mountain, of course going out from California we assumed they were full of fruit and other farm produce. Sometimes we could see they had machinery on board, and then we wondered what they were going to do with it.

The trains coming into California were, loaded with all kinds of machinery, new tractors, and many rail cars of new cars to be sold at the dealerships on the west coast. Many different kinds of consumer goods were also on the train.

You can see pictures of the 2479 Baldwin Engine on WWW.Wikipedis.org.
There are pictures of other steam powered vehicles on that site as well.

Tags

Add Engines, Biggest, Consumer Goods, Hauling Machinery, Many Cars, Snow Blower, Speed

Meet the author

author avatar Joseph l.Cox
started writing 2 yr ago, to help afriend with some research. i enjoyed it and decided i would do thi on my own, i still enjoy. i write alot of personal stories and health articles.

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Comments

author avatar Clarence Schreiber
8th Nov 2012 (#)

An excellent read my friend. A great share.

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author avatar Joseph l.Cox
8th Nov 2012 (#)

Thank you for the comment. Much more to write about, maybe more later.
joe

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author avatar Teila
9th Nov 2012 (#)

Fun read, I enjoyed!

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author avatar Joseph l.Cox
9th Nov 2012 (#)

thanks
joe

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