Date   

locked Re: Locos and Traffic on the Atlanta-Birmingham Line

James Walton
 

I found the link to this group on the SRHA website, and decided to give it a try.

I'm interested in several railroads, mostly in the South, like the Seaboard, L&N, and ACL, though I do have a soft spot for the Frisco and Nickel Plate Road.

On Tue, Sep 21, 2021, 16:17 C J Wyatt <cjwyatt@...> wrote:
How do you find the sub-group?

Jack

On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 12:36:01 PM EDT, Aidrian Bridgeman-Sutton <abridgemansutton@...> wrote:


If we're going to continue in the "scale less than 1:1" vein, might I very 'umbly suggest that the purely modelling discussions might possibly be moved to the dedicated subgroup?


locked Re: Locos and Traffic on the Atlanta-Birmingham Line

C J Wyatt
 

How do you find the sub-group?

Jack

On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 12:36:01 PM EDT, Aidrian Bridgeman-Sutton <abridgemansutton@...> wrote:


If we're going to continue in the "scale less than 1:1" vein, might I very 'umbly suggest that the purely modelling discussions might possibly be moved to the dedicated subgroup?


locked Re: Preserved Southern Switchers?

Robert Hanson
 

George,

The Southeaster Railway Museum has former Southern Railway (GS&F) SW-7 unit No. 8202  Until not too long ago it was operational, but I'm not certain of its current status.  Last time I saw it, it was painted in 1950's Southern green and white with yellow trim/lettering.

Bob Hanson
Loganville, GA


-----Original Message-----
From: George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...>
To: main@southernrailway.groups.io <main@SouthernRailway.groups.io>
Sent: Tue, Sep 21, 2021 2:50 pm
Subject: [SouthernRailway] Preserved Southern Switchers?

The stuff about Southern switch engines has me thinking…

Are there any Southern ALCo or EMD switch engines preserved at one of the museums?

TVRM just did a lot of work* obtaining, and moving, a “Baby Trainmaster” from TVA. Unusual for an “industrial” unit, it was purchased new by TVA and worked at one locationt its entire life.

(Neither it or the ALCo S- TVA donated to TVRM were Southern but anyone interested in preserving rolling stock from the Southeast might consider a donation to help defer the $100,000 (mol) cost to truck them to Chattanooga. Consider there will not be many more pieces of rolling stock to obtain and preserve in the future.)

Ike







locked Preserved Southern Switchers?

George Eichelberger
 

The stuff about Southern switch engines has me thinking…

Are there any Southern ALCo or EMD switch engines preserved at one of the museums?

TVRM just did a lot of work* obtaining, and moving, a “Baby Trainmaster” from TVA. Unusual for an “industrial” unit, it was purchased new by TVA and worked at one locationt its entire life.

(Neither it or the ALCo S- TVA donated to TVRM were Southern but anyone interested in preserving rolling stock from the Southeast might consider a donation to help defer the $100,000 (mol) cost to truck them to Chattanooga. Consider there will not be many more pieces of rolling stock to obtain and preserve in the future.)

Ike


locked Re: Early Diesel switcher assignments

George Eichelberger
 

I’ve explained to people over the years; if you see an odd diesel consist or one that seems too large (Southern had a strict 24 (?) powered axle limit), look at the MU hoses as it passes. Engine(s) “dead in tow” (DIT) will not have MU connections in most cases.

BTW If anyone particularly knowledgable about MU connections over the years, please contact me, I’d like to discuss some of the details I’ve found working on the SRHA diesel book. In the early diesel years, the variety of EMD, ALCo and F-M MU connections and technologies required only particular combinations of units that could be MUd. A reason for the multi point MU connections mounted high on the the early Fs was so they could work with other mfgr's units.

As I have been researching/writing the diesel book, I realize how important photos showing the MU arrangements on different models are. (Check out photos of the Southern’s RS-2s for example. It’s hard to find two with the same MU connection arrangement.)

More trivia about SW-1500s….. Although EMD was moving to more electrical MU controls (vs pneumatic), the need to operate them with road power (as Bill S described) caused Southern to specify they had hose connections for sanders, etc. on both ends but only straight through piping. In other words, the SW-1500s did not need or use that control but other units in the consist might!

(I did say “trivia” but it is the kind of material I like to learn about when I read a book.)

Ike




On Sep 21, 2021, at 10:47 AM, Bill Schafer <bill4501@...> wrote:

Try a thru freight with a pair of F-7s back-to-back followed by three SW1500s on a 150 car train . . .

On Sep 21, 2021, at 10:42, Jason Greene <jason.p.greene@...> wrote:

Bill,
That would be a sight to behold for sure. I’ve always thought an F7-GP38 pair looked odd but the idea of F7-SW1500 would be great. One for the layout for sure. 

Jason Greene 

On Sep 21, 2021, at 10:35 AM, Bill Schafer <bill4501@...> wrote:

Here’s another advantage to those SW1500s being delivered on Flexicoil trucks: they could be used as road power in a pinch. When I was in Southern’s training program in Greensboro 1971-1972, many of the Alco and older EMD switchers were retired and replaced with SW1500s. Some of these assignments were at outlying points and only worked Monday-Friday. 

In the meantime, yards accumulated freight during the week that exceeded what could be moved on scheduled trains, so Southern would operate clean-up extras on the weekends. On, say, Friday evenings, one of the lesser freights would gather up SW1500s and take them to, maybe, Monroe or Spencer, where they would be put to work on main line drag freights, mixed in with regular freight motive power. They would work on drags over the weekend and would be redistributed to their assigned locations before starting time on Monday morning. At 1500 hp, they were the equivalent of an F7 and were frequently mated with F-units on the drags. The disadvantages were that the SW1500s did not have dynamic brakes nor did the cabs have some of the creature comforts of F-units or GPs, so I never saw one in the lead, but they made dandy boosters. And I’m not aware that they were restricted speed-wise - they were good for 60 mph. 

No, I never took a picture of one of these main line trains with SW1500s. Yes, I am kicking myself. 

—Bill

On Sep 21, 2021, at 09:45, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:

Tim:

I don’t know (see my posting just now) but I suspect that particular roller bearing equipped switcher allowed Southern to close, or cut back, operations at the Alex disel shop.

Ike


On Sep 21, 2021, at 7:55 AM, TIM ANDREWS <ANDREWSTIM@...> wrote:

I grew up in Arlington and started hanging out at the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders layout in the old Alexandria yard office about 1971.  IIRC SW1500 2300 was the usual yard engine that I remember working there at least until I left for college in 1974.

On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 07:30:55 AM EDT, Rob Wingo <robertawingo@...> wrote:


Ike,
Good study.  I assume the $35k operating savings is the steam maintenance costs vs diesel maintenance.  That’s alot of steam
maintenance!  But all of our steam was at least 20 years old by that time so no wonder.

I grew up in Alexandria, Va and I don’t remember seeing any true yard switcher after about 1970.  Is there a system level record of switcher assignments for that time period?

Rob





locked Re: Locos and Traffic on the Atlanta-Birmingham Line

Aidrian Bridgeman-Sutton
 

That's the sort of approach that John Stewart followed using a scenes-along-the way approach. His website is at http://www.bhamrails.info  -  there is some good protype info in there as well . Ken McElreath had done something similar including a rather compressed Terminal station, but  the pages with a description of his layout seem to have vanished.  

If we're going to continue in the "scale less than 1:1" vein, might I very 'umbly suggest that the purely modelling discussions might possibly be moved to the dedicated subgroup? 

I'd recommend getting Marv's map and also finding copies of his books; I don't think either of them is currently in print but they are well worth hunting out.  
  1. Birmingham Rails: The Last Golden Era: From World War II to Amtrak - this is more generally useful to get an idea of the bigger picture ( and, yes, it is a very big picture) , and includes section about other railroads 
  2. Great Temple of Travel: A Pictorial History of Birmingham Terminal Station; focussed on just one aspect, but well worth reading.  
Aidrian

On Tue, Sep 21, 2021 at 1:42 AM James Walton <whovianwil@...> wrote:
Very true - though perhaps Tony Koester and his concept of 'selective compression' may be able to help. That is, cut out the things you don't need to focus on showing a version of what you do need.


Virus-free. www.avast.com


locked Re: Early Diesel switcher assignments

TIM ANDREWS
 

We met every Tuesday evening and were there most weekends as well. The fuel rack was always busy with four axle road power (including F units near their end) while the bigger engines went in and out of Pot Yard without typically coming to Alexandria.  I have slides I took around that time frame, I'll have to dig them out sometime.

I always wondered if the 2300, being the first SW1500, was assigned to Alexandria because it was close to the research and test department at the East end of the yard.

On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 09:45:55 AM EDT, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:


Tim:

I don’t know (see my posting just now) but I suspect that particular roller bearing equipped switcher allowed Southern to close, or cut back, operations at the Alex disel shop.

Ike


On Sep 21, 2021, at 7:55 AM, TIM ANDREWS <ANDREWSTIM@...> wrote:

I grew up in Arlington and started hanging out at the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders layout in the old Alexandria yard office about 1971.  IIRC SW1500 2300 was the usual yard engine that I remember working there at least until I left for college in 1974.

On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 07:30:55 AM EDT, Rob Wingo <robertawingo@...> wrote:


Ike,
Good study.  I assume the $35k operating savings is the steam maintenance costs vs diesel maintenance.  That’s alot of steam
maintenance!  But all of our steam was at least 20 years old by that time so no wonder.

I grew up in Alexandria, Va and I don’t remember seeing any true yard switcher after about 1970.  Is there a system level record of switcher assignments for that time period?

Rob


locked Re: Early Diesel switcher assignments

Bill Schafer
 

Try a thru freight with a pair of F-7s back-to-back followed by three SW1500s on a 150 car train . . .

On Sep 21, 2021, at 10:42, Jason Greene <jason.p.greene@...> wrote:

Bill,
That would be a sight to behold for sure. I’ve always thought an F7-GP38 pair looked odd but the idea of F7-SW1500 would be great. One for the layout for sure. 

Jason Greene 

On Sep 21, 2021, at 10:35 AM, Bill Schafer <bill4501@...> wrote:

Here’s another advantage to those SW1500s being delivered on Flexicoil trucks: they could be used as road power in a pinch. When I was in Southern’s training program in Greensboro 1971-1972, many of the Alco and older EMD switchers were retired and replaced with SW1500s. Some of these assignments were at outlying points and only worked Monday-Friday. 

In the meantime, yards accumulated freight during the week that exceeded what could be moved on scheduled trains, so Southern would operate clean-up extras on the weekends. On, say, Friday evenings, one of the lesser freights would gather up SW1500s and take them to, maybe, Monroe or Spencer, where they would be put to work on main line drag freights, mixed in with regular freight motive power. They would work on drags over the weekend and would be redistributed to their assigned locations before starting time on Monday morning. At 1500 hp, they were the equivalent of an F7 and were frequently mated with F-units on the drags. The disadvantages were that the SW1500s did not have dynamic brakes nor did the cabs have some of the creature comforts of F-units or GPs, so I never saw one in the lead, but they made dandy boosters. And I’m not aware that they were restricted speed-wise - they were good for 60 mph. 

No, I never took a picture of one of these main line trains with SW1500s. Yes, I am kicking myself. 

—Bill

On Sep 21, 2021, at 09:45, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:

Tim:

I don’t know (see my posting just now) but I suspect that particular roller bearing equipped switcher allowed Southern to close, or cut back, operations at the Alex disel shop.

Ike


On Sep 21, 2021, at 7:55 AM, TIM ANDREWS <ANDREWSTIM@...> wrote:

I grew up in Arlington and started hanging out at the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders layout in the old Alexandria yard office about 1971.  IIRC SW1500 2300 was the usual yard engine that I remember working there at least until I left for college in 1974.

On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 07:30:55 AM EDT, Rob Wingo <robertawingo@...> wrote:


Ike,
Good study.  I assume the $35k operating savings is the steam maintenance costs vs diesel maintenance.  That’s alot of steam
maintenance!  But all of our steam was at least 20 years old by that time so no wonder.

I grew up in Alexandria, Va and I don’t remember seeing any true yard switcher after about 1970.  Is there a system level record of switcher assignments for that time period?

Rob




locked Re: Early Diesel switcher assignments

Jason Greene
 

Bill,
That would be a sight to behold for sure. I’ve always thought an F7-GP38 pair looked odd but the idea of F7-SW1500 would be great. One for the layout for sure. 

Jason Greene 

On Sep 21, 2021, at 10:35 AM, Bill Schafer <bill4501@...> wrote:

Here’s another advantage to those SW1500s being delivered on Flexicoil trucks: they could be used as road power in a pinch. When I was in Southern’s training program in Greensboro 1971-1972, many of the Alco and older EMD switchers were retired and replaced with SW1500s. Some of these assignments were at outlying points and only worked Monday-Friday. 

In the meantime, yards accumulated freight during the week that exceeded what could be moved on scheduled trains, so Southern would operate clean-up extras on the weekends. On, say, Friday evenings, one of the lesser freights would gather up SW1500s and take them to, maybe, Monroe or Spencer, where they would be put to work on main line drag freights, mixed in with regular freight motive power. They would work on drags over the weekend and would be redistributed to their assigned locations before starting time on Monday morning. At 1500 hp, they were the equivalent of an F7 and were frequently mated with F-units on the drags. The disadvantages were that the SW1500s did not have dynamic brakes nor did the cabs have some of the creature comforts of F-units or GPs, so I never saw one in the lead, but they made dandy boosters. And I’m not aware that they were restricted speed-wise - they were good for 60 mph. 

No, I never took a picture of one of these main line trains with SW1500s. Yes, I am kicking myself. 

—Bill

On Sep 21, 2021, at 09:45, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:

Tim:

I don’t know (see my posting just now) but I suspect that particular roller bearing equipped switcher allowed Southern to close, or cut back, operations at the Alex disel shop.

Ike


On Sep 21, 2021, at 7:55 AM, TIM ANDREWS <ANDREWSTIM@...> wrote:

I grew up in Arlington and started hanging out at the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders layout in the old Alexandria yard office about 1971.  IIRC SW1500 2300 was the usual yard engine that I remember working there at least until I left for college in 1974.

On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 07:30:55 AM EDT, Rob Wingo <robertawingo@...> wrote:


Ike,
Good study.  I assume the $35k operating savings is the steam maintenance costs vs diesel maintenance.  That’s alot of steam
maintenance!  But all of our steam was at least 20 years old by that time so no wonder.

I grew up in Alexandria, Va and I don’t remember seeing any true yard switcher after about 1970.  Is there a system level record of switcher assignments for that time period?

Rob



locked Re: Early Diesel switcher assignments

Bill Schafer
 

Here’s another advantage to those SW1500s being delivered on Flexicoil trucks: they could be used as road power in a pinch. When I was in Southern’s training program in Greensboro 1971-1972, many of the Alco and older EMD switchers were retired and replaced with SW1500s. Some of these assignments were at outlying points and only worked Monday-Friday. 

In the meantime, yards accumulated freight during the week that exceeded what could be moved on scheduled trains, so Southern would operate clean-up extras on the weekends. On, say, Friday evenings, one of the lesser freights would gather up SW1500s and take them to, maybe, Monroe or Spencer, where they would be put to work on main line drag freights, mixed in with regular freight motive power. They would work on drags over the weekend and would be redistributed to their assigned locations before starting time on Monday morning. At 1500 hp, they were the equivalent of an F7 and were frequently mated with F-units on the drags. The disadvantages were that the SW1500s did not have dynamic brakes nor did the cabs have some of the creature comforts of F-units or GPs, so I never saw one in the lead, but they made dandy boosters. And I’m not aware that they were restricted speed-wise - they were good for 60 mph. 

No, I never took a picture of one of these main line trains with SW1500s. Yes, I am kicking myself. 

—Bill

On Sep 21, 2021, at 09:45, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:

Tim:

I don’t know (see my posting just now) but I suspect that particular roller bearing equipped switcher allowed Southern to close, or cut back, operations at the Alex disel shop.

Ike


On Sep 21, 2021, at 7:55 AM, TIM ANDREWS <ANDREWSTIM@...> wrote:

I grew up in Arlington and started hanging out at the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders layout in the old Alexandria yard office about 1971.  IIRC SW1500 2300 was the usual yard engine that I remember working there at least until I left for college in 1974.

On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 07:30:55 AM EDT, Rob Wingo <robertawingo@...> wrote:


Ike,
Good study.  I assume the $35k operating savings is the steam maintenance costs vs diesel maintenance.  That’s alot of steam
maintenance!  But all of our steam was at least 20 years old by that time so no wonder.

I grew up in Alexandria, Va and I don’t remember seeing any true yard switcher after about 1970.  Is there a system level record of switcher assignments for that time period?

Rob



locked Re: Locos and Traffic on the Atlanta-Birmingham Line

Marv Clemons
 

As Jack Wyatt suggested, trackage appearing in 1935 district map remained largely intact through the '40s and into the early '60s, when mergers and abandonments took hold.  I have full-size 3x5' reprints of the map if you'd like a copy shipped  for $40.

Marv Clemons
Birmingham AL


locked Re: Early Diesel switcher assignments

George Eichelberger
 

Tim:

I don’t know (see my posting just now) but I suspect that particular roller bearing equipped switcher allowed Southern to close, or cut back, operations at the Alex disel shop.

Ike


On Sep 21, 2021, at 7:55 AM, TIM ANDREWS <ANDREWSTIM@...> wrote:

I grew up in Arlington and started hanging out at the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders layout in the old Alexandria yard office about 1971.  IIRC SW1500 2300 was the usual yard engine that I remember working there at least until I left for college in 1974.

On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 07:30:55 AM EDT, Rob Wingo <robertawingo@...> wrote:


Ike,
Good study.  I assume the $35k operating savings is the steam maintenance costs vs diesel maintenance.  That’s alot of steam
maintenance!  But all of our steam was at least 20 years old by that time so no wonder.

I grew up in Alexandria, Va and I don’t remember seeing any true yard switcher after about 1970.  Is there a system level record of switcher assignments for that time period?

Rob


locked Re: Early Diesel switcher assignments

George Eichelberger
 

Rob:

Yes, there are diesel assignments into the ’60 in the archives. The practice of assigning locos to specific locations/routes and trains became less of an issue in the early 70s. As roundhouses and shops were shut, diesel inspections became more centralized. That led to different power at yards and towns.

That is why the Southern decided to pay more for Flexicoil trucks under the first SW-1500s. They were an extra cost option from EMD, friction bearing Type B switcher trucks were standard. The problem was type B trucks were limited to 35mph when they were being towed to Chattanooga, Atlanta, etc. for inspection. Rather than slow the trains to 35, units with Flexicoil trucks did not have such a low limit. By the time the Southern ordered more SW-1500s it, and other railroads demanded roller bearings on the Bype B trucks. As with many other diesel “extras” over the years, Southern led and EMD followed.

By 1970, the prices of diesels had increased to the point the Southern did not want to buy yard switchers. That, plus the fact that the GP-7s and 9s were getting too old to operate as road power led to older road switchers being sent to the yards.

ALL of this is well documented in the SRHA archives. I will “fit” as much as possible in the SRHA diesel book as I can. (The FT introduction section was in TIES some time ago.) Work in the archives and Covid has slowed all projects down for the past year at least.

Ike


On Sep 21, 2021, at 7:30 AM, Rob Wingo <robertawingo@...> wrote:

Ike,
Good study.  I assume the $35k operating savings is the steam maintenance costs vs diesel maintenance.  That’s alot of steam
maintenance!  But all of our steam was at least 20 years old by that time so no wonder.

I grew up in Alexandria, Va and I don’t remember seeing any true yard switcher after about 1970.  Is there a system level record of switcher assignments for that time period?

Rob


locked Re: Locos and Traffic on the Atlanta-Birmingham Line

Gino Damen
 

Hi,

 

Somewhere on the many lists I read this article drifted by.

 

Gino Damen

 

Van: Charles Harris
Verzonden: dinsdag 21 september 2021 08:55
Aan: main@SouthernRailway.groups.io
Onderwerp: Re: [SouthernRailway] Locos and Traffic on the Atlanta-Birmingham Line

 

Hi

Fitting in to this discussion is the Ingalls 4-S, built 1946.   Construction of the loco was part done in AL Bham and Decatur etc and part in MS. A lot of testing done in .AL.   I note that Birmingham Tank (part of Ingalls Iron Works) had a site adjacent to the Southern Railway trackage, possibly some work done there.  Must be some records of testing using Southern?
The on 21 March 1946 there was a demonstration of the loco held by Southern and Southwestern Railway Club at terminal station in Atlanta.  Who has more info on this demo.   Anything Ingalls 4-S in fact.

Thanks
Charles Harris

 


locked Re: Early Diesel switcher assignments

TIM ANDREWS
 

I grew up in Arlington and started hanging out at the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders layout in the old Alexandria yard office about 1971.  IIRC SW1500 2300 was the usual yard engine that I remember working there at least until I left for college in 1974.

On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 07:30:55 AM EDT, Rob Wingo <robertawingo@...> wrote:


Ike,
Good study.  I assume the $35k operating savings is the steam maintenance costs vs diesel maintenance.  That’s alot of steam
maintenance!  But all of our steam was at least 20 years old by that time so no wonder.

I grew up in Alexandria, Va and I don’t remember seeing any true yard switcher after about 1970.  Is there a system level record of switcher assignments for that time period?

Rob


locked Re: Early Diesel switcher assignments

Rob Wingo
 

Ike,
Good study.  I assume the $35k operating savings is the steam maintenance costs vs diesel maintenance.  That’s alot of steam
maintenance!  But all of our steam was at least 20 years old by that time so no wonder.

I grew up in Alexandria, Va and I don’t remember seeing any true yard switcher after about 1970.  Is there a system level record of switcher assignments for that time period?

Rob


locked Re: Locos and Traffic on the Atlanta-Birmingham Line

C J Wyatt
 

Charles, you're welcome. The index for earlier issues show content, but for the last few years, you just have to discern it from the cover photo.

Jack

On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 03:16:56 AM EDT, Charles Harris <railroads@...> wrote:


Hello Jack

Thanks for the link.  Will do and look forward to brousing!  (or however it is spelt)

Charles in New Zealand


locked Re: Locos and Traffic on the Atlanta-Birmingham Line

Charles Harris
 

Hello Jack

Thanks for the link.  Will do and look forward to brousing!  (or however it is spelt)

Charles in New Zealand


locked Re: Locos and Traffic on the Atlanta-Birmingham Line

C J Wyatt
 

Hi Charles, I'll let you do the searching because you may come across something else you like while you are doing it:


Jack


On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 02:45:24 AM EDT, Charles Harris <railroads@...> wrote:


Hi
In above post there is mention of     "  I recall someone doing a series on Mobile facilities in TIES.  Frank Ardrey did a photo series on Birmingham in TIES. "

Is someone able to come up with the issues that featured those items, and where I may locate copies of the articles.
Thankyou
Charles


locked Re: Locos and Traffic on the Atlanta-Birmingham Line

Charles Harris
 

Hi

Fitting in to this discussion is the Ingalls 4-S, built 1946.   Construction of the loco was part done in AL Bham and Decatur etc and part in MS. A lot of testing done in .AL.   I note that Birmingham Tank (part of Ingalls Iron Works) had a site adjacent to the Southern Railway trackage, possibly some work done there.  Must be some records of testing using Southern?
The on 21 March 1946 there was a demonstration of the loco held by Southern and Southwestern Railway Club at terminal station in Atlanta.  Who has more info on this demo.   Anything Ingalls 4-S in fact.

Thanks
Charles Harris

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