When were two locomotives used vs. one on passenger trains

Discussion in 'E8A' started by friscomike, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. friscomike

    friscomike Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Howdy,

    What was the determining factor for deciding how many locomotives to use on a passenger train, e.g., number of cars, grades on route?

    I've seen photos of passenger trains with one A unit and some with two.

    Best,
    mike
     
  2. pbender

    pbender Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: When were two locomotives used vs one on passenger trains

    This is at least partly due to horsepower per ton rules for the district the train ran on. The implication is that longer trains need more locomotives.

    I know during heavy traffic periods (Christmas, for example) two E-units on trains like the Kansas City-Florida Special were spliced by one of the steam line equipped F7Bs or a steam generator equipped GP7. (I've never seen photographs of a train with an FP7 between two E-units or one with 3 E-units).

    Paul
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2010
  3. TAG1014

    TAG1014 Frisco.org Supporter Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: When were two locomotives used vs one on passenger trains

    I don't know the train tonnage math, but on the Frisco, eight cars was about the limit for a single E-unit (I've only seen it on the Will Rogers). The Frisco E-units weren't ever coupled elephant style, always back to back and never three in a lashup. As Paul says there were freight B-units sandwiched between E-units sometimes. I saw #106 (Northbound Kansas City-Florida Special) arriving at Springfield with a three-unit E-8A--F-7B--E-8A diesel lashup and twenty-two cars in December 1961. Eleven express reefers of Christmas Mail were on the head end. I've seen photos of Frisco E's leading an F-7B or an FP-7 as the second unit. I've seen a photo of a train with two FP-7's back to back. Also seen a photo of a lashup with: FP-7--F-7B--and steam generator car. The last two mentioned were probably troop or other special trains. In employee timetables there were charts of what diesel lashups were permitted (Both freight and passenger). Also I've seen a three unit consist of E-8--GP-7--E-8.

    Tom
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2010
  4. gbmott

    gbmott Member

    Re: When were two locomotives used vs one on passenger trains

    It had to do with the tonnage rating of the particular type of locomotive on the specific district over which it was operating. 709-710 on the Central Division between Fort Smith and Monett regularly ran with six heavyweights and a single E-unit (either E7 or E8, didn't matter) and later ran regularly with five heavyweights and a single FP-7 or GP-7. Anything much over six cars, as frequently occurred with extra Pullmans for troop movements to/from Fort Chaffee necessitated a second unit, usually one of the steam generator-equipped GP-7's. The E-units couldn't operate as three together or as a middle unit as they had no nose mu connections. One of the nicest combinations I saw in Fort Smith was an FP-7/F-9B/FP-7 set one night when there was a particularly group of extra cars for troops.

    I know that the streamlined Meteor in the days before the E-8's arrived operated Tulsa-Oklahoma City with one unit and eight cars and it must have operated Monett-Tulsa with ten or eleven. There were two units between St. Louis and Monett, but one then split off and operated Monett - Paris, and there were only four total. Later two units operated through between St. Louis and Lawton. This is all pretty flat country, so it is possible but I'll bet it was something of a struggle between Monett and Tulsa.

    Gordon
     
  5. TAG1014

    TAG1014 Frisco.org Supporter Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: When were two locomotives used vs one on passenger trains

    In Collias' "Frisco Power" there's the great Preston George photo of the Meteor at Poole, OK with E-8 2017 and eight cars (Two heavyweights). The single unit on the Oklahoma section is de-mystified by Gordon's post below re: The train being split at Monett.

    Tom
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2010
  6. w3hodoug

    w3hodoug 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: When were two locomotives used vs one on passenger trains

    A retired passenger engineer (St. Louis-Springfield) once told me they preferred the steam line equipped ALCO FB-1's to the EMD F units due to the ability of the GE traction motors to run at high speed without burning out. This was Harry "Polecat" Hefflin, a contemporary of Don Wirth's father.
     
  7. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: When were two locomotives used vs one on passenger trains

    Doug,

    Do you have further details as to which FB-1' received the through steam lines?

     
  8. w3hodoug

    w3hodoug 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: When were two locomotives used vs one on passenger trains

    I think you'd find it in either the X2200S roster as a footnote or in Frisco Diesel Power. I have access to neither at the moment.
     
  9. TAG1014

    TAG1014 Frisco.org Supporter Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: When were two locomotives used vs one on passenger trains

    I probably wouldn't be considered the final authority on such matters, but I've seen a lot of Frisco trains in person and in photographs and I never heard of or saw (Or have seen a photo of) an FB lashed up with an E-unit. That would have been such an oddity and surely would have been photographed somewhere. There's no mention of such in Marre's "Frisco Diesel Power."

    Tom
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2010
  10. WindsorSpring

    WindsorSpring Member

    Re: When were two locomotives used vs one on passenger trains

    Frisco Diesel Power (pages 92 to 96) makes no mention of steam generator equipment on Alco FB or FA diesel road freight locomotives.
     
  11. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: When were two locomotives used vs one on passenger trains

    Harry's story has me scratching my head. To no avail, I 've looked through my diagrams and ETT's for some dual-service FB-1's. The November 1984 Passenger Train Journal, has an Art Riordan photo of 5205 with a passenger train in tow on the KCT as it passes over SW Blvd in KC. The caption states that it's 1963 with train 107.
     
  12. TAG1014

    TAG1014 Frisco.org Supporter Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: When were two locomotives used vs one on passenger trains

    Karl--I think that same article also had a passenger train being pulled by a BLW switcher. I guess if it was warmer weather, it would be OK in an emergency?? I can just imagine if such a thing had ever happened, Louis Marre would have a photo of it--probably snapped himself.

    Tom
     
  13. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: When were two locomotives used vs one on passenger trains

    I find no reference to steam pipe equipped FB1's in any of the diagrams or in the X2200S roster. If they existed, I would think they would have been so noted on the diagrams - as the steam line equipped F9B's were.

    I'll bet it could have happened, though, but not in winter months. During warmer months, I could see the possibility of a FB1 stuck in between two Racehorse E's. What little steam demand the train had at that time of year could be supplied by the trailing unit. With a heavy train, the Alco (if the 244 was running OK!) would certainly be a help to the E's on Valley Park Hill, Iron Hill, Rolla Hill, Dixon Hill, etc.

    Ken
     
  14. gbmott

    gbmott Member

    Re: When were two locomotives used vs one on passenger trains

    The oft-seen photo in Fort Smith of VO-1000 213 with a few empty gons followed by four passenger cars was taken by either Louis or me (as usual we were both there and no telling which of us was taking slides and which b&w negs that day) when we photographed the daily ritual of taking 709's train out to the wye at the Whirlpool plant to be turned in order to be lined up for the evening's 710. I somehow think we actually rode the move that day, but that was close to fifty years ago and the brain cells . . . oh well. I'm not sure what the gons were all about, just some industry work to do along the way.

    Regarding FA/FB's in passenger service, I will add my name to the list of people who never witnessed this although I saw a lot of other unusual combinations. That is not to say, however, that it didn't happen.

    Gordon
     
  15. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: When were two locomotives used vs one on passenger trains

    Indeed - five exhausts working hard, one of them with the unique Alco sound! Would have been fun to hear.

    Ken
     
  16. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: When were two locomotives used vs one on passenger trains

    Gordon,

    http://condrenrails.com/Frisco Catalog/BLW-switchers.htm

    Here's the url to Mike's web site. The image of 222 with four psgr cars is the one that was used in the Passenger Train Journal article. As you describe it is on its way to be turned.

     
  17. gbmott

    gbmott Member

    Re: When were two locomotives used vs one on passenger trains

    Aha! Not the photo that I thought was being referred to, and certainly taken by Mike. It is the same move, though, and looks more convincing on account of its lack of freight cars this day. I'm trying to attach the photo I was thinking of (shows the risk of responding when you are travelling and don't have access to your materials).

    SLSF 213 FSM 8-61.jpg

    Gordon
     
  18. TAG1014

    TAG1014 Frisco.org Supporter Frisco.org Supporter

    Re: When were two locomotives used vs one on passenger trains

    Gordon--In the days when they split the Meteor engines at Monett on trains 9-709 (One going to Ft.Smith, Paris; the other to Oklahoma), at least one engine had to be turned and the sleeper (A coach also??) switched out of the main train. Do you know how all that was done?

    Tom
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2010
  19. gbmott

    gbmott Member

    Re: When were two locomotives used vs one on passenger trains

    Tom

    The Fort Smith sleeper was always positioned next ahead of the diner/lounge/obs and would have been a simple set-over to the rear of 709's consist by the Monett switch engine. From the headend of 9, both the trailing unit and the lead baggage car were set out. I assume that the locomotive was turned on the turntable, but I never observed it to be able to verify that. Neither the coach nor the snack-coach off 710 went through, so they had already been turned somehow to be ready to go south on 709 (actually I don't know for certain the they both turned -- I know the snack car did, but I suspect that the coach continued on 310 north to Wichita since I seem to recall that there were usually two coaches that alternated through Fort Smith). At least in later years the bag-RPO off 710 went through as far as Springfield, but don't know whether this was happening during the fairly brief period when the Meteor's locomotive consist was being split.

    Sure wish I could go back in time and just stand there in Monett from about 11pm until 3am and watch the Texas Special in both directions, the Meteor in both directions, the Will Rogers southbound. and the Fort Smith/Paris and Joplin/Wichita trains all pass through and/or originate or terminate. Oh well . . . .

    Gordon
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2010

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