Random Bolshevik Musings

Discussion in '2-10-0 Decapod' started by Karl, May 6, 2007.

  1. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    The 1613’s; Random Musings​

    Having a PFM Frisco 2-10-0 still in need of paint, with in the past year I began an effort to locate more information about the Frisco Bolsheviks. As delivered, the locomotives were coal burners, but by the end of their service 12 of the 20 had been converted to burning oil. When perusing the rail fan literature, it seems that the oil burners predominate the photographs in these publications. Most of the photographs depict engines on the Western Division. It seems that photographs of the coal burners are limited to latter-day images of the 2-10-0’s plying the Clinton Sub.
    Perhaps the undated photo of 1618 as shown on page 65 of Collias’s Frisco Power, best represents the out-of the box United brass model. Several of the coal burners had pilot-mounted air compressors, and the 1625 had that extra sand dome.
    Wanting to letter my model after one of the coal burners, I sought to gather more information about the class.
    The first item on my agenda was to examine the photos that existed in the rail fan media. From these I noted air compressor placement, photo location, photo date, and any other “oddity”. For example the 1617 during 1933 had it’s bell mounted atop its boiler, and during 1934, the 1627 had its bell mounted atop the smoke box. There also the aforementioned 1625 with its extra sand dome, which had disappeared by the time it was photographed it the dead lines. Those locomotives photographed during the early 30’s have the Frisco’s full glass treatment with respect to the cab windows. The 1626 and the 1629 were camera shy, I can find no photographs of them.
    The second item on my agenda was to gather information from other sources. The employee magazine, Frisco Man ,gave recognition to locomotive crews who practiced fuel economy. The Springfield-Greene County’s digital collection allows string queries. By placing the number of each Bolshevik, in the search field, I was able to locate information about several of the 1613’s. The query mechanism is rudimentary at best, and it produced many false returns, such as addresses, and therefore the search was time consuming.
    I also queried the ICC Historical records, and I received hits on 1619 and 1622 from 1919.
    I compiled the results into a spreadsheet (attached), which gives an idea about where the Bolsheviks roamed. It’s hardly a complete picture, but it did change my perception of these locomotives.
    Richard Lawler is correct; I don’t believe that certain locomotives were delivered with pilot mounted. Photographic evidence would suggest otherwise. This change was the work of the Frisco. Collias shows the 1627 on the Current River Branch. If the date is correct, it would be the earliest date for the change. The change in location still begs the question as to why. As delivered the locomotives had NY Number 6 Pumps, it appears that the replacement compressors were Westinghouse. While upgrading compressors is understandable, why the change in location ? It would appear that the locomotive had ample room to place the appliance on the left side. It was the Frisco’s practice to place the air strainer and intake under the smoke box chin in an attempt to get cleaner, drier air. Is placing the compressor on the pilot deck the next logical step? Did the assignment of these locomotives dictate the new compressors/location, or was it just a matter of expediency? The 1632 sport a shield in front of its compressor; this appears to have been added by Eagle Picher. I wish that Lee Buffington was still around; he knew it all when it came to Frisco steam.
    I’ve also had the impression that the Bolsheviks were strictly branch-line locomotives. When consideration is given to their contemporaries on the Frisco, I think my opinion needs to change. The big engines, the spot class 2-10-2’s held sway between St Louis and Monett and to a lesser degree. Between Memphis and Birmingham. Otherwise mainline freights were hauled by the 1912 built 1306 class 2-8-0’s. During the late teens, it seems that the 1306 engine were used to wheel freights on the KC and Ash Grove subs. Given the fact that the 1613’s had a higher tractive effort 51,500 lbs vs. the tractive effort of the 2-8-0’s at 49,300lbs, it might be safe to assume that the Bolsheviks found their way into mainline service where their lower axle loading allowed a broader range. I think that their service as mainline locomotives was short lived for two reasons. The delivery and the subsequent use of the 4000 class 2-8-2 proved that the Frisco needed to pursue motive power that was capable of faster speeds (horse power) and higher tractive effort. The 1923 delivery of additional 2-8-2’s (4100’s) proved that point. The Bolsheviks were slippery beasts. They had a factor of adhesion of 3.59, while the 1306’s were more sure-footed with a factor of adhesion 4.29. Although the locomotive diagram does not give a date, the Frisco chose to experiment with the 1615. In an effort to obtain more tractive effort, the boiler pressure was increased from 180lbs to 190 lbs. The increase resulted in a tractive effort of 54,350 lbs, but the factor of adhesion dropped to 3.40. As the old saw goes , the 1615 probably slipped while leaving the sand house. Again, no date is given in the diagram, but the 1615 was returned to its former boiler pressure.
    Regardless, the Frisco viewed them as good locomotives, and tweaked them a bit to improve performance. As Joe Collias reports, all but the 1615, 1625, 1628, and the 1629 had the cylinder bore reduced to 24 inches. The reduction decreased tractive effort to 47,500lbs, but improved adhesion to 3.89 and it improved fuel economy. The coal burners received stokers. Again no date is available. The Frisco also gave each locomotive a single thermic syphon, which improved boiler circulation, and added to the heating surface. The class survived intact until the end of steam on the Frisco.
    I have several photographs of the 1630 handling the High Line passenger train. There are also two references in the Frisco Man of the 2-10-0’s handling extra passenger trains, which carried veterans’ specials. One article stated that the train contained a healthy14 cars. Given the stubby, 52” drivers, one wonders why these engines were selected for this service.

    Any, these are just my thoughts; I’d love to hear from others.

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