Discussion in 'Your Bijou Blogette' started by Morven, Dec 16, 2018.
A place to go on about the things I love.
-curls up on a pillow somewhere in the corner, awaiting trains-
Just look at this one. The Raymond Loewy art-deco styling made it the image of futuristic railway locomotives for quite some time; even today, you'll see things resembling this in media.
It's the Pennsylvania Railroad's sole S-1 prototype, and it's the biggest rigid-framed passenger locomotive ever built. PRR crews called it the Big Engine, unsurprisingly. It was built on the largest cast steel locomotive bed ever cast. It was 140 feet long including tender, and almost 500 tons fully loaded.
Unfortunately the locomotive was so large it could only be used between Chicago and Crestline, OH. It was simply too long and tall to make clearances on most of the system.
It is highly likely that this locomotive exceeded the 126mph record set by the LNER's Mallard. A PRR foreman timed it at 133mph, and there are rumors of speeds in excess of 140mph being attained. However, no official record attempt was ever made and no official documentation exists to collaborate the claims. This may be partly due to this being during wartime.
The locomotive made its last run in late 1945 or 1946, and was scrapped in 1949.
these sorts of things are my favorite looking kinds of trains...art deco trains...
That same locomotive during construction. The entire frame beneath the boiler is a single steel casting, including the cylinders, and the boiler is one of the largest ever made. Above it hangs a more normal boiler, from a B6 0-6-0 switcher
Pretty much all cast steel locomotive frames were produced by a single firm in a single place: General Steel Castings's factory in Granite City, Illinois. This applies even for locomotives built outside of the United States. South Africa's GMAM Garratts and Class 25 4-8-4s used frames cast in Illinois, as did the Australian AD60 Garratts and others.
Apparently the world no longer has the ability to cast such large things. With welding techniques improving, it's now feasible to get a structure that's just as strong by welding smaller castings.
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