EF-4's Virginians or Bricks?

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Noel Weaver
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Joined: 18 Feb 2003, 07:23

12 May 2017, 00:19 #41

In response to a couple of questions/issues here, there is no doubt that the railroad disconnected the dynamic brakes on everything in the early 1960's or so due to the cost of maintaining these systems, what a lot of folks don't realize is that the dynamic brake on diesels is a huge money saving device and it was and is well worth the cost of installation and maintenance.  There is a big difference between the dynamic brake of the New Haven era and the dynamic brake systems of today with their extended range features they will bring a train down to maybe 6 or so MPH where from that point the engine brake can be used for the final stop.  On a diesel with AC traction motors the dynamic brake would actually bring the train to a good stop.  I ran the SD-80 MACS a fair number of times between Selkirk and Buffalo and they did a fine job especially the dynamic brake which would bring us right down to a stop at Broadway, Buffalo where we generally changed to a Lines West crew.  As for the wires east of the station in New Haven, it is true that they had to change to diesels in the station area but this did not last too long as they realized that they really needed the wires to be in decent condition to run the motors to and from Cedar Hill.  East of Court Street where I think the motor stop signs were located the wires were indeed dead and grounded but there were a lot of places where the wires were still in place but needed repairs and in some cases replacement.  This was a temporary situation and did not last too long.  As long as restoration of the wires was taking place also taking place at the same time was finishing up the restoration of the motors for full operation.  Cedar Hill did not get a complete restoration of the wires that existed in the earlier days.  For example only the west end of the New York/Maybrook WB departure yard had the wires repaired and restored and the east end of those tracks had only the remains of wire or no wire at all.  They could go in the tracks to pick up and double over but they could not go through on these tracks.  Harlem River only had wire on 7 and 8 mains, the east end of the Express Shed and maybe one other track, none remained in the yard or anywhere else in Harlem River.  Oak Point had some wires in order for passenger motors to access the motor shop but they restored the wires in nearly all of One Yard in order for freight trains to be able to pick up and/or set off at Oak Point.  During the time they were restoring the wires the wire train was working nearly 24/7 on this project and they got things done fairly fast. Between Fremont and Bay Ridge the Long Island did all of the repaires and restoration, there was still quite a bit of wire left but it needed a fair amount of restoration and repair before it could again be useful.
Another thing, when the New Haven bought the road switchers in the late 1950's, they got everything possible on them to insure that they could be used in either freight or passenger service.  The first freight diesels to have dynamic brake were the 0400's, when they maintained them they did a good job controlling the trains, they were very useful on the Maybrook Line.  The GP-9's, FM's of the 60's and the Alco RS-11's had both a steam generator and dynamic brakes and the only ones that they got their money's worth on the steam generators were the GP-9's.  When the New Haven got their last new diesels, the U-25 b's and the C-425's, they ordered them without dynamic brakes and for that reason they were the "oddballs" of the Penn Central fleet as we could not even use the dynamic brake on the PC units if there was a New Haven unit in the engine consist.  Nevertheless after Penn Central took over we got a general improvement in motive power and most engines at least early in Penn Central had working dynamic brakes, again useful on the Maybrook Line as well as Hell Gate Bridge.  Many more memories!!
Noel Weaver
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nhhe52
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Joined: 26 Mar 2004, 05:19

17 May 2017, 15:59 #42

Run 8 wrote:
nhhe52, after posting the link to the VGN 135 earlier it occurred to me that it's likely that it was delivered with an M3 in 1955, which was around their their era, hence it would have been correct for the restoration. Since the M horns required a lot of maintenance, it's probable that when the simpler 3 chime Leslies showed up they were used a replacements. Additionally, I doubt the New Haven would have wanted to deal with anything from Nathan, since they would have been viewed as oddballs.

I've seen images somewhere (can't remember where just now) of New Haven EF-4's wearing Leslies on top.

And yes, Ed Kapriske's dieselairhorns.com is a great site.
If the model of the horn on the EF-4 model is correct, it's a Leslie:Audio Files: 
http://www.dieselairhorns.com/sounds/LeslieS3L.mp3
http://www.dieselairhorns.com/sounds/LeslieRS3Lx.mp3


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Statkowski
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Joined: 05 Mar 2003, 09:39

17 May 2017, 16:10 #43

Of course, one must consider the fact that, unlike the Virginian, the New Haven had no grade crossings for the EF-4s to really exercise their air horns.
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nhhe52
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Joined: 26 Mar 2004, 05:19

17 May 2017, 20:09 #44

Statkowski wrote:
Of course, one must consider the fact that, unlike the Virginian, the New Haven had no grade crossings for the EF-4s to really exercise their air horns.
True.  
I'm assume the horns got gently "exercised" when passing work crews, in the yard on occasion, etc.

Were the EF-4's worked both day and night?
Ed
Last edited by nhhe52 on 18 May 2017, 03:40, edited 1 time in total.
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NHRHTA1
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Joined: 12 Apr 2003, 09:17

17 May 2017, 20:18 #45

Of course they were why would they not be? Check back about 5 calendars ago of the night shot at Bay Ridge yard.
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nhhe52
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Joined: 26 Mar 2004, 05:19

17 May 2017, 20:31 #46

Didn't know or I wouldn't have asked.  
Ed
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Statkowski
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Joined: 05 Mar 2003, 09:39

17 May 2017, 22:04 #47

Yes, the Virginians used horns.  Not often, but they did use them.

Night service?  They had the brightest headlights on the entire railroad.  Had symbol freight NE-2 blow a pantograph one night approaching Pelham Bay.  Close to midnight, I could see the occasional sparking of the pantograph above the glare of the headlight as it approached Baychester.  Big flash, then total darkness.  Engineer hoofed up to the phone box
to pass on the bad news, which I relayed to the dispatcher.  Pan had bounced a little too much, drew an arc, and the arc vaporized the pantograph.  The wire was okay, but this set of EF-4s only had one pan.  Emergency power out of Oak Point, a pair of FL9s, was sent up track 6 behind the train, coupled up, and pulled everything back to Oak Point (about a four-mile drag).  A replacement pair of EF-4s was sent down from Cedar Hill, and shortly before I got off third trick the two good EF-4s pulling the two bad EF-4s plus the train went rumbling eastward, finally.  Observing the roof of the engines from the tower, there wasn't much left of the Faively pantograph
on NE-2's original power (if you view a Faively pantograph (commonly called a halfagraph) as a person's arm, what remained would have run from the shoulder halfway to the elbow).
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Run 8
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Run 8
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Joined: 11 Dec 2013, 02:11

17 May 2017, 23:42 #48

Horns are used for a lot more reasons than sounding a warning at grade crossings. A whole LOT more.

Those Virginians most likely sported three-chime Leslies in their New Haven days, but Nathans were probably OEM when they were first delivered.
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DBrion
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Joined: 21 Jun 2006, 05:52

18 May 2017, 14:07 #49

Statkowski wrote:
Had symbol freight NE-2 blow a pantograph one night approaching Pelham Bay.  Close to midnight, I could see the occasional sparking of the pantograph above the glare of the headlight as it approached Baychester.  Big flash, then total darkness.  Engineer hoofed up to the phone box
to pass on the bad news, which I relayed to the dispatcher.  Pan had bounced a little too much, drew an arc, and the arc vaporized the pantograph.  The wire was okay, but this set of EF-4s only had one pan.  Emergency power out of Oak Point, a pair of FL9s, was sent up track 6 behind the train, coupled up, and pulled everything back to Oak Point (about a four-mile drag).  
Very interesting story.  Just curious, what were the EF-4s hauling?  I know it was NE-2, but what did it consist of?  Reason for question: how did the pair of FL-9s perform in hauling a train assigned to a pair of EF-4s?  BIG difference in HP.
TIA





  
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rsullivan
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Joined: 14 Dec 2016, 20:36

18 May 2017, 15:51 #50

Mr. Statkowski. You may know the answer from your first hand observations. EF-4's 301 and 305 were the two with the Faively panatographs according to several books. In a number of books and photos it shows one with a Faively pantograph connected and powering another with a jumper cable. Is that the other EF-4 that had the Faively pantograph damaged by the arc? Did the NH RR decide it was cheaper and just as effective to MU the units rather than replace the pantograph? Your relaying the story of the arcing and the loss of that one Faively pantograph possibly explains a lot as to why one EF-4 was married to the other. Thanks.
Richard H. Sullivan, Jr.   member#3967
3668 Lone Valley Road
Calvert City, Kentucky 42029-8322
 
Richard H. Sullivan, Jr. member #3967
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