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Thread: On track

  1. #1
    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    On track

    Railroad track.

    I am a railroad fan, my grandfather was a railroader, and my mother grew up in a railroad town along the Potomac. I got in a lot of train watching while a kid. My era of interest is post war. As I read about various trains, mainly locomotives, I see details, such as the General Motors 567 engine used in their locomotives.

    I was less a car guy, but was generally aware of them. I remember car engines, like the Chevy 283 or 327, and of course the Porcupine head 396. In those V8 engines, the 396 or other number meant the total displacement of the pistons in cubic inches. For you metric types, a 5 liter engine was about a 302 inch.

    Now I knew the large V16 engines in railroad diesel locomotives were large, but never really put it together. The 567 engine had a displacement of 567 cubic inches. But that was for each cylinder. They called each cylinder a power assembly, and the cylinders were installed separately. EAch powr assembly comprised a cylinder head and liner, the piston, and a rod.

    Just imagining those pistons slamming up and down.
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  2. #2
    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    Just imagining those pistons slamming up and down.
    What I tell SVT owners: there's a parallel between owning an SVT and a locomotive. They may be a beeyotch to work on and expensive to maintain, but when they're working right - absolutely glorious!

    Poke around on youtube, there's some videos of large engines being fired up. Not all of them train engines, some are industrial/agricultural behemoths, very impressive.
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  3. #3
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    Like Richie Havens once sang: "There's something about a train..."

  4. #4
    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    No electric trains for Enzo?
    "I've heard magic defined as "a technology you don't understand". By that aphorism, the folks in this forum are practicing wizards, able to summon AND control the lightning demon, and make charms to allow others to use the demon in certain ways." R.G.

    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

  5. #5
    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Depends. When I travel the east coast - from Washington Union Station up to Trenton, NJ - on the Amtrak North East Corridor, those trains are all electric, no diesels. Them things can really rip too.

    On the other hand, I still read about model trains, but I haven't had a layout for over 50 years. At my old house I have a closet full of model trains though. Cars, locos, some buildings, other stuff. I have no space here in the home for a model train layout, plus I have cats. Cats and model trains get along about like SVTs and a rainstorm.

    You know who is a master model railroader? Rod Stewart. Rod has a huge super detailed layout in his California home, and has gotten cover story articles about it in Model Railroader magazine.

    Toys in the Attic: Rod Stewart?s Hidden Beverly Hills Railroad

    Rod Stewart and model railroads | ModelRailroader.com
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  6. #6
    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    No electric trains for Enzo?
    Au contraire amigo - there's somethin' about a train - electric or steam powered:


  7. #7
    Supporting Member Jazz P Bass's Avatar
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    The 567 was an awesome powerplant.

    They where used on the US Navy Landing Crafts.

    GM 12-567 Diesel Engine for LST

    http://utahrails.net/pdf/EMD_567_His...pment_1951.pdf
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  8. #8
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    Here's an article on the worlds largest diesel engine, designed to push cargo ships nearly a quarter-mile long:
    https://www.autoblog.com/2011/07/22/...00-horsepower/

    I have never seen one of those house-sized marine engines in person. It's hard to wrap my brain around the sheer size of these things!

    -Gnobuddy
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails worlds-largest-diesel-6.jpg  
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  9. #9
    "Thermionic Apocalypse" -JT nickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnobuddy View Post
    Here's an article on the worlds largest diesel engine, designed to push cargo ships nearly a quarter-mile long:
    https://www.autoblog.com/2011/07/22/...00-horsepower/

    I have never seen one of those house-sized marine engines in person. It's hard to wrap my brain around the sheer size of these things!

    -Gnobuddy
    Gosh! I'm reaching for my ear defenders by just looking at the picture of that monster.
    Experience is something you get, just after you really needed it.

  10. #10
    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    I live in the old Buenos Aires port, surrounded by ship repair shops.

    One of them is many floors tall and has sliding doors, where youŽd expect to see a missile to roll out, standing on its rolling launch platform.

    Once I visited it, I noticed a 20/24 meter (60/70 ft) diameter circular platform in the middle of the building.
    I thought it was a rotating platform, like you have on some railroad tracks to invert locomotive position on the spot.

    "Not at all, it is a LATHE "
    But what about jaws to grip parts and stuff?
    "Oh, parts are so large and odd shaped anyway that jaws would be useless, parts to be turned are bolted to the floor where needed and cutting tools approach on rails"

    They often brought huge Marine engines standing on end ... you treat engines different when you can walk and stand inside.
    Juan Manuel Fahey

  11. #11
    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Yep, 567 came in 8, 12, and 16 cylinder versions. The navy did use a ton of them during the war.

    It is a two stroke.

    The US tasked GM with making these engines, mainly for the navy, during the war. This gave them a real advantage after the war in the locomotive induistry. Some of the competitors had to build tanks or cannons.
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

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    The ultimate development of diesel locomotion was in the use of the Napier Deltic engine - no cylinder heads and no valves.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    In the USA, FAirbanks-Morse made opposed piston diesels, they were uses a lot in submarines. They also made locomotives with them, thought never as successful as the GM EMD .
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

  14. #14
    Old Timer Tom Phillips's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    No electric trains for Enzo?
    Sure. When you look into it you will find that modern Diesel Locomotives are electric. In fact they are often described as "Diesel-Electric Locomotives." This is because the Diesel engine powers a generator or alternator-rectifier which is then used to power electric traction motors which drive the wheels. It is an electric train that carries along it's own electric power source. "We don't need no stinkin' overhead wires!"
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    There was the short lived experiment from Krauss-Maffei. They made diesel hydraulic locomotives. The motors on the wheels were hydraulic, powered by pumps driven by the diesel.
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Phillips View Post
    ...the Diesel engine powers a generator or alternator-rectifier which is then used to power electric traction motors which drive the wheels.
    That's exactly what I said a few years ago when General Motors tried to convince everyone that their Volt was a totally new, unique, concept. Wow, an engine that drives a generator that runs motors that drive the wheels! How original!

    In fact, amazingly enough, the idea goes back nearly a hundred years, to 1918: https://www.chipexpress.com/articles...l-locomotives/

    -Gnobuddy
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