Re: FGEX ex-PRR R7s

John Hagen <sprinthag@...>

Bruce, Richard,

Compare the performance of PRR's K4's to NYC's Hudson's. It's sorta like
comparing a blacksmith job to cutting edge development but the K4 did the
job. PRR mechanical department had the ability to carry a basic, inexpensive
design to the nth degree. And yes some went too far before they realized
they had upgraded to electric lights. So far as their locomotive design
influences only in the east, that is very true as the eastern clearances
were more restrictive. The fact that they were able to get the kind of
performance they did speaks very well for them.

Frankly I never liked the Pennsy steamers until I started to do a lot of
reading on them. That is when I started to admire them.

John Hagen

From: [] On Behalf Of
Bruce F. Smith
Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2012 12:13 PM
To: <>
Subject: Re: [STMFC] FGEX ex-PRR R7s

Richard makes a couple of excellent points and one completely off the wall
assertion.... I mean, seriously, comparing the PRR's mechanical department
to "vesties"? Rather than calling people names, I favor a thoughtful
analysis of the actions of railroad management in the context of the times.
My feeling regarding the PRR is the first part (self absorbed) might well be
true, but they were regarded as anything but clowns or buffoons. The PRR's
mechanical department presents interesting contrasts. They were outrageously
conservative, yet at times extremely innovative. They were among the 1st to
use all steel construction in passenger and freight cars. The X23/R7, the
X25, the X28/29, the X31/32/33 were all trend setters. No debate that the
PRR, like many large american companies (Eastman Kodak perhaps being the
most recent victim), suffered from the innovation impairing "our way is the
right way" mentality and among many SPF's the phrase "standard railway of
the world" is used with bemusement as well. However, think about the subject
car. What PRR did was to create a "standard" car in the X23 that was adapted
to many uses, including increased height automobile cars (X24), refers (R7),
and stock cars (K7/K7a)... and it was neither the first not last time they
did it. Ultimately, perhaps the duplexes best define the PRR's mechanical
department. Outrageously innovative locomotives, with performance to match
(for the most part) yet built when steam loco technology was just being
eclipsed by the diesel. (I know some argue that the duplexes were failures,
but much has been published that indicates that had they not been competing
against diesels, they would have been considered very successful)

BTW, weren't the AT&SF mechanical department the, ahem, "bozos" who came up
with the idea of a boiler that hinged in the middle? Really??



Bruce F. Smith

Auburn, AL


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