Re: UP Freight Conductors' Train Books

Mike Brock <brockm@...>

Tony Thompson writes:

Ah, if only Sherman Hill could have been consistently operated
above 25 mph -- but I assume by "performance" you mean pulling power,
or over-the-road speed.
Well...actually it was. Many people overlook the grade layout of the Hill. Westbound, the ruling grade was 1.55% for about 24 miles. Then there was a 0.82% grade for about 5 miles then downhill to Laramie. After the 24 miles...and possibly removing a helper, it was clear sailing for 26 miles. Your point is well taken that perhaps loads should have been kept low enough to allow faster running on the 1.55%. However, several noted writers have lamented that UP ran Big Boys with so much tonnage up the 30 or so mile long 1.14% Whasatch grade in Utah that they could not utilize their full capability. They overlook the fact that, once reaching Wasatch [ don't bother checking on the spelling, I spell it differently every time on purpose ] at the top of the grade, they then raced along another 130 or so miles to Green River...encountering no more than a 0.82% grade enroute. It is unfortunate that UP saw no reason to test the engines in that area in which they could truly exert their max HP capabilities.

Problem is, the diesel was available about a
third more hours per month and used 40% of the fuel (though more
expensive fuel). Very few railroads which did careful tests thought
the comparison was anywhere close in overall operating and maintenance
Repair costs in 1954 were $1.23/mile for Big Boys, $0.91/mile for 3900's and $0.40 for 4 new GP-9's. In 1952 fuel costs were $0.31/ton mile for coal and $0.62.7/ton mile for oil.

"But this ain't a "steam age" list for locomotives."

No problem. The Head Judge [ ] ruled long ago that if we could write for days about what our frt cars carried [ read that, bananas ], we could write as well about what pulled the little dears.

Mike Brock

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