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Topics - Rick Rowlands

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Work and Events / Bullard Vertical Turret Lathe Available
« on: June 02, 2017, 10:39:38 PM »
There is a 36" Bullard vertical turret lathe available for sale cheap ($2,200) in western PA.   It runs and I'm probably going to use it to machine the treads of the wheels on our 5 ton Brookville.  After that job is done its destined for scrap unless someone takes it. 

With all the future work to be done on the 11 project, a VTL would come in handy machining the drivers, pistons, cylinder heads etc.  $2,200 is roughly scrap price for it.  Don't know if you already have one or access to one. 

US Two Footers / Designing New Two Foot Gauge Trucks - Need Advice
« on: December 09, 2016, 02:04:36 PM »
Due to the scarcity of available two foot gauge trucks we over at the J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad have decided to design and build our own.  Since our railroad is set up to represent heavy duty steel mill railroading, our truck design is quite heavy and is based on a standard gauge ingot mold car truck.

The truck is based upon an 18" wheel, simply because we have an 18" wheel pattern with a profile nearly identical to the profile of the drivers on the J&L 58.  The pattern is from the Wilkes Barre Iron Mfg. Co. which built narrow gauge mine cars and equipment in the 1920s.  The pattern makes a spoked wheel, which wouldn't normally be found in steel mills but I will overlook that.  

I am trying to figure out some design elements without having any other two foot gauge trucks to look at.  For a standard freight car truck, such as those found under Box Car 67, let me ask a few questions.  What is the wheel diameter?  Axle diameter?  Journal diameter and length? Wheelbase? Back to back distance of wheels?  

On our design we are of course going with the 18" wheel, 3" axle dia. turned down to 2 1/2"x 4" journals and a 36" wheelbase.  Back to back distance of 21 1/8" (this was arrived at by measuring the J&L 58 drivers. It was built to 23" gauge and had a 20 1/8" back to back.  Moving each driver tire out 1/2" to regauge to 24" gives me 21 1/8"). For springs I am using Barber B-296 springs which have a capacity of 2,060 lbs. each.  The spring window is wide enough for up to three springs, so I can build these trucks with either four or six springs, giving me either 4 or 6 tons capacity per truck.  The one part that I am unsure of is the journal diameter and if that is sufficient for the intended capacity of 6 tons per truck.   Oh that brings me to my last question.  What would a typical WW&F freight car weigh fully loaded?  

Attached is the first sketch of the truck design.  Several changes are being made today from that initial sketch.  Aside from the wheels the truck is 100% plate burnouts and structural shapes.  2" plate sideframes, 10" channel welded in a box shape for bolster plus another for a spring plank.  9" center bowl with 1" dia. center pin.  

Thanks for the help!

US Two Footers / J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
« on: May 05, 2016, 12:33:13 PM »
The home rails for the Jones & Laughlin No. 58 will be the J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad, part of the Youngstown Steel Heritage Museum.  We only have about 1.2 acres of land, but that will be enough for the construction of a sizable steel mill demonstration railroad.  Our intent is to recreate the type of rail operations that would have existed in the cramped confines of a steel plant.  Narrow gauge was very common in steel plants of the early 20th century for moving ingots as well as charging the open hearth furnaces. 

The attached track plan shows the proposed layout of the J&LNG.  The track shown in orange includes what is already built plus what we hope to have completed by the end of the year.  At the extreme right at the end of the orange track is the single stall enginehouse for the J&L 58.  The existing track extends around the 40' radius curve and ends just shy of the grade crossing over the rear access road.  From that point we will excavate the top soil and put down a roadbed to lay track northward (left side of pic is north) to a No.4 turnout to the yard lead which will run along the fence line back toward the Tod Engine Building. 

The blue denotes tracks to be built in the future, including a switchback.  The property is on a hill so the land at the rear is higher than the main yard level.  The switchback will be on a rather steep grade, designed to give the 58 a chance to work hard going up the hill.  At the upper right we have three shipping containers for storage.  This area will be reconfigured, with the three containers rearranged to sit next to each other with a fourth container added to the lineup.  At least three of the containers will be set up with rails inside.  A 15' turntable is planned to be built in front of them. 

The rolling stock we intend to use will be heavy industrial cars.  We have two of the Carpenter Steel 4 wheeled flatcars so far, and plan to add a few more as funding allows.  We would like to acquire a couple of Koppel dump cars since the Koppel plant was not far from us, and also plan to build a two foot version of the Mon Conn cabooses that were homebuilt by the railroad.   An internal combustion locomotive is also being sought so that we do not have to fire up the 58 whenever we want to run trains. 

We have collected many pieces of steel industry equipment that would make interesting flatcar loads, including a 100 ton crane hook block, two very large steam engine connecting rods, three open hearth charging boxes, 36" scrap magnet etc.  Typical items that would be carried by a steel mill railroad operation. 

Track will be built of minimum 85lb. and up rail.  The first section is laid with 100RB, and we have 90AS and 100PS rail for this year's track construction.  We may build a section using 132RE just to show how ridiculous that will look!  That section would also include Pandrol clips because if you are going ridiculous you might as well go all the way!   

Work and Events / Track and Wheel Standards
« on: December 18, 2015, 01:40:42 PM »
Does the WW&F have a set of track and wheel standards that they follow?  I ask this because I am trying to devise standards for the two foot operation that I am building, and it seems that every piece of equipment that I find has different wheel profiles and of course track seems to be all over the map (no pun intended). Since the Maine two footers are some of the heaviest two foot operations, I would be well served to follow the standards that is used up there. 

The info. that I am mostly interested in is wheel profile, tread and flange widths, back to back distance of wheelsets, track gauge tolerance and distance from running rail to guard rails in switches.   Also curious to know what the coupler height is from the top of rail to c/l of coupler pockets.

HK Porter had two standard wheel profiles. The "light locomotive" profile is 5" wide and the "heavy locomotive" profile is 5 1/2" wide.  Our J&L 58 uses the 5 1/2" wide profile.  However, one of the Carpenter Steel cars that I bought recently has a very narrow wheel profile, which is a bit concerning since it will be operating over the same trackage as the wide wheeled 58.  I would like to standardize as much as possible.

Thanks for the help.

20151216_211539 by Rick Rowlands, on Flickr

US Two Footers / Jones & Laughlin 58 Restoration
« on: January 26, 2015, 04:18:27 PM »
We are making pretty good progress on the restoration of the 23" gauge Porter 0-4-0T at the Youngstown Steel Heritage Museum.

Here are a couple of videos of the initial inspection and dismantling:

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