Happy New Year! We shall begin this year with a brochure – the Winton 201 engine used to power the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago, held in 1933-4. I was able to get a copy of this a few years back, so here is a scan. Click them all for a larger version.
Eugene Kettering would state in his 567 development paper the following about these engines at the expo:
“The boys worked all night and hoped the engines would run all the next day. It was no fun, but we learned fast and a new design study was soon underway at Winton. To mention the parts with which we had trouble in Chicago would take far too much time. Let if suffice to say that I do not remember any trouble with the dip stick.”
Needless to say, the engines did work at the end of the day, and provided an important stepping stone for Winton and the developments with which would become the 201A engine, to be used in many railcars, locomotives and submarines. While the engine was not entirely a success in the long run, it did lead to the development of the Winton 248 engine for Marine use, and the 567 engine for locomotive use, and the Detroit Diesel 71 line.
Amazingly enough, one of these engines is a survivor, on display at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, IL. It would become a trade show display for General Motors through the years. Unfortunately, the sister engine to my knowledge disappeared.
I truly hope one day we can see a Winton 201A run again for display.
A few months back, I made a post on the tug Luna and Venus, of the Boston Towboat Company, dubbed Historic Tugs I. The intention was to highlight museum vessels and whatnot with historic documentation and photos. To change that a bit, I am going to start a new series covering just tugs of the 1930’s-1970’s, including both new and repowered boats, using several styles of propulsion. This first tug profiled, will be the M. Moran.
Not much has to be said about Moran Towing, one of the oldest and well known tugboat companies in the world, founded in 1860 by Irish immigrant, Michael Moran. Moran Towing is a well established company, using a vast fleet of tugs, ranging from small 80′ direct reversing Canal tugs, to large, WWII surplus ocean going 165′ tugs, many of which were on charter from the US Navy. Fast forward to 1960: These were all single screw tugs, never exceeding much more then about 2000HP. Moran Towing had a long history of working with TAMS Inc., and later the General Motors Marine Design Section under naval architects Richard Cook and later Joe Hack.
In the era, just about every tug was considered “Ocean Going” (a scary thought..), however in reality only the larger, WWII era tugs really were just that, with the rest being glorified harbor and coastal tugs. Joe Hack would design Moran a 120′ tug, with a 31′ beam, and an 18’9″ depth. A new first for Moran was also introduced – twin screw propulsion.
The tug was named the M. Moran, after the founder of Moran Towing’s Michael Moran. She would be the 7th tug named for him. The M. Moran was designed for an 11,000 mile range, or anywhere in the world – holding a capacity of 75,000 gallons of fuel. The M. Moran was built in Texas, by Gulfport Shipbuilding.
The M. Moran had a rather unorthodox layout, using two split levels underneath the wheelhouse, giving her a rather odd, low profile appearance, but affording a massive amount of interior space. 9 full staterooms, two of which were dubbed a radio room, and a sick bay. A large central galley was located over the engine room – thus she lacked any actual upper engine room, also known as a fiddley. Behind the galley was a space for a 75HP Almon-Johnson towing machine.
You guessed it – the M. Moran was Diesel-Electric, powered by a pair of Cleveland Diesel, 1750HP 16-278A engines, with Allis-Chalmers main generators – all WWII surplus equipment, giving her a rating of 3,500HP. The engines were factory rebuilt, and were originally installed in US Navy Landing Ship LSM-529 (engine #55810), and LSM-324 (engine #55284). Ironically the other engine from LSM-324 would also go to Moran, re-powering the steam tug Michael Moran. The tug had a pair of Detroit Diesel 6-71’s for generators, as well as a piggyback shaft generator belt driven on top of each main generator. The tug had a pair of 9′ 10″ wheels, and a rated bollard pull of 95,000lbs.
The wheelhouse of the M. Moran featured American Engineering electric-hydraulic steering system, and the same Lakeshore throttle stands used by Cleveland for a number of years, of course modified for twin screw. A Sperry gyro, and radar rounded out the interior – pretty spartan, even for its time. While the maneuverability of Diesel-Electric is well known, an interesting feature of the M. Moran – being twin screw, was the cross-compatibility. The tug could run on only one engine, and power both propulsion motors when running around lite tug, somewhat of a throwback to the Destroyer-Escorts of WWII (where the propulsion motors in the tug originated), where various combinations of engines could power certain groups of motors.
The M. Moran was placed in service on 9/27/1961, and her very first trip, just a week later – would take her all the way to Pusan, South Korea, towing the 30,000kW generating barge Resistance, a WWII LST converted into a powerplant. The M. Moran was well covered in Cleveland Diesel’s Diesel Times newsletter Diesel Times, as well as several issues of Moran Towing’s own newsletter, Tow Line.
By the late 1960’s the M. Moran would gain a large upper wheelhouse. She would spend many years running around the Gulf area towing large project cargo, as well as the occasional foreign tow. The M. Moran was briefly renamed as the Port Arthur for a brief time in the early 1970’s, likely operating under a charter.
Moran would go on to order a 2nd tug, to the same design as the M. Moran, named the Esther Moran. The Esther would be built in New York, by Jakobson Shipbuilding. At the same time, Jakobson also built the Patricia and Kerry Moran, which used the same hull design, however it was shortened 12′ with the tug being setup for harbor work, thus lacking the towing machine and split levels. These three tugs would be the last new tugs powered by Cleveland 278A engines. Cleveland was rolled into Electro-Motive in late 1961.
Both the M. Moran and the Esther were not Cleveland powered very long. Both tugs would be repowered with EMD 16-645E engines with air clutches by the end of the 1960’s, giving them a new rating of 6,300HP – a massive amount of power at the time. Joe Hack would revisit the split level design with a pair of tugs for Gulfcoast Transit, the Katherine Clewis and Sarah Hays.
In 2000, Moran sold both the M. Moran and Esther Moran to Canada’s McKeil Marine. The M. Moran became the Salvager, and the Esther as the Salvor. The Salvager became the Wilfred Seymour in 2004, later being shortened to Wilf Seymour. Both tugs operate in the Great Lakes, and both would be converted into Articulated Tug-Barge combinations, with the Wilf getting a Bludworth coupler, and the Salvor a JAK system. The Salvor was laid up in 2018, and the Wilf is still in service.
Noted maritime artist Carl G. Evers would do several paintings of the M. Moran, including one of her in Korea. Several of Carl’s paintings have graced the cover of Moran’s Tow Line.
Engine #7 at Delta is a 10 cylinder, 3500HP, Dual Fuel engine. The engine is rated for only 277 RPM, and has an 18″ bore and a 27″ stroke.
Click on all of the photos for a larger version.
The creative use of old stop signs are covering the exhaust ports, which would turn and enter into the flood in the circular covers.
One of the fuel injection pumps. A camshaft in the box underneath drives these, with a copper line out of the top leading to the fuel injection nozzle in the head.
The engine drive a Fairbanks-Morse 2130kW, 2400V AC Alternator. The excitation generator is belt driven off off the end.
Looking down at the top of the cylinder head. The large pipe leading into the top of the head is the incoming Natural Gas supply. Going clockwise, is the gas admission valve driven from the upper camshaft, the air start check valve, with the air supply under it, jacket water exit into the upper water header, above that is the cylinder relief valve. In the center is the fuel injection nozzle. According to the builders plate, this engine is a 31A18 – FM documentation calls the Dual Fuel engine a 31AD18, maybe this engine was converted after installation?
The pipes in the foreground are the previously mentioned exhaust pipes, which were removed for remediation.
Just outside of the engine hall, is a small clean air room. Inside, is the scavenging air blower for the engine (all 10 cylinder engines used an external blower) – a Roots-Connersville 24″ centrifugal blower. The blower, is rated at a whopping 300HP and moves 17,500CFM of air.
Just how big is an 18″ piston? Here it is with a dollar bill for reference..
Gauge and alarm panel – Just not as cool as those 1930’s era ones on the 32E engines..
The photos here simply do not do this engine justice, and just how BIG it is!
Lubrication chart for the engine. I would LOVE to add one of these to my collection. Anyone got one they want to sell?
This concludes our tour of the Delta Municipal Light & Power Plant. Thanks again to the guys for the fantastic tour! I can only hope that this plant can be saved, or at least some of the engines. I would love to see the 31A18 saved, but realize that would be one hell of a feat, due to the shear size. That little 4 cylinder 33 would be a neat museum piece as well.. I may make another post down the road with some other random photos in the plant I took.
Next week starts a new series – Historic Boat Profiles, with our first featured boat being the tug M. Moran, Moran Towing’s first twin screw tug.
Moving down the line of engines we get to engines #3, 4 and 5, all of which are Fairbanks-Morse 32E14 engines. The 32E was a descendent of the model Y engine, first introduced in 1923, and subsequently went through several upgrades over the years. The engine, offered in two sizes: A 12″x15″ and a 14″x17″. The engines were identical, other then the bore and stroke, with the 12″ offered in 1, 2 and 3 cylinder models, and the larger 14″ in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 cylinder options. The 32E engine is a 2 stroke Diesel, and used a unique backflow scavenging, in which on the up stroke of the piston, air is pulled into the crankcase through a simple air valve on the crankcase door, is compressed on the downstroke, and when the piston uncovers the exhaust and intake ports on the liner, the compressed air forces the exhaust out, a very simple and effective method, requiring no camshaft operated valves in the cylinder head. An oil pump kept a force feed lubricator full, which handled the oiling on the cylinder walls, wrist pins and crank pins, as well as keeping a certain oil level maintained at each of the main bearings using a series of drilled passageways. The engine had no water pump of its own, relying on an external pump in the plant. A plunger type fuel pump was operated by a camshaft on the governor drive. The engines originally used a very basic FM flyweight style governor, and later used a Woodward IC unit. The 32 line would become one of the most popular engines of its time, powering numerous rural communities and small business (be it power generation or through a line shaft).
Click on all photos below for a larger version.
Engine #4 is a 300HP engine at only 300RPM, driving a 148kW alternator.
The 32E engine commonly used a very basic exhaust system, where each cylinder simple exhaust into a downward pipe, that tie into a chamber under the floor that runs outside to the muffler.
Engines #4 and 5 are smaller 3 cylinder, 225HP engines. Unfortunately, I did not get the size of the alternators that they drive.
The pipe above the exhaust manifolds is the upper water header. These are extremely basic engines, and while today are tiny in terms of ratings, several are still in service all around the country, not only in their original plants, but many preserved at old engine clubs.
Behind each alternator, the same shaft also turns the excitation generator.
Next week will be the final part of the Delta series, covering the biggest engine in the plant, the 31A18. After that we will start a new series, Historic Boat Profiles, as well as returning to vintage advertising and some great articles which have been in the works for several months behind the scenes.
The Delta plant is home to a trio of F-M model 33 engines. Before we get to those, here is a little background on the Model 33 engine.
The Model 33 engine was the next model in line after the 32 series, and was introduced around 1930. The engine was ultimately offered in 3 bore sizes – a 12″, 14″ and 16″. The engine was FM’s first pump scavenged engine, moving up from the older crankcase scavenged 32. Like the predecessor, these were rather simple engines. No intake or exhaust valves, mechanical fuel injection (in a time when air injection was still somewhat common) and a split lubrication system using both an engine driven pressure pump and a force feed mechanical lubricator.
In the case of this post, we will be describing the 16″ bore model, which has a 20″ stroke rated at 300RPM. FM offered these engines in 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10 cylinder sizes. The engine was available with a dual fuel option, meaning it could run on Diesel, or Natural Gas with Diesel acting as a pilot fuel. A second upper camshaft drives a series of gas valves at each cylinder head. The Delta plant has 3 of these engines:
This week’s column is by Jay Boggess. Next week we will return to the Delta Municipal Power Plant for Part II.
Pretty quickly, early on – when it comes to diesel engines, you hear the word “Roots Blower”. But who IS Roots? Today in the era of Wikipedia, this is an easy question to answer, but not when I was a kid.
I’d first heard of the “GMC Roots Blower” associated with supercharged dragsters & hot rods. Later, while reading my father’s 1944 textbook “Internal Combustion Engines – Analysis & Practice”, I discovered a cutaway section of the General Motors 2-stoke CI (compression ignition or diesel) engine, below:
Later, I learned that Cleveland Diesel, Fairbanks-Morse and Electro Motive Division diesel engines all had Roots Blowers, but no one ever explained why it was called the Roots Blower.
In 2003, a random visit to the History Colorado Museum in Denver came across this artifact:
A mine ventilation blower for ventilating underground hard-rock mines, built by the P.H. & F.M. Roots Company, Connersville, Indiana. The placard listed a date, but the low-res digital pics of the era do not allow me to zoom in – other sources point to the mid 1880’s or so.
Another datapoint came from another random visit, this time to the nearly preserved Bethlehem Steel blast furnaces in Bethlehem, PA (thanks to my former EMD colleague Mark Duve, who insisted we stop).
The building in the foreground of the photo was unlocked, we ventured inside and discovered these:
Very distinctive, two-lobed Roots Blower rotors – look carefully and you will see counter-weighted steam engine eccentrics on the end of the rotors. Inside the same building were the matching horizontal steam engine cylinders for driving these rotors (I took photos but the passage of 16 years has lost those). I later learned that blast furnace blast supply was one of the first uses of Roots Blowers.
So who were P.H. & F.M. Roots? Wikipedia points to a 1931 book, “Indiana One Hundred And Fifty Years of American Development” which provides most of the answers. Philander Higley and Francis Marion Roots were brothers. Francis was the youngest brother, born in 1824, went searching for gold in California in 1849, came home in 1850 and started working with his brother Philander in manufacturing. They patented the “Roots Positive Blast Blower” in 1866. Francis passed away in 1889, Philander passed in 1879. Their company was purchased by Dresser Industries in 1931, and renamed the Roots-Connersville Blower Company. In WWII, they produced low-pressure blowers for blowing ballast tanks in U.S. Submarines, as well as centrifugal blowers for various low-pressure/ high-volume uses, eventually submerged in the vast Dresser product line.
Roots Blower Applications:
Submarine Ballast Tank Blower:
This is listed on the drawing as a 1600 CFM blower, designed and built by the Roots-Connersville Blower Corporation, Connersville, Indiana. The driving motor is a 1750 RPM, 90 horsepower, intermittent-duty DC motor.
To digress extensively – WWII submarines had two systems to blow their ballast tanks – 3000-PSI stored compressed air reduced down to 600 PSI to start the surfacing process and 10-PSI low pressure air supplied by blowers to finish the job once a submarine surfaced. It was this low-pressure job that either Roots Blowers or centrifugal blowers were utilized. Another interesting use was that when a sub is submerged, various tanks are vented inboard the sub, raising the internal pressure of the boat several PSI above atmospheric pressure. If the hatch were immediately opened, the rush of air was known to launch sailors overboard. Instead, the hatch between the conning tower and control room would be shut, the boat surfaced and the bridge hatch opened. While the captain checked to see if the coast was clear, the low-pressure blower is started finishing the blow of the ballast tanks and reducing the excess air pressure inside the rest of the boat.
Fairbanks-Morse Opposed Piston 38D Engine:
The WWII era FM 38D manual does not use the word “Roots Blower” but instead refers to it as a “Scavenging Air Blower”. The FM 38D blower spins at 1450 rpm and provides 6000 CFM at about 2 to 4 PSI. The Direct Reversing version of this engine used a set of linkage and air valves on the blower in order to direct the air in the proper direction when the engine is running astern, thus the blower is running backwards.
General Motors Cleveland Diesel Engine Division (CDED) 278A Marine Diesel:
Cleveland Diesel mounted their single Roots Blower on the front of their engine, essentially shortening or lengthening the blower to fit the air flow of the 6, 8, 12- or 16-cylinder models of the 278A, as the photos and following table illustrates.
Thanks to Scott Zelinka for the above Cleveland photos showing a pair of the Spiral rotors used by CDED. The clearances between the rotors is set at .024″ (on the 12 and 16 Cyl) and .018″ on the smaller engines. I find it downright amazing that something with this complex of a shape – and interlocking none the less, could be machined so exacting by hand, and mass produced at that, long before computers and CNC.
With the new Cleveland Diesel 498 engine, a small Roots blower was used in conjunction with the exhaust driven turbocharger to provide for lower RPM scavenging. EMD would solve this issue with their own turbocharger on the 567. A centrifugal clutch drives the blower off of the timing gears that would disengage at a certain RPM and allow the turbocharger to freewheel.
EMD 567/645 Roots Blown Engines
Electro-Motive answered the Roots Blower question in a totally different way than its GM sister division CDED. EMD also had four different engines to support: 6 – 8 – 12 – 16 cylinders. EMD picked one design of blower, then used that one blower for the 6 and 8 cylinders model and a pair of blowers for the 12 and 16 cylinders, changing the blower gear ratio (and blower RPM) between 6 and 8, and 12 and 16 engines, gaining economics of scale and fewer replacement parts to support.
Below is the 8-cylinder 567 model:
And here is the mid-1950’s 16-567C model. Note the directional air intake, a sign that this engine was likely built for stationary power generation.
The 16-567C pic illustrates another clever design feature that EMD incorporated. By placing the Roots Blowers high above the crankshaft (driven by the engine’s camshaft drives), EMD designers provided a niche for a generator underneath the blowers, saving overall length of the engine/generator and thus overall length of the locomotive.
These are just a few short uses of the Roots Blower – several other manufacturers have used them, and coming in one of the next parts on the Delta Municipal Power Plant, we will see a giant Roots-Connersville centrifugal blower used to feed the big 31A18 engine. Roots Blowers are common on many different industrial uses outside of engines.
While many thousands of Roots Blowers have been built, I believe their day in the sun has passed. From my days at the Alaska Railroad, EPA emissions regulations were starting to close in on the Roots Blown engine. I do not know the specifics, but the GP38-2s AkRR owned had to be de-tuned for better emissions, which gave lower fuel economy. And even then, the EPA wasn’t very happy about it (that is, the EPA Tier 0/1/2/3 regulations only allowed de-tuning for existing engines and would not be applicable to a new Roots-blown EMD engine).
So, when you hear an older EMD go by, be it a GP7 or GP9 or 38, think of Philander Higley and Francis Marion Roots and what they invented 150 years ago.
Sidebar – Roots Blower Or Roots Supercharger?
Blogmaster Paul Strubeck has uncovered somewhat heated discussions between the terms “Roots Blower” and “Roots Supercharger”. Both terms can be correct – I will attempt to clarify, but I will preface my comments that I am an electrical engineer by training / experience and only an “armchair” engine guy (from hanging around my father and the many, many gear-heads at Electro-Motive over 22 years).
Supercharging is defined as jamming more air than atmospheric pressure into each cylinder before compression by the piston begins. My 1944 internal combustion textbook notes by providing some form of air pump, you can get more power for the same engine weight or thin-air compensation for an aircraft engine at high altitude.
In the two-cycle diesel engines (FM, Detroit Diesel, CDED, EMD), the Roots Blower acts primarily to scavenge exhaust gases from the cylinder after each power stroke. If the exhaust valves close before intake ports (in the case of a GM 2-cycle diesel), then some supercharging will take place. But the primary purpose is to get exhaust gases out.
If the air pump is driven by a turbine attached to the exhaust manifold, then the arrangement is termed a turbocharger. The turbocharged EMD 645E3 engine provides 3000 THP in the GP40/SD40, while the Roots-blown 645E engine of the GP38 provides only 2000 THP. The Wright radial engine of the Boeing B-17 of WWII used a turbo-supercharger so that it could fly at 25,000 feet over Germany, with each engine producing 750 HP at altitude.
Barney Navarro was the first hot rodder to put a Roots Blower with Detroit Diesel history on a car engine in the 1950’s. The blower, from a Detroit Diesel 3-71 was belt driven off of the crankshaft and made 16PSI of boost in the engine. After that the doors opened and the Roots style blower became a choice power added for race cars (typically drag cars). Today, they are still referred to an x-71 style (in different sizes, including a 14-71, an engine never made), however they are specific made for the application, and not WWII surplus! Supercharging on gasoline/car engines is a much larger topic that literally has had books written on it.
Continuing on our roadtrip last month, leaving Salt Lake City and heading towards Denver, we were sort of forced to take the scenic route, due to Route 70 being closed for fires – a common theme on this trip.. But hey, scenic roads are always better then highways! And, it lets us do some more exploring on the DRGW Narrow Gauge lines through Cimarron, Gunnison and Monarch. So, dropping down Route 50 out of Grand Junction, we come into the small town of Delta, Colorado. A small construction detour had us routed through downtown, and I had a lightbulb moment..Delta…They have an old Municipal plant full of Fairbanks engines! I remembered an old website from years ago (link on the bottom) with some photos, and doing some digging last year I read the plant was closed and they want to repurpose it… Well hell, lets find it!
Well, that was easy, being that its right on the edge of town, on 50. I had to stop and atleast take a look in the windows. So, I find a place to park next door and walk up to the windows.. and bam, there I am greeted by the plants largest engine, an FM 31A18. So I take a photo through the window.
I walk back to the car past the office, and say what the hell, let me knock on the door. I go to the car and grab my friend with me and tell him “If you want to tour the plant, lets go give it a shot”. Go to the office door, knock knock…I am greeted by a gentleman and ask him if by chance we can take a look around…
“Sure! Come on in! We love showing this place off!” Yep, defiantly not in NYC anymore..
We got the grand tour! Unfortunately, In a streak of laziness, I opted not to grab my real camera out of the car. A decision I regret. I am going to break this post up into several parts by engine, and give a run down of each engines history and specs.
The Delta plant was built in 1937 with the 32E engines originally, and expanded in the mid 1950’s. Here is the sad part, the plant was shut down for the last time in 2014, and has been idle since. I stumbled on plans from the city last year that they want to repurpose the building unfortunately. This place is a living museum of diesel engines and rural power generation and really deserves to be preserved as it is. Any old engine groups looking for FM’s might want to get in touch with them…
At the time, FM was not only the engine builder, but would act as the contractor for the site, planning the optimal layouts and plan for future expansions.
Lots of new subscribers and views in the last few months – Thank You!
As I mentioned in the previous edition of this, the way WordPress archives previous posts, kind of sucks, so unless you are looking for something, you will not see it shown. Thus, I opted to make these archives every so often as an index of all previous postings. Be sure to check them out if you missed them.
Lots of great articles in the works yet, and I always welcome any input, stories, photos or any of the like from my readers. Same goes if anyone has any old engine stuff they are looking to sell.
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In Blanca, Colorado, East of Alamosa and at the start of the D&RGW’s La Veta Pass line, was the interchange with the San Luis Valley railroad, a 30 some mile shortline, operating a mix of hand me down steam power. In 1950, the railroad purchased former D&RGW idler car #010798, which started life as D&RGW 2-8-0 964. These idler cars allowed standard gauge engines to bring narrow gauge cars between Alamosa and Antonito Colorado, and vice versa.
Well, it did not work. The tires apparently were not up to this task and would blow out often on the 30 mile railroad, and the engine was sidelined as a switcher before being taken apart.
In 1953 the railroad was reorganized as the Southern San Luis Valley, with new traffic shipping out chilled lettuce as the main industry served. The old idler flat car was retrieved, and a new locomotive idea was brought to the table. The old rubber traction system was removed, and a chain drive directly to the axles was used (more on this shortly). By 1957 the railroad was reduced to just a few miles in the Blanca area.
The new locomotive, dubbed the D-500, was powered by an International Harvester UD-24 diesel engine…
…which in turn drove a Cat hydraulic transmission..in turn feeding into a Euclid truck axle. This truck axle was connected to a sprocket turning a double roller chain, which was reduced down to another sprocket, that went down onto one of the trucks.
The main drive chain (visible just over the brake lever) drove the wheel, with said wheel also chain driving the wheel on the adjacent truck. Holy moving parts, Batman! This system must have been an absolute nightmare to keep in check and working correctly, but apparently it did just that..
Inside, the D-500 is pretty spartan..a handbrake wheel, and the assortment of shifters and throttle levers. Pretty good view though!
Looking down from the engineers seat, is a small little sliding window to look down at the engine.
A pile of old sprockets sits in side..
Both sides of the locomotive have ballast boxes, with one side full of freight car axles and old chains.. and the other various chunks of metal and cutup wheels.
The Southern San Luis Valley would continue to operate until 1996 when they shut down, and essentially left the equipment abandoned. The “assets” and ROW were purchased by the San Luis and Rio Grande Railway in 2007 simply for car storage, with the two SSLV locomotives left to rust away..
The second SSLV engine on the property, sitting next to the D-500 is former US Army/Utah Power & Light Plymouth ML3 #1. They purchased this in 1977 in non running condition. An engine was found, but the project was never finished, and the engine sits sans hood.
The pair of SSLV engines sit abandoned in a lot today. I sincerely hope that the D-500 can be preserved. As ugly as it is, it is a true testament to shortline railroading and the ingenuity put forth to keep operating on a shoestring budget.
Bob Griswold called the D-500 the “Slow moving conglomerate of Caterpillar, International Harvester, Euclid and other assorted moving parts and mechanisms” in his book Colorado’s Loneliest Railroad – the San Luis Southern. I found a copy of this on my way home and immediately picked it up. While I have yet to fully read it, its a fantastic look at this little railroad.
One last look at the D-500. Unfortunately the sun was not in my favor for my visit to these relics. I wonder if you rev it up and dump the clutch if it will do a burnout..
This will be the first of a handful of posts about things I stumbled on during the last few weeks and a 7,703 mile road trip.
One of the stops was Tillamook, Oregon. Tillamook was formerly home to the Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad, a former Southern Pacific line that suffered some severe washouts about 10 years ago, and was landlocked.
The railroad once served an industrial park that was formerly a Naval Air Station – now home to the Tillamook Air Museum, housed in a former blimp hanger. So, we made a quick trip over to see if anything was outside, as unfortunately we did not have time to go through the museum.
Naturally, pulling into the lot, I spot an EMD in the field. I took a stroll over and find another..
Sitting there were two EMD 16-567C engines. The railroads fleet was once made up of several GP and SD9 locomotives, the majority of which were scrapped a few years ago. I assume these were either leftovers from the scrapping, or just parts engines they once kept around. Lots of rusty old machine shop equipment sat along with them.
These things are pretty well junk having been sitting in the Oregon elements for a number of years..but hey, old engines are old engines!
In the adjacent lot next to the engines was some of Oregon Coast Scenic’s stored equipment, as well as POTB SD9 4406. Not sure who owns this one these days, as it does not appear on their roster.
The Tillamook Air Museum blimp hanging is downright massive – I hope to get back one day to check it out. Outside is a mini-guppy plane.
Just up the road is the Oregon Coast Scenic, a small tourist railroad operating on the former POTB tracks that are still intact, which the day we were there was running with McCloud River 25. If you are in the area, be sure to check them out. A neat little ride on literally, the Oregon Coast.
Port Of Tillamook 101 is owned by the scenic railroad, and was painted by her former owners in a cow inspired paint job, homage to the areas Dairy industry.
Former Great Northern F7 274 is one of the railroads diesel’s. Also up the road is the Tillamook Country Smokers Jerky factory outlet that I highly recommend, my wallet, does not.