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Welcome to North American Visions Page by Gerry Putz!
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Created for 4rail.net by Gerard J. Putz and John McKey. Pictures by Gerard J. Putz.

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Shay at Cass West Virginia, U.S.A.
Cass Scenic Railway operates a number of highly interesting Shays in West Virginia. Highly recommended reading!
Shay at Cass West Virginia, U.S.A.
Durbin, West Virginia is a home for a working Climax locomotive with a cylinder located at an angle on the sides.
East Broad Top, Pennsylvania mountains, U.S.A.
The East Broad Top of Pennsylvania Mountains has interesting heritage rolling stock ...

BNSF freight leasd by C44-9W number 535, Southwest U.S.A.
New kind of bogies tried for the BNSF AC44C4 work horses in Southwest, 4 powered axles doing the work of 6!
UP stack train led by SD70ACE number 8443 with 5 sisters foloowing, Southwest U.S.A.
UP formidable stack trains on the Southwestern deserts.
Csx sd40-2 number 8463 & mixed freight
CSX on Point of Rocks, Maryland. Lots of mixed freights.
 
    Csx sd40-2 number 8463 & mixed freight
Caltrain Commuter trains of California keep the local and regional traffic flowing.
 
       
       
       
       
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Steam Locomotives

  Shays at Cass, West Virginia
Shay at Cass West Virginia, U.S.A.

Imagine a steam locomotive built for maximum traction for rural rail tracks of the old days. You could not add weight to add traction like you would normally do, but you could use the whole weight of the locomotive and spread it evenly on the whole area so the track would not collapse. This is the basic idea behind the shay type of steam locomotive.

To achieve the even weight distribution some quite unusual solutions needed to be found. It would be uneconomical and technically very difficult to spread the pressure of steam evenly through the 3 bogies of the shay using the traditional design. What you need is a cardan axle, which is the same kind of solution that is found on many modern trains and most of the backwheel drive modern cars. Except that on the shay the cardan axle is on the sides probably for easier handling and maintenance. To drive the cardan axles, the steam cylinders were located right in front of the driver. And finally you need the gearing to operate heavy loads of logs on steep grades, so shays trade power for speed.

 

 

Shay at Cass West Virginia, U.S.A.
Gerry Putz visited Cass Scenic Railroad and as a result we are proud to present a number of top class photograps from the trip. Enjoy the pictures!
Shay at Cass West Virginia, U.S.A. Shay at Cass West Virginia, U.S.A.
Shay at Cass West Virginia, U.S.A.  
Shay at Cass West Virginia, U.S.A.  
Shay at Cass West Virginia, U.S.A.  
Shay at Cass West Virginia, U.S.A.  
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  Climax number 3 at Durbin, West Virginia
Climax at Durbin, West Virginia, U.S.A.
Another steam locomotive of a great interest from Gerry's trip to West Virginia was a Moore-Keppel & co. Climax at Durbin. Here the locomotive struggles uphill with a heavy train for it's power. As with shay locomotives, the weight is distributed and the whole weight of the loco used to add traction. Notice the steam cylinder that is in an angle on Climax loco.
Climax at Durbin, West Virginia, U.S.A.
Climax at Durbin, West Virginia, U.S.A.
Climax at Durbin, West Virginia, U.S.A.
Climax at Durbin, West Virginia, U.S.A.
Time to get ready to move the train forward...
Climax at Durbin, West Virginia, U.S.A.
Climax at Durbin, West Virginia, U.S.A.
Climax at Durbin, West Virginia, U.S.A.

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  East Broad Top RR of Pennsylvania
East Broad Top, Pennsylvania mountains, U.S.A.
The East Broad Top tourist railway operates in the mountains of Pennsylvania. The railroad owns several steam engines and at least one very interesting M-1.
East Broad Top, Pennsylvania mountains, U.S.A.
East Broad Top, Pennsylvania mountains, U.S.A.
East Broad Top, Pennsylvania mountains, U.S.A.
East Broad Top, Pennsylvania mountains, U.S.A.
And up the hill the 2-8-2 goes...
East Broad Top, Pennsylvania mountains, U.S.A.
East Broad Top, Pennsylvania mountains, U.S.A.
East Broad Top, Pennsylvania mountains, U.S.A.
East Broad Top, Pennsylvania mountains, U.S.A.
And next comes the M-1!
East Broad Top, Pennsylvania mountains, U.S.A.
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  BNSF Trying New Kind of Bogies under ES44C4s in 2010

BNSF stack train lead by a ES44C4 number 6619 C44-9W number 5141 and BNSF ES44 number 7813, Southwest U.S.A.

BNSF is trying a totally new concept on a couple of dozen of it's newest work horses, the General Electric built ES44C4's. The C4 stands for arrangement, where in each bogie the middle axle is supplied without the motor and the outside wheels are motored. This should enable the same power for the unit without sacrificing the precious kilonewtons needed to move the train as the true six ES44AC with six powered axles. Below the unit seen form the side and further down the closeup of the bogie, showing clearly the device to raise the axle when it's not needed.
BNSF stack train lead by a ES44C4 number 6619 C44-9W number 5141 and BNSF ES44 number 7813 climbing a slope uphill, Southwest U.S.A.
BNSF ES44C4 number 6619 bogie details, U.S.A.
When the middle axle is raised this makes the unit effectively four axled, going back to the period twenty years ago when new geeps appeared from the assembly line. Or even further back when the six axled diesels had only the outside wheels on the bogie powered. With the come back BNSF is assuming it will save costs, less moving parts and less money spent, quite simple actually. Below the new unit on the tip of the hot shot double stack train. Alll pictures by Gerry Putz.
BNSF stack train lead by a ES44C4 number 6619 C44-9W number 5141 and BNSF ES44 number 7813 climbing a slope uphill, Southwest U.S.A.
BNSF stack train lead by a ES44C4 number 6619 C44-9W number 5141 and BNSF ES44 number 7813 climbing a slope uphill, Southwest U.S.A.
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  UP Stack Trains in the Southwestern Desert Area

UP stack train on the desert, Southwest U.S.A.

The American formidable stack trains are really possible to observe only in wide open spaces, so huge they are spanning in many cases from visual horizon to another. These monsters are operated by class 1 railroads like BNSF, UP (above and below), Norfolk Southern, CSX, KCS, CN and CP, but only in the Southwestern desert they become 10'000+ feet long (over 3 kilometers). This kind of stack train is as close to equivalent to ship on the water. The huge container ships dock to Californian harbors, where the containers are loaded to BNSF and UP stack trains for a journey to east.

Here the UP international container carrier is spanning the desert on it's way back west to California.

Pictures by Gerry Putz.
UP stack train led by ES44AC number 7454 on the desert, Southwest U.S.A.
UP stack train led by SD70ACE number 8443 with 5 sisters foloowing, Southwest U.S.A.
Above the UP manifest (mized freight) on the hills of Cajon Pass in California. Notice the other end of the train spanning far into the horizon.

Below a closer study of the EMD (now part of Caterpillar) built UP SD70ACe locomotive. While the visual design is definitely not one of the strengths of the EMD, this locomotive has some state of the art modular components and is made for extremely heavy everyday duties.

Pictures by Gerry Putz.
UP stack train led by SD70ACE number 8443 with 5 sisters foloowing, Southwest U.S.A.
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  CSX on Point of Rocks, Maryland

CSX ES44AC number 769 and C40-8W number 7790 & mixed freight, Point of Rocks, Maryland, U.S.A.

Picture above: The e/b CSXT Q216 is led by ES44AH #769 + C40-8W #7790 on #1 Main. 
Picture below: The e/b CSXT Q415 is led by ES40DCs #5317 + #5315 +.

All pictures by Gerry Putz.
Csx ES40DC number 5317 and 5315 & mixed freight
Csx sd40-2 number 8463 & mixed freight
Picture above: SD40-2 #8463.
Picture below: B211 returned from its pusher assignment, then crossed over here to go to PEPCO to pick up empty coal gons and/or ash cars.

Pictures by Gerry Putz.
Csx sd50 number 8528 on the tip of a coal train

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  Caltrain Commuter Trains of California

Caltrain F40PH at San Carlos Station

Picture above: A northbound Caltrain is going, pushed by the Caltrain F40PH-2 number 902.
Picture below: The San Carlos station is a real gem! 

All pictures by Gerry Putz.
San Carlos Station in California
San Carlos Station and Caltrain in California

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© 4rail.net Railroad Reference 2004 - 2011   -   Created 2010, Refurbished 26.9.2011 John McKey and Gerry Putz, Updated 14.12.2011