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Old October 9th, 2011, 07:45 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is online now
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Default A lovely wedding in Frisco, Texas

Frisco, Texas is about 30 miles north of downtown Dallas. It is named after the nickname of the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway, and the city's logo is that of the railroad (now defunct).

The city coalesced around a watering station on the railroad's line from Dallas north to Tulsa, Oklahoma.

It has recently become a rapidly-growing, affluent, sophisticated exurb of Dallas, with several very spiffy sports venues (including a first rate minor-league baseball field).

Frisco Heritage Park celebrates the town's history, with a very nice historical museum as its centerpiece, surrounded by several restored old buildings and reconstructions of old buildings.

Carla and I had the pleasure this past weekend of attending the wedding of a family member in the Lebanon Baptist Church there. The building was originally in Lebanon, Texas, about five miles south of the Heritage Park (with the main portion of the present city of Frisco), a small town that was doomed in 1902 when the Frisco Railroad decided not to build its main line through the town but rather about two miles to the west (where the topography was more suitable from an engineering standpoint). When he congregation built a new building, they donated the original one to the city to be placed in Heritage Park.

In fact, in 1902, some Lebanon residents had moved their physical homes (on log rollers) from their sites in Lebanon to the new and promising town eventually named Frisco, a fascinating precursor to the destiny of the original Lebanon Baptist Church building.

Here we see the building at its present site in Frisco Heritage Site:



Douglas A. Kerr: Original Lebanon Baptist Church building, Frisco, Texas
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The building has been beautifully restored inside and out, including the original tin ceiling, original wood floor, and original pews and altar.

The bride, Marcia, is the first wife of Carla's eldest blood grandson, originally from Louisiana, of Creole ancestry (with a little Cherokee thrown in for good measure). The groom, Troy, more recently from Minnesota (don'tcha know), is part Sioux.

I was not the photographer of record (he seemingly came with the DJ package), but the bride asked me to double, so I managed to get off a few shots (597).

The bride was walked down the aisle by her grandfather:



Douglas A. Kerr: Entry of the bride

The reason is that her father officiated at the ceremony!



Douglas A. Kerr: At the altar

The after-service group shots were done with a backdrop of a restored steam locomotive on static display at the park in recognition of the important role railroading played in the town's history:



Douglas A. Kerr: Part of the wedding party

The two very young men in the party weren't supposed to be in this shot (female attendants only), but one couldn't decide whether to be in or not, and was flitting about in the margin. (His partner was peaceably reverse engineering the valve gear of the locomotive.). Marcia grabbed him by the arm, hauled him into the shot, told him to stand still or else, and we both shot. (Those Cherokee women are so effective!)

[continued]
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Old October 9th, 2011, 08:17 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is online now
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[part 2]

Two of the bridesmaids were the bride's two gorgeous daughters, Tawny Alexis, 11, and Taylor Anne, 15. We see them here with the photographer of record:



Douglas A. Kerr: Three cute kids

A fabulous reception was held after the ceremony in a hall fashioned to be evocative of an early-time railway depot.

When the time came for the bride and groom to take their first dance, the DJ decided it would be more romantic to almost fully darken the hall. (Not good in my opinion - the guests wanted to see them dance.)

I had decided to leave the Speedlite 580EX II in the car and just use the Speedlite 270EX on my EOS 40D. I thought, "Oh great, no near-infra-red AF assist." But of course the system was happy to invoke the dreadful "buzz burst" of white from the flash unit for AF assist. (I have been told at other events, "you can't do that in here, Mac".) It was very effective, and the party-goers thought I was way cool to introduce that strobe phenomenon into the ambiance.

Of course, I was shooting almost blind myself, but it worked out.



Douglas A. Kerr: Shot in the dark

(Not, "A shot in the dark".)

Well, all the cute girls at the event almost made me forget the locomotive, but not quite:



Douglas A. Kerr: 2-8-0 Consolidation, Frisco, Texas

It is a lovely 2-8-0 "Consolidation" of the later design (with Walschaerts valve gear), made in 1916 by Baldwin Locomotive Works for the Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (iron ore mine duty).

Although it carries a generic looking "Frisco" marking, it never belonged to that road. The number, 19, is its original LS&I number. Much misinformation about this locomotive abounds in Web sites talking about Frisco Heritage Park.

Overall, it was a lovely day, and well worth the 150 mile round trip (road construction out, heavy rain back) from World Headquarters in Weatherford.

Best regards,

Doug
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Old October 10th, 2011, 05:02 PM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Hi Doug,

Thanks for sharing. Although it's a glimpse into your now personal (and Carla's extended) family album, it also comes with a nice narrative to point out the (photographic and other) specifics, I enjoyed it. A few LOLs were heard on my side, but then I like your kind of (sometime sarcastic, though not overly so in this case), touching on matters technical, humo(u)r.

Cheers,
Bart
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Old October 10th, 2011, 06:14 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is online now
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Hi, Bart,

Glad you enjoyed the piece.

Best regards,.

Doug
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Old October 11th, 2011, 09:35 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is online now
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A little more about the locomotive.

It seems as if the Lake Superior & Ishpeming sold it in 1989 to the Grand Canyon Railway (which perhaps used it in some of its scenic runs).

They sold it in 1993 to the MGM Grand Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas. They sold it in 2002 to the Cañon City and Royal Gorge Railway, which apparently planned to put it into scenic run use (although I don't have any information about that).

I believe that the Frisco Heritage Park group bought it from CC&RG.

The 2-8-0 design was widely used in freight service by over 100 US railways (and variants were widely used in other countries). The biggest US user was the Pennsylvania Railroad.

A basic objective of the wheel arrangement was for a high fraction of the locomotive weight to be borne on the driving wheels, thus attaining a high ratio of available tractive effort to overall weight. The two leading wheels were thus devoted primarily to helping to guide the locomotive through turns.

In furtherance of this objective, the frontmost driving wheels were extremely far forward, almost touching the rear of the cylinder. We see that clearly in this image:


Douglas A Kerr: 2-8-0 locomotive at Frisco Heritage Park

In locomotives with trailing wheels (this design has none), they served to take a significant part of the overall weight. Typically in such machines, the boiler firebox sat atop the trailing wheels, to the rear of the rearmost drivers. Because of the modest diameter of the trailing wheels, the firebox could be set relatively low, and with it the rest of the boiler.

In a "-0" design, such as we have here, with no trailing wheels, the firebox needs to be over the rearmost drivers. Because of their substantial diameter (57" in this machine) , the firebox is situated quite high, and with it the boiler proper, which seems to be suspended in midair (as seen in the figure above).

The high tractive effort potential was of course ideal for freight use. The two leading wheel arrangement was not as effective as a four-wheel arrangement in guiding the locomotive at higher speeds, but of course that was not of so much consequence in freight service, normally conducted at lower speeds.

An interesting design detail of this locomotive, and in fact typical of this type, is the handsomely thinned out lifting link in the Walschaerts valve gear. We see it here:


Douglas A Kerr: 2-8-0 locomotive valve gear

There is of course no reason for this link to be massive. The only load on it is the weight of the rear end of the radius bar.

The lifting link shifts the altitude of the rear of the radius bar to change the parameters of the valve motion scheme, both to shift from forward to reverse running and to vary the "cutoff", a matter which is conceptually equivalent to varying the gear ratio of an automotive drive train in the transmission as the vehicle moves through different portions of its operating range (essentially, a torque vs. speed tradeoff).

On the other hand, there is no benefit to "lightening" this link, as it moves only slowly, and its mass at worst would be minuscule compared to the mass of the radius bar.

So typically the lifting link has a fairly substantial "dumbbell" shape. But the designers here I guess wanted to be a little more "elegant" in one of the few places they could.

Well, more philosophy on art and mechanics in the design of the 2-8-0 locomotive mechanisms a little later. Now I have to go sort out an anomaly in a bank account!

Best regards,

Doug
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Old October 12th, 2011, 07:19 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is online now
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I thought I would call attention to a unique feature of the "suspension" of this form of the 2-8-0 locomotive.

The springs for the driving wheel axles on steam locomotives are not there to make the ride smoother for the crew, although they do a little of that. A more important function is to reduce the "unsprung mass", reducing the dynamic forces on the drivers when they hit small irregularities in the track.

The most important function is to maintain a fairly uniform distribution of the forces between the drivers and the rails in the face of "undulations" in the rails. Otherwise, where a rail dipped down slightly, the driver at that point would lose traction, and more importantly. could even lose its ability to guide the locomotive laterally (due to disengagement of its flange).

This consideration is most important for the frontmost drivers which, with the leading wheels, have the job of taking the locomotive around a curve.

In our 2-8-0, a clever mechanism is used to give the front drivers and the leading wheels consistent and uniform forces on the rail. We see it in this image:



Douglas A. Kerr: Equalized suspension

We see leaf springs for each side of the frontmost driver axle. Note that the front ends of those springs are not attached by individual hangers to the frame, but rather go to a transverse equalizer bar. Its center pivot is supported by a vertical bar which we can, for the moment, think of as running down to the frame.

This arrangement assures that the spring forces on both ends of the driver axle will be equal, even if one end of the axle is higher than the other in the frame (as will happen when the locomotive first encounters a "twist" in the track. Otherwise (with independent springs), the end of the axle that is higher would have a greater downward force, owing to the greater deflection of its spring.

But actually, the scheme is better than that. The tension rod from the equalizer bar actually goes not to the frame but to the tail of a pivoting lever whose front end vertically supports the truck supporting the leading wheels (themselves seen at the lower left corner of the figure). The rod's upward force on the tail provides the total downward force on the leading wheels. (That force is less than the total force on the driver axle, owing to the less than unity lever ratio involved.)

As the truck is free to tilt laterally, the forces on the two lead wheels will be equal.

Thus the two leaf springs provide the springing for the front two drivers and the two leading wheels, the forces always being equal between the drivers and equal between the two leading wheels and proportional to the driver forces.

The system was patented in 1864 by William S. Hudson, superintendent of Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works.

Incidentally, a similar concept has been used (even before Hudson's invention) for equalizing the spring forces on the four drivers of two consecutive sets.

On the other end of the scale, on this locomotive, I think the remaining six drivers may not have springs at all. They are not apparent in the pictures, and I didn't have time to examine the machine in detail, being preoccupied with the main purpose for my being there! That would be rather surprising, and perhaps the springs there are at a much lower location and thus not visible.

Best regards,

Doug
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Old October 12th, 2011, 07:01 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is online now
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Almost certainly the other three driver axles were equipped with springs. In one design I have seen on a 2-8-0, they were in pockets in the frame at about the altitude of the axles, and might not have been visible in my shots.

Almost always the springs were connected together through equalizing levers, whose point was to make the force on all drivers on one side of the locomotive (other than the first pair) the same (a concept similar to that we saw above on the first two axles).

Unlike the situation on the front driver axle, these equalizing systems did not equalize the force between the two sides of the locomotive (even if all drivers on one side were higher than on the other, with respect to the frame). If it did, in effect the locomotive would have been free to tilt to one side or the other.

Thus, side-to-side equalization was reserved for the first driver axle (as we saw above), where the best contact of each driver with the rail at all times was especially critical.

Note that when running in reverse, where the two normally-rearmost drivers were "in the lead", without benefit of side-to-side equalization of driver force on the rails, and without the help of a "trailing wheel" truck (now leading), the speed had to be limited, as there was increased chance of the machine not negotiating a curve at "normal" speed.

Best regards,

Doug
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Old November 1st, 2011, 07:00 AM
Sydney Rester Sydney Rester is offline
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These are beautiful, Doug, and I love the way you can tell the story with such detail. I am still so focused on just getting the image into the camera, often I don't know enough about my subjects to elaborate. It makes all the difference.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 09:57 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Doug,

What on earth is happening to your mind! Fantasies are pushing through your thin curtain of reality. Reminds me of Magritte!



René Mgritte, Belgian, 1898-1967: Time Transfixed, 1938
Oil on canvas, 147 x 98.7 cm, Joseph Winterbotham Collection, 1970.426

© 2001 C. Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Shown here under fair use doctrine for editorial comment



Asher
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Old November 1st, 2011, 10:28 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is online now
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Hi, Asher,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
What on earth is happening to your mind! Fantasies are pushing through your thin curtain of reality. Reminds me of Magritte!



René Mgritte, Belgian, 1898-1967: Time Transfixed, 1938
Oil on canvas, 147 x 98.7 cm, Joseph Winterbotham Collection, 1970.426

© 2001 C. Herscovici, Brussels / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Shown here under fair use doctrine for editorial comment
Oh. that's lovely.

Still, I have to say that in the rendering of the Walschaerts valve gear . . . Oh, well, never mind!

On the back of that thin curtain is a little sign: STAGE RIGHT --->

Best regards,

Doug
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Old November 1st, 2011, 10:36 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Kerr View Post
Hi, Asher,


Oh. that's lovely.

Still, I have to say that in the rendering of the Walschaerts valve gear . . .


The design is amazing!

Asher
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Old November 1st, 2011, 10:48 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post

The design is amazing.
Indeed. And that animation is lovely.

It is interesting to note that its behavior is not theoretically ideal, but mechanisms that more closely approach the theoretical ideal are much more complicated and "delicate", and thus not well suited for the context of a steam locomotive. (Some of those were successfully used in "stationary" engines, such as those used at one time for pumping water or generating electricity.)

What is remarkable is the fact that this relatively-simple (and potentially-robust) mechanism produces a very usable compromise in valve behavior over a wide range of operating conditions.
In the animation, we see "the Johnson bar in the corner"; that is, the reversing lever is set for forward running in the low-speed high-torque mode (like first gear in an automobile).
Those interested in the underling premises, or in this mechanism in particular, might enjoy this:

http://dougkerr.net/Pumpkin/articles/Loco_Valves.pdf

The Walschaerts gear in particular is covered in Appendix A.

Best regards,

Doug
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Old November 4th, 2011, 08:28 AM
chi pritchard chi pritchard is offline
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Default background info

Definitely more info than I thought I would get when I click on the wedding Frisco TX link. :) Doesn't hurt to have a little extra info about the venue and all the items in the shot!!!!!
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Old November 4th, 2011, 08:35 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is online now
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Hi, Chi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by chi pritchard View Post
Definitely more info than I thought I would get when I click on the wedding Frisco TX link. :) Doesn't hurt to have a little extra info about the venue and all the items in the shot!!!!!
Well, it's all fun stuff!

Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto

-Terentius

"I am a human being, so nothing human is foreign to me"

Best regards,

Doug
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