Thursday, May 21, 2020

Steam Switchers in New Britain - The Later Years

Photos

I have photos of three different T-2 class switchers in New Britain. Although I don't have confirmation for several of the photos, I believe all of these are Kent Cochrane photos, with some in the early '40s. These photos are the primary source for determining which locomotives were assigned to New Britain, absent 1946 or 1947 Engine Assignment or other company records.


T-2-a 2327 on New Britain engine servicing pits, date and photographer unknown
Note the main rod is connected to the second driver, the spotting feature for a T-2-a.

T-2-a 2327 working Whiting St Yard, date and photographer unknown


T-2-b 2435 working New Britain Yard, c1940, photographer unknown
Note the main rod is connected to the third driver, identifying it as a T-2-b.
I believe that is a W-2-d class tender with the extended coal bunker.

Both of these locomotives were gone by my era.
  • T-2-a 2327 was retired February 2, 1945
  • T-2-b 2435 was condemned 8/15/44, which is too bad because it has the extended coal bunker found on the Overland brass model of these locomotives. Incidentally, while they thoughtfully made the coal bunker extension a separate part, there isn't any consideration for adding the original coal bunker sides so it's not very usable without modification in any other consideration.



T-2-b 2446 at Russell and Erwin
September 7, 1946, Kent Cochrane photo


T-2-b at Russell & Erwin (Washington Street Crossing)
c1946, Kent Cochrane photo


T-2-b 2446 at New Britain engine servicing
August 1948, Kent Cochrane photo


On the back of the second photo is a handwritten note by Tom McNamara:

New Britain switcher at NB Engine Storage 8/48
Diesel switchers (0800s) had been working in NB (3/47)
for over a year at the time of this photo and 2446's career was over.

Listed in April 20, 1948 Utilization of Locomotives report as assigned to East Hartford, but dumped. This could conceivably confirm Thomas McNamara's notes on the back of the photo from '48. It was condemned/sold on 10/14/49.

Only one other T-2-b was assigned to East Hartford on that report, 2353. I have no information as to when this locomotive was condemned, but could this be the second New Britain switcher when the DEY-4 (44-tonners) were assigned in March 1947?

For now I don't know, but I can narrow down the possibilities.

An April 20, 1948 Utilization of Locomotives report gives the disposition of those remaining at that time. I've also noted any additional information I have for these specific locomotives.
2305 - 4/20/48 Worcester Shop Switcher, 9/25/49 Van Nest Shop Switcher
2309 - 4/20/48 Boston Shop Switcher (Southampton St)
2339 - 4/20/48 Cedar Hill Enginehouse Switcher, 3/22/47 Cedar Hill (photo)
2353 - 4/20/48 East Hartford, light repairs
2393 - 3/31/50, 9/47 stored in Boston (photo, stack capped), 4/20/48 New Bedford, boiler wash
2398 - 10/13/50, 8/47 Hartford (photo), 8/31/47 Providence (photo), 4/20/48 Worcester, dumped, 6/20/48 Fan Trip (photo)
2403 - 9/12/49, 4/20/48 Worcester, steam heat
2446 - 10/14/49, 4/20/48 East Hartford, dumped, 12/48 Readville (photo, under steam), 4/24/49 Readville, dumped save fuel, 7/2/49 Readville (photo, stripped down)
2466 - 10/10/49, 4/20/48 Readville Shop Switcher, 4/24/49 Readville, dumped save fuel

However, I doubt it was moved to one of the other locations listed in the 1948 report, so I need to see what I can find for the other locomotives regarding their assignments or photos. The possible exception is 2353 which is the only other one assigned to the Hartford Division at that time.

There are a handful of T-2s that were condemned between March 1947 and April 20, 1948:

2312 - 2/10/48
2319 - 3/18/47
2326 - 6/10/47
2378 - 3/18/47
2383 - 11/29/47
2411 - 7/22/47
2416 - 6/10/47
2454 - 6/27/47
2457 - 11/29/47

I think it's unlikely that either 2319 or 2378 was the other New Britain locomotive. First, because both were condemned on the same date. Second, because I think that the process of being removed from service and being condemned took a period of time. How long? I'm not sure, nor was it necessarily the same for all. But 2446 was removed from service in March '47, sat in New Britain until at least August '48, and ended up in Readville by April '49 before being condemned in October of '49, or more than two years.

For now, 1946 ops sessions are some time away, giving me time to look for additional information to narrow down the list. Of course, it's quite possible that the specific locomotive number has been lost. But with luck additional records or photos will turn up.


Thursday, May 14, 2020

Steam Switchers in New Britain

New Britain Engine Servicing post 1909, pre 19??

In its early years, New Britain was the home terminal for locomotives for Berlin and Bristol, in addition to the locally assigned switchers. 

Early on, the engine servicing had a small turntable as shown on the 1895 and earlier Sanborn maps.

By 1901 the turntable had been removed:

And by 1909 the layout in the photo above is in place:

Sometime prior to my era, the engine houses were torn down (or perhaps burned down?)


New Britain Engine Assignments 1919 to 1925

3/10/19
  • 2405 (T-2-b class 0-6-0) New Britain switcher
  • 2410 (T-2-b) New Britain switcher
  • 2527 (U-3 class 0-6-0) New Britain switcher

7/10/19
  • 2405 (T-2-b) New Britain switcher
  • 2464 (T-2-b) New Britain switcher
  • 2527 (T-2-b) Stored New Britain

8/10/19 and 12/10/19
  • 2405 (T-2-b) New Britain switcher
  • 2464 (T-2-b) New Britain switcher

8/10/20
Home terminals are now listed, so we can see what other locomotives originate in New Britain.
  • 1728 (C-11-a class 4-4-0) Berlin Branch
  • 2405 (T-2-b) New Britain switcher
  • 2428 (T-2-b) New Britain switcher

3/10/21
The first locomotive (#100) is assigned to the Hartford division, the rest are assigned to the Waterbury division.
  • 100 (F-3 class 2-8-0) New Britain Switcher
  • 1636 (C-3-a class 4-4-0) Spare East Hartford
  • 2428 (T-2-b) New Britain switcher
  • 2433 (T-2-b) New Britain switcher (M.D. - assigned to Mechanical Department)
  • 2460 (T-2-b) Bristol Switcher
  • 2461 (T-2-b) New Britain Switcher

9/25/21
  • 100 (F-3) Berlin Switcher
  • 2428 (T-2-b) New Britain switcher
  • 2433 (T-2-b) Stored Waterbury
  • 2460 (T-2-b) Bristol Switcher
  • 2461 (T-2-b) New Britain Switcher

3/1/22
  • 100 (F-3) Berlin Switcher
  • 2428 (T-2-b) New Britain switcher
  • 2460 (T-2-b) Bristol Switcher
  • 2461 (T-2-b) New Britain Switcher

6/11/22
  • 100 (F-3) Stored East Hartford
  • 120 (F-3) Berlin switcher
  • 1633 (C-10) Berlin Branch
  • 2428 (T-2-b) New Britain switcher
  • 2460 (T-2-b) Bristol Switcher
  • 2461 (T-2-b) New Britain Switcher

5/15/23
  • 100 (F-3) Berlin switcher
  • 1621 (C-3-a) Berlin Branch
  • 2410 (T-2-b) New Britain switcher
  • 2428 (T-2-b) New Britain switcher
  • 2460 (T-2-b) Bristol Switcher

9/30/23
  • 103 (F-3) Berlin switcher
  • 1621 (C-3-a class 4-4-0) Berlin Branch
  • 2376 (T-2-b) New Britain switcher
  • 2428 (T-2-b) New Britain switcher
  • 2460 (T-2-b) New Britain switcher

1/1/24
  • 116 (F-3) Berlin switcher
  • 1621 (C-3-a) Berlin Branch Passenger Service
  • 2428 (T-2-b) New Britain switcher
  • 2460 (T-2-b) New Britain-Bristol switcher

1/1/25
  • 102 (F-3) Dumped save fuel
  • 216 (P-1 class 2-8-0) Plainville switcher (temporary)
  • 340 (K-1-b class 2-6-0) Berlin switcher
  • 1622 (C-3-a) Berlin branch
  • 2376 (T-2-b) New Britain switcher
  • 2428 (T-2-b) New Britain switcher

I don't have any Engine Assignments between 1925 and 1949, although I do have a Locomotive Utilization report for April 20, 1948. However, by that time the T-2-b switchers had already been replaced in New Britain by the DEY-4s (44-tonners). During this period the engine houses were torn down (or perhaps burned down?) and the canopy in front of the Railroad Arcade was removed, and the Waterbury Division was eliminated.

In 1935 the passenger service between New Britain and Berlin stations were replaced by bus. In 1919/20 there were 20 daily weekday round trips between the two stations, less than 2.5 miles apart. It appears that based on the 1924/25 assignments that the Bristol switcher was eliminated, and some time later the Berlin switcher would be too.

Friday, May 8, 2020

NMRA Clinic available on YouTube

The NMRA presented a virtual meet on Facebook. 24 hours of clinics. I presented one on Prototype Modeling and the layout that's now available on YouTube.

Chris has posted more info on his blog, including a list of all the clinics (including his).

I'll be presenting again on May 30. Stay tuned!

Enjoy!

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Operations: Trains by Year Updated

In the clinic I did for the NMRA, I noted that one advantage of Prototype Modeling is that it narrows your focus and scope, which can save you money too. For example, you may not need as many locomotives as you think.

Perhaps I should listen to my own advice...

I have a full roster of locomotives, all acquired specifically because I needed them for the trains I'd be running in ops sessions. As my research has continued, along with my honing in on what my operating scheme actually is, I've found that I need a lot fewer than I need.

Why is this?
  1. I learned that steam left earlier than expected. I settled on the start of my era as 1946 because I thought that it meant I would be able to run all steam. But the reality is, in order to run steam for the NY/YN freights I have to go back earlier, prior to July 1945 (which means all the way back to 1944 for my late autumn season).
  2. I have narrowed my operating focus to the hours that the Yard Crews are on duty. While I haven't really determined exactly what those hours are, I have a pretty good idea of the window.

For example, I originally thought that for 1946 I'd need:

  • I-class Pacifics for passenger (mostly I-2s, an occasional I-4 or DL-109)
  • J-1 Mikados for YN/NY freights
  • L-1 Santa Fes for OA/AO freights
  • K-1-d for HDX-5
  • R-1-b for ANE-1/EA-2
  • T-2-b 0-6-0s for the Yard Crews
What I actually need is:
  • I-class Pacific for passenger (mostly I-2s, I could run an I-4 or DL-109)
  • S-2s for YN/NY freights
  • T-2-bs
There are no other trains during the session. Not nearly as many locomotives, and only 33% steam. In 1946. Actually, this is probably the same as 1945, although wartime traffic probably added a daytime Maybrook freight with an L-1 Santa Fe. To go with all steam and include the J-1 Mikados would be 1944. There's really no reason I couldn't run sessions in '44 or '45, other than I'd need a different mix of freight cars.

Year-by-year roster now based on my actually operating scheme:
For all years - two 44-tonners plus the Stanley Works HK Porter fireless steam locomotive, except in '46 where I'll still need two T-2-b 0-6-0 switchers instead.

1946
  • I-2/I-4/DL-109
  • K-1-d Mogul 479
  • S-2 0605, 0606

1947
  • I-2/I-4/DL-109
  • K-1-d Mogul 479
  • S-2 0605, 0606

1948
  • I-2/I-4/DL-109
  • S-1 0955 (I just located a photo of 479 in Waterbury on a work train on 9/25/48, so it has been replaced by autumn '48 by 0955)
  • RS-1 0660, 0661
  • RS-2 0502, 0503 (might still be S-2 0605, 0606)

1949
  • DL-109 (original configuration or rebuilt)
  • RS-1 0660, 0661
  • RS-2 0502, 0503
  • S-1 0995

1950
  • Comet
  • H16-44 563, 569 (or rebuilt DL-109)
  • RS-1 0660, 0661
  • RS-2 0502, 0503, 0508
  • S-1 0994 (assigned by October engine assignments, not in September freight schedules)
I have never seen a picture of a DERS-3 (H16-44) in passenger service on the Highland Line, but they are listed as being assigned when delivered.

1951
  • DL-109 (rebuilt)
  • FA-1/FB-1/FB-1/FA-1
  • RS-1 0660, 0661
  • RS-2 0502, 0503
I don't have engine assignments for 1951 (except steam). It's possible that the RS-2s were moved to passenger service by this time (and they wouldn't need to be 0502/3 since they wouldn't need ATS), and the Holyoke freights may have been RS-3s.

1952
  • DL-109 0707 (rebuilt)
  • RS-3 523, 555, 556, 558
  • FA-1/FB-1/FB-1/FB-1

1953
  • RDC-1, 2 and 3

1954
  • RDC-1, 2 and 3
  • RS-3 551, 552 (?? It's listed in the freight schedule, but not engine assignments, these road numbers are from a later year)
It also shows me that the simplest operating session is actually 1953 since there won't be any freights coming through during the session. Once I get both 44-tonners completed, I'll also have all the power I need for the session.

Revised Locomotive Roster 1946-1954:

  • 44-tonner 0802, 0805 (W&R with Bachmann chassis)
  • Comet (Con-Cor)
  • DL-109 (original configuration) 0703 (Proto 1000)
  • DL-109 (rebuilt) 0707 (Overland)
  • FA-1/FB-1/FA-1 (repainted) (Proto 2000) I can also substitute a Rapido FB-2 in '51/2
  • H16-44 563, 569 (Atlas)
  • I-2 1300, 1324 (Crown Custom)
  • I-4 1383 (alternate) (Broadway Limited)
  • K-1-d 479 (New England Rail Services)
  • RDC-1 21, 23, 26, 29 (Rapido)
  • RDC-2 120 (Rapido)
  • RDC-3 126, 129 (Rapido)
  • RS-1 0660, 0661 (Atlas)
  • RS-2 0502, 0503 (Proto 1000)
  • RS-3 523, 555, 556, 558 (Athearn)
  • S-1 0955, 0994 (Proto 2000)
  • S-2 0605, 0606 (Atlas)
  • Stanley Works HK Porter Fireless Steam (kitbash with Mantua chassis)
  • T-2-b 2446 and 2???
Locomotives that are now nice to have, but not "required"
L-1 Santa Fe (2)
J-1 Mikado (2)
K-1-b Mogul
R-1-b Mountain
More than 2 RS-1s, RS-2s, and the number of RS-3s is reduced as well.

May not need (these are included in the roster above). In particular train 131/136 in 1948 could be an I-2, I-4, or DL-109.

H16-44
HH660
I-4 Pacific

Depending on some of the choices I make, that's 14 to 20 locomotives that I don't need anymore. Not that I'm necessarily going to eliminate any of these, but it does allow me to consider thinning the herd, or at least prioritize which ones to get running first.