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Lima Locomotive Works - Rod engine question.

Posted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:21 pm
by Curtis_F
Can anyone name a Pacific Narrow Gauge railroad that bought side-rod engines from Lima?

I know of a couple from the US East coast, but I think only shays were ordered in the West and along the Pacific Rim. :?:

Re: Lima Locomotive Works - Rod engine question.

Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:02 am
by Brian Norden
One place to look is the list in the back of Lima: the history by Eric Hirsimaki.

Other than small industrial locomotives the only 3' gauge rod engine by Lima that I recall is the one now setting up at Nevada City. And that was used back east.

Re: Lima Locomotive Works - Rod engine question.

Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:12 pm
by John Coker
The Rio Grande & Southwestern, a 50 mile lumber road that ran southwest of Chama, ordered two Lima 2-8-0s. in 1907. They were no shrinking violets- at 38 tons they weighed in over a ton more than D&RGW class C-19s, and might have had nearly 20,000 lbs tractive effort. #6 ran until about 1932 in the Dolores area of SW Colorado.
The #7 disappeared off the books early. #6 was a good-looking locomotive, with the big domes that are familiar on Shays. Like other Lima products, #6 had a reputation as a sturdy, well-constructed machine. Do not know of any n.g. rod engines Lima built for any Far West road.

I would note that the E&P ordered locomotives from a number of different builders when the flux business was good.

Re: Lima Locomotive Works - Rod engine question.

Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:00 pm
by Curtis_F
Brian,

"Lima: The History" has been ordered through Amazon. That's really a book I should have had already.

As far as I know Lima got into the rod engine business after the narrow gauge boom, and they were generally a more expensive builder, so it makes some sense that there's not much in the way of narrow gauge side-rod Lima products. However, it seems against the odds that no railroad further West than New Mexico ordered one. It'll be very interesting to look through the roster in the book.

-------------

John,

Thank you for the heads up on those engines. I ran that information through the Cal State RR Museum's Online Lima database, and came up with two hits, but not for the Rio Grande & Southwestern:

New Mexico Lumber Company. Road # 6.
Construction # 1062. Shipping date: Oct. 1907. Rod 2-8-0
Index (Specification / Order Sheet): D 521. CSRM Library File Location: Box 41
Side elevation drawing # D 9106. CSRM Library File Location: 5 / 3.3

New Mexico Lumber Company. Road # 7
Construction # 1063. Shipping date: Oct. 1907. Rod 2-8-0
Index (Specification / Order Sheet): D 521. CSRM Library File Location: Box 41
Side elevation drawing # D 9106. CSRM Library File Location: 5 / 3.3


Could these be the engines you're thinking of?



Thank you both again,

Curtis F.

Re: Lima Locomotive Works - Rod engine question.

Posted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:02 am
by elminero67
This is a very interesting topic: I've always read that Lima were more of a high end product, but have never seen information on cost when new and how they compare. Any idea of the cost of a Lima narrow gauge when new?

New Mexico Lumber #6

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:32 am
by Andrew Brandon
I picked this image up a while back, no date marked on it but I am sure someone has more info. :mrgreen:

Re: Lima Locomotive Works - Rod engine question.

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:28 pm
by John Coker
When experts talk of locomotive builders, it kinda goes like this:

Mason was the Rolls Royce. These engines were legendary for the beautifully-turned quality of their product. Alas, the "bogies" which they were famous for, were very early forays into Walschearts valve gear and articulated frames. It could have been their downfall. The Bogies could not pull much and mechanics didn't know how to maintain them.

Lima was the Cadillac. Sturdy, well-designed and famous for excellent, logical mechanical engineering . I do not know if they were pricey, but considering the number of Shays sold, it was a very popular product. The Shay built Lima's reputation, and when they went after mainline sales, their engines excelled. Lima products were famous for how well they rode. That includes the Shays. They started making rod engines late, after 1900.

Baldwin was the Chevy. Baldwin made strong, incredibly sturdy products. They were not as well designed as Lima products, but they were confident enough to guarantee a 30-year lifespan, if properly maintained. The D&RGW 480s (Class K-36) cost about $60,000 in 1925 (a little over $1 million in 2010 dollars). 4 decades later, half of them were still in service! Personally I worked on all nine of the existing engines in this class. Baldwins were not famous for their fabulous ride. Not all of the appliances were easy to get at, but they were tough and popular. Baldwin was agressive, boasting "no order too big or small!" Also, their catalogues went from tiny to huge. They salesmen eveywhere, including Buenos Aires. Guess who got the lion's share of the business?

Alco was, well, the Studebaker. Some engines were just-plain funny-looking. Like all later builders, their engines were sturdy, but quirky, great in some ways(they rode well) but not so hot in other ways. Appliances and other routine maintenance parts were sometimes poorly placed. Some engines developed weird frame problems. All of the UP 800s (including 844) had problems with the cabs drooping back to the tenders. Alco was not all that agressive in going after small orders. Not a bunch of narrow gauge Alcos out there. The 470s were well liked on the Silverton, and my personal favorites.

The Sleeper was Porter. They made really sturdy, almost unkillable locomotives. Of course, most were small, 12 tons and under. It is little wonder that so many are preserved. The biggest loncomotive they ever made was a logging 2-8-2, which still operates on the Mt. Rainier RR in Washington. The BEST riding locomotive I was ever on!

Andrew, yes, the data you showed are the locomotives I mentioned. For more photos of RG&SW #6, latch onto a copy of Sundance's RGS Story Volume VII. Not only some late, unpublished photos but a Sn3 scale drawing.

Re: Lima Locomotive Works - Rod engine question.

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:49 pm
by elminero67
John-Thanks for sharing the insight. I dont have any firsthand experience working with steam locomotives, so I can only rely on secondhand accounts, which are never as good as a firsthand source.

Re: Lima Locomotive Works - Rod engine question.

Posted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:04 pm
by rrsteve
Lima actually built rod locomotives earlier than that. About seven miles up the Clam River from where I grew up on a dairy farm, was an impoundment built for holding logs until they were flushed down to the Muskegon River. (This is in Missaukee County, Michigan, and about ten miles east of Haring Township, Wexford County, the home of E. Shay) A 3' railroad owned by Cody and Moore, but listed in Poor's by the wonderful name of Muskrat Lake and Clam River ran from east of Lake City, MI, to this pond. They had two locomotives, Lima #22, a 4-4-0 built in 1881(incorrectly listed as an 0-4-0 in Hirsimaki), and Porter Bell #323, a second-hand 2-4-0 of 1878. Amazing enough, the Porter still exists in storage at the Port Huron (MI) Museum of Arts and History.

Photo of #22:

Image

RR Steve

Re: Lima Locomotive Works - Rod engine question.

Posted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:13 pm
by Andrew Brandon
Steve,

Thanks for sharing that image, I've got a soft spot for narrow gauge locomotives with wheels for log rail operation.
I must admit, its an ugly little machine! Would make one hell of a model.