Engineering News—February 27, 1892

In going to Baltimore to attend the meeting of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, a report of which meeting is given elsewhere in this issue, the train taken was the "Royal Blue" express, leaving Jersey City at 11:42 a.m., and running over the Central Railroad of New Jersey to Bound Brook, 31 miles; the Philadelphia & Reading R. R. to Philadelphia, 60 miles; and the Baltimore & Ohio R. R. to Baltimore, 96 miles, the total run being 187 miles. By the courtesy of Mr. J. H. Olhausen, General Superintendent of the Central R. R. of New Jersey, the ride of 91 miles to Philadelphia was made on the engine, which was a Philadelphia & Reading R. R. eight-wheel engine with Wootten firebox, and the dimensions of which are given below. The train consisted of two passenger cars next the engine, weighing 70,000 lbs. each a parlor car weighing 74,000 lbs.; and a combined dining and baggage car weighing 80,000 lbs.; a total train load of 294,000 lbs. The dining saloon accommodates 24 persons, having three tables on each side. The parlor car is finished in mahogany and upholstered in light grey or dove color. The smoking room of this car is well arranged, being quite shut off from the main part of the car, and also separated from the lavatory and closet, as shown in the accompanying cut, the black lines on which represent partitions. The ordinary cars have the Hale & Kilburn seats, and each has a smoking room and lavatories. The cars are all 65 ft. long, and are connected by vestibules. The cars for all the Royal Blue trains were built by the Pullman Palace Car Co., and are heated by steam and lighted by the Pintsch compressed gas system. They are supposed to be painted the color known as royal blue, but most of them are so dark as to appear almost black, although some cars seen at the yards at Baltimore and Jersey City had the bright blue color indicated by the name.

As already stated the train was hauled from Jersey City to Philadelphia by a Philadelphia & Reading R. R. eight wheel engine. Leaving Jersey City at 11:42 a.m., stops were made only at Elizabeth, 11:58 a.m. and Wayne Junction, 1:20 p.m., the train reaching Philadelphia (24th and Chestnut Sts. station) at 1:34 p.m., 1 minute late. If the train is over 4 minutes late, the engine driver and fireman have to report and give an explanation. The coal supply in the tender was not good, the greater proportion being very dirty, and as a consequence, after passing Bound Brook the fireman had hard work to keep up the pressure. The regular working boiler pressure is 145 lbs. per sq. in., but beyond Bound Brook it gradually fell to 100 and 95 lbs. There is no hood or cab over the footplate of the tender, and the steam gage for the fireman is placed in an awkward position on top of the firebox, between the end of the firebox and the cab. Owing to the large amount of grate area and the combustion chamber formed by the bridge wall, there was very little smoke, and the long trail of clean, white steam was most refreshing to see, as a change from the usual dirty clouds of smoke and steam. The engine is very steady on the track, and no unpleasant jerking or lurching motion is felt in the cab. The tender, however, owing to its lighter weight, is not very pleasant to ride on. Between Elizabeth and Wayne Junction there is a straight ride of 74 miles, but in taking water at the track tanks the train was slowed down to a much lower rate of speed than is usual on other roads.

From Jersey City to Bound Brook, the Central R. R. of New Jersey has four tracks, ballasted with broken stone. The two middle tracks have heavy rails spliced by angle bars, 30 ins. long, with six bolts. The two outer tracks have lighter rails spliced by angle bars 24 ins. long with four bolts. The joints are broken and suspended. As far as Bergen Point the line is protected by the automatic electric block signal system described in our issue of March 29,1890. From Bound Brook to Philadelphia the Philadelphia & Reading R. R. has a double track road, with good track, well ballasted with broken stone. The rails are laid with broken, suspended joints, spliced by long angle bars and six bolts. Along this line are peculiar revolving target signals mounted on towers resembling. lighthouses, The signal consists of a vertical cylinder with three radial wings, forming three wide targets, about 4ft. wide, painted red, white and green respectively. A portion of the cylinder forms the middle of each target and has openings fitted with glass of corresponding colors for the night signals. The cylinder revolves on its vertical axis, being turned by a man in the tower; the cylinder and wings are about 6 ft. high.

At Philadelphia, a Baltimore & Ohio R. R. eight-wheel engine was attached and took the train on to Baltimore, stopping only at Wilmington, Del. The engines for this service are of great size and power, and have driving wheels 6 ft. 6 ins. in diameter. On this division the track is ballasted mainly with gravel, which is covered over the middle of the ties. There is also some rock ballast. The rails are laid with broken suspended joints, spliced by angle bars and four bolts. The new standard track, and the standard track signs, etc., of the Baltimore & Ohio R. R., have been described and illustrated in Engineering News, July 18, Oct. 31 and Nov. 7,1891. The cuts and fills are of a loose, gravelly character, and are in places badly washed and worn by the rain, necessitating frequent work in repairs. At Canton the engine and four cars were run upon one of the tracks of a three-track steam transfer or ferry boat, and carried across the harbor to Locust Point, Baltimore, where the line runs through the streets and ends in the Camden terminal station. Another engine is here attached at what was the rear of the train to take the train on to Washington. This ferry and dead end arrangement will be avoided when the new Belt Railway (Eng. News, Dec. 12,19,1891, and Jan. 2,1892) and terminal station are completed. One of the old camel back engines was seen in the yard at Baltimore. These engines have eight wheels, all coupled, and the cab is perched on top of the boiler, the firebox sloping down from the rear of the cab. In bridge work the Baltimore & Ohio R. R. is using through plate girders up to 102 ft. with double-track and 94 ft. with single track. Riveted Warren girder deck spans are used up to spans of 110 ft. The bridge floors are of ties 8 x 8 ins., spaced 12 ins. c. to c., giving a clear spacing of 4 ins.; the guard timbers are 6 x 8 ins., 7 ft. apart. For bridge ties Georgia yellow pine is being used, although rather more expensive than oak, as it does not warp and split so much as oak. The ordinary ties are of mountain oak, cut along the line of the road.

The trip to Washington was made over the Baltimore & Potomac R. R. (Pennsylvania R. R. system), by the train leaving the Union Station, Baltimore, at 8:27 a.m., and arriving at Washington, 43 miles, at 9:45 a.m. The return trip was by the train leaving Washington at 5:40 p.m., and arriving at Baltimore at 6:40 p.m., making no stops. New rails are being laid on this division, spliced by long angle bars and six bolts. The ballast is of gravel, except at the track tanks, where broken stone is used. The line is equipped with the Pennsylvania R. R. system of signals. Each car of this train was heated by two stoves. The ordinary day cars were very well appointed and very comfortable.

The return trip from Baltimore was made by the Royal Blue train leaving the Camden station of the Baltimore & Ohio R. R. at 8:50 a.m. and making several stops. The train consisted of 6 cars: 1 express car, 1 baggage and smoking car, 2 day cars, 1 parlor car, and 1 through sleeping car from southern points. It was hauled to Philadelphia by one of the big eight-wheel engines above referred to, the dimensions of which are given below. Philadelphia was reached at 11:26 a.m., 16 mins. late, the run of 96 miles being made in 2 h. 36 mins., and in one place three consecutive miles were made in 55 sec. each. From Philadelphia to Jersey City the train was hauled by a Philadelphia & Reading eight-wheel engine, with Wootten firebox, as already described. On this run the fastest mile noted was made in 53 secs., and several miles were made in 55 to 60 secs. each.

The following are the leading particulars of the two classes of eight-wheel engines used on this trip:

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