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1953 cab ride across the Great Northern’s electrified subdivision Westbound on train #5, the Cascade, in diesel 251-A Eastbound on train #2, the Empire.

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Presentation on theme: "1953 cab ride across the Great Northern’s electrified subdivision Westbound on train #5, the Cascade, in diesel 251-A Eastbound on train #2, the Empire."— Presentation transcript:

1 1953 cab ride across the Great Northern’s electrified subdivision Westbound on train #5, the Cascade, in diesel 251-A Eastbound on train #2, the Empire Builder, in motor 5019 Pictures and captions by Alfred B Butler, Pullman WA collection of Bruce Butler PowerPoint presentation by Bruce Butler

2 Summer 1953 cab ride across GN’s electrified zone

3 Original trip notes by Alfred B Butler - part 1

4 Original trip notes by Alfred B Butler - part 2

5 1.1 - No. 5 holds the “Main” at Monitor for a meet with No. 6.

6 :51 PM No. 6 shows up on time

7 1.3 - Eastbound “Cascadian” growles slowly into the passing track.

8 1.4 - Diesel 251-A idles waiting for #6 to clear. #251-A doing 330 miles/day has run over 1,800,000 miles hp each unit.

9 1.5 -Engineer Al White notches back the throttle with an eye on ammeter amps. #250 and #251 are the oldest FTs on GN. 75 RPM per throttle notch.

10 cars trail #251. Friction 5# per ton. Load 20# per ton on 1% grade.

11 1.7 - Winton tunnel. Engineer got 4 deer last night. 1.6% grade.

12 1.8 - Rails & Trolley reflect light from tunnel opening. Tunnel on a curve. Pantograph apt to bounce.

13 1.9 - Length feet. Sound level high.

14 Flag stop at Winton. On time at 1:42 pm

15 A hand on the whistle; rain on the windshield.

16 new $1,000,000 alignment straightens track.

17 Mile post high trestle & tunnel.

18 Looking down from the trestle. 2.2% grade.

19 A mountain in the way. Short tunnel; you can see thru.

20 We crest the grade at Berne. Elevation 2883 ft. Cascade tunnel length 7.79 miles or 41,152 ft.

21 :04 pm. Drop 500 ft in 8 miles. 8 mi/hr wind west to east through open tunnel applications of air from here to Skykomish.

22 degree curve. Outside rail elevated 3-3/4” to allow 30 mph speed.

23 Slow order. Movement of bank. 15 mph. GN Geologists are draining hillside. New rail ready to install.

24 Looking back from Engineer’s side. Acceleration coasting 12 mph per minute. 1.57% grade.

25 Skykomish - on time 2:50 PM. Rain on windshield.

26 2.0A - #5 makes a brief pause at Skykomish.

27 2.0B - A wave from Engineer White and #5 is on its way to Seattle.

28 2.1 - Motor generator sets in the Skykomish substation. Been running steadily since Original bearings. 350 amps at 13,200 volts; 9400 H.P.

29 2.2 - Transformers outside. Step down from 110,000 volts to 44,000 volts to volts, 11,000 volts 25 cycle on trolley.

30 2.3/2.4 - The Empire Builder, #2, on time from Seattle at 5:23 PM arrival in Skykomish. 13 cars. 504 is an EMD E7 unit.

31 2.5 - Electric motor 5019 with heater car backs on to #2 after the diesel has been cut off. George Meyers, Engineer.

32 2.6 - Coupled and ready. Switch aligned.

33 2.7 - Notched out on the 2.2% grade to the tunnel. 30 mph on the tangent track.

34 2.8 - Rated at 1900 tons on 2.2% grade H.P. 22 mph. Class W motor, built by General Electric in 1948.

35 2.9 - A deer bounces across the track.

36 Looking back from the Fireman’s side; do the passengers give a thought to the engine crew?

37 Approaching a curve the pantographs seem about to slide off the trolley wire.

38 Slide fences and snaking cars.

39 West end of Cascade tunnel at Scenic. Still 8 miles of 1.57% upgrade. It used to cost $1,000,000 a year to maintain the snowsheds.

40 Over the top and into regeneration.

41 is 101 ft long. Wheel diameter 42”. Gear ratio 70/17. Tractive effort 82,600# at 23 mph.

42 Dry hills, new ballast & slide fence.

43 We let her roll!

44 Whistling for valley crossings. 22 lb force against trolley wire.

45 Wear on trolley wire 0.001”/year. Resistance 0.2 ohm/mile trolley to rail out and back. Copper cadmium beryllium alloy equivalent. 2300# tension, 150 ft span.

46 3.6 - Cashmere 7:05 pm, On Time.

47 3.7 - Bob Newton running engine. Superintendent in charge of the electrification. Dick Harbour on right.

48 3.8 - Bob Newton, hand on the throttle.

49 3.9 - The meters tell the story. We’re doing about 48 mph!

50 We went thru the unit to the rear cab for a view of the train as we near the Columbia river.

51 Yard limit Wenatchee. 55 mph.

52 Green signal.

53 On time - Wenatchee 7:20 P.M.

54 We say goodbye as diesel 275 takes up the load.

55 Our host for this trip; Bob Newton

56 Substation graph showing KW in motoring or regeneration. Eastbound, Skykomish to Levenworth.

57 Substation graph showing KW in motoring or regeneration. Eastbound, Levenworth to Wenatchee

58 Great Northern timetable showing Wenatchee - Seattle

59 Data sheet for the W class motors 5018 and 5019

60 The End I hope you have enjoyed this brief look at Great Northern’s electrified zone, ca 1953 Pictures and captions by Alfred B Butler PowerPoint presentation done by Bruce Butler special thanks to Gary Tarbox for his helpful suggestions on PowerPoint


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