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Verdict Not Rice

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URL: http://riceornot.ricecop.com/?auto=92620
Submitted by: Low-Tech Redneck
Comments: 2  (Read/Post)     Favorites: 0  (View)
Submitted on: 03-01-2015
View Stats Category: Other Vehicle
Baldwin DR-12-8-1500, better known as the "Centipede"

One of many unconventional freight engines turned out by the Baldwin Locomotive Works post WW2 as they struggled to find their feet in market that suddenly had no more need for their product.

As you can probably intuit, they stumbled quite a bit.


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3-01-2015 @ 05:58:40 PM
Posted By : Low-Tech Redneck Reply | Edit | Del
Baldwin Locomotive had been building steam engines since the Civil War.

When diesels took over after WW2, they were caught unprepared, having neglected to do any serious R&D on diesels beyond small switchers. By as early as 49' the market for new steam engines was gone completely, and they hurriedly tried to catch up.

The Centipede was unusual in that it had eight powered axles placed back-to-back in the middle of the engine with small leading and trailing wheels on either end.

BLW envisioned it as a high-speed passenger unit, but it proved very temperamental, the prime-mover breaking down frequently and the traction motors tended to overheat from poorly-designed cooling units. Barely 50 were built and only 3 US railroads were interested in them. The Pennsylvania, a loyal BLW customer for over a century, bought most of them, but soon found them unfit for "front line" service and permanently mounted them in pairs (as pictured) to serve as helper units, they had very short careers.

3-02-2015 @ 04:21:03 PM
Posted By : Low-Tech Redneck Reply | Edit | Del
#1, If anything, being relegated to helper service made them wear out quicker. They weren't designed for low speed pushing, and the electrics tended to overheat, and they didn't like sustained travel on sharp curves (as you typically encounter in pushing action, as you're usually going around a mountain) and this made parts wear out quicker. By the time of their retirement, they were known on the division they worked as "The Repairman's Friend".

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