Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Westinghouse experimental V-12

It is fairly well known in railfan circles that Westinghouse purchased rights to the Beardmore diesel engine, for use in railcars ("doodlebugs") and locomotives. This engine was originally 8-1/4 inch bore and 12 inch stroke, with exposed pushrods. Westinghouse developed the engine into a 9 inch bore by 12 inch stroke engine, more enclosed, and used this engine in a number of forms - inline and vee.

The largest was a V-12, which was used in three applications; one engine was used in a single-engine steeple-cab locomotive, while two of them were used in the large road switcher that Westinghouse built in the mid-1930's. This engine was as mentioned 9 x 12 inch, four stroke, and normally aspirated.

This photo, from an old and uncopyrighted volume in our collection, is the engine in question. Viewed from the auxiliary or pump end, we can see one of the two sets of ganged fuel pumps (six units here; six units on the opposite side of the engine) as well as the two water pumps. A railway style generator and end-mounted auxiliary generator are just visible. Note that the cylinder head design provides for intake on the outboard sides of the engine cylinder banks; here, a unit intake manifold is seen with air filters mounted at each end. Two exhaust manifolds are visible, one for the forward six cylinders and one for the rear; this matches well with pictures of the CGW center or "steeple" cab unit before repowering. This engine was rated 800 brake horsepower.

Much more interesting is the next photo.

This photo shows what appears to be an identical engine; however, immediately visible is a supercharger mounted above the generator. The intake manifold arrangement has been altered to accomodate feed from this two-rotor, very likely gear-driven blower. An earlier shot in the book labels a very similar looking blower as being a Connell Supercharger; it's unclear if this is that make or not. What is clear is that we've never read of a supercharged Westinghouse V-12 before. Westinghouse did build one unit with a supercharged inline 6, which raised the rating of the six-cylinder engine from 400 BHP to 530 BHP. If that correlates well, then the engine shown here would have been capable of over 1000 BHP. No data are given in this book- just two cryptically labeled photos. Interesting indeed!

Perhaps as interesting is the clear evidence that Westinghouse was using an extended engine bedplate to support, and thus align, the main generator. Had this knowledge been transferred from Westinghouse to Baldwin, the latter might have saved itself numerous headaches, in terms of engine failures in the field and warranty coverage.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

1945 Baldwin Diesel Catalog

Let's take a look at some illustrations and details from a 1945 Baldwin Locomotive Works catalog which was produced to advertise the diesel engines offered for various kinds of service. While many are shown, since this is a railroad related blog we'll stick just to those illustrations so related.

One word here; all of the things you're about to see were in the catalog. We didn't "imagineer" or make up these things. That's for other people to do. We only report on what was, and what was designed or tested even if not built in number. Click on the small thumbnail pictures to enlarge!

First is a fine 3/4 wedge shot of the 2000 HP demonstrator BLW 2001. This locomotive was of course actually built; this illustration leads off the locomotive section of this large-format catalog.

Here is another great illustration, which leads off the section on 660 HP and 1000 HP switching locomotives. Sharp eyed viewers will note that this illustration is actually of a 1000 HP switching locomotive with spark arresting, muffled exhaust.

This is one of the more interesting illustrations in this book. The picture is labeled as being a V-12 diesel engine presently under test in the Baldwin plant; no details are given. Clearly this engine is related to the 400 series V-8 used in the aborted 2-D+D-2 "Centipede" locomotive, BLW 6000 and in fact it is shown below a picture of one of the model 408 engines. However, this V-12 is clearly fitted with two turbosuperchargers (one for each bank of cylinders) and not a Roots blower as fitted to the 408 engines. It is most likely that this is one of the two prototype model 12LV engines originally built under the Essl patent design program, and which were originally rated 500 BHP when normally aspirated. The design was dropped in favor of the larger bore and stroke, slower running 400 series to increase output per engine. It also seems likely that Baldwin may have attempted to turbocharge the 12LV engine to arrive at 750 BHP per engine before moving to the blown 408. Considering that the modification of the 8 cylinder VO into the 608SC raised output from 1000 BHP to 1500 BHP, it seems quite likely that a 150% output would be the goal of a turbocharged 12LV. Also note that this test engine is instrumented, and is coupled to a water brake.

First of two units pictured in the section titled "1000-1500 HP Road-Transfer Units" is this road switcher. This appears to be a 1000 HP unit with C-C wheel arrangement and fitted either with an 8 cylinder VO engine or a 608NA.

This locomotive also has a C-C wheel arrangement, and we might assume this to be a 1500 HP unit with the new 608SC. The similarity of this unit to those built for Russia, and rated 1000 HP with VO engines is remarkable. A small pencil type drawing near this one, not shown, depicts this style unit at the head of a streamlined passenger train, as a single unit locomotive.

First of the illustrations we'll show of the 2000 HP A1A-A1A road locomotives is this fine side view, showing the locomotive painted just like the three demonstrator units.

Seen here is a cut of the illustration of the 6000 HP set, which clearly shows a booster or "B" unit designed for this type of locomotive but which was never actually built. Note what appears to be a hostler's window at the front right of the locomotive.

This fascinating illustration appears here as somewhat less than fascinating until one is told that it depicts the 3000 HP Road Passenger / Freight locomotive. The catalog states that the 3000 HP unit was the same as the 2000 HP unit, with the same engines installed, but supercharged to give the required output. This means then that the unit employed the 1500 BHP 608SC instead of the 1000 BHP 608NA. It also means that each Westinghouse 370 traction motor would have been called upon to develop its full rated 750 HP in this application, exactly as in the aborted 6000 HP "Centipede" test / demonstrator locomotive. It should be emphasized that at the time this catalog was published, there are NO "Centipede" or 2-D+D-2 locomotives depicted at all. This means that in the period between abandonment of the Essl designs, and the SCL inspired revival of the "Centipede" arrangement for a 3000 HP unit that Baldwin did, in fact, have on offer a single unit locomotive of 3000 HP. One must then wonder if the Seaboard suggestion to put two 1500 HP engines in BLW 6000 was not first led to by consideration of this 3000 HP unit and concern over the high axle load it would have imposed.

The 2000 HP and 3000 HP units are pictured in appropriately arranged sets in small drawings; to help drive home the fact that BLW was actually offering a 3000 HP, twin-engine A1A-A1A unit we'll show the small cut depicting the single 3000 HP unit. The catalog offers the 3000 HP units singly or in back-to-back pairs of "A" units, for a total of 6000 HP - no booster or "B" unit is shown for the 3000 HP units.

We hope this look into the BLW offerings in 1945 proves interesting and illuminating and we're happy to be able to share some of our rare locomotive material with you. There's much more to come!