6000 HP and it can't pull a wheelie ...

illf8ed

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Q. Have you ever seen the size of Mallard to an American big- boy?
Sorry no. I have seen a very large cab forward steam locomotive at the California Railroad Museum.

“The engines range in size from the diminutive Southern Pacific No. 1, “C.P. Huntington,” to the million-pound giant, Southern Pacific articulated cab-forward No. 4294.”
 
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A friend of mine had an 8 litre Buick. If you tromped that from a stand-still, it wouldn't move forward, it would just sit there and spin the back wheels. If the weight distribution is correct on a road race motorcycle, it will usually spin the rear wheel with the front wheel just starting to lift as you accelerate off the start line. Wheelies are silly stuff, they don't prove anything. While the front wheel is lifting, the energy is not being used to move you forward. It used to be very noticeable in two-stroke races - the guys who wheelied coming onto the straights were usually passed by others who did not.
When I see guys such as Valentino Rossi pull a wheelie, to me that is just a yawn. A MotoGP bike should be able to pull a wheelie at any speed. Anyone who got a thrill out of seeing that, would be an idiot. You can do the same on a trials bike.
However if Rossi pulled a wheelie at near top speed down a very long straight, I might be impressed.
 
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Well they do wheelies when they get wheel spin one of the reasons they have sand boxes and when taking off they put sand on the rails so the drive wheels get grip but with heavy loads the wheel do spin and loose there grip on the rails, so you could call that doing a wheelie and on big grades they sometimes need a another engine on the back to help them climb the steeper grades as well extra braking when going down.

Ashley
 
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If I remember correctly the GP bikes now have software that keeps them from doing that at the start?
Modern GP bikes seem to have more equal weight distribution, so would wheelie easier than a bike which has the weight towards the front. If you watch them race, they all have close to the same angle of lean, and nobody seems to have a handling advantage. It is probably due to the high power levels involved these days. If you set one up to oversteer, it would probably high-side the rider too easily.
In about 1993, the power levels were lower and some MotoGP bikes had a distinct handling advantage. Particularly the ones Kocinsky rode and the Suzuki RGV 500 which won the championship that year.
 

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A follow up, courtesy of Union Pacific RR:

Union Pacific Steam Club Update No. 11 - Feb. 10, 2020




We'd like to thank all of you for helping us celebrate the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad in 2019. More than 1 million people visited the Big Boy No. 4014 as it traveled on its unforgettable tour across the Union Pacific system.

The celebration began with the christening of No. 4014 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, May 4, followed by the historic double-header excursion where Big Boy was joined with the Living Legend No. 844 as they traveled to Ogden to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike at ceremonies held May 9.

The Great Race to Odgen was followed by The Great Race Across the Midwest throughout the summer. The tour season concluded with The Great Race Across the Southwest in the fall. Over 109 days, No. 4014 travelled 8,645 miles though towns, cities and communities in 17 states Union Pacific is proud to serve.

No doubt thousands of photos and videos were taken at tour stops and locations along the way, many of which you shared on the UP Steam Club Facebook group – thank you! In fact, fans posted more than 55,000 photos, videos and stories, helping us record this very special moment in history.

We're proud of everyone who helped make the 2019 steam season a success, and we're thankful that you helped us keep safety at the forefront during these celebrations. We couldn't have done it without you.

Fun facts about our 2019 tour:

  • More than 1.1 million people visited Big Boy during the 109 days on tour.
  • More than 115,000 visited the "Experience the Union Pacific" rail car.
  • Fans traced the Big Boy's location on the Steam Trace map more than 3.5 million times.
  • More than 1,500 TV, print and digital news stories were published about the tour with a potential reach of more than 105 million.


Streamlining Steam Operations

As you're probably aware, beginning in October 2018 Union Pacific launched Unified Plan 2020, a bold new operating plan that implements Precision Scheduled Railroading principles in an effort to secure UP's place as the industry leader in safety, service and financial performance.

As part of this effort, the railroad streamlined its operations in all areas, including the Union Pacific Steam and Heritage Fleet programs. While there's no question these changes have impacted operations, the Cheyenne Steam Shop remains in operation, UP's Heritage Fleet continues to be housed in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and planning is under way for 2020 steam activities.

As a member of the UP Steam Club, you'll be among the first to know of upcoming steam schedule information, so keep an eye on your e-mail or our Facebook group for UP Steam Club updates.



The Challenger No. 3985 Will Remain Officially Retired

Since work was completed on No. 4014 people have asked about the fate of The Challenger No. 3985.

The short answer: There are no plans to restore No. 3985. Many years of hard operation have resulted in the locomotive requiring a complete frame-up restoration similar to what was needed to make No. 4014 operational. Historically, Union Pacific's steam program has had two steam locomotives on its roster, and that count will remain the same moving forward.

No. 3985 last operated in "regular" train service in 1957. It was retired in 1962 and stored in the roundhouse in Cheyenne, Wyoming, until 1975 when it was placed on display near the Cheyenne depot. A group of Union Pacific employees volunteered their services to restore the locomotive to running condition in 1981.

Where No. 3985 will ultimately reside is still in question, but it's safe to say the locomotive will remain officially retired from service.



Keep Sharing Those Photos, Video and Stories on Facebook

The 2019 steam season may be over but we know you still have lots of photos and stories left to share, so keep sharing them at the Official Union Pacific Steam Club Facebook Group!

If you're not already a member of the UP Steam Club Facebook Group, joining is easy: Just click on the following URL and ask to become a member: https://www.facebook.com/groups/UPSteamClub/

Before joining in the discussion, take a moment to read our Facebook Policy.This policy also explains what we will – and will not -- allow group members to post, with special emphasis on safe photos and videos.



From the Steam Team: 2019 Fun Facts

Many have asked us, "What is it like running a Big Boy?" Here are some interesting fun facts to consider regarding the 2019 travel year:

  • The complete restoration of the Big Boy took 2-1/2 years to completely dissemble and rebuild from the frame up. The entire engine was removed and completely taken apart piece-by-piece so we could ensure the best serviceability with the end product.
  • Trip planning is a careful analysis of the current state of the network operationally, as well as where this giant locomotive can actually operate. As many already have observed, UP 4014 can go nearly everywhere on the vast Union Pacific system. Before Big Boy operated we first planned carefully with our many partners at Union Pacific Center and the Harriman Dispatching Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
  • More than a generation ago, the railroad was set up to handle big steam. Today, we must bring everything we need for steam operations with us in support cars. When we parked at night other work began. We had to inspect the locomotive just as they did back in the 1940s. Several of us carefully inspected the locomotive to ensure all was well and made necessary adjustments.
  • We inspected not only UP 4014 and the tender but also the two water cars and diesel locomotive. Walk-around inspections were performed at least twice daily -- before departure and after arrival – we "hammer tested" every accessible nut, bolt, pin and other critical part.
  • There also were air brake inspections that included checks for leakage, functionality, piston travel and brake shoe condition.
  • Both fuel and water were replenished and two types of grease were used -- hard grease for the connecting rods and soft grease for the valve gear and other components. We replenished the force feed lubricators with three types of oil – valve oil, high- and moderate-temperature steam cylinder oil, and what we call "engine oil" -- a machinery oil similar to what is used in your automobile engine.
We look forward to seeing everyone soon as we continue to perform our work here in Cheyenne making the Heritage equipment ready for a 2020 trip! Watch your email and the UP Steam Club Facebook group for the latest information on UP Steam. And please tell your friends to join the Steam Club. And most importantly when you are trackside viewing trains, always remain at least 25 feet back from the track!



That's all for now. Be safe, and we'll see you trackside,

Union Pacific Steam Club
 
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... but it can pull a mile long train up a 2% grade.


Recently restored Union Pacific 4014 is on tour commemorating the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad. It passed thru our part of East Texas Nov. 10, 2019.

Twenty five of the 4-8-8-4 "Big Boy" were made. Only 8 Big Boys escaped the cutting torch, and 4014 is the only one operational.

Kudus to the Union Pacific Railroad for restoring and preserving this piece of Americana.
Thank you for posting
 
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Back in the UK this Saturday 15th Feb A4 60009 is having its last run down the East Coast main line from York to London... go see it if you can . Leaves York at 16.30..
 
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World's fastest steam engine still serviceable is located in Germany. It is approved for 180 km/h (112 MPa).

-Knut
 
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I like old Bentley racing cars. The guy who made them started by making railroad locomotives. There is something about all that stuff which is extremely good.

 
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My old turbo Busa could wheelie and spin the wheel at will in 6th gear at over 200mph - the problem was not knowing what it wanted to do......
 
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