The 261 mars light thread

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alco636
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The 261 mars light thread

Postby alco636 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:42 pm

Hey guys, I saw the photos of the 261 fired up. Noticeably missing was the mars light on the front of the smoke box. As a lifetime member of Friends of the 261 :wink: , I just wish to ask "What's up with that?" Has Steve decided to run without it? It's not a big deal, I'm just curious. I remember talking with him once, and he mentioned he'd like a regular looking round smoke box front on the locomotive.

As long as she runs well, I don't care what Steve does with her by the way.

Al Seever
Flagstaff, AZ
I don't know everyone, but everyone seems to know me...

Mark D
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Re: The 261 mars light thread

Postby Mark D » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:32 pm

Al, I THINK he has decided to make it look a bit closer to how it looked prior to 1950 when the MARS light was first used on it.
But he hasn't told me this, I'm infering it. It could be bolted on at any time, however.
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Wowak
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Re: The 261 mars light thread

Postby Wowak » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:07 pm

Was 261 built with a "standard" smokebox front?
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Mark D
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Re: The 261 mars light thread

Postby Mark D » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:33 am

Yes, it was. The Milwaukee Road shops changed the S3's to the smoke box front you see on 261 only a few years later as a way to ease maintenance. It helps for removing superheater elements, flues and tubes as long as they aren't right at the perimeter of the boiler.
I do not know if it was also done with those S-3's that went west and were converted to oil burning. I do believe all of those that remained in the midwest were converted.
If I had a picture of the front end of a S-3 taken out west, I'd know. A photo of the front on one of the S-3's that went west taken after 1950 or so would tell the tale.
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Fitz
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Re: The 261 mars light thread

Postby Fitz » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:52 pm

Seems to me that a few years ago there was a photo somewhere on the net of an old standard smokebox front, supposedly in the possession of Friends of the 261. I was kind of guessing that maybe that would be installed, but not so seeing the first pix since she was fired up.
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Mark D
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Re: The 261 mars light thread

Postby Mark D » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:10 pm

Yeah, I read something too. I've heard the talk. Nothing going on there, but it's an Interesting concept.
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Brent A
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Re: The 261 mars light thread

Postby Brent A » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:46 pm

That photo was in one of the "Northern Lines" newsletters.
It would to take some doing to get it put on, and we kind of ran out of time to do it.
We do have it at the shop.
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alco636
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Re: The 261 mars light thread

Postby alco636 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:35 pm

Here's a shot of the 262 as built. Round smoke box front, no mars light. IIRC, all four oil burners used on the PCE had the squared smoke box installed. http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... ?id=217327

Al Seever
Flagstaff, AZ
I don't know everyone, but everyone seems to know me...

Mark D
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Re: The 261 mars light thread

Postby Mark D » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:00 pm

I saved and edited that photo of 262 for a bit better clarity. I won't post it here because it isn't my photo.
But It appears that the 262 also still has the jacketing around the firebox outer sheets and throat.
I also see something that appears to be a large duct or huge pipe that seems to come from under the cab and curve directly into the firebox side sheet under the engineer. Wondering if that's just a shadow, or if something was added for the oil burnerl. If something was added, I can't begin to guess what it might be. Maybe someone with some knowledge of oil burner conversions could chime in on that.

That appears to be an S2 sitting next to 262. It's a number 2xx in the number plate, and it sure looks like an S2. Considerably larger and moer powerful than an S3, also too big to fit into Chicago Union Station. Hence, the S3's.
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alco636
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Re: The 261 mars light thread

Postby alco636 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:49 pm

Mark, the photo is dated 1944, and shot at Milwaukee. The 262 was burning coal then. That curve you see under the cab is a touch of streamlining. Alco built the S-3s with that. Steve had new pieces like that made and installed on the 261 when 1st rebuilt. The 206 to the left, is an S-2 4-8-4.

Al Seever
Flagstaff, AZ
I don't know everyone, but everyone seems to know me...

Mark D
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Re: The 261 mars light thread

Postby Mark D » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:06 am

I knew about the firebox side sheets. I have seen photo's of that too. But I never noticed what looks like a big chunk of air duct before. I was also under the impression that the sheeting on the firebox and throat area was more an effort to save fuel via lower heat loss.
Problem with that is that it's a maintenance PITA.
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