Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fairbanks Morse H16-44

An example seen in CNJ, a.k.a. Jersey Central colors, 1968.

A total 299 of the Fairbanks Morse H-16-44, Bo-Bo type, road switcher was produced from 1950 to 1963. It shared an identical platform and carbody with the predecessor Model FM H-15-44 of which 35 were produced from 1947 to 1950 and were equipped with the same eight-cylinder opposed piston engine that had been uprated to from 1,500 hp to 1,600 hp (1,200 kW).

As with many of their F–M contemporaries, the H-16-44s produced through 1954 featured numerous Raymond Loewy design touches, in this case mostly in the form of sloping body lines and a noticeable protrusion in the long hood around the radiator shutters. Cab side window units include inoperable "half moon"-shaped panes, resulting in an oblong-shaped assembly. To reduce manufacturing costs, the curved window panes were eliminated from later models, and from 1953 onward the raised, elongated headlight mounting was omitted. Units built in the "Spartanized" fashion can be spotted by their straight ends, coupled with the lack of superfluous trim. Ventilation slots were added at the battery box to reduce the possibility of explosions. The final production phase, which commenced in March 1955, turned out units that most closely resembled the Fairbanks–Morse "Train Master" series. These smaller engines where sometimes called "Baby Train Masters", as opposed to the originals which had 12 wheels.

Of the 299 built, 209 were sold to American railroads, 58 were manufactured March 1955–June 1957 by the Canadian Locomotive Company for use in Canada, and 32 units were exported to Mexico. Only three intact examples of the H-16-44 are known to survive today; one is the property of a Canadian railroad historical society, while the others are owned by Chihuahua al Pacífico and displayed in front of two of their depots in Mexico. (adapted from wikipedia, see also the book shown)

fishing trawlers and other vessels at Port Ahuriri, Napier, late 1900s

With the Muriel and Result in the foreground.  For more, see the books Nets Lines and Pots: a history of New Zealand fishing vessels.

1976 Austin Allegro

The Austin Allegro was produced from 1973 to 1982 and, like everything by British Leyland during the 1970s, was pretty awful. Jeremy Clarkson has the same opinion.

Dunedin trolley bus

A British United Traction built bus from 1954, withdrawn from service in 1982. Number 43 is now preserved in Foxton where this photo was taken about 30 years ago. See earlier posts.

Pennsy 'Broadway Limited' poster, circa 1951

Shown with an EMD E8 on the point.  See earlier post.

'even in the outdoors I like to read a book in the evening'

30 inch gauge railways worldwide


The subtitle states that it is an introduction, but it's quickly apparent upon picking this book up - 416 illustrated pages in A4 portrait format - that it's a pretty solid work and must have involved a lot of research for the author.

Like all narrow gauge railways, those built in 750 mm and 760 mm (roughly 2' 6" which is exactly 762 mm for the nitpickers) track width were intended to save construction costs by allowing tight curves and often it was a compromise of capacity with the ability to build it within a tight budget.  For freight there was also the nuisance of transhipping at break of gauge junctions.

NZ saw some railways built in this gauge, but they were all for industrial purposes and a relatively limited lifespan; none were built as common carrier lines as in Victoria, Australia. The US saw a few railways in this gauge, mostly for transporting sugar cane in Hawaii. The NZ railways aren't covered as they weren't for public use, but those in Victoria and Hawaii are, as are lines in many other countries, and the book has much hitherto unknown information, including on railways in the former USSR, China and Japan.

Like all Stenvalls books the cover looks like a school textbook, but there is no complaining about the presentation and layout of the material which includes lots of b/w and color photos, maps and, naturally, details of the locomotives used. English text, hardcover with jacket. Available in the transpress nz shop.

2012 Honda N One

This went on sale in Japan in late 2012, obviously a modern makeover of the original Honda N360. The retro-styled "kei car" uses a 660cc engine that can be had with or without a turbocharger to boost output and performance.

"The car is too small for U.S. sales, and it's not meant for European consumption either."

Which is probably not surprising.  The other problem is its looks.  While the original had a certain Je ne sais quoi, this just looks ugly; it's not hard to guess what Jeremy Clarkson would say about it :-)

More info and pics here

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

1969 Honda N360 and N600

The Honda N360 "kei" (city compact) car was produced from March 1967 through 1970, while the larger N600 was marketed through 1973. After a January 1970 facelift, the N360 became the NIII360 and continued in production until 1972. The "N" prefix stood for the Japanese word norimono (vehicle), while the numerals referred to the approximate engine size in cubic centimetres.

The car featured front wheel drive and an air-cooled, four stroke, 354 cc, 31 hp (23 kW) two-cylinder engine, borrowed from the Honda CB450 motorcycle. The displacement was reduced so as to comply with Japanese "kei" car legislation which stipulated maximum allowable engine size. This same engine was also used in the Honda Vamos, with a beam axle/leaf spring rear suspension.  The exterior dimensions were in compliance with Japanese government regulations concerning kei cars, however, vehicles installed with the 402 cc and 599 cc engines were too large for the category, and were largely intended for international sales. The N600 was introduced to the US in 1969 as a 1970 model, and was the first Honda automobile to be officially exported there. (adapted from wikipedia)

1972 Oldsmobile Vista Cuiser 442