Forum Index > Pacific NW History > Was there a RR turn table at Scenic or Skykomish?
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Snowshovel
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PostFri Nov 18, 2022 6:41 pm 
To spin the steam power units around after the electrics took over or dropped off the cars?

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Dick B
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PostSat Nov 19, 2022 9:20 am 
Research showed that there was a turntable at Skykomish (Sky) to handle the steamers. There must have also been one at Wenatchee which was the east end of the electrification. I believe the electrics could be operated from either end. Another piece of history was how the electric system was powered. As a youngster driving down Tumwater Canyon, I remember the powerhouse, that generated the electricity. There was (still is?) a low dam that, I believe, fed water to the turbines. I also seem to recall that the electrics could generate power on their downhill run, to help power the system. The original GN line came down Tumwater Canyon but was replaced by the present Chumstick cutoff in '29. The highway took the place of the RR in the canyon. I think my Dad worked on the road reconstruction that occurred. I read somewhere that the reason for moving the RR out of the canyon was that it had too many curves, which cut down on the speed the train could travel. Degree of curvature and grade are great inhibiters to a trains speed.

hikerbiker
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Snowshovel
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PostSat Nov 19, 2022 9:28 am 
There was a morass of generators at Sky also. I canít remember if they weíre reciprocating diesel engines of stationary boilers.

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Snowshovel
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PostSat Nov 19, 2022 9:38 am 
Dick B wrote:
I also seem to recall that the electrics could generate power on their downhill run, to help power the system.
I donít think that would be possible. The line was a multiple Kv three-phase system turning a motor generator to make DC to drive the wheels. That would be difficult to back generate and then back-feed into the local grid, correctly phased and synchronized. Mess up and things are going to melt.

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Mike Collins
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PostSat Nov 19, 2022 9:52 am 
Snowshovel wrote:
I donít think that would be possible
The Milwaukee Road trains going through Snoqualmie Pass used the descending locomotive to generate power that was redirected back into the supply system. Read about it on Page 6 in this link. http://npshistory.com/publications/nha/mountains-to-sound-greenway/fs-add-2014.pdf

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Snowshovel
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PostSat Nov 19, 2022 10:05 am 
The ability to do that would be dependent on the drive system of the train and local grid. The Stevens route used three phase motor- dc generator, really hard to back feed that

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Pyrites
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PostSat Nov 19, 2022 7:12 pm 
Supposedly the Milwaukee Road did this at the crossing into the St Joe. But if I really wanted to know Iíd get off a hiker forum and ask at a train buff forum. Be careful. Those folks will start quoting engine numbers, and who drove which engine.

Keep Calm and Carry On? Heck No. Stay Excited and Get Outside!

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Bruce Albert
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PostSat Nov 26, 2022 8:41 pm 
Snowshovel wrote:
The Stevens route used three phase motor- dc generator, really hard to back feed that
Modern ski lift drives, both DC SCR and AC variable freq, are 3 phase and are regenerative. This controls overhauling and provides resistance to act in a braking capacity. I've read that modern locomotives use their drive motors for what was called "dynamic braking" as well; but I can't speak to that authoritatively never having worked on a locomotive. 100 years ago, I have no clue. Back to the turntable question, there is a turnaround on the east end of the yard in Skykomish, which is just basically like a shoofly that goes off to the south. I've never seen a locomotive on it.

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Snowshovel
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PostSat Nov 26, 2022 9:14 pm 
Thanks. I guess my electrical knowledge is almost four decades old.

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