Question In.Re. Tender/Loco Assignment Practices

I've been wondering about something that I thought the group might have some insight into - the question is whether specific tenders were
always assigned to particular locomotives, or whether larger roads with big motive power pools like the UP or SF treated them as a more generic resource.
I've always assumed that the assignment was fixed; meaning, barring accident or mechanical problems, the coupling of a tender to a locomotive was more or less permanent for the life of the engine. However, I've also recently found some photos of UP engine yards with several line-ups of tenders only; I acknowledge it's possible that the photo shows some kind of RIP track, or perhaps even a row of tenders slated for rebuild or upgrade.
I also know that sometimes a tender would be completely replaced as a part of a technology change-out (i.e., coal to oil fire conversion). From what little I know about the maintenance cycle of steamers, however, I've wondered if tenders would routinely be swapped out as one engine entered the roundhouse to begin a maintenance and another was leaving having completed the cycle - it seems that other than the trucks, the tenders aren't going to require anything like the same kind of care and feeding as the locomotives, and they could be kept productively on the mainlines while the engines were down on the roads with large enough power pools.
Any insight or pointer to a good reference would be appreciated. I have googled it, but I can't seem to find anything on this practice.
Chris Kansas City
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It wasn't back or white, but tended (oops) to be mostly the former. There are several things that made it difficult to treat tenders as a generic resource: o Tenders had tender decks of different heights to match the height of the cab floor of the locomotive. The Pennsy included this height in their tender identification system, as it is limiting in reassigning tenders to different classes of locomotive. o Stoker equipped locomotive could only be mated to tenders with the same type of stoker. Several locomotives had the stoker engine in a compartment at the front of the tender (rather than the more usual location under the fireman's side of the cab), which would further restrict tender interchangeability. o Less significant mechanically, most RRs put the loco's number on the tender. Changing tenders would necessitate at least a trip to the paint shop.

Mostly. Many locomotives built in the teens and early 20's received larger tenders in the late 20's and 30's as RRs moved out of the "drag freight era" and needed longer ranges and/or fewer stops for fuel and water. I've seen pictures of a brand new (I think it was) Pere Marquette 0-8-0 ordered from the builder with a Berkshire type tender - the RR needed the larger tenders to upgrade older Mikes to have ranges more like the new Berks, and could use the old lower capacity tenders on the new switchers. I guess the loco builder owes you a tender with each new loco, but it can be whatever type you want.

I'd guess it was a picture in the late days of steam with tenders from scrapped locos. The UP reused a lot of old tenders, for fuel for its new turbines, as a heavy base for mounting a snowplow, and for work train water.

Not necessarily. When the UP changes its FEFs and Challengers from coal to oil, it installed a specially sized fuel tank into the coal space of the loco's assigned centipede tender.

If a tender were to be swapped, it would usually be during an overhaul, but not just to get better utilization of the tender fleet. The RRs always had at least as many tenders as locos so this was not required. If the tender was changed, it was to replace a damaged or rusted out old tender, or to upgrade the capacity for operational reasons, or because the loco was assuming a new role (as in a consolidation being rebuilt for service as a switcher, and therefore needing a clear vision type tender for its work in the yards).

I should add that when the RRs used auxiliary tenders (or canteens or cisterns or whatever), these were treated as more of a generic resource. The had fewer mechanical connections, no fuel type or stoker type or cab floor height issues to contend with. In recognition of this, I believe RRs usually assigned separate numbers (and not the loco's number) to aux tenders. And there was usually a limited supply of aux tenders, so as you postulate above, the RR would want to get it out on the line when the previously assigned loco was being shopped.
Hope this helps, and that others will add to or correct my understandings. Gary Q

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Gary, thanks for the comments - certainly what you say makes good sense. I would agree that any opportunity to swap would have to be within the same locomotive class (your point about deck heights/stokers). I should have thought about the issue of numbering, as well, because it would hardly seem likely that the roads would be repainting to do this.
Thanks for taking the time to reply, I appreciate your thoughts on the matter.
Chris Kansas City
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I've studied the steam roster of the smaller class 1 railroad that I model (the Green Bay & Western), and in the case of the 75 steam locomtoves that they had from 1872-1953 it seems that -- for the most part -- tenders were permanently assigned to specific locomotives for their entire service.
I've only been able to identify 4 locomotives out of the 75 which changed tenders during their service. The "new" tenders all came from other locos owned by the railroad, and were swapped during an improvment program undertaken by the railroad in the late 1930s.
Tender from KGB&W #142 (0-6-0) to GBW #80 (0-6-0) in 1937 Tender from GB&W #145 (0-6-0) to KGB #142 (0-6-0) in 1937 Tender from GB&W #54 (2-6-0) to GBW #145 (0-6-0) in 1937 Tender from GB&W #18 (4-4-0) to GBW #23 (4-4-0) in 1939
--
Mark Mathu
The Green Bay Route: http://www.greenbayroute.com /
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 4 Dec 2004 00:44:44 UTC, snipped-for-privacy@sprintmail.com (Chris Schultz) wrote: 2000

Espee swapped tenders frequently. Being oil burners stokers were a non-issue. The engine number was also no problem since the tenders went into the tender shop at the same time the engines went in for a major shopping. They tended to stay with the same or similar classes but typically when the engine left the shop it got whatever tender of appropriate class was ready. Since the tenders were painted after being worked on adding the number was trivial. Espee engine numbers were on the cab and the rear of the tender only.
--
ernie fisch


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@cox.net (Ernie Fisch) wrote in message (Chris

Cool, thanks for the additional info, Ernie.
Chris
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My understanding is that a locomotive normally had two or three tenders during its service life. As a general rule, as mentioned before, there was a major upgrade in the size of a tender in the 1920s-30s. Many railroads with USRA tenders swapped those smallish tenders for something larger. But as also noted, there are specfiic things that made just swapping around not a real easy job. I've seen somewhere that a tender was normally detatched only once or twice a year for the semi-annual and annual inspections, and it could have been for the annual only. There are a whole lot more connections between a tender and the locomotive than between two cars. Gene ABV61-1043.001.HCB <A HREF="http://www.tckworld.com/opfoot ">http://www.tckworld.com/opfoot </A> Find "Skinny Dipping and Other Stories" On the web at www.publishamerica.com or www.military-brats.com and look for "Into Joy From Sadness" soon.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
STEAM GENE wrote:

A lot depended on the state of the water - any acidity would rot out tenders. The underframe might be reused, with a body as per original, or larger.

As the inspections took a different length of time to inspections/minor overhauls, some railways connected the next loco to whichever "correct type" tender was handy.
Basically, you have to sort out all these factors for your specific railway.
Regards, Greg.P.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On the GER I try to show that steam locos have a continuing and ongoing life and that they change with the various shoppings they undergo during their lifetime.
One of the easiest ways to do this is by kitbashing and or swapping tenders so that not all locos in the same class will always have the same tender.
Take my Bachmann 2-8-0s for example. I have around six of them. Only one, at the moment, has the original tender. Two have had their tenders shortened, one has the tender from a Life-Like P2K 0-8-0 switcher and another has had the tender shortened as well has having the coal bunker modified into a clear-view style with a tall coal bunker. One is currently being shopped to have another spare Life-Like P2K 0-8-0 tender added and the last will probably have a tender, suitable kitbashed, from a recently obtained Bachmann 2-10-0.
Both my in-service 2-10-0s have had their tenders modfied to included extended coal bunker sides and the recently obtained model will be assigned the shortened tender from the above mentioned new 2-8-0.
About the only GER locos that don't have modified tenders are the two (spit) Athearn 2-8-2s.
As for kitbashing tenders, one poster mentioned that the USRA tenders are rather short. For us Canadian modellers, even freelance ones like me, many USRA tenders appear too long. :-)
You can see some of the tender mix and matches at my website.
-- Cheers Roger T.
Home of the Great Eastern Railway http://www.highspeedplus.com/~rogertra /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
As for kitbashing tenders, one poster mentioned that the USRA tenders are rather short.
That was me, Roger. I throughly agree with you. But point of fact, the original intent was to provide the USRA Pacifics with the same tender as the 0-6-0 and the 0-8-0. That didn't happen, however. Gene ABV61-1043.001.HCB <A HREF="http://www.tckworld.com/opfoot ">http://www.tckworld.com/opfoot </A> Find "Skinny Dipping and Other Stories" On the web at www.publishamerica.com or www.military-brats.com and look for "Into Joy From Sadness" soon.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.