EBT Herald EBT Locomotive Roster: M-1

Photo Photo
Number: M-1
Name: none
Date Built: 1/1927Date Purchased: 1927Date Sold: none
Line Built for: East Broad TopDisposition: Serviceable
Builder: Brill/EBTModel: 250Serial Number: 22416
Style: gas-electricType: DoodlebugWheel Arrangement: B-B
Track Gauge: 3'Tractive Effort: Engine Power: 250 hp
Valve Gear/Transmission: ElectricalDriver Size: 33"Cylinder Bore: 1800cu
Weight: 92,000Engine Weight: Adhesive Weight: 92,000
Grate: Fuel Capy.: Water Capy.:
Published Photos: EBT 137, 138
Published Plans: NGSL 7-98

M-1 was build by the EBT shops under license from Brill from scaled down Brill model 250 railcar plans. She was built from a kit (order #22416) which included a Brill engine, air tanks and #27 MCB trucks and Westinghouse electricals, traction motors and type AML brakes. The trucks are reported to have been cut down from standard gauge ones without changing the dapener, thus causing harmonic 'wobbles' at certain speeds. They were equipped with roller bearings, and coach 8 was similarly equipped for use as a trailer. Each truck houses two 75 HP traction motors.

She was intended to keep mail and some passengers moving on the days the mines were closed and there was not enought traffic to warrant trains thus maintaining the lucrative mail contract. M-1 was very successful and could even handle a few loads. The unit operated regularly through the rest of the EBT common carrier era. M-1 continued operating after the end of common carrier service. She made a few trips to Robertsdale and made regular runs to Mount Union to deliver special orders made in the still operating Rockhill Shops to the refractory plants. She even struggled as far as Saltillo in the early 1960s to prove the ROW was still active and could not be removed for the construction of the new High School at Pogue.

The engine in the unit is a straight 6 cylinder Brill gasoline engine. Displacement is about 1600 cubic inches and develops 300 hp. The engine type was designed for submision for a Naval contract to supply engines for Airships. As such the original engines were constructed of lightweight materials. Brill did not win the contract, so deceded to use it to branch into the self-propelled railcar market from their mainstay of traction (trolley and interurban) equipment. Although constructed of heavier materials, the weight saving and airborne design elements of the engine remained, indcluding an aluminum head. For example, the unit has two aerobatic carburetors, one for the front 3 and one for the rear 3 cylinders. This insured enough air reached the cylinders even at altitude. There are two independent "Scintilla" magneto ignition systems, each of which has its own spark plug in each cylinder. This avoids sparks outside the engine, a bad idea on a hydrogen airship. Either or both systems can be used; "none" shuts the engine down. The cylinders have 4 valves (2 in, 2 out). Reporedly there is a large main bearing at the rear of the engine suitable to mount a prepellor from. Also, as the engine was designed for constant RMP operations as with a propellor, not varying RPMs as for use with a transmission. That is why an electrical transmission system was used. That way the engine could run at a generally constant RMP and speed could be controlled electrically.

The traction generator is connected to the motor via a flexable coupling. On the back of that yet is the exciter generator. The traction generator is series-wound, and generates up to about 200 amps for brief periods. The feed to the traction motors is 600V DC feeding four traction motors, one on each axle. Teh traction motors are units intended for mine use, as standard gauge units would not fit.

M-1 was reactivated by Railways to Yesterday volunteers in the 1960's. whe was restored to a brown livery, but later repainted in more appropriate green. In 2003 the car recived a replacmemnt engine-generator coupling and other component rebuilds. She continues to operate, but only makes revenue runs during Fall Spectaculars.

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