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First generation diesels, what's the cutoff

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First generation diesels, what's the cutoff
Posted by NYBW-John on Sunday, July 16, 2017 8:37 PM

I kindasorta know what diesels are considered first generation but I'm not sure my perceptions are accurate. Just what differentiates first generation from second generation. For EMD my perception is that first generation includes all E and F units and GP9 or earlier.  Alco first generation extends through RS3. Am I right so far. I have no clue when  it comes to other makes. Can someone shed some light on this?

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Posted by DSchmitt on Sunday, July 16, 2017 8:57 PM

There are several possible answers. 

Bruce Butler on another Forum says:

:From my limited experience as an Engineer, I would suggest this:
1st generation: E and F units and geeps and SD's thru GP20
1.5 generation: EMD GP30 & GP35 and all GE "U" series.
2nd generation: all with 645 engine, mostly GP40, SD40, 1966-1972
2.5 generation: the EMD -2 line and early GE "C" series
3rd generation: The EMD 60 series, beginning with the 710 engine, and GE's dash 7 series.
3.5 generation: Early EMD 70 series and GE's dash 8 series
4th generation: EMD SD70ACE, SD70M-2, GE dash 9 and EVO models"

For EMD Bruse makes the replacement of the 567 engine with the 645 the cutoff between 1st generation and 2nd generation.   Others say the introduction of turbogharers on the 567 engine. By this criteria the GP20 would be 2nd generation. Articles on the GP 35 which has a 567 engine often say it is 2nd generation.

Under what appears to be the most common usage of the term 2nd generation," the locomotives that replaced the 1st generation ",  Bruces 1.5 generation would be included in the 2nd generation.

1st Generation:  EMD loco models that went into production before 1961 would be 1st generation.  Probably could use the same date for other companies. 

http://www.urbaneagle.com/data/RRdieselchrono.html

 

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Posted by BRAKIE on Sunday, July 16, 2017 8:57 PM

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Posted by cx500 on Monday, July 17, 2017 12:47 AM

As you can see, there is no certain definition.  Another approach is to look at when trading in old locomotives for new ones became popular.  That would tend to put the date in the early 1960s when the GP30 and Alco's Century series appeared.  Steam was finally gone and some of the earlier diesels were now quite obsolete in their technology.

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Posted by NHTX on Monday, July 17, 2017 12:59 AM

    John, as far as Iknow there are no hard, fast written rules as to what defines the various "generations" of diesel locomotives by a given builder.  I agree with your assessment of EMD.  With the unveiling of their first turbocharged units, the GP-20 and SD-24, they aggressively touted them as replacements for the remaining FT, F-2 and F-3s under the banner of unit reduction via increased horsepower.  To me that signifies a generational change brough about by following 567 powered units in the 30 and 35 lines.  The 645 engine was the third generation, and the 710 is the fourth.  After the 710, I lost interest.  As far as Alco is concerned, for me, their second generation pretty much coincided with EMD's.  When they began marketing 2000 hp (RS-32) and 2400 hp (RS-27 and RSD-15) models to remain competitive with EMD, this ushered in their second generation.  Alco's Century series marked the third generation as well as their demise as a locomotive builder. General Electric's first generation as a builder of road locomotives began with their Universal line of U-23, 25, 28, 30, 33 and 36 series units.  The -7 line was second generation which was succeded by the dash-8 third genreration which gave birth to the -9 line as fourth.  Fairbanks-Morse, Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton, and any others considering a road locomotive offering did not make it much beyond 1960 and closed out their locomotive lines without offering anything to compete with EMD, faltering Alco, and upstart GE revolutionary changes of the 1959-1963 timeframe.  There was no second generation for FM, BLH, etc.

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Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Monday, July 17, 2017 1:08 AM

NYBW-John
For EMD my perception is that first generation includes all E and F units and GP9 or earlier.

Not all F units are first generation, F45s are not nor are F59PHI etc. First generation EMD locos have small numbers like F7 or GP9.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, July 17, 2017 3:24 AM

cx500
Steam was finally gone and some of the earlier diesels were now quite obsolete in their technology.

Yet many still labor on for industries,terminal roads and short lines.

Careful! Some short lines still used steam into the mid 60s with one short line using a 3 truck Shay into the 70s..

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Posted by wjstix on Monday, July 17, 2017 10:03 AM

A general "rule of thumb" somebody came up with that works pretty well is that first generation diesels were engines bought to replace steam engines, and second generation diesels were engines bought to replace first generation diesels.

A good spotting tool - again, just as a general rule - is that the low-short-nose option starting becoming available about 1959, so generally first generation GPs, SDs, etc. had high short hoods, whereas second generation engines tended to have low short hoods...GP-30, RS-32, etc.

As far as EMD F-units, most all FT units were retired by the mid-late 1960's, having served around 20-25 years. Later F's were more durable, but visibility issues limited their use as road switchers, so they were often used as trade-ins for second generation engines. Still, BN used F-9's until the early 1980's, and the old Erie Mining Company F-9's ran in ore train service in northern Minnesota until 2001!

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Posted by SSW9389 on Monday, July 17, 2017 10:26 AM

No, you can trace GE involvement with diesel locomotion all the way back to the beginning. The first Universal Series road locomotives were built in 1956, and the demonstrators for that Series were built in 1954. The GE partnership with Alco lasted from 1940-1953 before that. GE had many inputs to the diesel revolution that were behind the scenes, but significant to the development of diesel locomotion.  

NHTX

General Electric's first generation as a builder of road locomotives began with their Universal line of U-23, 25, 28, 30, 33 and 36 series units. 

 

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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, July 17, 2017 11:06 AM

wjstix
so generally first generation GPs, SDs, etc. had high short hoods,

SP and Phillip Dodge Copper Mine ordered low nosed GP9s..The SD24 (7/58-3/63)  had the optional low hood as well.The SD24 predates the GP18 and GP20 which could be ordered with low hoods.

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Posted by NYBW-John on Monday, July 17, 2017 3:44 PM

Lone Wolf and Santa Fe

 

 
NYBW-John
For EMD my perception is that first generation includes all E and F units and GP9 or earlier.

 

Not all F units are first generation, F45s are not nor are F59PHI etc. First generation EMD locos have small numbers like F7 or GP9.

 

You're right. I forgot all about the F45 being an F unit. I was thinking the F-units ended with the F9.

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Monday, July 17, 2017 4:50 PM

It seems certain modelers like the old school stuff.

Does anybody model the 1990-2007 timeframe?

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Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, July 17, 2017 5:18 PM

ATSFGuy
It seems certain modelers like the old school stuff. Does anybody model the 1990-2007 timeframe?

It would be interesting to see a poll of the age distribution of members.  I am 65 and started serious modeling in the late 80's.  I still had fond memories of my father taking me to NYC on the PRR to the old Penn Station.  In the 90's I took my kids to horseshoe curve, Cass Railway, Durango. 

I see an exact parallel with music.  My love of Rap music began and immediately ended with the Revolution Will Not Be Televised.  I grew up with rock & roll and Motown.  I missed Disco and everything beyond.  That includes the ES44AC's

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, July 17, 2017 7:05 PM

BigDaddy
It would be interesting to see a poll of the age distribution of members. I am 65 and started serious modeling in the late 80's.

.

I am 49 and also began serious modeling in the late 80's. I model first generation diesels and USRA steam locomotives.

.

I don't know the cut-of for first generation diesels, but it must be after 1954, so that is all I can have.

.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, July 17, 2017 7:35 PM

SeeYou190
I don't know the cut-of for first generation diesels, but it must be after 1954, so that is all I can have. . -Kevin

Kevin,I'm in the group that says the GP30/U25B was the start of the second generation since everything changed and the cab unit gave way to four and six axle locomotives. The -2s was the start of the third generation.

Of course there was no offical generation change by the builders..

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Posted by DS4-4-1000 on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 6:13 AM

If you go by Kirkland's rules he expounded in "Dawn of the Diesel Age" the first generation ended in 1938.  That makes the Alco/GE/IR boxcabs the Westinghouse Boxcabs and Visibility Cabs the EMDs SC, NC, B&O boxcabs and ATSF boxcab and the like first generation.  According to him the second generation starts with the FT, RS1 and the like.

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 7:53 AM

NYBW-John
 
Lone Wolf and Santa Fe

 

 
NYBW-John
For EMD my perception is that first generation includes all E and F units and GP9 or earlier.

 

Not all F units are first generation, F45s are not nor are F59PHI etc. First generation EMD locos have small numbers like F7 or GP9.

 

 

 

You're right. I forgot all about the F45 being an F unit. I was thinking the F-units ended with the F9.

 

 
I think it's a stretch to call an F45 or FP45 from the sixties as an "F unit" in the sense the term is normally used. American-Rails.com states that "the F45 was essentially an SD45 in a semi-streamlined carbody (known as the "cowl" design) for use in passenger service." It had six axles, not four, and a squared off short hood nothing like the EMD "bulldog nose" F-units had - closer to later engines like the SD-60 or SD-70. I think EMD only called them F-45 because the body was built wide enough to have walkways inside the engine, unlike GP or SD engines where the walkways were on the outside. Otherwise, there's really no obvious link between F-45 and the FT-F9 "classic F-unit" design.
 
 
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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 9:17 AM

I suppose one could say the GE AMD 103/P40/P42 or the EMD F59PHI are modern cab units.

(shrugs) I'll just call them by their model name.

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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 9:27 AM

First generation ended in the late 30's. This is my era. What I have been having trouble finding is when second generation put out their demonstrators, finding production details is easy but real data on the demonstrators is hard to find.

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Posted by NYBW-John on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 12:34 PM

BigDaddy

 

 
ATSFGuy
It seems certain modelers like the old school stuff. Does anybody model the 1990-2007 timeframe?

 

It would be interesting to see a poll of the age distribution of members.  I am 65 and started serious modeling in the late 80's.  I still had fond memories of my father taking me to NYC on the PRR to the old Penn Station.  In the 90's I took my kids to horseshoe curve, Cass Railway, Durango. 

I see an exact parallel with music.  My love of Rap music began and immediately ended with the Revolution Will Not Be Televised.  I grew up with rock & roll and Motown.  I missed Disco and everything beyond.  That includes the ES44AC's

 

Although I had a second hand 4x8 roundy-round when I was a kid, I didn't get back into the hobby and take it seriously until 1977 when I built my first of three layouts, each in a different home. I am not 65 and have been working on the current layout since 2001. I pike is a basement filling freelanced eastern railroad which operates in northern NJ and the southern tier of NY.

My favorite memories of real railroading were the trips to Burlington Station in Omaha to greet or say goodbye to visiting relatives from Chicago. One time our family was the one taking the train and it was over the 1959/60 holidays to Chicago with a side trip to Milwaukee on the North Shore.

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 12:52 PM

rrebell

First generation ended in the late 30's. This is my era. What I have been having trouble finding is when second generation put out their demonstrators, finding production details is easy but real data on the demonstrators is hard to find.

 
"Diesel Demonstrators", a book by Karl Erk sounds like what you're looking for. I have it, and it's an excellent resource.
 
 
BTW there were only a few diesel types built before 1939, mainly small switchers and a few passenger engines. The "classic" first generation diesels (GPs, SDs, FA/PAs etc.) really didn't get up and running until the 1940's and kept going into the 1950's.
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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 1:12 PM

NYBW-John

I kindasorta know what diesels are considered first generation but I'm not sure my perceptions are accurate. Just what differentiates first generation from second generation. For EMD my perception is that first generation includes all E and F units and GP9 or earlier.  Alco first generation extends through RS3. Am I right so far. I have no clue when  it comes to other makes. Can someone shed some light on this?

 

IMO, it goes by body style more than prime mover.  

EMD 1st generation has the rounded cab roof, so the GP18 and the GP20, the turboed 567, would be 1st generation.  The square cab starts the secend Gen.  So the GP30 and GP35 are second generation eventhough they still have a 567.  And the GP38 is still second generation eventhough it gets the 645.

Rounded cab or square cab.

For Alco, the 1st gen stops with the RS3 and second gen starts with the RS11, which are totally different body styles.  The prime movers change too, to the 251 with the RS11, but their Century series could also be considered second generation, eventhough it was a different body than the RS11, and 32/36

GEs I'm not sure about.  They were a bit of a late comer to the market, so I consider their U boats starting off at asecond generation diesel.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 3:21 PM

First generation ended in the late 30's

Did you mean begun?


Noted author Joesph Strapac has even discussed where the boundaries of 1st and 2nd lie and it's debated among the movers and shakers too.  I have a comfort level as far as EMD goes.

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Posted by ACY Tom on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 4:20 PM

I sympathize with those who say the first generation began with the early boxcabs, and that the era of production models (FT, E6, and DL109) constituted a new generation when they were introduced in the late 1930's and early 1940's. However, the consensus seems to be that the first generation encompasses the entire early diesel period prior to the beginning of the high horsepower era, when the focus was on replacing steam with whatever worked. That would mean the second generation began with the GE U25B, EMD GP30, and Alco Century series. The early Alco DL series, including the RS11, were rough contemporaries of the EMD SD9 and GP9, and even though they had a new carbody, they were part of the earlier generation in most respects. As for the next generation, whether you call it the second or third, all of the other builders dropped out and didn't participate meaningfully. If any BLW or F-M diesels were built in the 60's, they weren't numerous. Lima Hamilton was long gone from the market.

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 4:48 PM

If your modeling the transition era, the time frame could start at 1948 and the cutoff point would be 1973 or 1974.

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 5:52 PM

 I'm with Larry, this is the way it was always portrayed in the model and railfan press - first gen stopped with the introduction of the GP30 and U25. Second gen can be harder - the -2 series makes a good cutoff but the X models had many of the -2 features and were testbeds for the new technology.

As for obsolete - SMS still uses first gen Baldwin switchers - with original prime movers, not EMD re-motored. Delaware-Lackawanna uses Alcos of all sorts, including RS3's. And the other week while driving out to my weekly assignment in Buffalo, I happened to glance over and there paralleling the highway just outside of Bath was a second gen Alco leading a Bath & Hammondsport train. Pretty sure it was 416, an RS18u.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 8:20 PM

Agreed.  I think Joe Strapac said same thing about GP30s beginning 2nd gen diesels.  Part of his discussion involve replacement units for 1st gen to make horsepowers gains.  The GP20s for example were passed over by the DRGW as not increasing HP enough over the F7s they were replacing.

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Posted by DSchmitt on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 9:46 PM

I think it us safe to say that locomotives that started production before 1961 are 1st generation designs, those that started production 1961 and later 2nd generation designs.  The 3rd generation started in 1989. 

With a couple exceptions that fit better in 1st generation locos which started production through 1936 could be called Pioneer. 

http://www.urbaneagle.com/data/RRdieselchrono.html

 

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, July 20, 2017 7:59 AM

Alcos can be a bit difficult, because at least in the 1940's-50's they had a different philosophy than EMD did. For example, when EMD introduced the GP-9, they stopped making GP-7s. Because there often were backlogs from the time engines were ordered until they were built, it could happen that a railroad would order 20 GP-7s or F-3s, and get GP-9s or F-7s instead. Alco introduced the RS-1 in 1941, and continued building them until I believe 1959, so in 1958 a railroad could buy new RS-1, RS-2, RS-3 and/or RS-11 engines.

Also, although the RS-11 was introduced late in 1st generation production (1957), it really was Alco's answer to the GP-7/GP-9, with a high short hood and similar overall appearance. I'd consider RS-11s Alco's last 1st gen diesel rather than 1st 2nd generation, but it is kinda on the border between the two generations.

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Posted by HaroldS on Thursday, July 20, 2017 9:56 PM

I always thought the generations were defined by technology, rather than looks.  The second generation diesels started with the U-25s with their sealed, pressurized carbodies.  For EMD that would make the GP30 second gen, and for ALCO the Century series.

The next big tech jump was alternator-rectifier electrics, which for all three builders was when they went to 3000 hp.  One could argue that that marked the start of the 2nd generation.

Next wopuld be modular, solid-state controls, and then probably AC traction motors.  Somewhere in there was the start of the third generation.

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