EMD F2 Built After F3 Production Began

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EMD F2 Built After F3 Production Began
Posted by NorthWest on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 4:22 PM

Hello,

The EMD F3 was built from 7/45 to 2/49, while the F2 was built from 7/46 to 11/46. So, why was F2 production a year later? Almost everything I've read states the F2 as a transition model from the FT to the F3. Was it to clear out remaining parts from FT production (D8 generator)? If so, were F2s cheaper?

Thanks,

Northwest  

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Posted by jrbernier on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 10:56 PM

 The F2 was a transitional model due to production issues building the new main generator.  EMD shipped model F2's with the option of upgrading them to F3's at some point.  I know the M&StL F2 set was upgraded to Ph 2 F3's after a wreck.  I am not sure of any others that were upgraded.  Once the assembly jigs were corrected for placing the insulators in the D12 generator, the production 'yield' was sufficient to go forward with the F3.

  I hope you are not trusting information from 'Wikipedia' - They cannot even copy stuff correctly.  

  • EMD F2 production was from 7/46 - 11/46(some indicate 12/46)
  • EMD F3 production started in either 11/46 or 12/46.

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Posted by NorthWest on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 11:13 PM

No, this is information from Diesel Locomotives: The First 50 Years, by Louis Marre. (Basically a reprint of the 2nd DSG) 

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Posted by DS4-4-1000 on Thursday, June 20, 2013 10:14 AM

Most, if not all, F2s used the FT control system which was not compatible with any of the later EMD locomotives.  The F2 was conceived as a way to turn an ABBA set of FTs into two ABA sets. The F2 which was ordered after F3 production began was likely purchased by a road which intended to use it with thier FTs.

Before anyone jumps on me I know a number of Railroads rewired thier FTs to be able to MU with any other EMD/ALCO/FM etc.  But the FTs did not come from the factory wired that way and the F2 was EMD's "official" solution.

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Posted by NorthWest on Thursday, June 20, 2013 10:49 AM

Thanks DS4-4-1000.

That make sense. I know B&M used F2s with their FTs as ABA sets. The only roads to purchase F2s without buying FTs were NDEM and AEC, per The Model Railroader's Guide to Diesel Locomotives. That would also explain why 74 F2As were built, but only 30 F2Bs.

Thanks again,

NorthWest

 

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Posted by SSW9389 on Friday, June 21, 2013 7:33 AM

Hey Jim this is from the Wikipedia Talk page on the F2:

The original four unit F2 demonstrator #291A1, 291B1, 291B2, 291A2 was built in July 1945. The new F2 was supposed to be a 1500 horsepower machine. But EMD could not get the full 1500 horsepower rating out of the new D12 generator in the demonstrators. The F unit production line was shut down in November 1945 with the last FTs built and EMD intended to produce the new units in 1946. But EMD did not produce another F unit until July 1946 because of the problems with the D12 generator. The F2 as-built was offered by EMD as a 1350 horsepower unit with the old D8 Generator to fill the needs of a few railroads that wanted freight diesels and could not wait for EMD to work the bugs out of the D12 generator. When the D12 generator was able to be rated at 1500 horsepower the new F3 model was announced and the F2 demonstrators became F3s. See "EMD's F2 - An Interim Model" by Warren Calloway, Dan Cupper, and Paul Withers from Diesel Era Volume 7 Number 2 March/April 1996, pages 31-46 for the complete story. --SSW9389 (talk) 13:20, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

 

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Posted by SSW9389 on Friday, June 21, 2013 7:53 AM

EMD F3 production started in October 1946 with the delivery of Santa Fe passenger units 16LABC-21LABC. Another F3 demonstrator set the 754 was completed in September 1946. Data from A J Kristopans EMD Serial Number website.

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Posted by NorthWest on Sunday, June 23, 2013 3:51 PM

Thank you all for your theories! Looks like I have more research to do...

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, June 24, 2013 2:28 PM

In 1952 I designed automatic transition for the FT, since the B&O wished to use their FT without the need to always have one as the lead unit.  But by that time they could at least run with the F3's and F7's.  I was a Junior Engineer at EMD between my Junior and Senior MIT undergraduate years.  Other railroads applied the circuit, in addition to the B&O.

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Posted by ndbprr on Saturday, June 29, 2013 5:08 PM
As a theory somebody signed a contract for f2 engines before the f3 was available and didn't get them until the war was over and materials were available.
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Posted by SSW9389 on Thursday, June 25, 2020 4:46 AM

Another question that dovetails with Northwest's original question is how many FTs were cancelled because of the UAW strike against EMD. UAW workers walked off the job on Wednesday November 21, 1945. The UAW strike ended Wednesday March 13, 1946; but the EMD plant remained closed because of the lingering effects of the steel strike which started January 21, 1946. Richard Steinbrenner gives two different dates for the end of the steel strike at Alco, either March 25th or April 10th of 1946. I don't have an accurate date for EMD, but builder's dates stop in late November 1945 and recommence in Mid April 1946. I've found cancellations for 60 FT units here: http://www.trainweb.org/emdloco/index.html ; there may be others. I've never seen this written up the correlation between the strike and EMD production of FTs, F2s , and F3s. 

Ed in Kentucky 

NorthWest

Hello,

The EMD F3 was built from 7/45 to 2/49, while the F2 was built from 7/46 to 11/46. So, why was F2 production a year later? Almost everything I've read states the F2 as a transition model from the FT to the F3. Was it to clear out remaining parts from FT production (D8 generator)? If so, were F2s cheaper?

Thanks,

Northwest  

 

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, June 25, 2020 8:25 AM

This prompts an immediate question: was the 'cessation of production of FTs in November 1945' a choice made by EMD before the strike, or did the production cease because of the strike?

We could follow this up with how much of the F2 design was, as indicated, padding out FTs to be 'double-cab loconotives' for union purposes in those couple of years before the MU situation was hammered out, and how much of it hinged on getting the 1500hp as a practical thing.  I think all the data are there at this point, they just have to be harmonized in full context.

That one of our posters actually produced the compatibility circuits is a remarkable thing, considering how near the 'edge of history' is to that achievement.  I'd like to ask Mr. Klepper to recount as much as he can regarding context and timing of this work, as I suspect no one else has documented it and I now realize it's really too significant to lose.

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Posted by SSW9389 on Friday, June 26, 2020 5:18 AM

It's hard to say with clarity what EMD intended for the end of FT production. The three railroads listed as cancelling FT orders were CB&Q 42 units, D&RGW 12 units and M&SL six units. All three of those roads followed up with new F unit orders. There may have been other undocumented cancellations. If any of those orders were in development could the 16-567As been used to another purpose? There is engine block data which suggests that 16-567Bs were in production when EMD shut down in November 1945. And I'm suggesting that a few new build F2/F3s were on the floor when EMD was struck. There was a clear need for passenger equipped A units in demonstration service. Some new build Fs may have been complete or near complete when the production line shut down. 

The whole F2/F3 demonstration time is murky. The Christmas Day 1946 wreck of three of the demonstrators 291A2 plus an F3B and an F3A adds to the confusion. There are some details but not a clear picture of what was going on with the demonstrators as to where and when they were. 

Ed in Kentucky

Overmod

This prompts an immediate question: was the 'cessation of production of FTs in November 1945' a choice made by EMD before the strike, or did the production cease because of the strike?

We could follow this up with how much of the F2 design was, as indicated, padding out FTs to be 'double-cab loconotives' for union purposes in those couple of years before the MU situation was hammered out, and how much of it hinged on getting the 1500hp as a practical thing.  I think all the data are there at this point, they just have to be harmonized in full context.

That one of our posters actually produced the compatibility circuits is a remarkable thing, considering how near the 'edge of history' is to that achievement.  I'd like to ask Mr. Klepper to recount as much as he can regarding context and timing of this work, as I suspect no one else has documented it and I now realize it's really too significant to lose.

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, June 26, 2020 7:46 AM

Thanks for the request.  July and August 1952 I was a student engineer at EMD, on a program with MIT to give students working experience before graduation.  I had terrific luck in cnvincing the ROTC department at MIT to allow me to do my ROTC cadet summer between Sophmore and Junior years, instead of Junior and Senior.  And I did OK at the summer camp, Fort Monmouth, and my bunk neighbor at the Cadet Barraks, a year ahead of me at MIT, was Henry Kloss, who went on to help start AR, then KLH, and then Advent.

AT EMD, my Boss was Bert Haffner, head of the Electrical Controls Department.  My routine, a drag, work, was testing Vapor Equipment Company elecrrical contactors, very-high current relays.  But during the summer I was handed two engineering projects that took some brains, and completed both successfully.

Conversion of B&O FTAs and FTBs to automatic transition.  I did this with fewer parts on the locomotive as convereted than it had with the manual transition.  I  was told it was adapted for in -house installation by other railroads, with EMD supplying all the parts. I believe I was told this when Bob Konsbrook vissited me in the Bosston area in December 1952, and I gave him a pretty thorough tour of Boston's ligh rail ad streetcar lines.  He said this was the first time he saw PCC streetcars in trains, and he was very impressed with the Beacon Street and Commnwealth Avenue lines.  At EMD we were very good friends, often rode the North Shore together, and he got me permission to ride in the Little Joe on an NRHS fantrip.  Apparently he had been an unofficial advisor on the conversion from 3000 to 1500 Volts.  I have no doubt that any F2s that had manufal transition, if any which I doubt, also were converted using my design, but the F7 was already in production in 1952, and my guess is that the transition circuit for the F2 was the same as for the F3, with slightly different resistor calibrations.  Of course I had examined that circuit before designing the conversion circuit to do thr same job, but using as much existing material as possible.

The second project was the upgrade of the control circuuit from the GP7 to the GP9.  The F7 had a control circuit not much different than the E7 and E8, where the governor and control circuits first allow the diesel to accelerate to throttle RPM before full load, again dependent on throttle, before full current reached the motors.  The result is a very jerk-free smooth start.  The SW line of switchers had a very different start-up, the "kick-start," where almost rated current was applied to the motors even as the diesel was accelerating from idle, with the idea of geting the load in motion as quickly as pssoble.  The GP-7 could be ordered with either one, or with a switch to choose between them.  I suggested that the best approach would be to load the diesel with the control to the generator to have half its power go to the traction motors and half to accelerate the diesel up to speed, getting the cars moving fairfly equickly but still having a smooth start.  I was given the OK to design the circuit, again using as few parts as possible. It was applied as a test to B&M GP-7 1567 being built and delivered in September or October 1952 and tested along with 1568, which had a different test circuit, with more parts, by Art Johnson.  Ny SB thesis at MIT was on this project, and I was simulaneoiusly a test engineer on the B&M with an employees engine pass.  And this was the reason for Bob Konsbrook's visit.  The mathematics in my thesis indicated my approach was best for best overall acceleration, and I believe it was adopted across-the-board, afterward, some switchers possibly excepted.

The four-unit (ABBA) F7 set for N&W testing, painted UP  colors but lettered for EMD.  I got a test-car ride once behing either all foiur or just one unit. mot sure of my memory on this.  I'm certain the HP was greater than 1500 HP/unit, but not sure if it was as high as 1750 HP.

It was a good summer.  In addition to a good job. I got to explore most of the remaining Milwaukee streetcar system, some of Chicago's and its "L" lines, all of the three interurbans, the Waterloo Ceder Falls and Northen, Charles City Western (freight loco ride), and enjoy the Grant Park outdoor concerts, for whom I helped design a new "bandshell" and sound system some 20 years later.  It was my first experience west of Ann Arbor Michiban and Columbus, Ohio.

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Posted by bogie_engineer on Friday, June 26, 2020 11:20 AM

Interesting story Dave. I started at EMD as a co-op GMI engineering student in 1968 and retired the first time in 2005. Some of my student projects were my favorite, like trying to blow up a 16-645E with ether starting fluid. I knew Bob Konsbrook a little, I remember him being the FL9 guru. I think he retired in the mid-70's IIRC.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Friday, June 26, 2020 12:50 PM

bogie_engineer

trying to blow up a 16-645E with ether starting fluid.

That was a great story.  Sounds like you guys succeeded:

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?1,149312

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, June 26, 2020 5:15 PM

bogie_engineer
Some of my student projects were my favorite, like trying to blow up a 16-645E with ether starting fluid.

As I recall, you actually couldn't, because there was enough clearance when all the gaskets around the inspection door holes blew out to relieve the damage.  What was more interesting was that you could get it to bang repeatedly with the gaskets displaced because natural clamping 'spring pressure' would hold the seal long enough to get the ether critical mixture to detonation.

I was never entirely convinced there wasn't some piston-crown or valve damage, or momentary stiction in non-prelubed mains, when ether bangs occurred during the actual closed part of the power stroke.  Mr. Goding, were there sequential  peak overpressure measurements taken, say at the cylinder cock ports, during the progress of actual injection and compression ignition?

It's interesting to look at engine designs that happily enjoy ether firing (the Isuzu 4HE1 4.8L being a fine example) vs. those that never, ever will (I never did test the 6.0L power-cerebrovascular accident but was sternly warned that the first time might be the last).

Mr. Klepper: did your transition system as applied to FTs have select ability between manual and automatic reverse transition?  Because if that had been an option for installing on PRR E8s only a couple of years later the use of passenger power on TrucTrains or other high-speed alternative traffic might have been a different story...

 

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Posted by bogie_engineer on Friday, June 26, 2020 7:18 PM

Overmod

 

 
bogie_engineer
Some of my student projects were my favorite, like trying to blow up a 16-645E with ether starting fluid.

 

As I recall, you actually couldn't, because there was enough clearance when all the gaskets around the inspection door holes blew out to relieve the damage.  What was more interesting was that you could get it to bang repeatedly with the gaskets displaced because natural clamping 'spring pressure' would hold the seal long enough to get the ether critical mixture to detonation.

 

I was never entirely convinced there wasn't some piston-crown or valve damage, or momentary stiction in non-prelubed mains, when ether bangs occurred during the actual closed part of the power stroke.  Mr. Goding, were there sequential peak overpressure measurements taken, say at the cylinder cock ports, during the progress of actual injection and compression ignition?

 

You're correct that the handhole covers flexed and relieved the pressure, blowing out the square cut rubber gasket in the process. There was no other visible damage. We didn't have any instrumentation set up, just a remote pushbutton to actuate the ether valve. This came about because RR's were using ether to start cold engines at the time and a vendor of injection systems approached EMD about installing their hardware on the assembly line. Of course, EMD did not recommend using ether but had never done any testing on it. We had an old B unit that was missing it's side panels but had a roots blown 16-645E and we used that; I think it was a test bed for the AR10 development. We simply installed their ether hardware, wired up a remote switch, and parked the unit North of the Engineering Test Shed with everyone inside and the doors closed. The engine was brought up to operating temperature and then shut down. I hit the inject button and a few seconds later it went boom. I actually had a Model T spark coil with a spark plug hooked up in a handhole cover but it wasn't required.  We did try it again with a marine explosion relief handhole cover that didn't fair was well as the production covers - it didn't relieve the pressure quick enough and went flying when it's fabricated crossbar broke thru the trunnion hole.

After that quick test, EMD put out a warning against using ether and that was the end of any discussion of it.

Dave

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, June 29, 2020 9:36 AM

Overmod, the circuit I designed would not have allowed manual transition, because the manual control parts were removed from the locomotive to reduce the number of parts.  But, it would have been easy to have both systems on the locomotive, just as the smooth start and kick start were available on the some GP-7s.  The B&O, in particular, saw no reason to retain the manual transition, and I think they were actually asked that question by Sales or Service, before we got the project at Controls.  I think Bert Heffner was specific on that point, and it may have been Bob Konsbrook who asked the question.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, June 29, 2020 10:44 AM

daveklepper
... the circuit I designed would not have allowed manual transition, because the manual control parts were removed from the locomotive to reduce the number of parts.  But, it would have been easy to have both systems on the locomotive, just as the smooth start and kick start were available on the some GP-7s.

The concern I have is with automatic vs. manual back transition in that period, which I think is a different thing but might have involved common parts or control modalities.

The issue as I recall it was that PRR decided to use 'rapidly becoming surplus' E units on its developing intermodal (TOFC, 'TrucTrain') consists, iirc around 1954.  The terrible emergent problem was that, apparently, PRR's freight EMDs had automatic back transition... and freight engineers assumed this... whereas the E8s did not, and suffered an unspecified but certainly painful series of flashover events if the throttle was 'closed wrong' with a heavy train at speed.

How would you implement 'familiar' automatic back transition on E units, and what additional switches or controls would need to be added to make the units optimal for both passenger and extreme high-speed freight?  (I envision something like the brake pilot cutout switch on the P42s, but in the 'electrical domain'.)  Perhaps one of you can explain why these Es, and perhaps other contemporary passenger locomotives, were built without automatic back transition.

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Posted by SSW9389 on Monday, June 29, 2020 11:55 AM

The Randolph, Minnesota wreck was on Christmas Day 1946. The wreck occurred at 4:40 AM when the three unit northbound demonstrator running A-B-A struck a Chicago Great Western southbound 2-10-4 head-on. The lead unit 291A2 suffered a broken underframe behind the cab. Three crewmen riding in the lead diesel were injured and evacuated for medical treatment. The trailing B unit remained upright. The trailing A unit derailed and ended up on its side. Some 20 freight cars derailed. 

The above is a summary of a front page newspaper article from the  Minneapolis Tribune. The Star and the Tribune were seperate papers back in the 1940s. 

 

Ed in Kentucky

 

 

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 8:05 AM

The automatic transition kit I developed for convering the FT's had automatic back-transition, and so did the F3s and F2s whose circuits I studied before designing my circuit.  So did the GP7s and F7s and any E7s being built at the time I was at LaGrange.

I would not doubt in any way that the E8s delivered to the PRR had backward transition, and that the removal of the four acjustable resistors and four relays was simply a penny-pinching move on the PRR during overhaul or maintenance.  Can other engineers report on this with E7s, E8s, and E9s on other railroads?  Lack of backward transition makes absolutely no sense to me from the standpoint of locomotive design.  A high-speed train comes suddenly upon a grade and the engineer wants to hit that grade with full throttle to maintain what speed he can.  So now, without backward transition, he has to return the trottle to idle, then reapply power after, if all worked well, the power-off-idle situation has returned the connections to series, and then hopefully maintain some speed, half track speed or less in sereies connection, up the mountain. 

But I can underatand the PRR maintenance poeple's thinking.  With automstic backward transition, the main contactors open underfull load as the speed up the grade drops below 18 mph.  This wears out contactors, although this is exactly the kind of test I performed on them at EMD.  So the maintenance people thought they could prolong the life of the contactors by eliminating automatic backward transition and forcing the engnineer to shut-off and reapply power.  What they did not consider is that the automatic power-off restoration to series connection might fail to work, and thus flashover.  Or without backward transition, if the engineer, used to running F7s and GP7s with backward transition, did not shut off and reapply, the high currrent in parallel into DC motors will cause a flashover as speed drops.

Can engnineers report on other railroads with EMD DC-motor power of any type without basckward transition?

Just plain absolutely crazy to me!

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 8:28 AM

Further thoughts: I can imagine that on some railroads reducing contactor wear is more iimportant than always maintaing speed.  This might be particularly true for N&W and C&O havy coal trains.  So engnineers are instructed to behave as if there is no automatic backward transmission, and, as speed starts falling when entering a grade, shut off and reapply power.  But they would not remove the backward transition, but keep it to prevent motor flashhover just in case.

I doubt very much if EMD ever offered removal of backward transition as an option.  But maybe somebody will prove me wrong?

And manual backward transition is available on all locomotives with automatic transition.  Simply shut off power and reapply and keep the speed below 18mph or whatever.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 9:21 AM

In my time on the B&M, almost entirely on GP-7s 1567 and 1568, but also on an Alco RS-3, I never saw an engineer do a manual backward transition.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 9:27 AM

I don't see why  my comments would not apply to Alco, GE, and FM, power as well, as all of these could be made to mu with EMD power and with each other.  I don't know about Baldwin or Lima.

And we are talking about DC-motor locomotives. Regardless of AC or DC generator.  AC-motor locomotives are entirely different and do not have transition.

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Posted by York1 on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 11:08 AM

Very interesting work, Dave.  You've had great experiences in your life, and I appreciate your comments for us.

York1 John       

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 3:24 AM

After thinking some more and exploring my memory, I find additional comments are in order.

1.  18 mph is just one figure, obviously dependent on type of motor and the gear ratio.  EMD power gear ratios were optional, with top rated speed up to and including 100mph for E7s and I would guess also E8s.

2.  Two ways to implement automatic trqnsition, read off the speed recorder, with downward transition just lightly under the speed of upward transition, to avoid hunting.  This requres separate circuits for upward and downward transition.  I think this is what used and what was in general use at EMD 1952.  I cannot be sure, because this was two-months shy of 68 years ago.  The other is by measuring the ratio of the voltage acrosss the armature brushes as compared with across the in-series field coil, the latter a reasnably accurate measure of he current through the motor, and effect transition uward or downward depending on throttle setting, motor characteristics, etc. for most economical and efficient performance.  I don't think EMD had arrived at that point in 1952, but they may have before switching to AC motors.  With current measuremene, downward transition would not be a separable circuit from upward transition.

3.  My assuming PRR's maintenance and overhaul people were stupid enough to remove downward transition was probably a mistake.  Granted, EMD would not have sold a locomotive without downward transition.  But PRR's mistake was putting 100mph E8s into freight service without regearing.  Recall that 90mph GG1s saw both freight and passenger service, but 100mph saw only passenger service except for very rare and controlled circumstances.  The downward transition point for the E8 was probably not suitable for extended low-speed operation, with motor-heating from maximum current for extended periods.  So it seemed like there was no automatic backward transition, because it did not occur soon enough as speeds fell with maximum power entering a grade. 

4. So the only way the locomotive could peform without problems was to insure the practice of manuel backward transmission.  Shut off to idle, wait a few seconds, and then reapply power a notch at a time.

5.  They should have regeared them.  Or contacted EMD about simple circuit adjustments.

I might be proved wrong, because this is all from an 88-yeaar-old's memory of events 68 years ago.

 

 

th

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 4:09 AM

Problems with transition caused the SOU RR's overspeed wreck of the Southern Crescent.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 5:23 AM

Interesting.  Can you provide more detail from what you know?

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Posted by SSW9389 on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 8:17 AM

 

EMD BLOCKAGE

 

Just as every EMD unit has an order number and a serial number, each diesel engine block installed in a unit has a number. These block numbers are recorded in the EMD Product Data, presumably for maintenance purposes.

 

EMD began manufacturing 16-567B blocks in 1945. The F2 demonstrators were completed in May of that year and released for test on July 31, 1945. There would have been a 16-567B installed in each of the four #291 demonstrators, plus another block or two for test purposes. Continued 16-567B production may have occurred later in 1945 up to the point where a strike shut down EMD in November. There is a bit of information that backs this up.

 

At the very end of FT production there were orders completed for 12 Great Northern and 12 Rock Island units. No other F units, that we know of, were produced until July 1946.

 

Now about those pesky block numbers. When EMD started F2 production, presumably in July 1946, there were nine maybe ten block numbers that point to a 1945 manufacture date. Three are within the number range of the Rock Island 16-567A blocks installed in FTs and six are just after. One block of a July 1946 produced F2A is not known at this time because a mid-1948 production 16-567B was installed at a later date. There were 43 F2As built with a July 1946 production date. In numerical sequence from oldest 16-567B block installed in nine F2As is: Rock Island 39, Rock Island 49, Burlington 152A, New York Central 1604, Alabama Great Southern (Southern) 6700, Burlington 150A, Atlantic & East Coast 401, Rock Island 38, and Rock Island 46. The July 1946 F2A with the unknown block installed is Atlantic & East Coast 400 which shows as a block built in the Summer of 1948, which would obviously be a transplant. The remaining F2A production for July 1946 have 16-567Bs that fall within numbers that mirror other 1946 engine production. You can draw your own conclusions if these block numbers mean anything.

 

 

 

Ed in Kentucky

 

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