How Rare Are the EMD SD60M Triclops Units?

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How Rare Are the EMD SD60M Triclops Units?
Posted by NellsChoo on Sunday, June 17, 2018 7:46 PM

Hi all

I managed to accidently catch two ex-BN EMD SD60M "Triclops" units recently.  I am seeing people refer to them as "rare", but for the life of me I can't find any real info about them online.

Does anyone know roughly how many of these still exist? 

Tags: EMD , SD60M , triclops
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Posted by Leo_Ames on Sunday, June 17, 2018 7:59 PM

Short of perhaps the recently eliminated Canadian National SD60F fleet, there haven't been mass scrappings of SD60's. So most all of them still exist.

What's actually out there today running rather than sitting in a storage line somewhere is another matter though. 

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Posted by NellsChoo on Sunday, June 17, 2018 8:00 PM
I am speaking specifically of the 3-window style... Though your reply did lead me to look into build dates, and these locos are newer than I thought! ;-)
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Posted by Leo_Ames on Sunday, June 17, 2018 8:05 PM

I knew what you meant. :)

About all I can add further is that the 9 BNSF cast-offs from 1989 that went off lease right before the recession and which Norfolk Southern picked up 2nd hand in 2014 (Former BN 9200-9208), are all shown as in-service at the moment per NSDash9.com.

All are of the 3 window style, unlike the former Conrail fleet that NS inherited a portion of. 

Edit: Judging by the roster at The Diesel Shop website and checking several random numbers at one of the popular railfan photo sites, BNSF still rosters approximately 27 of these 3 windowed SD60M's. They're numbered 1400-1426 and they seem to be keeping busy. 

I believe I've even seen mentions of a rebuild program around here for BNSF's remaining SD60M's, so they perhaps have a BNSF future despite some of their stablemates having left the roster over the past decade. 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Sunday, June 17, 2018 8:12 PM

CP (via Soo Line) had a few, I believe they are still on the roster but like Leo said may not be very active.

The triclops windshields were also used on CP's SD40-2F and the F59PH, which is still in use by some commuter lines.  CP retired the SD40-2F's a few years ago but some were snapped up by Central Maine & Quebec and are still running, in fresh paint no less.

Time has not been kind to the 60 series, and they are now the first to be sidelined when traffic slows down or new power is ordered.

CN's retirement of the SD60F's seems illogical now considering how power-short we are, but they were falling apart on their last legs and it was far from certain if they would be able to complete a trip.  It would have been smarter (if a bit more expensive) to run them in sets of 3 or 4 on branch lines, that way a unit failure wouldn't block the mainline and you might finish the trip with one still running.

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Posted by Bryan Jones on Monday, June 18, 2018 4:49 AM

There were 239 triclopse SD60M’s built for North American railroads. 184 for Union Pacific, 50 for Burlington Northern and 5 for Soo Line. Virtually all should still exist except for perhaps a few wreck victims in the UP fleet. A small group of the BN units were later returned to the lessor and ultimately ended with some on Norfolk Southern and lessor CIT Financial. The 5 Soo units are now part of the CP fleet.

 

Bryan Jones

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Monday, June 18, 2018 3:14 PM
The UP units are still in use on and off, as recently as 3 years ago they were in regular use along with the SD59MX rebuilds on haulers throughout California. Lately they've been sidelined for SD70Ms, but with the traffic upturn, They're starting to go back into use. The 3 window units are unlikely to get turned into SD59MX, because there are under the hood differences that make it a harder upgrade compared to the 2 window units.
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Posted by ATSFGuy on Monday, June 18, 2018 11:13 PM

I like the Tri-Clops window design,

Run! It's the attack of the three eyed monster haha.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 4:26 AM

Was this three window setup done for forward visibility for a 3rd man in the cab sitting in the center, just as the caboose era was wrapping up? 

I vaguely seem to recall reading that in Trains. 

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Posted by kgbw49 on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 5:58 AM

GP40-2W and SD40-2W have quad windows.

The wide cab for roadswitchers was first done to meet Canadian requirements.

SD40-2W

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/659737/

GP40-2W

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/276966/

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Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 11:31 AM

kgbw49

GP40-2W and SD40-2W have quad windows.

The wide cab for roadswitchers was first done to meet Canadian requirements.

SD40-2W

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/659737/

GP40-2W

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/276966/

It was not a Canadian requirement, CP continued to buy units with standard cabs into the 1980s.

The four-window safety cab (originally named "Canadian Comfort Cab") was designed by CN's cab committee (composed of both company officials and union reps) in response to a number of accidents where crews were injured or killed.  All of CN's new road locomotives from the early 1970s until about 1995 were ordered with it, at which point it was superseded by the more familiar two-window safety cab designs.

I don't believe CN has ever owned a triclops unit.

Four window models are EMD GP38-2W, GP40-2W, GP40-2LW (lighter frame), SD40-2W, SD50F, SD60F, MLW M420, M630W (only for BC Rail), HR412, HR616, GE C40-8M and C44-9WL.

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by NellsChoo on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 4:50 PM
Just for the record, the two units I saw were CBFX 6028 & 6029
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Posted by kgbw49 on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 6:50 PM

Thanks for the assist, SD70Dude!

Good stuff!

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