Wide Cab or Safety Cab GP38 and GP40-2W in Local and Switching Service

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Wide Cab or Safety Cab GP38 and GP40-2W in Local and Switching Service
Posted by MARTIN STATION on Friday, August 21, 2020 5:12 PM

 

  I see a lot of wide cab or safety cab locomotives, especally GP40-2w's being purchased by regional and shortline railroads and I was wondering if these are better or worse or about the same as the regular cab for comfort and switching.

  ISRR had one or two of ex-CN GP40L-2Ws here in southern Indiana for awhile some years back but did not seem to last long. The summers here are usually hot and humid and I was wondering if that type of cab vented as well as a standard cab. They also did local switching with them and I was wondering if visibility was more limited or about the same.

  I really liked the looks of these because they were different and gave a local rail fan something different to look at.

Thanks,

Ralph

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Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 5:40 PM

I meant to reply to this, but forgot to, and just ran across it again. 

The wide-nose cabs aren't any hotter than a spartan cab without A/C, but forward visibilty is somewhat restricted (you can't see the trainman on the front step/footboard without awkwardly and uncomfortably leaning your head out the window).  Rear visibility is the same as a spartan cab, most of our remaining units have mirrors now, they were only equipped with clear wind deflectors when new.

Blocking the front doors open provides a nice rush of fresh air, just like a spartan cab.  CN's original cab design has rear doors on both sides of the cab, so in that regard you can get even more ventilation. 

CN power also comes with a microwave, hot plate and fridge, so we have a supply of cold water throughout even on the hottest days (not sure if the post-CN owners kept these).

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by zugmann on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 6:46 PM

SD70Dude
The wide-nose cabs aren't any hotter than a spartan cab without A/C, but forward visibilty is somewhat restricted (you can't see the trainman on the front step/footboard without awkwardly and uncomfortably leaning your head out the window).  Rear visibility is the same as a spartan cab, most of our remaining units have mirrors now, they were only equipped with clear wind deflectors when new.

I'll disagree with that one.  Our widebodies are terrible without AC in the summer, with almost no air flow. But you're in Canada - you probably think 50 degrees F is hot (I don't know what that translates into Moose metrics..  354 hectjoules? .Whistling )

Mnay of our widebodies did have small extra mirrors, that when you position them right, you could see the front step (although very few ever would use them).  

Still, give me an old standard cab any day on anything. Even if they ruined them with the PTC screens. 

 The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 7:04 PM

Western Canada at that, it's usually bone dry out here, though it can get up to +35 C on some hot Alberta days (that's almost human body temperature). 

The rear door behind the Conductor's seat helps, on a few occasions we had all three cab doors wired open in addition to the windows. 

Some guys forget that there is a door over there on these units, and checking if it was locked on unattended locomotives was a favourite 'efficiency test' for a little while.

I hate those pointless tiny mirrors, probably aren't even 8 cm tall.

Standard cabs are definitely better for switching, our 6000 series SD40RM's are probably the best I've had (they were remanufactured in the 1990s from pre Dash-2 units).  The cab is a bit roomier, the seats aren't quite as worn out, and you can see forward.  They even have mirrors, and of course pull just as well as a SD40-2, I think they would outpull a SD60 and be at least the equal of a DC traction SD70.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by MARTIN STATION on Thursday, September 17, 2020 4:25 PM

Thanks to both of you for the replies, tells me what I wanted to know. 
Ralph

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