Planned follow ups to Santa Fe's "Beep"

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Planned follow ups to Santa Fe's "Beep"
Posted by Leo_Ames on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 1:15 AM

This nice write-up on the history of this unique unit states that "Santa Fe had also set aside FM H10-44's #501 and 502 and Alco S-4 #1532 for possible repowering".

http://atsf.railfan.net/beep/

Does anyone know if these were planned as prototypes for futher rebuilding of Santa Fe's remaining roster of these units (Santa Fe had bought 59 VO-1000's, 107 S-2/S-4's, and 62 H10-44's and H-12-44's)?

If not and they were just going to rebuild 4 units in total, why the electic mix of donor units I wonder when Santa Fe had bought 59 VO-1000's? An online roster shows that a good two dozen or so of them had survived into 1969 and the early 1970's, so there were plenty of VO-1000's left for a small production run of repowered switchers.

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Posted by SSW9389 on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 4:48 AM

Leo I'm looking at this and will have something to report later today. It does look like the Santa Fe was exploring multiple options for motive power in 1969-1970. The obvious clues are the 61 GP38s, 10 SD45s, and 49 U23Bs delivered between June 1970 and February 1971. And the start of the successful CF7 program. There are bits and pieces in Extra 2200 South of that time. 

Ed in Kentucky

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Posted by mudchicken on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 9:28 PM

The Beep was to have siblings and was the experiment that proved-out the future CF7 concept, cannot speak to the others. (Never heard about them, but there were the early diesels kept at AQ in the roundhouse for historical purposes at Mr Reid's insistance.)

SSW Ed - You left out the failures, the U23C and U33C boat anchors.

DC and I were there when the end-cab switchers were purged as Chico went on a tear removing tight radius curves. Last end cab switcher, an NW-2 (not an SSB-1200) was leased to a refinery at Augusta KS with severe track curves until that place became obsolete.

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, November 26, 2020 1:56 AM

mudchicken
You left out the failures, the U23C and U33C boat anchors

And the real boat anchors, the Sulzers.  (At least you were smart enough not to use U-boats to put 'em in, like the popsicles that wouldn't melt...)

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Posted by SSW9389 on Friday, November 27, 2020 12:20 PM

mudchicken

The Beep was to have siblings and was the experiment that proved-out the future CF7 concept, cannot speak to the others. (Never heard about them, but there were the early diesels kept at AQ in the roundhouse for historical purposes at Mr Reid's insistance.)

SSW Ed - You left out the failures, the U23C and U33C boat anchors.

DC and I were there when the end-cab switchers were purged as Chico went on a tear removing tight radius curves. Last end cab switcher, an NW-2 (not an SSB-1200) was leased to a refinery at Augusta KS with severe track curves until that place became obsolete.

 

I started with the 1970 deliveries instead of 1969. The 90 units delivered to the Santa Fe in 1969 were 20 SD39s and 25 SD45s from EMD and 20 U23Cs and 25 U33Cs from GE. Santa Fe split the order in two and kept both builders busy. 

The Beep was the prototype that proved it was uneconomical to rebuild Baldwin, Alco and Fairbanks-Morse switchers. The first six CF7s were completed before the Beep emerged from Cleburne in December 1970. 

Ed on Kentucky 

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Friday, November 27, 2020 3:25 PM

SSW9389

 

 
mudchicken

The Beep was to have siblings and was the experiment that proved-out the future CF7 concept, cannot speak to the others. (Never heard about them, but there were the early diesels kept at AQ in the roundhouse for historical purposes at Mr Reid's insistance.)

SSW Ed - You left out the failures, the U23C and U33C boat anchors.

DC and I were there when the end-cab switchers were purged as Chico went on a tear removing tight radius curves. Last end cab switcher, an NW-2 (not an SSB-1200) was leased to a refinery at Augusta KS with severe track curves until that place became obsolete.

 

 

 

I started with the 1970 deliveries instead of 1969. The 90 units delivered to the Santa Fe in 1969 were 20 SD39s and 25 SD45s from EMD and 20 U23Cs and 25 U33Cs from GE. Santa Fe split the order in two and kept both builders busy. 

The Beep was the prototype that proved it was uneconomical to rebuild Baldwin, Alco and Fairbanks-Morse switchers. The first six CF7s were completed before the Beep emerged from Cleburne in December 1970. 

Ed on Kentucky 

 

Let's see, to replace the prime mover, the electrics, most everything apart from the frame, one is pretty much manufacturing one's one diesel locomotive?

Not that railroad shops did not build their own steam locomotives, the Pennsylvania and the Norfolk and Western come to mind, but still, it is not a great mystery why that found it not cost effective?

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by Overmod on Friday, November 27, 2020 3:54 PM

Paul Milenkovic
Let's see, to replace the prime mover, the electrics, most everything apart from the frame, one is pretty much manufacturing one's one diesel locomotive?

Just to preface this, there were at one time tax implications for 'significantly' rebuilding older motive power, with Frisco 1351/1352 being poster childten.

Now, it was my understanding that one point of the Beep was to retain the Westinghouse motors ... but the original main generator would be wound to work with the 'tugboat engine' max 625 or so rpm -- you will note that when PRR rebuilt a set of Sharks, they essentially rebuilt them all the way to RS-18s above the deck.   Part of the Beep cost was doubtless in the learning curve of what it costs for a previously 'undiscovered country' rebuild -- as I recall at least some of these would also have been intended as shop switchers, but not all, and I don't know how great ATSF's need for switchers and taxable-income relief was in this era.   Certainly the CF7 program gave them more bang for the buck and a more flexible class of engine in colossal numbers...

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Saturday, November 28, 2020 5:51 AM

Paul Milenkovic
Let's see, to replace the prime mover, the electrics, most everything apart from the frame, one is pretty much manufacturing one's one diesel locomotive?

At least I assume that retired B units from their F3/F7/F9 fleets would've been the donors, supplying the 16-567 engine, trucks, main generator, etc. I imagine that's what gave it a chance at being financially sound. 

So perhaps not quite as crazy sounding as it might appeal at first glance. All those components had been proven to have a lot of life left when overhauled (As the Beep ended up proving), they still had the in-house shop facilities, and they had an aging fleet of minority make switchers and EMD B units that were running their last miles.

Only the A units ever entered Santa Fe's CF7 program. All their B units that were even more unattractive for rebuilding as-is than their A units were, were mostly only good for scrap and trade-in fodder. Only a select few saw a 2nd career on the Santa Fe, rebuilt as slugs or remote control units.

So I imagine that Santa Fe saw this as the opportunity to harvest what remained useful from both fleets (The proven EMD mechanical components paired with the form factor of a switcher) and return a locomotive capable of several more decades of service to the fleet at a substantial discount over that of a brand new EMD SW1500.

Alas, that presumably didn't quite work out when they tabulated the costs, but it sounds like they had the right thought.

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Saturday, December 5, 2020 5:50 PM

SSW9389
The Beep was the prototype that proved it was uneconomical to rebuild Baldwin, Alco and Fairbanks-Morse switchers.

Also, EMD had come up with the trade in program to help make it uneconomical and it also controlled the supply of rebuild parts. EMD would be happy to take your old minority unit and rebuild it at LaGrange, but have your shop do the work...not so much. 

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Saturday, December 5, 2020 6:51 PM

Leo_Ames

 

 
Paul Milenkovic
Let's see, to replace the prime mover, the electrics, most everything apart from the frame, one is pretty much manufacturing one's one diesel locomotive?

 

 

At least I assume that retired B units from their F3/F7/F9 fleets would've been the donors, supplying the 16-567 engine, trucks, main generator, etc. I imagine that's what gave it a chance at being financially sound. 

So perhaps not quite as crazy sounding as it might appeal at first glance. All those components had been proven to have a lot of life left when overhauled (As the Beep ended up proving), they still had the in-house shop facilities, and they had an aging fleet of minority make switchers and EMD B units that were running their last miles.

Only the A units ever entered Santa Fe's CF7 program. All their B units that were even more unattractive for rebuilding as-is than their A units were, were mostly only good for scrap and trade-in fodder. Only a select few saw a 2nd career on the Santa Fe, rebuilt as slugs or remote control units.

So I imagine that Santa Fe saw this as the opportunity to harvest what remained useful from both fleets (The proven EMD mechanical components paired with the form factor of a switcher) and return a locomotive capable of several more decades of service to the fleet at a substantial discount over that of a brand new EMD SW1500.

Alas, that presumably didn't quite work out when they tabulated the costs, but it sounds like they had the right thought.

 

 

Yeah, B units.  Attending high school in the 1970s near the North Line, I thought those "Crandall Cabs" Chicago and Northwestern made from ex-UP E9Bs were the coolest ever. 

Many years later I learned on this forum that the crews thought them to be awful from the comfort standpoint -- were they drafty with inadequate heat in those cold, windy Chicago winters?  But I did not know that at the time, and they made for interesting train watching as to when they would show up.

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Saturday, December 5, 2020 6:57 PM

BEAUSABRE

 

 
SSW9389
The Beep was the prototype that proved it was uneconomical to rebuild Baldwin, Alco and Fairbanks-Morse switchers.

 

Also, EMD had come up with the trade in program to help make it uneconomical and it also controlled the supply of rebuild parts. EMD would be happy to take your old minority unit and rebuild it at LaGrange, but have your shop do the work...not so much. 

 

I think you need the "past conditional" of "EMD would have been happy" as EMD as been merged/reorganized beyond recognition and the LaGrange factory is no more?

I remember touring "LaGrange" during a public "Open House", only it wasn't in LaGrange but in McCook, IL?

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Sunday, December 6, 2020 9:57 AM

McCook is served by the La Grange post office, and even now shares a ZIP Code with La Grange.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by mudchicken on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 10:29 AM

Never mentioned: The three CRSD-20's (re-engined/rebuilt Alligator RSD-15's) that served as hump slug mothers out in the desert in relative obscurity at Barstow. The slugs were other cut-down alligators. No idea if they were a "success" or not, but they were around 10+ years at Barstow. Like the 4000 Class SD-39's on ATSF, you did not need the HP when applied to low speed/ tractive effort work.  Some of the SD-39's were to become hump mothers when the traffic over Raton and Glorietta dropped after York Canyon Mine closed and the 408/804 trains were de-emphasized.

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 10:43 AM

mudchicken
Never mentioned: The three CRSD-20's (re-engined/rebuilt Alligator RSD-15's) that served as hump slug mothers out in the desert in relative obscurity at Barstow.

Ah yes, hermaphrogators as they were called in a less woke era.  One 16-645 Roots engine to twelve fairly hefty traction motors -- not likely to be a problem with overheating at low speed!

Frankly that's a perfectly sensible use of obsolescent road power, particularly if supporting 251s (or turbochargers in general on yard power) ceases to be a priority (and in 1976, when I think these were made, I think both might have been true on ATSF).  What might be interesting is to see what, if any, changes were made in the control gear to accommodate the very different throttle characteristics of the EMD engine in this service -- 

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