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CN buys former leasers?

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CN buys former leasers?
Posted by D.Carleton on Sunday, June 13, 2021 4:55 PM

Apparently CN has picked up some former CREX ES44s. Anyone know the details?

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Sunday, June 13, 2021 5:13 PM

Was talked about on Loconotes. They're acquiring 75 CREX ES44AC's with 25 arriving this year and 50 more next year.

Will presumably do in the last of the Dash 8 fleet (And perhaps lead to some of the ex Oakway SD60's being retired; To the best of my knowledge CNR hasn't invested in rebuilds for these, so they must be starting to get pretty tired at this point).

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Posted by D.Carleton on Sunday, June 13, 2021 5:17 PM

Leo_Ames
Was talked about on Loconotes. They're acquiring 75 CREX ES44AC's with 25 arriving this year and 50 more next year.

Interesting. Thank you.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Sunday, June 13, 2021 5:31 PM

Quite a few of the ex-Oakway SD60s received work at NRE in the not too distant past (judging by stickers in the cabs) and most if not all are equipped with PTC.  A few have also been equipped for beltpack/RCO operation.  They haven't been regular mainline power for several years but have remained active in yard and local switching service, and I expect them to remain in these roles for quite some time. 

Most of our Dash-8s are now in storage, including all the remaining cowls.  Very few of them have been equipped with PTC, and while they might get resurrected this winter if traffic surges again I expect they will be disposed of in the not too distant future. 

Photos are circulating on various Facebook groups of patched CREX ES44ACs renumbered into the CN 3900 series.  3912 was previously the highest numbered CN ES44AC so the additional units should end up being 3913 to 3987.

The CREX 1500s performed very well and were quite popular with crews when they were leased to CN a few years ago.  At that time they did not have PTC but were equipped with pass-through ECP cables.  Initially they were not fitted with all the Canadian cab ammenites but microwaves and hot plates were installed in short order.  I preferred to have them leading because they had better seats than our units. 

Here is a breakdown of the first 25 from Loconotes:

CREX 1317 to CN 3913
CREX 1319 to CN 3914
CREX 1305 to CN 3915
CREX 1320 to CN 3916
CREX 1313 to CN 3917
CREX 1321 to CN 3918
CREX 1343 to CN 3919
CREX 1302 to CN 3920
CREX 1301 to CN 3921
CREX 1336 to CN 3922
CREX 1407 to CN 3923
CREX 1421 to CN 3924
CREX 1405 to CN 3925
CREX 1424 to CN 3926
CREX 1426 to CN 3927
CREX 1431 to CN 3928
CREX 1308 to CN 3929
CREX 1433 to CN 3930
CREX 1403 to CN 3931
CREX 1309 to CN 3932
CREX 1311 to CN 3933
CREX 1402 to CN 3934
CREX 1406 to CN 3935
CREX 1408 to CN 3936
CREX 1330 to CN 3937

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Posted by D.Carleton on Sunday, June 13, 2021 7:07 PM

Word is CN was also testing NS DC-to-AC rebuilds, AC44C6CMs. What's up with that?

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Posted by SD70Dude on Sunday, June 13, 2021 7:20 PM

D.Carleton

Word is CN was also testing NS DC-to-AC rebuilds, AC44C6CMs. What's up with that?

I just heard that rumour the other day too, but I haven't seen any photos or other confirmation yet.  You have to be careful with information from Canadian Railway Observations, while they do often end up publishing good information their editor has a not undeserved reputation for repeating railfan and employee gossip as fact.  

There is also a persistent rumour that they are going to send some SD70Is or 75Is to get rebuilt into ACs, but so far nothing has happened.  Again, it was CRO that has been pushing this story for quite some time. 

We do have over 200 Dash-9s still in regular mainline service.  Nearly all have been equipped with PTC, which is an indication that the company intends to keep them around.  They are getting quite old and tired by now, many are not equipped with DP, and IMO have not aged nearly as well as our 70 series EMDs.  They are also the slowest to respond to the throttle, even worse than a Dash-8, which makes them far less than ideal for switching service. 

This is just speculation, but IF the AC44 testing story is true and IF it proves successful I would not be surprised to see our Dash-9s become fodder for a rebuild program.

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Sunday, June 13, 2021 7:42 PM
 

SD70Dude

 

 
D.Carleton

Word is CN was also testing NS DC-to-AC rebuilds, AC44C6CMs. What's up with that?

 

 

I just heard that rumour the other day too, but I haven't seen any photos or other confirmation yet.  You have to be careful with information from Canadian Railway Observations, while they do often end up publishing good information their editor has a not undeserved reputation for repeating railfan and employee gossip as fact.  

There is also a persistent rumour that they are going to send some SD70Is or 75Is to get rebuilt into ACs, but so far nothing has happened.  Again, it was CRO that has been pushing this story for quite some time. 

We do have over 200 Dash-9s still in regular mainline service.  Nearly all have been equipped with PTC, which is an indication that the company intends to keep them around.  They are getting quite old and tired by now, many are not equipped with DP, and IMO have not aged nearly as well as our 70 series EMDs.  They are also the slowest to respond to the throttle, even worse than a Dash-8, which makes them far less than ideal for switching service. 

This is just speculation, but IF the AC44 testing story is true and IF it proves successful I would not be surprised to see our Dash-9s become fodder for a rebuild program.

 

Speaking of the 75's. The 5700's were pretty popular with crews over here on the eastside of CN's system. I have seen a few in local service as of recent.

 
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Posted by SD70Dude on Sunday, June 13, 2021 7:55 PM

SD60MAC9500

Speaking of the 75's. The 5700's were pretty popular with crews over here on the eastside of CN's system. I have seen a few in local service as of recent.

They are very, very quiet inside.  The original version of the WhisperCab is definitely the best, with the engine idling you can't tell that it's running from inside the cab, and at full throttle you can have a conversation without shouting.  They are rather loud in dynamic braking as the fan is right behind the cab. 

While not as quick to load as a SD40 or a blower EMD of any kind, they are still quick to respond to the throttle.  And they have the best rear visibility of any of our high horsepower units.  They also have a very large desk on the conductor's side, perfect for all the paperwork you get on a switching job. 

They were not built with air conditioning or strip heaters, but some have been retrofitted with these features.

They can be slippery when on wet rail, but in my experience do not drop their load the way DC GEs tend to (GEs give up, a 5700 will sit there and spin all day if you let it).  A bit of independent, lots of sand and throttling down a notch or two at low speeds gets the best out of them. 

They are my favourite units to operate. 

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Sunday, June 13, 2021 8:48 PM
 

SD70Dude

 

 
SD60MAC9500

Speaking of the 75's. The 5700's were pretty popular with crews over here on the eastside of CN's system. I have seen a few in local service as of recent.

 

 

 

They can be slippery when on wet rail, but in my experience do not drop their load the way DC GEs tend to (GEs give up, a 5700 will sit there and spin all day if you let it).  A bit of independent, lots of sand and throttling down a notch or two at low speeds gets the best out of them. 

They are my favourite units to operate. 

 

They do seem to get down and pull pretty good. I have seen it first hand. Up in Port Huron where the Paul M Tellier Tunnel resides. Both the American and Canadian side of the grade is pretty steep at 2%. One night a single 5700 was handling a westbound from Oshawa, ON. I think the symbol was 275. I don't think this train runs anymore. Anyway with about 60 loaded autoracks trailing he was down to a crawl coming up the grade. The hogger that night was very skilled as he got that train into the yard at Port Huron.

 
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Posted by rdamon on Monday, June 14, 2021 8:57 AM

Seeing more of the older BNSF units getting CREX patches on the webcams lately.  Next step may be some red paint.

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Posted by beaulieu on Monday, June 14, 2021 9:42 AM

Two NS AC4400C6M locomotives are testing in Minnesota Iron Ore service out of Duluth, MN.

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Posted by D.Carleton on Monday, June 14, 2021 5:12 PM

SD70Dude
D.Carleton

Word is CN was also testing NS DC-to-AC rebuilds, AC44C6CMs. What's up with that?

I just heard that rumour the other day too, but I haven't seen any photos or other confirmation yet. 

That is what this purports to be: https://www.railpictures.net/photo/773138/

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Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, June 15, 2021 3:58 PM

D.Carleton
SD70Dude
D.Carleton

Word is CN was also testing NS DC-to-AC rebuilds, AC44C6CMs. What's up with that?

I just heard that rumour the other day too, but I haven't seen any photos or other confirmation yet. 

That is what this purports to be: https://www.railpictures.net/photo/773138/

Thanks!  I hadn't had a chance to go looking yet.  

The ex-DMIR ore lines have been a stronghold of older power for years, Dash-8s started to replace SD40s fairly recently.  

While I'm not from the area, photos usually seem to show the ore trains with at least three DC units.  Replacing three C40-8's with two AC units (as in that photo) would be a big saving if it turns out to be practicable.

Not encouraging to see those long lines of boxcars in the background, presumably in storage.

Greetings from Alberta

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