This is a grab bag of sorts,
On the Loconotes yahoo group, there is currently a bit of a discussion about what the differences are between the 16-710G3A in UP's SD60Ms and the 12-710G3B-T2. The suggestion was that beyond # of Cylinders, and turbo, there was no difference.
This is wrong as has been pointed out by many. If nothing else, the new engines have EFI and changes in the cooling, but there are a host of smaller changes as well.
But this got me thinking. The changes in the 710 have been evolutionary, not revolutionary and that got me to head to my thoughtful spot.
In the past, Railroads have done things like replace the cylinder liners in 567s with 645 cylinder liners to create what amounts to a 645D block or 567E I guess.
My question then is, could you do the same with a 710 engine block? Could you take a 16-710G3A and upgrade it by replacing some parts? Could you retrofit in EFI? Etc etc. And would there be an advantage to do so from a fuel usage and EPA perspective? Obviously without cooling changes you couldn't reach T2 or even likely T1, but byond the CFR 1033 parts, could you improve the performance.
And then of course the next question is would it be financially viable to do so? It hasn't happened yet, so it seems the answer is no, but I'm curious if someone has a sense of the ballpark costs.
Then, my thinker started thinking, well, if you COULD retrofit an older 710G block with EFI, could you retrofit a 645E or F block in the same way? Could EMD (Or GE) create EFI assemblies for the 645? And if you could do that, then could you also add beefier cooling and create a far more EPA friendly engine?
Now that really is a fantasy idea, because I can't imagine that there's a good market case for someone to design the EFI assemblies for 645s and then price those competitively when all EMD did was take their already amortized T2 designs and shrink them to V8 and V12. The costing just doesn't make sense, but could it be done at something like a reasonable price tag? ie, not reasonable compared to ECO, but in the ball park?
And my final only slightly related question.
I understood KCS using GP40 and SD40 cores to build SD22ECOs. They needed mid horsepower units for locals and yard use and 3000 horsepower 645s were not efficient enough and over powered, but the UP SD59MX and the NS GP22ECOs make less sense to me.
The UP units make less sense from an EPA and CARB standpoint. the 16-710G3A with the 1033 part is hardly their worse EPA offender. Wouldn't it have made more sense to retro some of the SD40s instead of making them SD40Ns? From a CARB perspective isn't an SD40N worse than an SD22ECO or SD32ECO? Are more parts kept with the SD60 refit making it a cheaper proposition? And why didn't UP send their oldest SD60s and SD60Ms (3 windows) through first?
As for NS, why GP38 cores? Do they not have GP40s? Or is there another reason?