Illinois Central's cancelled E9's

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Illinois Central's cancelled E9's
Posted by Leo_Ames on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 10:12 PM

In early 1964 they placed an order for a pair of E9's and 12 EMD GP28's. The Geeps were built and delivered but the E's never were. Does anyone have any particulars on the cancellation of what would've been the final two E units? Reason for cancellation, was the order shifted to another model, etc?

Of course, this didn't conclude their additions to their E unit fleet. In 1969 they traded 5 retired E7's to Precision National for the five former FEC E9's. And then there are their four executive E's from the late 1990's. 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, August 01, 2013 6:50 PM

Just a guess on my part, but I suspect with the passenger train dying by the mid-sixties an order for passenger locomotives was probably considered a waste of money.  Better to put the money into freight units and try to keep the existing passenger units alive as long as possible.

Just a guess, mind you.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Thursday, August 01, 2013 11:51 PM

That would fly if I was asking why they never ordered new passenger power after their last E9 was delivered in 1961, But they did place an order for two E9's in early 1964. So lack of faith in the passenger business and considering it a waste of money doesn't seem likely. Those would be reasons why you wouldn't place an order in the first place.

So there must be something more to it than that to precipitate such a last minute decision like success in a train-off application that suddenly reduced their demand for passenger power, a management change that saw a last minute reversal of a predecessor's decision, etc. Was hoping someone had some specifics. 

Anyone know why the last minute change of plan?

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Posted by SSW9389 on Thursday, August 01, 2013 11:56 PM

Illinois Central cancelled an order for five EMD FP45s in 1969.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Friday, August 02, 2013 12:14 AM

Looks like there's some question that an order was ever placed for the FP45's. But EMD did set aside builders numbers for them. Apparently that sometimes happened on speculation when they felt an order was in the bag so at the very least they must've seriously considered it. 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, August 02, 2013 5:19 AM

My suspicion is that if you look at the progress and timing of the NRPC legislation that created Amtrak, you will have answers to the 1969 questions.  I can easily see replacing E7s with E9s late in the game.  But buying expensive new cowl-unit power just in time for it either to be turned over to the Government or have to be used in freight service makes relatively little sense...

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Posted by carnej1 on Friday, August 02, 2013 11:13 AM

Leo_Ames

That would fly if I was asking why they never ordered new passenger power after their last E9 was delivered in 1961, But they did place an order for two E9's in early 1964. So lack of faith in the passenger business and considering it a waste of money doesn't seem likely. Those would be reasons why you wouldn't place an order in the first place.

So there must be something more to it than that to precipitate such a last minute decision like success in a train-off application that suddenly reduced their demand for passenger power, a management change that saw a last minute reversal of a predecessor's decision, etc. Was hoping someone had some specifics. 

Anyone know why the last minute change of plan?

Could they have had some management changes during the time between the placing of the order and the actual construction of the units? I don't even mean the President or Chairman but officers in charge of Motive Power?

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Posted by Beach Bill on Friday, August 02, 2013 3:36 PM

A comparison of Official Guides from a couple years either side of '64 may provide insight.  Passenger runs were being discontinued during that period.  What trains were combined or cancelled then which would have reduced the need for passenger power?   Management always looks at the financial sheets, and cutting a couple trains and two locomotives would be a way to make the numbers better for the stockholders.

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Posted by Deggesty on Friday, August 02, 2013 5:30 PM

There was little change in IC passenger service in the period 1964-1967. The Memphis-Greenville train was discontinued after January of 1965, and the next abolition came by April of 1967, when the Southern Express was discontinued south of Carbondale, the Creole was discontinued between Memphis and Carbondale, and the northbound Louisiane ran only from Memphis to Chicago. So, there was not much immediate change after the mail service was reduced.

I did not check for upper echelon personnel changes.

Johnny

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Friday, August 02, 2013 9:21 PM

Overmod
My suspicion is that if you look at the progress and timing of the NRPC legislation that created Amtrak, you will have answers to the 1969 questions.  I can easily see replacing E7s with E9s late in the game.  But buying expensive new cowl-unit power just in time for it either to be turned over to the Government or have to be used in freight service makes relatively little sense...

I'm sure that could easily be the explanation on why the FP45's didn't come to fruition. 

But it's also power that could also be easily converted for freight use when that time came. So even if they just projected a handful of more years of passenger train usage, they wouldn't just be getting the savings and efficiency from that limited period of time with a nearly new and almost worthless investment left afterwards. They could easily be shifted to freight use as other FP45 owners and those that had purchased various SDP's during the 1960's showed and continue making money for their owners on freight [Edit: And I forgot about Santa Fe's passenger U-Boats that similarly became full time freight power].

So that's a bit different then if E9's (Or if 645 engined E10's had taken their place) were still cataloged in 1969 that had limited freight utility and a limited future ahead of them. The only money making future for most E units after Amtrak was cannibalization of their parts or hope of selling them to Amtrak or government supported commuter lines for further passenger use.

And that was no guarantee as Illinois Central's own E8's and E9's are evidence of that largely languished in dead lines into the 1980's when sales didn't come about (Hopefully combined with a rebuild at Paducah) and then as their parts were slowly harvested for switchers when they gave up trying to shop them around.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, August 03, 2013 6:51 AM

When NJ Transit contracted to rebuild a batch of E8A's that it received as part of the establishment of Conrail, Paducah rebuilt and returned at least three ex-IC E8A's to NJT as part of the program.  A corresponding number of NJT E8A's were kept by ICG as trade-ins.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Saturday, August 03, 2013 6:26 PM

Yep, there was a limited amount of success on that front.

They even sold one of their rebuilds to Amtrak that they had designated as a E10 (Which is one possible explanation for why they didn't follow through on the FP45's since that rebuild program was initiated right around the same time at Paducah). But Amtrak didn't pick up the other rebuilds for whatever reason.

And several non rebuilt and rebuilt sisters were leased to Amtrak for a time and some even were repainted. But only those four appear to have been resold for further use as locomotives (And the NJT three took until 1978 before it happened) and Amtrak leases stopped by 1974. So that left a lot of E units that were just languishing for many years that they had hoped to be able to sell but couldn't. 

Just before scrapping started on them, they rebuilt a B unit as a HEP car for the Alaskan Railroad. But well over 20 IC E8's, E9's, and "E10's" went to scrap in the early 1980's when they finally gave up and parted them out and cut up the remains (Plus a further three units went to scrap thanks to the two traded in PRR E8's and the single NYC E8 from NJT that you cited).

So all in all it wasn't a very succcessful effort to resell them to other operators like they had hoped to be able to do. They had much better luck selling and rebuilding the GM&O F units.

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Posted by Rainhilltrial on Thursday, August 08, 2013 9:56 PM

Management of the IC created the holding company Illinois Central Industries in August 1962. Although ICI didn't make any major non-rail business acquisitions until 1968 (when it bought American Brake Shoe, known as "Abex"), Wayne Johnston became president in 1965 and was the primary architect of ICI's waltz through the world of morphing into a non-rail company. I suspect the prior senior management (when the E9's were ordered) had discussions with the incoming leadership and the decision was made to spend the $s elsewhere.

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Posted by beaulieu on Thursday, August 08, 2013 11:55 PM

I believe the answer is that EMD decided to drop the model from the catalog. The other late buyers of E-units SAL and UP converted their orders to SDP35s.

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Posted by Lyon_Wonder on Sunday, August 11, 2013 6:55 PM

I wonder had EMD continued to build new E-units post-1965, an “E10" or even “E40" would have had two 12-645s instead of 12-567s and replaced the E-style carbody and bulldog nose with a FP45-style cowl and cab?

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Sunday, August 11, 2013 7:06 PM

beaulieu
I believe the answer is that EMD decided to drop the model from the catalog. The other late buyers of E-units SAL and UP converted their orders to SDP35s.

Out of curiosity, are you basing that belief off the fact that some late E unit buyers bought SDP35's shortly afterwards?

I don't know about the Louisville & Nashville or the Atlantic Coast Line, but the Union Pacific and the Seaboard Air Line wanted locomotives that could handle both freight and passenger service. The Union Pacific for instance generally only used their SDP35's on Vietnam era troop train extras with them otherwise usually sticking to freight services. 

So I'm not sure if the existence of the SDP35 that was being bought as part-time passenger power is necessarily is an indication of the status of the E9 in their catalog in 1964. The E9 simply wasn't suited for the type of service those two lines were looking for in 1964/1965 so that could just as easily explain why they went for that instead of more E9's.

Lyon_Wonder
I wonder had EMD continued to build new E-units post-1965, an “E10" or even “E40" would have had two 12-645s instead of 12-567s and replaced the E-style carbody and bulldog nose with a FP45-style cowl and cab?

Doesn't sound too likely to me when a single turbocharged 12 cylinder 645 could put nearly the same horsepower out as an E9. I imagine something along the lines of Union Pacific's rebuild program for their executive E9's in the 90's is closer to what a late 60's E unit would've been minus the Dash 2 electronics that didn't exist yet and probably with turbocharging of its single 16 cylinder engine for more than 2,000HP. 

And their next generation passenger locomotive with economized styling of course did exist in the form of the FP45. If an expensive specialized passenger locomotive had existed instead of a repurposed freight locomotive though, I imagine that the bulldog nose would've stuck around.

Amtrak even desired such a locomotive in the first couple of years when they were looking towards the future before economics and reality made it evident that something far less fancy would be necessary in the form of cowled freight locomotives. And they continued to be built overseas after the era ended here with the delivery of UP's final E9 in early 1964. And eventually Australia even saw what essentially amounted to a bulldog nosed SD40 combined with a F45/FP45 mansard roof and cowl over the carbody in the early 1970's. So if reality had allowed something more specialized and fancy over here, I bet that something similar would've been likely.  

And a EMD proposal in the mid 70's called the AMT-125 supported traded in E unit trucks as an option instead of a specialized two axle truck design. Would've had a 16 cylinder 645, 3,000 HP, HEP, and streamlined styling to match the Amfleets (But not a Bulldog nose, the proposal looked more futuristic). 

Supporting the conventional A1A trucks off E units there was probably the closest we came to having one of the signature elements of the E unit make an appearance on a later model. 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, August 12, 2013 6:46 AM

An E-unit with 645 engines was highly unlikely.  In the same July 1965 issue which introduced the 645 line to readers, David P. Morgan also observed that this was the fourth model change for EMD without a new E-unit model and the only passenger-equipped model in the new line (SDP40) could be available for freight service without so much as the turn of a wrench.

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Posted by carnej1 on Monday, August 12, 2013 11:31 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH

An E-unit with 645 engines was highly unlikely.  In the same July 1965 issue which introduced the 645 line to readers, David P. Morgan also observed that this was the fourth model change for EMD without a new E-unit model and the only passenger-equipped model in the new line (SDP40) could be available for freight service without so much as the turn of a wrench.

True, but there were some Bulldog nosed 645 powered locomotives built for overseas railroads.

 The example that comes to mind is Australia's Commonwealth railways CL class, essentially an FP40 with an E type nose:

http://www.railsa.org/motive-power/diesel-locomotives/cl-class/

 As you point out though, a design like that is not as ergonomic/crew friendly when converted to freight service...

I do note that ALCO pitched ATSF on a cowled passenger version of the C636 and one of their proposals would have had a nose and cab design inspired by the PA series, so it's an interesting "what if"..

 

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Posted by Rainhilltrial on Monday, August 12, 2013 8:17 PM

E (and F) units had a truss-style car body which carried most of the loads, whereas GPs and SDs had (as SDs do today) a fabricated steel double tee-section on steel plate underframe as the load carrying part of the carbody. Es and Fs were more expensive to produce than GPs or SDs. As for twin engines ... A sinle engine was more economical to manufacture ( as it is today) and operate.

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Posted by erikem on Monday, August 12, 2013 10:17 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

An E-unit with 645 engines was highly unlikely.  In the same July 1965 issue which introduced the 645 line to readers, David P. Morgan also observed that this was the fourth model change for EMD without a new E-unit model and the only passenger-equipped model in the new line (SDP40) could be available for freight service without so much as the turn of a wrench.

Two normally aspirated 12 cyl 645's would have been good for 3,000hp, while a significant boost above an E-9, it was the same as the turbo'ed V-16 in the SDP40. One advantage the E would have had over the SDP40 is tracking and ride at high speeds (>90 MPH), but such high speeds were becoming rare in 1964 (at least in the US). OTOH, a twin V-12 645 engined E wold have been a neat sight.

Probably the closest descendent of the E's is GE's P42, with more than double the power of the E6 &E7 with just four axles instead of six.

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 11:19 AM

Isn't the replacement of a "power assembly" (cylinder and cylinder head as a unit with the piston inside and crank disconnected from the crankshaft) a maintenance procedure you have to do on these engines?

Doesn't the non-structural hood (or even hood) on frame make it reasonable to replace a power assembly with the help of a shop crane?  What do you have to do on a structural truss (cab unit) or monocoque (unit-body as in the Genesis)?  Do you have to cut them open?

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Posted by oltmannd on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 3:08 PM

Paul Milenkovic

Isn't the replacement of a "power assembly" (cylinder and cylinder head as a unit with the piston inside and crank disconnected from the crankshaft) a maintenance procedure you have to do on these engines?

Doesn't the non-structural hood (or even hood) on frame make it reasonable to replace a power assembly with the help of a shop crane?  What do you have to do on a structural truss (cab unit) or monocoque (unit-body as in the Genesis)?  Do you have to cut them open?

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 11:24 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

An E-unit with 645 engines was highly unlikely.  In the same July 1965 issue which introduced the 645 line to readers, David P. Morgan also observed that this was the fourth model change for EMD without a new E-unit model and the only passenger-equipped model in the new line (SDP40) could be available for freight service without so much as the turn of a wrench.

We're talking an alternate reality though where passenger service still mattered and railroads were willing to purchase dedicated passenger power and pay extra for aesthetics. 

I think we can make some educated guesses on what a modernized E unit would look like although I suspect four axle power would've likely overtaken E units as EMD's single engined locomotives reached and surpassed the power output of twin 12 cylinder E units. For starters, I suspect it would ride on a normal frame like Australia's last bulldog nosed units did so the expensive truss carbody would be eliminated but the attractive nose would remain.

And there's no way that they'd of stuck with double engines. The operational advantages would in no way justify the extra expense at the factory or subsequent maintenance. So a slightly derated turbocharged 645 probably would be present since the full 3,000 on a A1A passenger locomotive probably would be slippery especially in the mid to late 1960's before advanced wheel slip control started to appear. And perhaps the length of the locomotive would be shortened a bit.

They only traditionally used double engines since single 16 cylinder EMD's didn't provide sufficient power and by the time they did in the late 50's and early 60's, nobody was about to pay for a wholesale redesign of a dedicated passenger locomotive so the E9 stuck around for a few more orders. 

And if production had lasted into the 1970's, a Dash 2 electronics package and taking advantage of the detuned 3,000HP engine to satisfy HEP demands like Amtrak's F40PH fleet did would seem likely. 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 8:36 PM

When the two 12 cylinder engines could be replaced by a single 16 cylinder, then the need for A1A trucks to spread the weight of the two engines would also have gone away.  The E's would have been replaced by super F units. (Preferably still with a bulldog nose).

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Thursday, August 15, 2013 2:10 AM

Was there no value for high speed running that made A1A trucks desirable? 

Lines like the Santa Fe of course ran their F units just as quick as any E unit was ran but I always just assumed that they didn't ride and track as nicely as an A1A trucked E unit did. So F units dominated in mountains where their additional tractive effort was most beneficial but E units ruled flatter territories.

I wonder why EMD offered the option of A1A trucks on their AMT-125 design then. Decades old passenger trucks on a locomotive that wasn't going to benefit but instead would actually be negatively impacted by the decision seems bizarre if their only value was to spread weight to reduce the axle load on a design that didn't need it.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, August 15, 2013 5:24 AM

Leo_Ames

Was there no value for high speed running that made A1A trucks desirable? 

Lines like the Santa Fe of course ran their F units just as quick as any E unit was ran but I always just assumed that they didn't ride and track as nicely as an A1A trucked E unit did.

As this was partially explained to me many years ago:

In the A-1-A the motors are symmetrical, and can be arranged 'inboard' to lessen the polar moment of inertia of the truck, strengthen the nose-suspension attach points, etc., but with the longer wheelbase (and hence greater yaw stability).  On a C truck, either all three motors face the same way, or two face each other (which is why some of the Trimounts have unequal axle spacing; that gets all the motors facing as far 'inboard' as possible).

The center axle also provides a pivot for yaw moment.  On a B truck with rigid pedestals, it may be easier to get into unstable oscillation, and the critical speed range over which this becomes dangerous may be comparatively slight, compared to longer-wheelbase trucks symmetrical around a central axle.

Santa Fe experimented with 1-B trucks, putting the unpowered axle outboard as a 'leading axle' with the equivalent of motor orientation in a B truck behind, but did not persist with the design.  That to me was quiet evidence that the A-1-A geometry was perceived superior, although I do not remember (and am too lazy this morning to go check) where the pivot on the 1-B truck was located, and how it was implemented.

I wonder why EMD offered the option of A1A trucks on their AMT-125 design then.

I would be moderately surprised if it weren't either related to using trade-in truck parts, or maintaining parts commonalty with the existing fleet of E units.  This was the Seventies, for heaven's sake, it wasn't as if Amtrak or the 'usual suspects' agencies had lots of spare cash around for fancy new trucks.  (I am tempted to add that this was precisely the age of the chevron primary-spring arrangement, which was not exactly the future of truck design, let alone proper high-speed truck design... so perhaps retaining the Blomberg design would have been a sound 'future-proofing' choice...

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Posted by M636C on Thursday, August 15, 2013 7:10 AM

Leo_Ames

For starters, I suspect it would ride on a normal frame like Australia's last bulldog nosed units did so the expensive truss carbody would be eliminated but the attractive nose would remain.

The seventeen model AT26C units, built from late 1969 all used the sideframe truss construction used for E and F units. These units weighed only 126 long tons, 141 US tons. In general Australian units are limited to 132 long tons for general service and to get 10000 litres of fuel, say 2700 US gallons on this weight  means that structural weights must be kept to a minimum. The sideframe truss is lighter than an equivalent cowl, as demonstrated in the early 1980s when JT26C-2SS units were built with both sideframe truss and cowl body designs. The cowls stand up in accidents much better but are short on range.

Sixteen of the AT26C units survive today but I think only one remains in service, number CLF 4, upgraded to an AT26C-3, working on a grain train with even older units.

From somewhere I collected a brochure on the AMT-125. I probably picked it up when Preston Cook gave me a tour of La Grange in 1977. It was basically an F40PH in a lower height stainless shell that matched Amfleet coaches. This brochure didn't mention an A1A-A1A option. There was a roof pod containing the radiator fans and the upper part of the radiators that projected above the Amfleet profile like that on an RDC car.

M636C

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Posted by CPM500 on Thursday, August 15, 2013 9:38 PM

The E-unit was in reality, not only two engines-but two locomotives on a common frame. Back in the day,

Alco was able to undercut the price of an E unit with its' PA design, which is probably the only time this happened on a model for model basis.

Strangely enough, the BBD ALDP45 design as purchased by NJT and AMT returns to the two engine concept-perhaps with an emissions reduction strategy in mind.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Friday, August 16, 2013 4:28 AM

Overmod
parts, or maintaining parts commonalty with the existing fleet of E units.  This was the Seventies, for heaven's sake, it wasn't as if Amtrak or the 'usual suspects' agencies had lots of spare cash around for fancy new trucks.  (I am tempted to add that this was precisely the age of the chevron primary-spring arrangement, which was not exactly the future of truck design, let alone proper high-speed truck design... so perhaps retaining the Blomberg design would have been a sound 'future-proofing' choice...

The thing is that the AMT-125 design appears to have been a premium locomotive with high speed passenger service in mind over relatively short corridors. It had a 1000 gallon tank, supported 125 mph speeds, was low slung for a lower center of gravity, was 13' tall, had a body design that matches the profile of Amfleets, a heavily streamlined nose, and specially designed 4 axle high-ssed passenger truck if A1A E unit trucks weren't specified. 

Not exactly an economy model where saving a few dollars on such a critical component would seem to be a logical sacrifice. 

M636C

Leo_Ames

For starters, I suspect it would ride on a normal frame like Australia's last bulldog nosed units did so the expensive truss carbody would be eliminated but the attractive nose would remain.

The seventeen model AT26C units, built from late 1969 all used the sideframe truss construction used for E and F units. 

Not familiar with the designation you're using that probably originated from Clyde, but it sounds as if we're both talking about what the owner designated as their CL class. So thanks for the correction. I'm not sure if I was repeating incorrect information I've heard or just mistakenly assumed that was the case due to similarities in appearance with the cowling of contemporary EMD power in the States. 

M636C
Sixteen of the AT26C units survive today but I think only one remains in service, number CLF 4, upgraded to an AT26C-3, working on a grain train with even older units.

That's too bad.

I knew about half were stored the last that I heard but I didn't realize it was down to 1. I'm sure that many will be saved but hopefully their running days for commercial companies aren't as bleak sounding as that statistic sounds. 

M636C
There was a roof pod containing the radiator fans and the upper part of the radiators that projected above the Amfleet profile like that on an RDC car.

In the artist conception they released back in the mid 1970's. it appears like the roof is even in height from just behind the cab to the rear of the locomotive. 

M636C
It was basically an F40PH in a lower height stainless shell that matched Amfleet coaches.

It certainly appears to of been very similar mechanically with things like an AR10 generator.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Friday, August 16, 2013 9:56 PM

Leo_Ames

Was there no value for high speed running that made A1A trucks desirable? 

Lines like the Santa Fe of course ran their F units just as quick as any E unit was ran but I always just assumed that they didn't ride and track as nicely as an A1A trucked E unit did. So F units dominated in mountains where their additional tractive effort was most beneficial but E units ruled flatter territories.

...

As the other poster indicated, there may have been some incremental increase in the riding quality of A1A trucks, but apparently it was not enough to offset the added complexity and cost over a B truck, as I don't know of any further A1A trucked passenger locos actually built after the E9. 

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