NS acquiring 100 of UP's EMD SD9043MAC locomotives

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NS acquiring 100 of UP's EMD SD9043MAC locomotives
Posted by NSDash9 on Thursday, September 11, 2014 8:53 PM

Norfolk Southern has worked a deal to acquire, via EMD/Progress Rail, 100 of Union Pacific's EMD SD9043MAC locomotives. They will be numbered NS 7230-7329 and will initially be used to help with the current motive power shortage. Eventually, these units will be rebuilt, basically as SD70ACe's, but using the SD9043MAC carbody. A detailed roster page with the former numbers for these units will be posted to my website when they are confirmed:

http://www.nsdash9.com/roster.html


Chris Toth
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Also visit my NSDash9 facebook page for the latest NS power updates.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Thursday, September 11, 2014 8:55 PM

That's a surprise, weren't folks around here talking as if Union Pacific had no plans to eliminate these and were investing in returning many of those stored back to service? 

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Posted by NorthWest on Thursday, September 11, 2014 9:33 PM

Interesting. NS seems to be doing everything they can to make sure a supply of "new" locomotives continues to arrive in the next few years.

This also means that the SD80MACs will probably stay on the roster and be rebuilt, despite the semi-annual rumors of their imminent departure from the active roster.

I wonder if they will pick up the stored CP units?

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Friday, September 12, 2014 12:28 AM

From what I've read, Norfolk Southern isn't getting rid of their SD80MAC's. I recently read that they bought the lease out, and the news a few days ago is that they're apparently acquiring the survivors on CSX and will become the sole SD80MAC owner (Suspect since it's not listed on NSDash9, but it makes sense when looking at recent patterns).

http://www.easternrailroadnews.com/category/news/page/2/

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Posted by BARFlyer on Friday, September 12, 2014 12:49 AM

NS is Avoiding Tier 4, and for a good long time. Its a well thought out plan, and hope it works well. The SD70 Ace's will live for 20 more years once rebuilt.  For those that don't know, Tier 4 creates a Boatload more heat, basically crushing any proposed good it could do, while adding huge amounts of weight to Engines. Its a loose /loose for railroads... And the environment..

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Posted by D.Carleton on Friday, September 12, 2014 12:53 AM

There is enough room under the hood of an SD90/43MAC for a 710-V20. How about some more SD80's?

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, September 12, 2014 4:45 AM

BARFlyer
For those that don't know, Tier 4 creates a Boatload more heat, basically crushing any proposed good it could do,

Here is a PDF with some information on EMD's recent approach to Tier 4 compliance..  (This is the system that apparently hasn't succeeded in producing a 'marketable' Tier 4 Final compliant design, as noted in previous recent threads here.)

This has a comparatively small additional fuel consumption, probably mostly associated with the higher boost pressure indicated as needed for the greater exhaust resistance in the catalyst/filter module.  Note that this approach uses passive regeneration of the DPF, which specifically does NOT require regeneration via combustion of additional fuel/generation of additional heat; I am not certain why Tier 4 reduction of NOx, which explicitly involves LESS peak temperature in the combustion process, is otherwise supposed to lead to 'a Boatload more heat' unless this means the heat dissipated in split cooling, which doesn't translate into much additional fuel consumption.  Arguably the additional weight of the system, including the ~9000lb module and the added cooling-system componentry required, don't constitute nearly as much 'problem' in added fuel consumption as would a similar system on typical road-vehicle scale; in fact, I'd expect the extra weight either to be adjusted via changing the locomotive's existing ballasting or to serve as additional weight for enhanced tractive-effort and low-speed performance, especially on locomotives equipped with AC drive.

Two things I noted: first, that the revised system as configured did not appear to produce the required reduction in NOx emissions, and second, that replacement of any power assembly required lifting or removal of the substantial catalyst/DPF module. 

Returning to the original topic: I concur that a primary reason for NS acquiring these locomotives is to stave off the need to acquire Tier 4-compliant power; I also suspect that part of the 'timing' involves certainty that the frame-cracking and perhaps other issues that led to these locomotives being sidelined have now been functionally solved (and presumably either that the 'fixes' have been implemented by UP, making the locomotives ready for service upon purchase, or that the acquisition cost will be reduced enough to cover all the time and costs of the required work).

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Posted by caldreamer on Friday, September 12, 2014 9:05 AM

If NS rebuilds the SD9043MACs into SD70Ace's, I wonder if they will use their split cooling system.  They have plenty of room for it in that car body behind the 710 diesel.

 

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Posted by NorthWest on Friday, September 12, 2014 10:02 AM

I would suspect a complete above-the-frame rebuild.

Does anyone know the status of CP's SD90MACs? Are the 58 still up for sale? I could see NS picking these up. Also good to see the CSX SD80MACs getting a good new home.

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Friday, September 12, 2014 1:02 PM

The CP 9043s are still up for sale, but as I understand it, got pressed into service due to motive power shortage.

I've responded to NSDash9's posts in multiple places, might as well here to.

I'm slightly shocked. UP HAS in fact been cycling these units through for frame fixes and sending them back out. Saw 3 more this last week come through Roseville headed for the shop in Fresno to get fixed. 

My guess is that NS was willing to pay and UP has more faith in the tier 4 units and so it made more financial sense to someone at UP. More opportunistic than UP was planning to get rid of them. I could be wrong and they could have been up for sale. There were rumors that they were getting rid of which I dismissed, because I knew they were cycling them through for frame fixes and I knew UP was hurting for power, but maybe I was wrong. Or the rumor was wrong and as I said, this was purely opportunistic. UP has 300 or so, so selling 100 leaves them 200 so unless they're just dumping the basket cases...

Also, From what I understand, EMD/Progress is doing the work, so it will not be the custom Split cooling system. It will be EMD's

I would assume a 9043 doesn't need a complete frame up rebuild. Hell, the Frame is the worst part of these units. So if you're going that far, you'd probably replace the frame. It's already got the radiator cores. So they just need the new power assemblies (I assume the block is fine) and to have the split cooling added. They are longer than a SD70ACe so they should be able to fit all that with room to spare. I believe in fact that they are the same size as the SD80MAC, so you could put a 20-710 in there if you wanted. 

It's unclear to me what the electrical and computer differences are. I know the 90 H-Macs were unique flowers. Not sure how unique the 9043s are compared to a 70MAC and the ACE. I think the inverters are different are they not? 

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Friday, September 12, 2014 1:11 PM

YoHo1975
Also, From what I understand, EMD/Progress is doing the work, so it will not be the custom Split cooling system. It will be EMD's

Where'd you read this? 

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Friday, September 12, 2014 1:21 PM

I thought I read it on the Wikipedia page, but now rereading it, that's not what it says. Whether it's been edited or I can't read....I'd say 60/40 that I can't read. :)

EMD/Progress has also been talking about spending the next 4 years mainly working on rebuilds so perhaps I just assumed that the report in Wikipedia was accurate because of that. It's not as if NS hasn't had EMD do rebuilds for them in the past. They don't ONLY do their own rebuilds.

I wonder why EMD/Progress brokered the deal though. I thought UP owned their 9043s outright? Originally, I had assumed they were involved because of the plans for rebuilding, but if they're going straight into service.... Or maybe these units need the frame fix and EMD is buying back, doing the fix and reselling?

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Posted by D.Carleton on Friday, September 12, 2014 1:22 PM

YoHo1975

There were rumors that they were getting rid of which I dismissed, because I knew they were cycling them through for frame fixes and I knew UP was hurting for power, but maybe I was wrong. Or the rumor was wrong and as I said, this was purely opportunistic. UP has 300 or so, so selling 100 leaves them 200 so unless they're just dumping the basket cases...

This year I've spent postioning equipment all over the country for my employer. The vast majority of these moves were via Uncle Pete. Everyone is hurtng for motive power including UP. During my latest move I saw a number of older Dash 8s that had just been returned to service by GE.

That said, not too long ago NS rebuilt a number of SD90MACs into SD70 variants for export. Apparently they decided from that experience that the SD90/43MACs were worth their time.

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Friday, September 12, 2014 1:26 PM

The Dash 8 work was being done in house by UP shops, not GE.

In fact, the Roseville shop has been bitterly angry about the Dash8s and 9s coming through, because they are considered to be smokers (the dash 9s in particular) and per the deal with CARB, shouldn't even be in Ca. Much less at the Shops. They aren't too happy about all the SD60s and 3 window 60Ms either. but spit, Duct tape and Bailing wire is flying off the shelves to keep em turning.

I have no doubt NS found it worth their time. In fact, I'm not shocked at all that they bought them. I'm more shocked UP let them go. Why let go of 4300HP AC locos that were a significant enough part of the every day fleet. Instead of the Dash 8s or even dash 9s that have been laid up forever and aren't even being upgradeded, just thrown together to get moving as best as they can? 

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Posted by D.Carleton on Friday, September 12, 2014 1:49 PM

YoHo1975

The Dash 8 work was being done in house by UP shops, not GE.

In fact, the Roseville shop has been bitterly angry about the Dash8s and 9s coming through, because they are considered to be smokers (the dash 9s in particular) and per the deal with CARB, shouldn't even be in Ca. Much less at the Shops. They aren't too happy about all the SD60s and 3 window 60Ms either. but spit, Duct tape and Bailing wire is flying off the shelves to keep em turning.

I have no doubt NS found it worth their time. In fact, I'm not shocked at all that they bought them. I'm more shocked UP let them go. Why let go of 4300HP AC locos that were a significant enough part of the every day fleet. Instead of the Dash 8s or even dash 9s that have been laid up forever and aren't even being upgradeded, just thrown together to get moving as best as they can? 

GE played some part restoring the Dash 8s, the contractors told me so in person. Saw a lot of those SD60s coming back as well.

As for the SD90/43MACs, are they owned outright by UP or under long term lease? If the lease is coming to term then it comes down to money: is it worth it to buy and fix or let them go (especially if there is a willing buyer)?

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Friday, September 12, 2014 1:59 PM

YoHo1975

I thought I read it on the Wikipedia page, but now rereading it, that's not what it says. Whether it's been edited or I can't read....I'd say 60/40 that I can't read. :)

I thought that you had perhaps read this and misremembered just what it said.

NSDash9
Norfolk Southern has worked a deal to acquire, via EMD/Progress Rail, 100 of Union Pacific's EMD SD9043MAC locomotives. 

I imagine it's safe to assume that the actual work will be done in-house to ensure quality and keep costs down thanks to Norfolk Southern's extensive shop facilities. EMD and Progress very well might have some significant involvement with the actual rebuilding, but I'm sure the actual work would be done by NS at a NS facility by NS employees. 
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Posted by YoHo1975 on Friday, September 12, 2014 2:28 PM

You are likely right, depending on when the rebuilds happen since it sounds like it's in the future. 

However, if the rebuilds are happening relatively soon. I would not be surprised at all if the work goes to Progress. Altoona and Roanoke have their hands full and Progress/EMD has been pretty well proven in this work. Again, NS has some units from EMD/Progress like the PR43Cs. Don't know how they feel about them, but others are happy. 

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Friday, September 12, 2014 4:40 PM

They're not shy of putting rebuild fodder to work as-is until rebuild programs are finalized, the capacity is available to perform the work, and a slot opens up for each unit when the program gets underway. So even if Altoona and Roanoke have their hands full as you said, I still would bet good money that they do the work.

The one thing that might change that is Tier 4. EMD just might be putting in some attractive bids on some rebuild programs to try to keep at least a minimum of activity going while they await a hoped for solution for their 710 issues. 

So if they're involved here and Norfolk Southern's own shops are busy as you said, maybe. But I'd still bet, even if they're involved in the rebuilding, that it's done in Altoona (Where most of the heavy work on EMD's takes place since Roanoke is focused on GE's) under their supervision but with NS workers doing the actual work. 

Will be interesting to see. Not a fan of many of these heavy handed policies from the EPA that often seem more detrimental than beneficial, but it's at least introducing some interesting variety to the mix and seems to have made rebuilding more attractive than ever (Despite the fears earlier on of the opposite happening). 

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Friday, September 12, 2014 4:57 PM

That's the other reason I think I assumed it was EMD, because they made it clear that rebuild work was what they were focusing on until 2017. Since they brokered the deal for units I don't think they owned. I think I assumed the rebuild work was a stipulation.

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Posted by caldreamer on Friday, September 12, 2014 5:22 PM

Too reply to alternators for the SD70's and SD9043's  They are as follows

SD9043MAC  GM CA7A

SD79MAC      GM CA7A

 SD80MAC     GM CA7A

SD70ACe       GM CA7A

So they are ll using the same alternaotrs.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Friday, September 12, 2014 6:38 PM

I'm not surprised they are going.  Local management told us late last year/early this year they weren't coming back.  I had the UP 3519 on a coal train about two weeks ago.  It was the first time in a few months that I've seen an active one. 

The few put back into service haven't made too many appearances along the Central corridor in Iowa.  And that's just fine with most of us.

They still have a couple tracks of dead ones at Missouri Valley and some at Marshalltown.

Jeff

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Friday, September 12, 2014 6:38 PM

I mentioned the inverters not the alternators. I thought the 90s and the 9043s had different inverters from the Siemens units in the 70MACs and I know that the SD70ACes use Mitsubishi. 

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Friday, September 12, 2014 6:40 PM

jeffhergert

I'm not surprised they are going.  Local management told us late last year/early this year they weren't coming back.  I had the UP 3519 on a coal train about two weeks ago.  It was the first time in a few months that I've seen an active one. 

The few put back into service haven't made too many appearances along the Central corridor in Iowa.  And that's just fine with most of us.

They still have a couple tracks of dead ones at Missouri Valley and some at Marshalltown.

Jeff

That's not how I would characterize what I'm being told by the Roseville Shops people I know. Of course, they also say that upper mgmt tells them nothing and local mgmt knows nothing.

There have been a steady stream of them coming through the past month or 2 for the fix work. I wouldn't get used to not seeing them. 

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Posted by NorthWest on Friday, September 12, 2014 7:14 PM

Very interesting comments. It is interesting that only part of the fleet is leaving, especially since they are a rather small part of the roster.

IIRC, only four CP SD90MACs were reactivated. Will we see these go to NS?

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Friday, September 12, 2014 8:02 PM

YoHo1975

I mentioned the inverters not the alternators. I thought the 90s and the 9043s had different alternators from the Siemens units in the 70MACs and I know that the SD70ACes use Mitsubishi. 

Those that were rebuilt for Australia kept their existing inverters, suggesting that that particular component wasn't a significant contributor to their electrical ailments. 

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Posted by NorthWest on Friday, September 12, 2014 8:12 PM

It appears that they have picked up more locomotives, per the newswire:

http://trn.trains.com/Railroad%20News/News%20Wire/2014/09/Warbonnets%20to%20roam%20Norfolk%20Southern%20rails.aspx?commentPage=2&#comments

The next few years will be very interesting in terms of locomotives.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Saturday, September 13, 2014 12:18 AM
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Posted by NorthWest on Saturday, September 13, 2014 10:31 AM

Right, thanks. I read the numbers, and my tired brain didn't make the connection that these are the new numbers. Dunce

Seems just yesterday that I saw these units in the deadline at Interbay, hood doors open. Glad to see them getting a new life.

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Posted by beaulieu on Sunday, September 14, 2014 1:37 PM

EMD's CA series alternators are the Companion Alternator that powers the auxiliary systems. The (main) Traction Alternator on the SD9043MAC is the TA-22, 

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Posted by D.Carleton on Monday, September 15, 2014 9:29 PM

If they are doing a full blown rebuild it would be interesting to see if NS would experiment with one-inverter-per-axle.

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