NS acquiring 100 of UP's EMD SD9043MAC locomotives

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Posted by D.Carleton on Saturday, February 11, 2017 12:42 PM

There are two things going on here: SD80MACs to SD80ACUs and SD70s to be rebuilt with AC electricals and traction motors. It's kitbashing on the 12" to the 1' scale and I look forward to the results. Then there is the next questions: if the uprate of an SD80ACU works well then how about new primemovers and an uprate for an SD70ACU? The larger engine will fit but how much work does it take to go from a V16 to a V20?

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Saturday, February 11, 2017 8:06 PM

The economics will never justify installing brand new 20 cylinder powerplants into their SD70's.

The quality of the existing engine is a significant part of the appeal in these second hand locomotives for Norfolk Southern. To then toss them aside would surely destroy the economics of the entire program. 

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Sunday, February 12, 2017 12:03 AM

I assume he's implying putting a V20 in the much longer SD90 conversions 

 

I'd be careful talking about the economics of it, it was only a year or 2 ago that the economics of converting a dash 9 to AC was said to make no sense and there was a long discussion on how the 70s would never be done...and yet here we are.

 

 

Unrelated, a contact of mine at UP Roseville yard claimed there was an SD90MAC-H in the yard that was tagged for NS. Weren't all those scrapped? Was this maybe a 9043 unit that got sold to NS that maybe just made its way home? It was on the north Antelop side of the yard, not near the engine servicing areas which is also odd. I didn't get to see it myself.

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Posted by NorthWest on Sunday, February 12, 2017 1:01 AM

YoHo1975
Unrelated, a contact of mine at UP Roseville yard claimed there was an SD90MAC-H in the yard that was tagged for NS. Weren't all those scrapped? Was this maybe a 9043 unit that got sold to NS that maybe just made its way home? It was on the north Antelop side of the yard, not near the engine servicing areas which is also odd. I didn't get to see it myself.

There was an ex-CITX/Indiana Railroad patched SD90MAC in Roseville for a while a week or two ago with a locked axle. That might be the unit in question.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Sunday, February 12, 2017 7:43 AM

YoHo1975
I'd be careful talking about the economics of it, it was only a year or 2 ago that the economics of converting a dash 9 to AC was said to make no sense and there was a long discussion on how the 70s would never be done...and yet here we are.

I believe the focus wasn't on AC conversions being prohibitively expensive, but that Norfolk Southern wouldn't be considering such a DC-AC rebuilding program if the choice had been to go down the C4 style route, which a couple around here thought was possible and were quite adamant was going to be what was happening.

And that in fact has since been confirmed in the press by at least one Norfolk Southern higher up. They were willing to make this investment to significantly enhance the performance of hundreds of their late model power that had years of life left in it but had somewhat foolishly been bought as DC power.

But they weren't willing to spend a fortune to largely replicate their existing performance capabilities with an A1A AC conversion, and such a program wasn't seriously considered. 

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Posted by D.Carleton on Sunday, February 12, 2017 10:15 AM

YoHo1975
I assume he's implying putting a V20 in the much longer SD90 conversions 

Yes, basically make an SD90 into an SD80. We've seen the conversion go the other way in the SD45 family, losing their V20 for a V16 and more recently a V12. Never seen one go the other way but then again this flavor of platform is an oddity in the railroad world; never take up more room than necessary.

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Monday, February 13, 2017 2:02 AM

Leo_Ames

 

 
YoHo1975
I'd be careful talking about the economics of it, it was only a year or 2 ago that the economics of converting a dash 9 to AC was said to make no sense and there was a long discussion on how the 70s would never be done...and yet here we are.

 

 

I believe the focus wasn't on AC conversions being prohibitively expensive, but that Norfolk Southern wouldn't be considering such a DC-AC rebuilding program if the choice had been to go down the C4 style route, which a couple around here thought was possible and were quite adamant was going to be what was happening.

And that in fact has since been confirmed in the press by at least one Norfolk Southern higher up. They were willing to make this investment to significantly enhance the performance of hundreds of their late model power that had years of life left in it but had somewhat foolishly been bought as DC power.

But they weren't willing to spend a fortune to largely replicate their existing performance capabilities with an A1A AC conversion, and such a program wasn't seriously considered. 

 

 

I believe you're correct that the argument mainly centered on the A1A discussion...as a means of making the cost more reasonable...In either case, I'm still curious how they stuff AC in an engine 3 feet shorter than the AC version.

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Posted by M636C on Monday, February 13, 2017 3:17 AM

YoHo1975

 

I believe you're correct that the argument mainly centered on the A1A discussion...as a means of making the cost more reasonable...In either case, I'm still curious how they stuff AC in an engine 3 feet shorter than the AC version.

EMD currently have a standard gauge export demonstrator referred to as a GT46C-ACe Gen II in Muncie and two more are expected to join it in Australia soon. This is built on the standard frame of a GT46C-ACe and is most easily recognised by the platform at the rear behind the dynamic brakes. Maybe not three feet long, but close...

This is achieved by replacing the two inverter boxes, one for each truck, with a single one in the forward location. So assuming you are using current EMD inverters, with IGBTs in place of the old GTO inverters, fitting it in a shorter frame might not be a problem.

Peter

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Posted by Blackcloud 5229 on Saturday, June 24, 2017 4:18 AM

D.Carleton

 

 
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)?

 

with new locomotive's costing well over $2.5 miliion per locomotive you can buy a lot of used locomotive's including the cost of fixing them up and still save a ton of cash. How Many states dos NS operate in that have CARB requirements? 

 

there is is your real answer.

 

 

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Posted by Blackcloud 5229 on Saturday, June 24, 2017 4:45 AM

YoHo1975

 

 
Leo_Ames

 

 
YoHo1975
I'd be careful talking about the economics of it, it was only a year or 2 ago that the economics of converting a dash 9 to AC was said to make no sense and there was a long discussion on how the 70s would never be done...and yet here we are.

 

 

I believe the focus wasn't on AC conversions being prohibitively expensive, but that Norfolk Southern wouldn't be considering such a DC-AC rebuilding program if the choice had been to go down the C4 style route, which a couple around here thought was possible and were quite adamant was going to be what was happening.

And that in fact has since been confirmed in the press by at least one Norfolk Southern higher up. They were willing to make this investment to significantly enhance the performance of hundreds of their late model power that had years of life left in it but had somewhat foolishly been bought as DC power.

But they weren't willing to spend a fortune to largely replicate their existing performance capabilities with an A1A AC conversion, and such a program wasn't seriously considered. 

 

 

 

 

I believe you're correct that the argument mainly centered on the A1A discussion...as a means of making the cost more reasonable...In either case, I'm still curious how they stuff AC in an engine 3 feet shorter than the AC version.

 

 

every 18 months electronics are obsolete by improvements in the computer world. The main generator is already an AC generator.

emd stopped using one inverter per truck on their new production locomotive's a few years ago.

Who says that NS has to use 6 inverters on their conversions, simply use two inverters one per truck and take the 50 % power loss if you lose a motor. You still come out ahead making the conversion from DC to AC power. When Norfolk Southern ordered their locomotive's with DC  traction motors they were ordering what they knew worked and saved an average of $ 1 million or more per locomotive by not ordering AC traction.

If California CARB bureau wants to minimize polution requireing new locomotive's to be zero emissions is a waste of time and money for no gain. Go after the automobile owners who put millions of tons of pollution in the air. Look at The LA smog. Do you really think a couple of thousand locomotive's is going to make a difference compared to several million automobiles? CARB? You really need to do what's right instead of what some big corporation wants you to do. I think it's time for these protect the environment at any cost need to be told where to stuff it once and for all. You want to get rid of the smog in LA? builds a light rail system that everyone can use at an economic price per ride and make it illegal to commute to work in a car then you will see an improvement in air quality and yes I realize it wi take years to accomplish this but what choice do we have?

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