NS acquiring 100 of UP's EMD SD9043MAC locomotives

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, July 30, 2015 6:45 AM

It's interesting to see how some of the regionals are going for the big power, either new (MRL and IAIS) or secondhand (PW, INRD and others).

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Wizlish on Friday, July 31, 2015 12:45 AM

caldreamer
Does anyone know what types of service the SD9043MAC's will be assigned to and in which divisions of the railroad?

7/30/15 patched unit 7030 (in Armour Yellow with 'We will deliver" still on the hood) was 3rd in a consist of 4 engines WB on the ex-Southern line through east Memphis to Forrest Yard.  Train was apparently mixed freight.

EDIT:  The 'patch' is small, thin black "NS" on the cab side, apparently over Armour Yellow paint.  The effect was very similar to this:

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, July 31, 2015 7:08 AM

I've seen them at irregular intervals at Landers and 47th Street so I would guess that they are in systemwide general service.  So far, all of them have been re-lettered on the cab but are still in Armour Yellow and Harbor Mist Grey.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by NorthWest on Friday, July 31, 2015 6:23 PM

Dick H
There are reports that the Vermont Railway will also be getting two FEC SD70 locos. Loco numbers not known at this point...

I was waiting for official confirmation, which has now happened. Units are 101 and 103.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Friday, July 31, 2015 7:20 PM

What sort of transaction? Short-term lease, long-term, or perhaps even sold outright?

That takes care of the four CITX units that were delivered in the Alaskan Railroad colors. Are the four Fortress Investment units still being leased by CSX, or have they gone elsewhere or been stored now that there's a bit of a downturn?

Never did hear about the last three, also owned by CITX like the 100-103, that carried the numbers 140-142 and which were never painted or lettered for the FEC.

Wonder if they will find a long-term home soon, as well.

NorthWest
Yes, they are the FEC ones. CSX hasn't bought EMDs since the SD70ACes they purchased-20 early production units. It does seem very strange, but reports from reliable sources point to this happening. They are leased.

A bit late to add to this, but don't forget that they also have 25 SD70M's.

So not only do they have some direct familiarity with EMD's Tier 2 lineup thanks to the 20 SD70ACe's, they also have late model DC motored SD70 derivitives in their fleet.

So while this particular combination is unique on their roster, there's nothing really new here for CSX. Their SD70ACe and these M-2's share the same exact 16-710G3C-T2 engine, their SD70M's and M-2's share the same D100 traction motors, etc.

There's probably some component here that doesn't otherwise exist in their fleet, but the degree of commonality is very high. 

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Posted by NorthWest on Friday, July 31, 2015 8:17 PM

They were purchased, as were the future P&W ones.

140-142 went to CSX on lease at about the same time that 104-107 did.

The CITX units are active, as rumors are the lease runs through August. I suspect that since CSX has to pay to keep them, they may as well run them. I'm not sure when the lease on 104-107 is up, but they are either still active or were very recently.

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Posted by GDRMCo on Friday, July 31, 2015 10:15 PM
CSX also has early and late SD70MACs....

ML

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Tuesday, August 4, 2015 6:40 PM

The stored lists sure is growing. :(

In happier news, NSDash9 is reporting that SD45-2 #1700 has received cab upgrades. Nice to see a 20 cylinder EMD outside of the SD80MAC fleet that apparently has a secure future. [Edit: Oops, despite the designation, this one has a 16-645 as do 2 others out of their fleet of six ex-EL SD45-2's].

Keeping it on topic, another SD90MAC has been delivered. That leaves 12 yet to be delivered out of 100 total. 42 of those on the roster today are stored pending a traffic upturn and/or rebuilding. 

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Posted by groomer man on Thursday, August 6, 2015 1:48 PM
Yeah and I'm in the trucking industry and urea and regen mode is one other bs thing you have to contend with. I swear to god every time the government gets in the act it's a circus
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Posted by Leo_Ames on Saturday, September 26, 2015 5:56 PM

NSDash9 is reporting that the cab, nose and electrical cabinet on SD90MAC 7299 have been removed at Altonna.

As has been mentioned here before, she'll be the prototype for the SD70ACU capital rebuild program that will see these 100 locomotives be rebuilt with many SD70ACe components. But this seems to be the first visible sign of work being underway on her. 

They have pictures up on their Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/NSDash9com-161989688842/timeline/

What's so terrible about EMD's isolated cab? Are the rubber isolation points that cushion vibration and help lessen the noise starting to fail en masse and proving counterproductive these days, and so expensive to repair that replacing the entire cab makes more sense?

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Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Saturday, September 26, 2015 6:27 PM

Leo,

On CN at least, the isolated cab works just as well as it ever has, and the SD70/75I's are still the quietest cabs around, and they're over 20 years old now.  If the rubber or anything else has been failing CN has been on the ball in fixing it, not something they're known for.  The SD70M-2's with the phase II cab are slightly louder than the original Whispercab, but there is still a world of difference between them and the non-isolated units (8000-8024 and 8800-8849), which are by far the loudest I have ever ridden.  I hope NS keeps the isolated cab when they rebuild these units; not only are they very quiet but they are the most ergonomic too, with lots of room to get in and out from the engineer's seat, a large conductor's desk and great visibility with the teardrop windshields (yes they DO make a difference).  The whispercabs do bounce around a little bit, but I have never heard anyone complain about it at work. 

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by NorthWest on Saturday, September 26, 2015 6:57 PM

I wonder if NS is trying to make them as similar to SD70ACes as possible. As far as I know, their SD60Is will continue in service with this cab, so limiting parts needed does not seem to be a big driving force here. I think the SD80MAC rebuilds will have rebuilt cabs, too. (SD80ACU?) I think this reason makes the most sense, and the SD60Is may end up as SD60Es.

Crash survivability might also be a factor, but I haven't read anything that indicates that the early isolated cab was significantly worse than the current verison. SD40Es retain their standard cabs, so I doubt this is the reason.

What did become of the BHP SD70ACes? Are they sitting at Muncie?

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Sunday, September 27, 2015 12:33 AM

I shouldn't of edited my post that you're replying to since you evidently saw it before I trimmed it down. It ran a little long so I cut it down some.

I haven't heard anything about the Australian SD70ACe's since they were spotted in-transit after being offloaded from ship. 

I don't think we've seen any SD60M's or SD60I's go through the SD60E rebuild program yet, so it will be interesting to see what goes on with their cabs. Their plans are for approximately 240 units to be cycled through it the last I saw though, which works out pretty close to the size of their current SD60 fleet minus the SD60M's. 

But they may be contemplating adding more 2nd hand spartan cab models to the fleet for SD60E rebuild fodder, and rebuilding the newer widecabs in-kind later on in a separate program to similar internal specifications. 

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Posted by The Old Hogger on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 8:57 PM
TA17 Traction Alternators in SD70Ace. Auxiliary is the CA9 same as the SD9043MAC
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Posted by Leo_Ames on Monday, October 5, 2015 2:12 AM

With the delivery of the final four units, all 100 former Union Pacific SD90MAC's purchased via EMD have now been delivered. 

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Posted by oltmannd on Monday, October 5, 2015 6:11 AM

Leo_Ames
What's so terrible about EMD's isolated cab?

Somebody told me the problem is rust.

-Don (Random stuff, mostly about trains - what else? http://blerfblog.blogspot.com/

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Posted by GDRMCo on Monday, October 5, 2015 6:45 AM
The rubber bushings wear out and the cabs go from quiet and smooth to creaky and bouncy. Lack of maintenance on these items just adds wear to the whole cab.

ML

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Sunday, October 25, 2015 10:56 PM

Keeping it on topic, I see that the GP38-2 program is being put on hold to focus on this rebuilding program (In case anyone was curious why no further GP38-2's have been stored recently for rebuilding)

Leo_Ames

Does anyone know if they have any other retired SD40's in storage?

Looking around Altonna and Roanoke using Bing, I expected to find a lot of 3170's sisters stored since her and the N&W unit slated for a similar treatment had both been stricken off the roster years ago yet were still around when this decision was made. 

But most of the power that I saw was clearly active, with just small groups of power that are stored pending rebuilding, reactivation, or scrapping. Didn't see dozens of high hood EMD's that looked like they were in a deadline, that are officially off the roster.

Did NS just hold on to the pair?

Found my sad answer. :(

Norfolk Southern's surviving SD40 fleet, minus the first Southern and N&W units that were saved at the 11th hour for eventual preservation (Hopefully the latter will be rolling sometime soon), were sold for scrap to Cresson Steel in 2012. 

Surprised with Norfolk Southern's focus on rebuilding that these didn't have more value being held onto rather than as scrap. 

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Posted by D.Carleton on Thursday, November 19, 2015 10:14 AM

Leo_Ames

With the delivery of the final four units, all 100 former Union Pacific SD90MAC's purchased via EMD have now been delivered. 

If NS and CP do wind up getting hitched they can add CP's 60 SD90s to the SD70ACu program.

Editor Emeritus, This Week at Amtrak

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Thursday, November 19, 2015 6:24 PM

If the merged system was smart, but this isn't being portrayed as a merger of equals where hopefully the best of both road's will live on, but as a takeover. If somehow it all comes to pass, expect Norfolk Southern to be doing most of the changing since it's CPR doing the buying.

The Harrison concept of making money is to cut investing into the system to a minimum for short term benefits on the balance sheet and to take efficency to such extremes that it negatively affects their focus on customers and alienates employees. That concept doesn't mesh well with Altoona & Roanoke and what NS has done with both facilities when it comes to rebuilding programs to get 15-20 years more out of aged assets for a fraction of the cost of replacement with new power.

Expect a lot of discontinuances and pink slips, since there will be a lot more cuts like what CPR did to their own rebuilding programs and such when Harrison entered the picture (Killing the SD30Eco program, killing off the SD60 rebuilds and proceeding to put them on the market despite the program almost being finished, etc.).

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Posted by Entropy on Friday, November 20, 2015 8:11 AM

CP SD30C-ECO wasn't killed. Maybe an order changed?

Per Wikipedia:

The EMD SD30C-ECO is a 6-axle diesel-electric locomotive built byElectro-Motive Diesel. The locomotive is a rebuild of the EMD SD40-2 with a new 12-710 prime mover producing 3,000 horsepower (2,200 kW). The locomotives meet Tier 0 emissions standards. The Canadian Pacific Railway had 20 locomotives rebuilt in 2013 and placed an order for an additional 30 in 2015.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Friday, November 20, 2015 5:12 PM

Before Harrison came in, the plans were to purchase 350 of them. Instead, they tried to get out of that first order after he came to the company and only accepted them because he couldn't get out of it.

In light of purchasing 30 more examples later on (For 2016 delivery I presume; I've yet to see one numbered higher than 5019), perhaps massively scaled back is more accurate than cancelled. But the plans sure changed drastically, previous options were allowed to expire, and it still falls well short of the planned 60 Eco purchases a year for 8 years that was the gameplan before Harrison entered the picture.  

The GP program also has been cut back and seems to have now concluded, at least 20 units short of the planned 150 locomotives. They're selling retired GP9's again now (A model that went extinct on CPR's roster this year) rather than holding onto them for trade-in fodder for more 4 axle Eco's, a sure sign that they're finished and likely won't buy further 4 axle examples.

Edit: Here's the Newswire piece that broke this news.

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2013/06/first-cp-sd30c-ecos-shipped

And here's a fine example from that month of the likely fate of programs like the Dash 8.5 rebuilding program if Harrison assumes control of Norfolk Southern.

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2013/07/canadian-pacific-disposing-of-former-soo-line-sd60s

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Posted by zugmann on Sunday, November 22, 2015 12:11 AM

deleted.

 The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by VGN Jess on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 12:40 AM

BARFlyer says: "NS is Avoiding Tier 4, and for a good long time". Very true. Don't forget the BNSF SD75's (ex ATSF) they vould 18 months ago. A lot of 4.3k HP locomotives added in the past year and a half.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Friday, January 29, 2016 12:07 AM

The finished product, as seen on the NSDash9 Facebook page.

He also posted an update with some other interesting details.

-SD70ACU #7283 has also been outshopped and is undergoing tests at Altoona with the 7248 prior to going to Muncie for further tests.

-14 SD90MAC's are at Altoona for rebuilding and 15 more have been shipped to EMD for rebuilding.

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Posted by andyhjn on Friday, January 29, 2016 6:37 AM

Well done. That is one sharp looking locomotive.

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Posted by NorthWest on Friday, January 29, 2016 9:47 PM

With the aux cab and squared-off hood excepted, it really looks like an SD90MAC H-II (which isn't terribly surprising). It also appears that the fuel tank has been replaced with a later design.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Sunday, January 31, 2016 6:58 AM

According to the new issue of Trains, NS has another EMD rebuild program on tap for 2016. Eight SD33ECO's will be built for use in Georgia and will be joined with new six axle slugs for use in hump and yard service.

No mention on the locomotive cores that will be used. Does NS still have any retired SD50's on hand? If not and with the high-nose SD40 fleet scrapped, the SD40-2 fleet expanding and staying very busy, and an active SD60 rebuild program underway that likely precludes the use of that model, I wonder if the seemingly unsuccessful PR43's will be selected. They've spent more time in storage than out running, so perhaps they'll be parted out with the low mileage CAT engines sold, and then rebuilt as ECO's? 

This program joins the GP59ECO, which the recently retired final GP50 on the roster will be rebuilt as (followed by GP59's), that NS has planned for 2016 now that the government funded GP33ECO program has been concluded. NSDash9 reports that this one "should be essentially the same as the GP33ECO's", with the major difference being that it's funded by NS themselves rather than with grant money. 

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Posted by caldreamer on Sunday, January 31, 2016 8:35 AM

Since the SD90/43MAC's that NS in converting to SD70ACU's has same prime mover as an SD70ACe  and will be using those parts.  Does anyone know what emissions tier they will pass?  Could they possiblly pass the Tier 4 standards?

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Sunday, January 31, 2016 9:00 AM

Unless Tier 4 for rebuilds is more leniant than it is for newbuilds, then the answer is no without utilizing something like urea as an exhaust after-treatment.

That's why they've abandoned the 710 for the SD70ACe's successor after a lot of R&D work in an attempt to continue to utilize this successful and long lived EMD design that is an evolution of the 645, 567 and the Winton diesels before it.

It can however meet Tier 3 standards, which they no doubt are doing. 

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