NS acquiring 100 of UP's EMD SD9043MAC locomotives

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Posted by caldreamer on Sunday, January 31, 2016 10:28 AM

Thanks Leo.  I thought it still was Tier 3 ,but I was not sure.

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Posted by Wizlish on Monday, February 1, 2016 10:07 AM

Leo_Ames

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.

If I'm not mistaken, the 710 with the final version of EMD EGR came within 0.3% of meeting the Tier 4 final NOx requirement ... which I had a strong opinion was 'arbitrarily' set by a committee of regulators, rather than reflecting any engineering or even environmental objective reality.

I think I'd have lobbied for a waiver from the EPA on this, just as I'd have lobbied for 100 kph instead of 55 mph in the '70s.  Interesting to compare the real-world benefits of the nominal reduction in locomotive NOx emissions vs. the cost (to EMD and by extension much of the industry) of eliminating modern two-stroke evolution.  Perhaps more interesting still to contemplate the 'pollution' consequences from all the grandfathered rebuilding programs, over the service lives of all the rebuilt locomotives, vs. what would have obtained from new locomotives built to an achievable 710 NOx standard...

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Monday, February 1, 2016 10:32 AM

Sadly despite the merit in your line of thinking, GE has big pockets and I'm sure they'd of lobbied long and hard to fight that despite being the dominant manufacturer that doesn't seem to have a lot to be worried about today where EMD is concerned.

With how close they seem to have reached, I've wondered if they aren't continuing some research in that area just in case. With the continued march of technology, that gap may be able to be closed in the near future and the 710 line could perhaps be revived as a backup plan. The 710 living on after the failure of a replacement has already happened once before, so it might not be as crazy as it sounds.

And even if the 710 indeed is as dead and buried for new mainline locomotives in North America as it would appear, continued research would only be beneficial to the growing popularity of their ECO repowering line. 

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Posted by carnej1 on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 11:28 AM

Wizlish

 

 
Leo_Ames

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.

 

If I'm not mistaken, the 710 with the final version of EMD EGR came within 0.3% of meeting the Tier 4 final NOx requirement ... which I had a strong opinion was 'arbitrarily' set by a committee of regulators, rather than reflecting any engineering or even environmental objective reality.

I think I'd have lobbied for a waiver from the EPA on this, just as I'd have lobbied for 100 kph instead of 55 mph in the '70s.  Interesting to compare the real-world benefits of the nominal reduction in locomotive NOx emissions vs. the cost (to EMD and by extension much of the industry) of eliminating modern two-stroke evolution.  Perhaps more interesting still to contemplate the 'pollution' consequences from all the grandfathered rebuilding programs, over the service lives of all the rebuilt locomotives, vs. what would have obtained from new locomotives built to an achievable 710 NOx standard...

 

Correct me if I'm wrong; but I recall reading that the EGR system equipped 710 was only able to achieve near Tier IV emissions figures at the expense of increased fuel consumption compared to GE's Tier IV GEVO and this was a major factor in switching development to the 1010 engine?

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Posted by Entropy on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 4:57 PM

caldreamer

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?

 

 

The SD70ACU uses a new electrical locker, but retains the same prime mover, just fix any issues while its in the shop. So they retain Tier I EPA as they were built. 

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Posted by Entropy on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 5:04 PM

Leo_Ames

With how close they seem to have reached, I've wondered if they aren't continuing some research in that area just in case. With the continued march of technology, that gap may be able to be closed in the near future and the 710 line could perhaps be revived as a backup plan. The 710 living on after the failure of a replacement has already happened once before, so it might not be as crazy as it sounds.

And even if the 710 indeed is as dead and buried for new mainline locomotives in North America as it would appear, continued research would only be beneficial to the growing popularity of their ECO repowering line. 

 

The 710 has recently been certified Tier 4 Marine.

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Posted by D.Carleton on Thursday, February 4, 2016 12:07 AM

Leo_Ames
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. 

The article states the GP50 was a good candidate for the the GP33ECO program due to the "D87 tractions motors and the AR15 alternator" as found on the former. It's too bad they didn't hang onto the GP39X/GP49s; they also had that hardware. (Maybe Tri-Rail will sell them back?)
 
Something the article did not address in detail: the trucks. As delivered the GP50s had Blomberg M trucks with the pads. After rebulding the GP33 trucks now have leaf-springs (except for the 4700). Also, the homemade road slugs mated to the GP33s have Blomberg M trucks. Did they rebuild the trucks with leafs or find other trucks with the cast on support for the truck/frame snubber?

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Posted by carnej1 on Thursday, February 4, 2016 11:06 AM

Entropy

 

 
Leo_Ames

With how close they seem to have reached, I've wondered if they aren't continuing some research in that area just in case. With the continued march of technology, that gap may be able to be closed in the near future and the 710 line could perhaps be revived as a backup plan. The 710 living on after the failure of a replacement has already happened once before, so it might not be as crazy as it sounds.

And even if the 710 indeed is as dead and buried for new mainline locomotives in North America as it would appear, continued research would only be beneficial to the growing popularity of their ECO repowering line. 

 

 

 

The 710 has recently been certified Tier 4 Marine.

 

using SCR or is that with an EGR system?

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Thursday, February 4, 2016 5:05 PM

There's always the GP38-3 fleet to draw from. These GP50 rebuilds from a decade ago likely could use further updating and already have new cabs and new noses and of course retain their still useful D87's and AR15 alternators. 

They didn't get a microprocessor based control system and retain their original Super Series equipment that has long been out of favor. Most of the updating was with  cab itself with the mechanical work largely just relating to the installation of a roots blower in place of the turbocharger for the original 645.

The only real upgrade I've ever seen cited besides the new cab and short hood was the installation of an APU, likely also able to be reused if they were to be "Ecoized".

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Posted by D.Carleton on Sunday, February 7, 2016 12:20 AM

Leo_Ames

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? 

My guess is the PR43s have been so butchered they are not suitable fodder for the SD33ECO program; with all of the modifications the ECO "package" would not be a clean fit. Perhaps in the future if some shlub needs the clear-air credits the PR43s can be rebuilt as the first SD43ECOs.

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Posted by beaulieu on Sunday, February 7, 2016 12:54 AM

Entropy

 The SD70ACU uses a new electrical locker, but retains the same prime mover, just fix any issues while its in the shop. So they retain Tier I EPA as they were built. 

 

 
They were built as Tier 0 lcomotives, and when rebuilt will need to meet Tier 0+ unless NS wants to upgrade them further.
 
 
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Posted by Leo_Ames on Sunday, February 7, 2016 2:54 AM

Good point on the PR43C's.

What's really kept here during an ECO conversion though? The modern cab could likely be reused if a widecab is suitable for this application and thus represents a savings. And the running gear is fine and while there was some variation here with this class, there are enough identical units where no extra engineering would be needed if only 8 are to be built. I suspect it likely more comes down to whether the PR43C's are worth more dead than alive. 

Beyond the alternator that is now a Marathon type, what's missing here that could be reused if they were to be utilized as ECO rebuilding cores? The electrical system would be replaced during the conversion anyways, the cooling system is changed during an ECO rebuild, etc. 

Too bad that a number of KCS SD50's were scrapped in recent years (Many were ex Conrail locomotives that came off lease shortly after the Conrail split). There would be a market for them now if NS is shopping for suitable candidates for rebuilding to fulfil this order. 

I don't see them retiring SD40-2's for this, diverting SD60's from their successful SD60E program, etc. Unless they still have some retired SD50's on hand, it appears to be these or acquire suitable platforms from an outside source. 

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 5:37 AM

I have all of Norfolk Southern's GP50's accounted for except two. The rest are active in rebuilt form besides three that will be joining their sisters shortly (Two as the final GP33ECO's and the other as the prototype for the GP59ECO program).

Does anyone know what the status is for the 7071 and the 7075?

I see pictures online of the 7071 after a semi truck collision with what looks like minor damage in early 2006. Then there's a picture from that summer with the frame and body sitting on a flatcar with same wreck damage in evidence. Then there's pictures several years later showing the rearwards upper portion of her long hood laying on the ground in Altoona. I assume frame damage led to her apparent demise?

For the 7075, I see a photo of her in action in 2010, yet she's also mentioned on Trainorders as being in an auction in 2001 with a defective crankshaft the reason for her being sidelined (Alongside two of the three Southern GP40X's). 

Anyone have anything concrete on the fates of each unit? 

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Monday, February 29, 2016 7:07 PM

Leo_Ames
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. 

Pictures of first slug for this program were posted on the NSDash9 Facebook page. Here's one of those pictures.

These are the first RPU6D's on the roster, with the main differences apparent from the 870-888 class RPU6's being that they're constructed on new frames rather than recycled SD38/SD40 frames and of course the presence of dynamic braking capability with the resulting hump in the middle of the unit's hood. 

He also mentions that no decision has been made yet on what rebuilding cores will be used for the SD33ECO's.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 7:08 AM

The NSDash9 Facebook page reports that two SD40's that escaped being sent to Cresson Steel will be the prototype SD33ECO's.

It sounds like some of the former Conrail SD40-2R's will also be rebuilt in the program. I suppose that's no surprise considering that they've already traded some away to CSX for the SD80MAC's, which clearly shows their status at NS amongst their sizeable SD40-2 fleet. 

I hope that N&W's original SD40 doesn't enter this program instead of being rebuilt in-kind like her Southern Railway counterpart was. Beats the scrapyard though if that comes to pass and she's not refurbished or donated. 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 8:02 AM

According to the altoonaworks.info website, NS 1613 and 1615 are in the process of being converted to the first SD33ECO's, with the numbering to start at 6210.

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Posted by Bryan Jones on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 8:41 AM

Leo_Ames

The NSDash9 Facebook page reports that two SD40's that escaped being sent to Cresson Steel will be the prototype SD33ECO's.

It sounds like some of the former Conrail SD40-2R's will also be rebuilt in the program. I suppose that's no surprise considering that they've already traded some away to CSX for the SD80MAC's, which clearly shows their status at NS amongst their sizeable SD40-2 fleet. 

I hope that N&W's original SD40 doesn't enter this program instead of being rebuilt in-kind like her Southern Railway counterpart was. Been quite sometime since that happened now and with traffic down these days and units in storage, plans may have sadly changed.

Beats the scrapyard though if that comes to pass and she's not refurbished or donated. 

 

the #1580 is safe, it still slated for preservation and will not be used as a core for any rebuild projects.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Thursday, March 31, 2016 12:02 AM

Thanks for the good news. Any idea if they still plan to restore her to operation and use her themselves before donation, like the Southern unit that's also slated for preservation? Or will she stay retired until donated? 

Anyways, I was wondering what the inverter setup was with these rebuilds? All I've seen publicized is that they're replacing the Siemens inverters with Mitsubishi inverters. Is it a GE style single axle system like EMD is transitioning towards, or the traditional single inverter per truck setup?

And rereading this thread, there was some discussion about some early SD70ACe's being exported back to the US a while back. What ended up being their fate? 

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Posted by Bryan Jones on Thursday, March 31, 2016 3:06 AM

No idea for sure on the exact details of the NW SD40 #1580 other than it is listed in the NS computer as not to be used for any capital projects ( not to be used as a core for any rebuild projects). Presumably it will receive similar treatment as the Southern SD40 #3170 but i personally wouldn't expect anything to happen anytime soon with all of the cost cutting going on.

as for the SD70ACu inverter setup, it is still using the single inverter per truck arrangement, similar to the NS SD70ACe fleet. 

The 13 former BHP Billiton SD70ACe's which were shipped back to the USA are still in storage at the Progress Rail plant in Muncie,Indiana. It's unknown what the ultimate plans are for these units.

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Posted by NorthWest on Thursday, March 31, 2016 4:58 PM

Bryan Jones
The 13 former BHP Billiton SD70ACe's which were shipped back to the USA are still in storage at the Progress Rail plant in Muncie,Indiana. It's unknown what the ultimate plans are for these units.

What is their emissions status? I wonder if that is holding things up, but they were imported before the Tier IV deadline. Perhaps nobody wants worn 'thundercab' units?I wonder if they can simply mount a new cab and refresh the rest to increase saleabilty?

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Posted by M636C on Thursday, March 31, 2016 9:33 PM

NorthWest

 

 
Bryan Jones
The 13 former BHP Billiton SD70ACe's which were shipped back to the USA are still in storage at the Progress Rail plant in Muncie,Indiana. It's unknown what the ultimate plans are for these units.

 

What is their emissions status? I wonder if that is holding things up, but they were imported before the Tier IV deadline. Perhaps nobody wants worn 'thundercab' units?I wonder if they can simply mount a new cab and refresh the rest to increase saleabilty?

I seem to recall being told that they were Tier 3 qualified and were the first units in Australia so equipped. They were completely standard units apart from the the low headlights and marker lights. They were built in 2005.

There must be other non -isolated cab SD70ACes in service right now. But they will have had a hard life. They were described as "rusty" when seen in transit. This was indeed iron oxide, but not from corrosion, just picked up from the surroundings.

Thay had a lot of extra cab equipment (eg CD players and microwave ovens) but Progress might want to give them a full overhaul. I'd think NS was a good prospect for them.

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Posted by NorthWest on Thursday, March 31, 2016 11:35 PM

Thanks for the information.

BNSF's non-isolated cab SD70ACes are (supposed to be) banned from leading, but those on UP and CSX can. I suspect they would be sold for much less than equivilent new units, but we'll see.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Friday, April 1, 2016 12:37 AM

I'm not sure if they'd be interested since they just added 4 to their fleet back in 2013. But if the price is right, they'd be a good way for Montana Rail Link to further update their fleet now that the model is basically out of production.

So it wouldn't shock me if 2 or 3 landed there if business is good right now for them or projected to rise in the next few years, allowing a few more 645 engined SD's to be sidelined.

Can't go out and buy one brand new anymore after all. And I don't see MRL wanting to take on a new model of engine anytime soon, so the latest from GE or EMD probably would be out of the question. And it should be quite sometime before domestic examples show up in the used marketplace. 

And it seems reasonable to say that this should be cheaper than rebuilding and modernizing a decades old SD70MAC to similar standards for the next likely scenario if they go shopping in a few years for more power.

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Posted by Entropy on Friday, April 1, 2016 10:23 AM

Keep in mind MRL moves alot of PRB coal, which is down 35% in carloads and not coming back. 

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Friday, April 1, 2016 12:19 PM

That's why I worded it how I did, since I'm not aware of their business conditions at this time and if traffic is down or up.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Thursday, April 28, 2016 6:07 PM

Norfolk Southern has so far outshopped 15 of these rebuilds. Two SD70ACU's were completed and released in January, 3 in February, 4 in March, and now 6 in April.

At this rate it isn't going to take long at all to rebuild all 100 of these with the halfway mark easily in sight by the end of this year if they keep rebuilding 5-6 a month for the remainder of the year. 

I wonder what they'll start on next? I assume that the SD80MAC's will be cycled through first since they're planned to be rebuilt to similar standards besides maintaining their 20-710's. But they're also planning more even more ambitious AC conversions for their DC motored SD70, SD75, SD70M, and SD70M-2 fleets. 

Might not be long now before we see the first prototype NS AC conversion of a SD70. 

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Posted by kgbw49 on Thursday, April 28, 2016 6:36 PM

Before...

After...

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Posted by D.Carleton on Friday, April 29, 2016 12:15 AM

Rumor has it NS has acquired seven more SD90MACs from CIT.

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Posted by NorthWest on Saturday, April 30, 2016 12:11 PM

NS Dash 9 has partially confirmed that, unit number is unknown but CIT will recieve MP15s in exchange.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Saturday, April 30, 2016 12:58 PM

One could infer that NS must be pleased with their performance so far if they are expanding ownership of the model for further conversions.

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