NS acquiring 100 of UP's EMD SD9043MAC locomotives

71395 views
400 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    November 2008
  • 1,451 posts
Posted by Leo_Ames on Thursday, February 20, 2020 3:38 PM

NSDash9 reports that Progress Rail bought the rest of the SD80MAC's.

https://www.facebook.com/nsdash9/posts/10157324946918843

They also bought the SD70's that were for sale (And NS has now placed up for sale the three SD70's that weren't listed for sale this last time).

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • 1,662 posts
Posted by kgbw49 on Monday, February 17, 2020 10:13 PM

Once CP finishes taking delivery of its 60th SD70ACU, it is possible there just might be a larger number of that model on Class I railroads than there are of the SD70ACE-T4 model.

That is not a negative comment of the SD70ACE-T4. It is just a thought related to how PSR has dropped demand for new locomotives and how the fuel economy reported for Tier 4 models has not helped drive demand for them.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • 3,208 posts
Posted by NorthWest on Monday, February 17, 2020 8:14 PM

Interesting.

More UP SD90MACs would've been cheaper?

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • 1,451 posts
Posted by Leo_Ames on Monday, February 17, 2020 6:34 PM

AltoonaWorks is reporting that Canadian Pacific has bought six SD80MAC's for parts.

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • 1,662 posts
Posted by kgbw49 on Friday, February 14, 2020 11:54 PM

My bad. Got them crossed up with the NS 7230s.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • 3,208 posts
Posted by NorthWest on Friday, February 14, 2020 4:39 PM

Those are CP.

NS 7030 is an SD60E.

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • 1,662 posts
Posted by kgbw49 on Friday, February 14, 2020 1:19 PM

I seem to recall an interview several years ago with Hunter Harrison when he was still at CP. if I recall correctly, the interviewer asked him about locomotive acquisitions and his reply was to the effect that no new locomotives would likely be purchased for something like five years but that the SD9043MACs could be rebuilt into a good locomotive at the time when they would be needed.

If NS is continuing to finish conversion of their inventory that would seem to indicate the SD70ACUs are perfoming satisfactorially for them.

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: NW Wisconsin
  • 3,750 posts
Posted by beaulieu on Thursday, February 13, 2020 1:00 PM

The first two of the 2020 order for SD70ACU rebuilds from Progress Rail have now arrived on the property, number 7030 and 7032.

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: NW Wisconsin
  • 3,750 posts
Posted by beaulieu on Thursday, February 13, 2020 12:57 PM

longhorn1969

 

 
 

 

 

 Thanks, with NS selling the newer SD70Ms, would it not make sense to keep the newer units for that purpose and fully retire the older era locomotives?

Just strange, very strange.

 

 

The GP38-2s are more nimble and weigh less. Much industrial trackage has older lighter weight rail. In addition switching service requires tractive effort, but not much horsepower. 

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 11,660 posts
Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 2:09 PM

longhorn1969
Thanks, with NS selling the newer SD70Ms, would it not make sense to keep the newer units for that purpose and fully retire the older era locomotives?

Something like this, in a sense, has happened on the ex-Southern in Memphis.  The ex-Forrest Yard intermodal facility (now, I think, called Inman) used to be switched by GP38-2s in the 50xx range, and you'd see these on the peddler running out past Collierville frequently, but I've regularly seen SD-40s (probably of some rebuilt subclass or another) doing this work, and more recently all I see is relatively early single GE 4400hp units.

I think it depends largely on intended use; a railroad like NS is likely to have many places that use relatively small power.

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • 1,662 posts
Posted by kgbw49 on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 12:26 PM

Just one guess - perhaps two-axle trucks are probably optimal for siding and industrial trackage where locals spend a lot of their time. Tight curves, rough track, etc.

A second guess - 2,000 hp locomotives may be more fuel efficient for locals and most yard switching compared to 4,000-4,400 hp locomotives.

 

 

  • Member since
    October 2015
  • 84 posts
Posted by longhorn1969 on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 12:09 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

 

 

longhorn1969

Why does NS still have Geeps and High hood ones at that on the property?

 

 

 

 
Most of them are GP38-2's and perform local freight and switching duties.
 

 

 Thanks, with NS selling the newer SD70Ms, would it not make sense to keep the newer units for that purpose and fully retire the older era locomotives?

Just strange, very strange.

 

  • Member since
    March 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 11,935 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 10:00 AM

longhorn1969

Why does NS still have Geeps and High hood ones at that on the property?

 
Most of them are GP38-2's and perform local freight and switching duties.
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
  • Member since
    October 2015
  • 84 posts
Posted by longhorn1969 on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 9:08 PM

Why does NS still have Geeps and High hood ones at that on the property?

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • 1,662 posts
Posted by kgbw49 on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 11:22 AM

It sounds like any future SD70ACC conversions will be done by Progress Rail for other railroads.

They seem to be another solid solution for rebuilds pioneered by Norfolk Southern that may redound to the long term benefit of other railroads.

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • 1,451 posts
Posted by Leo_Ames on Monday, February 10, 2020 10:53 PM

NSDash9 is now reporting that the SD75M's are for sale (As are the Dash 8.5's).

For the DC motored SD70 family at NS, that leaves just three SD70's that aren't on the sale list and apparently SD70M 2595 which serves at the AAR Transportation Technology Center.

I assume those last three SD70's will be joining in the coming weeks.

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • 1,662 posts
Posted by kgbw49 on Sunday, February 9, 2020 3:49 PM

Perhaps if CP is satisfied with their SD70ACUs, maybe they will become the home for the majority of the whole fleet. They hung on to their SD9043MACs for quite a while so it would not be unprecedented for them to acquire some for future updating and rebuilding. If the capital costs are significantly lower than a new-buy Tier 4, the fuel economy significantly better than a new-buy Tier 4, and the ROIC meets their hurdle rate, it might be a good way to go for a railroad the size of CP.

Time will tell of course - there are a zillion different "what-if" scenarios that can be played out given the huge number of locomotives being mothballed that are good candidates for rebuilding.

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • 1,451 posts
Posted by Leo_Ames on Sunday, February 9, 2020 9:59 AM

Many didn't get engine overhauls during their ACU rebuilding. So I suspect saving on a needed engine rebuild is part of the reason that many of the ACU's are parked.

That said, of the 29 units that currently meet Tier 1+ at the NSDash9 roster page (Which also indicates an engine overhaul), 13 of those are listed as stored. So there would seem to be more in play there than just engine condition. 

  • Member since
    January 2002
  • From: Equestria
  • 7,701 posts
Posted by zugmann on Saturday, February 8, 2020 4:15 PM

They did turn those 9043s into 70ACUs.  They seem to run fine.  Although half are now in storage.

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

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 11,660 posts
Posted by Overmod on Saturday, February 8, 2020 4:10 PM

charlie hebdo
whether a declining NS can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear is a whole 'nother kettle o' fish. 

Wasn't that much wrong with the "9043MACs" that couldn't be judiciously fixed.  Remember that these never had the 265H or experienced the troubles with 6000hp -- admittedly these locomotives are larger by comparison with other built-to-4400hp engines, but not impossibly so.

The frame weakness was relatively easy to fix; in fact I was sad I didn't have a couple of loose million to buy these up at around $150K a copy (as you could do when the common-mode frame failures became perceived as widespread), perform much the same kind of 'fixes' as subsequently done, and have good marketable power ready for the dawn of the Tier 4 final fiasco...

I don't believe the current issue is about retiring the converted 9043s, just about the economics of converting more at a time the PSR-influenced railroads are contracting the number of locomotives officially rostered...

  • Member since
    January 2002
  • From: Equestria
  • 7,701 posts
Posted by zugmann on Saturday, February 8, 2020 3:56 PM

kgbw49
Not only from having a massive "feedstock" for rebuilding from these various moth-balled fleets, but also in the long term moving more cars with less locomotives.

"more cars". Yeah, they can keep telling themselves that.

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

  • Member since
    September 2017
  • 3,204 posts
Posted by charlie hebdo on Saturday, February 8, 2020 3:36 PM

This may somewhat redeemn unwise purchase by UP but whether a declining NS can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear is a whole 'nother kettle o' fish.  "Beggars can't..."

  • Member since
    January 2002
  • From: Equestria
  • 7,701 posts
Posted by zugmann on Saturday, February 8, 2020 1:52 PM

kgbw49
Overmod, as a financial guy, that is an excellent point. Trying to turn unneeded assets into some amount of cash hopefully in excess of scrap value is probably what they are working on.

I would say "unwanted" as opposed to "unneeded".

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

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • 1,662 posts
Posted by kgbw49 on Friday, February 7, 2020 11:56 AM

Overmod, as a financial guy, that is an excellent point. Trying to turn unneeded assets into some amount of cash hopefully in excess of scrap value is probably what they are working on.

Plus one supposes they are also looking for the efficiency savings of eliminating smaller classes of power to maintain, train people to maintain, stock spare parts for, etc.

One byproduct of "almost-universal-PSR" on the North American continent is also the likely-permanent downsizing of the new locomotive market. Not only from having a massive "feedstock" for rebuilding from these various moth-balled fleets, but also in the long term moving more cars with less locomotives.

 

 

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 11,660 posts
Posted by Overmod on Friday, February 7, 2020 10:55 AM

longhorn1969
Other than Precision Railroading what would be the reason for sidelining relatively new locomotives?

First, reducing the number of locomotives still using DC drive; second, reducing numbers of units with older inverters or drive components that are not as efficient (or easily maintained) as newer ones.

(There may also be PTC-related concerns here, even at this relatively late date, as the equipment on each given locomotive is expensive to acquire and install.)

(I made a joke on another thread about how certain "PSR-related tendencies" may be attractive to modern 'activist investors' -- reducing the stranded capital of underused locomotives, especially by selling for cash equivalent, may be an attractive short-term action...  there may be some truth in it, though...)

  • Member since
    October 2015
  • 84 posts
Posted by longhorn1969 on Friday, February 7, 2020 10:27 AM

NorthWest

And now NS Dash 9/ Chris Toth is reporting that the entire NS SD70M and SD70M-2 fleet is now for sale. Wow.

The last of the Dash-8s have now been sold but that's not a surprise.

 

 

Other than Precision Railroading what would be the reason for sidelining relatively new locomotives?

  • Member since
    July 2008
  • 1,435 posts
Posted by rdamon on Friday, February 7, 2020 8:44 AM

The radial trucks may be a bonus on the short lines as well

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • 1,662 posts
Posted by kgbw49 on Friday, February 7, 2020 7:21 AM

I would surmise that Class 1 railroads, given their running of more longer trains with single units or single head end-single dpu, necessitating more lower speed lugging up long grades, would be most interested in any 4,300 HP or 4,400 HP units that either are AC or can be converted to AC.

But if the price is right and they are in decent shape, who knows?

It would seem a Genessee & Wyoming or Watco might pick up a select number of DC units for some of their short lines, such as the SD70M-2 units running on the B&P operation. In select circumstances they might be able to use the larger units economically. 

 

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • 1,451 posts
Posted by Leo_Ames on Thursday, February 6, 2020 11:26 AM

3 of the 4 remaining NS-purchased SD70's and the seven 2nd hand SD75M's are the only DC-motored SD70 variants not yet on the sale list. I'm sure those will show up soon enough.

I wonder if CNR will take a look at the M-2 fleet as replacements for the bulk of their Dash 8's. 

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy