Milwaukee Road's small fuel tanks

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  • Member since
    July, 2010
  • From: St. Paul, MN
  • 82 posts
Milwaukee Road's small fuel tanks
Posted by oarb00 on Thursday, November 16, 2017 4:23 PM

While researching the Milwaukee Road's roster I noticed many of their 1st generation road switchers; SD7, SD9, H16-66 etc, have very small fuel tanks. Why is this? Does it have something to do with locomotive weight? I know the SDL39 was built specifically for branch line service and it also has a small fuel tank.


  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 6,367 posts
Posted by Overmod on Thursday, November 16, 2017 5:07 PM

Almost any time you see a small tank, it’s weight.

The exception is that if the unit has a steam generator there needs to be water tankage too (and water is relatively heavy) and if both tanks are slung between the trucks the fuel tank may be shorter or narrower than it could be in a freight-only unit.

  • Member since
    June, 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 3,399 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Thursday, November 16, 2017 11:21 PM

You should have seen some of the WSOR tracks before they were upgraded to 40-50 mph.    Milwaukee in the 1970's and into the 1980's would operate Geeps and later MP15AC's on some of the worst track you ever saw loaded with 5 and 10 mph limits.    Ties sunk below the mud with weeds up almost waist high.    They would run 25-50 miles on a branch line like that and if it was 100 miles they would have the switching patrols meet in the long as everything stayed on the track, they kept running.

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