cab units

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cab units
Posted by dh28473 on Sunday, January 14, 2018 9:48 AM

Why were these locos f7 8s or 9s called cab units?

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Posted by Convicted One on Sunday, January 14, 2018 1:23 PM

dh28473

Why were these locos f7 8s or 9s called cab units?

 

 

I could be wrong, but I've always suspected the term originated from the difference between "controless" "B" units versus their "A" unit counterparts.

 

 The "A" units were cab units, while the "B" units had no such permanant operators control station.   Then the term just sort of got genericized, like "kleenex"

 

Of course, "B" units do have rudementary control stations that allow them to be hostled around the yard, etc,  but that is a seperate story.

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Posted by NorthWest on Sunday, January 14, 2018 3:37 PM

Once road switchers came into road use, there was a need to distinguish between the hood units and the units that had the frame as part of the side wall. Cab unit covers the earlier units well, as the cab roof continues back over the rest of the locomotive.

There was no F8.

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Posted by challenger3980 on Sunday, January 14, 2018 3:42 PM

NorthWest

Once road switchers came into road use, there was a need to distinguish between the hood units and the units that had the frame as part of the side wall. Cab unit covers the earlier units well, as the cab roof continues back over the rest of the locomotive.

There was no F8.

 

 

There were E8's, any idea why they skipped the F8 model designation?

Doug

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, January 14, 2018 4:30 PM

challenger3980
 
NorthWest

Once road switchers came into road use, there was a need to distinguish between the hood units and the units that had the frame as part of the side wall. Cab unit covers the earlier units well, as the cab roof continues back over the rest of the locomotive.

There was no F8.

 

 

 

 

There were E8's, any idea why they skipped the F8 model designation?

Doug

 

To my knowledge F8's were never built, F7's were the last hurrah for the F-units, the more versitile and less expensive hood units like the Geeps killed the cab units just as surely as the cab units killed steam.

Cab units?  Here at the "Fortress Firelock" Lady Firestorm and I call them "Superman diesels."  Wonder why?  Well, check this out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0swAKS-5qA

Get the picture?  As a matter of fact when we were in high school back in the early 1970's us kids called those big blocky cars like the one that goes over the cliff "Superman cars,"  but that's another story. 

That show sure was popular with us Boomers!

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Posted by tree68 on Sunday, January 14, 2018 5:28 PM

Firelock76
To my knowledge F8's were never built, F7's were the last hurrah for the F-units,

But there were F9s.  99 A's and 156 B's.  Visually they were virtually indistinguishable from the late F7's.  

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Posted by SD70Dude on Sunday, January 14, 2018 5:45 PM

tree68
Firelock76
To my knowledge F8's were never built, F7's were the last hurrah for the F-units,

But there were F9s.  99 A's and 156 B's.  Visually they were virtually indistinguishable from the late F7's.  

90 very similar FP9's were built as well.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, January 14, 2018 6:01 PM

SD70Dude
 
tree68
Firelock76
To my knowledge F8's were never built, F7's were the last hurrah for the F-units,

But there were F9s.  99 A's and 156 B's.  Visually they were virtually indistinguishable from the late F7's.  

 

 

90 very similar FP9's were built as well.

 

Good to know, it's a wasted day if you don't learn something new.

But I imagine there still never were any F8's.

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Posted by tree68 on Sunday, January 14, 2018 7:18 PM

Firelock76
But I imagine there still never were any F8's.

Nor were any F1's, F4's or F6's ever built.  The F10's were rebuilt F3's.  There's still a few of them still running.

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Posted by BLS53 on Sunday, January 14, 2018 7:23 PM

I never understood why it was believed that cab units were optimum for freight use. Seems a logical evolution from steam, would've been the road switcher to begin with.

Always thought the RR's were attempting to emulate airliners in appearance with cab units. About all these units had going was their looks. 

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Posted by challenger3980 on Sunday, January 14, 2018 7:32 PM

BLS53

I never understood why it was believed that cab units were optimum for freight use. Seems a logical evolution from steam, would've been the road switcher to begin with.

Always thought the RR's were attempting to emulate airliners in appearance with cab units. About all these units had going was their looks. 

 

 

Because the "F" units were the original road diesel, and came out 10 years before the "GP" units.

The FT was released, IIRC, in 1939, the GP7, the first of the GP's was released in IIRC, October of 1949, for 10 years there WASN'T any other choice, at least from EMD. The Alco RS 1 came out in 1941, so even there it was 2 years before the railroads had a road switcher option.

The road switcher simply wasn't an option, "To Begin With".

Doug

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Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, January 14, 2018 7:51 PM

The first diesel switchers were box cabs.  Then some switchers came out with the single visibiliy cab.  There were still some early box cab road diesels (lke box cab electrics).  The early cab units were more like streamlined box cabs.  Since they were intended as multiple units, there ws no reason for bi-directional vision as with GP road switchers which might be used as single units.

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Posted by tree68 on Sunday, January 14, 2018 8:02 PM

challenger3980
The Alco RS 1 came out in 1941, so even there it was 2 years before the railroads had a road switcher option.

Actually, it was longer than that.  Wartime restrictions undoubtedly delayed the development of the road switcher (RS), among other things.  EMD was actually behind ALCO in developing the road switcher.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Sunday, January 14, 2018 8:08 PM

Remember also that the diesel locomotive as we know it evolved in the Art-Deco streamlined era of the 1930s, and the first successful units were all intended for passenger service, notably as power cars for articulated trainsets like Burlington's Zephyrs.  The E and F units evolved from these, and naturally came in the same streamlined eye-catching carbody, which happens to be the same shape as a Budd or Pullman-standard lightweight car.  

The "hood unit" or roadswitcher body type came about after the shortcomings of the streamlined body became apparent, notably the restricted visibility of the engineer when switching.  EMD's first attempt to rectify this was the BL2, which ironically ended up being the worst of both worlds and was unsuccessful as a result. 

As Doug noted ALCO was ahead of the curve with this, as they were with so many other diesel locomotive innovations, but better reliability and the War Production Board's allocations gave EMD a big boost ahead of the other builders.

EDIT:  I see Larry beat me to the punch

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Posted by challenger3980 on Sunday, January 14, 2018 8:52 PM

tree68

 

 
challenger3980
The Alco RS 1 came out in 1941, so even there it was 2 years before the railroads had a road switcher option.

 

Actually, it was longer than that.  Wartime restrictions undoubtedly delayed the development of the road switcher (RS), among other things.  EMD was actually behind ALCO in developing the road switcher.

 

 

 

 I had forgotten about the wartime restrictions, I was just making the point that when the F u its were gainig popularity, the Raod Switcher wasn't an option yet.

There is a story that Dick Dilworth, with EMD didn't even anticipate the GP 7's being used in mainline service, but had commented that the GP's were so "Ugly" (his words, not mine) that he expected that they would be "Hidden" on branch lines and in yards where nobody would see them.

To somewhat illustrate the point of the GP's evolution timing, the GP 7 was designated as a "7" model because it shared the same machinery ie, Prime Mover, Generator, Traction Motors and I believe most of the electrical gear, as the F 7, the main differences, were the frame and body.

I don't know why there was never an "F 1", IIRC the F 2 was from the outside indistinguishable from the F3, but had the same prime mover as the FT.

I believe that the F5 was solely sold to the CB&Q, and had Stainless Steel skin. 

I still don't know EMD skipped the "F6" and "F8" models, I will try to see if Jack "Hot Water" Wheelihan, over on the OGR forum knows, he worked for EMD for many years, and was involved with the UP Steam Program, and the SP 4449, that man is a Treasure Trove of Knowledge (He CAN be a bit, er, uhm Ornery though at times Wink, but he is a Very Valued member of that forum).

Doug

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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Sunday, January 14, 2018 10:07 PM

Firelock76
. . . Cab units?  Here at the "Fortress Firelock" Lady Firestorm and I call them "Superman diesels."  Wonder why?  Well, check this out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0swAKS-5qA . . . 

What railroad is that - Southern Pacific?

- PDN. 

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, January 15, 2018 6:33 AM

Paul_D_North_Jr
 
Firelock76
. . . Cab units?  Here at the "Fortress Firelock" Lady Firestorm and I call them "Superman diesels."  Wonder why?  Well, check this out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0swAKS-5qA . . .  

What railroad is that - Southern Pacific?

- PDN. 

Yes those were SP locomotives & trains shown.

My memory of the Superman opening credits pictured a shot of the Daylight steam locomotive, not diesel.

         

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, January 15, 2018 6:59 AM

The original episodes were shot in black and white and had a publicity shot of a GS with single headlight ... even as a kid I thought it looked fat with that arrangement.

When they went to color, they shot what was available then... with good, saturated color if my childhood memory is not exaggerating.  That was I believe E units in Daylight colors, a beautiful train ... but ISTR single-note horns; could that be right?

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, January 15, 2018 7:02 AM

The original episodes were shot in black and white and had a publicity shot of a GS with single headlight ... even as a kid I thought it looked fat with that arrangement.

When they went to color, they shot what was available then... with good, saturated color if my childhood memory is not exaggerating.  That was I believe E units in Daylight colors, a beautiful train ... but ISTR single-note horns; could that be right?

in those days of the little "C" in TV Guide to show the rare color programs, you never knew whether you'd get a B&W or color episode.

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Posted by M636C on Monday, January 15, 2018 7:27 AM

challenger3980

 

 

There were E8's, any idea why they skipped the F8 model designation?

Doug

 

It seems that EMD wanted to align the model designations to match with the introduction of the 567C engine, which was the most major upgrade of the 567 series.

So since the E-8 used the 567B engine but was otherwise a significant upgrade from the E-7, the lowest available number was 9 for the E-9.

Accordingly,  the upgrade of the F-7 became the F-9 and the upgrade of the GP-7 became the GP-9 and the SD-7 changed to the SD-9.

After this the designations became based on horsepower with the introduction of turbochargers. No new E or F unit types were introduced, but there were GP-18, GP-20, SD-18 and SD-24.

With the next upgrade, the loco intended to be the GP-22 became the GP-30 and the numbers no longer related to power.

Peter

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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, January 15, 2018 5:13 PM

I asked a friend of mine who was a bit of a media historian why shows in the 50's like "Superman,"  "The Lone Ranger," "The Cisco Kid" and others were shot in color when there were so few color TV's at that time.

His answer was so simple I was surprised I didn't think of it myself.  At that time many parts of the country didn't have television at all, so those aforementioned TV shows were shown in movie theaters as shorts.  Being shot in color made them all the more exciting.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Monday, January 15, 2018 8:19 PM

The first train looks like the Sunset Limited pulled by Daylight-painted E units.

The second train looks like either the Coast or Shasta Daylight because it has a streamlined baggage car.

There is a lot of snow in the background so perhaps it is the Shasta Daylight.

Superman is everywhere!

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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, January 15, 2018 8:34 PM

This is for BaltACD, and everyone else for that matter.  It's the original black and white "Superman" opener.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2l4bz1FT8U

Honestly, I find those flashing rods and spinning drivers on the GS a LOT more interesting than the "Daylight" diesels!

Another thing, in the black and white opener the revolver is a Smith and Wesson, in color, it's a Colt!

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Posted by rdamon on Monday, January 15, 2018 9:32 PM

In movie Superman (1978) it became the Kansas Star.

 

 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 7:08 AM

In the movie it was called the "Kansas Star".  In reality, it was Canadian Pacific, much of the location shooting was done north of the 49th Parallel.

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 rdamon on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 7:15 AM

Explains the "Railway Crossing" Signs

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Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 5:20 PM

rdamon

In movie Superman (1978) it became the Kansas Star.

 

 

 

Thanks for that clip Mr. Damon!  For thoise who don't know, the red-headed lady with the great smile is Noell Neill, the "Lois Lane" from the "Superman" TV show of the 50's, AND the "Superman" movie serials of the 40's.

That stately looking gent sitting across from her?  That's Kirk Allyn, the "Superman" from the 40's serials!

And, appropriately enough, the "Kansas Star" is pulled by a "Superman Diesel!"

The circle is complete!

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Posted by RailfanGXY on Saturday, February 17, 2018 8:43 PM

I remember hearing on a production which Trains Magazine helped create, the F7 --> F9 change coincided more with the changes to their road switcher equivalents, the GP7 ---> GP9. Basically, like this.

 

7-series produces 1500 HP

F7: Full-width cab units

FP7: Full width cab unit equipped with steam heating

GP7: 4 axle hood units

SD7: 6 axle hood units

 

9-series produces 1750 HP

F9, FP9, GP9, SD9 were essentially identical mechanically sans their carbody layout or number of axles (or presence of a steam generator in the F's case). EMD continued this method with its later second generation power such as the '45's and 40's. Notice that all of EMD's passenger units between the FP45 and the F69PHAC had the same horsepower as a freight unit with the same model number. All units in a number series are identical in terms of horsepower and mechanics, but vary with certain essential details. F was kept on to distinguish units  having full-width bodies instead of what the F stood for on the original FT. This is because the only passenger carrier that really required new equipment were commuter systems and Amtrak. That and the introduction of turbochargers and the like eliminated the need for any special twin-engine designs (what really set the E's apart from the F's mechanically). As for the SDP40F, I can only assume the F wasn't in front because they were also built for quick-conversion to freight serivce if Amtrak ended up failing (indeed a number of them did end up in freight service on the ATSF and BNSF as SDF40-2).

 

Back to the 1950's, the E's pretty much stayed in their own model series as passenger traffic was drying up in the 50's, and there was little desire for a passenger-only locomotive. I imagine EMD sorta switched back to more specified models for passenger units with the DE/M30AC and F125, since they are designed more specifically for a single railroad's use (both models only have one operator so far and that's likely not going to change anytime soon), rather than being mass production units designed for various routes and railroads like the F-series that came before.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Monday, February 19, 2018 8:05 PM

RailfanGXY

...

F7: Full-width cab units

FP7: Full width cab unit equipped with steam heating

...

 

F7's had a steam generator option.  FP7's simply were 4' longer to accomodate extra steam generation capacity.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, February 19, 2018 9:41 PM

MidlandMike
FP7's simply were 4' longer to accommodate extra steam generation capacity.

You mean to accommodate extra fuel and water for steam generation capacity, right?

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