Cabs, Cowl vs. Hood.

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Cabs, Cowl vs. Hood.
Posted by NWP SWP on Saturday, April 14, 2018 10:11 PM

If you were operating a locomotive what would be your cab of choice, either the older traditional cabs found on early hood units or the newer "wide" cabs like those found on modern units. So what will it be?

Thanks!

Steven

Crooner, Imagineer, High School Graduate, living with Aspergers, President of the Republica Pacifica micronation,  President of the NWP-SWP System.

Hook'em Longhorns! 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, April 14, 2018 11:16 PM

Depends on what we are doing.  If we are on a through freight or passenger train then I would prefer a newer wide-nose cab.  More leg room and space to put your grip.

If we will be doing a lot of switching I would prefer the old-style Spartan cab.  You have better visibility with those, in particular it is much easier to see your fellow crew members on the ground around the locomotive or on its front steps.

For both I would also absolutely prefer a unit with the old-style or modern AAR control stand beside the seat.  I find desktops uncomfortable, particularly so when switching.

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by zugmann on Sunday, April 15, 2018 12:22 AM

Too many factors for one answer. What am I doing, where am I going, and what am I hauling?

 

Honestly, I can use whatever.  From old high-hood GPs to the latest ES44ACwhatevers.   Just have to know what you should and shouldn't do with each one.

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 IAFarmer on Sunday, April 15, 2018 9:43 AM

Ive never been a road engineer, but the wide bodies with the desktop stand seem to be the worst at everything, especially when switching a shop.  Road guys seem to dislike them as well.  My preferance was always the old regular cab, great places to put your feet up and just enjoy the work.  I dont mind the wide body cabs that much, but i still prefer the old ones. 

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Posted by BigJim on Monday, April 16, 2018 8:07 AM

I agree with tha "Dude". Especially about the desktops! They suck...period.

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Posted by zugmann on Monday, April 16, 2018 10:10 AM

I don't mind desktops.  

I absolutely hate the NYAB ccB26 (or whateger they are called) electronic air brake valves.  The damned service zone is like 2mm wide.  Breathe on the stupid handle and you get a 20# reduction.  Sucks for local work.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Monday, April 16, 2018 5:26 PM

zugmann

I don't mind desktops.  

I absolutely hate the NYAB ccB26 (or whateger they are called) electronic air brake valves.  The damned service zone is like 2mm wide.  Breathe on the stupid handle and you get a 20# reduction.  Sucks for local work.

 

I don't care for them (electronic brake valve) either.  Although I feel a bit different on them.  They seem so stiff trying to go from the minimum set to the (small) service zone that you make a bigger application than what you want.

I don't mind the desktops, but I do like the old style control stands.  I will say some of the wide nose cab layouts are now getting cramped.  The SD70ACe variants are the worst for the engineer, at least for me.  They have some bolted on foot rests that make it hard to stretch your legs out and are about worthless since they have a shelf for paperwork, etc right above them.

Jeff

 

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Posted by BigJim on Monday, April 16, 2018 6:45 PM

jeffhergert
I will say some of the wide nose cab layouts are now getting cramped.  The SD70ACe variants are the worst for the engineer, at least for me.  They have some bolted on foot rests that make it hard to stretch your legs out and are about worthless since they have a shelf for paperwork, etc right above them.


I agree. I didn't like the SD70 cabs because of this. If I could have had my way, I'd put a GE cab on an SD70 so I could stretch out...and it wouldn't have a desktop either. Having to hunch over a desktop made my back ache! 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Monday, April 16, 2018 10:56 PM

My favourite cab design is the CN version of the original EMD whispercab, found on our SD70I and SD75I units:

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/187943/

Depth perception is off a bit in the photo, in reality there is quite a bit of legroom in front of the control stand.  One can also turn the seat around and still easily reach the controls when running in reverse.  

The conductor's side features the largest desk of any of our units, with ample space to store paperwork.  It also has good legroom.  

These units are not bad to switch with either, the teardrop windshields and inward angled nose make it a bit easier to see the ground in front of you compared to other wide-nose units.

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by SD70Dude on Monday, April 16, 2018 11:01 PM

zugmann

I absolutely hate the NYAB ccB26 (or whateger they are called) electronic air brake valves.  The damned service zone is like 2mm wide.  Breathe on the stupid handle and you get a 20# reduction.

I have yet to find a brake valve that beats the original 26L.  And when the pressure-maintaining feature fails (a regular occurrence now) just change it from freight to passenger mode.  Problem solved.

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by BigJim on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 8:24 AM

SD70Dude
And when the pressure-maintaining feature fails (a regular occurrence now) just change it from freight to passenger mode.


I had never had any kind of problem with the maintaining feature, ever.

However, there were quite a number of times that I had a problem with the equalizing reservoir leaking down on the 26L system. If you are on a district where you will need to use the air to maintain control of the train, you know how frustrating it is to set up the brake perfectly only to have it leak down on you and messing with your set up.

It only took one visit from the shop forces to find the most common cause of this problem. That was a small defect in that little bitty O-ring that fits on the pressure gauge cock. If that O-ring was bad the Eq.Res. would leak down, the rate being proportional to the defect.

There were times that I would catch the leaking Eq.Res. in the terminal and would get the shop forces out to fix it. If I was on a run through train and I found that there was a problem out on the road, I would fix it myself by taking the face off of the gauge stand and swapping the gauge cocks around, hoping the other cock had a good O-ring.

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Posted by zugmann on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 10:18 AM

I do like the tearddrop windshields.  Beats the rectangular ones the newer ones have with that awful glare.

 

still don't understand why we can't have real electric wipers, though.

 

The WABCO brakes like the 60-80ms had are pretty nice.  Big ol' service zone so you get exactly what you want. 

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 SD70Dude on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 3:45 PM

BigJim

I had never had any kind of problem with the maintaining feature, ever.

However, there were quite a number of times that I had a problem with the equalizing reservoir leaking down on the 26L system. If you are on a district where you will need to use the air to maintain control of the train, you know how frustrating it is to set up the brake perfectly only to have it leak down on you and messing with your set up.

That sounds exactly like the problem I was thinking of.  Everyone at work has always referred to anything like that as "failing to pressure-maintain properly", sounds like that is not the right name for it.

Today no one fixes stuff like that themselves, if you did it wrong you would get hauled in for tampering with the unit.

Changing the automatic from freight to passenger mode has fixed the problem in most cases I have experienced, but it seems like only CN's units give you that option.  The ex-Oakway SD60's and leased units I have been on do not have a passenger mode option, the automatic is simply cut in or out.

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by BigJim on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 9:33 PM

The problem that I see with changing from "Freight" to "Pass" is that "Pass" is graduated. If you happen to move the brake handle in any way toward the release position it will put air into the BP and release the brakes. I have been on quite a few locos that had that feature. I even tried it out one day in the terminal while waiting to make a brake test and that is exactly what happened, moving the handle back (not all the way to release) graduated the air in the BP and knocked the brakes off. I would suggest you stay away from that practice. Then again, I haven't been on your units, so, what do I know?

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Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 10:41 PM

I agree completely about graduated release, gotta make sure to never bump the handle!  Anytime this topic comes up for discussion at work that hazard is mentioned.  

The only times we end up running with it in passenger mode are if the failure occurs enroute, and I have heard the MSREP (Diesel Doc) suggesting the change on several occasions when the problem is reported to them.  

I would have to look more closely at our rulebook, but I do not believe a lead unit is allowed to depart the location where the train originates without the automatic working properly in freight mode.  Of course, if the leaking off is slow enough it may not be noticed during the shop track brake test of the locomotive consist.

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 12:20 AM

Would you prefer a Cab Unit or a Hood Unit?

 Which Unit is easier when it comes to Maintenance and Servicing?

 Cab Units require you to climb up the side ladders to reach the cab. Whereas on a Hood Unit, you walk up the steps to the front porch, unlock the nose door, open it, walk up a mini entry and your inside the locomotive.

 Some friends of mine told me they could climb up and down from a Cab Unit on a daily basis, while others said they'd injure themselves and might fall.  

 I think Hood Units are easier to enter than Cab Units, but since the locomotives always rotate every day, you'll never know what you'll get next.

 

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Posted by BigJim on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 8:45 AM

I was told that the FRA allowed "0" leakage on the Equalizing Reservoir. So, if it leaks, it's a defect. You need to call the roundhouse.

And, just to make things clear, what I have been speaking of is 26L brake with the pneumatic gauges. Since they are "duplex" gauges, each gauge has two knurled knobs that unscrew. The O-ring is on the end of the knob. It's this O-ring that may be bad and causing the leak. If you unscrew it, the only thing that happens is that the gauge needle goes to zero until you screw the knob back in. 

 

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Posted by BigJim on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 8:58 AM

ATSFGuy

Would you prefer a Cab Unit or a Hood Unit?

To me, I would take a cab unit over a low-nose hood unit because you have to be a contortionist to go to the bathroom on a low-nose unit. If it is a High Hood unit with a walk-in toilet, and the N&W/NS had some, there would be little difference.

 Which Unit is easier when it comes to Maintenance and Servicing?

N/A

 Cab Units require you to climb up the side ladders to reach the cab. Whereas on a Hood Unit, you walk up the steps to the front porch, unlock the nose door, open it, walk up a mini entry and your inside the locomotive.

Here is where we find out that you have never worked on the RR. For the most part the steps are the same. The exceptions were the GE units before the Dash-9. Before the Dash-9, the steps were like a ladder and it was no fun climbing. EMD always had good steps to climb. Why it took GE so long to realize this mistake (and there were others) is beyond me.

 Some friends of mine told me they could climb up and down from a Cab Unit on a daily basis, while others said they'd injure themselves and might fall.

Climbing up is no problem. The correct way to come down is BACKWARDS and that is a Safety Rule! 

 I think Hood Units are easier to enter than Cab Units, but since the locomotives always rotate every day, you'll never know what you'll get next.

How would you know? Actually, on Cab Units it depends a lot on which side to try to mount. Pick the correct side and it's a piece of cake!

 

 

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Posted by zugmann on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 10:34 AM

I'm sure you had some of those 5000 gp38 high hoods with those knee buster steps.  Big platform step, then the littel middle step, then the platform.  It's like the worst of both ladders and steps.

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Posted by BigJim on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 12:31 PM

Yeah, there were a few of those steps around. Never did understand the reasoning for those.

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Posted by Randy Stahl on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 2:55 PM

The maintaining feature pretty much is the equalizing res. Big Jim is right, the most common cause for failure to maintain is the air gauge O Rings. EQ leakage is supposed to be ZERO !

As for the engine type, I don't really care as long as it gets me over the road. 

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 4:53 PM

 

 

Big Jim;

Regarding my last statement, I was saying when railroads like SF, UP, CSX, and NS have large locomotive rosters, it will always be mixed up so you'll get a different locomotive on the point and even a different power setup on the head end.

 

I have never worked on the railroad in general, but I have been around trains my whole life and have a pretty good understanding of them.I once got to climb up the side ladders of a Surfliner F59PHI to see the cab after the train pulled into LA Union Station. I was a kid at the time and both the conductor and engineer gave me and my grandma special permission. I have also been inside the cab of a C44-9W at Fullerton  Railroad Days. :)

 

Thank you for pointing out the step issue, was unaware of that. Did the GE Dash 8's and 9's have that problem as well? Did the crews not like them because of that?  At what unit did GE correct the issue?  

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Posted by BigJim on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 6:35 PM

ATSFGuy
climb up the side ladders of a Surfliner F59PHI


Well, you bring up one type of loco that I had only a few chances to run and completely forgot about commenting on. Climbing up ladders with a grip is a pain in the butt.

GE fixed the steps beginning with the Dash-9 series. Everything before that was too steep.

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Posted by IAFarmer on Thursday, April 19, 2018 8:41 AM

Dont forget the small cab doors on the old toasters too.

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Thursday, April 19, 2018 10:39 PM

Are you refering to Amtrak's now retired AEM7 Fleet?

The cab doors looked to be the actual size for a human being to fit through, did crews have trouble getting in and out?

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, April 19, 2018 10:44 PM

ATSFGuy
The cab doors looked to be the actual size for a human being to fit through, did crews have trouble getting in and out?

The fun started when you needed to board one from somewhere on the ground rather than a typical Northeast Corridor high-level platform.  Especially with a grip...

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