Question about cowl units

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Question about cowl units
Posted by Lithonia Operator on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 12:37 PM

I have read that cowl units are really just hood (road-switcher) units with a fairing over them.

But, if I were to walk aft from the cab, would there be a regular road-switcher long-hood on one side of me, and the cowl on the other? In other words, would that inner "wall," with all the access doors, be there? Or would the engine and other guts be visible?

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Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 1:23 PM

The inside of a cowl unit is just like the inside of a EMD F-unit or ALCO FA, there is no separation between the walkway and the engine.  

The underframe of a cowl unit is the same as a hood unit, and the cowl carbody is removable and not particularly strong.  If you look back from the cab on a SD60F or C40-8M while moving you can see the carbody flexing back and forth above the engine.  

The radiators and air intakes are different on a cowl unit, to account for the wider body.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 3:21 PM

Thanks, SD70Dude.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 8:43 PM

What about the cab? Is it reinforced, to protect the crew in a roll-over?

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Monday, September 2, 2019 8:30 AM

On the later Canadian models like the SD50F and SD60F models they have the same wide cab as the SD60M has.  The ones that the Santa Fe had like the FP45 and F45 not so much according to a mechanic here that has worked on them.  

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Monday, September 2, 2019 10:09 AM

Thanks, Shadow.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, September 2, 2019 10:24 AM

Shadow the Cats owner
The ones that the Santa Fe had like the FP45 and F45 not so much according to a mechanic here that has worked on them.

Keep in mind that the older units (and I'd include the SDP40F with them) were built prior to the 'armored cab' era culminating in S-580 in 1989 and RSERA in 1992.  The FP45s in particular were modified to have front corner 'steps' in an entirely different safety effort, and it would be interesting to observe what additional crash protection was incorporated into that revised structure.  As I recall we had a fairly detailed thread on this a couple of years ago.

It is my impression that far more attention is paid to frontal impact and 'override'/telescope protection (which does include longitudinal roof strength) than crush in rollover.  The FRA final rule on crash protection in 2006 noted:

the findings also indicated that several features, including rollover protection, uniform sill heights, and deflection plates did not warrant further action. Rollover protection costs would be substantial, and no material need for such protection was demonstrated by the accident data.

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Posted by zardoz on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 9:49 PM

Lithonia Operator

What about the cab? Is it reinforced, to protect the crew in a roll-over?

 

Not at all;indeed, on the F & E units, the painted part of the locomotive you see from trackside is just painted sheet metal welded (or bolted) to the frame. So not only is there no rollover protection, there is virtually no front-end impact protection in the event of striking a loaded, heavy truck (like a cement or gravel truck), or God forbid, a gasoline tanker. The nose door on those F & E units was also a source of concern when considering impacts.

There were a few times when running those old units that when a nasty impact was imminent, after dumping the air I would head in to the engine room, hoping to put some of the mass of the prime mover between me and the object we were going to hit. Fortunately I never actually hit one of those big trucks.

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 10:38 PM

Notice what happened to the E-8 involved in the incident in this thread.

http://cs.trains.com/ctr/f/3/t/275475.aspx

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Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 10:59 PM

From farther down that thread, a F-unit that suffered a similar fate:

drgw_5661_millfork_ut_dec_1963_000.jpg

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 11:14 PM

Lithonia Operator

What about the cab? Is it reinforced, to protect the crew in a roll-over?

CN developed what became known as the "Canadian Comfort Cab" in the 1970s after a series of accidents where locomotive crews were injured or killed.  It first appeared on the GP38-2W, GP40-2W, GP40-2LW (lightweight frame and smaller fuel tank) and SD40-2W units, identified by a 'W' suffix.  This original safety cab design is easily identified by its four small windshields, as opposed to the later three (triclops) and two windshield designs.

Safety cabs are constructed of thick steel plate on a very strong frame, not just plain sheet metal.  CN's original design was modified slightly to accomodate the cowl carbody and desktop control stand, and continued to be ordered on SD50F, SD60F, C40-8M and C44-9WL models (the Dash-9's, 2500-2522, were CN's last with the four windshield cab).  

BC Rail also ordered C40-8M and C44-9WL units with the four windshield cab.  CP's only cowl units, the 9000-series SD40-2F's, came with the 'triclops' windshields. 

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

NDG
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Posted by NDG on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 11:56 PM
FYI.
 
Then there was this.  CP 4054.
 
 
And these.
 
 
 
 
One thing that was NOT liked about CP 9000 Cowls was that there were NO Side Doors in Cab.
 
 
 
 Front door porthole came later.
 
Bell painted, Cast Iron.
 
Thank You.

 

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