High Hood Locomotives

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High Hood Locomotives
Posted by caldreamer on Friday, August 7, 2020 4:57 PM

Do any other railroads besides NS still run high hood locomotives and if so which ones.

   

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, August 7, 2020 6:03 PM

I can't give you an exact number, but quite a few regionals and shortlines still run high hoods, some EMD and some ALCOs.  They're not all gone yet!

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Friday, August 7, 2020 6:20 PM

Quite a few of the cast-off high hood ex NS GP38-2's haven't received chopped noses for their new owners.

The Wheeling & Lake Erie keeps 10 high hood GP35's of Southern/Norfolk Southern ancestory active, as well as 5 former NS GP38-2's bought at an auction several years ago when NS started trimming their fleet of that model. They seem happy to keep them rolling as-is and don't chop the nose even when they rebuild one.

When the NS fleet disappears, I suspect the W&LE will be the last big gathering of such locomotives with other "fleets" probably able to have their units counted on the fingers of one hand, for the numerous short lines across the country that still roster active high hood GP' and SD's (I think active high hood GE's are extinct now, with the end of the U23B era at Georgia Central).

NS could be at it for a while yet though. No sign of intentions to retire their final 10 high hood SD40-2's, which remain active with no members stored at the same time as recabbed examples have gone up for auction or been stored. And of their 60 or so GP38-2's left with high hoods, there doesn't appear to be any strategic plan to prioritize those for elimination.

Recently recabbed GP38-2's and factory built short nose GP38-2's seem just as likely to be selected for auction as high hoods are. So apparently mechanical condition and the recent history of failures for a unit is all they look at when deciding which GP38-2's to let go. Still, they're obviously fading and won't be around for much longer.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Friday, August 7, 2020 9:09 PM

I will always prefer high-hood road-switchers. It's sad they're getting scarce. But I bet in ten years a few will still be in regular service. Probably not much beyond that, except perhaps on tourist railroads.

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Posted by rdamon on Friday, August 7, 2020 9:24 PM

Do most of them get converted to run short hood forward when they get new owners?

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Posted by kgbw49 on Saturday, August 8, 2020 9:46 AM

Delaware Lackawanna has some high hood Alco locomotives still earning their keep.

https://www.railpictures.net/photo/743337/

https://www.railpictures.net/photo/741771/

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Saturday, August 8, 2020 8:15 PM

rdamon

Do most of them get converted to run short hood forward when they get new owners?

 

I'm not sure I understand your question.

To my knowledge, most high-hood units were set up to run short hood forward when they were built. Southern Railway was an exception (and there must have been others) in that they ordered their engines configured long hood forward; I assume this was for added crew protection in a collision. I was always a big SOU fan, but I've always preferred engines running short hood forward, and that goes back to long before low hoods even existed.

(As far as I know, NS no longer prefers to run long hood forward.)

To me, a low-hood unit leading a train long hood forward is very unattractive. Just don't look right.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Saturday, August 8, 2020 8:17 PM

kgbw49

Delaware Lackawanna has some high hood Alco locomotives still earning their keep.

https://www.railpictures.net/photo/743337/

https://www.railpictures.net/photo/741771/

 

Thanks for the link. I wish DL had some high-hood Century units; I love the look of them.

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Posted by Psychot on Saturday, August 8, 2020 8:30 PM

Lithonia Operator

 

 
rdamon

Do most of them get converted to run short hood forward when they get new owners?

 

 

 

I'm not sure I understand your question.

To my knowledge, most high-hood units were set up to run short hood forward when they were built. Southern Railway was an exception (and there must have been others) in that they ordered their engines configured long hood forward; I assume this was for added crew protection in a collision. I was always a big SOU fan, but I've always preferred engines running short hood forward, and that goes back to long before low hoods even existed.

(As far as I know, NS no longer prefers to run long hood forward.)

To me, a low-hood unit leading a train long hood forward is very unattractive. Just don't look right.

 

Apparently Southern and N&W ran long-hood forward by agreement with the BLE, though their high-hood units were equipped with dual controls so the engineer could sit on the right-hand side in either direction of operation. The rationale was additional protection for the crew in the event of a grade crossing accident.

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Posted by rdamon on Saturday, August 8, 2020 9:59 PM

I remeber BN maybe CBQ had dome GP9s with dual controls. I agree I always was impressed with the long hood lead.  

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Sunday, August 9, 2020 2:52 AM

Lithonia Operator
Thanks for the link. I wish DL had some high-hood Century units; I love the look of them.

Technically, they do. :)

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=4683603

Alas though, she's only a parts unit.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Sunday, August 9, 2020 9:51 AM

Love those Ontario Midland shots.

The RS-11 is my all-time favorite road-switcher.

What engines were the last ones offered with high short hoods, by EMD, Alco, GE (if any), FM, and whoever else?

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Sunday, August 9, 2020 10:01 AM

Among Alco's Century series, I feel that only the C420 looked good with a high nose.  The high nose on the C628 and C630 was too short in proportion to the length of the locomotive.

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Posted by zugmann on Sunday, August 9, 2020 10:45 AM

Psychot
Apparently Southern and N&W ran long-hood forward by agreement with the BLE, though their high-hood units were equipped with dual controls so the engineer could sit on the right-hand side in either direction of operation. The rationale was additional protection for the crew in the event of a grade crossing accident.

Some had dual controls - many just had one stand (although it was set up paralel to the rails to make it easier to use both ways).

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Posted by zugmann on Sunday, August 9, 2020 10:48 AM

rdamon
Do most of them get converted to run short hood forward when they get new owners?

Just anecdotal - but several engines that I've run that had their control stands moved to the short hood side - the control stand is in the middle of the cab (almost). You have to have 6' long arms to run and look out the side window. 

 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 Flintlock76 on Sunday, August 9, 2020 2:37 PM

Lithonia Operator
To me, a low-hood unit leading a train long hood forward is very unattractive. Just don't look right.

I concur, it looks downright weird!

Short (high) hood forward or long hood forward, what looks better?  Personal taste of course, but I think it depends on the unit.  GP7's or GP9's look good either way as far as I'm concerned, Alco's RS1 through RS3's look better long hood forward.  But that's just me.

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, August 9, 2020 3:23 PM

rdamon

I remeber BN maybe CBQ had dome GP9s with dual controls. I agree I always was impressed with the long hood lead.  

 

 

BN had 8 ex-Q GP's and 51 ex-Q SD9's with dual controls.  I believe those were the only dual control locomotives on the BN.

The number range for the Geeps was 1956-1971, for the SD's 6127-6204.

They sometimes had the diagonal white stripes on both ends, and sometimes not.

Running a dual control SD9 must have been most pleasant.

 

 

Ed

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Posted by kgbw49 on Sunday, August 9, 2020 6:50 PM

Zug, EMD probably had both Gumby and Stretch Armstrong on the payroll as test engineers back in the day!

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Posted by zugmann on Sunday, August 9, 2020 7:32 PM

kgbw49
Zug, EMD probably had both Gumby and Stretch Armstrong on the payroll as test engineers back in the day!

These were "aftermarket" upgrades. 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, August 10, 2020 10:06 AM

Flintlock76
 
Lithonia Operator
To me, a low-hood unit leading a train long hood forward is very unattractive. Just don't look right.

 

I concur, it looks downright weird!

Short (high) hood forward or long hood forward, what looks better?  Personal taste of course, but I think it depends on the unit.  GP7's or GP9's look good either way as far as I'm concerned, Alco's RS1 through RS3's look better long hood forward.  But that's just me.

 
Of course, there is nothing quite so overwhelming as an N&W high nose SD45 or an EL SDP45 leading long hood forward.  I've seen both.
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Posted by nyc#25 on Friday, August 14, 2020 3:50 PM

Most eastern roads (NYC, PRR, RDG, NH, LNE, RUT, BM, MEC) ordered their first generation Alcos and FMs set up for long hood leading.  CNJ was an exception as they ordered their's with dual controls.    They will always look best with long hood leading.  Second generation was a different story.   Most roads ordered them set up for short hood leading and they look best that way.

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Friday, August 14, 2020 10:49 PM

Lithonia Operator

rdamon

Do most of them get converted to run short hood forward when they get new owners?

 

To me, a low-hood unit leading a train long hood forward is very unattractive. Just don't look right.

ISTR that one of the copper carriers (Phelps Dodge?) had the only GP-9's built with low short hoods ran their locomotives long hood forward. The low short hood was to allow the crew to keep an eye on the cars.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Friday, August 14, 2020 11:11 PM

Southern Pacific had a small fleet of factory built low nose GP9's. The Cartier Railway up in Quebec also had several GMD examples.

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Posted by caldreamer on Saturday, August 15, 2020 7:59 AM

YEP, GM did NOT amke the train masters FM did. Thanks for spotting my typo.

   Caldreamer

 

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, August 15, 2020 9:40 AM

Thanks, Cal.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, August 15, 2020 11:17 AM

Overmod

There's an unfortunate typo in the preceding post, and I can't PM to advise to fix it.  I'll delete this when the G is replaced by the F... Whistling

 

Oh that's OK, I'm sure we know what he's talking about.  

I've mentioned this before, but concerning long-hood vs. short-hood ops with FM Trainmasters the Jersey Central crews always preferred to run them short-hood forward.  Typically if a Trainmaster was run long-hood forward exhaust fumes would drift into the cabs nauseating the crews.  Most photos I've seen of CNJ Trainmasters do show them in the short-hood forward mode.

By the way, when I run the Lionel CNJ Trainmaster on the layout I've got it running short-hood forward out of concern for the "crew."  Wink

Interestingly, I've never heard of any other FM OP engined unit having that problem.  Maybe they did but it's never been mentioned?  

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, August 15, 2020 1:02 PM

Flintlock76
Interestingly, I've never heard of any other FM OP engined unit having that problem.

They all did.  You're talking about locomotives with first-generation governors and unsophisticated pressure-charging, using mechanical injection in a two-stroke valveless design.  Then there are all the oil issues.  An OP in a locomotive is going to stink a lot of the time.

Mind you, this was a problem with EMD engines, too, just less discussed, and not as much exhaust mass flow per prime mover 'ahead' of the crew.  To my knowledge no one on an FM was actually asphyxiated by the exhaust, as one crew on an EMD consist was...

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Saturday, August 15, 2020 2:03 PM

What is an OP?

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Saturday, August 15, 2020 3:07 PM

It stands for opposed piston, a type of diesel engine layout popularized by Fairbanks-Morse for US Navy submarines in the late 1930's (With the Fairbanks-Morse 38 8-1/8 diesel engine still a fixture in all but our Virginia class nuclear attack submarines as emergency generators, along with some of our surface fleet).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opposed-piston_engine

This family of engines from Fairbanks-Morse went on to make a brief splash in the North American railroading scene from the end of WWII through the early 1960's when the last locomotive order was finished in Wisconsin for Mexico.

Past rail and naval installations, they were a very popular choice in the latter days of the 1st generation of Canadian Seaway construction when Canada was enjoying a flurry of shipbuilding with the opening of the new St. Lawrence Seaway. As steam turbines fell out of favor in the mid 60's, Fairbanks-Morse OP's were often selected through about 1974 or so for Canadian ships.

And while I don't know much about Soviet locomotives, supposedly reverse engineered clones were commonplace.

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