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Who's Ready For a Modernized GP38?

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Who's Ready For a Modernized GP38?
Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Monday, January 25, 2021 12:28 AM
 

While not (yet?) adapted for North American service. Here's is the newest iteration of the GP38 designated GPL38S for Saudi Arabian Railways. Here's a full spec rundown

EMD® GPL38S Freight Locomotive

 
 
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, January 25, 2021 1:21 AM

DC traction mtors in sand ?  no thanks.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, January 25, 2021 2:11 AM

I agree.   The Saudis shouldc have insisted on, and been willing to pay the extra charge for, AC-traction.

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Posted by beaulieu on Monday, January 25, 2021 2:20 AM

Looks alot like Canadian Pacific's GP20C-ECO locomotives with enhanced intake air filtration.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, January 25, 2021 7:04 AM

Well, at least this answers any questions about whether EMD thinks they have worked any concerns out of the 8-cylinder engine configuration.

I have little doubt this design is to give parts and service commonality with other Saudi power, and I spoze the DC power fits in with that.  Of course if I were Progress, I'd be actively trying to sell them on DC-to-AC conversion projects...

Wow!  Tier 1 compatibility!  (Well, it's better than Tier 0...)  somehow, though, if I were going to tout this as a technological tour-de-force I'd have made it a "cleaner" design, especially as we 'as a nation' are about to take a much greener turn.  On the other hand it should be easy to get to higher tiers if the money and will are there; it would be interesting to see if the augmented filtration has been designed to accommodate the non-SCR Tier 4 equipment that so narrowly missed certification here.

I would be very interested to see the detail design of the traction-motor blower circulation -- including the outlets.

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Monday, January 25, 2021 8:17 AM

Saudishave been mixing the two since the Fifties - successfully as far as I know

Saudi FP7 https://www.flickr.com/photos/124446949@N06/23653552256?epik=dj0yJnU9cUJ5bFluV2xHeGZfcm1FZlM5VW0tb1NzclY0dWRoMFAmcD0wJm49N3pjTlBtd0xrYUlxUmNUcHNRWmVyZyZ0PUFBQUFBR0FPMHJz

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Monday, January 25, 2021 9:27 AM
 

BEAUSABRE

Saudishave been mixing the two since the Fifties - successfully as far as I know

Saudi FP7 https://www.flickr.com/photos/124446949@N06/23653552256?epik=dj0yJnU9cUJ5bFluV2xHeGZfcm1FZlM5VW0tb1NzclY0dWRoMFAmcD0wJm49N3pjTlBtd0xrYUlxUmNUcHNRWmVyZyZ0PUFBQUFBR0FPMHJz

 

Exactly. Not to mention all the SDL50's SAR has bought and operated.

Saudi Railways Organization SDL50 3501SRO SDL50 3521 / Riyadh — TrainspoEMDX 2007 Saudi Railways 3529 SDL 50

 
 
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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, January 25, 2021 10:04 AM

The concept of the air filters goes back to the Baldwin exports built for the French Supply Council for service in Algeria and Morocco.  Some were equipped with Rotoclone air filters and were assigned to routes that skirted the Sahara.

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Posted by Max Karl on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 8:17 PM
DC motors and sand don't sound great, but at least these have movable plows to get most of it off the rails (Little sand never hurt traction!) The GPL38S is probably the best new, modernized road switcher we'll get for awhile. The GP20C-ECOs have already gotten most of these features, and this engine is EMD's next step at making a completely new one. They're using the SD60M and later style cab windows, EM2000 controllers, 710 prime mover, and other modern equipment. I'm liking this new trend and I think EMD has found their sweet spot in how they'll (re)build locomotives from now on. Though, little, if any, of these new engines will show up in NA until ~20 years from now when the Geeps start getting retired from rosters. I wonder if any other foreign roads might order something?

  Max Karl, MRL and BNSF

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 10:18 PM
So, I'm confused, there were plenty of 8-710s in service in GP20-ECOs and similar. Why is there a concern with this prime mover? I would assume, and maybe I'm wrong, That since it's not an ECO rebuild, that the Engine is the same, but they can't meet Tier 2 or 3 within the other Desert operations requirements on that platform.
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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 10:54 AM

YoHo1975
So, I'm confused, there were plenty of 8-710s in service in GP20-ECOs and similar. Why is there a concern with this prime mover?

Peter Clark and Don Oltmann, among others, remember a couple of early issues with the 8-cylinder EMDs, as I recall related to the balance masses involved (cracked webs?).  This was a different issue from the documented issues with 8-cylinder 251s, and I think sometimes the two get confused.  If I recall there was a firing-order change (C/CR, probably depending on rotation) on at least some of the engines that either solved or ameliorated the issues.  As noted I'd expect there would be few if any difficulties with sourcing "8-710s' in place of blower 12-cylinder engines, and you would be one of the authorities I'd look to in assessing if there were any remaining concerns in the proposed environment.  {"creepycrank" would be another.)

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Posted by bogie_engineer on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 12:14 PM

The problems as recall with the 8 cylinder EMD 710 engines were the camshaft counterweights required to balance it. Some reinforcement of the top deck to overspeed trip housing were made to fix it. I think there were and may still be prohibitions by EMD for 950 rpm operation, at least that's what I remember.

Dave

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 9:04 PM
 

bogie_engineer

The problems as recall with the 8 cylinder EMD 710 engines were the camshaft counterweights required to balance it. Some reinforcement of the top deck to overspeed trip housing were made to fix it. I think there were and may still be prohibitions by EMD for 950 rpm operation, at least that's what I remember.

Dave

 

Dave this begs me to ask.. Santa Fe before their merger with BN purchased SD75M's. From what I recall a few in the group had their 710's boosted to 1000 RPM generating 4500THP. Sometime after issues developed and they were dropped back to 950 RPM, producing 4300THP like the rest of the group. Is this the same issue you speak of with the cams?

 
 
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Posted by bogie_engineer on Thursday, January 28, 2021 12:21 PM

SD60MAC9500
 

Dave this begs me to ask.. Santa Fe before their merger with BN purchased SD75M's. From what I recall a few in the group had their 710's boosted to 1000 RPM generating 4500THP. Sometime after issues developed and they were dropped back to 950 RPM, producing 4300THP like the rest of the group. Is this the same issue you speak of with the cams?

 
 
 

I do remember that order and problems causing those units to be downrated not long after delivery but I don't remember the specifics. Running that rpm puts a lot of strain on many of the systems including oil and water pumps and electric cooling fans and blowers that all see the proportional speed increase. 
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Posted by M636C on Thursday, January 28, 2021 7:50 PM

Looking at the Progress Rail list of freight locomotives, it appears that the "38" refers to the export engine designation, 8 for the number of cylinders plus 30 to indicate a 710G engine. (645E plus 10, 645F plus 20, and so on). I note that a GT18MC is still on offer at 1500HP, illustrated by the Malaysian locomotive.

But as well as the GPL 38S, there is an SDL 38, equally deserving of an "S" suffix.

Progress Rail | EMD® SDL38

However Progress Rail's PR machine have mistakenly included a photo of the a generally similar SDL50 (3534), the real SDL38 being illustrated by 4321.

This appears to be an adaptation of the Milwaukee Road SDL39, and will be recognised by the fans of that type...

Peter

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Posted by D.Carleton on Friday, January 29, 2021 10:06 AM

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, January 29, 2021 11:20 AM

D.Carleton
Well, if we're talking a modern twist on the GP38: https://www.facebook.com/WesternRailInc/photos/a.407127182676398/3571659229556495/?type=3&theater

You'll excuse me if I wait for the conclusive report on the success of the rebuilt CECX 1919 before I give this GP38cc much attention.

And I say that as an unvarnished fan of Cummins Engine.

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Posted by D.Carleton on Friday, January 29, 2021 1:28 PM

Overmod
D.Carleton
Well, if we're talking a modern twist on the GP38: https://www.facebook.com/WesternRailInc/photos/a.407127182676398/3571659229556495/?type=3&theater

You'll excuse me if I wait for the conclusive report on the success of the rebuilt CECX 1919 before I give this GP38cc much attention.

And I say that as an unvarnished fan of Cummins Engine.

CECX 1919 was test bed that completed it purpose as was sold to KLW. That said the QSK95 and QSK50 are different engines. The QSK50 has been used on the repower of MNCR's BL20 fleet and so far no negative press.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, January 29, 2021 3:01 PM

D.Carleton
CECX 1919 was test bed that completed it purpose as was sold to KLW.

I'm well aware.  What I've been waiting for is some description of the tests, problems with the tests, even reasons why Cummins did not persist with marketing of the QSK95 in freight service (or redesign it in certain ways to optimize efficiency under mandatory DEF-based SCR).  Even a couple of sources would do!
That said the QSK95 and QSK50 are different engines.
Not by much.  It was my understanding there was relatively little difference other than the obvious changes inherent in number of cylinders, such as crank design or number and placement of turbochargers.  [EDIT: that is just plain dumb wrong - they are different engine families.]  If that's wrong, please indicate the differences.  [EDIT: he does.]

The QSK50 has been used on the repower of MNCR's BL20 fleet and so far no negative press.

But there is little if any negative press on the (by now, many) QSK95s running in passenger service.  There is nothing I can see that would indicate issues with freight service.  The engine has obviously been run in service.  Where were the issues?

In any case -- I find it interesting that the Progress design uses an 8-710 rather than either a 1010 or a C175-based engine.  That has some interesting implications if that GP38cc is intended as competition.

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Friday, January 29, 2021 3:27 PM
 

Overmod

 

In any case -- I find it interesting that the Progress design uses an 8-710 rather than either a 1010 or a C175-based engine.  That has some interesting implications if that GP38cc is intended as competition.
 

 

From what I understand High Speed Diesels require overhauls around 650K Miles. A Medium Speed Diesel can go about double that. It would also appear power assemblies take less of a beating in a medium speed diesel. A few Santa Fe SD40-2's were able to get well over a million miles out of their 645 power assemblies.

 
 
 
 
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Posted by D.Carleton on Saturday, January 30, 2021 10:23 AM

Overmod
D.Carleton
CECX 1919 was test bed that completed it purpose as was sold to KLW.

I'm well aware.  What I've been waiting for is some description of the tests, problems with the tests, even reasons why Cummins did not persist with marketing of the QSK95 in freight service (or redesign it in certain ways to optimize efficiency under mandatory DEF-based SCR).  Even a couple of sources would do!

That said the QSK95 and QSK50 are different engines.

Not by much.  It was my understanding there was relatively little difference other than the obvious changes inherent in number of cylinders, such as crank design or number and placement of turbochargers.  If that's wrong, please indicate the differences.

The QSK50 has been used on the repower of MNCR's BL20 fleet and so far no negative press.

But there is little if any negative press on the (by now, many) QSK95s running in passenger service.  There is nothing I can see that would indicate issues with freight service.  The engine has obviously been run in service.  Where were the issues?

In any case -- I find it interesting that the Progress design uses an 8-710 rather than either a 1010 or a C175-based engine.  That has some interesting implications if that GP38cc is intended as competition.

The QSK50 and QSK95 are V-16 cylinder, 4-stroke diesel engines manufactured by Cummins. The similarities end there. The QSK50 is a 6.25 x 6.25 bore and stroke; the QSK95 is 7.48 x 8.27. Different heads, intakes, etc. The QSK95 was introduced in 2015; the QSK50 was around at least six years earlier.

There is a V-12 engine based on the specs of of the QSK95 used in marine and stationary applications that has yet to make it into rail service. There is also a V-20 version still in the design phase.

How is the QSK95? Let me say that when they are maintained as per Cummins instructions they are VERY reliable. When I first saw a 95 on a skid after delivery it struck me how close in size it was to a 567-12 yet puts out four times the power. But with great power comes great (maintenance) responsibility. The 95 is a precision machine with very tight tolerances.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, January 30, 2021 10:39 AM

D.Carleton
How is the QSK95? Let me say that when they are maintained as per Cummins instructions they are VERY reliable. When I first saw a 95 on a skid after delivery it struck me how close in size it was to a 567-12 yet puts out four times the power. But with great power comes great (maintenance) responsibility. The 95 is a precision machine with very tight tolerances.

This is getting to the meat.  One of the stated reasons for the relative failure of Cat engines in railroad service is failures, occasionally catastrophic (no pun intended), when the maintenance including intentionally expensive parts is not strictly followed.  Can you state what the problems on the QSKs in railroad service from 'typical' (to EMD or FDL scope) maintenance attention have been, and what implications this has for maintenance priorities in future?

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Monday, February 1, 2021 2:21 AM

 Calling that an ugly locomotive is unfair to the word "ugly."

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, February 1, 2021 10:13 AM

Lithonia Operator
 Calling that an ugly locomotive is unfair to the word "ugly."

Looks more or less like a GP38 to me.

Admittedly that's not much of a Bicentennial scheme, but I've seen worse paint on GM demonstrators...

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Posted by M636C on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 2:54 AM

Overmod

 

 
Lithonia Operator
 Calling that an ugly locomotive is unfair to the word "ugly."

 

Looks more or less like a GP38 to me.

 

Admittedly that's not much of a Bicentennial scheme, but I've seen worse paint on GM demonstrators...

 

 

Perhaps he was referring to the rather challenging GPL38S rather than the rather inoffensive GP38CC....?

Of course the air filters aren't easily worked into a smooth outline...

As I've posted earlier, the GPL38S and the SDL38 are both specific export units for a particular customer for whom a light weight version of a domestic unit is more suitable than a straight export unit.

Neither of these are likely to have any influence on domestic units....

The CP GP20 ECO has more in common with the GPL38S than any other domestic unit and the "38" is an export oriented description, not related to any previous domestic unit.

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 3:20 AM

M636C
Perhaps he was referring to the rather challenging GPL38S rather than the rather inoffensive GP38CC....?

I don't really mind that one either -- in the orange and white it's a bit reminiscent of a GP10, and I saw very similar cabs on a pair of CSX 40-2s yesterday evening.  The air filter gives it a sort of Alco Century/C39-8 flavor -- granted, not something everyone would like, but not as bad as frogeye lights on the short hood...

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Posted by bogie_engineer on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 11:48 AM

Overmod

I have little doubt this design is to give parts and service commonality with other Saudi power, and I spoze the DC power fits in with that.  Of course if I were Progress, I'd be actively trying to sell them on DC-to-AC conversion projects...

I would be very interested to see the detail design of the traction-motor blower circulation -- including the outlets.

One reason would be that EMD doesn't have an AC motor that fits in the place of the D-series DC motors, the smallest is about 2" greater from axle to transom. The truck frame can be carved up but it's a lot of work, especially to accommodate the dogbone link used for the nose support since the first AC motors at EMD. We shoehorned it in for the F69PH-AC's but those were new castings done with pattern mods and some welded pieces added.
 
The motor bellows to the underframe and the motor air outlets are no different, but I can't recall if there is a larger deflector at the lower outlet outside the wheel, which was there to avoid blowing so much stuff off the ballast. The traction motor blower and underframe ductwork is no different, other than the blower wheel may have more blades to compensate for the greater total system resistance. I never saw details of the filter system itself but the design was to take advantage of the clearance diagram and get the intake as high as possible.
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Posted by D.Carleton on Saturday, February 6, 2021 4:45 PM

bogie_engineer
One reason would be that EMD doesn't have an AC motor that fits in the place of the D-series DC motors, the smallest is about 2" greater from axle to transom. The truck frame can be carved up but it's a lot of work, especially to accommodate the dogbone link used for the nose support since the first AC motors at EMD. We shoehorned it in for the F69PH-AC's but those were new castings done with pattern mods and some welded pieces added.

Thank you for that. The F69 predates all of my coworkers and thus no one could tell me anything about it. In short, that traction motor is not a ready insert into a Blomberg. Curious about the ABB 3-phase traction motor used on the F40 202.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Sunday, February 7, 2021 3:10 PM

Overmod

 

 
Lithonia Operator
 Calling that an ugly locomotive is unfair to the word "ugly."

 

Looks more or less like a GP38 to me.

 

Admittedly that's not much of a Bicentennial scheme, but I've seen worse paint on GM demonstrators...

 

I was referring to the GPL38S in the photo in the original post.

I just think the air filter box up there just kills it. Otherwise (albeit a huge "otherwise") it looks fine. The paint scheme is okay; I like it, actually.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, February 7, 2021 7:47 PM

Lithonia Operator
I just think the air filter box up there just kills it.

It's a funny thing.  I've liked 'humpbacked' skylines, with big stuff behind and over the cab, since the days of the big Alco Centuries, including the dash-8-39s, but I think the low-nose GP30 is one of the worst looking locomotives of all time, right up there with the BL2 and the Gravel Gerties.  And I didn't think I'd get used to those ox-yoke air ducts any more than I thought I'd get used to that $1.35-of-loose-change-in-a-coffee-can idle of the PowerCerebrovascularAccidents either... but I did.

Had they painted the roof above the cab dripline black, most of the awful upness would be less obvious.

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