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ALCO C430P

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ALCO C430P
Posted by IA and eastern on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 7:17 PM

There was a ALCO C430P proposed for New Jersey. Is there a drawing for this locomotive anywhere. Gary

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 5:24 AM

There might be specs or drawings either at DOT somewhere or at NJT.  Presumably this was a competitive tender for the GP40Ps, as that might fit the timeframe between Alco building the last of the C420 engines for the Long Island and exiting the domestic locomotive business.  I think C430s were only made in '67 and '68 domestically.

There are two broad possibilities.  One is the aforementioned 'more modern' version of what LIRR got, presumably to run on CNJ as that was the thing in New Jersey getting updated engines in the necessary timeframe.  I find this the most likely thing at the time.  The other is a FPA4-like analogue of the C636P, probably with Hi-Ad trucks tuned for higher speed -- this would have been interesting if provided with similar equipment to the GP40Ps.

It might be interesting to see if Alco was actively tendering long enough to have a C636P alternative for DOT/NJT to go on the lightweight trains that were built with U34CHs.  Six-motor Alcos had been notably successful in commuter testing (on PRR and I think CNJ in the latter Fifties), foundering only on the issue of capital allocation, so Schenectady might have had a leg up in initial bidding.  Whether these would have the HEP-at-720-rpm arrangements like the U34CHs would be something that Allen Haven or Will Davis might have insight into.  They would certainly be something to watch... except the cumulative smoke emission over the years the way NJT ran the big GEs might have been in the kiloton range!

Those eould have been hoods, like the GP40P and U34CH, and optimized for 'alternative' EL freight service... which may imply they would not get Hi-Ad trucks despite the primary service and the 'purchasing subsidy' from DOT.  Certainly EL's four-motor Centuries did not have them.

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Posted by DanRaitz on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 9:54 AM

For what it might have looked like, take a look at the MLW M420W.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 10:38 AM

DanRaitz
For what it might have looked like, take a look at the MLW M420W.

I don't think the engines Gary's asking about would have had wide cabs.

The production C430s (NYC and Reading had them in the East, the latter experience highly relevant to CNJ options) all had conventional cabs, and reasoning from the EMD 'alternative' the major difference to convert a C430 to comparable commuter passenger service would be to extend the long hood.  I would suspect this would retain notches but they would be the shallow ones of late production.

It occurs to me that the design might have advanced far enough to have produced internal-machinery or weight-balance diagrams that may have 'made it' to the Alco historical society's records.

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Posted by mandealco on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 2:49 PM

Although not particularly relevant to this subject, here is what the C-636P would have looked like.  This was taken from Alco diagrams and built in N-Scale.  As previously said, a commuter version wouldn't be anything like this,but what a beast.

Cheers

Steve
NZProposed Alco C-636P

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 3:21 PM

Speaking of the Alco diagrams, here's one of them and a great deal besides:

https://web.archive.org/web/20150304071338if_/http://www.gilbennett.com/anatomy-of-a-painting.html!

Unfortunately the original Gil Bennett link to his famous painting of C636Ps has been taken down.  But the discussion about his painting it survives in the Internet Archive for our enjoyment.

Five minutes comparing this diagram with one of an FPA-4 will tell you much of what you'd need to know about logically making a cab-unit C430P... note the space available for two steam generators that could easily be used for gensets, or removed if a GTA-9 equipped for HEP were provided... 

wouldn't it have been nice if LIRR had bought an order of C430 cabs and proceeded to build those converted FAs for the other end of the trains...!

 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 3:43 PM

Would the roadswitcher C430P have needed a high short hood to house the steam generator?

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 4:58 PM

SD70Dude
Would the roadswitcher C430P have needed a high short hood to house the steam generator?

That is likely so, but there is a little more.

Both LIRR and Monon put the steam generators in high short hoods, but examine the arrangement on the former:

http://www.trainsarefun.com/lirr/c420/C420-213-216-220_RS1-464_roof-horn-locations_WF_5-1965_VincentAlvino-ArthurErdman.jpg

Now remember that the engine on a C430 will be longer by at least the two cylinders in a bank, and this would affect the cab position and hood length, both of which are somewhat extreme on a production C430.

http://i928.photobucket.com/albums/ad124/Fastfreight/alcoc430sidediamensions.jpg

If you translate the SG dimensions in the C636P diagram over to this you will see the first problem; if you look at where the long hood ends and compare it with a GP40P you can see a second: I don't see a good way to build a SG passenger C430 without lengthening the frame, and doing so might upset the weight or balance to require at least one three-axle truck ... at which point a "C634P" designed comparable to the U34CH, with 720rpm HEP from the alternator to save length and weight, begins to look like a reasonable option...

  It remains to be seen where "anything else" in the abbreviated high short hood would be relocated if some form of steam generation could be devised to fit in it (remember where they put the toilet on the LIRR 'passenger' MP15s?)

 

 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, April 29, 2021 10:19 AM

The various six-motor Century designs included space behind the cab for a steam generator (or possible HEP?).  I believe that NdeM received C628's with steam generators.

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 Overmod on Thursday, April 29, 2021 2:36 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH
The various six-motor Century designs included space behind the cab for a steam generator (or possible HEP?).

As i recall they did, and the location is as indicated on the C636P diagram (I have not yet found diagrams for the NdeM engines but I recall the point being brought up in discussions)

Note however that we're explicitly discussing a C430P.  The freight version of this was already visibly shoehorned onto the C425-length frame, and while I don't know for certain I would doubt that there is reserved space behind the cab without lengthening the frame.

On a commuter unit you might get away with using a smaller fuel tank, and of course with HEP, disposing of the tankage for SG water, to keep the weight within four-axle capacity. But that would impair potential use in freight service (which I expect for a C430P in that era to be long Alpha-Jet trains or equivalent, meriting large tank and carrying capacity as for the EL use of the 'SDP45' length of frame for some of its units).  So a longer frame would be expected.

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Posted by mandealco on Saturday, May 1, 2021 12:27 AM

I love discussions like this.  The C-430 rides on a longer frame than the C-424/425.  Also different from the C-420.  Lack of standardisation was one of Alco's issues.

Cheers
Steve
NZ

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, May 1, 2021 10:07 AM

A C430P for suburban service would have to be redesigned similar to GO Transit's GP40TC's, which were GP40's on an SD frame to get the extra length needed to fit the HEP set.

Lack of standardization was not one of Alco's issues.  Consider that the C420 had a V-12 inside which allowed for the longer nose while the others had V-16's.

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Posted by SSW9389 on Saturday, May 1, 2021 10:25 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH

The various six-motor Century designs included space behind the cab for a steam generator (or possible HEP?).  I believe that NdeM received C628's with steam generators.

 

Chihuahua Pacific #904 and NdeM 8322-8331 were the C628s built with steam generators. Data from Extra 2200 South #47 page 22.

Ed in Kentucky 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, May 1, 2021 10:48 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH

A C430P for suburban service would have to be redesigned similar to GO Transit's GP40TC's, which were GP40's on an SD frame to get the extra length needed to fit the HEP set.

CN rebuilt some RS-18s with HEP around the same time.  The genset went in the high short hood, which was also extended to occupy the front walkway.

http://www.trainweb.org/oldtimetrains/photos/cnr_diesel/tempo.htm

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, May 1, 2021 10:55 AM

Talk about shoehorning hoods on a frame...

Note the length required by the split tank arrangement.

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, May 2, 2021 5:32 AM

Overmod

Talk about shoehorning hoods on a frame...

Note the length required by the split tank arrangement.

 

I assume that 8324 is a C628P.

Like the C636P, the dynamic brakes which were a vertical stack behind the electrical compartment have been replaced by the steam generator and in turn, the dynamic brakes were moved to a "bathtub" arrangement over the engine, as indicated by the two rectangular air intakes over the engine.

This problem of both steam generators and dynamic brakes resulted in the "hammerhead" RS-3s where the hood did not allow a dynamic brake unit to be mounted over the engine.

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, May 2, 2021 8:01 AM

I believe that the C430s with dynamic had a similar dynamic brake relocation, apparently with three slots (see this model:

https://www.bowser-trains.com/images/Loco/C430/24192.jpg

the GB&W model, which did not have DB, shows the difference on this side at least

https://www.bowser-trains.com/images/Loco/C430/24196.jpg

I always presumed this was because of the intercooler location, but the question then arises if there is room to package a SG there with the DB relocated.

As you are the premier authority on the C636, the intercooler arrangements were revised on that locomotive, and I wonder if there were drawings for a "C436" that would show the corresponding arrangement on a shorter frame.

 

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Posted by M636C on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 6:11 AM

Overmod

I believe that the C430s with dynamic had a similar dynamic brake relocation, apparently with three slots (see this model:

https://www.bowser-trains.com/images/Loco/C430/24192.jpg

the GB&W model, which did not have DB, shows the difference on this side at least

https://www.bowser-trains.com/images/Loco/C430/24196.jpg

I always presumed this was because of the intercooler location, but the question then arises if there is room to package a SG there with the DB relocated.

As you are the premier authority on the C636, the intercooler arrangements were revised on that locomotive, and I wonder if there were drawings for a "C436" that would show the corresponding arrangement on a shorter frame.

 

 

The equipment layout in a C430 is exactly the same as that in a C630.

The C636 equipment differed in a number of respects from the C630, but it occupied exactly the same space. So a C 436 could have been built. But only about two thirds as many C430s were sold as C636s and the whole operation was winding down by that time.

There is no room for a steam heat boiler in a C430 apart from in the short hood.

Alternatively a C630 frame could have been used with four wheel trucks, since this provided a space which was usually used for dynamic brakes, but like the NdeM  C628 could be used for a steam heat boiler, but requiring the dynamic brakes to be relocated.

While there is a superficial resemblance externally between a C630 and C636, the airflow was entirely different, the 636 taking the engine air in at the front, passing it through the frame under the engine and up to the turbocharger on the rear of the engine. The C630 (and earlier Century series) had a separate air intake at the rear for the engine. The M630 and M636 also fed the engine air under the engine, but it had no separate intercooler radiators, although large air intakes were located forward of the engine.

Peter

 

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Friday, June 18, 2021 11:56 PM
 

Overmod

Speaking of the Alco diagrams, here's one of them and a great deal besides:

https://web.archive.org/web/20150304071338if_/http://www.gilbennett.com/anatomy-of-a-painting.html!

Unfortunately the original Gil Bennett link to his famous painting of C636Ps has been taken down.  But the discussion about his painting it survives in the Internet Archive for our enjoyment.

Five minutes comparing this diagram with one of an FPA-4 will tell you much of what you'd need to know about logically making a cab-unit C430P... note the space available for two steam generators that could easily be used for gensets, or removed if a GTA-9 equipped for HEP were provided... 

wouldn't it have been nice if LIRR had bought an order of C430 cabs and proceeded to build those converted FAs for the other end of the trains...!

 

 

I can't lie.. That looks like one impressive passenger unit. Had ALCO got around to building a prototype.. It would've been something to see if it could go up against the FP45.

 
 
 
Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, June 20, 2021 4:34 AM

In itswn way as beautiful as the EMD E5 and E6, and yet says power as well  as speed.  A beautiful painting. too!

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Sunday, June 27, 2021 8:17 PM

The problem was that NJDOT had an agreement with the B&O that the railroad would underwrite the purchase and would take the locos off the state's hands if the CNJ's commuter service sailed down that ever popular waterway, the tubes. Not unnaturally, the B&O insisted that locos purchased be compatible with its existing fleet (hence, they were painted blue instead of green, had easy to overpaint CNJ lettering, were numbered as part of the B&O roster and had to be  B-B units). BUT, the B&O hadn't bought a non-EMD unit since Baldwin went belly up, so it was a forgone conclusion that the locos would be a derivative of EMD's GP40, if they wanted to bid on a thirteen unit special order. Turned out that "Every Model Different" was interested, so the C430P went back to the files. As far as the U34CH's went, they were for the E-L, which already operated GE's, so no problem. 

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, June 27, 2021 8:22 PM

BEAUSABRE
Turned out that "Every Model Different" was interested, so the C430P went back to the files.

Perhaps not a bad thing -- the GP40Ps have had more lives than a cat, in some very demanding service.  Nothing Alco-engined would likely have seen anywhere near that service life...

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Monday, June 28, 2021 8:33 AM

Overmod

 

 
BEAUSABRE
Turned out that "Every Model Different" was interested, so the C430P went back to the files.

 

Perhaps not a bad thing -- the GP40Ps have had more lives than a cat, in some very demanding service.  Nothing Alco-engined would likely have seen anywhere near that service life...

 

 

I guess the 567 and 645-engined EMDs were the Energizer Bunny of locomotive -- keeps going and going, but could ALCo really be counted out?

I read in Trains Magazine about Delaware and Hudson operating a stable of old ALCos and how their chief mechanic was an "ALCo whisperer" to know how to keep those locomotives in service.  ALCo locomotives were not necessarily worse than EMDs, they were certainly different and a person had to know their quirks to keep them repaired.

Of the legacy steam-era locomotive makers, maybe ALCo stood a chance if their partner GE hadn't betrayed them?  Correct me on this, but aren't ALCo engines still in service and even sold for marine applications such as river-barge tow boats?

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by Overmod on Monday, June 28, 2021 9:40 AM

More important still is the continued presence, and more specifically the improvements, of Alco 'technology' on Indian Railways.

I refer only to actual Alco production (not the subsequent career of MLW in North America and its effect on the aftermarket) and to the specific environment of what became New Jersey Transit.  Note that the U34CHs themselves were taken out of service in the early 1990s, and have now been gone nearly a decade longer than their very long and productive service lives; I don't think a product by an orphan builder would have been kept running by a state agency for this prolonged a period.  On the other hand it is quite likely that various tourist roads would have found C430Ps at least as attractive as transplanted FPA-4s, and operators like Delaware-Lackawanna that have remained 'Alco-centric' would have found homes for others.  I have not followed up the 'export market' for Alco power, but my understanding is that many units succumbed to what might be called "Starship syndrome"; certain parts of the locomotives had high resale value, and the operation of removal of those components rendered 'the rest of the locomotive' functionally unfit for sale as anything but scrap...

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 10:00 PM
 

Paul Milenkovic

Correct me on this, but aren't ALCo engines still in service and even sold for marine applications such as river-barge tow boats?

 
 
Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 10:52 PM

Interestingly enough, to preserve sales of the 251, the 'railroad' use of the FM OP design is officially restricted in North America!

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Posted by creepycrank on Thursday, July 1, 2021 7:15 AM

 

 

Its funny how FM emphasis on how reliable their cylinders are now. About 40 years ago on the river they were known for cracking under the high horsepower loads that towboats are subject to. At the time they were a threat to EMD over their supose fuel effciency.There was a proposial to redesign a cylinder head for Alco. Part of the solution was to dial back the maximum power so the heads would run cooler. The average voyage time from NOLA to St. Louis took about 2 more days or 10% longer.

 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, July 1, 2021 10:38 AM

You mean it was the 251 cylinder heads cracking, right?

I was surprised nobody looked into supplemental water passages fed by a separate pump that would only come into action to cool the head to 'average' normal range when under heavy sustained load.

Were there issues with overheating or cracking in the OP engines used in  river tows?

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Posted by creepycrank on Thursday, July 1, 2021 11:05 AM

The problem wasn't the heat so much as the firing pressure causing fatique failures. 

To my knowledge there are no river tow boats with OP engines. The navy and coast guard are about the only marine engine customers.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Sunday, July 4, 2021 8:42 AM

On the Great Lakes, I believe there's still a tug boat or two with OP's inside. 

Otherwise, the commercial era of FM OP's on Great Lakes vessels ended in 2018 with the final layup of the freighter Algoway and the departure of the Stephen B. Roman (A cement carrier converted from a retired package freighter) under her own power to Aliaga Turkey for scrapping. Last of a long line of merchant ships on the Great Lakes that utilized this family of Fairbanks Morse engines.

At least the Canadian and American Coast Guard services keep the sounds of these engines alive on the Great Lakes, for now. The CCGS Griffon which handles icebreaking on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence still has her four 38D8-1/8-12 diesels. And the US Coast Guard stations most of their Bay class tug icebreakers around the Great Lakes (Each powered by a pair of 8 cylinder OP's).

Edit: And of course one can still hear these sounds in their native habitat several times a year aboard the preserved Gato class submarine USS Silversides in Muskegon, Michigan.

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