Trains.com

u-50s & turbines

8443 views
18 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: CAPE CORAL FLA
  • 439 posts
u-50s & turbines
Posted by thomas81z on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 3:33 PM

i have both H.O scale u-50 & the turbine & i was wondering did they operate them together in a consist ,i mean i assume that they did since they operated around the same time frame , does anybody have pics of the 2 together??

  • Member since
    December 2012
  • 193 posts
Posted by eagle1030 on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 8:48 PM

Which turbine?  I know the U50's were built with the scrapped trucks and running gear of the earlier turbines.  That really only leaves the Big Blows, and with 8500 hp on tap I doubt they ever needed extra locomotives for help.  

However, I only generally know about them and could be wrong.  Any UP experts have a definite answer?

  • Member since
    March 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 12,870 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 8:10 AM

I would put it in the realm of possibility.  My sighting may have been clouded with youthful enthusiasm but I remember back in 1968 while on a family vacation seeing a Big Blow with a DD35B behind the tender.  Also, all of the gas turbines were equipped with MU and diesels behind the tender as part of the motive power consist did occur.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: CAPE CORAL FLA
  • 439 posts
Posted by thomas81z on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 9:50 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH

I would put it in the realm of possibility.  My sighting may have been clouded with youthful enthusiasm but I remember back in 1968 while on a family vacation seeing a Big Blow with a DD35B behind the tender.  Also, all of the gas turbines were equipped with MU and diesels behind the tender as part of the motive power consist did occur.

now that is interesting, no pic huh ??Wink

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 19,201 posts
Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 10:47 AM

All but 6 turbines were equipped to run with diesels, and I believe they did do so with some regularity.

(No need to say 'B' as they were all boosters as delivered; when some of them got cabs they were called DD35As to so indicate -- I think it's like the 25 and 25NC nomenclature in South Africa)

A DD35 would be a logical choice to run behind turbines in the latter years, and I am not surprised this was observed.  (Please, please... somebody find a picture, or operating recollections... ;-} )

My concern is that running U50s in place of cabless engines, which is the specific thing Thomas asked originally, is still undetermined, even adjusting for the fact that all the 'flavors' of U50 inherently included turbine running gear.  I would suspect that the U50s running in general service would be on trains *not* headed by turbines, and that the older 'booster' power (the GP9s and the like) was more likely to see use on  such trains.

The 'Fast Forties' sandwiching a DD35, and then two Centennials sandwiching a Forty, were all years after the last turbine ran.  I doubt very much that a Centennial of any flavor ran behind turbines in the brief overlap, if for no other reason that the innovative control systems on them would only show benefits if the Centennial was leading, and the turbines would not run MU in trail.  In any case I believe the Centennials were geared higher and would not have shown best economy run behind turbines instead of heading up their own trains.

RME

  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: CAPE CORAL FLA
  • 439 posts
Posted by thomas81z on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 1:22 PM

man i would love to u-50 dd40ax-dd35- century 855 on 1 train Stick out tongue

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • 2,102 posts
Posted by timz on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 6:24 PM

Overmod
(No need to say 'B' as they [DD35s?] were all boosters as delivered; when some of them got cabs they were called DD35As...

Might as well check on that one.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 19,201 posts
Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 7:42 PM

Believe me... not only do I remember that, I checked with a couple of sources before posting.

[EDIT -- I checked the wrong stuff; the name actually used is 'DDA35' -- see below.  But there is no "DDB35"]

  • Member since
    December 2009
  • 277 posts
Posted by Thomas 9011 on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 11:03 PM

 I have never seen two UP Big blows double heading with each other. But I have seen them double heading with lots of other locomotives. Since the turbines were operating during the last years of steam, it was pretty common to see the turbines double heading with the Big boys and Challengers. I have seen the Big blows with sometimes 6 or 7 other locomotives trailing behind it. Pentrex's video "Union pacific turbines on the Wasatch" has some great action. 

 The U50's double headed with each other all the time. They also seemed to double head with every other locomotive the Union pacific had. This link has some photos of the U50's including one with a U50 double heading wtih a DD35B.   http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?locomotive=GE%20U50

I also found this slide on Ebay of a turbine and Big boy double heading that sold for a whopping $93.00.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Original-Slides-Union-Pacific-53-Turbine-UP-4006-Big-Boy-Action-/281020812061?nma=true&si=xhLx6Frs1syssb%252F7I0YG2xKs5p8%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

 

 

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Rhode Island
  • 2,289 posts
Posted by carnej1 on Thursday, January 24, 2013 11:25 AM

Thomas 9011

 I have never seen two UP Big blows double heading with each other. But I have seen them double heading with lots of other locomotives. Since the turbines were operating during the last years of steam, it was pretty common to see the turbines double heading with the Big boys and Challengers. I have seen the Big blows with sometimes 6 or 7 other locomotives trailing behind it. Pentrex's video "Union pacific turbines on the Wasatch" has some great action. 

 The U50's double headed with each other all the time. They also seemed to double head with every other locomotive the Union pacific had. This link has some photos of the U50's including one with a U50 double heading wtih a DD35B.   http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?locomotive=GE%20U50

I also found this slide on Ebay of a turbine and Big boy double heading that sold for a whopping $93.00.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Original-Slides-Union-Pacific-53-Turbine-UP-4006-Big-Boy-Action-/281020812061?nma=true&si=xhLx6Frs1syssb%252F7I0YG2xKs5p8%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

 

 

 Well I am sure other forum members will be able to cite the correct chapter- and- verse of this I recall reading that UP did try to run the original 5400 hp series of GTELS in a doubleheaded configuration but found that the trailing units expereinced turbine issues due to ingesting the exhaust of the front units. This led directly to the modification of the gar turbine fleet to allow MU'ing with trailing diesels.

"I Often Dream of Trains"-From the Album of the Same Name by Robyn Hitchcock

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • 3,264 posts
Posted by CAZEPHYR on Thursday, January 24, 2013 11:49 AM

thomas81z

i have both H.O scale u-50 & the turbine & i was wondering did they operate them together in a consist ,i mean i assume that they did since they operated around the same time frame , does anybody have pics of the 2 together??

The standard and Veranda Turbines were traded in and the sets of BB trucks were used for the U50D diesels.

All of the pictures I have found show the Veranda models with GP9 models, but there are always exceptions to any practice.

 

The large 8500 HP turbines were used with diesels also and I found pictures of #11 with two DD35A and 1 DD35 B models.  Other pictures show SD24 units with the 8500HP turbines. The most unusual picture shows a GE U-25B and one GP-9B leading #24 turbine east at Grand Island.  I did not know diesels were used as the lead unit for the large turbine.  This could have been a failure for the turbine.   

 

  Using your Model Railroader license, you could substitute one of the U50's for the DD35 units.  Hey, this is model railroading and we can enjoy our head end power as we see fit!

 

 

Well, if you at Don Strack's web site, Utah Rails, you will find what you are looking for.  It did happen. His web page contains hundreds of pictures.  Check it out!

CZ

 

http://donstrack.smugmug.com/UtahRails/Union-Pacific/Weber-Echo/21343286_n4FLSD#!i=1701239105&k=gX84WvJ

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • 2,102 posts
Posted by timz on Thursday, January 24, 2013 12:19 PM

Overmod
not only do I remember that, I checked with a couple of sources before posting.

You remember UP's DD35As being built by adding cabs to already-existing DD35Bs? And you found two sources that agreed that all the DD35As were so built? When? Anyone else seen those sources? Anyone else remember that?

  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: CAPE CORAL FLA
  • 439 posts
Posted by thomas81z on Thursday, January 24, 2013 12:36 PM

CAZEPHYR

thomas81z

i have both H.O scale u-50 & the turbine & i was wondering did they operate them together in a consist ,i mean i assume that they did since they operated around the same time frame , does anybody have pics of the 2 together??

The standard and Veranda Turbines were traded in and the sets of BB trucks were used for the U50D diesels.

All of the pictures I have found show the Veranda models with GP9 models, but there are always exceptions to any practice.

 

The large 8500 HP turbines were used with diesels also and I found pictures of #11 with two DD35A and 1 DD35 B models.  Other pictures show SD24 units with the 8500HP turbines. The most unusual picture shows a GE U-25B and one GP-9B leading #24 turbine east at Grand Island.  I did not know diesels were used as the lead unit for the large turbine.  This could have been a failure for the turbine.   

 

  Using your Model Railroader license, you could substitute one of the U50's for the DD35 units.  Hey, this is model railroading and we can enjoy our head end power as we see fit!

 

 

Well, if you at Don Strack's web site, Utah Rails, you will find what you are looking for.  It did happen. His web page contains hundreds of pictures.  Check it out!

CZ

 

http://donstrack.smugmug.com/UtahRails/Union-Pacific/Weber-Echo/21343286_n4FLSD#!i=1701239105&k=gX84WvJ

 

 

 

 

CAZEPHYR

thomas81z

i have both H.O scale u-50 & the turbine & i was wondering did they operate them together in a consist ,i mean i assume that they did since they operated around the same time frame , does anybody have pics of the 2 together??

The standard and Veranda Turbines were traded in and the sets of BB trucks were used for the U50D diesels.

All of the pictures I have found show the Veranda models with GP9 models, but there are always exceptions to any practice.

 

The large 8500 HP turbines were used with diesels also and I found pictures of #11 with two DD35A and 1 DD35 B models.  Other pictures show SD24 units with the 8500HP turbines. The most unusual picture shows a GE U-25B and one GP-9B leading #24 turbine east at Grand Island.  I did not know diesels were used as the lead unit for the large turbine.  This could have been a failure for the turbine.   

 

  Using your Model Railroader license, you could substitute one of the U50's for the DD35 units.  Hey, this is model railroading and we can enjoy our head end power as we see fit!

 

 

Well, if you at Don Strack's web site, Utah Rails, you will find what you are looking for.  It did happen. His web page contains hundreds of pictures.  Check it out!

CZ

 

http://donstrack.smugmug.com/UtahRails/Union-Pacific/Weber-Echo/21343286_n4FLSD#!i=1701239105&k=gX84WvJ

 

 

 

 

hey thanks you found it Bow

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • 3,264 posts
Posted by CAZEPHYR on Thursday, January 24, 2013 1:58 PM

timz

Overmod
(No need to say 'B' as they [DD35s?] were all boosters as delivered; when some of them got cabs they were called DD35As...

Might as well check on that one.

True, but many do not know that fact and I normally try to clarify the information.  The list shows them to actually be DDA35 units.  Surprise!!!!

CZ

 

1965 (1,354 total diesel/GTEL on 1 January 1965)

Added (33) 10 SDP35 UP 1400-1409
15 DDA35 UP 70-84
8 U50 UP 46-53
Rebuilt (12) 7 GP9M UP 308, 316, 317, 329, 335, 343, 347 (rebuilt to 2000 horsepower using an EMD turbocharger)
5 GP9BM UP 321B, 325B, 328B, 335B, 339B (rebuilt to 2000 horsepower using an EMD turbocharger)
Retired (80) 5 DS-4-4-10 UP 1206-1210
1 F7B UP 1498C
29 FA-1 UP 1600, 1601, 1602, 1603, 1607, 1608, 1609, 1610, 1611, 1613, 1614, 1616, 1618, 1619, 1621, 1624, 1625, 1626, 1627, 1628, 1631, 1632, 1634, 1635, 1637, 1638, 1641, 1642, 1643
29 FB-1 UP 1602B, 1602C, 1606B, 1608B, 1608C, 1610B, 1610C, 1614B, 1614C, 1616C, 1618B, 1620B, 1620C 1622B, 1622C, 1624B, 1624C, 1626C, 1628B, 1628C, 1632B, 1634B, 1634C, 1636B, 1636C, 1638B, 1638C, 1640C, 1642C
5 H10-44 UP 1300-1304
1 H15-44 UP 1329
3 H16-44 UP 1340, 1341, 1342
4 PA-1 UP 603-606
3 PB-1 UP 600B, 602B, 605B

DDA35 Order Numbers

 

Order # Date Serial Numbers Road Numbers Qty. Remarks
7797: 04.65 to 06.65 29984-29997 UP 70-83 14 .
7798: 06.65 29998 UP 84 1 .
  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 19,201 posts
Posted by Overmod on Thursday, January 24, 2013 4:48 PM

CAZEPHYR
  ... The list shows them to actually be DDA35 units.  Surprise!!!!

Surprise, indeed!  This is what comes, I suppose, of not referring to actual EMD or UP records when learning about stuff.  Thanks.

I remember being astounded to learn that EMD doesn't use terminology like "567" for its engines, they go by the block number.  "Railfan" names for things often distinct from what actual railroaders call them.  That sort of thing.

As Benny Hill used to say, "Learnink all ze time..."

  • Member since
    December 2005
  • From: Cardiff, CA
  • 2,930 posts
Posted by erikem on Thursday, January 24, 2013 11:14 PM

thomas81z

CSSHEGEWISCH

I would put it in the realm of possibility.  My sighting may have been clouded with youthful enthusiasm but I remember back in 1968 while on a family vacation seeing a Big Blow with a DD35B behind the tender.  Also, all of the gas turbines were equipped with MU and diesels behind the tender as part of the motive power consist did occur.

now that is interesting, no pic huh ??Wink

My "wish I had my camera ready" was driving by Taylor yard in early 1977 and seeing an Espee DD-35B with what looked to be an SCL GP-35 on one end and a BN (memory is hazy on this one) GP-35 on the other end. Another memory was a 1969 sighting of an NP RB coal train hauled by F units.

- Erik

  • Member since
    April 2008
  • 18 posts
Posted by flare40x on Monday, February 11, 2013 3:53 PM

I don't know if the U50's and 4500hp GTEL's ran together, but there was a short period of overlap between the delivery of the first U50's and the retirement of the last "small" turbines - I believe of about eight to ten months.  Many but not all of the smaller turbines were equipped for MU with diesels.  So it's possible, but I've never seen a photo of that particular combination.

For the record, the 8500hp GTEL's were all equipped with MU and frequently ran with diesel help right up to the end.  There are lots of photos of them leading one to several diesels, ranging from GP9's to SD45's.  Again, I don't remember seeing photos of them MU'd with U50's, DD35A's or B's, C855's or DDA40X's, but there's no reason they couldn't have.  Even the first U50C's arrived a few months before the last 8500hp turbines were retired, so that, too, was possible.

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, February 17, 2013 2:55 PM

if it is possible it may have happened/ finding the photo evidence would only be sendipity !!!

  • Member since
    April 2008
  • 123 posts
Posted by Jerry Pier on Monday, February 18, 2013 1:00 PM

The Big Blow's did not have  dynamic brake capability comensurate withthsir HP.. Diesels multiple uniting with them were primarily  to make up for this.

JERRY PIER

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy