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Diesels Catalogued, but not Built

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Posted by Will Davis on Friday, November 29, 2013 12:53 PM

I have serious doubts about any C436 or any C650DH.  Does someone actually have paperwork to support the existence of specifications or announcements for these models?  Speculative discussions among railfans don't count any more than speculative discussions among design engineers - neither resulting in issuance of a specification or announcement of a model available for order. 

In order, I believe, for any historian to accurately list a "model never built," he must have an announcement of the model's availability in a trade publication (NOT a railfan publication - unless the piece is a press release) or a specification sheet / folder issued by the manufacturer.  It is our job not to write, and certainly not to re-write, but to represent history.  I see a good deal of shaking out happening with the models identified in the list - many are known widely in manufacturer materials (the C-428 having been listed in ALCO operators' manuals for a number of years) and I hope that the rest are properly vetted this way.

Now to an area where much more evidence exists..  I've been collecting early GE information for many years, and frankly the U25BG model is just a figment of someone's imagination.  There was no such model number listed, advertised or described in specification by GE.

None of the following original GE sales material delineates any U25BG model:

"Investment in Railroad Progress."  GEA-6911, 2/60

"New Mainline Motive Power from General Electric." Magazine insert, dated 1960.

"General Electric's New Diesel-Electric Locomotive - the U25B." GEA-7183, 5/61

General Electric U25B Diesel-Electric Locomotive 2500 Horsepower Specification 3030C, 1/62.  (No train heating option listed under "Modifications.")

"General Electric Locomotives - A Complete Line of Diesel-Electrics for America's Railroads."  (Covers U25B, U25C, U50.)  GEA-7842, 9/63.

General Electric U25C Diesel-Electric Locomotive 2500 Horsepower Specification 3090A, 3/64.  This specification lists a steam generator under "Modifications," meaning that if any units had been built with steam generators they would have been covered under the model number for which the specification is issued - U25C.

"Building Profits on America's Railroads - General Electric U25B - U25C Diesel-Electric Locomotives."  GEA-8080, 10/64. 

General Electric U25B Diesel-Electric Locomotive 2500 Horsepower Specification 3030F, 3/64. 

- The above GE publications pretty well delineate the actual situation -- which is, that should any of the units have been built with steam generators (which by this compilation ONLY appears to have been offered on the U25C) they would have retained the original model number, with the steam generator simply being fitted as an option. 

- The first GE publication that breaks out a different road switcher locomotive for the American market specifically targeted for passenger service appears to be "Performance Proved Power - Universal Diesel-Electric Locomotives," GED-5340 8/65.  This is a large sales piece that announces the U28 line (and the U56) and shows both a separate U28C and U28CG model.  The six axle locomotives differ of course in presence of the steam generator in the U28CG, in the divided tank for both fuel and water, and the standard gear ratio.  At this point, it appears that GE decided to make the steam generator equipped locomotives a separate model - and as was apparently the case for most or all of the time the U25B / U25C were produced, it did NOT offer a steam generator for the four axle road switcher.

(There's actually very little reason to decide to make the U28CG a separate model from any mechanical standpoint; this sounds much more like a marketing decision.  It was pretty clear by that time that there were a lot of aged passenger locomotives still in service which would need replacing.  Santa Fe clearly thought so when it bought U28CG units... and let's not forget that in the same decade EMD was able to sell SDP40 and FP45 units.  This is speculative, but seems on safe enough ground to throw in as an aside.)

Continuing this theme right on, it's important to note that the correlative brochure for the U30 series, GED-5646, 2/67 shows a U30CG but it's a road switcher, not a wide-bodied modified unit.  Thus, when GE did build the U30CG for Santa Fe, it was the body that was custom, but the model WAS in the catalog.

GED-5733, 11/67 sure enough shows a U33CG correlative to the earlier U28CG as built and the U30CG as conceived originally.. in other words, a road switcher, not a wide-bodied unit.

At this point most of my official material cuts off, but I'm fairly certain I recall that GE built U36C units for Nacionales de Mexico with steam generators.  Whether these were officially U36CG units or not I cannot say and will not venture to say since I don't have official material on them.

----  What have we obtained through this exercise?  The following.

1.  The "U25BG" model was never offered or announced, and is imaginary.  By virtue of overwhelming evidence, had any U25 series units been built with steam generators they would have retained their original model numbers as called out in the specifications.

2.  The U28CG was offered and built.

3.  The U30CG was offered as a road switcher but not built.  A modification to the offered design, featuring a more pleasingly styled body was built for one customer and the original model designation retained.

4.  The U33CG was offered and not built.

Although we've removed one model from the list you will all wish to note that we've added one for sure, the U33CG, and MIGHT consider whether or not we'd like to say that the U30CG road switcher design constitutes an unbuilt model.  I would technically say NO, since some were built with customer modifications at extra cost which didn't relate to the performance qualities or mechanical equipment of the locomotives.

 

----------

 

We do now of course have one, final, nagging little problem, brought up by the fact that there is actually a piece of quite early artwork found in GE manuals that shows a U25B with high short hood and steam generator.  This artwork, a side view of the locomotive, was incorporated in the two following official GE illustrations:

E-10092  Location of Apparatus for Lubricating and Servicing

E-10093  Apparatus Location

This illustration shows what we would think of as the very earliest production U25B locomotive configuration, as delivered to Union Pacific and SL-SF.  A survey of GE manuals and their publication dates follows, with incorporation of one, both, or neither.

GEJ-3810 (Operating) 12/60:  Both

GEJ-3812A (Diesel / Mech) 4/61: Both

GEJ-3812C (Diesel / Mech) 4/63: Neither

GEJ-3812C (Diesel / Mech) 9/64: Neither

GEJ-3813A (Electrical / Air) 3/62: E-10093 only

GEJ-3813B (Electrical / Air) 6/65: Neither

GEJ-3814 (Diesel / Mech Education) 8/61: E-10093 only

GEJ-3815 (U25B Education) 2/62: E-10093 only

GEJ-3815A (U25B Education) 5/63: Neither

GEJ-3815B (U25 Education) 6/66: Neither

GEJ-3816 (U25B Operating) 3/62: Neither

GEJ-3816 with GEJ-3818A insert (U25B Operating) 9/62: Neither

GEJ-3816A (U25B Operating) 12/62: Neither

GEJ-3816B (U25 Operating) 1/64: Neither

What we see here is that when GE changed to having a car body design with a conventional front platform and optional low short hood, the diagram showing the original style with a conceptual steam generator began to disappear from the manuals.  What we also see (not described above) is that some of the manuals for the U25B do list an optional water tank capacity (always 1200 gallons) even though steam generators are not shown or described in options. 

What appears to be the case - using these materials only -  is that originally GE conceived that the U25B could be bought with a steam generator, but dropped reference to it increasingly.  By the time of issuance of specification 3030C described earlier, dated 1/62, there's no steam generator offered.  Note the correlation of GEJ-3816 in its original form - neither of the diagrams showing a steam generator is shown.  Perhaps GE would have built a U25B with a steam generator if asked; we'll never know.  It's illuminating that none of the advertising material listed in the first block of items ever talks about a steam generator equipped U25B.

What we DO know though, after plowing through all of this, is that there is STILL no appearance of any separate model number for any domestic GE road switcher with a steam generator until the appearance of the U28 line.  The early U25B material that shows or describes a steam generator never breaks out a separate model; after the U25B was no longer being offered with a steam generator, the U25C appeared and was quickly offered with a steam generator but specified under the same model number.

We could try to assume that the steam generator option for the U25 shifted from the U25B to the U25C if it were not for specification 3030C.  This rules that chance out entirely. 

I hope that this dissertation hasn't been too much, but I myself do go to this kind of effort to ensure that we're being accurate and complete in our REPRESENTATION of history... and I do this also to make sure that we represent instead of write, or worse, re-write, as I've said earlier.

-Will Davis

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Posted by NorthWest on Sunday, December 1, 2013 11:49 PM

Mr. Davis, thank you very much for your time spent researching and finding information on these proposals. I also wish this to be factually accurate, and to represent history as it actually exists. So thank you. I will be making edits to the list, and reposting it soon. Any more information would be greatly appreciated.

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Posted by NorthWest on Sunday, December 1, 2013 11:55 PM

Latest List

GE

B18-7

U33CG

U18C-North American extension of the U18B

U56

U18BT

U15BT

U33CG

B40-8(B)

C23-7

B28-7

C28-7

B23-8

EMD

DD40A

SD55

AMT-125

RB3600

GMDH-2

SD40-2B

GP2000

SD39-2

SDL39-2

SD59

SD49

TR12

F45B

TR9

M-K

MK5000AC

MK6000AC

F-M

CFA-24

CFB-24

CPB-20

CPB-24

ALCO

PA-3

FA-4

C428

C620

C624

C636F

C636P(A)

C636P(B)

C650DH

RSD-33

Railpower

RP20BH

Ingalls

3-S

16-S

5-S

17A

MLW

RSC-23

RS-13

RS-24

Bombardier

HR416

HR618

HR406

Lima

800 HP BB road switcher

1600 HP center cab C-C road switcher/transfer

2400 HP center cab C-C road switcher/transfer 

3200 HP CC cab unit powered by 6 free piston generators powering a turbine. 

1600 HP Switcher Combo

2400HP Switcher Combo

Baldwin

1000 HP C-C Road Switcher

1500 HP C-C Road Transfer (streamlined car body)

3000 HP A1A-A1A Road Locomotive

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Posted by caldreamer on Monday, December 2, 2013 9:16 AM

I have the technical maual for proposed but never built Alco DH650.  I was supposed to be a 5000 HP diesel hydraulic locomotive.  It looks exactly like the DH643 which SP owned but with greater horsepower and trctive effort.

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Posted by Will Davis on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 8:55 AM
Interesting.

When you say "technical manual," what do you mean? Can you provide a photo of the cover and/or an ALCO publication number and date?

I would not expect to see an Operator's Manual or any Maintenance Manuals for a locomotive that was never built, so I am going to guess that the most you would have is an ALCO specification for the locomotive. Which if true would actually be very interesting!

I had expressed doubt about the listed C-436 and this C650DH, and I will also add the listed C-660.

I would like to compliment the original poster and caretaker of this string on his thoroughness and diligence. The result of this work will be some known and some interesting "could have been" locomotives that to me are far more interesting than "imagineered" locomotives.

I looked through the updated list and am fairly sure GE actually offered 3300 HP locomotives in the 1977 or "Dash 7" series ... but I will look for at least one concrete GE reference before suggesting you add these models.


-Will Davis
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Posted by caldreamer on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 9:29 AM

Here is the cover sheet from the specifications manual for the Alco DH650

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Posted by Will Davis on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 9:43 AM

Well, this didn't take too long.

General Electric publication GEA-10016, entitled "1977 Series Locomotive - A New Industry Standard," and which was published 11/76 (1000 copies) gives details on the line as first announced.

The line included the following models, grouped together due to commonalities of engine and/or frame/body.

B18-7

B23-7
B28-7

B30-7
B33-7
B36-7

C23-7
C28-7

C30-7
C33-7
C36-7

Most know this, but the 1800 HP units were eight cylinder engines, the 23 and 28 series were 12 cylinder engines, and everything else 16 cylinder engines.  Of course the 28 series here has nothing to do with the previous, older U28 series which had 16 cylinder 7FDL-16C engines.  The unbuilt 28 series units here provide an interesting early harbinger of the later 12 cylinder, 3000 HP GE units often delineated by a suffixed "A" (such as the C30-7A.)

It's interesting but not at all surprising to note that there is no six axle, eight-cylinder 1800 HP unit listed. 

There are six unbuilt models listed by this publication alone, some of which have been included in the list presently being developed and a couple which I believe are omitted.

For clarity the unbuilt models are B18-7, B28-7, B33-7, C23-7, C28-7, C33-7.

As most of us are aware, there were various but LATER additions to this line, either built or unbuilt.  This is simply the line as it was originally conceived by GE and announced - note that the publication date is late in 1976. 

AS AN ASIDE, and not to affect the list being generated at all..  I've grabbed the only operating manual for the Dash 7 series that I have handy, which is GEJ-5729C published 5/79 and it's interesting to note that the models listed do not include either of the 3300 HP models, but do include all of the other models listed in the announcement / advertising brochure GEA10016 discussed above.  It might be safe to assume that GE had decided that the 3300 HP rating wasn't going to sell, and dropped it from its catalog.  At exactly what point prior to 5/79 this occurred I cannot say, but we do have at least a preliminary window of consideration for that to have occurred. 

We would probably need an actual General Specifications brochure from GE at some point to determine what models had been dropped, and what were added since we're all well aware that GE offered the Quarters Cab units and an end-cab switcher design which are included in neither of these pubs.  Having a selection, spread over the years, of either advertisements or General Specifications would make determining just when (or if) the 3300 HP rating was dropped much easier.  However as I've said my material mostly focuses on the earlier period of GE's domestic road locomotive construction, and by the time we get to the 1977 line it's getting sparse in coverage.  I was lucky to have acquired the mentioned two items to add to this message string!

I believe it might be beneficial to historians to actually catalogue the various KINDS of official manufacturer materials one might find today.  Knowing what to find is more important than memorizing whatever you do find; this is the key to coming into possession of the facts.  We've done some videos in other fields and have a YouTube channel, so making such a video about these materials would actually be pretty easy.

But I digress.   I now return you to your regular non-hijacked thread already in progress.

-Will Davis

 

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Posted by carnej1 on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 11:36 AM

Will Davis
Interesting.

When you say "technical manual," what do you mean? Can you provide a photo of the cover and/or an ALCO publication number and date?

I would not expect to see an Operator's Manual or any Maintenance Manuals for a locomotive that was never built, so I am going to guess that the most you would have is an ALCO specification for the locomotive. Which if true would actually be very interesting!

I had expressed doubt about the listed C-436 and this C650DH, and I will also add the listed C-660.

I would like to compliment the original poster and caretaker of this string on his thoroughness and diligence. The result of this work will be some known and some interesting "could have been" locomotives that to me are far more interesting than "imagineered" locomotives.

I looked through the updated list and am fairly sure GE actually offered 3300 HP locomotives in the 1977 or "Dash 7" series ... but I will look for at least one concrete GE reference before suggesting you add these models.


-Will Davis

I have seen an Alco Century series manual (covering the entire range of locomotives) which listed the C660. 

 That does not mean that very much design work was done on the model but Alco may just have been saying (to Union Pacific especially) ; "If you want to buy it, we can build it".....

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

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Posted by Will Davis on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 1:22 PM

Do you remember any details of the C-660?  Physical arrangement?  Engine or generator (alternator) model?  Trucks?  Length, or more importantly, weight?

I am in no way intending to insult anyone or begin a flame war here, but I must say that from a technical standpoint I find a purported ALCO Century 660 to be practically impossible.  My reasons follow.

First, let me say that I have at hand an original ALCO Specification DL-855A / DL-856A for the ALCO Century 855 A & B.  Unfortunately the publication has no publication number and no date, but then again many ALCO specifications don't.

If we look at the 5500 HP Century 855 we find a locomotive weight listed of 528,000 lbs.  That's important, because at the time ALCO was in business it would have required two 16 cylinder engines to develop 6000 horsepower - the 12 cylinder 251 was never rated highly enough at that time to do it. (Even at the per cylinder rating of the 16-251F rated 3600 HP for traction the 12-251F comes out at 2700 HP for traction.) So the platform for a purported 6000 HP locomotive could not have been much shorter or smaller than the 855's and would, above the running board, likely have been nearly the same weight (the tradeoff between losing the big GT-598 generator, and adding the GTA-9 alternator and rectifier panels would not have been significant in terms of percentage of overall weight, and would have bought little or no space.)

We could remove the weight of the span bolsters and four, two-axle trucks from the 855 and add back in the weight of the three axle trucks, but one would have to imagine a weight still around 500,000 lbs -- way, way too heavy for any railroad anywhere in the world on six axles.  This is still far, far above the weight of the ALCO DH-643 and the GE U50C, the heaviest six axle units of the early generation.  If GE could only get down to, what, 417,000 lbs (and that's my memory, not a quote!) or so with two twelve cylinder engines, how could ALCO get anywhere near that with two sixteen cylinder engines?  Yes, even given the span of years between the 2750 HP for traction 16-251C and the final 251F models it seems impossible without two 16 cylinder engines, and THAT seems unworkable on six axles.

Just as troublesome is the supposition that anyone would have attempted 6000 HP on six axles during the 1960's.  EMD stopped for production at 3600 HP after testing at 4200 HP; GE did not approach this mark with the U50C either, which wasn't conceived until the very end of the 60's.  Yes, equipment such as GE's Automatic Power Matching, or Electro-Motive's Performance Control would clearly have been not just helpful but required on such a unit - but no one ever got close to that mark back then.

For these reasons I'd have to say that .. for me, and me only ... I'd have to see the ALCO catalog or an announcement or specification to prove that such a model was actually offered. 

I myself have had ALCO sales catalogs in my hands at train shows (many years ago you saw them fairly often) and did in fact read one and spot the ALCO C-620 model included.  However, I never quote that to people today in discussions or forums, etc. any more because only I and my brother saw that page and I didn't buy the catalog, which was seriously overpriced and frankly much more filled with export models than domestic. In other words, I can't back it up today with proof so I don't bring it up - exactly because I would call myself out on it, so to speak, should I make an unsupported claim.

So here's the catch - if we come up with things like this, we either need physical proof, or else two (or even better three or four) -party verification of people who knew / know of the same thing independently.  "I saw it on a railroad.net or trains.com forum one time" doesn't count as independent verification, either; I'm talking about direct knowledge or knowledge of actual "paper" proof.

Again I hope you folks don't think me unreasonable - as you've seen, I even impose this standard upon myself.  It's in the interest of accuracy - even if not in the interest of completeness.  Putting completeness before accuracy is a dreadful mistake in any research effort.

-Will Davis

PS  I don't find the purported C650DH anywhere near mechanically implausible, and neither do I find the purported C-436 mechanically implausible in the same way I find the purported C-660 mechanically implausible.  I've seen what I thought were some pretty rational discussions over the years in various places on the "end times" models ALCO offered, and never seen any of these; that's why I called them out.  The diesel-hydraulic and the four-axle road switcher would just have been uprates or upgrades of models already built.

 

PPS..   If you had said "ALCO C860" I would say...  NOW we're talking!  Not undoable.  Right there with the EMD DD40 and DDA40X.  Are you SURE it was a six axle and not an eight axle unit?

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Posted by caldreamer on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 6:18 PM

For those that are doubters as to existance of the Alco DH650 sepcification sheet.  Send me an email at  igoldber1@comcast.net and I will send you the entire document. 

   Ira Goldberg

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Posted by NorthWest on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 10:57 PM

Thank you Will Davis!

These models will soon be added. I found the other GE models in GE manuals on another site. I'm not sure which, it is one of two, but I could find it again if you want me to. 

I also thank you for checking your sources. All of the ones I have found have been listed several places. Most are from books, although several are on Google Books. I have found only one print reference to an EMD SW750, and have not included it in the list, as I cannot find another reputable source.

The Alco C436 was never added to the list, but I did ask for more information, as I was unsure and had seen it mentioned, but could not find any sources. The M430W is another one I have been stymied looking for a source. Although feasible, I can't find anything.I want to confirm yes or no on these, but cannot find any more information.

I'd like this to be different from so many other threads that have many inaccuracies, and other issues. 

caldreamer, your cover sheet isn't showing.

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Posted by NorthWest on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 11:05 PM

Newest List

GE

B18-7

U33CG

U18C-North American extension of the U18B

U56

U18BT

U15BT

U33CG

B40-8(B)

C23-7

B28-7

C28-7

B23-8

B33-7

C33-7

EMD

DD40A

SD55

AMT-125

RB3600

GMDH-2

SD40-2B

GP2000

SD39-2

SDL39-2

SD59

SD49

TR12

F45B

TR9

M-K

MK5000AC

MK6000AC

F-M

CFA-24

CFB-24

CPB-20

CPB-24

ALCO

PA-3

FA-4

C428

C620

C624

C636F

C636P(A)

C636P(B)

C650DH

RSD-33

Railpower

RP20BH

Ingalls

3-S

16-S

5-S

17A

MLW

RSC-23

RS-13

RS-24

Bombardier

HR416

HR618

HR406

Lima

800 HP BB road switcher

1600 HP center cab C-C road switcher/transfer

2400 HP center cab C-C road switcher/transfer 

3200 HP CC cab unit powered by 6 free piston generators powering a turbine. 

1600 HP Switcher Combo

2400HP Switcher Combo

Baldwin

1000 HP C-C Road Switcher

1500 HP C-C Road Transfer (streamlined car body)

3000 HP A1A-A1A Road Locomotive

 

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Posted by Bryan Jones on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 5:34 AM

There was a single Railpower RP20BH constructed, RPRX #5401. This unit was equipped with 2 667hp gensets and a single battery bank. It ended up on the back shelf while they attempted to resolve the battery issues with the GG20B "green goats". This unt should still be stored at CAD Rail in Quebec.

Bryan Jones

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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 9:41 AM

Coolhas anyone mentioned the full catouloge of the ingersol-rand ship building companys proposed full line of shipping diesels. one demonstrator was built and servered faithly 4 many years?

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Posted by Will Davis on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 11:25 AM
rbandr: I believe you mean Ingalls Shipbuilding, which is included in the list.
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Posted by NorthWest on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 11:24 PM

Bryan Jones,

I stand corrected. My book is a few years out of date. I will remove it from the list soon. Thank you very much!

http://www.trainweb.org/greengoats/rprx/5401.html

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Posted by NorthWest on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 11:25 PM

Current List

GE

B18-7

U33CG

U18C-North American extension of the U18B

U56

U18BT

U15BT

U33CG

B40-8(B)

C23-7

B28-7

C28-7

B23-8

B33-7

C33-7

EMD

DD40A

SD55

AMT-125

RB3600

GMDH-2

SD40-2B

GP2000

SD39-2

SDL39-2

SD59

SD49

TR12

F45B

TR9

M-K

MK5000AC

MK6000AC

F-M

CFA-24

CFB-24

CPB-20

CPB-24

ALCO

PA-3

FA-4

C428

C620

C624

C636F

C636P(A)

C636P(B)

C650DH

RSD-33

Ingalls

3-S

16-S

5-S

17A

MLW

RSC-23

RS-13

RS-24

Bombardier

HR416

HR618

HR406

Lima

800 HP BB road switcher

1600 HP center cab C-C road switcher/transfer

2400 HP center cab C-C road switcher/transfer 

3200 HP CC cab unit powered by 6 free piston generators powering a turbine. 

1600 HP Switcher Combo

2400HP Switcher Combo

Baldwin

1000 HP C-C Road Switcher

1500 HP C-C Road Transfer (streamlined car body)

3000 HP A1A-A1A Road Locomotive

 

Keep up the good work everyone!

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, December 5, 2013 7:10 AM

Comment about the L-H 1600 HP and 2400 HP switcher combos.  Based on Jerry Pinkepank's article about L-H diesels in a 1963 issue of TRAINS, these switcher combos were more of a marketing ploy.  They were two-unit switcher sets aimed at competing with EMD's TR sets but both units had cabs.

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 carnej1 on Thursday, December 5, 2013 11:56 AM

Will Davis

Do you remember any details of the C-660?  Physical arrangement?  Engine or generator (alternator) model?  Trucks?  Length, or more importantly, weight?

I am in no way intending to insult anyone or begin a flame war here, but I must say that from a technical standpoint I find a purported ALCO Century 660 to be practically impossible.  My reasons follow.

First, let me say that I have at hand an original ALCO Specification DL-855A / DL-856A for the ALCO Century 855 A & B.  Unfortunately the publication has no publication number and no date, but then again many ALCO specifications don't.

If we look at the 5500 HP Century 855 we find a locomotive weight listed of 528,000 lbs.  That's important, because at the time ALCO was in business it would have required two 16 cylinder engines to develop 6000 horsepower - the 12 cylinder 251 was never rated highly enough at that time to do it. (Even at the per cylinder rating of the 16-251F rated 3600 HP for traction the 12-251F comes out at 2700 HP for traction.) So the platform for a purported 6000 HP locomotive could not have been much shorter or smaller than the 855's and would, above the running board, likely have been nearly the same weight (the tradeoff between losing the big GT-598 generator, and adding the GTA-9 alternator and rectifier panels would not have been significant in terms of percentage of overall weight, and would have bought little or no space.)

We could remove the weight of the span bolsters and four, two-axle trucks from the 855 and add back in the weight of the three axle trucks, but one would have to imagine a weight still around 500,000 lbs -- way, way too heavy for any railroad anywhere in the world on six axles.  This is still far, far above the weight of the ALCO DH-643 and the GE U50C, the heaviest six axle units of the early generation.  If GE could only get down to, what, 417,000 lbs (and that's my memory, not a quote!) or so with two twelve cylinder engines, how could ALCO get anywhere near that with two sixteen cylinder engines?  Yes, even given the span of years between the 2750 HP for traction 16-251C and the final 251F models it seems impossible without two 16 cylinder engines, and THAT seems unworkable on six axles.

Just as troublesome is the supposition that anyone would have attempted 6000 HP on six axles during the 1960's.  EMD stopped for production at 3600 HP after testing at 4200 HP; GE did not approach this mark with the U50C either, which wasn't conceived until the very end of the 60's.  Yes, equipment such as GE's Automatic Power Matching, or Electro-Motive's Performance Control would clearly have been not just helpful but required on such a unit - but no one ever got close to that mark back then.

For these reasons I'd have to say that .. for me, and me only ... I'd have to see the ALCO catalog or an announcement or specification to prove that such a model was actually offered. 

I myself have had ALCO sales catalogs in my hands at train shows (many years ago you saw them fairly often) and did in fact read one and spot the ALCO C-620 model included.  However, I never quote that to people today in discussions or forums, etc. any more because only I and my brother saw that page and I didn't buy the catalog, which was seriously overpriced and frankly much more filled with export models than domestic. In other words, I can't back it up today with proof so I don't bring it up - exactly because I would call myself out on it, so to speak, should I make an unsupported claim.

So here's the catch - if we come up with things like this, we either need physical proof, or else two (or even better three or four) -party verification of people who knew / know of the same thing independently.  "I saw it on a railroad.net or trains.com forum one time" doesn't count as independent verification, either; I'm talking about direct knowledge or knowledge of actual "paper" proof.

Again I hope you folks don't think me unreasonable - as you've seen, I even impose this standard upon myself.  It's in the interest of accuracy - even if not in the interest of completeness.  Putting completeness before accuracy is a dreadful mistake in any research effort.

-Will Davis

PS  I don't find the purported C650DH anywhere near mechanically implausible, and neither do I find the purported C-436 mechanically implausible in the same way I find the purported C-660 mechanically implausible.  I've seen what I thought were some pretty rational discussions over the years in various places on the "end times" models ALCO offered, and never seen any of these; that's why I called them out.  The diesel-hydraulic and the four-axle road switcher would just have been uprates or upgrades of models already built.

 

PPS..   If you had said "ALCO C860" I would say...  NOW we're talking!  Not undoable.  Right there with the EMD DD40 and DDA40X.  Are you SURE it was a six axle and not an eight axle unit?

  You are correct and my memory was faulty, the locomotive mentioned in the Alco Publication I looked at was definitely an 8 axle unit with 251-16 engines rated at 3,000 HP (for traction) apiece i.e an upgraded DL855A (in other words a C860). I should have looked more closely at what I had written. 

 I found a post on another rail forum quoting the Withers publishing book "Alco's Century Series":

(quote)

I own a copy of the book Alco Century Series Volume I - Four Axle Models. In the front on pages 6 and 7 they mention the C428 and C624. In addition is mentioned:

1 - On June 1, 1967 Alco had a binder listing Century models during a presentation to the Milwaukee Road, the C855 was not listed but a C860 was at 6000HP and 8 motors, this is the same binder showing the C428. It saya later in the same summary a handwritten note was next to a comparison between the DD-40 and C855, it said Alco can make a 6000HP loco with two 3000HP engines, AC generators.

2 - A DL-620 was available in the Century series since 1963. The only mention in the C420 section of the book ssaid it would have used the same prime mover as the C420 and RS32.

3 - Alco can make a 1000HP switcher for delivery in the first quarter of 1966. Later in the book in the C415 section, mention of an internal document from June 9, 1965 comparing EMD models (SW1000 and SW1500) to what Alco had and will make referred to the DL-410 again being available when noted. It is presumed this would have been a smaller version of the C415 since Alco was already making an end cab 1000HP unit in the T6.

4 - During the Milwaukee Road presentation, they also had a reference that Alco could make a 5000HP, 6 motor with a 24 cylinder, V-type, 251 engine. It would have two 12-cylinder blocks with an alternator between, weigh 402,000 pounds, would be 83 feet long inside the knuckles and develop 5000HP to the alternator down to 30MPH and go down to 4000HP between 30-20MPH. No designation is given."

5 - In the C425 section is more on the C428 that supposedly would have been indistinguishable from the outside compared to a C425. The C428 was offered when railroads were going towards 3000HP B-B units and starting to use C-C units in areas normally having B-B units. Alco may have been able to put Hi-Ad trucks on the C428 that would have made it competitive with the 3000HP models but it just did not sell.

(end Quote)

Not owning a copy of the book I can't vouch for accuracy, does anyone on this thread own a copy?

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

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, December 6, 2013 6:57 AM

carnej1
4 - During the Milwaukee Road presentation, they also had a reference that Alco could make a 5000HP, 6 motor with a 24 cylinder, V-type, 251 engine. It would have two 12-cylinder blocks with an alternator between, weigh 402,000 pounds, would be 83 feet long inside the knuckles and develop 5000HP to the alternator down to 30MPH and go down to 4000HP between 30-20MPH. No designation is given."

That would be an electric transmission version of the DH643 with uprated engines.

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Posted by caldreamer on Friday, December 6, 2013 8:55 AM

According to the specification sheet power is transmitted by a fluid (diesle hydraulic) drive, not deisel electric.  Send me an email at igoldberg1@comcast.net and I will attach the specification sheet for you to have.

     Ira

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Posted by Will Davis on Saturday, December 7, 2013 11:48 AM

Interesting developments.

It sure seems to be getting clearer that ALCO was able to offer the 12-251 up to 2500 HP for traction, given the spec for the diesel-hydraulic (I sent an email asking to see the specification) and this vague reference to a supposed twin-block single-alternator machine.  For whatever it's worth, that just sounds like a really bad idea to me.  You're guaranteed that if one engine fails, the whole locomotive goes down. The reference in that description exactly describes the effect of Performance Control / Automatic Power Matching, albeit very roughly. 

What is the nature of the representation in the quoted railfan ALCO book?  I'm not quite clear on it.  Was this written by someone who was present at an ALCO sales pitch to the Milwaukee? 

Also interesting is the verification that the spotted reference was actually to an eight axle C-860.  Now, does anyone have a surviving specification or ALCO sales book?  If so that would be great.  It also sounds like ALCO had not completely updated its sales book, still listing the C-855 at one place while listing a C-860 at another and having a penciled in reference to the higher output by the C-855 entry.  I myself have some sales materials with some penciled-in notes, but these have not so far been anything revelatory.

-Will Davis

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Posted by erikem on Saturday, December 7, 2013 3:14 PM

Will Davis

It sure seems to be getting clearer that ALCO was able to offer the 12-251 up to 2500 HP for traction, given the spec for the diesel-hydraulic (I sent an email asking to see the specification) and this vague reference to a supposed twin-block single-alternator machine.  For whatever it's worth, that just sounds like a really bad idea to me.  You're guaranteed that if one engine fails, the whole locomotive goes down. The reference in that description exactly describes the effect of Performance Control / Automatic Power Matching, albeit very roughly. 

I recall seeing a reference to a French diesel-electric with a single alternator between two engines, the field windings were drive by one engine as in a normal alternator, with what would normally be the stator being driven by the other engine. The alternator would have about the same weight as one with a "real stator" being driven by one engine - with the weight being a function of torque, but produce the same current at twice the frequency and twice the voltage as the conventional alternator. One maintenance problem would be the slip rings needed to get power out of the rotating "stator".

- Erik

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Posted by caldreamer on Saturday, December 7, 2013 6:22 PM

Will:

  I am not sure who this engine was supposed to pitched to, but the front of the document that I sent you in reply to your email request says ALCO Hydraulic 650. Could it have been a pitch to the Southern Pacific,since they owned three DH643's?

   Ira

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Posted by SSW9389 on Sunday, December 8, 2013 7:52 AM

Baldwin built 30 DR6-6-1000s for the U S Army in 1945. The USA numbers were 2460-2489. These 30 units were exported to Russia and renumbered A620-71 to A620-100. Source of data Extra 2200 South Volume 8 Issue 8, October-Novenber 1970, see page 24. These cab units were contemporaries of the ALCO-GE RSD-1.

 

Tags: Baldwin
COTTON BELT: Runs like a Blue Streak!
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Posted by Will Davis on Sunday, December 8, 2013 8:59 AM

Ira,

I looked and I don't see your email.  Can you please resend it?  If you don't have my email any longer, send me a private message.  I sure would love to see the specification and I'll give you and the group any feedback I can about what it might be.

I have a sneaking suspicion about the specification - that it might be not a professional style bound specification, but a collection of sheets with ALCO headers that are stapled together, not in any color other than black and white, and thorough but inexpensively produced.  There is some evidence that this style was issued prior to ALCO taking the step and expense of printing off (much more expensive) professional looking specification brochures. 

If this is true, there could be growing evidence that ALCO floated the less expensive "preliminary" specifications around to see if anyone was really interested.  Models that garnered interest would then, as a natural course of the progression of advertising-dealing-selling have the brochure style printed up, on heavy stock.  As an example, the C-855 specification I quoted from the other day is of the expensive style on heavy card stock in colors. 

Again, THIS IS ONLY A THEORY I have about ALCO specifications (late ones, that is) and we must be careful not to hint that any such corner-stapled ones were not really a serious indication that ALCO was prepared to furnish the equipment specified.  This theory only relates to how ALCO physically went about preparing and issuing specifications.  What it does do, though, is point up the (again, possible) fact that as archaeologists (of sorts) we're more likely to find a locomotive model that was not built being given only the early type specification and not the later type.

This threatens to hijack the message string, so I apologize.  However, we have really struck a great tone here in this thread about HOW we do research on these things, and this for the railroad enthusiast is what we call "pay dirt." 

If anyone else participating in this string is interested and would like to converse, I might consider launching a separate message string here on Trains.com about locomotive documentation, so that we can make sure to preserve what we know about the actual paper documents that were produced from the time that a locomotive was designed all the way through its arrival on a railroad.  As I said before, "knowing what to find" is a key skill here, and we can make sure that that skill is passed along to future historians and researchers by laying it all out.

I will add this final note- I am exceedingly glad to have found these Trains.com forums, because it certainly appears that peer review of materials, historical cross referencing, and a drive for accuracy are all alive and well here. 

So Ira - please resend that email or contact me! 

-Will Davis

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Posted by caldreamer on Sunday, December 8, 2013 9:15 AM

Will:

  I am resending the specification sheets now.

    Ira

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Posted by Will Davis on Sunday, December 8, 2013 12:26 PM

Well, we have a fabulous turn of events.  I've received the file and holy cow!  Here are a few facts.

1.  The specification is the full sales binder style, professionally printed and three hole punched for insertion into the ALCO sales binder.  This is no preliminary shot in the dark.

2.  The specification is for the ALCO Hydraulic 650.  The locomotive does not have a Century series model number, is referred to simply as the ALCO Hydraulic 650, and given the specification DH-650.  This exactly parallels the earlier (and actually built) 643 in not having a Century series style model number.

3.  The specification does in fact have a printers' code given as 500-9-67  which in all likelihood is "500 copies, September, 1967."

I'm in contact with Ira back and forth about the specification and what it (and some other things in my collection, taken together) really mean, and I'll publish more of those details here when they're hashed out.

 

-Will Davis

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Posted by NorthWest on Sunday, December 8, 2013 5:26 PM

Good!

Keep us posted.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, December 9, 2013 10:42 AM

WHAT A LUCKY FIND!!!!

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