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NS acquiring 100 of UP's EMD SD9043MAC locomotives

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Posted by kgbw49 on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 12:26 PM

Just one guess - perhaps two-axle trucks are probably optimal for siding and industrial trackage where locals spend a lot of their time. Tight curves, rough track, etc.

A second guess - 2,000 hp locomotives may be more fuel efficient for locals and most yard switching compared to 4,000-4,400 hp locomotives.

 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 2:09 PM

longhorn1969
Thanks, with NS selling the newer SD70Ms, would it not make sense to keep the newer units for that purpose and fully retire the older era locomotives?

Something like this, in a sense, has happened on the ex-Southern in Memphis.  The ex-Forrest Yard intermodal facility (now, I think, called Inman) used to be switched by GP38-2s in the 50xx range, and you'd see these on the peddler running out past Collierville frequently, but I've regularly seen SD-40s (probably of some rebuilt subclass or another) doing this work, and more recently all I see is relatively early single GE 4400hp units.

I think it depends largely on intended use; a railroad like NS is likely to have many places that use relatively small power.

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Posted by beaulieu on Thursday, February 13, 2020 12:57 PM

longhorn1969

 

 
 

 

 

 Thanks, with NS selling the newer SD70Ms, would it not make sense to keep the newer units for that purpose and fully retire the older era locomotives?

Just strange, very strange.

 

 

The GP38-2s are more nimble and weigh less. Much industrial trackage has older lighter weight rail. In addition switching service requires tractive effort, but not much horsepower. 

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Posted by beaulieu on Thursday, February 13, 2020 1:00 PM

The first two of the 2020 order for SD70ACU rebuilds from Progress Rail have now arrived on the property, number 7030 and 7032.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Friday, February 14, 2020 1:19 PM

I seem to recall an interview several years ago with Hunter Harrison when he was still at CP. if I recall correctly, the interviewer asked him about locomotive acquisitions and his reply was to the effect that no new locomotives would likely be purchased for something like five years but that the SD9043MACs could be rebuilt into a good locomotive at the time when they would be needed.

If NS is continuing to finish conversion of their inventory that would seem to indicate the SD70ACUs are perfoming satisfactorially for them.

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Posted by NorthWest on Friday, February 14, 2020 4:39 PM

Those are CP.

NS 7030 is an SD60E.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Friday, February 14, 2020 11:54 PM

My bad. Got them crossed up with the NS 7230s.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Monday, February 17, 2020 6:34 PM

AltoonaWorks is reporting that Canadian Pacific has bought six SD80MAC's for parts.

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Posted by NorthWest on Monday, February 17, 2020 8:14 PM

Interesting.

More UP SD90MACs would've been cheaper?

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Posted by kgbw49 on Monday, February 17, 2020 10:13 PM

Once CP finishes taking delivery of its 60th SD70ACU, it is possible there just might be a larger number of that model on Class I railroads than there are of the SD70ACE-T4 model.

That is not a negative comment of the SD70ACE-T4. It is just a thought related to how PSR has dropped demand for new locomotives and how the fuel economy reported for Tier 4 models has not helped drive demand for them.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Thursday, February 20, 2020 3:38 PM

NSDash9 reports that Progress Rail bought the rest of the SD80MAC's.

https://www.facebook.com/nsdash9/posts/10157324946918843

They also bought the SD70's that were for sale (And NS has now placed up for sale the three SD70's that weren't listed for sale this last time).

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Friday, October 23, 2020 2:15 PM

In a move that isn't surprising giving today's current climate and the long storage lines for the model, Norfolk Southern has put up dozens of stored SD70ACU's on their sale list.

I'm surprised the SD70ACC's didn't go first. If they feel the need to slash the fleet, I would think a roster with 110 SD70ACU's makes more sense than one with ~60 SD70ACU's and ~50 SD70ACC's, but perhaps this is just round 1.

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Posted by D.Carleton on Saturday, October 24, 2020 3:33 PM

I believe the SD70ACC rebuilds received a more comprehensive overhaul than the ACUs. My guess: in a three-party deal they go from NS to CP via Progress Rail. The remainder follow eventually and the SD70ACCs become the pusher fleet.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Saturday, October 24, 2020 7:47 PM

Not sure if Canadian Pacific is in the market for additional high horsepower C-C's.

They're closing in on concluding their own SD70ACU program, have done a lot of upgrades to their SD60 fleet, and are in the midst of a big program for their AC4400CW's. The rest of the road fleet are still young ES44AC's.

I could see it if they had some wore out Dash 8's still kicking around that were keeping busy even in today's economic environment, but traffic is down which precludes the need to expand the fleet and there's no obvious area of their roster that's ripe for replacement.

I don't see these being scrap fodder given their recent rebuilding, but I'm not sure if CPR is going to be eagerly knocking on doors wanting to buy many of these.

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Posted by D.Carleton on Sunday, October 25, 2020 1:53 PM

Leo_Ames

Not sure if Canadian Pacific is in the market for additional high horsepower C-C's.

They're closing in on concluding their own SD70ACU program, have done a lot of upgrades to their SD60 fleet, and are in the midst of a big program for their AC4400CW's. The rest of the road fleet are still young ES44AC's.

I could see it if they had some wore out Dash 8's still kicking around that were keeping busy even in today's economic environment, but traffic is down which precludes the need to expand the fleet and there's no obvious area of their roster that's ripe for replacement.

I don't see these being scrap fodder given their recent rebuilding, but I'm not sure if CPR is going to be eagerly knocking on doors wanting to buy many of these.

All points well taken, sir. The three criteria, as I see it: how is CPR's traffic growing (if at all), is CPR satisfied with their SD70ACU rebuilds and the asking price for a slightly used SD70ACU.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Sunday, October 25, 2020 2:31 PM

Would it be probable to assume that any NS SD70ACU locomotives bought by any Canadian railroad would have to have all the crew accoutrements added to the cabs? Or if not added, would they have to operate only in trailing status?

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Posted by D.Carleton on Monday, October 26, 2020 12:06 AM

kgbw49
Would it be probable to assume that any NS SD70ACU locomotives bought by any Canadian railroad would have to have all the crew accoutrements added to the cabs? Or if not added, would they have to operate only in trailing status?

If they are buying locomotives outright and intend to keep them in service for a few years then it is presumed they would be outfitted as necessary so as to fill any service need.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Monday, October 26, 2020 9:29 AM

D.Carleton
kgbw49
Would it be probable to assume that any NS SD70ACU locomotives bought by any Canadian railroad would have to have all the crew accoutrements added to the cabs? Or if not added, would they have to operate only in trailing status?

If they are buying locomotives outright and intend to keep them in service for a few years then it is presumed they would be outfitted as necessary so as to fill any service need.

That is correct.  

All the secondhand locomotives CN has bought over the last 30 years were fitted with the required appliances very soon after being purchased. 

It took much longer for the ex-IC and BC Rail units to be converted, and there may still be some IC SD70s running around out there without fridges, microwaves or hot plates. 

The BCOL units originally had a small oven instead of a microwave, and I've heard that some of their crews were excellent cooks, just like when cabooses were still around.  

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Monday, October 26, 2020 12:18 PM

If I were to venture a guess, the one exception might be if they were experiencing a shortage of power. Then, just as with paint (We've seen even new power running around in primer during power shortages), it's easy to see them temporarily operating for some time as B units.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 5:03 PM

Judging by Loconotes, your hunch may very well be correct, D.Carleton. Apparently rumor has it that CPR is interested in 100 more SD70ACU's.

If true and if Progress buys these 46 SD70ACU's presently for sale, I wonder if we'll see NS dispose of more units a few months down the road or if we'll see Progress pad out the order with rebuilds of SD9043MAC's (Or maybe even some repowered SD80MAC's; Progress has no shortage of SD70's and SD70M's to cannibalize for 16-710's).

Lots of if's, but will be interesting to see how it pans out if true. 

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Posted by beaulieu on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 7:57 PM

All of the NS SD70ACU locomotives up for sale need serious repairs. When NS upgraded them they only upgraded the inverters and some affliated wiring and control computers. A review of some of the for sale locos reveals problems such as fire damaged main alternator, blown diesel engine, crankcase overpressure faults, etc. 

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 8:27 PM

I suspected that, given how much of the SD9043MAC wasn't touched during the rebuilding process and NS being in a power shortage when these were getting turned out

A sign that perhaps may not bode well for the remainder is that 1/3 of the 30 SD70ACU's that actually received a full engine rebuild are also on this initial sale list. If those aren't worth their time to repair and return to service, I suspect we'll be seeing the rest of the ACU's be eliminated in the months ahead.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Thursday, October 29, 2020 11:00 AM

Wasn't most of the NS SD70ACU work done at Altoona?

And then CP had Progress Rail rebuild all their SD70ACU locomotives, as I understand it.

Hopefully the CP units will turn out to be more reliable. I guess time will tell. 

 

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Thursday, October 29, 2020 3:43 PM

Charlie Murphy posted a partial accounting of the woes of each unit on the AltoonaWorks Facebook page. The full list apparently is on Trainorders.

7231 - crankcase overpressure, would not run. Water coming from #5 pa. #5 pa replaced, still get crankcase overpressure and will not run - placed into storage

7233 - crankcase overpressure tripped. Piston found on engine compartment floor. Oil on walkways. Placed into storage

7286 - fire in electrical cabinet in back wall of cab. Electric fire in nose. Fire require fire department. Placed into storage

7316 - alternator fire required fire department. Towed to Chattanooga and stored.

7323 - long list of electrical and wiring issues. Ground relay lockout, unit will not load. Placed into b/o storage Jan 2019 account poor performance

7293 - drops load. Computer issues. Placed into long term cold storage Nov 2019 account poor performance.

7264 - alternator. Wiring problems. Repeated cab signal problem. Placed into storage Nov 2019 account poor performance.

7238 - low coolant pressure. External water leaks. 1-8 rob bearing deeply pitted, copper debris in mich filters. Needs complete overhaul.

The gist of it appears to echo what Beaulieu said. The primary problem seem to be that they're worn locomotives in need of a complete overhaul, which I'm sure Altoona was always aware of. But because of PSR, they haven't received it.

A few sound like they possibly had quality control issues like the cab signal issues on #7264, and because of PSR, it was more expedient to store than to figure out the issues.

If CPR is overhauling their own examples as part of their ACU upgrading, I bet they're performing satisfactory.

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Thursday, October 29, 2020 6:50 PM

Leo_Ames

Charlie Murphy posted a partial accounting of the woes of each unit on the AltoonaWorks Facebook page. The full list apparently is on Trainorders.

7231 - crankcase overpressure, would not run. Water coming from #5 pa. #5 pa replaced, still get crankcase overpressure and will not run - placed into storage

7233 - crankcase overpressure tripped. Piston found on engine compartment floor. Oil on walkways. Placed into storage

7286 - fire in electrical cabinet in back wall of cab. Electric fire in nose. Fire require fire department. Placed into storage

7316 - alternator fire required fire department. Towed to Chattanooga and stored.

7323 - long list of electrical and wiring issues. Ground relay lockout, unit will not load. Placed into b/o storage Jan 2019 account poor performance

7293 - drops load. Computer issues. Placed into long term cold storage Nov 2019 account poor performance.

7264 - alternator. Wiring problems. Repeated cab signal problem. Placed into storage Nov 2019 account poor performance.

7238 - low coolant pressure. External water leaks. 1-8 rob bearing deeply pitted, copper debris in mich filters. Needs complete overhaul.

The gist of it appears to echo what Beaulieu said. The primary problem seem to be that they're worn locomotives in need of a complete overhaul, which I'm sure Altoona was always aware of. But because of PSR, they haven't received it.

A few sound like they possibly had quality control issues like the cab signal issues on #7264, and because of PSR, it was more expedient to store than to figure out the issues.

If CPR is overhauling their own examples as part of their ACU upgrading, I bet they're performing satisfactory.

 

 

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