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CAT New Four-Strokes – Future Curse?

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CAT New Four-Strokes – Future Curse?
Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 10:57 AM

CAT New Four-Strokes – Future Curse?

Since the new Tier-4 orders from both GE and EMD (Progress Rail / CAT) are new four-strokes, does that bode a bleak long range future for the present offerings from both manufacturers?

Circa 25-30 years ago Union Pacific acquired a fleet of EMD SD60 / SD60M’s and GE C-40’s.

The four-stroke GE C-40’s are now being retired left and right …

… but the two-stoke SD60 and SD60M feet endures perpetually seemingly.

So, will the future SD70ACe-T4 be perpetual-like too or like the GE C-40’s and go bye-bye?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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Posted by creepycrank on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 11:26 AM

Future curse, in a word, yes ! My former boss at EMD said that EMD's trouble was that they were a Cadillac in a Ford market. I heard that EMD's price was about $40,000 more expensive per unit compared to GE. A suitable inducement to a railroad purchasing agent to buy GE. I know that in the marine engine market, CAT engines are the cheapest and EMD's are the most expensive per unit horsepower. Most marine outfits are family run businesses and are more aware of the cost of running these engines. The exception might be Washington State Ferries that has 12-710's on order now. 

CAT knows how the build 4 strokes cheaply and with other factors EMD may be in a position to sell the 1010 engine locomotive cheaper than GE. As far as the railroads are concerned EMD quality only has to be good enough. I think thats why GE bought that plant in Texas, a right to work state. 

 

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Posted by M636C on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 5:06 PM

K. P. Harrier

CAT New Four-Strokes – Future Curse?

Since the new Tier-4 orders from both GE and EMD (Progress Rail / CAT) are new four-strokes, does that bode a bleak long range future for the present offerings from both manufacturers?

Circa 25-30 years ago Union Pacific acquired a fleet of EMD SD60 / SD60M’s and GE C-40’s.

The four-stroke GE C-40’s are now being retired left and right …

… but the two-stoke SD60 and SD60M feet endures perpetually seemingly.

So, will the future SD70ACe-T4 be perpetual-like too or like the GE C-40’s and go bye-bye?

 

 

KP,

Have you read my post in the "Two Stroke and Four Stroke" thread?

The "C-40"s you describe had the GE FDL engine.

My former employer had the first GE locomotives with the Vee type version of this engine (then called the Cooper Bessemer FVBL-12) delivered in November 1951. The workshop laboratories had a collection of failed components they were pleased to show anyone and indicated that they believed GE had supplied ten prototypes in the guise of production locomotives.

So it was an old engine. In 1951 it was good for 1100 HP. By the end, they were advertising 3200 HP from the same size of engine (with greatly improved detail design and metallurgy).

But the cast crankcase eventually cracked, more quickly if the engine was worked hard. Hamersley Iron re-engined their Dash9-44CW locomotives after about nine years. Pacific National has just about re-engined all of their Cv40-9i units after 16 -20 years of service.

You can't rebuild an old FDL with cracks in the crankcase. A faulty "repair" to a power assembly (not the crankcase) was directly responsible for the Lac Megantic derailment and fire. The recent BNSF AC44C4 rebuilds got new FDL engines.

The welded crankcase of an EMD can be repaired but often doesn't need repair and will last longer. Hence SD60s can get new power assemblies and run like new at much less cost than fitting a new engine in a Dash 8 or Dash 9.

However, the GEVO is an entirely new design and its longevity is not known. It may last a lot longer than an FDL. Nobody knows yet. But the really extensive changes made to the Tier 4 GEVO (longer crankcase and crankshaft, presumably for larger bearings and big ends) weighing 8000lb more doesn't suggest that the Tier GEVO was close to perfection. The new design of turbocharger on the Tier 3 wasn't a good sign either.

I pointed out elsewhere that the 1010 is based on an EMD design and not a CAT design. It does have a cast crankcase however, and would be subject to cracking if the design was inadequate for the stresses imposed. It is based (loosely) on the 265H engine, but few of them have run long enough to know what their life will be (although there are hundreds running in China right now).

So both GE and EMD have new designs of engine and we can't extrapolate from experience with their earlier different designs.

M636C

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Posted by carnej1 on Thursday, February 18, 2016 11:25 AM

 While Union Pacific has so far shown no interest in rebuilding older General Electric locomotives;both Norfolk Southern and BNSF have begun major remanufacturing programs for older DASH 8/Dash 9 units so it's not like they're all being scrapped as they come of age.. 

 

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Posted by M636C on Thursday, February 18, 2016 9:45 PM

carnej1

 While Union Pacific has so far shown no interest in rebuilding older General Electric locomotives;both Norfolk Southern and BNSF have begun major remanufacturing programs for older DASH 8/Dash 9 units so it's not like they're all being scrapped as they come of age.. 

 

But these rebuilds will generally have new engine crankcases, even if the power assemblies and cranshaft are recycled. It is the extra cost of a new engine that has kept the rebuilding of GE units to a much smaller scale. It is much cheaper to get the same result with an EMD.

UP certainly use rebuilt EMDs for switching and branch line duty.

Norfolk Southern have many more rebuilt EMDs than rebuilt GEs also.

It is the high cost of new locomotives that has convinced the major roads to extend the life of their GEs, combined with the good performance of Dash 8 and later units. In some respects, the Dash 8s were the first GEs that performed well enough for railroads to want to rebuild them.

I was pretty familiar with Alco C636 and Montreal M636 units, but when I saw my first C36-7, I thought "where have these guys been - the MLWs are not nearly as bad as this..." While all of these locomotives were designed with cold weather in mind, the GEs were the least suitable for a hot and dusty environment.

But Santa Fe and BNSF really liked the Dash 9, so GE must have got their act together by then.

M636C

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Posted by cx500 on Friday, February 19, 2016 10:57 AM

carnej1

 While Union Pacific has so far shown no interest in rebuilding older General Electric locomotives;both Norfolk Southern and BNSF have begun major remanufacturing programs for older DASH 8/Dash 9 units so it's not like they're all being scrapped as they come of age.. 

 

 

CN has also picked up a substantial fleet of GEs cast off by UP and BNSF.  These were all the DC versions, but CN avoided buying AC locomotives for years.

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