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ALCO 4400 hp locomotive

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ALCO 4400 hp locomotive
Posted by IA and eastern on Friday, October 2, 2020 12:19 PM

If i built an ALCO 4400 hp locomotive with a engine created for this locomotive. Would this locomotive need the radiator of a GE ES4400 to cool this locomotive? Gary

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Posted by ClassA on Friday, October 2, 2020 12:28 PM

They did build one at 4000HP if memory serves for CN or CP. Or rather MLW did. And it did have a wide radiator that resembles later GE radiators. 

 

CP Rail. MLW M640.

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Posted by caldreamer on Friday, October 2, 2020 12:59 PM

Alco produced the C636, rated at 3600 HP. It did not have large protruding radiators.  They also built a bydrualic uint, the C643, purchased by the Southern Pacific.  It did NOT do well due to poor performance.

   Caldreamer

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, October 2, 2020 1:52 PM

The C643H, while rated at 4300 HP, attained this rating with two V-12 engines.  The M640 was an experimental with a V-18.

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 Friday, October 2, 2020 2:00 PM

The short TL;DR is 'yes'.  This not only for the added rejected heat but for pollution control.

I assume you mean 'Alco' in the sense of using 251 engine architecture.  In my opinion this design is rod and crank limited in a way the Cooper-Bessemer articulated-rod type is not, so 4400hp will likely involve more cylinders than the 18 MLW stopped with ... the obvious place to pull technology from being India, which has made the most of 251 engine improvements to date (you will have to separate the improvements from expedience and squirrelly materials provision, but that won't be particularly difficult to an engine designer).  Heat rejection characteristics should therefore be proportionally similar for the uprated engine -- probably 20 cylinders -- except that you will probably adopt a hybrid turbo setup (which any Alco benefits from) and this will give as much more proportional rejected heat as the foregone smoke and lag represents.

I think we can assume good EFI and FADEC on this engine, and probably the use of properly cooled EGR as nitrogen-oxide reduction.  This at, now, 5/4s of what a 16-251 would require, and probably using split cooling with modular sections (so round radiator capacity up to module on both sides of the split).

To me this calls for more radiator elements, probably with more cross-section and optimized heat transfer, and it would make sense to 'batwing' them if they are to be high-mounted.

If I were going to build a demonstrator or test locomotive for an 'enhanced' q251 I'd certainly look at something suitable using OTS parts and assembly information.  The radiator system applied to ES44s certainly represents a reasonable starting place; you'd do a cost-benefit analysis on whether some other setup or combination of parts from a different locomotive setup would work 'better' in production.

(If course, if you're kitbashing shells for a model, different kinds of economy come into play... Big Smile)

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Posted by IA and eastern on Friday, October 2, 2020 6:38 PM

ALCO looked at 2 engines. One looked to develop 4000 hp and the other to develop 4500 hp but the corp said no money and ALCO went out of business. Gary

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Posted by kgbw49 on Friday, October 2, 2020 11:17 PM

India Railways got 3,500 HP out of the WDM-3E and 3,600 HP out of the WDM-3F classes back in 2008, but realized that is about as far as they could take the ALCO 251 engine.

https://www.irfca.org/faq/faq-specs.html#WDM-3F

After that they started working with EMD and GE diesel products.

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Posted by IA and eastern on Saturday, October 3, 2020 6:03 AM

The two engines that ALCO was working were bigger in bore and stoke than the 251 engine therfore were way more powerful engines.Gary

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, October 3, 2020 6:23 AM

IA and eastern
The two engines that ALCO was working were bigger in bore and stroke than the 251 engine therefore were way more powerful engines.

We need a detailed and specific technical reference to these engines and, if possible, to the development team.

Max out of a regular 251 was probably the 3700hp in the LRCs.  The 251 Plus provided some important fixes, for example better support for what could be much larger cams and perhaps better head design for >1800psi peak firing pressure.  I believe that the Indians, with a combination of EFI, their 'microprocessor' FADEC, steel-capped pistons and variable-geometry turbochargers can reach over 4000hp from a 16-cylinder engine... but probably at rpm only achievable with modern materials and technique.  I notice for example that FM did not provide a 1200rpm alternative in gensets for the 18-cylinder engine, and presumably a 251 with longer crank might easily find itself more rotational-speed restricted -- perhaps dramatically -- for 20 cylinders.

This would have been in the era after Krauss-Maffei attempted to bring single-unit 4000hp locomotives to America; it is notable that MLW could find no takers for its 'pushed' 4000hp version when offered.  Indeed in the age of the 'fuel crisis' the added power from the 'four extra cylinders' of the 20-cylinder GM 645 came at too high a cost even at 3600hp.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, October 3, 2020 12:40 PM

Despite the extra horsepower, I believe a SD45 has the same starting tractive effort as an SD40.  So it can haul the same train, faster.  

Also recall that the 3700 HP 251F as used in the LRC was not particularly reliable.

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, October 3, 2020 7:28 PM

SD70Dude
Despite the extra horsepower, I believe a SD45 has the same starting tractive effort as an SD40.

Of course it does; they have the same traction motors that are just as heat-limited up to about 12mph, so the engine horsepower is almost irrelevant in that range.  Arguably something with a 6-567 could develop equivalent starting TE if given the motors and adhesive weight and run up to notch 8 with a suitable alternator ... Whistling it just would balance out awful quick...

So it can haul the same train, faster.

That was really the only point of the SD45; in fact, if you couldn't make use of the higher speed, the locomotive was not as fuel-efficient.  Note how many SD40-2s are still in service vs. the 20-cylinder engines; in fact there appears to be no service need for the 20-710 SD80MACs now and they've been put up for sale ... could be amusing to see who needs the unique combination of characteristics they have.

Also recall that the 3700 HP 251F as used in the LRC was not particularly reliable.

Perhaps even more to the point, nothing all the king's men could do could make them reliable, which to me is a sure sign you're trying to extract more horsepower than the engine will deliver.  Even operating a 251 at 1100rpm is likely "too much" -- and some regimens of operation called for 1200rpm, which to me would be science fiction on any suspension or trackwork that Alcos would be likely to operate over in the '70s.

Note that this is separate from the issues in operating a 251 with high boost and better steel-capped pistons but lower rpm, as in some of the current Indian practice, which apparently can get reasonable life at over 30psi intercooled boost and over 1800psi peak firing pressure.

I don't know what other engines were planned for the LRC, but it is unfortunate that Alco didn't survive as a United States locomotive builder long enough to obtain Valentas under their existing Ventura cross-licensing agreement.  That would have been a better starting point for an LRC, and the logical "improvements" over the years (specifically the VP185) would have worked about as nicely for the LRC trains as they did for the HSTs.

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Sunday, October 4, 2020 8:03 AM
 

Overmod

in fact there appears to be no service need for the 20-710 SD80MACs now and they've been put up for sale ... could be amusing to see who needs the unique combination of characteristics they have.

 

PSR has eliminated the need for the 80's. They were originally scheduled for an NS upgrade program such as the SD9043's received. Including an HP increase to 5500 THP. They could end up in Brazil. Progress created an SD80ACe for their market it. Vale mining was the first customer. MRS, and RUMO Logisitcs are expected to order 80ACe's as well. Indian railways also operates the WDG-5 aka the GT50AC. Their version of the SD80.

 
 
 
 
Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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Posted by Overmod on Monday, October 5, 2020 4:47 AM

I can't help but think that the OP is thinking of the development of the 270 engine by Alco Power, essentially after Alco quit as a locomotive builder.  This engine became a joint development of Alco (Auburn NY) and GEC (not the General Electric in the United States!) Diesel Group, which bought Alco Power in that timeframe.  The engine was introduced (presumably for marine or genset service) circa 1981, and the spark-ignition version around 1983.  It was said to have been relatively quickly discontinued as 'not particularly better than the existing 251s' (which may by then have been 251 Plus)

The Alco Historical & Technical Society indicates they have a 17-page paper on this engine development.

Associated with this on the MLW side is the essentially stillborn B2400 (Bombardier) which in my living memory, no more than a couple of decades ago now, was being actively promoted by the company (along with the Jet Train) -- both these things have vanished from the company's Web presence as if they had never been, and I believe their use or abuse of robots.txt kept any of it from being preserved in the Wayback Machine.  This was an engine with 11" x 11" cylinders, making about 300hp per cylinder at the time with somewhere around 240psi MEP (perhaps derated slightly from that in 16-cylinder dress accounting for the indicated 4500hp variant) and the facility that is now the Engine System Development Corporation in Lachine, Quebec was specially built for its development.  As I recall when GE acquired MLW this engine (which I am led to believe was in prototype testing) was deprecated in favor of the disastrous Deutz 6000hp engine, and development of course curtailed as GE already had a stouter-crank 4400HP engine in the 7FDL and would improve that design to get the GEVO.  I am advised that the test engine went to Erie as a training exercise, and has been scrapped; Lord knows what it would take to get a set of engine blueprints or CAD files.  (In my opinion it is the B2400 that would have made the best 'Canadian' solution as a LRC prime mover, but I'm readily prepared to be told otherwise...)

We had threads on this engine many years ago, although I think even then the technical information was drying up.  There was at least one technical-society paper on it, but I can't find direct links that might access that.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, October 5, 2020 4:54 AM

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