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KLW 4400-ACT4

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KLW 4400-ACT4
Posted by D.Carleton on Friday, March 11, 2022 1:37 AM

Another Cummins QSK 95 rebuild hits the rails: https://youtu.be/DlMCSkjnz1c

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, March 11, 2022 9:53 AM

Glad you posted this.

The laundry list of components is interesting.

Wonder if they built it with the connections to act as a 'slug mother' to a battery locomotive...

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, March 11, 2022 11:52 AM

What is the word on the dependability and ease of maintenance of the QSK95 engine?

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Posted by M636C on Friday, March 11, 2022 5:19 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

What is the word on the dependability and ease of maintenance of the QSK95 engine?

 

It is fitted in the Siemens Charger locomotives, and there are 300 of them in service or on order. That makes the Charger second only to the EMD E7 as a commercially successful passenger locomotive.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, March 11, 2022 6:55 PM

The engine has been superb in passenger service, as far as I have heard.  The original high-horsepower freight unit (CECX 1919) was not touted heavily after being placed in service, and I suspect at least part of the reason for the unusual list of running-gear and control components may have been experience with that unit.

Meanwhile the Caterpillar C175-powered locomotives acquired something of a  reputation of a dog with a bad name, but I do not think most of the 'issues' were with the diesel engine itself.  Certainly the Bombardier ALP45-DPs have run astoundingly well in heavy service both with NJT (which has a potload of them) and AMT -- those have ancient-design CAT 3512s (one of which runs at synchronous genset speed all the time to provide HEP for the consist) and I have not heard any particular horror stories about maintenance (first cost was a bullet bitten at the beginning...)

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Friday, March 11, 2022 9:06 PM

What Cummins did with their QSK motor was took the same DPF and DEF system that turned their ISX engine from a boat anchor when it had EGR alone on it to the BEST overall in terms of reliablity in the OTR industry.  They adapted that for their larger series of engines as their DPF's and DEF systems were designed from the outset to be modular and easy to repair.  So you have a system that has proven itself with billions of miles in service in the OTR industry adapted to the RR service life and especially for passenger trains where if the engine is being used to generate HEP the freaking thing stays for the most part at the same fuel rack settings.  Can you say the perfect design for an emission diesel that is lighter than both the EMD and Wabtec engines in the PM assembly by 5 to 6 tons in weight.  And being a passenger engine that is quite a bit of weight.

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Posted by D.Carleton on Saturday, March 12, 2022 4:04 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH
What is the word on the dependability and ease of maintenance of the QSK95 engine?

The QSK95 is a precision machine with excellent efficiency and emissions. But this only true if the maintenance is followed as directed. If standard locomotive engine oil is added to the crankcase or water to the cooling system then it will fail, sometimes spectacularly. (And a post-failure analysis will uncover these no-no's and void the warranty.) The maintenance regimen is not complicated but it is different than what we all grew up with. Follow the directions on Cummins' QuickServe website and the engine will run forever. Leave it to an illiterate parts-changer and it will become a paperweight.

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Posted by D.Carleton on Saturday, March 12, 2022 4:13 PM

Overmod
The original high-horsepower freight unit (CECX 1919) was not touted heavily after being placed in service, and I suspect at least part of the reason for the unusual list of running-gear and control components may have been experience with that unit.

The 1919 was the test bed for the QSK95. It was started by a shop that went under before completion so the job was finished by another. As with anything new there were teething problems in operation and a small railroad has enough problems already without having to worry about a single locomotive. But it did lead to the Charger and now a second freight conversion with a novel traction system so testing continues.

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Posted by M636C on Saturday, March 12, 2022 4:54 PM

If you are starting with an SD70, why not fit exhaust treatment to either the existing 710G3 or a new 710 specifically set up for exhaust gas treatment.

It must cost less than rebuilding the locomotive for a new type of engine.

Maybe you could convert it for AC traction at the same time.

Norfolk Southern have a single 710 engine locomotive fitted for exhaust gas treatment already.

In Australia we have a number of locomotives built by Motive Power Industries which use QSK60 and QSK78 engines, all of the QSK60s in narrow gauge units intended for light unballasted track. These are all set to Tier 3 emissions, which is the requirement for new units in Australia. There are forty units in total.

These seem to have been successful, although maybe four of the QSK78 units were stored after minor failures during a traffic downturn. These were rebuilt very early into the traffic upturn.

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Posted by D.Carleton on Saturday, March 12, 2022 6:07 PM

M636C
If you are starting with an SD70, why not fit exhaust treatment to either the existing 710G3 or a new 710 specifically set up for exhaust gas treatment.

Because a high-speed QSK95 can run circles around a 710 fuel efficiency wise. And with crude at $100+/barrel it may be an appealing option.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Saturday, March 12, 2022 8:16 PM

One question.  With a higher speed diesel is there any chance of some  gyroscopic action on the loco?  That especially with the  cant defiency?

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Posted by D.Carleton on Saturday, March 12, 2022 8:20 PM

blue streak 1
One question.  With a higher speed diesel is there any chance of some  gyroscopic action on the loco?  That especially with the  cant defiency?

5+ years with Chargers and I cannot say I've experienced any such action.

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Saturday, March 12, 2022 9:11 PM

blue streak 1

With a higher speed diesel is there any chance of some  gyroscopic action on the loco?

A large high-speed diesel engine isn't spinning fast enough to generate significant gyroscopic action.

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, March 13, 2022 3:22 AM

D.Carleton

 

 
M636C
If you are starting with an SD70, why not fit exhaust treatment to either the existing 710G3 or a new 710 specifically set up for exhaust gas treatment.

 

Because a high-speed QSK95 can run circles around a 710 fuel efficiency wise. And with crude at $100+/barrel it may be an appealing option.

 

But if you already own the SD70, how much should you spend to get a relatively small reduction in fuel consumption.

High oil prices have historically been transitory. Alternatives like petroleum gas become more competitive.

But replacing a fully serviceable diesel engine by a new one with most likely a shorter life is a cost that will never be recouped.

In the early 2000s, BHP purchased a number of very old SD40s from GE to meet a sudden upturn in demand. These were forty years old, but went into service straight away. They were heavy on fuel compared to the GEs then in service but nobody cared because they did the job.

Meanwhile, Rio Tinto were replacing the FDL-16s in their Dash -9s after about eight years in service. These had cracking in the cast crankcases. Everything else (the power assemblies crankshaft and camshafts could be reused in the new crankcases but it wasn't cheap building up the new engines.

How much fuel could you buy for the cost of stripping down and rebuilding an engine?

Fuel costs are a large proportion of locomotive running costs. But maintenance costs are important too. The old EMD locomotive engines last a long time and don't cost much to maintain. They use a lot of fuel, particularly the blower engines but in Australia, where fuel costs are higher than in the USA, a lot of locomotives, including the first units built with 567B engines (converted to BC of of course) are still in daily road service on main lines by companies that have to watch their expenditures.

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Posted by D.Carleton on Sunday, March 13, 2022 7:14 PM

M636C
But if you already own the SD70, how much should you spend to get a relatively small reduction in fuel consumption.

Depends on who's money you're spending.

 

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, March 13, 2022 9:22 PM

D.Carleton

 

 
M636C
But if you already own the SD70, how much should you spend to get a relatively small reduction in fuel consumption.

 

If you are spending state or Federal money to reach a desired emission standard, the donor is unlikely to specify the means, only the end.

If the capital cost is less, but more importantly the ongoing cost of operation is also less (using familiar spares and procedures) the railroad should be able to decide the means of meeting the standard.

Amtrak were buying new locomotives when they selected the QSK95.

Nobody has yet offered a QSK95 in a new freight locomotive, although that market is pretty small right now.

Look at the numbers of "genset" switchers actually in use compared to the number purchased.

Nine years ago I visited Rosevile UP yard. One hump had a pair of GP38s and the other a pair of GP39s. The gensets were sitting silently in a line. They promised fuel economy but didn't provide the desired reliability or flexibility.

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Posted by D.Carleton on Sunday, March 13, 2022 10:47 PM

M636C
 
D.Carleton
M636C
But if you already own the SD70, how much should you spend to get a relatively small reduction in fuel consumption.

And that is why I employed a professional proofreader when I was writing This Week at Amtrak.Big Smile

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Monday, March 14, 2022 9:01 AM

Isn't the QSK a smaller physical engine than the V-16 710? That space saving could be a factor in a rebuild.

 

In principle though, Is suspect if the experiements with 710+Aftertreatment prove effective and reliable, it will generate at least some interest. The cost to do that mods is going to be a factor as well familiarity with the platform.

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Posted by M636C on Monday, March 14, 2022 7:35 PM
And that is why I employed a professional proofreader when I was writing This Week at Amtrak.Big Smile
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Posted by M636C on Monday, March 14, 2022 8:05 PM

YoHo1975

Isn't the QSK a smaller physical engine than the V-16 710? That space saving could be a factor in a rebuild.

 

In principle though, Is suspect if the experiements with 710+Aftertreatment prove effective and reliable, it will generate at least some interest. The cost to do that mods is going to be a factor as well familiarity with the platform.

 

The QSK95 is smaller than the EMD 16-710G3 in both dimensions and in displacement. However EMD engines have traditionally sat in a recess in the underframe, significantly increasing the space above the engine available for the aftertreatment equipment. The QSK95 appears to use a skid mounting that effectively increases the height of the QSK95 as compared to the 16-710G3 installed in its well.

There is room above a 710 engine to fit aftertreatment equipment, as shown on the GP34ECO, NS #4800.

It is worth comparing the GP34ECO with the Tier 3 equivalent, the GP33ECO, the NS 4700 series....

http://www.nsdash9.com/rosters/4800.html

and

http://www.nsdash9.com/rosters/4700.html

These are locomotives of approximately the same size and power. It might have been felt that there was some spare space in a GP59 compared to say a a GP60, for example.

The obvious change is that the afterteatment equipment in 4800 has replaced the dynamic brakes above the engine in the 4700 series. This has been replaced by a standard EMD radial dynamic brake unit behind the radiators. Also fairly obvious is the much smaller radiators on 4800 compared to those on the 4700 series.

This suggests that control of combustion temperature is much less critical in the Tier 4 unit with aftertreatment compared to that required in a Tier 3 unit.

But, given that there is proportionally more space above the 16-710G3 in an SD70 than above the 12-710G3 in a GP59, there should be enougn space to fit the aftertreatment equipment there, and you don't even have to touch the dynamic brakes, already located ahead of the engine. You might even be able to use the existing radiator.

The big problem will be getting class 1 railroads to accept running locomotives with DEF, which has been the main objection to the use of aftertreatment in main line freight locomotives. I'm not sure that Amtrak's acceptance of the use of DEF will influence the freight railroads.

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Posted by D.Carleton on Monday, March 14, 2022 10:45 PM

YoHo1975
Isn't the QSK a smaller physical engine than the V-16 710? That space saving could be a factor in a rebuild.

In principle though, Is suspect if the experiements with 710+Aftertreatment prove effective and reliable, it will generate at least some interest. The cost to do that mods is going to be a factor as well familiarity with the platform.

When I first laid eyes on a crate QSK95 on the shop floor it struck me how close in size it is to a 567 V12 like in the E-units I once worked on. A QSK95 will fit in the same footprint yet deliver 4+ times the horsepower.

As for aftermarket exhaust treatment I have no experience. At a minimum I'm guessing the engine will need to be overhauled to original specs or, more likely, rebuilt to a minimum Tier 3 emissions to be compatible with the bolt on after treatment.

If you have a tired, DC transmission, 4K-ish hp, well-past-it's-recommended-midlife-overhaul locomotive then a rebuild that offers AC traction, superior fuel economy and a brand new prime mover (with warranty) may be worth it.

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Posted by D.Carleton on Monday, March 14, 2022 10:52 PM

M636C
 I've proofread magazine articles for around 50 years, but nobody ever paid me for it....

I'm a railroad master mechanic and know my limitations. Would you like a reference to a proofreader?Embarrassed

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Posted by D.Carleton on Monday, March 14, 2022 11:07 PM

M636C
The QSK95 is smaller than the EMD 16-710G3 in both dimensions and in displacement. However EMD engines have traditionally sat in a recess in the underframe, significantly increasing the space above the engine available for the aftertreatment equipment. The QSK95 appears to use a skid mounting that effectively increases the height of the QSK95 as compared to the 16-710G3 installed in its well.

The QSK95 will mount directly onto the frames of an EMD.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, March 14, 2022 11:40 PM

You forgot afterteatment, a word I intend to use in future.

Looks as if there is a sticky or defective R key on his keyboard...

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Posted by D.Carleton on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 12:25 AM

Overmod
You forgot afterteatment, a word I intend to use in future.

Looks as if there is a sticky or defective R key on his keyboard...

I'm typing (?) this on an iPad and for whatever reason the last letter of some words inexplicably disappears making me double or triple check my screeds and questioning my sanity. Never had this issue with an Underwood...the typing issue, that is.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 12:53 PM

From the marine world, here's a consultant's report comparing the EMD 710 with several other engines (unfortunately the GE data is redacted) for repowering an Alaska ferry.  This report recommended the 710 despite its noticeably higher fuel consumption.  

https://dot.alaska.gov/procurement/docs/25-16-014-PIF_Project_70212_Main_Propulsion_Engines.pdf

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by M636C on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 7:01 PM

D.Carleton

 

 
M636C
The QSK95 is smaller than the EMD 16-710G3 in both dimensions and in displacement. However EMD engines have traditionally sat in a recess in the underframe, significantly increasing the space above the engine available for the aftertreatment equipment. The QSK95 appears to use a skid mounting that effectively increases the height of the QSK95 as compared to the 16-710G3 installed in its well.

The QSK95 will mount directly onto the frames of an EMD.

But not with part of the crankcase and the whole oil pan sitting in the recess in the frame. So the relative heights should be measured from the mounting points on both engine types to the top of the engine. This will reduce any size advantage to the QSK95 due to its smaller overall height.

I was impressed by the ferry engine tabulation.

It was interesting that GE consider its engine operating costs to be commercial in confidence. Do we know if the GE engine uses aftertreatment in the marine version?

Peter

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Posted by D.Carleton on Wednesday, March 16, 2022 4:56 AM

M636C
But not with part of the crankcase and the whole oil pan sitting in the recess in the frame. So the relative heights should be measured from the mounting points on both engine types to the top of the engine. This will reduce any size advantage to the QSK95 due to its smaller overall height.

Yes, from the engine mounts to the top of the engine, including the four turbos and two wastegates, is about the same height as an EMD. However, the V16 QSK95 will fit in the same space as a V12 567. The innards of a Charger are about the same dimension as an EMD E/F unit but instead of the radiators being above the engine there are the aftertreatment catalysts.

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Posted by creepycrank on Wednesday, March 16, 2022 5:03 AM

SD70Dude

From the marine world, here's a consultant's report comparing the EMD 710 with several other engines (unfortunately the GE data is redacted) for repowering an Alaska ferry.  This report recommended the 710 despite its noticeably higher fuel consumption.  

https://dot.alaska.gov/procurement/docs/25-16-014-PIF_Project_70212_Main_Propulsion_Engines.pdf

 I didn't see anything about EMD's higher fuel consumption rate. Remember that EMD seems to have satisfied custermers at Massachuesetts steamship, New York Ferries, Washington State ferries as well as Alaska Ferries. 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, March 16, 2022 6:18 AM

creepycrank

https://dot.alaska.gov/procurement/docs/25-16-014-PIF_Project_70212_Main_Propulsion_Engines.pdf

 I didn't see anything about EMD's higher fuel consumption rate. Remember that EMD seems to have satisfied custermers at Massachuesetts steamship, New York Ferries, Washington State ferries as well as Alaska Ferries.

I was referring to the chart on the third last page, page A-15 on the report or page 16 in a PDF viewer.  The 710 is listed as burning 201 g/kwh, and the others range from 184 to 194.  And of course the GE engine's data is a redacted black box. 

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