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C&NW F7A 4084C 1st and 2nd

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C&NW F7A 4084C 1st and 2nd
Posted by SSW9389 on Monday, March 28, 2022 7:02 AM
The first C&NW F7A 4084C was destroyed in a head on collision at Rhinelander, Wisconsin on July 4, 1951. The 4084C leading the 4084A struck a passenger train led by the 5003A and 5002A. The 1951 ICC accident report is #3413. A photo of the wrecked F7A 4084C first shows an underframe break behind the cab. There obviously was a 4084C 2nd built sometime in early 1952 by my guess. I haven't found any other record about this rebuild. The lead unit on the passenger train E2A 5003A was also retired because of this wreck.

Ed in Kentucky
 
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Posted by Leo_Ames on Monday, March 28, 2022 11:44 PM

I'm skeptical you'll find any further details.

At that time when almost new EMD power was all but destroyed, it was commonplace to send it back to La Grange for "rebuilding" (Even if it was in multiple gondola loads). Even if she received a new carbody and mostly new components, officially she'd of been the same unit with the same builder's number. 

Often the only clues that something like this happened are pictures of a severely wrecked unit like you've discovered and roster data showing a retirement date years after the wreck.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, March 29, 2022 12:40 AM

Canadian Pacific ECO rebuilds are a similar modern example.  

New engines, new cabs, and new frames, but they are considered 'rebuilds' for accounting and emission compliance purposes.  

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Posted by SSW9389 on Tuesday, March 29, 2022 3:44 AM

Leo_Ames

I'm skeptical you'll find any further details.

At that time when almost new EMD power was all but destroyed, it was commonplace to send it back to La Grange for "rebuilding" (Even if it was in multiple gondola loads). Even if she received a new carbody and mostly new components, officially she'd of been the same unit with the same builder's number. 

Often the only clues that something like this happened are pictures of a severely wrecked unit like you've discovered and roster data showing a retirement date years after the wreck.

 

All true, there are few other confirming details. There is a roster note about the E2A in a 1970 C&NW roster in Extra 2200 South. The note is that the wrecked E2A was retired before 1953. That would indicate some type of primary source roster used in the compilation. The other known fact is that the unit never left the roster as shown in multiple rosters, the 4084C continued on as if nothing ever happened to it. 

In the interest of accuracy does anyone have a 1952-1953 photo of the 4084C? A photo post rebuild might confirm details such as the presence of an oval EMD builder's plate or any phase differences between the original and the rebuilt unit. 

Ed in Kentucky

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Posted by SSW9389 on Monday, August 1, 2022 2:26 PM
Message sent to C&NWHS: "Is someone looking in to the true history of this F unit. The first one was destroyed in a head on collision at Rhinelander, WI on July 4, 1951. And no one has been able to find the rebuilder or site. There are several threads about this wreck online. I understand your archives are in the process of being moved, but this subject should be one to look in to.

Ed in Kentucky"

This is something someone from C&NWHS should look in to. They would likely be a lot closer to Union, Illinois. It would make a great article when the true history of 4084C is found.

Ed
 
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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Monday, August 1, 2022 3:56 PM

#4084C (EMD #8573, Frame #E1188-A26) became #415 and was retired in 1985! Pictures of CNW 415 (rrpicturearchives.net)

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Posted by SSW9389 on Monday, August 1, 2022 7:58 PM

BEAUSABRE

#4084C (EMD #8573, Frame #E1188-A26) became #415 and was retired in 1985! Pictures of CNW 415 (rrpicturearchives.net)

 

No, have you seen the wreck photo? All the histories of this unit are wrong as of the July 4, 1951 wreck. Frame #E1188-A26 broke behind the cab in the classical fashion of Es and Fs. A second 4084C was built, the question is was it an EMD or a C&NW rebuild.

Ed in Kentucky

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 12:14 AM

OK, you don't want help

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 3:17 AM

Western Pacific to name one was known to repair severely wrecked F units in-house. They even had to cut a F7B in half and replaced all the damaged truss work in approximately half of the unit in one instance, not very long before EMD's unit replacement program likely would've made her a goner.

While I've not seen the wreck photo of this C&NW unit, the damaged WP unit I'm referencing looked completely trashed in the photos that I recall seeing. Reminded me a lot of the photos of the Erie Mining F9 units that were destroyed in a runaway back in the late 1990's. Yet Western Pacific's shop crew still put her back together. 

While I'm not aware of a F or E unit ever being repaired after the crash protection did its job behind the cab to protect the crew by absorbing some of the impact forces, I suppose it might've happened (Although I wouldn't be surprised if Branson Scenic's F7 had some structual damage in that area that had to be repaired when she had a Via Rail FP9 cab grafted on after her late 90's collision). EMD presumably would've willingly sold a new streamlined cab for the repair job, just as they did when TP&W rebuilt a F3B to a F3A.

I'd bet money though that EMD just built a new F unit carbody with some select reconditioned components from the trade-in pool installed aboard her to qualify her for tax purposes and such as having been rebuilt. That seemed to be the typical approach to handling something like this during that era. 

I hope you're eventually able to get an answer on this. Maybe send Preston Cook a private message over at Railway Preservation News? He'd be one of your best candidates for an individual that might actually be able to answer this question.

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Posted by SSW9389 on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 6:11 AM

BEAUSABRE

OK, you don't want help

 

A serial number inventory doesn't do anything to push the research. The original serial number was reused when the rebuild was done to an F unit that was about 20 months old. You have the anomaly of a single unit number, builder's number, and order number for a unit that is built on two different underframes, how can that be?

Hopefully C&NWHS has something in their archives that will explain the rebuild. 

Ed in Kentucky

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Posted by SSW9389 on Tuesday, July 4, 2023 8:46 AM

Here's a newspaper article that tells about the wreck that occurred on the C&NW on this day 72 years ago. The train crash of ‘51 | WXPR

Ed in Kentucky

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Posted by M636C on Thursday, July 6, 2023 6:25 AM

SSW9389
The first C&NW F7A 4084C was destroyed in a head on collision at Rhinelander, Wisconsin on July 4, 1951. The 4084C leading the 4084A struck a passenger train led by the 5003A and 5002A. The 1951 ICC accident report is #3413. A photo of the wrecked F7A 4084C first shows an underframe break behind the cab. There obviously was a 4084C 2nd built sometime in early 1952 by my guess. I haven't found any other record about this rebuild. The lead unit on the passenger train E2A 5003A was also retired because of this wreck.

Ed in Kentucky
 
 

Thanks for posting the link to the wreck photo.

The photo shows the lead passenger unit to be an E3 or E6. The trailing unit appears to be the E2. Neither of the passenger units appears to be badly damaged compared to the leading F unit.

Of course the E2 may have been damaged enough to justify the withdrawal of an old one-off unit. SP rebuilt theirs as an E7....

Peter

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, July 6, 2023 6:42 PM

M636C
 
SSW9389
The first C&NW F7A 4084C was destroyed in a head on collision at Rhinelander, Wisconsin on July 4, 1951. The 4084C leading the 4084A struck a passenger train led by the 5003A and 5002A. The 1951 ICC accident report is #3413. A photo of the wrecked F7A 4084C first shows an underframe break behind the cab. There obviously was a 4084C 2nd built sometime in early 1952 by my guess. I haven't found any other record about this rebuild. The lead unit on the passenger train E2A 5003A was also retired because of this wreck.

Ed in Kentucky
  

Thanks for posting the link to the wreck photo.

The photo shows the lead passenger unit to be an E3 or E6. The trailing unit appears to be the E2. Neither of the passenger units appears to be badly damaged compared to the leading F unit.

Of course the E2 may have been damaged enough to justify the withdrawal of an old one-off unit. SP rebuilt theirs as an E7....

Peter

As pictured it looks like the CNW E2 has already been upgraded to a E7 carbody at the time of its demise in this accident.

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Posted by SSW9389 on Thursday, July 6, 2023 7:10 PM

BaltACD

 

 
M636C
 The photo shows the lead passenger unit to be an E3 or E6. The trailing unit appears to be the E2. Neither of the passenger units appears to be badly damaged compared to the leading F unit.

Of course the E2 may have been damaged enough to justify the withdrawal of an old one-off unit. SP rebuilt theirs as an E7....

Peter

 

As pictured it looks like the CNW E2 has already been upgraded to a E7 carbody at the time of its demise in this accident.

 

The E3A was leading, the E2A is the E unit with the round portholes. The 1951 ICC Accident report for C&NW gives some details of the wreck. Plane and Train Crashes! (planeandtrainwrecks.com) The freight was on a one percent downgrade. That fact plus the mention in the Rhinelander story that it was hauling iron ore. All that weight met in the underframe of the lead F7A.  

The E2A was 13.75 years old when it was wrecked. That's about 91% on the depreciation table. Any kind of damage is going to total out the book value on that old of a unit. The E2A 5003A was retired in 1952 according to Don Strack's information. C&NW Roster, Part 8 (utahrails.net) The E3A 5002B was retired in November 1958. 

Ed in Kentucky

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Posted by M636C on Thursday, July 6, 2023 7:51 PM

I find the two large radiator grilles the easiest way to tell an E, E1 or E2 in a consist, compared to the three small grilles on an E3 or E6. The lead unit in the photo lacks the narrow vertical louvred panel ahead of the first radiator grille which is a sign of the E7, particularly when the nose isn't visible.

The real point is of course that the two E2As had the 12-201A engine, which was much less reliable than even the earliest 567 engines.

For some reason, UP transferred both E2 A units to the former joint partners although they kept the four E2 B units. Perhaps the unique bulbous nose was felt to be out of fashion.

SP just kept the frame of theirs and fitted new 567 engines and a new E7 nose.

The other point worth mentioning was that C&NW had four E3 A units, while most customers only had two units each (like UP and ATSF, to mention two known prior customers). I can only assume that EMC was only able to produce a small number of E units and rationed them out. C&NW must have argued that they needed the four units for the "400"....

Peter

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