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Why were E units not suitable for freight?

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Saturday, June 18, 2022 5:01 PM
 

BEAUSABRE

 

 
Overmod
If I remember correctly, the issue was taxes: weren't they bought as pool power for cross-border services, but were taxed as imports (and so wound up not staying in Canada over 24 hours at a time)?

 

They were built by GMD in Montreal, so there would be import duties to pay to the US if they stayed for over 24 hours, not vice versa.  

And who were the partners in this cross-border pool?

 

Boston & Maine. The Alouette which operated between Boston-Montreal is the serivce the E8's were used on.

Also GMD was in London, ON. Not Montreal.

 
 
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Posted by cx500 on Saturday, June 18, 2022 6:05 PM

Ulrich

I guess GMD would have taken a bit of a hit on the two GP30s they built for CP. That locomotive with all of its curves would have been harder to build than the more angular geeps that followed. Not sure why CP bought only two..perhaps they were part of a larger order that was cancelled. ......

I suspect the reason for just two units was that was how many wrecked GM units that were available to trade in.  By the time of the next order the current model was the GP35.  CNR was a little later in the game, and first dabbled with an order for just 2 GP35s, and GP40s had become the current model by the time of the second order.

These early 2nd generation units were not as common in Canada because the generally later dieselisation meant there weren't big fleets of early units (like FT and F3s) that were now worn out and obsolete to trade in.

John

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Posted by cx500 on Saturday, June 18, 2022 6:11 PM

SD60MAC9500
 
BEAUSABR
Overmod
If I remember correctly, the issue was taxes: weren't they bought as pool power for cross-border services, but were taxed as imports (and so wound up not staying in Canada over 24 hours at a time)?

And who were the partners in this cross-border pool?

Boston & Maine.. The Alouette which operated between Boston-Montreal is the serivce the E8's were used on.

Also GMD was in London, ON. Not Montreal.

While GMD was indeed in London, CPR's E8s were American units built by EMD in the USA.  The London plant was still in the future.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Saturday, June 18, 2022 11:12 PM

BEAUSABRE

 

 
Ulrich
Not sure why CP bought only two..perhaps they were part of a larger order that was cancelled. Diddo for the only RSD17 ever built by MLW.. after testing on both CN and CP, neither road wanted more,

 

I've got a hunch you answered your own question - they were built either as demonstrators no one wanted to try or GMD persuaded CP to give them a try, CP decided not to bite, but when GMD offered them at a discount to get them off their hands, CP took them. 

 

One of the CP's GP30 is one of the switchers at a Fremont, NE elevator.  It's now blue, but you can see spots where red is showing through.

I've read the other one also still exists.

Jeff

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Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, June 18, 2022 11:28 PM

jeffhergert

One of the CP's GP30 is one of the switchers at a Fremont, NE elevator.  It's now blue, but you can see spots where red is showing through.

I've read the other one also still exists.

Jeff

It's here in Edmonton, at the Alberta Railway Museum, albeit in pretty rough shape.  It's had a tough life and passed through several owners during its post-CP existence, and we only got it to save it from the torch after the previous ownership went belly up (it's a long story).  It's not a restoration priority and the museum has been looking to deaccession it to a better home for some years now. 

https://www.railpictures.net/photo/372120/

I helped board up the smashed windows last summer. 

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Sunday, June 19, 2022 1:33 AM

GP30 production ended several months after those two GP30's were built and the GP35 demonstrators were outshopped just a few weeks later. So not too surprising I suppose that CPR didn't get more GP30's.

Along with the demonstrator theory, until common cause for 1 or 2 unit orders from Class 1's during this era were as wreck replacements. Given their late build date, I suspect that's the cause.

I bet cx500 called it. A couple of Geeps or F units were wrecked and were returned to GMD for "rebuilding" and returned as GP30's.

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Posted by anglecock on Monday, June 20, 2022 11:17 AM

As far as I know the E units were used by Iron Mines up in Minnisota.

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, June 20, 2022 6:06 PM

anglecock
As far as I know the E units were used by Iron Mines up in Minnisota.

Have never, ever heard of E units being used in ore service by any carrier.  E unit tonnage ratings, in DRAG service on tonnage trains is totally anemic in comparison to F units that are geared and weighted to haul freight.  Remember, on E units the middle axle of each truck is unpowered, but still applies weight to the rail.

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Monday, June 20, 2022 6:16 PM

Which leads to the question of what mines or railroads?

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Posted by Backshop on Monday, June 20, 2022 6:29 PM

None of the iron ore railroads owned E8s (GN, NP, DM&IR, SOO) and only the GN owned a few E7s. The C&NW owned some but they had better uses of them in suburban service.

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Posted by Ulrich on Monday, June 20, 2022 7:22 PM

SD70Dude

 

 
jeffhergert

One of the CP's GP30 is one of the switchers at a Fremont, NE elevator.  It's now blue, but you can see spots where red is showing through.

I've read the other one also still exists.

Jeff

 

 

It's here in Edmonton, at the Alberta Railway Museum, albeit in pretty rough shape.  It's had a tough life and passed through several owners during its post-CP existence, and we only got it to save it from the torch after the previous ownership went belly up (it's a long story).  It's not a restoration priority and the museum has been looking to deaccession it to a better home for some years now. 

https://www.railpictures.net/photo/372120/

I helped board up the smashed windows last summer. 

 

In the summer of 79 my brother and I got a cab tour of this engine in Sherbrooke, QC. We asked the engineer if we could have a look inside, and he told us jokingly that we could take the train to Megantic. Great times when kids could do that. It was one of the few times we took lots of pictures..colour slides...and I wish I could find them. 

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Posted by Ulrich on Monday, June 20, 2022 7:26 PM

jeffhergert

 

 
BEAUSABRE

 

 
Ulrich
Not sure why CP bought only two..perhaps they were part of a larger order that was cancelled. Diddo for the only RSD17 ever built by MLW.. after testing on both CN and CP, neither road wanted more,

 

I've got a hunch you answered your own question - they were built either as demonstrators no one wanted to try or GMD persuaded CP to give them a try, CP decided not to bite, but when GMD offered them at a discount to get them off their hands, CP took them. 

 

 

 

One of the CP's GP30 is one of the switchers at a Fremont, NE elevator.  It's now blue, but you can see spots where red is showing through.

I've read the other one also still exists.

Jeff

 

Met this GP30 as well.. CP seemed to favour them for trains east of Montreal in the 70s. In the 90s they went to Vancouver Island for a few years until retirement. 

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 8:29 AM

BaltACD
Have never, ever heard of E units being used in ore service by any carrier.

The closest I suspect you'll come to an A-1-A in mineral service would be the Baldwin passenger shark B-units, which were regularly run out of Columbus sandwiched between the likes of RF-16s.

It might be interesting to see if the Erie-builts were ever used in heavy service -- I doubt it, though.

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 8:49 AM

Overmod
 
BaltACD
Have never, ever heard of E units being used in ore service by any carrier. 

The closest I suspect you'll come to an A-1-A in mineral service would be the Baldwin passenger shark B-units, which were regularly run out of Columbus sandwiched between the likes of RF-16s. 

It might be interesting to see if the Erie-builts were ever used in heavy service -- I doubt it, though.

If they were ever placed in such service it would be for the purpose of burning up their traction motors from over current operation for a excessive amount of time.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 9:04 AM

BaltACD
 

The closest I suspect you'll come to an A-1-A in mineral service would be the Baldwin passenger shark B-units, which were regularly run out of Columbus sandwiched between the likes of RF-16s. 

 

If they were ever placed in such service it would be for the purpose of burning up their traction motors from overcurrent operation for a excessive amount of time.

I think the rationale was that the units had Baldwin hexapole motors, which to my knowledge only N&W figured out how to destroy in service, and they constituted somewhat longish 2000hp four-axle boosters.  Note that PRR also experimented with reducing horsepower on BP-20 cab units to 1600, to match the RF16 rating... it was not successful enough to 'do' all the units, but the converted ones ran satisfactorily in service until their untimely end.

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Posted by Ulrich on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 1:04 PM

BNSF order a bunch of A-I-A Es4400CWs... likely some of those have been used on mineral trains. 

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 1:22 PM

Ulrich
BNSF order a bunch of A-I-A Es4400CWs... likely some of those have been used on mineral trains.

If I remember correctly the allocation of both the A-1-A and 1-B trucked units was away from heavy mineral service... but the discussion of E units refers to passenger A-1-A trucks, optimized for high speed and low polar moment of inertia.  I think the provision of effective AC motors and power transmission without the prime mover exceeding the capability of four of them is a big part of the 'modern' approach, where you need six axles for the weight and length but only four to get higher-speed horsepower to the rail.

It might have been interesting to see use of a 'traction increasing' mmechanism for E units -- GM used a similar approach on some export units  during the production years of the modern Es.

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 6:31 PM

Ulrich
BNSF order a bunch of A-I-A Es4400CWs... likely some of those have been used on mineral trains. 

Remember on that group of engines, the '1' axle can be lifted so that the powered axles apply the full weight of the locomotive to the rail.  These units are also geared for freight service, not passenger.  On E units the non-powered axle carried its own share of weight on the rail, thus reducing the amount of weight the powered axles applied to the rail thus reducing their 'tractive effort'.

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Posted by bogie_engineer on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 8:37 PM

BaltACD

 

 
Ulrich
BNSF order a bunch of A-I-A Es4400CWs... likely some of those have been used on mineral trains. 

 

Remember on that group of engines, the '1' axle can be lifted so that the powered axles apply the full weight of the locomotive to the rail.  These units are also geared for freight service, not passenger.  On E units the non-powered axle carried its own share of weight on the rail, thus reducing the amount of weight the powered axles applied to the rail thus reducing their 'tractive effort'.

 

 

The axle lifting device on the center axle of the GE C4 locos does not fully lift the axle off the rail - it ups the weight on the driven axles to around 79,000 lbs. each but the idler axle still carries significant weight. 

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 8:46 PM
 

BaltACD

 

 
Ulrich
BNSF order a bunch of A-I-A Es4400CWs... likely some of those have been used on mineral trains. 

 

Remember on that group of engines, the '1' axle can be lifted so that the powered axles apply the full weight of the locomotive to the rail.  These units are also geared for freight service, not passenger.  On E units the non-powered axle carried its own share of weight on the rail, thus reducing the amount of weight the powered axles applied to the rail thus reducing their 'tractive effort'.

 

From what I understand.. This is why once F-Units became available in a pax version. Sants Fe never looked at E units for passenger service again.

The A-1-A truck made for poor traction in graded territory out West.

 
 
 
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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 8:49 PM
 

bogie_engineer

 

 
BaltACD

 

 
Ulrich
BNSF order a bunch of A-I-A Es4400CWs... likely some of those have been used on mineral trains. 

 

Remember on that group of engines, the '1' axle can be lifted so that the powered axles apply the full weight of the locomotive to the rail.  These units are also geared for freight service, not passenger.  On E units the non-powered axle carried its own share of weight on the rail, thus reducing the amount of weight the powered axles applied to the rail thus reducing their 'tractive effort'.

 

 

 

 

The axle lifting device on the center axle of the GE C4 locos does not fully lift the axle off the rail - it ups the weight on the driven axles to around 79,000 lbs. each but the idler axle still carries significant weight. 

 

Question. Why did GE not follow EMD and go with a B1-1B axle arrangement? That produces better traction than an A1A in freight service. I've heard from a few BNSF hoggers they don't really like the A1A truck. The traction just isn't there compared to a D9 or ES44DC.

 
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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 9:14 PM

SD60MAC9500
 
bogie_engineer 
BaltACD 
Ulrich
BNSF order a bunch of A-I-A Es4400CWs... likely some of those have been used on mineral trains.  

Remember on that group of engines, the '1' axle can be lifted so that the powered axles apply the full weight of the locomotive to the rail.  These units are also geared for freight service, not passenger.  On E units the non-powered axle carried its own share of weight on the rail, thus reducing the amount of weight the powered axles applied to the rail thus reducing their 'tractive effort'. 

The axle lifting device on the center axle of the GE C4 locos does not fully lift the axle off the rail - it ups the weight on the driven axles to around 79,000 lbs. each but the idler axle still carries significant weight.  

Question. Why did GE not follow EMD and go with a B1-1B axle arrangement? That produces better traction than an A1A in freight service. I've heard from a few BNSF hoggers they don't really like the A1A truck. The traction just isn't there compared to a D9 or ES44DC.

Primarily because GE came out with the A-1-A solution years befoe EMD came up with the 1B arrangement.

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Posted by bogie_engineer on Thursday, June 23, 2022 9:50 AM

As BaltACD said, GE came out with their A-1-A with their patented weight shift claptrap before EMD offered the B1-1B option in response. The EMD arrangement offers the best weight shift performance under traction when the motors are arranged all on the same side of the axle - A-1-A is superior if the motors are on the inboard sides of the axles, which they are not in the GE truck. The EMD axles are biased via the primary spring arrangement to be 75Klbs on the driven axles and 60Klbs on the idlers so performance between the two is about the same.

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Posted by timz on Thursday, June 23, 2022 11:24 AM

bogie_engineer
EMD axles are biased via the primary spring arrangement to be 75Klbs on the driven axles and 60Klbs on the idlers

That's the normal weight distribution, before any shifting?

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, June 23, 2022 11:31 AM

timz
That's the normal weight distribution, before any shifting?

That is my understanding.

Note that the weight transfer is proportional to the acceleration, and modern locomotives with the 'elephant feet' secondary springing can't cock the sideframes in the way a certer-pivoted truck would.  It may be interesting to see what happens with monster heavy consists which see heavy power changes while moving at conservative PSR road speed... but I doubt differential adhesion is as much of a concern as it was in the era of unmodulated wheelslip 'control'.

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Posted by bogie_engineer on Thursday, June 23, 2022 6:48 PM

timz

 

 
bogie_engineer
EMD axles are biased via the primary spring arrangement to be 75Klbs on the driven axles and 60Klbs on the idlers

 

That's the normal weight distribution, before any shifting?

 

 

Yes, those are static axle loads.

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Posted by JayBee on Friday, June 24, 2022 8:44 PM

anglecock

As far as I know the E units were used by Iron Mines up in Minnisota.

 

Not true, Great Northern operated E-7s that regularly ran the "Gopher" and "Badger" between the Twin Cities and Twin Ports, but they never used their E-units on freight. C&NW and Milw Rd had passenger train usages for their later E-units.

 

 

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Saturday, June 25, 2022 3:57 PM
 

BaltACD

 

 
SD60MAC9500
 
bogie_engineer 
BaltACD 
Ulrich
BNSF order a bunch of A-I-A Es4400CWs... likely some of those have been used on mineral trains.  

Remember on that group of engines, the '1' axle can be lifted so that the powered axles apply the full weight of the locomotive to the rail.  These units are also geared for freight service, not passenger.  On E units the non-powered axle carried its own share of weight on the rail, thus reducing the amount of weight the powered axles applied to the rail thus reducing their 'tractive effort'. 

The axle lifting device on the center axle of the GE C4 locos does not fully lift the axle off the rail - it ups the weight on the driven axles to around 79,000 lbs. each but the idler axle still carries significant weight.  

Question. Why did GE not follow EMD and go with a B1-1B axle arrangement? That produces better traction than an A1A in freight service. I've heard from a few BNSF hoggers they don't really like the A1A truck. The traction just isn't there compared to a D9 or ES44DC.

 

Primarily because GE came out with the A-1-A solution years befoe EMD came up with the 1B arrangement.

 

Actually quite the contrary.. Going back to 1938. EMC had experimented with a 1B-1B truck on a twin unit 1800HP BB owned by ATSF. EMC would go on to modify Santa Fe #1 by seperating its A, and B units. The A-unit became #1. The B-unit #10.

No. 1 was rebuilt with the 1B-1B truck concept on its lead truck first. The rear truck was swapped out for another 1B truck later. It would seem that Progress/EMD revisited this old setup and revised it. Creating the B1-1B setup on the SD70ACe-P4.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMC_1800_hp_B-B#Santa_Fe_1

The lead truck has been swapped in this photo. http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=3339884

Photo with both 1B trucks http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/tr_sf1.jpg

I'll also add. EMD produced for Indian Railways the GA12 export unit. Which utilized a 1B-B1 setup.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/29903115@N06/49979811153

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, June 25, 2022 4:25 PM

But (as I recall) the ATSF 1-Bs were done for improved guiding stability and lower oscillation at high speed, not weight distribution, and would have done little if anything to remediate weight-transfer starting tractive effort issues.

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Saturday, June 25, 2022 4:29 PM
 

Overmod

But (as I recall) the ATSF 1-Bs were done for improved guiding stability and lower oscillation at high speed, not weight distribution, and would have done little if anything to remediate weight-transfer starting tractive effort issues.

 

That's correct. My reply was to Balts point about EMD's history with 1B truck arrangements.

 
 
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