Trains.com

More DC-to-AC for NS.

1547 views
10 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    September 2010
  • From: East Coast
  • 1,052 posts
More DC-to-AC for NS.
Posted by D.Carleton on Tuesday, July 5, 2022 1:19 AM

Word is two SD70M-2s are heading to Progress Rail for an AC traction install.

Editor Emeritus, This Week at Amtrak

  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: MP CF161.6 NS's New Castle District in NE Indiana
  • 2,096 posts
Posted by rrnut282 on Tuesday, July 5, 2022 12:04 PM

Curious.  Altoona too busy?

Mike (2-8-2)
  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 11,017 posts
Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, July 5, 2022 12:41 PM

What persons were responsible for NS delaying buying AC traction locos when othe RRs started many years earlier.  Are any of those persons still around?  There is one advantage for NS doing these conversions.  They can reuse the DC coponents in any loco that has a DC component failure.  Or is that not a PSR procedure?

  • Member since
    November 2021
  • 113 posts
Posted by JayBee on Tuesday, July 5, 2022 1:55 PM

rrnut282

Curious.  Altoona too busy?

 
I think EMD is doing the conversion on speculation. If NS isn't happy with the upgraded locomotives, they will be sent back to EMD. If on the other hand NS is satisfied then EMD and NS will work out a deal to reman the remaining SD70M-2s that NS has in storage. Bottom line, EMD is pay for the conversions so EMD is doing the two conversions using two SD70M-2s that NS sold to them.
  • Member since
    September 2010
  • From: East Coast
  • 1,052 posts
Posted by D.Carleton on Thursday, July 7, 2022 2:21 AM

So for those keeping score, Progress Rail has come up with a DC-to-AC package for the SD90MAC to SD70ACU, the SD70 to SD70ACC and now the SD70M-2 to TBD. The hardware is certainly the same but packaging it so as to fit on the preexisting model should be interesting.

Editor Emeritus, This Week at Amtrak

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • 1,750 posts
Posted by Leo_Ames on Friday, July 8, 2022 4:00 AM

Employment is way down at Altoona. So even if it was NS doing it, the people left have their hands full just doing routine work. No excess capacity to handle a new project unless they bring people back, which goes against PSR.

Being newish locomotives with a lot of the former NS fleet under Progress ownership and with Canadian National as a potential customer for SD70M-2 to SD70ACe rebuilds, I could see this experiment slowly paying off for Progress Rail even if NS doesn't decide to buy.

  • Member since
    September 2010
  • From: East Coast
  • 1,052 posts
Posted by D.Carleton on Friday, July 8, 2022 12:56 PM

Leo_Ames
Being newish locomotives with a lot of the former NS fleet under Progress ownership and with Canadian National as a potential customer for SD70M-2 to SD70ACe rebuilds, I could see this experiment slowly paying off for Progress Rail even if NS doesn't decide to buy.

That is a very good point. The SD70M-2s are between 11 and 17 years old. They should be looking at mid-life overhauls in five years or so. By then Progress should have something that is tested and marketable.

Editor Emeritus, This Week at Amtrak

  • Member since
    December 2017
  • From: I've been everywhere, man
  • 4,019 posts
Posted by SD70Dude on Friday, July 8, 2022 2:41 PM

CN's SD70M-2 fleet has gradually been going through contract shops for a bunch of upgrades for several years now (some have even been repainted), though I think this work falls short of a full overhaul.  

Currently there are several of our Dash-9s at the GE/Wabtec Texas plant, supposedly they are going to get rebuilt into AC44's but I haven't seen anything official yet.  A couple shop guys have also mentioned plans to send some SD75's out for a similar DC-to-AC rebuild, rumours about that have been floating around for even longer but once again I've yet to see anything official in writing.  

I could definitely see our SD70M-2s being rebuild fodder in the future, they still aren't the most reliable and if these other rebuild programs actually come to fruition they could end up being the last DC traction units in our high horsepower fleet (the Dash-8s should all be gone by this point).  

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • 2,234 posts
Posted by kgbw49 on Wednesday, August 10, 2022 5:32 PM

Question: If CP ends up satisfied with their SD70ACU rebuilds might they also be a potential customer for SD70M-2 rebuilds to AC? Or will they have enough AC units if the merger is approved and/or enough Dash-9 to ACM feedstock?

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • 1,750 posts
Posted by Leo_Ames on Wednesday, August 10, 2022 9:34 PM

With DC-to-AC conversions a proven commodity at this point, I'm sure CPR will seriously consider it when they decide to overhaul the M-2's.

CPR would seem to already be reasonably satisfied with their SD70ACU's. They went shopping and bought 40 ex-UP SD9043MAC's early last year for future ACU cores, after 18 or so months of experience operating their own SD70ACU's. Only the KCS acquisition has put a temporary halt to the program. 

While neither CPR or KCS bought Dash 9's new, I've seen it said on Loconotes that those KCS Dash 9's that they bought used a year or two ago (100 of them iirc, BNSF lease returns) are primarily for paying back horsepower hours owed to other roads. They're being portrayed as a shorter-term addition to their fleet.

Instead of being throwaway power like they were viewed at KCS, maybe the merged CPR system will have them rebuilt as AC44C6M's. But whatever that impact might have on further EMD rebuilds (such as buying more used Dash 9's for rebuild in lieu of their own EMD's) is impossible to say.

  • Member since
    September 2010
  • From: East Coast
  • 1,052 posts
Posted by D.Carleton on Saturday, August 13, 2022 8:19 AM

kgbw49
Question: If CP ends up satisfied with their SD70ACU rebuilds might they also be a potential customer for SD70M-2 rebuilds to AC? Or will they have enough AC units if the merger is approved and/or enough Dash-9 to ACM feedstock?

Neither CP nor KCS have SD70M-2s in their respective stables.

Editor Emeritus, This Week at Amtrak

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy