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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, November 28, 2023 4:29 PM

Leo_Ames
 
BEAUSABRE

Sorry but the PCE's got Cleveland Diesel Model 278A's

"They were powered by two 1,000 horsepower (750 kW) General Motors 12-278A diesel engines driving two shafts via single reduction gearing" 

Several dozen got 567's, like the USS Somersworth.

https://www.navsource.org/archives/12/02849.htm

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Posted by wjstix on Friday, December 1, 2023 9:02 AM

Bruce Frierdich
I know the Milwaukee Road had FM H10/44s (or perhaps H12/44s - I am not entirely sure) from the late '40s - early '50s, until mid to late '70s. 

To some extent, which builder a railroad liked was based on location. Fairbanks-Morse was located in Wisconsin, so was a favorite of the Milwaukee Road. American Locomotive Co. (ALCO) was in New York state, and sold many engines to New York Central.

Switchers were often the first diesels a railroad bought, going back to the 1930s. The diesels could keep running all day in the yard, shift after shift, where steam switchers had to be down for work (cleaning grates etc.) for hours each day. Plus the low horsepower of early diesels (600-1000HP) was well suited for switching work.

I grew up across the street from a shortline railroad that used 1940s Baldwin and Fairbanks-Morse switchers in switching and on freight trains. In the 1960s they began transitioning to EMD SW switchers, and by about 1973 they were all EMD. The line changed hands several times, and some of those 1960's GM engines are still working for the new owner.

Stix
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Posted by SSW9389 on Friday, December 1, 2023 3:06 PM

Overmod

 

All the references I have for the SW1 have it with nominal 65mph gearing (62:15 on 40" wheels), which may be the smallest effective pinion size for long-term service -- hence no 55mph 65:12).  The "45mph" speed limit probably involves the limitations of switcher trucks, not motors.

There were at least 16 SW1s built with 65:12 gearing. Georgia Marble #1, Mathieson Chemical #1-2, Monon #5-6, Rockdale, Sandown & Southern #100, Southern #2002-2004, 2007-2011, St. John's River Terminal #8565 and Chattanooga Traction #4. All the rest show 62:15 gearing. That's from the 1959 EMD Product Data. 
 
Ed in Kentucky 
Tags: SW1
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Posted by Ulrich on Monday, December 4, 2023 3:08 PM

CP seemed to prefer the RS23 for its eastern lines. Right up until the mid 90s it was pretty common to see them used in mainline freight service when not assigned to yard duties. They were quite a tall locomotive, riding on standard AAR trucks. Quite a beast to behold when accelerating.. the distinctive four stroke sound with lots of oily black smoke..I believe CP also used them out west on their lighter branchlines. 

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Posted by BigJim on Tuesday, December 5, 2023 12:42 PM

The N&W was a big buyer of thr ALCO T6 locos. It was a site to see a consist of four of them them at night humping coal in Roanoke. Three to four foot flames like a finely tuned blow torch coming out of the stack!

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Posted by MARTIN STATION on Thursday, December 7, 2023 7:34 AM

I remember reading in a book written by Charles Geletzke who wrote a number of books about his experiences working for the GTW and other railroads, that he prefered Alco switchers over the EMDs because he said in his experience, when you cracked the throttle on the Alco, it immediately moved. The EMDs on the other hand would hesitate while building up amps. Also I remember when someone asked an engineer who operated both the Alco S2 and S4 which rode better, the S2 with the Blunt trucks or the S4 with the AAR Type A, he said although there wasn't much difference, he thought the S2 did.

BTW, I did have the pleasure of getting to run the WWRR's #25, a Lima-Hamilton 1000 hp switcher, the only one operating at the time. I believe they now have another one that they have rebuilt and are putting into operation soon. I have often wondered how well these locomotives would have done on the market if Baldwin had not discontinued building them after purchasing Lima?

Ralph

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, December 7, 2023 9:59 AM

I would be skeptical about how much longer Lima would have stayed in the switcher business past 1951.  When you consider that Baldwin and Fairbanks Morse left the locomotive business by 1958 and Alco stopped bidding on switcher business around 1959, I doubt that Lima-Hamilton would have continued much longer than they did.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, December 7, 2023 12:00 PM

Vertical ride quality isn't the issue with Blunt and AAR type A switcher trucks; lateral compliance is.   First you have to provide it (e.g. via Flexicoils or controlled lateral at the bolster) and then you have to damp it correctly.  Reading tried famously to make a better-guiding two-wheel Bissel lead truck by having two fairly long springs in constant contact.  But didn't see the need for much dampling other than friction and imposed load.  Reportedly they got about 50 miles, wrecking various parts of tje track on the way, and then someone went out and welded the spring arrangement up solid out of resonant contact...

It is my opinion that any diesel-engined Lima product would have been comparatively short-lived.  General Machinery and then Hamilton were looking at the magic of the free-piston engine (as the Germans developed it as a submarine air compressor in the Thhirties.  Lima merged with Hamilton to acquire this technology for building light 4000hp road locomotives, and I suspect one of -- perhaps the only -- reason Baldwin engaged in a merger with Lima-Hamilton was to get dibs on that (to get rid of boat engines with enormous crankshafts finished like jewelry that would run light engines at nearly 30mph at idle and redlined at 625rpm, certainly nobody's idea of a practical passenger diesel-electric powerplant...)

It's interesting how many people saw a great future in free-piston engines.  And how few even got them to operate...  FG9, anyone?

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Thursday, December 7, 2023 7:40 PM

Lima-Hamilton was starting to outpace Baldwin in the order books for switchers and was starting to get into the quickly growing road switcher market.

With the orders that they had booked for 1951 when the merger happened in late 1950, they'd of pushed Baldwin down to 5th place. So that's good reason right there why Baldwin wanted this to happen (not to mention Lima did a good business outside of the locomotive field such as with cranes, which continued in the old locomotive plant after Baldwin gained control and I'm sure BLH hoped it would help carry them through lean years in the locomotive side of the business).

Both Baldwin and Lima surely knew that the flood of orders wasn't going to last as railroads quickly dieselized and that they ultimately weren't going to survive fighting between themselves for 4th place over the scraps left behind by EMD and Alco (Fairbanks-Morse was also outperforming them both at the time).

While ultimately FM, BLH and, even Alco all showed that there wasn't room even for a 3rd manufacturer, consolidation with an eye towards survival before orders declined was no doubt a major factor behind the willingness of both firms at a time when they were both financially healthy.

Hence Baldwin's interest and Lima's willingness at a time when their diesel business was quickly growing leaps and bounds, was beginning to outpace Baldwin's diesel business, and had just posted their second million dollar dividend in the postwar years.

Lima didn't go for it because they were struggling, but I'm sure that they saw the handwriting on the wall and knew it was best for them to combine forces if they were to compete long-term.

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Posted by Backshop on Thursday, December 7, 2023 8:21 PM

Leo_Ames

Lima-Hamilton was starting to outpace Baldwin in the order books for switchers and was starting to get into the quickly growing road switcher market.

Hence Baldwin's interest and Lima's willingness at a time when their diesel business was quickly growing leaps and bounds, was beginning to outpace Baldwin's diesel business, and had just posted their second million dollar dividend in the postwar years.

 

"Leaps and bounds"?  Just a little bit of hyperbole?  Lima built only 174 diesel locomotives during 1949-1951. All were switchers except for 16 LRS-1200's for NYC (similar to Alco RS1) and 22 LT-27500 double hood transfer units for the Pennsy. At a time when the railroads would order just about anything to replace steam, that's a pittance. They were done.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Thursday, December 7, 2023 9:51 PM

Just a little bit...

But when they didn't outshop their first diesel until May 1949 and were on track in just their 2nd full year of production to beat their well established competitor in the diesel field that had already built well over a thousand diesel locomotives, growth was happening quickly. The company was profitable and there was no doubt plenty of optimism that they had a future beyond steam. It wasn't a move made out of desperation or failure.

Rather, I have no doubt that they just realized what you're saying about how they were small potatoes and weren't going to be able to remain independent against the likes of General Motors and Alco as dieselization reached the mopping up stage. Thus the willingness to combine forces at a time when the balance sheet was healthy and orders were growing.

Of course in the wake of the announcement at the end of 1950, most of those 1951 orders that would've pushed them ahead of Baldwin ended up cancelled like Southern Pacific's for 60 locomotives or shifted to a Baldwin equivalent (for instance NYC's 2nd order of LRS-1200's were changed to RS-12's and Pennsy took RT-624's in place of their order for 22 more LT-2500's). 

And they intentionally fielded switchers first to get their feet wet. Their road switchers were outshopped between August and October 1950 shortly after the model was launched, barely a year after their first diesel switcher demonstrator was completed. The news they wanted to merge hit that August and the merger happened in November. Their 1,600 hp road switcher demonstrator was immediately cancelled on the eve of construction beginning.

Few wanted to purchase locomotives that were guaranteed to be orphans (although mostly follow-up orders from existing customers kept Lima's backshop fairly busy with locomotive production until the end of summer that year). Customers correctly surmised that the combined company would focus on Baldwin's own model line.

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, January 3, 2024 1:32 PM

Backshop
Bruce Frierdich

Milwaukee and CNW, the two lines I am most familiar with, used a variety I think in part so they were not beholden to one manufacturer. Milwaukee seemed to like the FM switchers on the beer line. I have a picture somewhere of an H12/44 in the UP colors they used for passenger trains. CNW seemed to like EMD switchers. 

 

The reason so many railroads bought from a variety of manufacturers was that in the race to dieselize, order books were bulging and you bought what you could get in a timely fashion.  If that meant getting your second or third choice, too bad.

 

Geography played at least a small role. FM was in Wisconsin, so the Milwaukee Road liked them. Alco was in New York state, and it seems New York Central bought quite a few of them.

However, a big issue was railroads coming out of the steam era didn't understand what they were buying. In steam railroading, a builder and a railroad generally worked together to design an engine, either from scratch or as a variation of an existing design. So a Pennsylvania engine looked like a Pennsy engine, whether it was built by Alco, Baldwin, or Lima. 

It took a while for railroads to understand that if you bought say Baldwin and FM switchers, EMD passenger engines, and Alco road switchers, you had to train your service crews in the difference in all four makers equipment, and had to stock repair / replacement parts from each builder. That's a part of the reason many railroads later used EMD motors to replace the motors in other builder's locomotives, to standardize things.

Stix
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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, January 3, 2024 1:58 PM

I think that the role of re-powering has been overstated for the most part.  MKT seems to be the only road that went all-in for re-powering with EMD engines.  Most of the other roads sampled repowerings and found that they didn't reduce expenses by enough to justify more re-powerings.

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 BaltACD on Wednesday, January 3, 2024 2:55 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH
I think that the role of re-powering has been overstated for the most part.  MKT seems to be the only road that went all-in for re-powering with EMD engines.  Most of the other roads sampled repowerings and found that they didn't reduce expenses by enough to justify more re-powerings.

The industry got to the 60's and Alco & Baldwin were on life support and dying.  EMD was king and GE started 'sniffing the market'.  Carriers bought from GE because they didn't want to end up in a signle supplier enviornment with EMD/GM calling all the tunes.  GE actively improved their products then EMD, to my mind, made two major mistakes in their offerings - The SD 50 and it 20 cylinder engine that had many crankshaft failures.  When EMD when to AC traction they configured their electrical gear so that when there was an issue, the power from one complete truck was lost - GE by comparison configured their electrical gear so that individual axles could be cut out for electrical issues.  Class 1 carriers took notice and made GE the prime engine supplier into the 21st Century.  Now they occasionally 'throw a bone' to the EMD successor just to keep them in business.

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Wednesday, January 3, 2024 10:50 PM

BaltACD

When EMD when to AC traction they configured their electrical gear so that when there was an issue, the power from one complete truck was lost - GE by comparison configured their electrical gear so that individual axles could be cut out for electrical issues.

The inverters on the EMD AC locomotives used Gate Turn Off Thyristors (GTO) which were available in very large sizes and thus made it cheaper to use a single inverter per truck. GE used IGBT's in their inverters, with the largest devices being good for supplying only one traction motor, hence it was natural to dedicate an inverter for each traction motor. Using individual inverters per axle also got rid of the requirement for matching wheel diameters needed for the EMD units (shades of the KM diesel hydraulics).

IGBT's are much easier to drive than GTO's, though the high drive requirement with a GTO comes when trying to turn off the device.

It will be interesting to see what happens when SiC devices get large enough for locomotive use. The higher switching frequency with SiC may allow use of filters on the inverters and thus eliminate the need for inverter grade wiring.

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Posted by bogie_engineer on Thursday, January 4, 2024 1:21 PM

GTO's were used in the Siemens inverters starting with the SD60MAC and continuing with the SD70MAC, 80MAC, and 90MAC. The SD70ACe and every thing since 2005 uses IGBT inverters supplied by Mitsubishi. When changing to Mitsubishi, EMD could have gone either way with truck or single axle control but stayed with truck control based on customer feedback that it wasn't a seen as a big advantage at the time; in hindsight, a mistake. EMD has since gone to single axle control on the T4 and others like the SD70ACe-P4 and the F125. The other change with the Mitsubishi inverters was EMD integrated the inverter control into the EM2000 control system; with Siemens, they supplied a SIBAS inverter control computer as part of the inverter system. The Siemens inverters also used freon evaporative cooling whereas the Mitsubishi inverters are air cooled directly.

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, January 4, 2024 1:32 PM

bogie_engineer
GTO's were used in the Siemens inverters starting with the SD60MAC and continuing with the SD70MAC, 80MAC, and 90MAC. The SD70ACe and every thing since 2005 uses IGBT inverters supplied by Mitsubishi. When changing to Mitsubishi, EMD could have gone either way with truck or single axle control but stayed with truck control based on customer feedback that it wasn't a seen as a big advantage at the time; in hindsight, a mistake. EMD has since gone to single axle control on the T4 and others like the SD70ACe-P4 and the F125. The other change with the Mitsubishi inverters was EMD integrated the inverter control into the EM2000 control system; with Siemens, they supplied a SIBAS inverter control computer as part of the inverter system. The Siemens inverters also used freon evaporative cooling whereas the Mitsubishi inverters are air cooled directly.
 

When EMD did their 'talking', I believe they were talking to the wrong people within the carrier organizations.  Bean counters look at things differently than people that deal with the actual equipment on a daily basis.

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