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Thread: Alco versus EMD

  1. #21
    <Greybeard> Guest

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    ....then plank owner Fireman aboard a brand new ('67) YTB with 38D 8 1/8.
    This one had airbag clutches making it suitable for tug duty.
    I have NO idea who that kid was.


  2. #22
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    I know this is ancient history but I have an answer of sorts for Mr. Rowland's comment about SD70s being "slippery." The AC4400s that I worked on detected wheel slip individually on each axle. Since maximum tractive effort is achieved with a slight overspeed, wheelslip is a constant condition under heavy load. If the wheelslip becomes excessive, the coefficient of friction transitions from static to sliding and drops way off. The control system has to detect too much wheelslip and reduce drive on that wheel quickly to keep from dropping off the cliff on the adhesion curve. As I understood it back then, EMD locomotives sensed and applied the drop in tractive effort necessary to the entire truck and not just the individual axle so the necessary reduction in force at the railhead was applied to 1/2 of the locomotive in EMDs and 1/6 of the locomotive in GEs. Horsepower and weights being equal, a GE locomotive could have pulled around an EMD in a tug-of-war and may have done just that at building 60 and the test track in Erie. They certainly could have simulated it by reprogramming an AC4400 to correct on a per-truck as opposed to a per-axle basis.

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    More ancient history: To JimK, I'm thinking that getting what is left after conversion/transmission losses of 4400 HP to just under a half million pounds of chooch(Erie slang at work) pressing on the surface area of the cross sectional area of two golf balls at the rail head is pretty cool. Upping that to 10-12 kHP in a single locomotive implies something like the Baldwin centipede: a maintenance nightmare. I know significant adhesion gains were made with the steerable truck and (way in the past) changing the shape of the wheel contour from straight to a curve something like an involute or some conic, but I have a hard time seeing doubling the horsepower on a single locomotive overcoming the physics of power transmission and the economics of the railroad. Also, UP found it viable to run turbines when bunker-c was almost a waste product of refining. Increased demand from the plastics industry and less volume with better cracking techniques put an end to the cheap fuel.

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    One last thing, The ES44C4 is a really cool application of getting the power to the rail-head. 4400 HP from the GEVO-12 instead of the 7FDL-16 and using the unpowered axle to control the loading of the powered wheels was pretty slick. The same power as an AC4400 with four less cylinders and two less traction motors while meeting the tier requirements. There are some talented engineers at GETS. I'm guessing the 6000HP ET series resulted from the experience.

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    S.F.are you in the right forum ?...or even on the right page?....The best youll ever get here abouts is from someone that has cut them up for scrap.....And you can do that single handed with a gas axe ,more or less....No EPA in those days ,tho ,we just burned them out ,and tipped them on their sides.....Nowdays they been selling them to the Vietnamese,or anyone else with 3'6" rails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SplinterFingers View Post
    More ancient history: To JimK, I'm thinking that getting what is left after conversion/transmission losses of 4400 HP to just under a half million pounds of chooch(Erie slang at work) pressing on the surface area of the cross sectional area of two golf balls at the rail head is pretty cool. Upping that to 10-12 kHP in a single locomotive implies something like the Baldwin centipede: a maintenance nightmare. I know significant adhesion gains were made with the steerable truck and (way in the past) changing the shape of the wheel contour from straight to a curve something like an involute or some conic, but I have a hard time seeing doubling the horsepower on a single locomotive overcoming the physics of power transmission and the economics of the railroad. Also, UP found it viable to run turbines when bunker-c was almost a waste product of refining. Increased demand from the plastics industry and less volume with better cracking techniques put an end to the cheap fuel.
    Jimk Has been dead for several years now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    S.F.are you in the right forum ?...or even on the right page?....The best youll ever get here abouts is from someone that has cut them up for scrap.....And you can do that single handed with a gas axe ,more or less....No EPA in those days ,tho ,we just burned them out ,and tipped them on their sides.....Nowdays they been selling them to the Vietnamese,or anyone else with 3'6" rails.
    "Lance and a 12 pack" or nowadays "Lance and a bottle of liquid Ox"....

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    To John.K, Cut what up for scrap? 3'6"? When I worked at BHPIO (pre-BHP-Billiton) in Port Hedland, The entire fleet was Dash-8s and a few Dash-7s working the yard/dumper. The only Alco left was on display in Mt.Newman Mining livery although some of the Dash-8s were rebuilt on Alco bottoms with the Alco HiAd bogie. It's all 4'8-1/2" standard gauge. They pulled a 10 locomotive-540 wagon record train hauling 56000 tons that they've since bested with AC6000s I think. Nowadays BHP, Fortesque, and Rio Tinto's fleets seem to be ACs, SD-70ACes, and Dash-9s. Sorry if I strayed from the Alco vs EMD title but Alco is no more and, before the SD-70ACe, EMD nearly suffered the same fate. Hopefully Caterpillar won't fail with that proud-old name.

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    Rick Rowlands has it right. The War production Board would not allow and unproven locomotive design to be built, steam or Diesel. EMD had their E units in passenger servie since 1933 and in 1939 debuted the FT freight units which were an almost instant hit, with Southern buying the 4 unit demonstrator set before the tour was complete. Alco and Baldwin had decent end cab switchers and Alco had the early roadswitchers. This gave EMD a tremendous lead on road power during the war. In 1944 the WPB loosened up and Alco introduced the 244 with out adequate development . It broke crankshafts and had other problems. This left a bad taste in most RR Master Machanics mouths and the 251 was too late to sweeten it. The 251 is a very good engine and serves as back up diesel generator power at all Westinghouse nuclear plants. The Fairbanks is still a good engine and the Navy still loves 'em. They are the auxillary power in nuclear submarines.
    You can beat off about combustion turbines til you are blue in the face and balls but it ain't gonna happen.Less than full throttle fuel economy is non existent and the railroads have found that 4000-4500 Hp on 6 axles is all that is effective. Those higher HP diesel units have been cut back and many are headed for scrap.

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    nh-freight-manchester-bridge-1961-rcm-0-.jpgnh-freight-manchester-bridge-1961-rcm-1-.jpgnh-freight-manchester-bridge-1961-rcm-2-.jpgHere are some New Haven RR Alco FA/ EMD GP pictures my brother took in 1961 at Manchester Bridge in LaGrange, NY on the Maybrook line lead to the Poughkeepsie Bridge.

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  13. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by SplinterFingers View Post
    nh-freight-manchester-bridge-1961-rcm-0-.jpgnh-freight-manchester-bridge-1961-rcm-1-.jpgnh-freight-manchester-bridge-1961-rcm-2-.jpgHere are some New Haven RR Alco FA/ EMD GP pictures my brother took in 1961 at Manchester Bridge in LaGrange, NY on the Maybrook line lead to the Poughkeepsie Bridge.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Sent from my SM-G930R4 using Tapatalk

  14. #32
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    nh-0426-fa-1-lagrange-ny-1960-rcm-.jpgnh-freight-manchester-bridge-1961-rcm-3-.jpgnh-freight-arlington-rcm-.jpgstation-hopewell-junction-nd-c1970-rcm-u25c.jpgHere's a few more. I just fixed the starter on a '53 John Deere model B so I kind of like the tractors on the flat car photo. The last picture is of a U25C at Hopewell Junction four years before the bridge burned. It's not EMD or Alco but since GE had a partnership with Alco for all the generators, switch gear and traction motors I figure what the hay...they're cousins.


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