GG-1's in Cooperstown to Henry Ford Museum

Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby DutchRailnut » Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:21 am

if the GG-1 no longer has operational brakes, it can not be moved in any interchange service.
It could only be moved to nearest repair shop, but what good would that do, if no parts are available.
proper brake shoes, working brake valves, are brakepipes leaking ? the cylinders would need new packing cups etc etc etc.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer
User avatar
DutchRailnut
 
Posts: 21200
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13

Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby NYCRRson » Tue Aug 09, 2016 6:55 pm

Even if a Class I agreed to move them you should expect some rough handling.

Those "do not hump" placards, heck they are just an invitation to see your shipment humped at every possible hump yard between Cooperstown and Michigan....

And speed restrictions, heck those are just "suggestions"; "Hey Larry, wonder how fast we can go with this thing before the traction motors fly apart".......

If I owned those White Elephants (sorry, Red Elephants in honor of the PRR, Standard Railroad of the World, har har) I would never ever allow them to be moved by rail these days.

Seems like disassembly, trucking and reassembly is the only viable choice. Expensive, sure, but your chances of something resembling a GG1 arriving at your destination are better than 50%.

Heck the PRR cut one in half to get it out of the basement of Union Station in Washington DC, they simply welded it back together, I heard it was about 6 inches shorter after the repairs... (just kidding).

They are beautiful "motors", I had a chance to ride behind them several times and watched a triple headed GG1 freight train go by along the NE Corridor. But frankly if the Dearborn Museum really wanted to obtain one and fix it up for a nice display piece they are about 30 years too late. They should have approached Amtrak or Conrail back in the early 1980's when one was probably still suitable (barely) for interchange.

Cheers, Kevin
NYCRRson
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:50 am

Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby lvrr325 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:15 am

FRA used to offer a one-time shop move on stuff like this.

Don't know if the bearings can be repacked without a drop table.


And high and wide trains do not get humped, or switched out, nor are they 5000 feet long with 50 feet of slack action in them. Nor, in this day and age of electronics, do crews speed along just for the hell of it.
lvrr325
 
Posts: 4176
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 5:42 pm
Location: New York State

Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby DutchRailnut » Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:55 am

yes a shop move to nearest repair shop, but not interchange.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer
User avatar
DutchRailnut
 
Posts: 21200
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13

Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby D.Carleton » Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:13 am

A few years ago Amtrak moved 4935, sans brakes, to Washington Union for a gathering of streamliners. I'm sure it required a waver but the whole move was on and undertaken by Amtrak. If the 4935 had done a 4877 on track 16 then Amtrak would have been completely liable.
D.Carleton
 
Posts: 758
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:19 pm
Location: NY or FL, depending on what mood I'm in...

Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby BR&P » Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:27 am

NYCRRson wrote:Even if a Class I agreed to move them you should expect some rough handling. Do you think they are made out of plastic?

Those "do not hump" placards, heck they are just an invitation to see your shipment humped at every possible hump yard between Cooperstown and Michigan.... How many hump yards do you think that would be?

And speed restrictions, heck those are just "suggestions"; "Hey Larry, wonder how fast we can go with this thing before the traction motors fly apart"....... You must not be familiar with today's railroading!

If I owned those White Elephants (sorry, Red Elephants in honor of the PRR, Standard Railroad of the World, har har) I would never ever allow them to be moved by rail these days. Especially when there are so many other options for moving something that size via highway, water or air.

Seems like disassembly, trucking and reassembly is the only viable choice. Expensive, sure, but your chances of something resembling a GG1 arriving at your destination are better than 50%. Just what do you think a railroad would do to one of these that would totally destroy it?

Heck the PRR cut one in half to get it out of the basement of Union Station in Washington DC, they simply welded it back together, I heard it was about 6 inches shorter after the repairs... (just kidding).

They are beautiful "motors", I had a chance to ride behind them several times and watched a triple headed GG1 freight train go by along the NE Corridor. But frankly if the Dearborn Museum really wanted to obtain one and fix it up for a nice display piece they are about 30 years too late. They should have approached Amtrak or Conrail back in the early 1980's when one was probably still suitable (barely) for interchange.

Cheers, Kevin


Physically there is no reason one of these could not be handled by rail. Replacement of the appropriate brake valves and related testing is not simple but neither is it extremely difficult. One question which COULD be a factor is what brake schedule they used and whether all needed parts are available. But there are companies which specialize in air brakes and which have a few of the obsolete parts tucked away just for demands like this.

The biggest issue frankly is in many cases the Class I's just do not want to be bothered by something like this. They have focused on becoming wholesalers and prefer to run trains with as little switching, restriction and hassle as possible. The cost of the added headache and the BS factor in a move like this would probably price the move out of reason, unless the Class I could see some sort of PR benefit from it.
BR&P
 
Posts: 3505
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:58 pm

Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby Noel Weaver » Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:04 pm

Moving a piece of equipment of this size and weight WITHOUT OPERABLE AIR BRAKES is insane and just plain will not happen. Air brake work on something of this nature will not take place literally out in the middle of nowhere in upstate New York is just about impossible. Those of you who think these things could just be moved are not aware of realities and just plain common sense. The weight of a GG-1 is something like UP 3985 and without brakes if the thing were to happen to get away all hell could happen. No insurance company will take the risk without millions and millions in costs. Just imagine what a loose object of this size and weight could cause in damages and the lawsuits that would result from such an event? The only practical way to move them would be on a railroad flat car designed to move such heavy equipment if available and I suspect such a car or cars could be available at a cost. Highway move at this location although close to I-88 would be both cumbersome and very expensive to say nothing of the risk of such a move. 4935 from Strasburg to Washington is not nearly the distance and involves only Amtrak. I'll bet they made the brakes operable on the 4935 before such a move took place. 4935 did not lay out in the woods for many years before this move took place and probably the brakes were updated before the move took place. I ran these motors many times and just stopping them on a dime with good brakes takes practice and work, without brakes I would not even want to think what could or would happen.
As I have said, the only practical way to move them is as a shipment on a flat car and I don't think any railroad would refuse such a move provided it meets their safety requirements for a dimensional shipment. Otherwise on site scrap is probably the best they can face although that might too be far in the future.
Noel Weaver
Noel Weaver
 
Posts: 9361
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida

Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby Matt Langworthy » Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:42 pm

NYCRRson wrote:Those "do not hump" placards, heck they are just an invitation to see your shipment humped at every possible hump yard between Cooperstown and Michigan....


NS has done H&W moves via the Tier and former NKP without incident. If that route is chosen, the only such hump yard between Cooperstown and Dearborn will be Moorman Yard in Bellevue, OH*. All other yards would be flat. The only other possible hurdles are the availability of a suitable flat car (or two) to carry the GG1 and the height clearance at the 55th Street bridge in Cleveland. Assuming those conditions are met, NS can move the GG1. The musuem hopefully has the funds to cover the shipment.

It wouldn't surprise me if NS has a policy forbidding H&W moves to be humped.

*- NS could use the former W&LE via Toledo to bypass Elkhart's hump yard.
Matt Langworthy

"It is highly likely that the 1990s were an overrated decade."
User avatar
Matt Langworthy
 
Posts: 3122
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:02 pm
Location: Rochester, NY

Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby Train Detainer » Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:48 pm

The Ford museum unit was prepped for rail shipment, including making the brakes operable and lubrication. The work was done 'in the field', without much unexpected difficulty. I know some of the people who did the work over a couple of weeks. IIRC the brake job was complete (or nearly complete) when it was found out that a certain RR turned down handling their portion of the move. I don't recall anything that would preclude an FRA waiver from covering the (interchange) move so long as detailed routing is listed/adhered to, but I don't think a waiver obligates a carrier for a special move like general interchange/common carrier rules.

Also, heavy equipment without working brakes can be moved under waiver, with adequate cars attached for braking effort. Not much different than moving defective cars with runaround hoses and a well qualified engineer, but having working brakes on a heavy loco increases safety and likely-hood of getting it moved. If this was moved under waiver, it would more than likely go by special/dimensional service, not in a train that would be humped.
G.
_________________________________________________________________________________
What the #*** did we just hit, Over ???
Train Detainer
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:41 pm
Location: Albany, NY

Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby BR&P » Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:25 pm

Without re-reading every post, I don't think anyone was suggesting the thing be shipped with no brakes. Someone said about moving to TO A SHOP with no brakes but as Train Detainer and others have said that's probably not necessary. A source of air (truck-mounted or tow-behind air compressor) is essential. Things like control valves, relay valves, safety valves etc are a bolt-off bolt-on deal (altho on some locos they locate them in the most god-awful places!). From what TD posted it sounds like the cylinders have been repacked. Inspect the brake shoes, put the air to it and see where the leaks are. A few tests and good to go.

Since the equipment is a locomotive, there are provisions for out-of-service credit which might allow the work previously noted to be extended past the normal timeframe allowed.

The weight of a GG-1 is something like UP 3985


I'm not sure where you are getting that. A quick check shows a GG1 weighs ballpark 240 tons, while the UP Challenger is about 314 tons for the engine alone, no tender.
BR&P
 
Posts: 3505
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:58 pm

Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby NYCRRson » Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:03 pm

" a certain RR turned down handling their portion of the move"

Exactly, as a shareholder in several of the railroads that "could" handle this move, I don't want them using any railroad assets moving these ON THEIR OWN WHEELS. Put it on flat cars that meet the offered H&W services of the railroad at published rates, OK. There is no "business" to be had moving these own their own wheels. To make a profit (what I expect the managers of the railroads I own shares of to do) they would have to charge hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover the costs of doing such a move safely. And why ??? To make 10 thousand dollars in profit for a business that will never be repeated. Ten thousand dollars once and only once with no chance for repeat business of any kind. Why would any sane business operator consider it ?

And it is not about the brakes, or an FRA wavier, or any of that other stuff, it's about dollars, period. Yes, technically you COULD move one of these over the general rail network. But it is not likely to happen. Unless you get a CEO of one of the Class Ones to decide it makes some kind of publicity sense to do it.

And the liability issues go far beyond the brakes, the cast steel frames of these things are just one big jumbled up heap of tacked on weld repairs on top of each other. Have you seen one up close, heck a few I saw had stacked up steel rods welded into the frames to "re-enforce" cracks in the frames. Nobody with the responsibility to run a safe profitable railroad wants 70 year old steel parts full of "repaired cracks" running around on "their" railroad, with or without brakes.

Cheers, Kevin.
NYCRRson
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:50 am

Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby BR&P » Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:37 pm

Geez, I'm on about my 4th revision, trying to address the actual issues instead of getting personal about the ignorance displayed.

Actually you are right in some respects and wrong in others. Yes, you expect the company to make money, and to price the services in such a way as to contribute to the bottom line. But that bottom line does not say where the money comes from. If you can price a move in such a way to cover variable costs - the money you spend on THIS move like crew, fuel, inspection, everything else - and also make a contribution to FIXED costs - which is everything else from the tools to the real estate to the telephone bill etc - THAT is what you are in business for. If you make more money than you spend, you have an obligation to your stockholders to do so. Whether it's a 1-time move or a repetitive move for years, if it makes money, do it!

How in the world do you feel it would cost " hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover the costs of doing such a move safely."? That figure is preposterous and out of touch with reality.

Somehow you seem to feel something catastrophic is apt to happen. What pray tell is going to cause a disaster in moving a loco in special-train service, not to exceed 30 (or whatever ) mph? It's not like you have the possibility of it derailing, blowing up and causing evacuations or death, like moving ethanol or crude. Yet the railroads do THAT every day, with the potential risks evaluated, addressed and accepted.

You also seem to forget that while the loco may indeed have been sitting for the last - what 25 years? -, before that they were whipping occupied passenger trains along the Corridor at high speed. Does it make sense to think that they would rust and decay so much that they are rolling wrecks about to collapse at every turn of the wheels? Image

You ARE correct that the Class I's today - generally speaking - don't want to be bothered by something like this move. They have in many cases designed their operating plan based on predictable and repetitive moves, and are far less willing to actually provide a service such as this than they did in years past. Yet they DO. Every day somewhere there is a million-dollar transformer, a big heavy generator, and who knows what else, moving on the rails. None of which by the way, can be counted on to generate repeat business.

Please do some logical thinking and re-adjust your view of that equipment as something inherently unsafe. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But let a qualified inspector look it over and make a determination. If it is structurally sound, if the air brakes work, if other requirements are met, there should be no reason why it cannot move. The fact that something LOOKS rusty, has broken windows, and is generally ugly does not mean it can't move, safely AND profitably.
BR&P
 
Posts: 3505
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:58 pm

Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby NYCRRson » Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:02 pm

Dear BR&P, I hear all of your arguments. However, your examples of "one time moves" (transformers, etc) are with modern specialized railroad equipment that is leased out to subsequent customers to eventually recoup the capital costs of the equipment for the owners. The equipment meets the standard requirements for interchange of railroad equipment (plate "F" or "G" or whatever). The railroad has a system in place to handle that safely and can price it to make a profit. And their liability is transferred to the specialized equipment owner, if something goes wrong they can rightfully say; "The owner of special flatcar #3800 told us it was safe, if it failed it is their responsibility".

With something like a 70 year old locomotive that has not had an active FRA "blue card" for decades there is nobody to transfer the liability to. Some non-profit group has no assets (to speak of) so if something goes wrong the attorneys are coming right back at the railroad that "allowed" an "old, unsafe, not up to modern safety standards" piece of equipment on "their" railroad.

Just imagine if "NS" (or another example RR) was moving the GG1 on it's own wheels at 15 mph and the frame broke. It derails and spills onto a parallel double track, then an oil tanker train going 45 mph hits the wreckage and it happens right in the "downtown" of a small city in New York State. Can you estimate exactly how many seconds it would take before a certain Senior US Senator from NY State would be "screaming" about how railroad companies should never ever, no way, no how be allowed to move "unsafe obsolete" railroad equipment through NY cities and towns and how he was introducing legislation immediately to ban such activities ???

Or, can you imagine the costs if "NS" (or another example RR) had to "block" all sections of their track so nobody could pass the GG1. Sure they do that with H&W shipments today, but the equipment is modern and they can rely on it "getting over the road" in a timely fashion and not plugging up whole sections of track. Think of the outlawed crews, motel rooms, taxi cab fares, extra supervisors, MOW folks on standby to repair damaged track, extra crews to cover outlawed crews. One Hundred Grand seems like a low estimate to me. Yes, it might all go perfectly, with no problems, but, if your job depended on doing it and you had to pay back any lost money to the company would you sign up to do it ???

Again, sure it is "possible" to move a GG1 on it's own wheels on a modern railroad, but don't expect to see it happen soon.

Cheers, Kevin.
NYCRRson
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:50 am

Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby BR&P » Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:44 pm

Your examples are valid, if perhaps a bit far-fetched. But no doubt those same "what if's" were discussed in Jacksonville, Roanoke or wherever else. I still think you over-estimate the likelihood of a catastrophic failure but it's not 100% impossible.

In some part I guess it's a sign of the changing times. There was a time when a railroad would embrace the challenge, and find a way to make it happen. Today it's a different attitude - play it safe, don't stick your neck out, no matter how small the odds are. In the end, it does not matter what I think, they hold the cards and they can either refuse the move outright or price it so high that it does not happen.

I really have only a passing interest in the GG1's, I was never exposed to them when in service. And I realize you can't save every piece of equipment. But IMHO there *should* be no reason why - if they pass inspection - they could not be moved.

Image
BR&P
 
Posts: 3505
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:58 pm

Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby DutchRailnut » Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:10 pm

hardest part is finding brake valves that fit and can be rebuild by certified shop.
and finding brake shoes made for 57 inch wheels a GG-1 has, not many cast iron shoes made anymore.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer
User avatar
DutchRailnut
 
Posts: 21200
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13

PreviousNext

Return to New York State Railfan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Clif and 5 guests