GG-1's in Cooperstown to Henry Ford Museum

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Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby BR&P » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:45 pm

I agree the shoes might be a bit hard to get.

Anybody know what brake schedule a GG1 had?
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Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby Ken W2KB » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:44 pm

NYCRRson wrote: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".


The railroad can indeed say that it is not responsible, but the railroad will lose that argument in court every time. The railroad can perhaps in advance enter into an indemnification agreement with the owner of the specialized railcar which may or may not make the railroad whole, but the railroad remains liable for damages and the shipper/owner of the transformer or other product is entitled to be paid for their loss by the railroad subject to any contract of carriage provisions.
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Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby lvrr325 » Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:19 am

I don't know why people even post in the thread if they're not going to read.


Train Detainer wrote: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.


For a shop move, the owner is now Ford, the home shop is Dearborn. The entire move is on one railroad now - there is no more interchange issue.

Noel Weaver wrote: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.


already been addressed, the work has already been done, the brakes work.

Those of you who think these things could just be moved are not aware of realities and just plain common sense.


Yet it has been done, and I've seen it done myself. Heck, these two themselves got moved off their siding not that long ago and gee, they must have stopped okay with them.

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.


A GG1 weighs 475,000 lbs, presuming it's fully equipped and intact and no PCB-laden transformers have been removed.

The 3985 wieghs 1,073,900 lbs. So you're way off there, charlie.

You're telling me no railroad has ever moved three loaded 100 ton cars without brakes before?

Hell I've been involved myself in switching out a string of cars without air that had to weigh close to that much.

Do you want to go screaming down the mainline at 70 with them? No. Can you manage 25 with a through air line and some extra cars for braking power? Has been done hundreds of times if not thousands.

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.


Two GP38's had no problem stopping one at low speed. None. Add 10 loaded fracking sand or cenemt cars and keep her at 25 the whole way and you should be fine. Maybe it just takes a talented engineer. But, as noted, we can make the brakes work on it, so it doesn't matter so much.

As to insurance, it's just a matter of what you want to pay for the policy. Many railroads self-insure anyways, liability is only a factor for things like excursion trips where passengers are carried.


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


At 79 feel long, a flatcar move would likely require three cars also traveling at restricted speeds - one for each truck frame and one for the carbody. So it's six of one and half a dozen of the other. Well, except it will weigh more that way.


In any case, without knowing who turned down their portion of the move, and why, everything else is just speculation. Could it be done? Yes. Should it be done? Probably. Will it be done? Who knows.
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Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby BR&P » Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:14 am

The only part of that post I question is

For a shop move, the owner is now Ford, the home shop is Dearborn. The entire move is on one railroad now - there is no more interchange issue.


Not quite sure what you mean by "home shop". If there was something which had to be repaired prior to the move, it would not be moved all the way to Michigan to have the work done.

And I thought the units were on the CACV or some small line, so there WOULD be an interchange.

But I think we're getting far afield on the whole question about cars moving without brakes - as noted, the brakes are not the issue here and reportedly they DO work.
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Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby H.F.Malone » Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:43 pm

GG1 brake schedule is 24-RL. Valves are available, and certified shops such as Multi-Service can service and rack test them. 24-RL is more expensive to get a locomotive "set" done than the most common 26-L, but it's nowhere near difficult.

There have been a number of locomotives, both diesel and steam, that for these "get it home" moves, have had their older schedule brake systems set up with AB-type control valves and two-compartment reservoirs, utilizing the base loco's brake cylinders/rigging. Apply, release, do not have excessive leakage, and it's fine.

Blue card or lack thereof is a non-issue. It simply moves as a "non-compliant" locomotive, properly tagged as such, and "do not occupy" tags also applied. FRA part 229.9 covers this.

"No one was ever fired for saying no." That's railroading in 2016, on most railroads, unfortunately.

There have been more than a few of these moves of locomotives, passenger cars and freight cars during the last 35+ years. Proper prep work and testing goes a long way to preventing problems on the road. Most people who are involved with this sort of thing are acutely aware that one troublesome move would likely reflect badly on everyone else who wants to move something old/weird/unusual, and they are very careful to make sure things go well, before and during the moves.
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Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby CPSmith » Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:40 pm

H.F.Malone wrote:GG1 brake schedule is 24-RL. Valves are available, and certified shops such as Multi-Service can service and rack test them. 24-RL is more expensive to get a locomotive "set" done than the most common 26-L, but it's nowhere near difficult.


24 makes perfect sense. At one time many years ago, I was told they had number 8 brakes (obviously unique and dated). Does that ring a bell with anyone or am I hallucinating (again...)? Unique to PRR electrics?
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Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby NYCRRson » Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:43 pm

"Blue card or lack thereof is a non-issue"

Ah yes, one of those "non-issues" arising from gubermint regulations.

The Gubermint says; "Every "locomotive" you operate/move must have a blue card, but you can apply for a waiver if you want, we may or may not give you one".

And the smart railroad operator that wants nothing to do with this risky move says; "I don't want to move it, it has no blue card, and you cannot force me to apply for a waiver".

Two edges to the same sword.

Sure, if a railroad "wants" to move a locomotive they can "ask nicely" for a waiver from the gubermint. On the other hand, if they don't want to move a locomotive they can simply not ask for a waiver and claim the locomotive is not moveable according to gubermint regulations.

Funny how all those regulations written by gubermint folks that are supposedly smarter than us regular citizens are so often "worked around".

And as far as I know locomotives are not historically considered "interchange" equipment subject to treatment as a "shipment" that a common carrier must accept if it meets certain standards (less then 40 years old, etc.). A 70 plus year old locomotive is not "interchangeable" and a smart railroad operator will find a "loophole" to refuse it, if they want to. Likewise they will find a different "loophole" (aka waiver) to accept it, if they want to.

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Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby BR&P » Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:07 pm

I tend to agree with H.F.M that you might be able to move it noted as non-compliant, but would have to re-read the CFR for the nuances. For example, does that non-compliant notation allow movement only to the nearest place it can be repaired, or can it go farther? I just don't remember.

Another factor is that not all FRA inspectors agree on all the rules. Some years back, the question was asked at a seminar if "X" was permitted. The FRA people huddled and said "yes". A few years later, a railroad in another state got their hand slapped because they did "X", the FRA man in THAT territory claimed it was not permitted.

But the bottom line is the carrier does not WANT to move it so there is no end to the amount of red tape and BS they can come up with to be sure it does not happen.
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Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby SST » Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:15 am

For the most part, the only time I've ever seen a GG1 is on video. Never saw the real thing until I went to Strasburg in PA. I was truly impressed by it. I would have loved to have seen it in live action. It was sad to see a GG1 stored in the bushes in the picture posted earlier.

What would be a good guess as to how many GG1's are still "out in the bushes?" How many are saved?
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Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby Matt Langworthy » Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:33 am

Of the 139 units built, only 16 survive today.


Source: http://www.steamlocomotive.com/GG1/

The link also has notes about the condition of each existing GG1. Some of them are definitely better off than others.
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Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby H.F.Malone » Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:02 am

GG1s as built had 8-EL brake schedule. Changed at a later date to 24-RL automatic and S-40 independent (the "24 independent" valve). The 8-EL control valve continued to be used, in at least some cases (the freight-assigned GG1s, apparently).
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Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby Noel Weaver » Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:14 pm

The air brake equipment on various locomotives was modified and improved on over their lifetimes. GG-1's were no exception to this but because it was a large class of locomotives in numbers these modifications did not happen overnight. I had a couple of them on the New Haven even in the 70's that had the original arrangement of gauges, cab lights etc that they probably had when they were built. I remember one that had a coffee container over a light bulb for a gauge light, it worked although it did not work too well. There were different air brake arrangements in the nose as well but at this stage I do not remember what existed there. Somebody said the air brakes worked, I wonder how they know that? Did they have a source of air? What was their source of air? did they have an approved brake valve to set the brakes during their "air tests"? Lots of questions here???????
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Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby Ken W2KB » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:22 pm

Matt Langworthy wrote:
Of the 139 units built, only 16 survive today.


Source: http://www.steamlocomotive.com/GG1/

The link also has notes about the condition of each existing GG1. Some of them are definitely better off than others.


The site is stale with respect to the condition and location of the URHS of NJ GG1s. Here is a photo taken two years ago at Boonton, NJ. http://urhs.org/pictures/PRR-4879-4877-2014-9-20-Boonton-NJ-Photo-Dennis-A-Livesey.jpg

Next chance to see them is September 25th. http://museumforaday.com/
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Re: GG-!'s in cooperstown

Postby ctclark1 » Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:24 pm

Ken W2KB wrote:The site is stale with respect to the condition and location of the URHS of NJ GG1s. Here is a photo taken two years ago at Boonton, NJ. http://urhs.org/pictures/PRR-4879-4877-2014-9-20-Boonton-NJ-Photo-Dennis-A-Livesey.jpg

Not necessarily... The site does specifically mention that the author was informed in 2014 of the repainting of both locos. Doesn't mean it's stale, just that no one has actually sent a photo or that the author hasn't been able to get out to see them him/herself.
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Re: GG-1's in Cooperstown to Henry Ford Museum

Postby highrail » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:48 am

I was in the Cooperstown Junction area over the weekend. As noted earlier, the units have been moved. They are readily visible on one leg of the wye leading toward Cooperstown. I see that a few of the additional pieces stored on the other leg of the wye have been moved ahead of the GG1's. The F units have been removed and I spotted them up by the station in Milford.

Across the street from the wye it looks like a private property renovation that includes the placement of a private rail car...not sure of the origin...did not want to go on the property . Given the steep slope of the property it must have been quite an effort to get the car on the site. The owner also has an old signal post. Anyone know the plans for the site? There was someone working on the property when I went by so it looks like the work is current.

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