Big Macs coming to MMA?

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Big Macs coming to MMA?

Postby MEC407 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:08 pm

Mr. Joe Ferguson of the "LocoNotes" Yahoo Group has reported that two former Union Pacific SD90MACs -- the real ones with the 6000 HP 265H engine -- are currently at Paducah & Louisville Railroad's North Yard, awaiting shipment to Derby, Maine. They are numbered ALCX 8542 and ALCX 8555.

Anyone know anything about this? e.g., why on earth are these temperamental behemoths coming to MMA?!

Thanks to Mr. Ferguson for the report.
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Re: Big Macs coming to MMA?

Postby ShortlinesUSA » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:38 pm

I would highly suspect it's something along the lines of the "Poland Project" or contract shop work. Altoona just re-engined some for export to Australia. It's possible MMA has been awarded a similar contract for someone else. Maybe Mr. Tancula can shed a little light on the subject...
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Re: Big Macs coming to MMA?

Postby doublestack » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:54 pm

More than likely there being rebuilt at the Derby shop for someone like BHP iron ore in Australia. I can't picture a unit that size working Maine. Back when CP Rail was running Canada to Canada through Maine, they only used geep's.

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Re: Big Macs coming to MMA?

Postby MEC407 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:04 pm

I was thinking along those same lines, except I'm trying to understand the efficiency/cost-effectiveness of MMA doing it vs. NS-Altoona or one of Progress Rail's shops... or even NRE/VMV-Paducahbilt right there in Paducah where the units already are.

I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation to be had; just having trouble figuring out what it might be. :wink:
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Re: Big Macs coming to MMA?

Postby rootsblown » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:28 pm

As near as I can gather, the MMA can probably do the work cheaper for one reason only. That is, they pay there work employees at the Derby shops $15 dollars an hour. Compare that to other contract shops and you will probably see the substantial difference. As far as time perspective of the Big Mac project, It should take more man hours at derby[because the lack of a complete facility to perform such a large project will slow the progress considerably] then any other shop to do this type of project. Just my 2 cents
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Re: Big Macs coming to MMA?

Postby MEC407 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:38 pm

Starting pay at EMD on the production line is $14.50, and tops out at $18.50. With that in mind, along with transportation to far-flung Derby, I'm still surprised that MMA would be able to compete with EMD/Progress/CAT.
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Re: Big Macs coming to MMA?

Postby Cowford » Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:20 pm

"I can't picture a unit that size working Maine. Back when CP Rail was running Canada to Canada through Maine, they only used geep's."

Having ridden M630s across the Moosehead Sub, I've gotta take exception! While not the HP equivalent, I believe the M630 approaches the SD90s weight.
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Re: Big Macs coming to MMA?

Postby MEC407 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:27 pm

M630s might actually be harder on the tracks than SD90MACs would be because the MACs have steerable trucks.

In terms of per-axle weight, an SD90MAC is no worse than a fully-loaded Dash 8-39B, which MMA has aplenty.
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Re: Big Macs coming to MMA?

Postby rootsblown » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:55 pm

MEC407 wrote:Starting pay at EMD on the production line is $14.50, and tops out at $18.50. With that in mind, along with transportation to far-flung Derby, I'm still surprised that MMA would be able to compete with EMD/Progress/CAT.



Actually, the top rate at MMA is around $18/hr but they also had a 15% pay cut almost 2 years ago so that brings it down to about $15.40/hr. I think There charge per shop rate is $60 /hr . I agree with what you said about how they could compete with other shops. Kind of wondering if it might just be too big of a project for the MMA derby facility to handle. Was told that there is only 18 total workers at the derby shop. That includes carmen, mechanics, machinists, and electricians .. 5 or 6 managers
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Re: Big Macs coming to MMA?

Postby Highball » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:13 am

CP also ran M-636's ( 4700 number series ) though Maine in the 1980's, which were similar in weight to the M-630, around 393,000 lbs. with 3300 HP.........the M-630 had 3000 HP and both models had a continuous tractive effort ( C.T.E. ) of 71,000 lbs.

Checking my log notes from a trip on VIA Atlantic Train # 12 ( Eastbound ) from May 03, 1986, a meet was made at Jackman Me., with a CP freight that had M-636, numbered 4701 in the lead.
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Re: Big Macs coming to MMA?

Postby MEC407 » Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:14 pm

For what it's worth: the ALCX reporting mark is registered to a company called Allegheny Creative Energy Solutions.

Some quick Googling revealed a few references to that name, and some of those references say the company is based in Pottstown, PA. I can't seem to find a web site for the company, though. There is a web site for a company called Allegheny Energy Solutions (sans "creative"), based in Schellsburg, PA. Maybe the same company, maybe not...? They seem to be interested in solar energy systems, so I'm not sure exactly why they'd need a pair of SD90MACs... unless they're embarking on some kind of very large construction project (there have been some instances in the past of construction companies buying a locomotive or two for large projects -- IIRC, that's actually how Morrison-Knudsen got into the rail business initially).
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Re: Big Macs coming to MMA?

Postby GP40MC1118 » Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:10 pm

Both units into Cincinnati on CSX Q504 today...

D
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Re: Big Macs coming to MMA?

Postby MEC&BAR » Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:15 am

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Re: Big Macs coming to MMA?

Postby MEC407 » Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:24 am

Interesting. Is this in addition to the two numbers I posted in the beginning of the thread, or was one of those numbers wrong?

The photo caption is interesting as well. I did a search for "Alcan Smelters & Chemicals" and the first hit was Rio Tinto Alcan: http://www.riotintoalcan.com/

Rio Tinto has extensive rail operations, particularly in Australia... and as "ShortlinesUSA" mentioned, some SD90MACs have recently been re-engined and rebuilt for Australia.

Another interesting wrinkle is that Rio Tinto Alcan is based in Montreal... not that far from MMA Derby.
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Re: Big Macs coming to MMA?

Postby ShortlinesUSA » Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:06 pm

The MACs are coming to Derby for rebuild. Will not leave as scrap. Any info past that is mum, as part of a proprietary deal. Great to see some work for the Derby Shops!
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