Baldwin Export Locomotives

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Re: Baldwin Export Locomotives

Postby Pneudyne » Fri May 05, 2017 9:43 pm

In some ways, the SNCB type 211, falling as it did into the “Baldwin export” category, can be seen as a post facto realization of Baldwin’s 1950s ambitions to develop diesel-hydraulic line-service locomotives that were generally comparable to the diesel-electric type. This ambition is delineated in the attached article from ‘Diesel Railway Traction’ for 1954 May:

DRT 195405 p.113.gif
DRT 195405 p.114.gif

Perhaps ironic though is that the SNCB type 211 had a Voith hydraulic transmission, whereas Baldwin had been a Mekydro licensee.

Even back in 1954, Baldwin had stated that mixed MU operations between diesel-hydraulic and diesel-electric locomotives was desirable. But as best as I can determine, the SNCB 211 was not MU-compatible with its type 210 diesel-electric counterpart. At least, nothing was said about such capability in the 211 information that I have seen, and it is something that I expect would have been flagged had it been provided. Possibly that was because the 211 was viewed by the SNCB as special-purpose machine, for use on duties where high sustained tractive effort was required, and so would not normally overlap with the 210. Still, had the fleet been larger, the mixed MU capability might have been of value in allowing the 211 to fill-in on 210 rosters without creating any compatibility problems.

The 210 probably had the standard control protocol associated with the Baldwin CE100 master controller, thus allowing it to interwork with the concurrent type 200 and earlier type 201 locomotives, as well as its own kind. I think though that the CE100 control protocol could have been used for diesel-hydraulic locomotives. That it provided a continuously variable throttle addressed the need for diesel-hydraulic locomotives to have finer throttle graduation than was often used for diesel-electrics. And although not pertinent to the type 211 case, its pneumatic rather than electric dynamic brake control made it an easy fit to hydrodynamic brakes. Still, better would have been a control protocol that simultaneously addressed the need of diesel-hydraulic and diesel-electric locomotives. For example such could have accommodated a part-converter-fill initial notch for the diesel-hydraulic case, a facility which the 211 appeared to have had. That this kind of thing was doable is illustrated by the British Rail diesel-electric electropneumatic control protocol, developed as part of the 1955 Pilot Plan. Here a single system accommodated both the English Electric approach of pneumatic throttle control throughout the range and the then Sulzer approach of a few electric starting notches followed by pneumatic throttle control. (Sulzer abandoned this for full pneumatic control before deliveries started, but its protocol was used to some extent by BTH and Brush.)

The SNCB types 211 and 210 formed a diesel-hydraulic and diesel-electric counterpart pair in much the same was as did the British Rail classes 22 and 21, both mentioned in the Alco Diesel-Hydraulic thread. (viewtopic.php?f=4&t=163595) The SNCB also had a second such pair, the type 212 diesel-electric (mentioned in the EMD Export Locomotives thread (viewtopic.php?f=6&t=160297) and the type 213 diesel-hydraulic. These may have even a bit closer been closer in details than the above-mentioned pairs. I am looking for sufficient additional information on the 213, and If I find it, I’ll post a commentary in the EMD thread.

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Re: Baldwin Export Locomotives

Postby Allen Hazen » Fri May 05, 2017 10:35 pm

Thank you for the information on these two locomotive classes: the existence of another "controlled experiment" comparing diesel-hydraulic and diesel-electric locomotives is intriguing. Busy now; when I have a chance I will read your posts VERY carefully and study the scanned material… and post questions if I have any intelligent ones to answer.

(In addition toBR Classes 21 and 22, the only other closely comparable d-h and d-e pair I know is that of the EMD SW-900 (? maybe SW-8) switcher and the experimental d-h variant of it that EMD built in the 1950s: the two were similar enough that, when they decided not to pursue the d-h option further, EMD was able to rebuild the test/demonstrator unit as a fairly standard d-e switcher.)
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Re: Baldwin Export Locomotives

Postby NorthWest » Fri May 05, 2017 11:47 pm

Thanks so much for the information and analysis!
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Re: Baldwin Export Locomotives

Postby Pneudyne » Sat May 20, 2017 3:12 am

This switching locomotive model was built for the Matadi-Leopoldville Railway in the Congo by Ateliers Metallurgiques (AM) in Belgium during 1954-55.

Matadi-Leopoldville AM DH Switcher.jpg

I have included it here because it was based upon a Whitcomb mechanical design, and probably just scrapes in as a Whitcomb export design, built by a third party. I imagine that AM would have had a Whitcomb licence, but I have not seen confirmation of this. I’d guess that the Whitcomb prototype design was its 44-ton model.

The AM version differed in departments other than mechanical design, though. It had a pair of GM Detroit 6-110 engines set for 225 hp each. And the transmission was not electric, but hydraulic via Twin Disc three-stage torque converters and AM 2-speed automatic gearboxes. Weight was around 100 000 lb.

Prior to these locomotives, Matadi-Leopoldville had received batches of similar, but diesel-electric switchers from Baume & Marpent (the Belgian GE licensee) in 1953-54 and from Davenport in 1953. A curious feature is that all three locomotive designs shared the same key dimensions, namely 7’0” truck wheelbase, 16’6” truck centres, and 30’0” length over end-frames. This appears to have been a customer requirement.

In Belgium post-WWII there were Baldwin, EMD, GE and Westinghouse licencees. It looks as if there was also a Whitcomb licensee. Beyond locomotives, but still in the railway field, there was also a TRC (PCC streetcar) licensee. And the Congo during the 1950s received locomotives of or derived from Baldwin, Davenport, GE and Whitcomb designs.

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