PAR GP40-2Ws (MEC 500 Series)

Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.

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PAR GP40-2Ws (MEC 500 Series)

Postby MEC407 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:39 am

In this photo of MEC 518 by Jay Gadon, I noticed that the tri-color classification lights have been removed and plated over. Is this the start of a new trend? In the past they've always left classification lights intact and functional, even though they serve no purpose in today's railroading. Does anyone know if PAR is going to continue doing this to other locomotives, or was 518 a special circumstance (e.g. they were causing electrical problems or water was leaking in or something)?
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Re: GP40-2W Discussion (MEC 500 Series)

Postby BowdoinStation » Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:37 am

I noticed that too. What made me do a double take, was TPW 4053 in Rail America paint that was New England Central's showing at the Glory Days festival. Their GP40-2(w) has the tri-color lights. I first thought the lights were painted over on the 518, but up close looks like the lights were plated over. It seems that half (9 out of 18) of the 500 series engines that operate have been cleaned up and painted with 518 being the most recently painted a couple of months ago. The 500 and 513 are presumed to be out-of-service for good. Maybe the 519 is next in line to turn blue.. The 500's wear the PAR Blue well, and the 518 looked especially well presented.
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Re: GP40-2W Discussion (MEC 500 Series)

Postby CN9634 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:07 am

I believe 5 units are to be rebuilt with this one as the first. The 514 I think is next and I also believe the 500 will be back. Can't disclose all the details of the deal but someone else is supposedly paying for the rebuild...
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Re: GP40-2W Discussion (MEC 500 Series)

Postby MEC407 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:08 pm

Sure would be nice if these were given the EMD ECO Repower treatment... but any rebuild is better than none at all!
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Re: GP40-2W Discussion (MEC 500 Series)

Postby newpylong » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:52 am

The 518 is now owned by GATX, I suspect anything else that get's a rebuild might be the same case.
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Re: GP40-2W Discussion (MEC 500 Series)

Postby CN9634 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:53 am

newpylong wrote:The 518 is now owned by GATX, I suspect anything else that get's a rebuild might be the same case.


Correct. They started with 5 for now...
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Re: GP40-2W Discussion (MEC 500 Series)

Postby MEC407 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:38 am

So is this a "lease back" type of arrangement, in which the railroad sells some units to another company and then leases them back? I recall that BAR did that with a good chunk of their roster during the later years of the company.

Is there any STB documentation on this?
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Re: GP40-2W Discussion (MEC 500 Series)

Postby Engineer Spike » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:29 pm

Regardless of the rebuild program, it the engine has a part, then it must work, per Federal Law. PA might be finding it easier to plate over the class lights than to be sure the bulbs work.
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Re: GP40-2W Discussion (MEC 500 Series)

Postby MEC407 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:44 pm

I understand that, but I suspect that GATX may have specifically told them to remove/disable the class lights as part of the rebuild. Why? Because in the entire 30+ year history of this railroad, they've never removed/disabled class lights until now, even though they've been unnecessary pretty much that entire time. If it was simply a cost-saving measure, they would've done it a long time ago, just as they've done with locomotives they've acquired that came with dynamic brakes, air conditioners, beacons/strobe lights, and other non-essentials. My guess is that someone in Billerica did a cost/benefit analysis and figured out that it was cheaper to keep the class lights in place (and replace the bulbs every now and then) than to spend the money on parts and labor to remove them. Perhaps GATX disagrees.
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Re: GP40-2W Discussion (MEC 500 Series)

Postby gokeefe » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:51 pm

MEC407 wrote:My guess is that someone in Billerica did a cost/benefit analysis and figured out that it was cheaper to keep the class lights in place (and replace the bulbs every now and then) than to spend the money on parts and labor to remove them. Perhaps GATX disagrees.


If the working assumption was that these lights might not even be checked as often as they should be then you can draw your own conclusions from there. I wouldn't be surprised if this decision never made it to the bean counters in Accounting.
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Re: GP40-2W Discussion (MEC 500 Series)

Postby Engineer Spike » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:15 pm

Who knows what ideas roll around in the heads of the mechanical dept. officials. Under the "if it has it, it must work" category, they removed the inboard sand lines. One other cost savings jem was removing the center wind shield wipers. I and see the sanders. Sometimes the lines get clogged, and besides,the lead wheel is the most likely to slip. But how hard is it to change wiper blades once in a while?
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Re: GP40-2W Discussion (MEC 500 Series)

Postby MEC407 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:21 pm

Have any other 500s been rebuilt and repainted after 518 was finished? The company newsletter said 519 was next in line.
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Re: GP40-2W Discussion (MEC 500 Series)

Postby guilfordrailfan » Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:02 pm

MEC407 wrote:Have any other 500s been rebuilt and repainted after 518 was finished? The company newsletter said 519 was next in line.


Only one other GP40-2W has been rebuilt. 519 was released in November 2013.
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Re: GP40-2W Discussion (MEC 500 Series)

Postby MEC407 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:27 pm

Thanks Bill!
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Re: GP40-2W Discussion (MEC 500 Series)

Postby MEC407 » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:31 pm

Here is a photo by Wayne Johnson of 519, showing new number boards and classification lights removed:

http://photos.greatrails.net/s/?p=213658
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