Question about cab units

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Question about cab units

Postby Dreezy » Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:49 pm

I looked around, but I didn't see any other topics about this. Apologies if it's been addressed before. :-) I've never been much of a fan of the Genesis locomotives that Amtrak and VIA use for everything. It seems to me that the basic shape of the F7A (and the other units that share that shape) still has a fair amount of familiarity for a lot of people, in addition to it being a handsome look (though it is somewhat dated, certainly). I have been wondering, has there ever been any talk at EMD about building a 21st century take on an E- or F-unit? I'd love to see something like that at the head of passenger trains today.
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Re: Question about cab units

Postby MEC407 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:38 am

Dreezy wrote:I have been wondering, has there ever been any talk at EMD about building a 21st century take on an E- or F-unit?


Yes and no. EMD is currently developing their 21st century F-unit, the F125. You can read more about it here:

http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=86709

It's not going to look like the F-units of yesteryear, though.

As far as E-units are concerned, there is currently no demand for six-axle passenger units in North America.
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Re: Question about cab units

Postby Dreezy » Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:00 pm

That's sort of what I figured. The P42s and P40s still have a lot left in the tank, besides being quite economical (from what I understand) for Amtrak and Via Rail to operate. It's just always seemed to me that F-units still have a lot of "brand recognition," if you will. Even if lay people don't know what they were called, most people seem to have seen an F-unit in a movie, on a scenic/tourist railroad somewhere, or on the front of Norfolk Southern's OCS.
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Re: Question about cab units

Postby MEC407 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:59 pm

Absolutely. I would dare say that the original F-series and E-series are the most iconic and memorable/recognizable locomotives of the 20th century, at least as far as the general public is concerned.
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Re: Question about cab units

Postby DutchRailnut » Sat Sep 07, 2013 12:31 pm

The Bulldog nose could never be made to meet todays collision standards, as nose was basically a lot of sheet metal with tons of Bondo.
even if made with collision post and carbon fiber it would not look same due to corner post requirements.
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Re: Question about cab units

Postby Dreezy » Sat Sep 07, 2013 5:58 pm

DutchRailnut wrote:The Bulldog nose could never be made to meet todays collision standards, as nose was basically a lot of sheet metal with tons of Bondo.
even if made with collision post and carbon fiber it would not look same due to corner post requirements.


By corner post, do you mean (I'm guessing) like a part of a frame that is underneath the outer skin of the locomotive? I can see how such a requirement wouldn't really lend itself to the rounded look of a cab-unit as opposed to a F40 or P42. Often when I've seen picture of cab units involved in head-on collisions, the entire front fascia is smashed in or pancaked.
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Re: Question about cab units

Postby Allen Hazen » Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:30 pm

Still, it would be nice if a modern passenger unit could be... beautified. For curiosity, Dutch: could the structural features required on a modern unit be fitted insite the profile of an Alco PA nose? (Note that much of an Alco cab units nose is vertical sheeting: simple rather than complex curve. My guess is that GE's designer Ray Patten did this deliberately, and that the fabrication cost for an Alco-style nose -- the real original or a possible faux reproduction -- would be less than that of an EMD "Buldog" with its complex curves.)

(Sorry, I know this is the EMD forum, but I just couldn't resist putting in a plug for Alco/GE design!)
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Re: Question about cab units

Postby Dreezy » Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:53 pm

I would love to see something like that. Those PAs were handsome and looked good in a lot of different liveries. They also may possibly have the structural integrity that an E or F lacks, as you pointed out. The only thing I'm wondering is, who has the rights (if anyone) to former Alco designs?
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Re: Question about cab units

Postby DutchRailnut » Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:22 pm

probably not, as corner post have to be near structural corners of locomotive
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Re: Question about cab units

Postby Allen Hazen » Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:07 pm

Thanks, Dutch!
... I was hoping the flat face of the Alco/GE cab unit design would come close enough to the corners of the frame to work. But so much for another dream!
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Re: Question about cab units

Postby Dreezy » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:06 am

Thanks for answering my questions, guys. I hope you won't mind if I throw a few more out there, since you know better than I what sort of designs would fit the bill. It seems like based on what you've said that there needs to be a predominance of angles over curves. I realize that these are not EMD designs, although at this point if any of these shapes were ever reused in a modern locomotive they'd likely end up being built by EMD.
-GM&O Rebel Power cars
-Baldwin Sharknose
-Baldwin/Westinghouse turbine demonstrator 4000 (I realize only one of these was built, and it's a little obscure)
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