1st Generation SD-series official thread (all variations)

Discussion of Electro-Motive locomotive products and technology, past and present. Official web site can be found here: http://www.emdiesels.com/.

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Postby MEC407 » Tue Sep 05, 2006 6:04 pm

mxdata wrote:I am having some problems following the discussion at this point, I was under the impression the NREC locomotive has three engines, not two


The one with three engines is the roadswitcher version. The center-cab switcher version has two engines.

In regards to reliability and availability, the fact that the engines are small and skid-mounted should make them much easier to service, and if one goes down, it can be pulled and a replacement can be swapped in relatively quickly. The locomotive itself is designed so that it only uses as many engines as it needs in order to get the job done. For instance, in light switching situations, it might only use one of its two (or three) engines... and then it would bring the other engine(s) online when it needs more power.
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Postby mxdata » Tue Sep 05, 2006 6:34 pm

Yup, they are about the size of a HEP unit, it should be just about as much work and expense to swap one out as changing a HEP unit.

That isn't cheap.
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Postby pablo » Tue Sep 05, 2006 7:40 pm

Well, that should be easier than a complete engine, yes, especially if these are the ones mounted on skids that are supposed to be easy to change?

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Postby mxdata » Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:03 pm

Glad to hear these things have all been figured out so well. Sounds like a great success story developing here. Guess I will have to buy some of their stock. Oops, does Lawrence own the company outright? Maybe there isn't any stock!
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Postby GOLDEN-ARM » Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:41 am

You mentioned California is "forcing" the railroads to comply. I mentioned this, when I mentioned "CARB". The CARB might dictate what emission standards are applicable, for new locos, and roster, in their state, but my belief is, current locos can run, exempt, until the usefull end of their lifecycles. De-turboing a loco is not considered to be a "major rebuild", under the rules of the CARB, so, as a grandfathered piece of equipment, it should be exempt, from complying with Tier 2 or 3 levels. A properly tuned, and efficiently handled loco, of the second generation, is quite capable of delivering satisfactory fuel consumption figures, if the carriers put a little effort, into the project. I have never seen a favorable report, on these new "alternate" locomotives, that wasn't from the builder, their press agent, or a carrier vieing for favor, with the CARB. A loco that won't pull cars in cuts historically pulled by second generation switchers (RS) don't save any fuel. If I can drag 100 cars with a GP-38-2, and put them away in one shove, how did I save any money, making three moves on the same amount of cars? Three times in and out of a track, when I could have done it in one, wastes time, fuel and operating resources. This can't be "spun" away, no matter how hard, the hybrid enthusiasts try. This is just my opinion, though, as an ordinary locomotive engineer. Regards :-D
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Postby Aji-tater » Wed Sep 06, 2006 7:50 am

I think the big expense would not be the diesels, but the batteries. If I understand those contraptions, the small diesel engines are used to charge a large bank of batteries, which in turn provide current to the traction motors. The diesels may be comparatively inexpensive to maintain but it's not likely those batteries will last anywhere near the life of the loco itself. And I'm sure they are megabucks.
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Postby pablo » Wed Sep 06, 2006 7:53 am

Is this unit a battery unit? I know NRE were making diesels that didn't have batteries, but relied on a variety of technologies to save fuel, ease maintenance, and reduce emissions.

Goats are, or course, battery locos in a way.

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Postby mxdata » Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:04 am

Battery units are lots of fun, kind of like an FL9. When you are tied into an enormous source of electrical energy that is "live" all the time, a little "short" in the cabling can quickly turn into a spectacular event. :-D
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Postby pablo » Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:11 am

Sounds like when I accidentally touched the + cable to the side of the engine compartment this weekend as I replaced a starter. Nice.

Has anything like this happened yet with a Goat? There was a report of a fire, but I have yet to hear why it went up.

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Postby mxdata » Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:23 am

I heard that too but have yet to see any details about what happened.
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Postby BR&P » Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:31 am

Dave, your excitement could have been avoided - the first step is always disconnect the NEGATIVE. The LAST step is replace it!

Back to locomotives, even the starting batteries on a conventional loco can cause an incredible arc if you mess up. I don't think I'd want to mess with some of these newer units with whole banks of batteries.
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Postby MEC407 » Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:52 am

GOLDEN-ARM wrote:This can't be "spun" away, no matter how hard, the hybrid enthusiasts try.


The locomotive in question is a not a hybrid, any more than a 44-tonner is a hybrid.
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Postby MEC407 » Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:53 am

Aji-tater wrote:I think the big expense would not be the diesels, but the batteries. If I understand those contraptions, the small diesel engines are used to charge a large bank of batteries, which in turn provide current to the traction motors. The diesels may be comparatively inexpensive to maintain but it's not likely those batteries will last anywhere near the life of the loco itself. And I'm sure they are megabucks.


You're talking about the Green Goat. This discussion is about something completely different.
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Postby MEC407 » Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:55 am

pablo wrote:Is this unit a battery unit?


Nope. It's just a switcher that uses two small engines instead of one large engine. Nothing crazy or radical about it, and no banks of batteries.
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Postby GOLDEN-ARM » Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:00 pm

Where I come from, it's always remove the POSITIVE battery cable. By removing the negative, you still have juice in the wiring, quite capable of finding a source to ground, if accidentally touched to metal surfaces. Removal of the positive side, removes the juice. Just a thought......
Hybrid, Alternative, whatever. it's all junk, as far as we are concerned. Give us a loco that is easy to operate, is reliable, can pull historical amounts of cars, and is safe to run, and I will run it. Haven't seen those "off-brand" locos measure up yet. Even the Cat powered offerings, of not too long ago, failed miserably, although a couple of places that converted entire rosters, are kind of "stuck" with them. That GE-44 tonner was designed, and ordered by the carriers, to undermine the BLE. The agreement of the times dictated a fireman MUST be on a crew, with locos over 45 tons. The carriers solution, solicit the builders to come up with a union defying loco. GE took the challenge, and the puny little 44 tonner, was born. A personal favorite, to run, they are, unfortunately, very ineffective, at anything other than shifting, a few cars, at a time. Look at the class ones, that bough them, then how quickly they were purged, from the roster. Saving the pay of the fireman, didn't offset the time wasted, trying to move a few cars, at a time. They did shine, briefly, in dockside roles, in the northeast, but were quickly replaced, by Alco and EMD S(W) series offerings. See any correlations? A "new" loco, not up to the task, of matching it's predecessors...... :P

I am looking for a 44 tonner, to purchase. If it can be located, the LV 62, is still around somewhere. It's one I have saved up for, for a long time. (or an Alco :-D )
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