Maine Central (MEC) F3A/B and E7A Locomotives

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Maine Central (MEC) F3A/B and E7A Locomotives

Postby gokeefe » Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:44 am

I have pursued this topic several times in other threads and have found great information and answers. I certainly don't know as much about this subject as many other members here do but I find it interesting to try and chase to the ground the history of these units. It isn't always that well documented and at times there is conflicting information. One of the great challenges I have always tried to answer is whether or not there are any remaining F3 or E7 locomotives that once were owned by the Maine Central still in existence today. Up until now I had never been to find a roster which consistently stated one way or another what the disposition of these units were. After some research I was able to find the following, which by no means is definitive but certainly is far better than before.

Maine Central Diesel Roster compiled by Mr. Ken Houghton:
http://www.trainweb.org/trains/MECROS.HTM

Furthermore, not that Wikipedia is definitive but they claim, with some apparent knowledge, that other than PRR E7A #5901 there are no other surviving E7As. The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania makes the same statement from a more informed point of view.

Wikipedia EMD E7 Wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMD_E7

Railroad Museum of PA, PRR E7A #5901
http://www.rrmuseumpa.org/about/roster/e7.shtml

There is also further information regarding the F3s on Wikipedia (perhaps more so than the last time I looked a few years ago).

Wikipedia EMD F3 Wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMD_F3

This seems to definitively indicate that no former Maine Central F3s survive, which agrees with the information on the Ken Houghton roster. However, there are a surprising number of New England related locomotives, including one former B&M B-unit which survives to this day. An earlier search a year or two ago turned up a roster which seemed to indicate that one of the units had been sold to the Missouri Pacific Railroad (MP/MoPAC) and rostered as #54. Per a roster compiled by a Mr. R. Craig this information appears to be incorrect.

Missouri Pacific Diesel Roster complied by Mr. R. Craig:
http://www.thedieselshop.us/MoPac.HTML

However there is information indicating that most of Maine Central's passenger rolling stock was sold to Missouri Pacific in 1960.

Maine Central Passenger Car Roster compiled by Mr. James VanBokkelen:
http://faracresfarm.com/jbvb/rr/mecrr/mec_pass.html

I was surprised to see on the Ken Houghton roster that the E7s did not have steam generators. I had always understood that the E7s were used in passenger service but this fact leaves that idea in doubt. Did Maine Central have passenger equipment that didn't require steam or, as apparently indicated, were the E7s never used in passenger service?

[EDIT:Spelling]
Last edited by gokeefe on Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Maine Central (MEC) F3A/B and E7A Locomotives

Postby jbvb » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:33 am

I'm quite sure that the MEC's E-7s had steam generators, though I can't check photos from work; they ran all over the B&M and MEC as essentially passenger-only units, in all kinds of weather. Most of the MEC's E-7s were sold to the KCS at the end of passenger service and I believe the KCS scrapped them; there was no market for elderly passenger units when their passenger service wound down. The F-3s went to EMD as trade-ins for the GP-38s. Essentially everything that went to EMD in that era got scrapped. I have the RR&LHS MEC roster at home, but I'm not sure if it gives dispositions. I can't recall if Extra 2200 South ever did an MEC article, but that would be the place to go for complete information.
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Re: Maine Central (MEC) F3A/B and E7A Locomotives

Postby bubbytrains » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:07 pm

They did, it's issue #86 (Oct./Nov./Dec. 1986). I have it if you need particular questions answered. ---Alan S.

jbvb wrote: I can't recall if Extra 2200 South ever did an MEC article, but that would be the place to go for complete information.
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Re: Maine Central (MEC) F3A/B and E7A Locomotives

Postby TomNelligan » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:03 pm

MEC's E7s were most certainly used in passenger service -- that's why they were purchased. They were gone by the time I first visited the railroad, so I never saw one firsthand, but if they didn't have steam boilers there would have been some very, very cold passengers up there in February!
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Re: Maine Central (MEC) F3A/B and E7A Locomotives

Postby gokeefe » Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:20 am

TomNelligan wrote:... but if they didn't have steam boilers there would have been some very, very cold passengers up there in February!


Tom,

My thoughts exactly. I'm very curious as to why the author of the roster ever got the impression these locomotives didn't have steam generators.

The disappearance of almost two generations of passenger power and most of the rolling stock as well still amazes me. I think there may be an implied historical statement on the part of former MEC management that amounts to something along the lines of, "Passenger operations on our road weren't worth it in the diesel era." The preservation of MEC #470, a steamer, and the lone surviving MEC passenger locomotive (assuming MEC #501 never pulled passengers) seems to point strongly towards the height of the Pine Tree Line's passenger operation in the pre-war/inter-war era.
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Re: Maine Central (MEC) F3A/B and E7A Locomotives

Postby gokeefe » Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:06 pm

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Re: Maine Central (MEC) F3A/B and E7A Locomotives

Postby MEC407 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 4:18 pm

Jeeze... 711 looks like it was burned. (Was it?)
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Re: Maine Central (MEC) F3A/B and E7A Locomotives

Postby gokeefe » Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:19 pm

Interesting point. I hadn't noticed that. Nothing I've ever heard of ...
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Re: Maine Central (MEC) F3A/B and E7A Locomotives

Postby jbvb » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:35 pm

MEC 710 and 711 had the late E-7 body style; I believe they were purchased in 1948, possibly related to the B&M's purchase of 3816-20. I also believe there were mechanical differences between the 1946 units and the 1948 units; I've heard the earlier ones called 'belt-drive' but don't know if it was cooling fans, compressor or other auxiliaries. This may have figured in the MEC's decision to keep them when the earlier units were sold to KCS.
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Re: Maine Central (MEC) F3A/B and E7A Locomotives

Postby gokeefe » Sat Nov 12, 2016 7:28 pm

jbvb wrote:I've heard the earlier ones called 'belt-drive' but don't know if it was cooling fans, compressor or other auxiliaries.


This is probably the answer:

In addition to powering the two generators, each engine drives (through a system of belts) four 26-inch-diameter radiator cooling fans located directly above each engine. The fans operate at the same speed as the engine in order to provide maximum cooling at the highest engine speeds.
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Re: Maine Central (MEC) F3A/B and E7A Locomotives

Postby ExNYC63 » Sat Nov 12, 2016 7:59 pm

ALL E7s had steam generators. There were NO exceptions.
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Re: Maine Central (MEC) F3A/B and E7A Locomotives

Postby Engineer Spike » Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:50 pm

They were pooled with B&M's E series units. A MEC was as likely to be in Troy, NY, as a B&M in Bangor.

When B&M pooled with CPR, did any MEC units ever end up in Montreal, or would the MEC units be excluded?
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Re: Maine Central (MEC) F3A/B and E7A Locomotives

Postby S1f3432 » Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:30 pm

They did make into Canada- In "New England Diesels" ( Albert and Melvin 1975 ) on page 206 there is a photo of MEC 711
at Fredericton Jct. on the Gull- power was usually swapped at Vanceboro for a CPR Pacific.
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Re: Maine Central (MEC) F3A/B and E7A Locomotives

Postby Engineer Spike » Sun Dec 04, 2016 7:56 pm

It would be logical to pool on the Gull, since Maine Central was part of the route. My question was about the Boston to Montreal jobs.
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Re: Maine Central (MEC) F3A/B and E7A Locomotives

Postby jbvb » Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:05 am

I've only seen photos of B&M E-7s in/near Montreal. But given the pooling through the late 1950s, I'm as sure as I can be without a photo or conductor's log book that they were used from time to time.
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