California Zephyr Power

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California Zephyr Power

Postby Engineer Spike » Wed Feb 01, 2006 5:54 pm

I have just gotten a video about the Q. It talks about the Cal Zephyr. It pointed out that the Q used F units, as did the WP. At that time, Rio Grande used Alco PAs. Why didn't the Q use E units? Didn't they convert to E units later?
Last edited by Engineer Spike on Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby SSW9389 » Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:23 am

I believe that there were three Burlington ABA sets of F3s purchased for passenger service in 1947. Their use on the California Zephyr is likely, but their delivery predates the train. Numbers were 9960ABC-9962ABC.

When I rode the California Zephyr east from Oakland to Galesburg in June 1964, the train was led by a pair of silver E units on the Burlington. :wink:
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Postby AmtrakFan » Sun Feb 12, 2006 10:51 pm

They converted to the E-Unit's about 1952 or so from Photos I have seen.

CZ Power

Postby John Laubenheimer » Mon Feb 13, 2006 10:34 pm

I'm not 100 percent sure of this, but the A-B-A set of F-3s was rated at 4,500 HP. In the 1947-1948 timeframe, a pair of E-7s rated 4,000 HP. I guess that the Q figured that they needed more than 4,000 HP to get the CZ over the road. E-8s came available (in number) around 1952-1953, providing 4,500 HP in 2 units, thereby equaling the HP of the F-3s. However, from most photos that I've seen, the CZ usually ran with 1 E-8 and 1 E-7, coming in at 4,250 HP, so this is probably what the Q felt was required.
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Postby John Laubenheimer » Tue Feb 14, 2006 8:03 pm

While E-8s were first delivered in December of 1949, it took several years for a significant number to be delivered. The Q had already purchased the F-3s. Various photos exist of the CZ being hauled by E units, even E-5s (probably a consist of less than 11 cars), prior to 1952. And, I believe that it was the addition of the 12th car (the 6-5 sleeper) to the consist that finally bumped the F-3s for good (although not for horsepower reasons).
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The Rio Grande bought PA's ...

Postby Agent at Clicquot » Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:02 am

... as EMD F's weren't up to the grades in the Rocky Mountains. I recall something about an exchange between Al Perlman and a rep at EMD where Perlman stated as much. PA's were bought to give EMD time to correct the problem. The PA's weren't ideal in the mountains either, hence their replacement.

As for the Q buying F's for the CZ, the Benson/MacGregor book states there was a backlog at EMD's LaGrange plant.

My HO model of the train has RGZ F9's for power ... though someday I hope to add an A-B set of named, fluted E5's.

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Re: California Zephyr Power

Postby Desertdweller » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:56 pm

The CBQ's pasenger F-3's also saw use on other trains. I have a picture of them (in Pat Dorin's book)
being used on the Kansas City Zephyr.

They would have made good power for the Denver-Billings Local, but I don't know if they were ever used as such (except on my model rr.).

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