23 into 30?

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23 into 30?

Postby Allen Hazen » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:53 am

The U30B and the U23B ***LOOK*** very similar, and have the same length and below-frame arrangements. Are there internal structural differences? As in: is the frame significantly modified to accommodate the different engine size? Or in other words, could a U30B be converted into a U23B without too much difficulty?
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Comparable real-world conversions: Delaware and Hudson, converting Alco PA locomotives to use 12-251 engines. Even closer: General Electric, putting an FDL-12 in a Union Pacific U25B as a test for the power plant(s) of the U50C.
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Alternative history, fantasy: In the 1970s, a large railroad -- let's, just to emphasize that this is complete fiction, call it, say, the Northumberland and Westmoreland -- with a large fleet of U30B decides that its topography and traffic mix really make six-axle units more appropriate in the high-horsepower range. General Electric -- maybe somehow channeling its future, when it would sell re-engining "kits" to railways in the former Soviet Union, maybe as a deal-sweetener to persuade the N&W to buy U30C instead of some competitor's 3000 hp C-C (*) -- offers to sell an appropriate number of FDL-12 engines so the N&W can replace its first-generation road-switchers by rebuilding its U30B fleet to "U23BR" in its own workshops. How practicable a scenario would this have been?
(*) Since the whole thing is fiction, I hereby stipulate that the N&W, if it didn't buy U30C, would have bought... umm, let's try to think of a mid-1970s C-C in the appropriate power range... BREL/Brush Class 56 units. :-)
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Re: 23 into 30?

Postby MEC407 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:09 am

Once again we have an example of Mr. Hazen and myself apparently having been separated at birth, because these are the types of things I think about when my mind wanders. :-D
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Re: 23 into 30?

Postby v8interceptor » Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:14 pm

Allen Hazen wrote:The U30B and the U23B ***LOOK*** very similar, and have the same length and below-frame arrangements. Are there internal structural differences? As in: is the frame significantly modified to accommodate the different engine size? Or in other words, could a U30B be converted into a U23B without too much difficulty?
-----
Comparable real-world conversions: Delaware and Hudson, converting Alco PA locomotives to use 12-251 engines. Even closer: General Electric, putting an FDL-12 in a Union Pacific U25B as a test for the power plant(s) of the U50C.
-----
Alternative history, fantasy: In the 1970s, a large railroad -- let's, just to emphasize that this is complete fiction, call it, say, the Northumberland and Westmoreland -- with a large fleet of U30B decides that its topography and traffic mix really make six-axle units more appropriate in the high-horsepower range. General Electric -- maybe somehow channeling its future, when it would sell re-engining "kits" to railways in the former Soviet Union, maybe as a deal-sweetener to persuade the N&W to buy U30C instead of some competitor's 3000 hp C-C (*) -- offers to sell an appropriate number of FDL-12 engines so the N&W can replace its first-generation road-switchers by rebuilding its U30B fleet to "U23BR" in its own workshops. How practicable a scenario would this have been?
(*) Since the whole thing is fiction, I hereby stipulate that the N&W, if it didn't buy U30C, would have bought... umm, let's try to think of a mid-1970s C-C in the appropriate power range... BREL/Brush Class 56 units. :-)

GE is offering re-engining kits currently for rebuilding older Dash 7 and Dash 8 units (using in-line 6 and 8 cylinder versions of the GEVO engine) and there have been units in other parts of the world rebuilt with GE engines (one of the Iron ore operators in Australia had versions of the Alco C636 remanufactured as C40-8s).
No reason why that could have been done back in the 70's although the Class 1's during that period seemed much more focused on rebuilding their large fleets of first generation diesels (esp. GP7's and 9's) then in remanufacturing units that were less than a decade old.
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Re: 23 into 30?

Postby Engineer Spike » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:33 am

Your title mislead me. I thought this was about when Generally inEffective began to be able to rate the FDL-12 at 3000 HP.

Someone would need to look at blueprints of the frame to determine where the X members are on a 12 vs. 16 cylinder model. According to the PA4 book, MK had to deposition frame members in our PA fleet for the shorter 12-251.
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Re: 23 into 30?

Postby Allen Hazen » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:47 pm

V-8 Interceptor--
I knew that GE had considered the possibility of re-engining an old unit with an inline GEVO (there is an old string on this forum about a possible "ES-22": GE had proposed building a road switcher based on the GEVO-6, and one possibility mentioned in their presentation was that of building it on the frames of an older 4-axle unit. I didn't know they were currently offering "kits" to do this-- thank you for the update! … Do you know if there have been many (any?) takers?

Engineer Spike--
Sorry to be misleading! ;-) Catchy titles are hard to do: my idea was "Putting the works of a U23B into a U30B," but I can see that it could also be interpreted as a question about when a 2300hp-rated engine turned into a 3000hp-rated one(*).
… … Alas, I don't have ready access to GE locomotive blueprints. If someone who does would like to check to see whether the U23B and U30B frames had cross-members in the same positions… I would love to know. (I hadn't known about the frame modifications needed on the PA-4.) Thank you for your reply to my question, even if it wasn't the question you thought!

(*) That can be dated more or less precisely: GE experimentally delivered three of an order of B23-7 to the Missouri Pacific rated at 3000hp a year or so before the official introduction of the B30-7A: these seem to have been built in mid 1980. When the "Dash-7" line of locomotives was announced in ?? 1976 ??, it included models (4-axle and 6-axle) with the FDL-12 rated at 2800 (or maybe 2600) hp. So it was some time between 1976 and 1980 that GE came to believe it could safely rate the FDL-12 at 3000hp.
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Re: 23 into 30?

Postby theastralcity » Sun May 04, 2014 10:32 pm

Allen Hazen wrote:The U30B and the U23B ***LOOK*** very similar, and have the same length and below-frame arrangements. Are there internal structural differences? As in: is the frame significantly modified to accommodate the different engine size? Or in other words, could a U30B be converted into a U23B without too much difficulty?
-----
Comparable real-world conversions: Delaware and Hudson, converting Alco PA locomotives to use 12-251 engines. Even closer: General Electric, putting an FDL-12 in a Union Pacific U25B as a test for the power plant(s) of the U50C.
-----
Alternative history, fantasy: In the 1970s, a large railroad -- let's, just to emphasize that this is complete fiction, call it, say, the Northumberland and Westmoreland -- with a large fleet of U30B decides that its topography and traffic mix really make six-axle units more appropriate in the high-horsepower range. General Electric -- maybe somehow channeling its future, when it would sell re-engining "kits" to railways in the former Soviet Union, maybe as a deal-sweetener to persuade the N&W to buy U30C instead of some competitor's 3000 hp C-C (*) -- offers to sell an appropriate number of FDL-12 engines so the N&W can replace its first-generation road-switchers by rebuilding its U30B fleet to "U23BR" in its own workshops. How practicable a scenario would this have been?
(*) Since the whole thing is fiction, I hereby stipulate that the N&W, if it didn't buy U30C, would have bought... umm, let's try to think of a mid-1970s C-C in the appropriate power range... BREL/Brush Class 56 units. :-)


With GE all things are possible, even some that aren't good ideas haha! The "Super-7" program did a lot of the things you discuss, but with late-model Dash-7/early Dash-8 components instead of mid-life U-Boat ones. I would say that from a mechanical standpoint, sure you could rebuild a U30B into a U23B, it would be a major rebuild though, but the N&W surely had the facilities. The question I'd ask is why they would based on a business standpoint? Back they they were a relatively well-heeled line for their region and didn't particularly have any vested great loyalty to GE. The U30B wasn't exactly old at that point, and with the NKP then in the hands of the N&W there was plenty of need for larger, faster 8-wheel units to move things as I understand it.

Perhaps a more forward-thinking (and much less broke) Penn Central might have attempted it, in order to squeeze longer lives out of the U30B, but they were too busy failing as a corporation to undertake any major rebuilding initiatives other than the one they started on the RS-3.

As for the BR Class 56, well, as long as they weren't the Romanian-built ones :wink:
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