U-series radiator modification?

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U-series radiator modification?

Postby Allen Hazen » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:46 am

In a post looking at original GE documentation on (what has since been called) the Dash-7 series of locomotives, Will Davis of the "Railroad Locomotives" blog has called attention to "radiator clean out panels." These are rectangular bolt-on panels located below the radiator wingspan, but above the radiator air inlets, on most (but apparently not all-- photos of Chessie System's first order of B30-7 don't seem to show them) Dash-7 locomotives: two on each side.

Looking at photos of late U-series locomotives, I find similar rectangular panels in the corresponding position on Union Pacific U30C built as early as 1973 (the very first UP U30C, 2810, shows them), but I have not found them on any other photos of AS-BUILT U-series locomotives. But photos taken in the 1980s (NOT earlier photos) of Louisville and Nashville U23B seem to show similar panels (or, depending on photo quality, similarly positioned areas of non-matching paint).

QUESTION: Did Louisville & Nashville, some time after the introduction of these panels as standard on Dash-7 units, decide they were a good idea and have their existing U23B modified accordingly? (I'm not sure what the arrangement BEHIND the panels was, but if the function of the bolt-on panels was simply to provide easier access to parts of the radiator assembly that were there anyway, the modification would be a simple matter of sheet-metal work.)
Allen Hazen
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Location: Edmonton, Canada (formerly Melbourne, Australia)

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