New ES44C4 (A1A-A1A) Locomotive

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Re: New "A1A" ES44 locomotive for BNSF (ES44C4)

Postby D.Carleton » Tue May 19, 2009 3:06 pm

MEC407 wrote:GE is hoping that other railroads, not just BNSF, will buy the ES44C4...

I think we may infer from this the testing of the ES44C4 is going well and meeting expectations.
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Re: New ES44C4 (A1A-A1A) Locomotive

Postby MEC407 » Wed May 20, 2009 8:49 am

GE "officially" unveils the ES44C4:

http://www.erietube.com/_GEs-New-Locomo ... /3766.html


And another article with more info:

DC locomotives, which remain widely used, are valued for their lower prices, but are widely considered to be less reliable than their AC, or alternating current, counterparts.

This new locomotive, which uses four drive motors instead of six, has fewer parts and is designed for better reliability. Simonelli said that means a fleet of 600 ES44C4 AC locomotives could replace up to 800 older DC locomotives.


Read the rest at: http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/art ... /305189932
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Re: New ES44C4 (A1A-A1A) Locomotive

Postby MEC407 » Thu May 21, 2009 10:29 am

Chris Roberts, BNSF vice president of mechanical and value engineering, said “we are putting these locomotives through rigorous testing to determine the benefits of this new AC alternative, and the early results have been positive.”


Read more at: http://www.joc.com/node/411444
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Re: New ES44C4 (A1A-A1A) Locomotive

Postby prakash_tendulkar » Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:41 pm

It is a brilliant marketing idea by GE, although nothing big
technologically.

If you read the announcement letter, specifications and other published
news items, the picture is very clear.

1) It is targeted against older SD-40 type 3,000 HP locos.
2) It has same TMs as in ES44AC, except quantity four.
3) Center axle lifts for speeds below 15 mph to improve adhesion and
get optimal tractive effort from four AC TMs.
4) In future, they can be upgraded to ES44AC with minimal efforts.

Simple mathematics tells me that this loco with four traction motors
delivers around 3,000 HP or so at wheels.

It is cheaper than ES44DC, much cheaper than ES44AC and you get what
you pay for. Add benefits of AC TM technology, reduction of emission
with new power plant.

Nowhere GE utters words 4,000+ HP loco.

RRs may order three ES44C4 instead of two AC44AC. For GE, it means
selling same 12 TMs, three power plants instead of 2, same 12 inverter
banks and six bogies instead of 4.

In future RRs will order 6 more TMs, six more inverter banks, new
software to raise engine RPM to say 950 and to manage additional
inverter banks.

For RRs, it is a bargain price at bad economic times and they always
have an option to upgrade when market improves.

It's WIN all situation.

Prakash
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Re: New ES44C4 (A1A-A1A) Locomotive

Postby trainiax » Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:18 pm

Prakash--the ES44C4 does deliver 4400 hp to the rails, as in the ES44AC--the only difference being that there is a higher horsepower per motor in the ES44C4. The main disadvantage of this system compared to the ES44AC is that the ES44C4 would run into wheelslip problems at a higher speed/lower tractive effort than the ES44AC, and would thus have to reduce power output sooner. At lower speeds, when tractive effort is dependent on weight/adhesion, the ES44AC would have a 50% advantage over the ES44C4.

However, at higher speeds, when wheelslip is no longer an issue, the ES44C4 would behave in a similar fashion to the ES44AC, because tractive effort at higher speeds is dependent on horsepower. This is where the advantage lies, because the ES44C4 would be able to maintain a train at the same speed as the ES44AC with two fewer traction motors.

It would make no sense to order three ES44C4's instead of two ES44AC's. Why buy three complete locomotives, with all the associated mechanical gear and electronics, to replace two similar locomotives--just to save on two traction motors per unit? The ES44C4 is not an alternative to the ES44AC, but to the ES44DC--where it can be substituted on a 1-for-1 basis. In other words, compared to older units such as an SD40, buying a new ES44C4 would provide the same savings and performance advantages as buying a new ES44DC--at similar cost and with better reliability. That's where the real advantages lie in terms of cost and maintenance.
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Re: New ES44C4 (A1A-A1A) Locomotive

Postby FCP503 » Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:32 pm

It's amazing how little time it took for these units to get used like this: http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 58&nseq=33
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Re: New ES44C4 (A1A-A1A) Locomotive

Postby Allen Hazen » Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:43 am

FCP503--
Caption on the photo said it was their third revenue trip. So, at a guess, part of the initial testing: "Well, these units aren't meant for pusher service, but let's just see if there are any surprises if we try..." Caption went on to say they stalled. Result of test: "O.k., they're NOT good a low speed, high tractive effort, jobs. As we suspected."

Prakash--The AC44 (and current successor ES44AC) uses the same traction motors as the AC60. So the same "simple math" you used to derive that the ES44C4 gave 3000hp (two thirds of 4400 equals approximately 3000) ought to give that the ES44C4 gives 4000 hp. You're doing this the right way-- simple math is the way to try to understand things! -- but missing one piece of data!
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Re: New ES44C4 (A1A-A1A) Locomotive

Postby trainwayne1 » Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:11 pm

Here's a quote from a BNSF engineer on these units from another forum...

"My dad caught 3 of those here awhile back on a grain load, I've never heard him bitch so much about a motor. Apparently they're slippery and like all GE's, don't load worth a $hit. These were supposed to be a better alternative to the ES44DC's, but what I'm hearing is most would prefer a 6 axle DC over these C4's"
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Re: New ES44C4 (A1A-A1A) Locomotive

Postby .Taurus. » Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:35 pm

Allen Hazen wrote:FCP503--
Prakash--The AC44 (and current successor ES44AC) uses the same traction motors as the AC60. So the same "simple math" you used to derive that the ES44C4 gave 3000hp (two thirds of 4400 equals approximately 3000) ought to give that the ES44C4 gives 4000 hp. You're doing this the right way-- simple math is the way to try to understand things! -- but missing one piece of data!

First, why did they call it ES44C4 and not ES30C4 or ES40C4 ? Because of the 4400 hp.

Secondly , the horsepower rating (AC4400CW -> 4400 hp , AC6000 CW -> 6000 hp , ...) allways comes from the primer mover and not from the electric components.
The electric components normally can easily withstand much higher horsepower, they are never designed at their power limits.

So it is possilbe to use the same tration motor in a 4400hp/6axle unit ( 750 hp/TM), in a 6000hp/6axle unit ( 1000 hp/TM ( +25% )) and now in a 4400hp/4axle unit ( 1100 hp/TM ( +32 % ))

That's evolution ...


By the way, did anybody know the engine weight ??

Bye
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Re: New ES44C4 (A1A-A1A) Locomotive

Postby Jtgshu » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:14 pm

Exactly - just like a GP40 and SD40. Both have the same prime mover and alternator and all that jazz, but the GP40 sends more power to the traction motors as its only 4, while the SD splits it inbetween 6.

I had a feeling they would be VERY slippery. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, i run PL42s, which are 4200 HP (actually put about 4000 to the TMs, there is an HEP drain) 4 axle AC locos. They load wierd and are very slippery. Even though the '42s are passenger locos and they are designed for higher speeds, they are still very slippery at start up. However, I would have thought the slow loading of the GEs would sort of help with wheelslip, and im sure in some sense, it does! haha
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Re: New ES44C4 (A1A-A1A) Locomotive

Postby bogieman » Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:57 pm

Now that hese have been out a while is there any info on what the total weight of these units is and how much load is actually transfered when the Weight Management System is operating?
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Re: New ES44C4 (A1A-A1A) Locomotive

Postby Allen Hazen » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:40 pm

Moving this string back up to the top of the page, can I re-ask bogieman's question? How much weight is transferred? (So: what is the maximum weight on the powered axles?) On another string on another forum (the string about EMD's announcement that they are to build a prototype of a fast passenger diesel), the point is made that there is an AAR rule (recommendation?) that axle loadings not go over 72,500 pounds: does an ES44C-4 when trying to accelerate at low speeds temporarily exceed that?

(Hmm. Dynamic augment: stress to the track structure increases with speed. The AAR, I take it, is concerned with what will happen in general service on the whole interchanging North American network, so their recommended axle loading will allow for the locomotive getting into a mile-a-minute freight. Now, if one could somehow GUARANTEE that it would never be used at that speed, perhaps a heavier axle loading would be permissible. And -- occasionally the gods are kind to us -- the point of the ES44C-4's design is to put more weight on the driving axles AT LOW SPEEDS. So (assuming the computer software and machinery are in working order), an ES44C-4 can't put extra weight on the drivers at high speeds!)
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Re: New ES44C4 (A1A-A1A) Locomotive

Postby Jay Potter » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:25 am

The ES44C4 is basically a derivation of the CSXT "AH" high-tractive-effort ES44AC. Its nominal weight is 416,000 pounds, which is the 432,000-pound nominal weight of an AH less the weight of two traction motors and two axle gears. The amount of weight that an ES44C4's weight management truck shifts from its unpowered axle to its powered axles is primarily a function of tractive effort and speed. Axle lift can only occur at speeds beneath a certain maximum speed; and only a certain amount of lift can occur within certain lower speed ranges.
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Re: New ES44C4 (A1A-A1A) Locomotive

Postby sd80mac » Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:20 pm

Are they still running these units?? I take that BNSF dont want to order any more of these...

Have they been ventured out to CSX land yet??
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Re: New ES44C4 (A1A-A1A) Locomotive

Postby MEC407 » Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:44 pm

Yes they are still running them, and yes they have ordered more of them. It appears they have at least 300 of them at this point in time.

This one was built in May 2011:

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=2602914
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