Switchers.

General discussion about locomotives, rolling stock, and equipment

Moderator: John_Perkowski

Switchers.

Postby railfan365 » Thu May 11, 2017 3:09 pm

Definitely, GE and EMD have been doing well in building large road hauling locomotives. But I have been wondering, why have they both stopped manufactuing switchers. There's obviously still a market for switchers to shunt cars around within yard confines.
railfan365
 
Posts: 613
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:55 am

Re: Switchers.

Postby NorthWest » Thu May 11, 2017 3:28 pm

The market kind of disappeared in the 1970s when GP7/9s began to be cascaded down to yard service. GE decided when they entered the locomotive market in the 1960s that they weren't even going to bother. Railroads were increasingly looking for locomotives that could also do secondary road work if need be. Yard power is increasingly EMD Dash-2 power including SD40-2s and GP38-2s that also see local service. Most of the gensets are similarly sized. The switchers currently on the market are smaller and designed largely for industrial applications. EMD (well, really Progress Rail) are offering switchers in the forms of the PR20B and the PR24B, which are about the same size as a GP40-2, as well as the 12-710 ECO repower line.
User avatar
NorthWest
 
Posts: 376
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:54 pm

Re: Switchers.

Postby railfan365 » Fri May 12, 2017 1:29 pm

NorthWest wrote:The market kind of disappeared in the 1970s when GP7/9s began to be cascaded down to yard service. GE decided when they entered the locomotive market in the 1960s that they weren't even going to bother. Railroads were increasingly looking for locomotives that could also do secondary road work if need be. Yard power is increasingly EMD Dash-2 power including SD40-2s and GP38-2s that also see local service. Most of the gensets are similarly sized. The switchers currently on the market are smaller and designed largely for industrial applications. EMD (well, really Progress Rail) are offering switchers in the forms of the PR20B and the PR24B, which are about the same size as a GP40-2, as well as the 12-710 ECO repower line.


Thanks for the feedback. Meanwhile, the other querstion on my mond regarding locomotive use is: With all fur regard to the better 4 axle units that have seen a lot of use, and why hasn't there been more use of 6 axle units? I ask form the point of view that sice a six axle locomotive can generate considerably more tractive effort than a dimilar 4 axle unit with the same horsepower engine, then why not make better use of available engine power by throwing on a couple more traction motors?
railfan365
 
Posts: 613
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:55 am

Re: Switchers.

Postby NorthWest » Fri May 12, 2017 2:53 pm

It's a combination of things. 6-axles have long been used in heavy yard service such as pushing cars over humps, and several railroads bought SD38 and SD38-2s for that purpose. Slugs have also been used in this service, which is particularly useful if you want a cab on both ends.

Railroads stopped buying and using 4-axles on road trains in the early 1990s, so they were the first to be demoted as their 6-axle mechanical equivalents remained in road service for longer. As the remainder of the Dash-7s and early geeps were retired/sold/shortlined, more 6-axles were cascaded down to secondary service.

Not all switching/local service needs a lot of tractive effort, and 6-axles are much harder to squeak around sharp curves and switches in often dodgy trackage areas, and their added length and truck wheelbases are harder on the track.
User avatar
NorthWest
 
Posts: 376
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:54 pm

Re: Switchers.

Postby railfan365 » Fri May 12, 2017 3:01 pm

Thanks. In addition to what you wrote, which covers most of it, there's also the xost of maintaing extra motors which aren't always needed.
railfan365
 
Posts: 613
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:55 am

Re: Switchers.

Postby Allen Hazen » Sun May 14, 2017 5:56 pm

Railfan365--
But your question about why the railroads haven't gone for extra traction motors to use the available engine power at low speeds was a good one. One alternative is to combine a (typically 4-axle) "slug" with a 4-axle unit: this is even better than a six-axle unit for low speed oomph (engine power spread over eight axles instead of just six), with two added advantages: all the axles are in short-wheelbase 2-axle trucks, so you don't have problems with sharp curves and sloppy track work, and slugs are CHEAP: the railroad's own shops can usually do the work of converting a retired 4-axle locomotive to a slug.
Allen Hazen
 
Posts: 2331
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Edmonton, Canada (formerly Melbourne, Australia)

Re: Switchers.

Postby John_Perkowski » Mon May 15, 2017 8:47 am

Observation post: Kansas City.

Concur with the above. GPs and -2 era SDs now cover most yard service I see. There are BNSF and UP switch units drifting around, but they don't often leave Argentine or Neff.
~John Perkowski: Moderator: General Discussion: Locomotives, Rolling Stock, and Equipment
Assistant Administrator: Railroad.net/forums
Please don't feed the spammers! If you see spam, please notify a Moderator
User avatar
John_Perkowski
 
Posts: 4463
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 5:12 pm
Location: Off the Q main near Parkville MO

Re: Switchers.

Postby scottychaos » Mon May 15, 2017 1:09 pm

John_Perkowski wrote:Observation post: Kansas City.

Concur with the above. GPs and -2 era SDs now cover most yard service I see. There are BNSF and UP switch units drifting around, but they don't often leave Argentine or Neff.


Observation post: Rochester NY.
Concur with the above. CSX has been using GP38-2's and GP40-2's as Rochester yard switchers since 1999, and Conrail was doing it before them..
its been a solid 20 years now that GP38-2's and GP40-2's have been the yard power for Rochester..
the yard is the only place I see those Class-1 GP's anymore, Road power is 99% 6-axle.

Image

Scot
~ Scot Lawrence
Moderator: Lehigh Valley
Co-Moderator: Anthracite Railroads
Scot's railroad webpages
User avatar
scottychaos
 
Posts: 4497
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:18 am
Location: Rochester, NY


Return to General Discussion: Locomotives, Rolling Stock, and Equipment

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests