Dual cab diesels

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Dual cab diesels

Postby chnhrr » Mon Dec 08, 2014 5:33 pm

Did the New Haven ever consider dual cab diesels for passenger service? I include a photo of a CNJ unit as reference.
How were FL-9 units turned around in GCT?
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Re: Dual cab diesels

Postby Backshophoss » Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:53 pm

AT GCT,single FL-9's might have been looped,2 FL-9'S(back to back)woulf be switched to their oubound train,
the trailing cab would become the lead cab on the out bound train.
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Re: Dual cab diesels

Postby TomNelligan » Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:12 pm

CNJ's double-ended Baldwins were pretty much unique in North America, at least as regards cab units. While dual cabs were and are common in Europe, and on North American electrics, they never caught on for diesels over here. But it's interesting to speculate on why North American and European diesel design took different paths in that regard.
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Re: Dual cab diesels

Postby CannaScrews » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:47 am

Don't forget Oz - the land down under.

They had a double-ended diesel units.

Deltics - ugh!
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Baffle 'em with bulls**t...
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Re: Dual cab diesels

Postby Tommy Meehan » Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:16 pm

Too bad Noel Weaver is kind of under the weather. I'm pretty sure he once told me (us) that single unit FL9s into GCT were pretty rare back in NYNH&H days. Also, back then the coaches on inbound trains were normally pulled out of the platform track by a terminal yard crew and the FL9s would back down to the New Haven's subterranean engine terminal at 45th Street. I know a gentleman who worked there (as an engine dispatcher) in the mid-1960s. A relative of his lives a couple blocks from me.
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Re: Dual cab diesels

Postby Ridgefielder » Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:49 pm

CannaScrews wrote:Don't forget Oz - the land down under.

They had a double-ended diesel units.

Deltics - ugh!

Those Australian diesels always looked so weird to me- like North American E or F units, but with a cab at each end and English-style buffers. The BR Deltics were ugly, but then again it's hard for me to think of a good looking 1st generation British diesel. See, for example, the BR Class 12 or BR Class 40.

It's odd- you'd think the New Haven, with 40+ years of experience running dual-cab electrics when the diesels started coming online, would have been a natural buyer of a dual-cab diesel. Was/is it significantly more expensive to install 2 cabs?
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Re: Dual cab diesels

Postby Tommy Meehan » Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:59 pm

What's odd to me is, if you think about it, electric passenger locomotives are normally built as double-cabbers and diesels -- including ones designed as passenger locomotives -- are not. One reason might be weight. Electric locomotives aren't carrying around a prime mover and all the associated components. Adding a second cab to say an E unit might've have pushed the total engine weight up quite a bit. For instance a New York Central E7 A unit weighed about 315,000 lbs while an E7 B unit weighed 290,000. The additional weight might've required a lot of redesign.

In the specific case of the New Haven I would imagine cost would be one reason. Since none of the builders were building dual-cab diesels ordering them would probably have required a higher price.
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Re: Dual cab diesels

Postby Ridgefielder » Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:43 pm

Tommy Meehan wrote:What's odd to me is, if you think about it, electric passenger locomotives are normally built as double-cabbers and diesels -- including ones designed as passenger locomotives -- are not. One reason might be weight. Electric locomotives aren't carrying around a prime mover and all the associated components. Adding a second cab to say an E unit might've have pushed the total engine weight up quite a bit. For instance a New York Central E7 A unit weighed about 315,000 lbs while an E7 B unit weighed 290,000. The additional weight might've required a lot of redesign.

In the specific case of the New Haven I would imagine cost would be one reason. Since none of the builders were building dual-cab diesels ordering them would probably have required a higher price.

The price of customization doesn't seem to have stopped the 1940's/50's era New Haven in other cases, though. The John Quincy Adams, the Roger Williams, the Dan'l Webster, the EP5's, the FL9's: all were unique to the NYNH&H. So, going back a little farther, were the Comet, the I-5 Shoreliners, the Bessler...
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Re: Dual cab diesels

Postby TomNelligan » Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:39 pm

Not that they weren't oddballs, or that you don't have a point, but the NH's 1950s purchases that you list above weren't 100% new designs for the NH. The JQA, RW, and DW lightweight trains were catalog products that were briefly offered by ACF, Budd, and Pullman respectively as part of a lightweight train craze at the time. JQA and DW type trainsets were each sold to at least one other road around the same time, and RDCs were common throughout the Northeast. The main customization for the NH involved adding third rail capability to the JQA and DW locomotives and the RW's modified RDCs. The EP-5 electrics grew out of freight service demo units that GE had built for the PRR in the early 1950s, and the FL9 was of course derived from EMD's standard F7/F9. So while there was some degree of new design involved for the NH, all of these products were based on something that already existed.
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Re: Dual cab diesels

Postby Tommy Meehan » Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:18 pm

This actually goes beyond the New Haven. New York Central's electric locomotives -- including the freight R2s -- were all dual-cabs but Central never bought dual cab diesels. Pennsylvania Railroad same thing.

When electric locomotives were first developed in the early 1900s they were designed to work in relatively short districts. Unlike steam locomotives, they required no servicing between runs. I guess it made sense not to have to turn the electrics. By the time New Haven started buying passenger diesels in 1941, the DL109s, the locomotives were to be normally used in pairs and in that sense were bi-directional. When occasionally a single unit was used it could be easily turned because, as a holdover from the steam era, all engine terminals were equipped with turntables or wyes. Why spend extra money on a dual cab when the turning facilities were already in place and would not often be used anyway?

However having researched railroad records (mostly New York Central's) we should remember that maybe New Haven DID consider asking for a dual cab diesel and possibly rejected that requirement for specific reasons. Reading some of Central's internal reports and memorandums convinces me that the possibilities are endless as to what a railroad may have considered at any given time. E.g In the early 1900s Central actually considered leasing air rights over their rights-of-way on the Harlem and Hudson Divisions to the IRT to build elevated transit lines. That would have allowed Central to exit the suburban passenger business -- or a big chunk of it -- at a time (1903) when one vice president wrote it was business, "We don't want."
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Re: Dual cab diesels

Postby scottychaos » Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:11 pm

DL&W was considering dual-cab E-units for commuter service.
they were in talks with EMD about building them..(no idea how far along the process ever went..)
but in the end of course it never happened, DL&W went with FM Trainmasters instead.

I photoshopped what they might have looked like:

Image

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Re: Dual cab diesels

Postby Tommy Meehan » Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:12 pm

The story is DL&W President Perry Shoemaker requested a bid from EMD for double-cabbed E8s in 1953. The locomotives were planned for suburban service. Supposedly EMD declined to make a quote and Lackawanna bought ten 2400h.p. FM Trainmasters instead.

The problem is, there doesn't appear to be any authentication for this story and no one seems to know what the source is. In the last few years of his life, Mike Del Vecchio got to know the late Perry Shoemaker pretty well. Mr. Del Vecchio has said Shoemaker never mentioned double-cab E8s but then Mike never asked him about them either.

Where did you hear about this Scot?
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Re: Dual cab diesels

Postby Backshophoss » Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:49 pm

If EMD was to build a double cabbed E-unit,the frame would need to be streached to allow for a steam generator
to be mounted between the 2 prime movers.
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Re: Dual cab diesels

Postby Allen Hazen » Wed Dec 17, 2014 11:15 pm

RE Tom Nelligan (6 posts up):
" The EP-5 electrics grew out of freight service demo units that GE had built for the PRR in the early 1950s"

I don't think that's quite right. The cosmetic design of the cabs is similar, but the EP-5 was not, in it fundamentals, a derivative of the demonstrators built earlier for the PRR (and GN). The demonstrators were straight-AC locomotives (so: in principle the same sort of beast as PRR's earlier AC motors, e.g. the P5A and GG-1), whereas the EP-5 was a rectifier unit with DC traction motors (so: in principle more the sort of critter represented by PRR's later E-44 freighters). What IS the case is that GE, at the time, was still interested in building straight-electric locomotives, and was prepared to build rectifier-equipped units with DC motors: the EP-5 was similar in its electrical engineering to the slightly later units built for the Virginian (which ultimately became New Haven units and finally PC E-33). The New Haven's special circumstances (heavy short-distance passenger runs, with a change from third-rail DC to overhead AC power en route) guaranteed that ANYTHING they ordered would involve special engineering.

---

Baldwin, when they built the dual-cab units for CNJ, was very much playing catch-up ball in the diesel market, and probably willing to do unorthodox things to land an order. None of the other American diesel builders seem ever to have offered a dual-cab model domestically (though EMD, Alco, and GE have all produced dual-cab locomotives for use outside North America). Note that very few non-North American railways operate trains of the size common in North America: for North American use, multiple-unit diesel consists were standard from the end of the 1930s. Alco, EMD, Baldwin and FM all built "dual-cab" LOCOMOTIVES… in AA, ABA, and ABBA configurations!
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Re: Dual cab diesels

Postby Noel Weaver » Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:08 pm

I don't think the New Haven would have had sufficient use for a dual cab diesel locomotive. They had too many trains that were too heavy for a single diesel locomotive at least on the New York end of the railroad. On many lines and in many terminals the New Haven still had a way of turning a single FL-9 or any other type of single cab unit. Just look, Grand Central Terminal with the loop, Danbury with a loop and a turntable, New Haven with turntables and wyes, Stamford with a difficult hand operated turntable, Springfield with a wye and a turntable, Worcester with a wye, New London with the wye at Groton, Providence had a turntable, even the Cape Cod trains could access the wye at Yarmouth without much difficulty. If the New York end was not electrified then maybe a dual cab diesel might have help in places like New Rochelle, Port Chester and South Norwalk among other spots but MU's could reverse anywhere on the NY end with no difficulty and no switching either.
As for single FL-9 operation into GCT, it began sometime around the end of 1959 at which time the New Haven was badly short of electric power from letting good motors go to hell from lack of any sort of normal maintenance. A second emergency job was put on about that time to provide for two engineers to be used on every single locomotive move where a back up was involved, one engineer ran the engine, the other was back in the engine room at the rear door with two cords, one for the communicating whistle, one whistle to back up and one whistle to stop, and an emergency cord in case the whistle did not operate when it was most needed (approaching a red dwarf signal). It worked quite well and we had almost no trouble when making moves of this nature in the terminal. At other locations the move was made by having the fireman watch the signals from the cab window on his side again with little if any difficulty. Extreme close clearances in GCT prevented us from sticking our heads out cab windows in GCT which called for a second engineer on moves of this nature.
Single FL-9 operation originally began on only about 4 or so inbound and outbound trains; 140 and 143 to Danbury, 362 to New Haven, 379 from New Haven and maybe 76 and 79 also to and from New Haven although I am not sure about the numbers at this point. It escalated from this point on and believe me it changed the way the engineers ran trains on the NY end of the railroad. More about this some other time.
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