Dual cab diesels

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Re: Dual cab diesels

Postby Tommy Meehan » Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:42 pm

Just to backtrack a bit, the assertion that the price of customization didn't stop New Haven from ordering FL9's. The Alpert regime ordered the FL9s as part of a plan to phase out operation of electric locomotives (which they largely accomplished). The need to be able to operate the locomotives on third rail wasn't an option; if they wanted to run them in and out of Grand Central they had no choice. The new locomotives had to be dual mode. But the reason for choosing dual mode diesels was to save money by reducing electric operation. (Whether it actually accomplished that is very questionable but that's besides the point.) It wasn't an expensive add-on the New Haven wanted for its own sake, it was an expensive add-on the NH couldn't avoid.
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Re: Dual cab diesels

Postby Tommy Meehan » Thu Dec 25, 2014 11:31 am

Another factoid regarding the New Haven FL9s. I saw it written on the New Haven Historical & Technical Association message board, even the FL9s were ordered out of the catalog. They were developed by EMD in the late 1950s for Western roads, principally the Santa Fe, that used F units in long haul passenger service. (As we know none of the Western roads ever ordered them.) The 'L' stood for 'long.' They were stretched out F9s to allow for two water tanks for the steam generator. What's the source? One gentleman said it was reported in TRAINS Magazine news items at the time and other places (though he didn't mention what those other places were). That's not the greatest of references but there was a well known EMD veteran also posting in the thread and he took no exception to that. (He did object to some other comments.)

The F9 'long' unit design was modified for NH service of course. Instead of two water tanks the extra space was used for electrical gear for third rail use. The rear truck was modified as well with an idler axle in order to comply with the axle loading limits on New York Central's Park Avenue viaduct into Grand Central. But again, those were features the New Haven had to have if they wanted to operate the locomotives into Grand Central, not fancy bells and whistles they especially wanted. In fact the railroad gave serious study to instead converting the aging Alco DL109s for use on third rail into Grand Central. This would have been much cheaper but the Alco engines were just too heavy for the Park Avenue viaduct.
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Re: Dual cab diesels

Postby Statkowski » Thu Dec 25, 2014 1:08 pm

As stated, the FL9 design was originally proposed as a long-distance diesel-electric, complete with A-1-A rear trucks, designed to carry extra water to eliminate servicing stops. Possible customers would have been the UP and AT&SF. With no takers, the design languished until the NYHY&H requirement appeared. The extra water capacity was replaced with extra electrical gear, and the New Haven version was created. The rear truck, a three-axle Flexicoil design, required no reworking since, even under the proposed "Western" usage, it was always an A-1-A truck.

So, yes, it was an off-the-shelf design, sort of, but was not created solely for the New Haven.

Of course, it was also offered to the NYC, PRR & LIRR (and maybe even the LV?), but the NYNH&H was the only one to purchase such.
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Re: Dual cab diesels

Postby Allen Hazen » Fri Dec 26, 2014 3:06 am

Bibliographical reference for Statkowski's post (one up): the original FL-9 proposal is described (with an interesting set of drawings showing how the truss framing for the F (50 ft long), FP (54 ft long) and FL (58 ft long) carbodies compare) in an article by Preston Cook in the July 2008 issue of "Railfan and Railroad."

As Statkowski says, the original proposal was for an ordinary diesel-electric with added steam-generator capacity (oil and water capacity) for use oblong-distance passenger trains: something that was to an FP-9 roughly what an FP-9 was to an F-9. When the New Haven wanted a dual-mode (as they say nowadays) locomotive, EMD used that extended carbody design to accommodate all the extra equipment.
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Re: Dual cab diesels

Postby Tommy Meehan » Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:24 am

That's interesting Allen. Apparently the original designs also included an A-1-A trailing truck. And in the case of the New Haven locomotives the extra weight was due to a larger water tank (for train heating) not electrical gear as I had stated earlier.
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Re: Dual cab diesels

Postby Allen Hazen » Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:03 am

Tommy Meehan--
Yes. The Cook article includes a general arrangement drawing that shows massive internal water tank capacity: a large tank near the rear (between the engine and the steam generator) where its weight would be over the 3-axle truck, a somewhat smaller one between the engine and the cab -- both of these mounted on the deck -- and either one or (if the unit was not equipped with dynamic braking) two tanks in roof hatches.

The engineering work on the elongated carbody wasn't wasted: in addition to being used to carry the extra equipment needed on the New Haven's dual-power units, it seems to have been the basis of the "FG" locomotive: a unit powered by a free-piston gas generator / gas turbine power plant. There is a photograph (look for links from a string on the FG project in the Railroad.net EMD forum) showing this locomotive, so apparently a prototype was at least partly completed, though I haven't seen any suggestion that it was actually tested.
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