Third U23B order?

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Third U23B order?

Postby Allen Hazen » Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:13 pm

Umtrr-author has just posted a link to a WWWebsite called "Unlikely PC": there seems to be a lot there! One item is a (pdf format) "PC Diesel Spotter's Guide," published by Robert Reid, the editor/publisher of the magazine "Penn Central Railroader" (which changed its name in 1976 to "Rails Northeast," ceasing publication a few years later: I think it was basically a one-man operation, and Reid had both financial and medical troubles). A booklet, basically one photo per model, with the numbers assigned to units of that model by PC and a minimal amount of other data. (Reid published an updated version a few years later for Conrail's initial roster.) It's at:
http://www.unlikelypcrr.com/page6/Welco ... deReid.pdf

Anyway, I noticed something odd in the entry for GE U23B: the number on the roster as of some date in 1974 is given as 95, PC numbers 2700-2794. My recollection is that 2700-2749 were acquired in 1972 and 2750-2776 the next year: apparently there was a third order the next year, for what would have been 2777-2794, that was cancelled.
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Re: Third U23B order?

Postby Noel Weaver » Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:52 pm

Robert Ried's materials were supposed to be Penn Central but they were very much slanted to the Pennsylvania rather than the merged railroad. As for the U23-b's,I think these engines went to 2776 and I think the numbers higher than that took in the Lehigh Valley's engines plus some that were ordered by Conrail not long after Conrail took over the bankrupt railroads in 1976. The last bunch of these things were set up to run long hood first, Penn Central's president at the time was W. H. Moore who came off the Southern and he thought we should run them like the Southern and Norfolk and Western did. They also had a set up with the control system that resulted in the diesel engine running in notch 3 speed in the first, second and third notches and above the third notch the diesel engine ran at full speed. This resulted in a waste of fuel and made judgement somewhat more difficult for the engineer in operating these things. I did not like them as lead units although they weren't that bad as long as I did not have to operate from them.
Noel Weaver

PS - Reid's materials were not always accurate either, they contained more than a normal share of various errors, I had a bunch of them at one time but got rid of them in one of my moves years ago.
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Re: Third U23B order?

Postby Typewriters » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:32 pm

That's very interesting, Noel: I never knew that these units had what GE called the Advanced Engine Speed Schedule. I only knew for sure that the Union Pacific's U50C units actually had this. Do you recall whether or not the U23 units with this feature loaded faster than those without? I'd have to bet that either loaded faster than your (favorite) U33B's.

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Re: Third U23B order?

Postby Noel Weaver » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:27 am

I can't recall for sure, they might have loaded better simply because they were newer and of a newer design.
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Re: Third U23B order?

Postby Allen Hazen » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:42 am

Noel--
I share your impression that Bob Reid's publications are less than 100% reliable: I had a ? at the end of my title because I don't think historical claims based SOLELY on his stuff, without independent confirmation, should be accepted as gospel. I'm willing to cut the man a bit of slack, though: he seems to have done some dumpster-diving for PRR/PC documents and disseminated, through his one-man publishing company, some information that might be very hard to get otherwise...

As to what his supposed U23B 2777-2795 "were"... I don't ***think*** they correspond to the non-PC U23B that ended up on Conrail's roster. The date is too early at least for the last ten (I don't think Conrail's order for what became 2989-2798 would have been made that early), and the number is wrong: Reid has 18 extra U23B, as opposed to Conrail's extra 22 (12 LV + 10 CR). So (not very confidently: see above!) I think the most LIKELY interpretation is that Reid was reporting a PC order that was at least rumored to be in the works when he put together his picture book.

Moore's decision that the second U23B order should be set up Southern-style was reported in "Trains" at the time. Look on the bright side: at least he didn't spend the trustees' money to have them built with high noses! (Grin!)

Noel and Will--
I remember reading SOMEWHERE (perhaps this forum or one of its ancestors, some years back) that PC's U23B had an "advanced" throttle schedule. I ***think*** I remember it being said that the theory behind this was that it would make them load more quickly: these were, after all, road-switchers which were expected to do a lot of switching, and slow loading (along with inconvenient location of reset switch...) seems to be one of the most common criticisms of U-series GE locomotives.
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Re: Third U23B order?

Postby Noel Weaver » Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:18 am

From Conrail records, here is the information that I have regarding the U-23b's, 2700 class:
2700-2749 built in 1972 former Penn Central same number
2750-2776 built in 1973 former Penn Central same number, set up long hood front
2777-2788 built in 1974 former Lehigh Valley 500 class
2789-2798 built 1977 new for Conrail, last U-23b's built
Immediately after 2798 GE commenced building the B23-7's which began with 2800 to 2816 same year.
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Re: Third U23B order?

Postby 3rd out nuthin comin » Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:27 pm

The Lehigh U-23B's were Conrail's first new locomotives, AFAIK. I was working in Altoona in 1974 and was sent up to Sayre for some purpose that eludes me 36 years later. While in Sayre I looked at three of the LV's new 500's.

They all had Consolidated Rail Corporation trust plates -- in 1974.

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Re: Third U23B order?

Postby Allen Hazen » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:11 pm

Todd--
"Consolidated Rail Corporation" in 1974! That IS interesting, and opens up new possibilities... (Supposedly the final Louisville & Nashville U23B order was a canceled Erie-Lackawanna order: probably if they had been completed for the original customer they would also have had "Consolidated Rail" trust plates.)
According to McDonnell, "The U-Boats," LV 501-512 were built in November 1974.
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Re: Third U23B order?

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:52 pm

With regard to the Lehigh Valley engines, YES the financing was arranged through Conrail because the Lehigh Valley was broke and could not secure the financing. They were lettered for the Lehigh Valley though and could not be considered Conrail locomotives until day one of Conrail when all of the locomotives that were not designated for the Delaware and Hudson or one of the commuter outfits became Conrail, then the fun began. I had totally forgotten about the financing of the last Lehigh Valley locomotives purchased. I guess the Lehigh Valley never really owned them anyway.
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Re: Third U23B order?

Postby Allen Hazen » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:42 pm

I knew the LV U23B were financed federally, but I guess I thought the federal "Northeast Railroad Problem Solving Agency" was called the USRA at that stage: I didn't realize that they were using the name "Consolidated Railroad Corporation" a year and a half before C-day.
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Re: Third U23B order?

Postby Matt Langworthy » Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:11 pm

Allen Hazen wrote:Supposedly the final Louisville & Nashville U23B order was a canceled Erie-Lackawanna order: probably if they had been completed for the original customer they would also have had "Consolidated Rail" trust plates.)


This is true. The EL order was cancelled while the engines were being built circa 1975. GE scrambled to find a buyer for them- fortunately, the L&N was interested. An order for EL GP38-2s was also contemplated around the same time, but those locomotives were never built.
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Re: Third U23B order?

Postby Typewriters » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:58 pm

Noel Weaver wrote:From Conrail records, here is the information that I have regarding the U-23b's, 2700 class:
2700-2749 built in 1972 former Penn Central same number
2750-2776 built in 1973 former Penn Central same number, set up long hood front
2777-2788 built in 1974 former Lehigh Valley 500 class
2789-2798 built 1977 new for Conrail, last U-23b's built
Immediately after 2798 GE commenced building the B23-7's which began with 2800 to 2816 same year.
Noel Weaver



Right you are, of course; in fact, the GE Requisition Number for the B23-7 units built as CR 2800-2816 was one number higher than that for the final CR U23B units 2789-2798.. the req'n numbers for the two orders, in case anyone wants to know, being 320-56769 for CR U23B units 2789-2798 (GE Serial 41584-41593) and 320-56770 for B23-7 2800-2816 (GE Serial 41609-41625.)

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