U23B nitpicking questions

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Allen Hazen
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U23B nitpicking questions

Post by Allen Hazen » Tue Sep 06, 2005 4:31 am

"Extra 2200 South" had an article on the U23B and U23C by Bob Carman and Bill Peterson in issue#75. (Cover date April-May-June 1982, but since therre are news items and photos from June 82, it may have actually been published a bit later.)
In the "Spec Profile" it says that DC/DC U23B had 581 generators (specifically, GT581D or GT581F1) and that AC/DC units had GTA11 (specifically GTA11A1 or GTA11C1).
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QUESTION: Were there any other variants?
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For DC: The GT581 was catalogued for Alcos of 1600 to 2400 hp, so would be the obvious generator of choice for a 2250 hp 4-motor unit with an engine speed comparable to that of the Alco engines. A certain number of Alcos in the 2000 to 2400 hp range, however, were built with generators from trade-ins: 566 (from PA/PB, used in-- for example-- some LI C420 and NYC RS32) or 564 (from FA/FB-1 and RS-2, used in other NYC RS32 and in GB&W C424). I believe the GT581 was a derivative of the GT564, of-- I assume-- similar dimensions. So there should have been no TECHNICAL reason why GE couldn't have used it in some U23B, and a fair number of DC/DC U23B went to impecunious customers who may well have had early Alcos to trade in.
QUESTION: does anyone know of an application of the GT564 generator in a U23B?
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For AC/DC: Early GE locomotives with AC/DC transmission used the (overengineered) GTA9. The cheaper GTA11 seems to have replaced it in production around 1969: EL's first order of U33C (built in 1968) had GTA9, and their second (built in 1969) had GTA11. Most AC/DC U23B were built in 1972 or later, but the first order-- C&O 2300-2329, GE construction numbers 37228-37257-- were built in September and October 1969. Probably GTA11, but
QUESTION: Does anyone know for sure?
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((There are inaccuracies on this sort of thing in published railfan literature and internet rosters; I have a vague ambition of trying to sort the details out for GE models I am particularly fond of!))

Typewriters
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Post by Typewriters » Thu Sep 08, 2005 5:35 pm

There IS an answer at the end of this, but I have to qualify it first -- and this is a good tip for anyone who is attempting to collect or catalog old GE manuals.

Each manual will have a part number and a publishing date on the front page. This is not surprising; but what is surprising is that many manuals were reprinted later, after the original stock ran low -- and the reprints will have LATER dates while retaining EXACTLY the same content, word for word.

(Believe it. Right here in front of me are two totally identical manuals, which are GEJ-3866, Educational Manual for Model U33 Locomotives. One has a print date of 1-71 and the other 2-73. They're perfectly the same otherwise.)

Now that we know that, we should also remember that when changes are made to a manual, it receives a different part number. Again, right here are manuals GEJ-3849 and GEJ-3849A, both Educational Manual for Model U30 locomotives; the second one incorporates changes and improvements.)

What to we get from this? We can see that it is possible with some knowledge to figure out if a given manual in-hand is the original one for a type, or range, even if the printing date is later.

HAVING SAID ALL THAT, I note in response to your GTA-9 vs. GTA-11 question for the U23B that the Diesel Engine Service Manual GEJ-3869 which covers units from U23 to U36 lists GT-581 or GTA-11 for the U23B and GT-586 or GTA-11 for the U23C. I am of the opinion that this is the original (or first) diesel engine manual which incorporated information for the U36. (Print date on this example is 5-70.)

This does leave a gap between introduction of the U23 and U36 which I cannot specifically cover with the manuals at hand, even though they're a pretty extensive set. However, with that late date of construction for the C&O U23B units, I'd bet on GTA-11.


-Will Davis

Allen Hazen
Posts: 2472
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Edmonton, Canada (formerly Melbourne, Australia)

Post by Allen Hazen » Thu Sep 08, 2005 11:31 pm

Will--
Thank you!

(i) Further evidence that C&O 2300-2329 had GTA-11: according to the U33C article in "Diesel Era" v. 7, n. 1 (Jan-Feb 1996), Erie lackawanna's 1969 U33C -- the ones which had (source: E-L diagram book, on the WWWeb at George Elwood's "Fallen Flags" site) GTA-11 -- were built in August 1969, a month before the C&O locomotives. ... This isn't conclusive (GE might not have made a sharp break in their construction between GTA-9 and GTA-11 units, C&O might have said "Give us ALL the extra-cost options you can think of" (Grin!)), but if asked to bet, I know where i'd put my money.

(ii) At a guess, the GE manual you have gives the catalogued options. It seems to me that it would still have been POSSIBLE for a purchaser later (as of May 1970, the only U23B built were those of D&H, C&O and Monon (ATSF's first order started the next month)) to request a non-standard variant: so it's still POSSIBLE, though perhaps unlikely, that a few U23B were built with GT-564.
(iii) Interesting that GE offered the GTA-11 on the U23C: according to the "Extra 2200 South" article, all the U23C built -- both for U.S. and for Brazil -- had DC/DC transmission with GT-586 generators.
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((I appreciate the notes on the dating and numbering of GE manuals. My father taught "Descriptive Bibliography" at the Columbia University Library School, and the application of information like that to solve scholarly problems was one of his academic specialties. In his case they were usually problems of literary history rather than railroad history, but the principle is the same.))

Allen Hazen
Posts: 2472
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Edmonton, Canada (formerly Melbourne, Australia)

Re: U23B nitpicking questions

Post by Allen Hazen » Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:48 am

Since the last activity in this string...
One or another Brazilian railroad has rebuilt U23C with AC generators: somewhere on this forum there is a string that discusses that.
And now-- JUST now-- the WWWeb has a document answering the question about C&O's U23B, which I thought just might have had GTA9 generators, though it was much more likely that they had GTA11.
George Elwood, for his "Fallen Flags" rail image site (I haven't said this for a few days, and it deserves frequent reiteration: this site is a GREAT resource for anyone interested in railroad history!!!!!!), has scanned a 1969 Chessie System locomotive diagram book: not great images, but Chessie included LOTS of detail on the pages about particular classes: two pages of data. And, for the U23B, it confirms that they had the standard (for AC-equipped U23B) GTA-11 main generators. As we all assumed was most likely, but it's nice to have a document specifically confirming this.
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(And thanks, again, Will Davis, for your earlier answer! Over the years you have given a lot of well-documented answers to detailed questions, for which I am very grateful.)

Pneudyne
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Re: U23B nitpicking questions

Post by Pneudyne » Thu Jan 24, 2019 2:01 am

Allen Hazen wrote:"I believe the GT581 was a derivative of the GT564, of-- I assume-- similar dimensions. So there should have been no TECHNICAL reason why GE couldn't have used it in some U23B, and a fair number of DC/DC U23B went to impecunious customers who may well have had early Alcos to trade in.
QUESTION: does anyone know of an application of the GT564 generator in a U23B?
The 1971 GE main generator list included the following entries under GT564:

GT564E1: Conversion of model GT564C1 to fit the Alco 251 diesel engine. This Includes different spider and frame machining, also the use of a GT581C1 fan.

GT564E2: Conversion of GT564C1 similar to form E1 except will use spur gearing to drive auxiliaries.

GT564F1: Conversion of GT564C1 similar to form E1 except for addition of air ducts, revised framehead, and various miscellaneous changes for 2400 hp operation.

That confirms that GT564 variants originally fitted to Alco 244 engines were later modified to suit Alco 251 engines.

Also from the GE list in respect of the GT581:

GT581C1: Same as model GT581A1 except designed to fit Alco 251 or Cooper-Bessemer FV-12 for 1800 hp locos. Can be used in place of model GT581A1 on Alco 244 engine with small modification.

GT581C2: Conversion of model GT581A1 to fit Alco 251 engine instead of Alco 244 engine. Interchangeable with model GT581C1.

From that two points may be inferred:

Firstly, that a generator designed to fit the Alco 251 engine would also fit the CB engine – and by extension, the FDL engine.

Secondly, that some GT581s were modified in service to fit Alco 251 engines.

The apparent interchangeability of GE main generators between Alco 251 and CG/GE engines indicates that GT564s modified to fit the Alco 251 could also have been used with CB/GE engines. So it was possible that some of the U23Bs might have been fitted with reworked GT564s.

On the other hand, that GE mentioned the CB engine, but not the FDL engine in connection with the modified GT564, suggests that what might have happened, and technically could have happened did not in fact happen. But that assumes that the documentation was fully accurate, and that is not guaranteed.

On balance, and as a reasonable working assumption, I’d say that the use of the reworked GT564 in the U23B did not happen, and that the best way to disprove this would be to find an actual example, as you originally requested.

The GT581 was the standard main generator fitting on the 12-cylinder export Universals, U18C (1956) through, U20C (1961) and for the additional models U22C and UM22C (mid-1970s), which ran in parallel with the U20C. But the larger U26C (1971) and U30C (1982) export models used the GTA11 alternator, as did the GE do Brasil version of the U22C, which in some ways was closer to the U26C than it was to the standard U22C.

Thus it was not so surprising that the GT581 was used on the domestic U23B. But whereas the GT581 could handle six GE761 motors, evidently six GE752s were two much which would explain the use of the higher capacity GT586 on the domestic U23C.


Cheers,

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