Odd window arrangements on PC SW9's

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Odd window arrangements on PC SW9's

Post by CSX ENG » Mon May 03, 2004 9:49 pm

Penn Central SW9 #8999 had an unusual cab window arrangement on the fireman's side. The window was arranged whereas there were two separate window sashes/frames as opposed to one. Anyone know the reason why the railroad ordered it this way or why EMD offered it?


Post by NYC-BKO » Tue May 04, 2004 3:15 am

Looked in the PC power book and found that SW-7 8883 had the same arrangement, both of NYC heritage, that would be a window each for the fireman and brakeman, possibly a local union agreement where they were assigned, hopefully someone here knows the real reason. Don't know if it was built that way or modified by NYC.

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Post by scottychaos » Tue Jul 13, 2004 9:06 am

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Post by CSX ENG » Wed Jul 20, 2005 6:10 am

NW 2 #8807, #9275, SW7 #8854 and #8884 also had this unique window arrangement.

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Post by Noel Weaver » Thu Jul 21, 2005 12:32 am

Seems to be an odd arrangement on the part of the former New York
Central when they ordered their diesel switchers.
There were some Alco S-2's or S-4's, I don't recall just which model they
were, with the control and brake stand in front of the front window. These
would not be too bad for an engine that was for example working a hump
and only handling cars on the "F" end but it was a royal pain when being
used in a yard with cars behind the engine. I don't know how many cabs
were arranged this way but I remember one or two at Oak Point in the
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Odd window arrangements on PC SW9's

Post by ChiefTroll » Fri Jul 29, 2005 6:03 am

I don't have a reference to the unit number(s), but I have seen a photo of one of the NW-2's that the NYC bought from the NYO&W estate in 1957, with the two-window arrangement on the left side. The photo was pre-Penn Central. That would indicate that NYC converted the windows on some of those units. The O&W didn't have any like that.

One possible reason would be a reduction in glass area in the cab. The engineer really needed the large window to lean out and catch signals, but the need wasn't that great on the fireman's side. At the same time, NYC was welding plates over the upper cab-end windows in the RS-2's and 3's. The purpose was either to reduce sun glare in the cab, or more likely to reduce the chance of broken glass from projectiles propelled by miscreants, or both. That might also have been the reason for converting some of the EMD's to dual side windows.

I remember having one of those NW-2's (but I don't remember the number) on a work train on the T&OC out of West Columbus toward Thurston in the summer of 1966. The dual windows were not a problem for that operation because nearly all the signals were given on the engineer's side. If we were in a left-hand curve, the fireman could get out on the "porch" and relay signals.

The engineer got bored and he wanted to get some exercise, so he went on the ground and helped the track gang dump the ballast cars while I ran the engine for a while. It was easy, but it took some leaning out of the window to see everything. I was the Supervisor of Track at Thurston at the time.


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Odd window arrangements on PC SW9's

Post by ChiefTroll » Fri Jul 29, 2005 5:08 pm

I found the photo and reference to one O&W NW-2 that gained the dual cab windows on the NYC. It was NYO&W 123, then NYC 9508, NYC-PC 8691, and Conral 9268. CR retired it on June 11, 1983, and traded it to EMD on an SD-50 order. The photo on page 77 of Bob Mohowski's "New York, Ontario & Western in the Diesel Age," was taken at Collinwood on October 12, 1968. The 8691 was still lettered for NYC, but it had gone through the NYC renumbering of early 1966 in preparation for the merger.

It is possible that the entire cab might have been replaced, because it also has two steps in front of the fireman's door, instead of the one step used by the O&W. Or, maybe the NYC added the step and changed the window arrangement.



Post by SRS125 » Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:28 am

Maybe the cab was wrecked in an accdent? What if this is some how or maybe a home built cab by the railroad?

Maybe these engions were used in locations where high rates of crime lingered and haveing 2 seprate smaller windows made it harder to brake from a distance if someone was throwing rocks?

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window SW-9

Post by gawlikfj » Thu Oct 20, 2005 7:15 pm

It seems it would be better visibility and to let more light into cab.

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Post by RSD15 » Sat Oct 29, 2005 7:25 am

This month's "Diesel Era"(nov/dec) has part 4 a of a SW7 article,this month includes NYC,PC,CR.
from what i have learned there it appears the cab modifications were done as early as 1955.it looks like four items were changed,the firemans side windows,the extra step,two middle front windows blanked out,and rear lower firemans side window blanked out.some numbers on SW7s that got the modifications are,


during PC and CR at least some units had the center front windows re-installed and i`m shure not all four mods were done all together all the time.


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Post by CSX ENG » Sun Oct 30, 2005 12:54 am

Thanks to you and all the others for contributing to this tread! Still would like to know the exact reason why the NYC needed this odd window arrangement. Sure would be nice to get some retired NYC men to help us answer this question......

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Post by charlie6017 » Sun Oct 30, 2005 5:46 am

Did you cross-post this to the New York Central forums? You may have some luck there.
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Post by nessman » Sun Oct 30, 2005 2:00 pm

I don't know about the dual fireman side windows, but one theory I heard floated around was that the upper windows on the front and rear of the cabs were blanked out with sheet metal as part of the order because the RR didn't feel the option was necessary due to the fact that many first-generation diesel road engines had a high engine hood and a high nose (i.e., RS-11, GP-7, SD-9, etc...), so the crew wouldn't know the difference... so they applied the same theory to their order of switch engines.

My guess is that future consideration for crew comfort/safety in switch engines led to the placement of 360 degree glass in later orders.

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Post by CSX ENG » Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:01 am

Found photos of SW8 #8606 and 8619 also having these windows....

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Post by CSX ENG » Thu Jul 13, 2006 6:26 pm

PC/Conrail SW7 #8911 can also be added to this list.

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