Present-day PC Locomotives - what if?

Discussion relating to the Penn Central, up until its 1976 inclusion in Conrail. Visit the Penn Central Railroad Historical Society for more information.

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GulfRail
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Present-day PC Locomotives - what if?

Post by GulfRail » Sat Oct 18, 2008 10:33 am


rrfoose
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Re: Modern PC Locomotives

Post by rrfoose » Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:48 am

Those have my name on them, but I didn't paint them... Nice interpretation, though you may want to change my name to your own as to get credit for your own work!

Chase Z.

Allen Hazen
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Re: Modern PC Locomotives

Post by Allen Hazen » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:50 pm

There's a problem with this sort of thing. You've done a nice interpretation of the 1970s "color scheme" on a modern locomotive, but the Penn Central, if it had survived, might well have changed its stripes, so to speak. The Penn Central was born and died at about the low point of the American railroad industry's economic fortunes, and its extremely austere locomotive paint scheme reflected this. (My memory is a bit hazy, but I THINK I remember a Penn Central spokesperson, about the time of the merger, reassuring the investment community that the new management wouldn't waste money on repainting all the locomotives and such!)

Conrail was born to this scene. It's original paint scheme was as austere as PC's, just substituting blue for black and a canopener for the mating worms. BUT, as the 1980s drew on and Conrail's (& the railroad industry in general's) fortunes improved, locomotives got more colorful. Even Norfolk and Western, whose locomotives were as plain as PC's, added graphics and speed stripes after its merger with Southern! Conrail added a white stripe along the frame with, I think, a 1989 or 1990 GE order.

Obviously, we have no way of telling what PC would have done if it had continued as a separate company. (Speaking as a philosopher with an interest in the logic of counterfactuals, I'm not sure the question even HAS an answer!) But it seems plausible that it would have livened up its image. Not, perhaps, to the extreme of BNSF's multi-striped scheme(s), but at least as much as late Conrail.

So, historically inauthentic as it may be, I'd like to see a modern PC locomotive (as a GE fan I'd rather have an ES44 than an SD70-2) with a frame stripe and... Something imaginative and high-visibility on the nose. And maybe the PC website address beneath the name on the long hood!

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GulfRail
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Re: Modern PC Locomotives

Post by GulfRail » Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:55 pm

rrfoose wrote:Those have my name on them, but I didn't paint them... Nice interpretation, though you may want to change my name to your own as to get credit for your own work!

Chase Z.
Wow! Chase, I am honored! :) I have admired your work with the South Penn for quite awhile.

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GulfRail
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Re: Modern PC Locomotives

Post by GulfRail » Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:00 pm

Allen Hazen wrote:There's a problem with this sort of thing. You've done a nice interpretation of the 1970s "color scheme" on a modern locomotive, but the Penn Central, if it had survived, might well have changed its stripes, so to speak. The Penn Central was born and died at about the low point of the American railroad industry's economic fortunes, and its extremely austere locomotive paint scheme reflected this. (My memory is a bit hazy, but I THINK I remember a Penn Central spokesperson, about the time of the merger, reassuring the investment community that the new management wouldn't waste money on repainting all the locomotives and such!)

Conrail was born to this scene. It's original paint scheme was as austere as PC's, just substituting blue for black and a canopener for the mating worms. BUT, as the 1980s drew on and Conrail's (& the railroad industry in general's) fortunes improved, locomotives got more colorful. Even Norfolk and Western, whose locomotives were as plain as PC's, added graphics and speed stripes after its merger with Southern! Conrail added a white stripe along the frame with, I think, a 1989 or 1990 GE order.

Obviously, we have no way of telling what PC would have done if it had continued as a separate company. (Speaking as a philosopher with an interest in the logic of counterfactuals, I'm not sure the question even HAS an answer!) But it seems plausible that it would have livened up its image. Not, perhaps, to the extreme of BNSF's multi-striped scheme(s), but at least as much as late Conrail.

So, historically inauthentic as it may be, I'd like to see a modern PC locomotive (as a GE fan I'd rather have an ES44 than an SD70-2) with a frame stripe and... Something imaginative and high-visibility on the nose. And maybe the PC website address beneath the name on the long hood!
It's very true. PC could have become like CN, from worst to first. :D I mean, CN was a badly maintained, red inked, subsidy gobbler before its rationalization. The PC map would have looked alot like Conrails, except that more routes would have been kept, like the NEC. Who knows, the P&LE and RF&P could have been added to the mix! :wink: Your comment about the N&W's colors bring me to another point. If you look at the "NW" scheme, it is IDENTICAL to the Penn Central dress with the exception of the logos! I personally think it had to do with the N&W's connections to PC/PRR, even after the 1960's divestures.

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GulfRail
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Re: Modern PC Locomotives

Post by GulfRail » Fri Oct 24, 2008 6:21 am

Here's what I think Penn Central would roster if they were around today. Note the GP50 and GP60's inclusion. I think that the PRR's policy of six axle EMD's would dominate goods and heavy trains, while the NYC policy of four axles for intermodal and fast freight would be practiced.

SD40-2
GP38-2
GP40-2
GP50
GP60
GP60M
SD50
SD60
SD60M
SD60I
SD70ACe
SD70M-2
SD70M
SD75M
SD70MAC
SD80MAC

lvrr325
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Re: Modern PC Locomotives

Post by lvrr325 » Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:03 am

Remember that a lot of PC people are who ran Conrail, too. I would expect no real major differences in the modern motive power roster.

What I see is a PC noodle with "Quality" in the same font, below.... which aught to be good for some laughs. Unless they could figure out a way to add a Q to the noodle.

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Re: Modern PC Locomotives

Post by v8interceptor » Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:29 am

GulfRail wrote:Here's what I think Penn Central would roster if they were around today. Note the GP50 and GP60's inclusion. I think that the PRR's policy of six axle EMD's would dominate goods and heavy trains, while the NYC policy of four axles for intermodal and fast freight would be practiced.

SD40-2
GP38-2
GP40-2
GP50
GP60
GP60M
SD50
SD60
SD60M
SD60I
SD70ACe
SD70M-2
SD70M
SD75M
SD70MAC
SD80MAC
I'm curious...what factors other than personal preference exclude GE? Given that every Class 1 buys from them, and they are the biggest builder, a modern PC would certainly not be all EMD. Look at KCS, who had a single manufacturer roster until the introduction of the AC4400CW's....

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Re: Modern PC Locomotives

Post by scottychaos » Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:26 pm

lvrr325 wrote: What I see is a PC noodle with "Quality" in the same font, below.... which aught to be good for some laughs. Unless they could figure out a way to add a Q to the noodle.
Image

:P
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charlie6017
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Re: Modern PC Locomotives

Post by charlie6017 » Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:04 pm

scottychaos wrote:
Image
Nice work as always, Scot! LOL
~Charlie Ricker

ecouter

Re: Modern PC Locomotives

Post by ecouter » Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:11 pm

I don't know, but I was kind of thinking that since the PC management team was smart enough to keep that company going in the face of overwhelming odds, that they would have also been smart enough to reject the whole "quality image as a marketing tool" boondoggle. :( But then, maybe that's just me.

I'm also wondering how they managed to avoid being snapped up by a cash rich Norfolk Southern in the 1980s. Of course, such a merger would have made for super cheap paint overs, huh? :wink:

ecouter

Re: Modern PC Locomotives

Post by ecouter » Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:30 pm

GulfRail wrote:I think that the PRR's policy of six axle EMD's would dominate goods and heavy trains, while the NYC policy of four axles for intermodal and fast freight would be practiced.
Maybe. It's fun to speculate, anyway.

But back in the real world, the scarcity of 4 axle unit orders in later years was not so much a change in policy of the railroads, as it was the economics of loco building favoring investment in the greater flexibility and better value of modern high hp 6 axles (in terms of how many units a new, high hp, high adhesion 6 axle unit would replace).

Oh, and for sure, GE would have been a player in rounding out the PC roster.

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Re: Modern PC Locomotives

Post by rrfoose » Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:06 pm

Scot, mind if I borrow that logo and slap it on the side of a train to see what it looks like?

And I believe that a PC roster would look exactly like a CR roster. Granted, whoever is in charge of motive power makes a difference, but assuming the same people wound up there by fate.. Conrail's non-PC lines were all in the eastern part of the system, and although a few pieces have proven to be nice real estate, none of the EL, RDG, CNJ, or LV trackage influenced motive power buying decisions. A mix of EMD (for reliability) and GE (bc they were cheap (financing) and PC would need to save money just like CR) would be certain. GP50/60's wouldn't be needed - not enough distance to stretch out their legs, plus heavy double-stacks would require 6-axle power. Conrail bought what they did for a reason, and it served them well. My only complaint is that they had to convert that last order of 80MAC's to 70-series (good locos, but the 80's were uniquely Conrail).

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Re: Modern PC Locomotives

Post by amtrakhogger » Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:57 pm

How about a Penn Central hertiage unit? NS could do it easily since all their locos are mostly black to begin with.
You think that was slow? Next time it will be even slower! Ya see, the headlight will be coming through the steam and its
never gonna get there!

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Re: Modern PC Locomotives

Post by Allen Hazen » Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:07 am

As I recall, CR had a couple of interesting locomotive orders that were announced but canceled at about the time of the CSX/NS takeover. One was for GP60 (possibly GP60M -- I can't remember): maybe 25 units. I suppose mainly on the ex-NYC main line, CR seems to have had some traffic that a high-hp 4-axle unit was appropriate for: remembrer, they did buy 60 B36-7 and 30 B40-8. Given that, in their last few years as an independent railroad, CR followed their large C40-8W orders with several orders for SD60M (and SD60I), a small number of "super-geeps" isn't too surprising. The other was for a tiny (4 unit) sample of the then-new AC44CW.

So, assuming that our counterfactual PC wasn't too different in its motive power thinking from the actual CR... I think it would have been a good customer for the newest technology from both builders. Perhaps (like BNSF and CSX in the actual world) it would have bought BOTH alternating current (for heavy trains and mountainous districts) and direct current models for a number of years.

PC (and CR) had a larger number of switchers, proportional to overall fleet, than some of the western railroads. Terminal work would have continued to be important for it, so I would expect an independent PC to have its eye out for switcher and GP-38 replacements in the new century. So: sample of (Brunswick) Green Goats, and, by about now, a reasonable number of orders for Genset locomotives.

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