NJT Locomotives over the years

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erie910
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NJT Locomotives over the years

Post by erie910 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:32 pm

I lived in northern NJ and commuted on the Pascack Valley Line and Main Line when the NJ DOT bought the U34CH locos and coaches for the Erie Lackawanna commuter lines; trains to Port Jervis were still pulled by E-8s and had Stillwell coaches. While watching some YouTube videos of NJTransit commuter operations in the 1980's, I saw a few U34CH's, various EMD GP engines, and some F-7's. The latter surprised me, since the F units date from the late 1940's and early 1950's. Did they replace U34CH's? Are they in addition to the U34CH's and their replacements? It seems strange to me that a unit which was over 30 years old by the 1980's would replace newer units. Were they F-7's or FP-7's, which had additional room for HEP generators?

On at least one video, there were a couple of trains that had two GP/U34CH units on a 5-car train. In that same video, there were 5 & 6 car trains pulled by an F unit. Unless the F units were reengined with much higher horsepower engines, I wonder why there were two higher horsepower engines on similar-size consists. I've run an F-7, no HEP with 10 cars and an idling GP-9 on the opposite end of the consist, and never felt a lack of power.

I really enjoy reading about my former commuting lines here.

Thanks for the information.

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R&DB
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Re: NJT Locomotives over the years

Post by R&DB » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:37 am

erie910 wrote:
Unless the F units were reengined with much higher horsepower engines, I wonder why there were two higher horsepower engines on similar-size consists.
I don't know the precise reason for this but the answer may be reliability. I remember a period in the late 70s - early 80s when the North Jersey Coast Line went from 1 aging E-8 to 2 and then 3 unit A-B-A lash-ups. The units were so un-reliable they would conk out en-route over the 38 miles from South Amboy to Bay Head. Could have been the same issue with the U-boats. Perhaps the Fs were recently overhauled and were more reliable.
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Re: NJT Locomotives over the years

Post by CNJGeep » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:01 pm

NJT picked up four or five clapped-out F7s from the CNW in 1983 to supplement the U-Boat fleet, in addition to some RDCs. The F7s couldn't get out of their own way and would stall out on virtually any grade if they had more than three cars. They were removed from passenger service by 1985 or 1986. The two "Lehigh Valley" F7s that the URHS owns are former NJT units. After NJT got rid of them, Metro-North used them for a spell as well, which is what would lead to them getting repaired and repainted in LV colors.
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Re: NJT Locomotives over the years

Post by R36 Combine Coach » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:41 pm

"Officially" the GP40FH (cowled GP40s) were the replacement for the E8s and F7As. The cowled geeps were ordered from MK in early '87 with the first delivered from Boise in November 1987-early 1988. NJT needed a passenger diesel on "short order", so MK kitbashed retired former NYC and Rock Island GP40s with BN F-series cowls. The new Comet IIBs were also delivered in 1988, these replaced the old lightweight stock for Bay Head (NY&LB) service in time for Long Branch electrification, along with the converted Arrow I cabs and coaches (Comarrows).

As for the U34s and Comet Is, the first order (1970) did not replace the older cars in Port Jervis service. The 1973 option order did. MTA would purchase one U34CH (4183) and a series of Comet I-As assembled from leftover Arrow III shells in 1978 for the service.
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erie910
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Re: NJT Locomotives over the years

Post by erie910 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:06 pm

Interesting comment about the F-7 units. Of course, an F-7, as built, was 1500 hp, and likely was further reduced by HEP demands. And they're old. One of the last trains that I ran in 2006 had an F-7 on one end with a combine with a generator for HEP, 8 coaches, 1 private business car, and a GP-7 at the other end. It was uphill for about half the 11 mile trip, and I had no problem getting the train up to speed.

Yeah, I commuted in NJ from mid-1970 to mid-1973. My first experience on one of the new NJDOT trains with Comet I's and a U34CH was on the Pascack Valley Line at Anderson St., Hackensack. It was about 45 minutes late, and was pulled by an EL GP-7. The engine was dead, so there was no power. I sat on the second coach step with my feet on the bottom step. Fun when crossing the Hackensack River.

Because of school, I moved to Mahwah and caught the trains which originated and terminated at PJ. E-8's with Stillwells. I moved to the midwest in July, 1970, before the agreement was reached between MetroNorth and NJT to allow NJT equipment to venture so far out of New Jersey. Spring Valley and Suffern were okay, but not PJ or Middletown.

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Re: NJT Locomotives over the years

Post by Backshophoss » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:54 pm

The ex-CNW F's had HEP gensets but were set up for the "flat" profiles of the Chicago commuter district,and needed prime mover rebuilds
They were ment for 'off peak" services but were pressed into service on peak service runs.
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Re: NJT Locomotives over the years

Post by TDowling » Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:02 pm

From what i understand, then as well as now, quite a selection of engines and coaches was seen on the erie lines in the 1970s: F7s, E8s, uboats, etc. as well as stillwells and pullman comets.

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Re: NJT Locomotives over the years

Post by TDowling » Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:04 pm

erie910 wrote:Interesting comment about the F-7 units. Of course, an F-7, as built, was 1500 hp, and likely was further reduced by HEP demands. And they're old. One of the last trains that I ran in 2006 had an F-7 on one end with a combine with a generator for HEP, 8 coaches, 1 private business car, and a GP-7 at the other end. It was uphill for about half the 11 mile trip, and I had no problem getting the train up to speed.

Yeah, I commuted in NJ from mid-1970 to mid-1973. My first experience on one of the new NJDOT trains with Comet I's and a U34CH was on the Pascack Valley Line at Anderson St., Hackensack. It was about 45 minutes late, and was pulled by an EL GP-7. The engine was dead, so there was no power. I sat on the second coach step with my feet on the bottom step. Fun when crossing the Hackensack River.

Because of school, I moved to Mahwah and caught the trains which originated and terminated at PJ. E-8's with Stillwells. I moved to the midwest in July, 1970, before the agreement was reached between MetroNorth and NJT to allow NJT equipment to venture so far out of New Jersey. Spring Valley and Suffern were okay, but not PJ or Middletown.
I bet you caught that train which made the ho ho kus, mahwah, Suffern and all local stops to pj??

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