BR&P wrote:It's more about tie condition and surface than rail weight.
Besides being 90# rail between Curriers and NJ, most of the track from JC to NJ is through
the Beaver Meadow swamps, so it goes even further into a road bed that is pretty soggy. I actually worry about when they go to upgrade the rail because I have a feeling they'll be doing quite a bit of reconstruction on the base as well, which could take the track out of commission for a while, unless they plan to side-step the current rail, but then they're running into encroachment on the wetland and the issues associated with new construction.
If they are handling loaded covered hoppers over the line now, a full-size switcher would be about 5 tons LIGHTER. And I have seen S-2's and SW-9's operate just fine on track which is just as bad as what ARA has. Obviously I don't know all of what went into their decision but it would seem that investing money into locomotives which are less than adequate to their needs is not a prudent decision.
Something about the goose and the gander is running through my head as I read this
112 just received some pretty major overhaulage within the last few (10?) years, including new Cummins power, so why outright replace it if they don't have to? I don't know if an issue with 111 precipitated the purchase of 11_ or if the opportunity to purchase 11_ arose first and allowed them to retire 111, but either way, 111 was probably coming up on needing some pretty major work in the near future to remain viable... But why purchase a larger loco that the track may not be able to handle, even if you plan on upgrading the track? Plus, who ever said that 11_ was inadequate to their needs? I feel it was pretty established in my question and Bigham's reply that when the track is upgraded, 11_ will probably be capable of running trains to NJ on it's own most of the time, even longer ones. It makes sense to keep 112 in working condition though, to have a backup in case 11_ breaks down or those occasions when they have too many cars.
BR&P wrote:Instead of small GE's, why don't they just get an EMD switcher and solve the power problem altogether?
Still failing to see a power problem, appears to be a weight problem right now... 112 has been hitting the diesel pretty hard, probably needs to go on a diet... But I'm not going to be the one to tell her that, she might run me over
There might also be a bit of partiality to GE centercabs, considering it was a 44-tonner (110) that basically saved the railroad and singlehandedly dieselized them in the '40s. Maybe they want to keep that image going... You know, it's not like the GVT family HAS to purchase all Alcos, but they do, and it's kind of an image they've given themselves now.
That said, it's great to see one of the classic old 44-tonners still earning its keep.
Unfortunately, both 44's are now retired (assuming 111 is retired)... 112 is a 65 tonner.