NYSW -ALCO's to be retired

Discussion of products from the American Locomotive Company. A web site with current Alco 251 information can be found here: Fairbanks-Morse/Alco 251.

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Alcoman
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NYSW -ALCO's to be retired

Post by Alcoman »

According to a reliable source, the NYSW is retiring ALL 636 Alco's as they come in for major repairs. The main problem seems to be the computers on these units as they use a program designed in Canada which is not similar to anything in the U.S. There is no here in the U.S who can fix this program which has alot of glitches.
The NYSW has thrown up their hands on these units and will not spend alot of money of them to keep them running.

Get your pictures now!

mxdata
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Post by mxdata »

Just the latest of many "horror" stories with locomotive computers that I have heard recently. A friend who operates for a commuter rail system recently commented about being stuck in a station for an hour with a brand new locomotive (from a distinguished European supplier) because of a glitch in a detection circuit that was interpreted as a cause for power lockout by the computer.
"We Repair No Locomotive Before Its Time"

Luther Brefo
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Post by Luther Brefo »

That's kinda sad. Can this program be replaced altogether?
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Alcoman
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Post by Alcoman »

Good question. I guess only a computer expert can say for sure.
It seems to me that it could be with maybe a "GE/IBM computer designed for locomotives. ...How much would it cost however?

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Post by pablo »

Is this in any way associated with the fact that they spoke only in French, or is it more of their overall function?

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Luther Brefo
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Post by Luther Brefo »

I wonder...

What program could the American built C636s be running and how could these programs be transfered/copied into the Canadian computers. Maybe GE or Alstom could get involved?
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scottychaos
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Post by scottychaos »

pablo wrote:Is this in any way associated with the fact that they spoke only in French, or is it more of their overall function?

Dave Becker
I always thought it was a law in Canada that everything had to be written in both French *and* English..
I know that is the case in Ontario.
is Quebec French-only perhaps?

I doubt (but dont know for sure) that these computers are in French only..
if that was the case, the NYSW crews wouldnt be able to use them at all!
(well..unless they did well in French in highschool! ;)

Scot

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Post by pablo »

I remember some type of issue when they were first run (whether on teh NYSW or when they were getting ready to go there) that there was some issue of translation. That's what I meant...something was in French, and it was goofy. It could be that I'm wrong, but I remember hearing something about that.

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Post by MEC407 »

There are a lot of people in Quebec who only speak French. As a Mainer, I deal with them constantly in the summer when they come down here for vacation and many of them know only a handful of English words.

Can't the computers just be removed and replaced with traditional (analog) control systems? Obviously these locomotives functioned for many years sans-computers.
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Post by pablo »

Yes and no...I believe they have more recently worked well WITH the computers, and I think they were in French, but as I posted before, I could well have been wrong.

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Post by Alcoman »

I don't think the problem is with the translation, but rather the program(OS) it self. I was told it was a Canadian only operating system which makes things diffult when trying to troubleshoot the program. The only solution as I see it is to change the operating system in each computer to something that is used in U.S. locomotives.

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Post by Luther Brefo »

Considering the Delaware Lackawanna/GVT owns big Alcos of simialr construction, could the software used on those engines work for the NYSW engines as well?
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MEC407
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Post by MEC407 »

The DL/GVT units probably don't have computers -- unless they came from Cartier, like the NYSW units did.
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Alcoman
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Post by Alcoman »

MEC407 wrote:The DL/GVT units probably don't have computers -- unless they came from Cartier, like the NYSW units did.
They don't have computers.

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Post by Steve F45 »

Now if this is true, it begs the question, what are they going to get to replace the alco's? I mean they are still in a power shortage now even when the emds beeing rebuilt they still kinda short. As those beeing rebuitl are just replacing the alco's that are shot/oos.

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