NYSW ALCOs-quick info

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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N_DL640A
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NYSW ALCOs-quick info

Post by N_DL640A »

OK... I guess I can let a little info out...
One of the QCM computer mod units is in the early stages of recieving a test bed microprocessor from a 'current railroad electronics supplier' who is looking to get into the locomotive microprocessor control biz.
I think it wise to keep the name of said company to myself for the obvious reasons - the custom system is still being constructed.
Said company will provide a package at discounted price in addition to engineering and tech support. This will be a learning experience for both supplier and end user.
NYSW has a highly qualified man on their end guiding the installation of the system. He has almost 40 years of locomotive electrical experience, mainly with a class one railroad. He even helped shape some features of the Dash 8!

In addition, this lucky unit is in line to get a Dash 8 type DB hatch.

Engine work is also on the list for this loco.

The success of this project will determine the course of action taken with the rest of the fleet...

murray83
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Post by murray83 »

why is this railroad kicking dead horses?

you can lease many units cheaper with more horsepower for less money than fixing these pieces of garbage that have had a good life and were retired for a reason.

whats a complete waste of money.

pablo
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Post by pablo »

Murray83, there's a bit more to these locos than that. Perhaps you are ignorant of what these older ALCOs are capable of in good hands.

That being said, I doubt NYSW are necessarily good hands, though this level of detail and effort are surprising. I wonder why the sudden attention? Have the powers that be decided to become proactive?

Dave Becker
~Dave Becker
Moderator: Fairbanks-Morse Forum

RS-3
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Post by RS-3 »

"why is this railroad kicking dead horses? you can lease many units cheaper with more horsepower for less money than fixing these pieces of garbage that have had a good life and were retired for a reason. whats a complete waste of money."

A, you'll get better respect if you learn to capitalize, B, apparently the powers that be (who have succeeded in the railroad business for a long long time) at the NYS&W disagree with you, and C, N_DL640A explained the "why" very well I thought. But tell us your experience running a railroad, or at least in the locomotive leasing and maintenance business so that we can judge you're expertise in such matters. That bit of info will carry some weight.

RS-3

Alcoman
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Post by Alcoman »

murray83 wrote:why is this railroad kicking dead horses?

you can lease many units cheaper with more horsepower for less money than fixing these pieces of garbage that have had a good life and were retired for a reason.

whats a complete waste of money.
Murray83: You have to give the railroad alot of credit for trying to "correct" a problem of this type. These locomotive have been proven to be good pullers when they run the way they were designed to run. These Alcos are far from being garbage. Remember that they were built in the early 70's and rebuilt in the 80's and 90's. No worse than your SD-40-2 which were built in the same time period as the Alcos. These Alcos have proven themselves on the Cartier otherwise they would have been gone a long time ago. The demands that they put on these units are far higher and yet they had a 97% avaliabilty on that railroad. I think that GE sent their best salesman out to the Cartier to convince them to retire the Alcos. I would be interested if these GE's will still be in service 10 years from now.
In any case lets give the NYSW a chance to fix these units. After all they are the berst units the railroad has right now.

murray83
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Location: new brunswick

Post by murray83 »

it just does not add up.

why spend all this money when you can get many lease units cheaper?,its not logical,i'm not knocking alco products they've done well in some cases but these units from cartier mining over time have proved to be shop queens.and once again they're living up to their titles.

are these units even up to code with 2007 emission standards?

i'd wait to see whats on the market before sinking money into these units.

as for GE,i know the only reason they went the route they did was with the success of the units on the QNS&L not sending a good salesman.

Alcoman
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Post by Alcoman »

murray83 wrote:it just does not add up.

why spend all this money when you can get many lease units cheaper?,its not logical,i'm not knocking alco products they've done well in some cases but these units from cartier mining over time have proved to be shop queens.and once again they're living up to their titles.

are these units even up to code with 2007 emission standards?

i'd wait to see whats on the market before sinking money into these units.

as for GE,i know the only reason they went the route they did was with the success of the units on the QNS&L not sending a good salesman.
1) These units WERE leased and then purchased by the NYSW.
2) Cartier had tighter maintenance schedule-After every run they checked out. They were not shop queens.
3) I think these units are exempt from that emission rule. As is any used locomotive. Only brand new locos have to meet tier II emissions. (Somebody correct me on this if needed)

pablo
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Post by pablo »

No, John, you're right in every regard. RS-3's points were good ones, and we still have no answers.

Dave Becker
~Dave Becker
Moderator: Fairbanks-Morse Forum

murray83
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Post by murray83 »

answers to what?

RS-3's questions?

1.i couldn't care less about my typing skills and neither should you,you can read my posts can't you?

2.But tell us your experience running a railroad, or at least in the locomotive leasing and maintenance business so that we can judge you're expertise in such matters. That bit of info will carry some weight.

and how many of you are in the industry???,a mechanic i work with was an employee of cartier mining for 20 years and left there for better money,sorry folks... i'll listen to him before i'll listen to anyone who's posted so far thats NEVER worked on these exact units in their life except for N_DL640A possibly.

RS-3
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Post by RS-3 »

"1.i couldn't care less about my typing skills and neither should you,you can read my posts can't you?"

2.But tell us your experience running a railroad, or at least in the locomotive leasing and maintenance business so that we can judge you're expertise in such matters. That bit of info will carry some weight.

"and how many of you are in the industry???,a mechanic i work with was an employee of cartier mining for 20 years and left there for better money,sorry folks... i'll listen to him before i'll listen to anyone who's posted so far thats NEVER worked on these exact units in their life except for N_DL640A possibly."



Re 1, re reading, its not as easy reading your post as if you used basic, common communication skills. (Ie, if your English is no good, or you are too lazy to use it, why should your argument be any better?) Or to put it another way, it puts you in a poor light to begin with. It makes you look immature and lazy. But hey, that's just how I see it. Other’s mileage may vary.

Re #2, those of us that disagree with you are not the ones who need to support "our" arguments. They are the decisions of the powers-that-be at NYS&W. Your beef is not with us, but with the NYS&W management, and there ARE "in the industry". From where I sit, if you want to question their business management you better have some good data and facts to back it up. Otherwise you end up looking just like the rest of us foamers who are merely speculating in the wind. There’s nothing wrong with that in my book, just so we all understand and admit that fact. And its not just about "maintaince", its about the whole business of running a railroad. Return on investment and all that. While I may not always agree with the NYS&W's PTB's decisions they ARE the professionals. Thus if you (or me, or anyone else) wants to question THEIR decisions you better come with some sort of knowledge, data and information to back it up. Its been stated that their availability rate on the Cartier was 97%. That's good in anybody's book. If you have some data or facts to back up your claim, then might I suggest you produce it so we call be as informed as you.

As for renting SD40s, might I point out they have SD40s of their own and they don’t seem to be doing a lot better than the Alcos. (Thus the decision to have them rebuilt.) But without knowing what the Alcos and SD40s, etc cost (both to buy or rent and maintain), their availability percentage, the railroad’s needs, and many other factors we are all just wildly speculating.

Things oftern appear quite simple to us foamers on the sidelines, or even to some railroaders thenselves. Yet things are seldom as simple as they seem. Nor are the people making those decision as dumb as we sometimes make them out to be. The recent revelation of the "inside scoop" by N_DL640A shows us that.

RS-3

murray83
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Location: new brunswick

Post by murray83 »

this is about economics,not if an alco is better than a SD-40 thats compareing apples to oranges.

once again...i have nothing against anyone on this forum,if this railroad wants to blow money,they can do so,i think its bad buisness to dump money into these units before shopping around to see what deals can be found.

seems every few months these ex-cartier units have rumors that follow them,the last thread thats now blocked started as them possibly being retired and within days they're looking at them and how to repair them,this is far from cheap by any means.

U-Haul

Post by U-Haul »

I typed earlier about NYSW lease NREX's SD50s and de-turboing them to 2,000hp so they are more reliable. (If it is that easy)
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=90189
A locomotive built in 1976 does not have to meet current emission standards.
It is like my friend's 1993 Subaru Legacy, it does not have to meet current emission standards as well. (It could not if it wanted to)
Last edited by U-Haul on Sun Aug 27, 2006 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

checexcitation

Post by checexcitation »

In todays market, locomotive pricing, and leaseing figures are through the roof!
A super-sweet deal on SD-40's would likely run in the range of $200 to $250 dollars per unit, per day for 5 years. At an average of $225 per day, per unit, you end up with over $400,000 per unit at the end of five years. Multiply that by even five units, and you arrive at over $2,000,000 to lease five big units for five years. I would have to assume that the Alcos were nowhere near that amount of money to purchase, although I don't know what they did paid for them. Add in the fact that Alco (or GE) four cycle engines are better on fuel than their two cycle counterparts, another huge factor these days, and you start to have quite a bit of lee-way to consider investing rebuild dollars into the Alcos. Especially if what is being done to them makes them even more reliable and better performing.

N_DL640A
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Location: In the Aux Cab

alco info

Post by N_DL640A »

Murray83 - Yes, in fact I do work on these units.

Checexcitation: you have identified a major factor in the decision to try to fix the ALCOs - replacing them would mean big bucks, either to lease or buy equivalent EMD or GE replacements.

There were some problems with these engines initially, but they ultimately bought all eight.
The reason for this? The fact that everything else out there cost twice as much! Used locomotive prices are even higher now than when these units were bought.

Now: the reason for overhauling and upgrading ONE SINGLE UNIT (in house and NOT completly rebuilding, it mind you) is simple.
As they stand right now, the ALCOs represent a significant financial investment for the railroad whether they are pulling trains up Sparta Mt. for the NYSW, sitting oos in a yard, or reduced into a supply of RTO ALCO parts for somebody else to use.
Management just wants to explore the options.
They want to know if an investment of a reasonable sum of money into these engines will result in a reliable fleet of locomotives.
So, they are making one unit the Gunea pig, and trying some more routine patches on the in service units.
Only time will tell of the outcome.

BTW, U-Haul, the SD50s would do just fine for us with the turbos left in!
Last edited by N_DL640A on Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Alcoman
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Post by Alcoman »

N_DL640A,
How are these going to be upgraded? Removel of the computer and converted to blue Card? Or are they going to try going "super 7"with them?
Has anyone asked for "Alco Doc's" help on this project or will they?
As you know,his area of expertise seems to be the electrical systems of Alcos.
Question about the 77 and 3660- they both have freeze damage-correct?
Will they be repaired at some point?
Sorry for the many questions...

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