Were GE's Throw Away's ?

Discussion of General Electric locomotive technology. Current official information can be found here: www.getransportation.com.

Moderators: AMTK84, MEC407

User avatar
MEC407
Posts: 10911
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:15 pm

Re: Were GE's Throw Away's ?

Post by MEC407 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:45 pm

Hi Spike, I considered that possibility too; on the other hand, there are other railroads that run along salt waters that haven't had the same problem -- or if they did have rust, it took 10-15 years to show up. It only took 3 years for the paint to start bubbling on the FECs, and within 4-5 years there was visible rust.

Looking at recent pics of the FEC GEs, which are now four years old, I'm not seeing any rust or any paint bubbles yet.
MEC407
Moderator:
Pan Am Railways — Boston & Maine/Maine Central — Delaware & Hudson
Central Maine & Quebec/Montreal, Maine & Atlantic/Bangor & Aroostook
Providence & Worcester — New England — GE Locomotives

Engineer Spike
Posts: 1895
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:24 pm

Re: Were GE's Throw Away's ?

Post by Engineer Spike » Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:09 am

I do think that the new Ace series EMDs aren’t that good. I have logged extensive throttle time on 70mac, and think that they were good. I’d rather have one than an AC44. The AC44 and -9 seem to have more rattles and squeaks. The EMDs of the 1990s seemed to have really good fit and finish. Now the tables have turned, and I like the ES series (except for the A1A versions).

My assessment is that GE was still getting the bugs out on the U series. -7 was pretty good. -8 and -9 seem to be a case of let’s give a rock bottom price, and we’ll work the bugs out as we go. By the early 2000, GM didn’t have the cash to out bid GE for orders. With GM out of the picture, EMD lowered its quality. This was to try to remain price competitive. Now GE is doing this in the used market. The Guilford units were rode hard and put away wet by CSX. GE gave a rock bottom deal, and even offered to maintain them. What did they have to loose? They were headed for scrap anyway.

The few -8 that I’ve run were junk. 60 series were well put together. If they weren’t, why did CN and NS buy up just about every 60 that was up for grabs?

User avatar
MEC407
Posts: 10911
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:15 pm

Re: Were GE's Throw Away's ?

Post by MEC407 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:52 pm

Engineer Spike wrote:The few -8 that I’ve run were junk. 60 series were well put together. If they weren’t, why did CN and NS buy up just about every 60 that was up for grabs?
Sure, but CN also bought close to 150 Dash 8s at roughly the same time. I don't think that proves anything about SD60s, or Dash 8s for that matter. It just proves that CN and NS both needed large numbers of additional locomotives at that moment in time.

It's easy to argue that "Railroad X got rid of their ABC locomotives, therefore ABC locomotives are bad," or "Railroad Y bought used ABC locomotives, therefore ABC locomotives are good," etc., but that doesn't tell the whole story. A huge factor is whether a particular railroad's traffic is increasing or decreasing at any given moment; that influences whether they keep or return their older locos. Another big factor is fuel prices. If traffic is down and diesel prices are up, you'll see railroads storing, returning, or even scrapping their old stuff. A year later, a competitor railroad might buy those same locos because their traffic is booming (maybe they handle different commodities than the other railroad) and they can't wait months/years for new locos to be built.
MEC407
Moderator:
Pan Am Railways — Boston & Maine/Maine Central — Delaware & Hudson
Central Maine & Quebec/Montreal, Maine & Atlantic/Bangor & Aroostook
Providence & Worcester — New England — GE Locomotives

Engineer Spike
Posts: 1895
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:24 pm

Re: Were GE's Throw Away's ?

Post by Engineer Spike » Wed May 15, 2019 12:11 am

I think the biggest factor was that NS and CN could get fairly modern units cheaply. The reason was likely to have as many pre tier 4 units available as possible. Both builders seemed to struggle to meet that hurdle. It wouldn’t surprise me that those roads felt that having the used, modern, and proven power, just in case the new tier 4 power turned out to be lemons.

Personally, with 20 years as an engineer, I still prefer any EMD up to the 70 series. Since then the ES GE power seems to have the quality of older EMD, while EMD itself has declined. At the end of the day, I feel GE previously was more interested in selling new power. One other point is what is the availability of aftermarket GE parts? I’ve always heard that the aftermarket EMD parts market was much wider. If EMD parts were more widely available through new reconditioned, or aftermarket, then it makes sense that more older EMDs would still be running. Moreover, with more EMDs built, at least until about 1980, more could be scrapped for parts, to keep remaining units in service.

How backwards compatible would a 1980 FDL be with a 1965 version? My question is whether newer parts could be used to keep some old U25, 28, or 30 running? We all know how railroads slapped 645 power packs in GP9s.

User avatar
MEC407
Posts: 10911
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:15 pm

Re: Were GE's Throw Away's ?

Post by MEC407 » Wed May 15, 2019 12:30 pm

I don't know precisely how backwards-compatible the parts are, but I've heard anecdotes about Dash 7 parts being used in U-Boats, and Dash 8 parts being used in Dash 7s, so I think there is a certain level of backwards compatibility, at least as far as mechanical parts are concerned. This makes sense, especially regarding FDL engine parts, because most of the changes made to the FDL over the decades were incremental improvements rather than huge design changes. I think your compatibility prospects are better if you're only trying to bridge two adjacent generations — e.g., putting Dash 7 parts in a U-Boat or putting Dash 9 parts in a Dash 8, for example. Trying to use Dash 9 parts in a U-Boat might be a bridge too far.
MEC407
Moderator:
Pan Am Railways — Boston & Maine/Maine Central — Delaware & Hudson
Central Maine & Quebec/Montreal, Maine & Atlantic/Bangor & Aroostook
Providence & Worcester — New England — GE Locomotives

slchub
Posts: 1590
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 11:08 pm
Location: Sanford Auto Train

Re: Were GE's Throw Away's ?

Post by slchub » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:19 am

Having worked for the UP and Amtrak as an engineer I can truly say I prefer EMD over GE. That said, I am very surprised that the GE eqpt. that Amtrak still uses is running as well as it is. Millions of miles on this 20+-year-old eqpt. and most are still pulling and working like a champ.

Post Reply

Return to “General Electric”