• Building 60 in Erie PA

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

Moderators: AMTK84, MEC407

  by LCJ
 
In the early '90s, when I was working for Conrail in Conway (near Pittsburgh) I had an opportunity to work with the GE developmental engineers in Erie. They were a very bright bunch of folks -- all focused on making their systems work so they pleased the railroads better. Quality was their big push at that time.

One day, I was told to travel to Erie, and to meet up with the staff at Bldg. 60, the place where most of the experimental work was done. At that time, Conrail was in the process of deciding whether we wanted the latest technology in locomotive controls that had been developed by the team at Erie -- with the LCD screens in place of gauges and other controls, and the electronic air brake controls.

The group of engineers and I met for hours in the conference room there in Bldg 60, with every white board in the room covered with issues that still needed to be addressed in the development of these systems.

Later that day, we took a pair of "paint smell" new CR Dash 8-40CWs out on the test track to see how the current set up was working, and to get my feedback on the look and feel of the controls. Basically, what we would do is pull the jumper between the units, set the trail unit up in DB, then load the other one pulling it around. I have to admit it was fun!

What amazed me was that they actually listened to what I had to say about this stuff. I felt certain they never did that sort of thing when the U-boats were developed. If they had, I'm sure they would have been much different from what they were!

Bldg. 60 was very interesting place. I recall seeing the experimental BN unit set up to run on liquified coal (I guess that never worked out). They also still had "Christine" there at that time. Christine was a U23B (I think) that had been traded in by one of the railroads, and was used to move stuff around the plant. She was painted red, like the '58 Plymouth from the Stephen King book/movie.

I seem to recall they also had the original mock-ups/test beds for the new power Amtrak had ordered -- designed to be built much differently than the typical unit that came out of Erie.

I'm curious whether anyone else has some Bldg. 60 experiences they'd care to share.

  by TerryC
 
What became of Christine?

keep asking keep learning

  by LCJ
 
TerryC wrote:What became of Christine?
I don't know for certain, but my guess is she was scrapped at some point.