• Dash 9 locos converted to AC traction (AC44C4M, AC44C6M)

  • 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 JayBee
 
GE has converted a BNSF Dash-9-44CW to AC traction with A1A trucks, like the ES44C4. BNSF 616 (ex-Santa Fe) was noted northbound on KCS through Heavener, OK as a trailing locomotive.
  by MEC407
 
Here are some YouTube videos of 616 in her new configuration:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIbQSLvK4kY" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJQdLwnphx0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmQzZzePzmY" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by MEC407
 
It'll be interesting to see what BNSF ends up calling it. "AC44C4" seems like a possibility.
  by Allen Hazen
 
The first of the YouTube videos linked (two posts up) has a low-speed run-by with a good view of the trucks: they have the extra "brake" cylinders connected to a crank in the centre, so PART of the modification was to equip the unit with the weight-shifting mechanism that is standard on the ES44C4.
(I should look at the other two to see if we have a good view of the left side of the unit: Dash-9 don't have the big box for the inverters behind the cab that AC44 have, and that is a standard feature of the ES carbody even on DC units.)
  by MEC407
 
Allen Hazen wrote: (I should look at the other two to see if we have a good view of the left side of the unit: Dash-9 don't have the big box for the inverters behind the cab that AC44 have, and that is a standard feature of the ES carbody even on DC units.)
Yes, that box is visible in the second video.
  by Allen Hazen
 
Thanks, MEC 407 -- you posted that while I was looking at the second video. (Other people: these videos show very low-speed operation, and are "filmed" from close up (the second one filmed from INSIDE a shop building as the locomotive backs into it!), so they are much better for looking at fine details than most shots of locomotives pulling trains on the main line.)
--
Here
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=2818011" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
is a photo of ATSF 616 in its original configuration. Note that it had the notched ("gull-wing") profile of the cab roof(*) used on several late ATSF GE orders: the re-built locomotive does not have this notch. New cab? or very thorough re-woking of the carbody?

(*) Requested by the railroad for clearance at one particular coal loader, which I believe is no longer used.
  by MEC407
 
The angles in the videos make it difficult to discern, and the paint color also plays a role in that, but I think it still has the gull-wing cab. It's sort of noticeable in the third video.
  by Allen Hazen
 
For what it's worth, the current version (revised 2 July 2014) of the BNSF roster at thedieselshop.us,
http://thedieselshop.us/BNSF.HTML" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
says that ex-Santa Fe 616 is undergoing conversion to LNG fuel at Erie. At a guess, I'd say the conversion was done by GE at Erie (even if subsequent conversions get done in BNSF shops, it would make sense to have the GE experts at Erie figure out the details of how to do it and de-bug it), and somebody in the rumor-transmission-grapevine guessed wrong about the nature o the conversion.

Note that this locomotive was built in 1994, and (according to the roster at thedieselshop.us) many of its classmates are currently stored. I suspect BNSF hasn't made up its mind what to do with them, and an experimental rebuild will help them decide. (But it would be neat to start seeing GE locomotives going into their third decade of mainline service son a U.S. Class 1 railroad!)
  by MEC407
 
I saw that LNG conversion bit on some other web site too. I asked about it on LocoNotes and was told that 616 is not one of the LNG conversion candidates. I don't know which story or which site is correct. :-\

It's great to see NS and BNSF doing this. The idea seems to be "let's take a good-but-tired locomotive and make it into a great locomotive." The end result will be almost as good as new, for a fraction of the price. It's not really much different than what they've been doing with EMDs all along, although the AC conversion is obviously a new twist. I think this proves that AC traction diesels are no longer a specialty or niche product. They're thoroughly mainstream, to the point that the railroads even want to convert DC units to AC. NS in particular was late to the AC party, but they seem to be completely on-board with it now.
  by Allen Hazen
 
MEC407--
Looked again. I think you are right (and I was wrong) about the "gull-wing" cab. Their video is hard to tell from -- the door blocks the view of the edge of the cab roof -- but in the second video, as the locomotive backs indoors (shortly after the one-minute mark) the rear edge of the cab roof (fireman's side) does seem to have the Santa Fe dip to it. I hoped that as the locomotive continued to back away from the camera we'd get a good view of the front of the cab, but the paint job really does make it hard to make out the roof-line!
Thanks for the correction!

(AndI am in total agreement with your comment, in your most recent post, on the significance of the program. It ***IS*** great to see major railroads doing this!)
  by MEC407
 
From a BNSF employee, posted here with permission:
The 616 is classed as a C44-9WT0 by BNSF right now. It still shows in the computer as having DC traction motors. It is in KC now for set up for testing so that might get updated, I am not sure yet. It has four traction motors like the rest of the ES44C4 Fleet with the extra cylinders that are weight management cylinders to take some weight off the middle axle when the engine is under heavy load so the other four axles do not slip as much.
(I'm also told that the "T0" stands for Tier 0 and is just an internal company designation; it doesn't mean anything about the rebuild/modifications. Apparently they also have a lot of Dash 9s that are internally classified as C44-9WT1, meaning they meet Tier 1 emission standards.)
  by D.Carleton
 
Viewing the video it appears the 616 retains the 7FDL-16 prime mover. The internal "Tier 0" designation would seem to confirm this.
  by MEC407
 
MEC407 wrote:It'll be interesting to see what BNSF ends up calling it. "AC44C4" seems like a possibility.
According to a post by Mark Gillings on LocoNotes, the locomotive is now designated "AC44C4M"
  by MEC407
 
Photos by Matthew Griffin:

616: http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=553611" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

601: http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=553612" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by Allen Hazen
 
In case there was any doubt that I had made a mistake bacon 4 July 2014…
The photos by Matthew Griffin show the "gull-wing" cab roof very clearly.