• E60 question

  • 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 Someone named Mike
 
I've been wondering, why did the E60's fail?

  by Allen Hazen
 
Who said the E60 failed? As far as I know they (both the original, single-cab, versions and the later double-enders, some of them second-hand from Amtrak) have been very successful for decades on a number western coal railroads.

They didn't last in Mexico because the Mexican government decided not to pursue the railroad electrification plan then were purchased for: not the locomotives' fault!

As for the Northeast corridor...
(i) The E60 is, for slightly less horsepower, a much heavier unit than an AEM-7. This is partly because they were based on a freight-engine technology (not surprising, given the state of American railroading in the 1970s: look at Amtrak's early diesels!), partly because some of them were meant to carry steam generators. So they would be at an automatic disadvantage for very high speed passenger service.
(ii) Their freight heritage shows in the running gear as well: trucks like a U30C. Basically a design better for coal service than express!
(iii) Despite which Amtrak used them for many years on its heavier trains (e.g. Florida trains with "Heritage" equipment).

  by typesix
 
Mostly it was the trucks as stated above. The E-60 was to replace the GG1 in terms of pulling capability and also run at faster speeds, up to 120 mph versus 100 mph. While running tests, an E-60 derailed at 100 mph(?). Modifications were done to the trucks but thereafter the E-60s were limited to 80 mph, later to 90 mph. Even with the truck mods, they still rode rough laterally. The AEM-7 could run at 120 mph with no tracking problems and replaced the E-60s for short trains but needed to doublehead for long trains. E-60s were then used mostly for longer trains that did not need higher speeds.

  by pennsy
 
Hi All,

Correcting some misinformation. The E-60's were rated at 6,000 continuous HP, and 12,000 short term horsepower. They were considerably more powerful than the AEM-7's or even the GG-1's for that matter. Their problem was that the pencil pushers and bean counters wanted to save money and therefore gave them freight trucks, not passenger trucks, and the rest is history. Above 80+ mph the freight trucks had a problem with clearing switches without fouling. And that greatly limited their usefulness. Had they been delivered as originally specified, the situation would be totally different today. An E-60, with proper high speed passenger trucks, C-C configuration, all axles powered could easily handle a train of 18 or more cars at 130 mph. Never happened. If you have a few bucks available, make the modification to an existing E-60 and give her a run on the NEC. She will blow your mind.

  by Allen Hazen
 
Alan J.--
You wrote:
"Had they been delivered as originally specified, the situation would be totally different today."
This is very interesting: it's the first indication I have ever seen that the E-60s were originally planned with higher-speed trucks. I have seen an "artist's impression" in a GE ad before they were built, and I don't think the trucks shown are visibly different from the FB-3 trucks used on U30C diesels and the E60s as eventually built. Nor do I recall anything being said about truck design in a presentation by a GE engineer at a high-speed rail conference in Pittsburgh while the units were still undergoing tests (though I suppose under the circumstances -- I think this was shortly afterr the high-speed derailment alluded to in an earlier post -- he might not have been anxious to sayin public that a cost-cutting compromise had been made in the design!)
Do you have any other details about this?

  by pennsy
 
Howdy Mate,

Unfortunately no. I gleaned this information via other posts on this forum and on the Railfan.net forums. You might just run a search on both. By the way, the Alan Hazen I am acquainted with lives stateside, east coast and calls himself Irish Chieftain. I assume you are not that person. He spells his first name as I do, Alan.

  by Allen Hazen
 
Alan J--
Not the same. I taught in Ireland for two years but have never claimed to be a chieftain! Chances are I'm related somehow: Hazen is not that common a surname (but the Allen's in my branch of the family spell it the way I do: Vermont ancestors admired Ethan and Ira Allen).
But if you got the information about the original specification for the E60 from a post to some Railroad.net forum, maybe someone here knows. So I'll ask again.
ANYBODY??

  by timz
 
pennsy wrote:The E-60's were rated at 6,000 continuous HP, and 12,000 short term horsepower. They were considerably more powerful than the AEM-7's or even the GG-1's for that matter.
GE only claimed 5100 continuous rail hp for the E60-- that 6000 hp was "diesel equivalent". Who knows what their actual short-term capability was, but the published TE-vs-speed curves don't reach 12000 rail hp.

AEM7s were (are?) supposed to be 5700+ continuous rail hp.

  by pennsy
 
Hi All,

AEM-7's were rated at 7,000 maximum short term horsepower.

Fairly safe to assume that the maximum short term horsepower of an E-60 was never tested or achieved. Limiting factor is the temperature limits on the traction motors. How hot will the computers, safeties etc. allow the traction motors to get before kicking out the circuitbreakers ??? Remember, traction motors will generate their maximum horsepower for a considerable length of time if the weather is below zero. The colder the weather the more efficient they are. That is one big heat sink out there.

  by timz
 
pennsy wrote:
AEM-7's were rated at 7,000 maximum short term horsepower.
By whom?
pennsy wrote:Fairly safe to assume that the maximum short term horsepower of an E-60 was never tested or achieved.
So it was unknown?

Actually it may have been achieved, if there's any reason to believe Pennypacker's article in 1976 Rails Northeast. He said an E60 had taken a 17-car train from 0 to 85 mph in two minutes (location not stated). If that were true, and the track were near level, that would call for 12000 hp or more.

  by pennsy
 
Hi Tim,

I believe I have heard that story before.

Spoke with the boys at the Train Stop, San Dimas, CA. Checked out the literature, and did some surfing, and it looks like the AEM-7 could deliver a continuous horsepower rating of 4,000 hp, as a minimum, and possibly as much as 4400 hp. At the low end some said they would give the AEM-7 a rating of 3700 hp. Any way you cut it, it did not have as much power as a GG-1.

  by timz
 
One or more Cycs-- the 1980, or maybe the 1984-- credit the AEM7 with 5700+ continuous hp, and as I recall it said that was at the rail. Where did those other figures come from?

The other figure that sticks in my mind was from the tests at Pueblo when the AEM7 was new. The report said the maximum short-term power was about 9000, but that was measured at the pantograph, whatever that means.

  by pennsy
 
Hi Timz;

Sounds rather Apocryphl. Take it with a grain of salt. Power at the Pantograph is equally meaningless. It tells you how much power the engine is drawing from the catenary. Again, since nothing is 100 % efficient, it tells you nothing of horsepower available at the rail. Considering that the AEM-7 is still a fairly "modern" electric engine, its efficiency would have to be greater than that of the GG-1. All that intimates is that the power draw at the pantograph was considerably higher than the power it delivered to the rails.

  by timz
 
pennsy wrote:Sounds rather Apocryphl. Take it with a grain of salt.
pennsy wrote:it looks like the AEM-7 could deliver a continuous horsepower rating of 4,000 hp, as a minimum, and possibly as much as 4400 hp. At the low end some said they would give the AEM-7 a rating of 3700 hp.
Any salt required on that one?

It is of course true we have no evidence for an AEM7's actual output, or a GG1's or an E60's, since about the only way to find it out is to carefully measure their acceleration with a known tonnage on a known grade, and Americans apparently aren't good at that. So us fans believe what we like.

  by pennsy
 
Hi Timz,

In the case of the GG-1, we do have some data. Apparently someone actually measured the acceleration rate, tonnage, time to achieve X mph, etc. So we do have some evidence that the GG-1 could, on acceleration to X mph, deliver 10.000 hp. We are talking about thirty seconds or less. Or in plain english, the GG-1 was one unbelievable engine. When I first saw that report, I believe in either Pennsy Power I or II, I immediately said, With or without sanding ???