• Fabricated Trucks on NYC Erie Builts

  • Discussion of Fairbanks-Morse locomotive products. Official web site can be found here: www.fairbanksmorse.com.
Discussion of Fairbanks-Morse locomotive products. Official web site can be found here: www.fairbanksmorse.com.

Moderator: pablo

  by atlpete
Erie built 2000hp freight cabs 5000 and 5001 were built with fabricated trucks unlike the "normal" General Steel Castings version found on the later units in the series as well as those of other roads. Does anyone know of a good shot or line drawing of these trucks? In the one shot I've seen of them in Sweetland's excellent Lightening Stripes book they are partially obscured in the carbody's shadow. It's interesting that A1A trucks would be used on a freight locomotive to begin with, the custom trucks raise the ante.
  by Allen Hazen
There is an old string on this forum (about two-thirds of the way down the page the last time I looked) entitled "Erie-built truck design" that has a bit more information on this truck. (The roster of which Eries had it that I posted came, I think, from the "Railroad Model Craftsman" article about Erie-builts: early 1980s, sometime: I own a copy, but it is in storage in another country....) The "RMC" article had HO scale drawings.
Idler axles on a freight diesel aren't a great idea, but... F-M wanted to market the same basic locomotive design for BOTH freight and passenger service. I think Eries intended for freight use were typically ballasted so there was enough weight on the driving axles for, um, acceptable adhesion (remember that these were not, by modern standards, high-horsepower locomotives: 2000 in theory, maybe a bit less in practice, since the New York Central seems to have thought of them as 1800 hp units). Putting Eries on, say, a coal drag in the mountains would be silly, but they were perhaps reasonable freight engines (by late-1940s standards) for use on mainly level track: the New York Central seems to have liked them enough to order more (forcing F-M to negotiate with GE to extend the production run).
George Elwood's "Fallen Flags" railphoto WWWebsite has photos of Eries, but I don't know if any show the fabricated truck to good advantage. It also has locomotive diagrams from New York Central (and PRR) which may give useful background information. The "Railway Mechanical Engineer" article from November 1946 (reprinted in "Train Shed Cyclopedia" #64) has a good photo of the truck: if you want to send me your SNAIL-mail address, I can try to make a good photocopy.
  by atlpete
Thanks Allen, the fabricated trucks add to the whole FM "Mojo," want to see how they did them, let me check the archives to see if I have the #64 Train Shed Encyclopedia, got a few of them back when, now in the "big pile" of legal cartons in the basement.
Again thanks for the tip, I'll check Elwoods's site as well.
In retrospect, maybe the freight version E-builts weren't so bad on the water level route, they were alledgedly pretty strong when the power plant/generators were good, both their tractive effort and acceleration and it seems they lasted longer then they should have on both the Central and notably the KCS (most interesting given the later's roller coaster main profile.)
  by Allen Hazen
If you are planning to sort through the legal cartons in the basement... I ***think*** the "Railroad Model Craftsman" article on Erie-builts (with multiple A-unit drawings) may have been October 1975 (with the drawing of a B-unit a month or two later).
  by Paul
Interesting that the the first two "A" (NYC 5000/5001) and the two "B"s (5100/5101) had a fabricated truck as mentioned in Edson's book. I checked my 1947 Locomotive Cyclopedia and found ZERO reference to any F-M units with fabricated trucks. Also, the spec sheet shown in Edson's book rates the Erie' 38D81/8 as 1750 H.P. (2,000 according to everyone else) for traction and a rather tall gear ratio (3.55:1) for the freight unit. Interestingly enough, Edson's book rates the Central's FA-2s at 1,600 H.P for traction (as it should) and the FAs had a 4.11:1 ratio (the most common for freight engines) which gave them ten thousand pounds more continuous tractive effort then the heavier, higher powered Erie units. With the higher speed gearing of the Central's freight Eries, sounds like someone had an eye towards dual service?
  by Typewriters
Note that Edson's book uses late NYC spec cards; some Eries had been repowered with Electro-Motive 16-567C engines by then, while others, unrepowered, had been derated to 1750 HP. (Some or all of the H20-44 units were derated as well.)

-Will Davis