• GE Export Diesels

  • 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: MEC407, AMTK84

  by Allen Hazen
In the factory scene on p.110 in Kirkland's Alco book…
Despite the poor angle, an auxiliary generator is just visible… perched on top of the main generator. So belt driven.
  by Pneudyne
Allen Hazen wrote:And: "Australia QR CB-engined Cape gauge C-C road-switchers: GT567 main generators with belt-driven auxiliaries and inherent characteristic excitation." !?!?!?! In domestic applications, the GT567 was the generator developed for use with the Fairbanks-Morse engine: initially for the 2,000hp version in the Erie-built, but after W'house bailed out of the heavy traction market used on both 1600 and 2,400 hp models. The Queensland units were 1100 hp, weren't they? And the C-B engine would seem to be very different in its characteristics from the F-M engine (higher top r.p.m., for example). So why?
Oops! A typographical error on my part. That QR locomotive had a GT587 main generator.

I’ll comment upon the Alco DL531 and DL535 case in the Alco forum.

  by clutch
How easy is it to change the gauge on the GE U6B, U10B and U11B. It seems that at least five different gauges have been sold of these models. Are the trucks all the same with the wheels just pressed in our out. Could these trucks be similar to the trucks under the US Army MRS-1 locomotives with all the different rigging holes ready.
  by Allen Hazen
I don't know of any of these models actually being built with adjustable-gauge trucks, though GE did build a small test unit-- I think financed by the same military program that led to the MRS-1 -- which could be regauged anywhere between 3 feet and standard gauge, and which was tested on the D&RGW narrow gauge lines. I think I can dig up a bit of information about it in the next few days...
As for GE's "standard" export models... I think similar truck designs, with different length axles, were used for various gauges (and I also think that if I'm wrong there are people who have contributed to this string who will correct me!). The GE 761 traction motor was used for meter gauge and and 3'6" gauge, and also on Standard Gauge U18C (or U20C) for, e.g., Turkey. It is too big for use on 3 foot gauge: GE also produced a slimmed-down traction motor, the 764, which was used on at least Alco units for 3 foot gauge (e.g. for WP&Y): I don't off the top of my head know of GE export models built for this gauge, but I assume they would also have used the 764.
There was also a derivative of the U10B built for 2 foot gauge (discussion, and links to pictures, in the "Essence of Cute" string on this forum). This involved nonstandard trucks and nonstandard motors (I suspect derived from electric motors GE made for non-rail applications).
  by v8interceptor
A little bit about the GE adjustable gauge locomotive built for the U.S Army that was trialed on the D&RGW narrow gauge and wound up being sold to the White Pass & Yukon:
http://www.whitepassfan.net/whitepass/e ... index.html
  by Allen Hazen
Thanks for posting that link! … I've been remiss in not trying sooner to find more information about 3000/81/314 in response to Clutch's questions. The photos on the site you link to are about the best I have seen. The trucks look as if they might have the same general design approach as those on the MRS-1, but how similar they are in detail I don't know. I'm not sure where I first read that this unit was adjustable in gauge, and I have so far not found any details about how the adjustment could be made. (Was it ever, in fact, adjusted? It was tested on the 3-foot-gauge D&RGW lines, then operated on WP&Y, which has the same gauge, then went to Guatemala, where I think some of the railways built to serve the banana industry -- the name of the company that bought it translates, I think, as "Banana Development Company of Guatemala" -- so all of its actual service life may have been spent operating on the same gauge. According to Johnston -- see below -- the unit "saw yard service in both Durango and Alamosa… ran road service to Farmington and Alamosa, where she also served as a STD gauge switcher [and] even handled standard gauge trains (with idler car) to and from Antonito." So perhaps it was "adjusted" for standard gauge when switching in Alamosa, but it could have switched standard gauge cars with an idler car on dual-gauge track.)

I note that WP&Y acquired the locomotive in 1973. The tests on the D&RGW were in 1958, so the unit seems to have spent a fair bit of time in storage.

The February/March 2002 issue (vol. 4, no. 1) of "Light Iron Digest" has a short memoir by Roy E. Johnston, Jr., a test engineer (drafted from GE's locomotive division into the Army transportation corps) on the 1958 tests. The unit seems to have had at least as many … umm … "issues" as one would expect in an experimental prototype. Not much in the way of technical detail, but
-- it had an 800 hp Alco diesel engine (first iteration of 6-251 design?)
-- it was built for operation in cold climates -- "the Army needed a design that could be safely stored at 50 degrees below zero [and] have the ability to start and run within a reasonable time without external assistance"
-- the frame was built with special steel that "did not become brittle at extremely low temperatures […] structures above the platform were mostly aluminum, keeping the cg as low as possible."
  by Allen Hazen
And, since I have an unreasoning obsession with traction motor model numbers, what sort of traction motors did 3000/81/314 have? At least later on, GE had the 764 motor for 3-foot-guage locomotives: used, for example, on WP&Y's Alco Dl-535E locomotives. But the 900 hp GE shovel-nose diesels (90 class) did not have 764 motors: they had something one online source calls 'CHM842" traction motors. … Many low-horsepower GE locomotives from the 1920s on (yep: Alco/GE/Ingersoll-Rand 300 hp units included) had traction motors in the with numbers in the HM800 series. (I think "HM" stands for "Hoists and Mining," suggesting that at least the cores of these motors were a GE product marketed for non-rail applications. I'd love to know more.)
  by Pneudyne
Apparently #3000 was fitted with GE764 traction motors, judging by this entry from the GE traction motor list:

"5GE764A1: Same as model 5GE761A1 except 7-¾” core length instead of 10-½". Applied to 70T DE locomotive for U.S. Army Transportation Corps."

Another early application for the GE764 was on the US Gypsum 54-ton model.

Thereafter the GE764 was used on export Universal models when configured for 3 ft-gauge operation, an example being the Colombian U20C of 1964. It was sometimes also used on other gauge models, such as the South African U15C fleet, which was Cape gauge.

Prior to the availability of the GE764, GE’s approach to building 3 ft-gauge locomotives generally had been to use longitudinally-mounted GE747 motors with right-angle drive, although as already noted, the WP&Y shovel-nose model was fitted with GMH842 motors from the mining equipment range. This fitting was retained for the later, 1960s builds even though by then the GE764 was available.

The South African 2 ft-gauge UM6B (SAR 91 class) was fitted with GE778A1 motors. These were mounted laterally fully inboard of the wheels and projected well beyond the gauge on one side; they drove through double-reduction gearing.

By deduction from the available data, I’d say that the standard trucks for the export Universal models came in three widths. The narrowest was used for 3ft, metre and Cape gauges, the intermediate for standard gauge, and the widest for broad gauges out to 5’6”. Possibly the broad gauge trucks could also be fitted with standard gauge wheelsets, as that might have suited easy interchangeability for operators that had both gauges, such as in Argentina. But that is speculation on my part.

  by Pneudyne
This diagram illustrates the three truck widths mentioned in my previous posting.
GE Export Universal Profiles.gif
Adjusting the wheel positions on the axle no doubt works well enough for relatively small changes in gauge. But a wide truck on a narrow gauge would require that the wheels be mounted a long way inboard of the axle bearings as compared with “normal” practice. This would create a large bending moment on the axle, and possibly could make the assembly prone to whirl-mode vibration.

  by Pneudyne
Another piece of information, belonging more in the Alco forum but not completely inappropriate here, pertains to the Goodwin (Australian) version of the Alco DL531. Goodwin used the same truck frame for both broad and standard gauges, with the wheels pressed on to the axles at the appropriate positions to suit. The brake hanger brackets allowed for two positions of the braking equipment as required to suit the gauge. From this I’d say that the trucks were equipped to handle both Irish (5’3”) and standard gauges, but not other broad gauges, as such would not have been required in Australia. Whether Goodwin followed an Alco precedent here I do not know, but in any event, it used a somewhat different truck for the DL531, with 12’0” rather than 11’6” wheelbase, so had the scope to do differently along other vectors, as well. Alco would have had to cater for a least a couple of broad gauges as well as standard, so may well have opted for an approach more like that of GE. Goodwin did though use a narrower truck frame for the Cape gauge version of its DL531.

  by Pneudyne
Returning to GE traction motors, and specifically the GE778 used on the South African 2 ft gauge UM6B model, my understanding is that this was drawn from GE’s line of motors for off highway truck electric-drives. I think that the GE776 may have been the main model in the pre-motorized wheel days, with the GE778 possibly a smaller version of it. But this needs to be verified.

  by viktork
Hi all,

I'm looking for a mainentance manual of the GE 761 (narrow gauge) traction motor, or of the complete truck maintenance / service manual for those export diesels, which has this type of traction motor (U20C, U26C, U10B, U15C, etc.. many others). I was curious if anyone has a copy (PDF) one of these documents? If not, could anyone tell me a page, where i can find manuals/handbooks for GE (or ALCO) export diesels?
Thank you so much!
  by Pneudyne
At the smaller end of the scale, GE’s Belgian licensee, Baume & Marpent, developed its own version of the GE 44-ton centre-cab switcher:
Baume & Marpent-GE Switcher.gif
Here is the Cape gauge version supplied to the Matadi-Leopoldville railway in the Congo in 1953-54:
Matadi-Leopoldville B&M-GE Switcher.jpg
It weighed in at 43 long tons, roundly 96 000 lb. Concurrent with these, the Matadi-Leopoldville also received similar switchers from Davenport, fitted with the same Caterpillar engines and GE equipment, and sharing the same key dimensions. A little later, Ateliers Metallurgiques in Belgium supplied what could be described as a diesel-hydraulic version of the Whitcomb 44-ton model, as noted in the Baldwin Exports thread.

  by Pneudyne
This chart shows the key parameters for the above-mentioned B&M-GE switcher, in comparison with the Davenport and Ateliers Metallurgiques similar models:
Matadi-Leopoldville B&M-GE Switcher Details.jpg

  by G.E. BLDR
G.E. signed A 575 mill order for 100 Egypt units but won't say where they will build them.