• 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 G.E. BLDR
Egypt wants another 100. Did 80 of them 10 yrs. ago
  by renrut44
The additional 20 units ordered by Pakistan are C20EMP, not ES43ACi
http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/trac ... sword_list" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;[]=pakistan&no_cache=1

The Egyptian order, South Africa (223 kits), the ES43BBi in Brazil, all use non Tier 4 complaint GEVO engines. Apparently the compliant engine has a heavier strengthened block, and heavier crankshaft?

With earlier export locos it is common to refer to U20C as phase 1 and phase 2

With GEVO engines will we have to use "phase" to ID blocks, or does GE have a system covering engines?

With GE requiring lightweight engines for the export market, it looks like the earlier (phase 1?) engine has an assured future. Including Brazil, GE have orders for around 350 of the earlier engine in the pipeline. This engine is also license built at CRRC Qishuyan in China
  by atsf sp
What are the current export orders being built in Erie.

I was going past Enola and saw a line of about 6 exports on flats sitting there. Paint scheme was similar to the VALE Scheme.

Does anyone know which locomotives these were?
  by atsf sp
In regards to my last post turns out they were the seven new VALE CARAJAS ES58ACi.
  by Pneudyne
Early in this thread, in writing about the South African Railways (SAR) GE fleet, I said:
Pneudyne wrote:I have heard it said that at the time, SAR preferred four-stroke diesel engines over the two-stroke type. If that were in fact the case, it might have been a factor in the choice of GE as supplier. One supposes that EMD would have bid its G12, in B-B form, for this business. Alco I think would have had a problem in that it did not have an export model in the same power class.
Apparently SAR did not have that engine preference. Information that came my way recently indicated that SAR's initial tender came down to a choice between GE and EMD. The GE contender was the U12B, which is what SAR bought. The EMD contender would surely have been the G12. SAR wanted GSC cast trucks, which GE was happy to provide, whereas EMD offered only its own flexicoil design, take or leave it. So SAR left it and placed the business with GE. EMD was then out of the picture until 1966 until it supplied a small number of its GL26C model, as I understand it, fitted with GSC cast trucks.

There is other evidence to the effect that SAR preferred dry-block engines, which the CB/GE F model was, also the EMD two-strokes from the 567C onwards. The Alco 251 though was wet-block.

  by Pneudyne
It was mentioned in the EMD Export thread (viewtopic.php?f=6&t=160297&p=1488839#p1488839" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) that in the earlier export years at least, EMD did not offer a mirror-image version of its standard control stand for left-hand drive applications, so that other arrangements had to be made.

On the other hand, GE did offer mirror-image control stands, as is evident from this page from its 1958 March generic operating manual for the C-B engined export Universals:
GE GEJ-3802A Universal p.06.jpg
But GE had done this in the pre-Universal era, going back at least to the 1949 shovel-nose units built for the General Belgrano, Argentina. These were left-hand drive and had an appropriate control stand.
LGB DE621 GE Shovel Nose Cab.jpg
LGB DE621 GE Shovel Nose.jpg
Logically Alco had the same mirror-image control stand options, and that was certainly the case for its standard export models from the DL500 onwards. However, the MLW-built RS3C fleet built for NSWGR, Australia (as its 40 class) had left-hand drive but with a “turned-around” right-hand drive control station. Perhaps that was done on a “minimum change” basis. Also, if CGE had supplied the control equipment, then perhaps it was building only the right-hand drive version, as would be needed for the Canadian market. NSWGR’s reason for buying from Canada was to minimize the need for scarce US dollars, and perhaps to take advantage of Commonwealth preference in respect of import taxes. So maximum Canadian content could have been an imperative.

  by Pneudyne
The 1958 March GE Export Universal generic operating manual also refers to the hump controller that was an optional fitting on these models. The instructions for it show that it was available as much as a utility for road service – starting trains in difficult conditions – as it was an aid for humping service.
GE GEJ-3802A Universal p.08.jpg
GE GEJ-3802A Universal p.09.jpg
GE GEJ-3802A Universal p.10.jpg
I suspect that road service application was included in deference to the fact that the often much lighter export locomotives had less adhesive weight on a per-unit power basis than typical domestic locomotives. And sometimes they operated over tracks that may not always have been in the best condition.

Perhaps an extreme case would have been the South African Railways (SAR) U18C1, with 1800 hp (tractive) on 168 000 lb adhesive, that is 93 lb/hp. That compares with say a 2000 hp, 240 000 lb domestic locomotive, at 120 lb/hp. The regular export U18C, typically around 200 000 lb, came out at 111 lb/hp.

The U18C1 had 1-C trucks whose design allowed it to obtain better adhesion, per pound of adhesive weight, than say the C trucks of the regular U18C, but not enough to offset the shortfall in adhesive weight in some operating conditions. One may see why SAR chose to have the hump control fitted to its U18C1 fleet.

The hump control also provided for a gradual (continuously variable) increase of power when it was used, which probably enabled operation closer to the adhesion limit than would have been the case with stepped control.

GE evidently had the similar concerns in respect of its slightly later domestic U25B model, which at its 252 000 lb minimum service weight had 101 lb/hp. In that case it went to a 16-notch control, primarily for the purpose of providing finer graduation of tractive effort steps during starting and initial acceleration. As far as I know the 16-notch control was never used on an export model; perhaps the continuously variable nature of the hump control was thought to have the edge in the more difficult overseas cases.

  by Allen Hazen
GE seems to have been more, aahhh, open-minded about how many notches a controller should have than the other U.S. builders: I forget how many notches the GTEL turbine locomotives had, but it was more than 8!
My recollection is that GE initially touted the finer control possible with 16 notches as a selling point, but it doesn't seem to have struck American railroad managements as an important advantage. (Maybe the extremely heavy, by world standards, axle loading possible on North American main lines led to a blasé attitude toward control?). And later domestic U-series locomotives were built with industry-standard 8-notch controllers. I think there may be something about the history of that change in a post to the "Railroad Locomotives" blog of one of our moderators, Typewriters.
  by Pneudyne
The GTELs had 20-notch controllers. The rationale for this notch-count is succinctly covered in this excerpt from a Diesel Railway Traction (DRT) article on the GTEL-8500 in the 1960 November issue:

“The 20-notch throttle introduced on the 4,500-h.p. locomotives in place of the conventional 8-notch diesel-electric throttle has been retained, as it gives finer control of the high horsepower per axle that must be handled.”

The GTEL-8500 had a transistorized control system in which the Lemp curves were constructed electronically. This was described in DRT 1959 May.

The GE 16-notch control system introduced with the U25B was somewhat enigmatic, and it does not seem to have been given detailed treatment in the rail fan press (which generally although not universally appears to avoid anything too technical.) The best discussion I have seen was on the GE Locomotives Yahoo groups back in 2005, where there was a contribution from a retired GE staffer including comment as to its rationale. Available GE manuals provide some information as to how it was done, but do not cover all of the details. Nevertheless, with some deduction and extrapolation one may construct a reasonable narrative. Overall it was a system intended to have specific rather than general utility, and apparently also to have maximum commonality with the standard 8-notch control system.

On the face of it, one might have expected the 16-notch control to have been needed more in the export market, where power-to-adhesive weight ratios were often quite high, and track conditions were sometimes less-than-ideal. But then a wider ranging version that provided finer graduation of running power as well as of starting and low-speed tractive effort would probably have been desirable. For example, both Hitachi and Mitsubishi used such 16-notch controls on some of their 1960s and early 1970s export models.

The case for finer control was illustrated in this excerpt from a 1975 GEC (UK) catalogue, which included the statement “Continuously variable power control eliminates the loss due to notching troughs.
GEC Diesel Electric Locomotives p.07.gif
Evidently, in the 1950s and 1960s at least, GE saw the standard 8-notch control with the optional continuously variable humping control as best addressing the export market requirement for fine power control. As diesel-electric control system technology developed, I suspect that it became easier to provide gentler ramping between the notches, thus reducing the size of transient tractive effort peaks. At the same time, improved wheelslip detection and control systems lessened the chance that any such peaks would initiate sustained wheelslip. So perhaps from the 1970s or so, finer power control became less necessary.

I don’t know if any GE export models of the 1970s were fitted with the humping control. But it was still in vogue as a fine power control during the 1970s. Queensland Railways (QR) had it fitted to its 1970s acquisitions of Clyde-GM locomotives, models GL26C and GL22C et seq. Early on it was described as a hump control, but later as a manual power control. By the 1978 edition of the Operating Manual, it could be switched between MU and lead-unit-only mode.

Returning to the 1960s, GE did get at least somewhat involved in a wider ranging 16-notch control, being that used on the SP’s Krauss-Maffei hood unit diesel-hydraulics (and also retrofitted to the earlier cab units). These used the same KC-99 master controller as the U25B, although whether GE was involved in anything downstream of the master controller is unknown. Be that as it may, the system provided for 15 steps of power control (with 15 corresponding engine speeds) and 16 steps of hydrodynamic braking. So in respect of power control, both running power and starting tractive effort were finely graduated.

Going the other way on notch count, the 7-notch number found on some GE industrial switchers was also found its way on to some exports. The QR 1170 class, a 70-tonner variant, had a 7-notch pneumatic throttle control, possibly similar to that used on the US Gypsum 54-ton pair. The standard 70-tonner in non-MU form had a 7-notch mechanical throttle, whereas the MU version had a 7-notch electric throttle. What was fitted to the C+C export version of the 70-tonner, MU-fitted, that went to several South American operators is unknown. Returning to QR, curiously the earlier GE-built 1150 class had a non-MU 8-notch pneumatic throttle.

  by Allen Hazen

The "Northeast Rails" website has a weekly page of new photos: the latest (7 June 2019) has photos of three GE export locomotives from the late 1950s/early 1960s: a 55 ton U5b (metre gauge), a 67 ton U6b (Indian broad gauge: 66 inch), and an 86 ton U9b (metre gauge).
I don't know whether the site will keep links to these photos after next Friday, but for the moment
  by Pneudyne
Thanks for posting that.

Oddly, the caption for the U9B erroneously lists it as a U9C.

Both the U9B and U9C were built in very small numbers; my count is 13 for the U9B (10 broad gauge and 3 metre gauge), all for use in Brasil, and 16 for the U9C (all metre gauge) all for use in Chile.)

I imagine that the U12B and U12C, which used the same frame, were much more attractive on a unit cost-per-unit power basis. And the simpler Alco DL531 offered a lighter and probably somewhat lower cost option for those who wanted a locomotive of around 1000 hp.

The 1961 successors to the U9B and U9C, namely the U10B and U10C respectively, were not built at all. The U10B moniker was later recycled for what was originally the Cat D398-engined UM10B model, a higher power output variant of the U8B. Then the UM10B designation was used again for at least three distinctly different derivatives of the second (Cat D398-engined) U10B.

One could say that GE was heavily into recycling before it became fashionable. However, whether recycling of model designations is environmentally friendly I don’t know. It probably isn’t so railfan-friendly, though.