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General discussion about locomotives, rolling stock, and equipment

Moderator: John_Perkowski

  by scharnhorst
For home road records Some Roads used to keep certain locomotives assigned to certain terminals, divisions, or regions. For example railroad A merges with Railroad B. Both may have 2 shops each making for a total of 4. 1 shop may get all the ALCO locomotives while another might do just work on EMD's while shop 3 gets GE's and Shop 4 might get assorted work and or be closed. The New road will try and keep locomotives close by to the regional shop's that are better able to service the units in which they have been assigned. This also makes it much more simple for that road when it comes down to shipping replacement parts and for mechanics who may not have experience with working on some types of locomotives.
  by Desertdweller
Hopefully, this is not the problem it once was, in the days of parallel mergers and large fleets of dissimilar locomotives.

Going back to the 70's and 80's for examples: The C&NW concentrated their ALCOs on the Winona, MN-Rapid City main line. The 17-stall roundhouse at Huron, SD was the maintenance base for these units. They even brought C-628s down from the Iron Range and leased additional ALCO units (ex SP and NYC) to handle as much freight as possible behind ALCOs.

They were gone by the time of this line's sale to DM&E in 1986. Typical power on this line by then was SD-7's.

In the same time period, Milwaukee Road found itself in possession of several pools of minority brand switchers. They centered these locos around maintenance bases where parts supplies for that particular brand could be concentrated. Examples were: Fairbanks-Morse: Janesville, Madison, Milwaukee, Beloit (of course) Wisconsin. Baldwin: Winona, Red Wing, Twin Cities, MN. LaCrosse, WI. ALCO road switchers: LaCrosse, WI.
These minority units never strayed far from their maintenance bases.

EMD road power was the standard system-wide. GE road units tended to be kept on the West End, then, after the Lines West shutdown, were used in pool freight service out of Bensonville. These were high-horsepower, late model units. EMD equivalents were the major power on fast road freights.
First generation EMD units ( SD 7&9, GP 7&9, homemade GP20's and "SD 10's", F units) were used on local freights and secondary main line freights.
A special pool of mu-equipped SW 1's were based at LaCrosse for use on ex-narrow gauge branch lines with very light bridges. Former passenger FP 45's were repainted into freight colors and run in the fast freight pool out of Bensonville. Some early ALCO RS-series road switchers were chop-nosed and fitted with C-420 cabs and used on locals and work trains out of LaCrosse and Winona.

  by Allen Hazen
My impression is that Norfolk southern, these days, concentrates GE work at Roanoke and EMD work at Altoona, to get the advantages mentioned (two posts up) for the shops. They don't, so far as I know, try to keep locomotives close to the shops specializing in them: with modern units (lengthened intervals between needed shopping and inspections) and modern operational patterns (higher proportion of long distance runs) there wouldn't be as much to be gained from this as there once was.
"My impression" -- if I'm wrong, I hope the knowledgeable will correct me!
  by John_Perkowski
At the NS yard in North Kansas City, MO, I see both GE and EMD power.

I don't think NS gets much farther west on home rails...