The next SD40-2 LTEX rent-a-wreck - 8955 is now in transit....
neman2 wrote:I don't think Pan Am gets it, what do you think the average person (non-railfan) thinks when they get stuck at a rail crossing for ten minutes when one of these beat-up looking locomotives goes by in the consist of a mile long train of graffiti-covered cars at a whopping ten miles per hour? Creates more ammunition for the railroad haters.With all due respect, I doubt many people notice the paint on a locomotive. Most of the people I know who are neither employed by the railroad or enjoy watching trains find the most interesting thing about trains to be the graffiti. The fact that its a mile long and is moving at 10mph does more to harm the image of "railroading" in the public's eye than does a ratty locomotive. "Average people" know 1 thing: the damn train is in the way, has been for at least 90 minutes and at current speeds will likely still be in the way for another 6 or 7 hours. The endless parade of graffiti covered cars, to them adds the only interest to the train, and then only mildly so.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Iowa Interstate has placed another order for new power, again from General Electric. The railroad has ordered three additional ES44ACs for delivery this month, bringing the total number of this model on their roster to 17.
Andrew Reid, Iowa Interstate’s chief mechanical officer tells Trains News Wire that the purchase was made primarily to replace older power, such as the railroad’s remaining SD38-2s, with more fuel efficient units.
MEC407 wrote:I agree. But on the other hand, if PAR doesn't have the resources or the will to maintain simple things like batteries/APUs/dynamics/radios/telemetry gear/toilets, how would that be any different with new(er) locomotives? All of those things have to be maintained and serviced regardless of the age of the locomotive.Well said and I think therein is the true crux of the situation. PAR is getting good run through power for many of their priority trains. The real question is do they need something good on EDPO/POED, WAPO/POWA and the more humble but no less significant RUPO/PORU.
As long as CSX and NS continue to provide high quality run-through power, PAR doesn't have any incentive to improve their own fleet. And as long as PAR's fleet remains inadequate, CSX and NS won't pull the plug on run-through power because that's the only way their traffic to/from PAR will get over the road in a semi-timely manner.
Recently, IAIS made a multimillion-dollar investment that Miller said will make hauling freight even more efficient; IAIS purchased 12 brand-new General Electric Evolution Series locomotives. The new GE ES44AC locomotives, which cost $2.5 million each, are 18 percent more fuel efficient than other alternatives that IAIS looked into. Miller said one of the new 4,400-horsepower units will pull a train equivalent to what two or three of its current units can handle.
MEC407 wrote:Another option would be to do ECO upgrades on the existing fleet, which I'm told can be done for about $1m to $1.5m each. Canadian Pacific has been doing that with hundreds of their older GPs and SDs, and the results have been excellent from what I've heard. SDs get a new 12-cylinder 710; GPs get a new 8-cylinder 710. Both get totally new electrical systems, new crashworthy cabs, etc. The end result is for all intents and purposes a brand new locomotive that performs significantly better than its "donor" did, with much better fuel efficiency to boot.How about just an inkind rebuild, or an rebuilt+upgrade to -2 or 3? 500K for a like new unit. Sure its not environmentally any friendlier but it would be just as good "quality of horsepower" wise, cost 1/2 as much, and still sport the always popular 16-645E3.
MEC407 wrote:The MEC 500 series locomotives were financed, by the way. But in that case they were getting 20 used locomotives for the price of 2 new ones.Over the last year MRL sent almost their entire SD45 fleet (almost all rebuilt to -2) to scrap, for scrap prices. Imagine the power they could have picked up, trading a single 500 for 2 or 3 SD45-2's. With 4 axle prices spiking, a good running condition GP40-2 is worth 250K+. A scrap price SD45 is what? 70K? They were mostly all operable, had been upgraded to -2, maintained well, etc...You lose 15 running units, pick up 30 or 40.