• Re-engining an Erie-built

  • General discussion about locomotives, rolling stock, and equipment
General discussion about locomotives, rolling stock, and equipment

Moderator: John_Perkowski

  by Allen Hazen
Sounds good. The 64-dollar question is: supposing our hypothetical Erie-owning railroad of the 1950s had on staff some submarine veterans who had topped their classes at Navy electrician school during the war. Do you think they could connect a Woodward governor on a 16-567C engine to the Amplidyne excitation system? (As an alternative, could a 17 MG be adapted to control an EMD engine? I'm guessing that the final hydraulic actuators for the engine fuel rack would need changing: it seems too much to hope that FM and EMD engines had exactly the same movements in their fuel racks!)
Going back to one of your earlier responses... One of the GE design staff's aims in designing the U25B was to keep everything as simple as possible (remember the bost about only 7 (?) pieces of rotating electrical equipment above the frame). And the American railroad industry seems to be very cautious about accepting anything new and different, so there was certainly good reason for the GE people to avoid ANY feature that might scare a chief mechanical officer used to EMD power. So going with Woodward governors in preference to their in-house 17 MG is certainly understandable. ... I wonder what sort of engine governors were used on earlier GE locomotives with Cooper-Bessemer engines (70-tonners, export U-series)?
  by EDM5970
Good questions-

I think a Woodward, on an EMD engine, could be connected to an Amplidyne system, if the load rheostat in the governor has the same resistance value and range as that used in the 17MG governor. The engine control panel (part of Amplidyne, static and Type E) simply would not be used. The A, B, C and D valves in the governor would be wired to 15, 12, 7 and 3, replacing the Engine Speed Relays 1 thru 4. (Top of the head answer, though-)

The Woodward senses engine speed through a mechanical connection the the engine. The GE 17MG family has no mechanical connection to sense RPM; it gets an electrical signal from a tach generator, or from the exciter alternator in the static system. You would have to put a tach gen on an EMD to use a 17MG. Conversely, the only 244 I have ever seen with a Woodward was the 16-244 that used to be at Philadelphia Gear.

Rack movements are all a matter of mechanics. I. e., how far away from the pivot do you connect the output motion from the governor? I'm not sure about governors on the 70 tonners, or smaller units.

To get back to the Erie conversion, IF(!!!) I were at EMD, doing this repowering on behalf of KCS back in the '50s, I would use both the 16-567C engine AND an EMD generator. One neat package, with no adaptor plates, modified couplings or flywheels. I'd use a Woodward, and the normal (for the time) EMD excitation system, with the hydraulic faceplate load regulator. (Anyone have a good name for this system, BTW?)

Using the EMD generator (D12/D14?) would also give me the alternator, built in next to the flywheel. I would then have 3 phase AC to run EMD radiator fans and traction motor blowers. No more DC motors with brushes and commutators to maintain.

The GE switchgear, such as contactors and reverser, would be retained, along with the nice big GE traction motors, which I believe were 752s. Those components don't really care where the juice comes from, as long as its there-

The result would be sort of an A-1-A F-9, in a funny carbody, with GE motors and switch gear, and a (mostly) FM cooling system. Pretty maintainable, though-
  by Allen Hazen
Well, if ***I*** were at EMD doing this, I'd certainly TRY to sell the customer an EMD generator! But generators, I take it, are big-ticket items, and if I were the customer I'd say "Are you SURE we can't re-used the GE 567 generator?"

I don't know whether the KCS Eries kept their original generators when re-engined. New York Central had a bunch of re-engined units which (going by the minimal carbody changes) may have been done in company shops rather than at EMD. I think their re-engined Alco PA (of PB?) kept its GE 566 generator, and I just looked at the card (at Fallen Flags) for re-engined CPA24-5: they kept the W'house 498 generator when they got EMD engines...

The Eries had GE 746 traction motors. (There was a long discussion of traction motors a few years back-- I think it's on the Alco forum, with a title like "PA traction motors.") The 746 motor was also used on some late 1940s electric locomotives (the final drive on a VGN BBBB electric was essentially the same as on two Eries). It was heavier and more expensive than the 752 (according to Aldag this was one of the problems with the Erie), and had a rating intermediate between the first (1947) version of the 752 and the improved 1950 version.
  by EDM5970

Good point about the dollar value of main generator; many a C-420 or C-424 was built with traded in 564s from FAs, or RS-2s or RS-3s. The NKP RS-36s had the 566s from the NKP 'Bluebird'' PAs.

So, if we keep the GE GT567 main generator to go along with the EMD 16-567C engine -everyone was waiting for that one- to keep the costs down, we might as well retain the original Amplidyne exciter generator (AM807), the GT24A aux. gen for battery charging, and the GY24B generator to run the original DC cooling fans and TM blowers.

Now we're down to the governor, and I imagine either option suggested previously COULD work; the GE 17MG with an added tach generator to pick up engine speed: or the Woodward, with an appropriate rheostat going back to the Amplidyne. The Engine Control Panel and the ESR relays would be eliminated with the Woodward.

All of the above is pure speculation, and again, someone needs to research all of this subject and write a book on repowerings, just as McDermot and Anderson did with the PA-4s. There are many interesting examples, and I doubt if any of the builders had a real 'standard' formula or package; I'm sure it was all custom.

I do have in front of me Marre and Harper's 'Frisco Diesel Power', which has a tiny bit of information on the repowering of RS-2s 550-554. They received 16-567Cs, under an EMD Geep hood, coupled to the original GT564 main generators. I wonder just what other equipment was kept. According to a photo caption, they retained their original 1500 HP rating because the original electrical equipment was reused. I question this, as traded in 564s were used in some C-424s. I suspect the 835 RPM of the 567 didn't run the generator fast enough; the 244s ran at up to 1000 RPM.

And how about the NKP BLW AS-16s? Two went to LaGrange and became 'almost' GP-9s, while the other two went to Schenectady to become pseudo RS-11s. The Lima switchers on the Wabash, with 12-244s? ( Sorry, this could go on forever-)
  by Allen Hazen
I think I'm going to take a bit of a break from this discussion until my reference books are a bit more accessible!
The variety of re-enginings is fascinating! Today's average railfan (judging by the lots of pictures/minimally researched text things they seem to buy moan moan bitch bitch complain complain...) isn't too interested in the technical details, but, like you, ***I'd*** certainly like to see a book about them!
About 564 generqators in second-generation Alcos: yes. Adding (just off the top of my head) to the list, some of the Long Island's C420 had 566 generators from somebody's PA units. (On the other hand, there has been some discussion of a proposal, before the C420 were ordered, to re-engine their C-line FM units with Alco engines, which apparently would have involved new generators, not re-use of the original W-house ones.) And I think some of the New York Central RS-32 had 564, perhaps some had 566, and I think one may have had a 581 from a (wrecked?) RS-3.
Not sure what the NKP's re-built Baldwins had: the Alco 251 and even the EMD 567 have significanttly higher rpm than the original Baldwin engine. The PRR sent a few (3 or 4) Baldwin "Sharknose" units to Alco for re-engining (after they came back the PRR called them ABF-18, I think), and I believe they got new GE 581 generators to go with their new engines.

More in a week or so.
  by EDM5970
I'm going to take a break, too. But I did spend my lunch break with the Edson, et al NYC book; NYC did many repowerings in house, favoring the 567 engine. Some used the original generators, some not. I'll make some notes, and be back with my observations sometime next week-
  by John_Perkowski

There are foamers, and then there are foamers ;). I do not know too many folks who are interested in the arcania of managing a sleeping car, yet that's my particular interest.

I remember the CF-7 rebuilds by the Santa Fe. They were complex enough, and that was a pure EMD product.
  by EDM5970
I spent a good bit of quality time with the Edson, Vail, Smith book, New York Central System Diesel Locomotives, and found no less the EIGHT repowering programs. I'll list them in chronological order, although there were some overlaps.

In early 1955 NYC had EMD repower six BLW DR-6-4-15 passenger units. No mention is made of what engine (16-567B, or C), but the original WE 412 main generator was retained. The air throttle was replaced with electric, for MU operation. There is no mention of an engine RPM reduction to match the slower WE generator, either.

At the same time, starting in March '55 and going through January '57, Collinwood shop was repowering a total of 15 FM CFA and CFB-20-4s. Some of the earlier units had 1500 HP 16-567A engines, while the later conversions had 1750 HP 567Cs. In these cases, the WE 598-A generators and dynamic brakes were retained. As stated real early on in this thread, RPMs should not have been a problem.

In 6/55 and 2/56, Collinwood installed 12-567Bs in a pair of Lima 1200 HP roadswitchers. In this case they used an EMD D-4 main generator, but kept the WE 362 traction motors. (Now, 567B and D-4 says E-7 to me, but I didn't find any reference to a wrecked and sacrificial E-7 in the Edson book. This Lima conversion also sounds like a dress rehearsal for the 'DeWitt Geep' program many years later in the Penn Central era). I had a cab ride in one of these Limas, in Rochester in 1971, but didn't realize the significanse until many years later-

Between 10/55 and 4/56, Collinwood kept busy with the conversion of eight FM CPA-24-4s, using 1750 HP 16-567Cs and the original WE electrical equipment, 498 generators and 370 motors.

At the same time, 11/55, Collinwood undertook a more elaborate conversion. One Alco PB-1 was repowered with a 16-567C, rated at 1750 HP. Per the Edson book, the GE 566-C1 main gen. was used with a modified coupling, and a modified Woodward Governor. Partial EMD transition was used, with the balance of the electricals original equipment. So what we have here is a Woodward working with Amplidyne; the partial EMD transition most likely refers to EMD's through cable (current activated) relays and voltage relays controlling the GE switchgear. Alco transition at the time used axle alternators to make transition based on locomotive speed, not voltage and current, as used on contemporary EMD road power.

In April and May, 1956, more Baldwins went through Collinwood, this time a pair of DRS-4-4 1500
road switchers. They emerged with derated 16-567Cs, 1500 HP, and reused the WE 471 main gen. and 370 motors.

To get back to the 'Erie-builts', three A units and one B unit, all freighters, were repowered at Collinwood between 5/57 and 11/57, with new 16-567Cs, rated at 1750 HP. The dynamic brake equipment was removed, but the rest of the GE electrical equipment was re-used; GT-567-B1 main gen. and 746-A2 traction motors. No mention is made of the excitation system or governor, but since the PB-1 used a modified Woodward with Amplidyne, this is most likely the case here as well.

More later-
Last edited by EDM5970 on Fri May 13, 2011 5:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  by EDM5970
(OK, its later; somehow I lost a few final paragraphs; hate it when that happens-)

One last Baldwin went through Collinwood in October of 1957. A BLW DR-4-4-15 was rebuilt with a slower running 1500 HP 16-567C, mated to the original WE 412 main generator and the rest of the original electrical equipment. The air throttle was replaced with an electric throttle.

On the subject of main generators, there was an interesting tidbit buried on the Edson book. Aside from the C-430s, NYCs last Alco purchase was a group of 25 RS-32s, or DL-721s. These 2000 HP units were built with an assortment of 564, 581 and 566 main generators. Going out on a limb here, I suspect the 564s came from traded in FA-1s and RS-2s, the 581s from RS-3s and the 566s from PA-1s.

According to Chris McDermot in his publication 'The Service Engineer' the 564s and 581s were very similar, and should have been fine for this application. But he cautions about using the 566 (or 586) as a direct replacement for the 564 or 581. These later two generators (566, 586) were built for six axle units, which operate at a higher current and lower voltage than four axle units. To effectively use them in a four axle unit (and we'll include the PA here as a four MOTOR unit), additional field shunting (and control complexity) is required. So what NYC saved by recycling the PA-1 generators may have been offset by time spent by the troops in the shop, dealing with some non-standard electrical systems. (And we can't forget that NKP traded in the Bluebirds and their electricals in on the RS-36s-)
  by Allen Hazen
Thank you, very much, for the run-down on New York Central's repowerings! I have never seen the Edson et al. book; from your post (and others over the years) it sounds as if it has LOTS of interesting stuff in it!
Re: Lima light roadswitchers. The particular engine and generator choices (and the fact that precisely two units were done) suggested an E-7 donor to me, too. I think there was some discussion of this on some Railroad.net forum several years ago: to the best of my recollection, there was no indication that any New York Central E-7 died at the relevant time. (Given the number of E-7 units on railroads around the country, it seems likely that one died SOMEWHERE, and I suppose someone from N.Y.C. mechanical got on the phone to the owner and said "what are you doing with the pieces?")
Re: General pattern. N.Y.C. was willing to tinker with the smaller parts of the electrical system, but seems in general to have re-used the big expensive pieces of rotating equipment: generators, motors. (At least some other railroads had re-engining programs that involved new main generators to match the new engines... I suppose the the second-generation EMD geeps built with Alco trucks and GE traction motors could be thought of as the extreme maximum end of a spectrum of possible "re-enginings," with the New York Central's programs being consistently "minimalist".)
Re: NYC RS-32. I'll look up the "Extra 2200 South" RS32/RS36 article to check. I think it specified that the 581 generator used on one was from an RS-3.
Re: 566 and 586 generators. I don't know enough electrical engineering to even begin to speculate about these! Still, the 566 was introduced on the PA-1: what at the time was a high-horsepower 4-motor unit. It was also used (according to Kirkland's Alco book) on the 1600 hp 6-motor RSD-5. The 586 appears to be a derivative of the 566, and was, I think, used on some of the last PA units, but has also been used on 6-motor units in the 1800 hp (RSD-12) to 2750 hp (U28C) range.
... Its original use on the PA-1 would seem to make the 566 an obvious choice for a 2000 hp 4-motor Alco, and 566 generators (from scrapped PA of other railroads) were used on at least some of the Long Island's C420.
  by Allen Hazen
O.k., I've retrieved "Extra 2200 South" (the basement/library is undergoing work which makes some things a bit hard to get to...)
Issue #76 (ostensible date July-September 1982) has a 3-page article (drawing, rosters...) on the RS32 and RS36 by Bill Peterson, with generator information. Basic take-hope message is that most of these models were built with first-generation Alco trade-ins, typically re-using main generators. These two models were advertised as having GT581 main generators as standard, but of the 75 built, at least 42 came from Schenectady with GT564 or GT566 generators from trade-ins.

NYC 8020-8034 were built with GT564 generators from traded-in FA-1 (9 units), FB-1 (3 units) and RS-2 (2 units). (Hm... 14 trade-ins listed-- thee article gives specific unit numbers-- for 15 new RS32.) It is noted that "some units later received GT581 replacements."
NYC 8035-8044 built with PA-1 (4 units), PB-1 (4 units), PA-2 (1) and PB-2 (1) trade-ins, "and GT566 main generators were reused" -- nothing about replacement generators for this lot, so maybe the GT566 was more dependable in a 2000 hp unit than the GT564?
(Nothing about trade-ins or generators for SP 7300-7309.)

NKP 865-875: built with PA-1 180-190 as trade-ins, re-using GT566 main generators.
N&W 407-412: no trade-ins listed. (Not surprisingly: even though these units were built in March 1962, a year + after N&W stopped using steam, they should probably be thought of as essentially steam-replacement rather than second generation diesels!)

C&NW 904:built with a wrecked RS-3 as trade-in: nothing about the generator, but of course in this case the trade-in unit would have had a GT581 anyway.
TC 301-305: built with FA-1/FB-1 trade-ins; GT564 main generators re-used.
A&D 1-2: RS-2 trade-ins; GT564 re-used
D&H 5012-5023: nothing about trade-ins or generators.
  by Allen Hazen
...And I've also re-checked Kirkland's Alco book, to confirm my recollection that the last PA and PB units had GT586 generators.

The Dl-304D and Dl-305D versions of the PA (Dl-304) and PB (Dl-305) had the GT586 main generator. These are the last 30 PA/PB units built, built in 1953 (May to December). Note that the uprating to 2250 hp was earlier: the 59 units built to specifications Dl-304C and Dl-305C (built between March 1950 and September 1952) were rated at 2250 hp; Kirkland specifies that this subvariant had GT566D1 main generators. (There was a 7-month+ gap in PA/PB production between the last of the C version and the first of the D version: the D version also came from the factory with water-cooled turbochargers and "a new fuel injection system [...] to improve combustion, and in turn reduce smoke emission.")

So what does this tell us about the GT586? It became the standard for six-motor models, but was introduced on the four-motor passenger unit! The six-motor 1600 hp RSD-5 was at least introduced (first built in March 1952) with the GT566: the first six-motor model Kirkland records as getting GT586 was the 2250 hp RSD-7 (first unit built January 1954). I suppose it's possible that late RSD-5 units (the model was built into 1955) got the new generator, but Kirkland, though he mentions "minor revisions in design" leading to a change from Specification number E1664 to E1664A, doesn't mention any change of generator model.


The RSD-4 (with GT581 generator) had the same low-speed performance as the RSD-5 (*), but wasn't as good at higher speeds. The GT566 and GT586 generators were introduced on high-speed, passenger, models. So -- this is the guess of someone who knows almost nothing of electrical engineering -- either generator could produce lots of amps at low voltage, but perhaps the GT581 couldn't soak up as much engine horsepower at higher voltages?
(*) I can't remember where I got my beliefs about the comparison between RSD-4 and RSD-5. I think Alvin Stauffer's "Pennsy Power II" gives the same continuous tractive effort for the two models, which goes some way toward backing up the claim that the problem with the RSD-4 was at higher speeds.
  by Desertdweller
I just want to make a couple observations here.

Everyone equates the FM OP engine with submarines. But the EMD 567 engines were very common in USN submarines, as well as smaller surface ships. The WWII LST's, for example, were mostly powered with 567's. 567's were also used in tugboats, river towboats, minesweepers, etc.

The big advantage of the OP engine in marine applications was its high power output in comparison to its size. The big disadvantage was the difficulty in doing internal repairs. Consider how difficult these engines were to work on in a locomotive shop, then try to imagine what it would be like working on one inside a submarine!

I think the Baldwin DeLaVerne engine was developed as a submarine engine, also.

When EMD repowered a locomotive, they replaced the original cooling system with an EMD system. Sometimes they even stripped the unit to the frame and replaced the long hood as well. When a railroad repowered a locomotive with an EMD engine, they tried to keep the original cooling system as much as possible. For example, consider the Rock Island's Alco cab units. The EMD factory repowered DL passenger unit had EMD style radiators and fans, and had a completely revised roof. The FA-1's the railroad repowered with 567 engines looked externally like a stock FA except for the two non-turbo exhaust stacks replacing the fat Alco turbo stack.

The Erie-Builts would have made a fine platform for re-engining. Big Alco DL-109 style trucks with big GE traction motors, big GE generator, robust cooling system, optional steam generator, and all kinds of room between the 567 and the roof. Plenty of room to put a turbocharger in there and get a real 2,000hp that would not be limited by altitude.

  by Allen Hazen
Thanks for your comments. One minor correction: the EMD 567 engine was, as you say, used on WW II naval vessels (LST in particular), but I think the submarines (and destroyer escorts) that got "GM" diesels (as opposed to the FM diesels used in other vessels of those types) got a slightly different engine, the 241 (?) or 271 (?) from Detroit Diesel. I think the fundamental principles of these engines were the same as those of the EMD 567, and like it they were derived from the 201A used on early EMD diesel locomotives (or streamlined train "power cars"), but the detailed design was different: optimized, I think, for marine instead of locomotive applications.
  by Desertdweller

Thanks for your comments. My statement about the 567's were based on a conversation I had with a minister who served in modernized Balao-class subs (Guppy conversion: basically a streamlined casing applied over the original hull, like a streamlined steam locomotive). He remembered they were 567's. Perhaps some of the earlier Winton-engined subs you referred to were upgraded to 567's.

The EMD engines were based on the design of the much smaller Detroit Diesel engines, but were very different in how they were constructed. Detroit Diesels were built like automobile engines: cylinders cast in block, unitized cylinder heads, crankcase cast in a unit with the cylinder banks. EMD uses a fabricated welded crankcase and
individual cylinder assemblies with separate heads for each cylinder. I've seen a Winton, but I don't know if they were built that way.

I've been in several USN Diesel subs in museums, but admit I didn't pay enough attention to the engines used.

Detroit Diesels were widely used in landing craft and other small naval boats.