• 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 EDM5970
I, too, questioned the use of 567s in WWII subs. Becuna (Guppy class) docked alongside the Olympia in Philadelphia, has four Cleveland 16-278As, as does the destroyer escort Slater, preserved up in Albany. Slater also has a pair of 8-268As for ships service electrical power AND a pair of 3-268As on the emergency generators. A smaller engine, the 184A, was used in sub chasers.

Another GM innovation was the 'quad' 6-71. A concept pioneered by the legendary Dick Dilworth. the 'quad' had four Detroit 6-71s clutched into a common gearbox. This arrangement was used on LCIs and subchasers, and came about because GM could not build the larger engines fast enough for the war effort. I believe the 6-71s, single version, powered many of the small LCVP landing craft. All in all, GM built over 12,000 diesel engines during WWII.

The above info came from an article written by Preston Cook, a retired EMD engineer, on the Winton 201A engine and found on Utah Rails. From my reading, I can add that some of the pre-war subs had H-O-R (Hooven-Owens-Rentschler) engines, which were less than satisfactory. Many were replaced with F-M 'rock crushers'.
  by Allen Hazen
Desertrails, EDM5970--
Thanks, both of you... for correcting my memory.
(1) I had the number wrong: 278 was the later of the two GM engines used on WW II subs (the earlier was 2X8 for some X).
(2) I was wrong in saying they were built by Detroit Diesel: they came from another GM division, the CLEVELAND (not all THAT far from Detroit...) division, which I think was the direct descendent of the Winton Engine Co.
(3) GM continued to build and market these diesels for marine use after the war (some New York harbor tugs had them, including some owned by railroad companies. The market was thin (too many war-surplus engines lying around) and some time in the 1950s GM discontinued them: the 567 was similar enough in specifications that it basically replaced the 278 as GM's marine engine offering.
There was a "Railfan and Railroad" article, I think by Preston Cook, that discussed this (in the context of railroad-owned tugboats) a few years back: I'll see if I can find it and post the reference.
  by Allen Hazen
O.k., found it: Preston Cook, "Joe Hack: the man who designed tugboats," Railfan and Railroad, May 2008, pp. 44-53. An excellent article (as one expects from Preston Cook, whose work is consistently far above the usual level of "railfan scholarship").

Relevant quotations:
(i) During the war, TAMS [the firm of naval architects Hack worked for] was working closely with the Cleveland Diesel Division of General Motors, the former Winton Engine Company that had been acquired by GM in 1930 along with the Electro-Motive Corporation. The Winton name had been permanently retired in 1937 when GM set up a coordinating marketing agency, GM Diesel Power, to sell the products of Cleveland Diesel, Electro-Motive, and the newly formed Detroit Diesel Division to the marine and industrial industries. Cleveland Diesel carried forward a successful relationship with the U.S. Navy thaqt had developed during the submarine engine evaluation competition of the early 1930s.

((Comment: I believe that the 201A engine and the F-M opposed piston engine were both developed for this program. I think I remember Cooper-Bessemer as also participating in it, and that the ancestry of GE's FDL engine can be traced to it, though no WW II submarines were powered by C-B engines. There is a brief discussion of this program -- frustratingly brief from a railroad historian's point of view -- in Norman Friedman's "U.S. Submarines: an illustrated design history."))

(ii) The Winton 201A that was installed in some fleet submarines of the late 1930s building programs had been replaced by a much improved engine, the Winton Model 248, and this had led to the very successful Cleveland Diesel Model 278 and 278A marine diesel engines. In addition to ... submarines [these engines] were also chosen for main propulsion in destroyer escorts and many of the fleet tugs, while Electro-Motive 567 engines were applied to the majority of LST...

((Comment: I'm not sure what the power rating of the 278 engine was during the war: in post-war tugboats a 16-278A was rated at 1600hp. A reference on U.S. Navy ships (sorry, I don't remember the title: I saw it in a library in a city I no longer live in) gave the total horsepower of a destroyer escort with four GM engines as 5400, a number which, to a railroad geek, immediately suggests "four unit FT." But I'm pretty sure these ships had 278 and not 567 engines.))

(iii) [post-war] "While EMD was having difficulty keeping up with the demand for diesel locomotives, Cleveland Diesel was having trouble keeping work in the plant, and the decision was made to convert Cleveland Diesel plant No. 3, built during WW Ii and their largest manufacturing facility, into an EMD assembly plant for GP and switcher locomotives.

(iv) By the late 1950s, the Cleveland Diesel Engine Division...had declined to such a degree that General Motors wanted to combine its functions into other divisions. Part of this situation was a result of the continuing availability of war-time engines both for intallation and as a souce of parts, but another reason for Cleveland Diesel's erosion in the market was the success of the Electro-Motive 567C engine, which competed in the same horsepower range as the 278A and was being widely accepted in the marine and oil drilling industries.

((Comment: Marine applications, including tugboats, continue to be a significant portion of EMD's business. I vaguely recall reading that about 20% of 645 engine production was for non-locomotive applications, but I'm not very confident of my memory on this point.))


Fantasy: There were lots of 278A engines around: many brand-new engines had been built for ships whose construction was cancelled at the end of the war. In principle a railroad with a strong "do it yourself" policy could probably have bought some cheaper than EMD would have sold them new 567C engines and used them ... to re-engine Erie-builts! But none did (and, given the sorry history of marine diesels in locomotive applications, probably just as well that they didn't!).
  by MEC407
Fascinating information. Thanks for posting it, Mr. Hazen!
  by Allen Hazen
Preston Cook (who-- I think while still employed by EMD-- also published under the pseudonym "Win Cuisinier") is CONSISTENTLY a source of fascinating information! At about the same time as the article on Joe Hack's tugboat designs he also published articles in Railfan and Railroad about F-units and (a three part article) on E-units, both with lots of information I have never seen anywhere else.

I think an anthology of his articles on diesel locomotive history (with side glances at other applications of similar technology) would be a shoo-in for "Railroad History Book of the Year."
  by EDM5970
I have to do more research, but as I recall, the 201-A was used to power a display depicting a GM assembly line at one of the World's Fairs in the '30s. Ralph Budd, president of the Burlington, decided that it should be used in the Pioneer Zephyr, which MAY have predated the submarine program.

Cooper-Bessemer? As I've noted before, my eldest son served on a 270' US Coast Guard cutter with a pair of 18-251s and General Electric reduction gears. His current ship is one of the 210 footers. I'm not sure about his particular vessel, but some of the 210s were built, back in the '60s, with C-B engines. All have 16-251 Alcos now.

To bring F-M back into the picture, my youngest son and I toured the battleship North Carolina in Wilmington two years ago. Just about the first thing you see at the bottom of the ladder into one of the engine rooms is an F-M powered genset, although one of the smaller bore and stroke OPs. There are lots of F-Ms in marine service today, and F-M is a regular advertiser in some of the maritime journals. The Coast Guard's 378 foot cutters cruise on turbocharged F-M OPs, but can clutch in gas turbines when they have to sprint.

*** To add a little to what I posted last night (it was getting late-), I did a little research online and found that the earlier 210s were built with turbocharged Cooper-Bessemer FVBM-12 engines and gas turbines, similar in concept to the 378s. All of the turbines have been removed, and the 210s now all have 16-251s. (Haze Gray and Underway was my source-)

Also, on the subject of Winton, the Pioneer Zephyr had an inline 6-201-A in 1933.which was also when the Navy was looking at 12-201-As. These, and the 16 cylinder version were built in a Vee configuration. In 1934, the 16 cylinder engines began to be used in fleet subs. An online Preston Cook article and a chart on the San Diego Railroad Museum site were my sources here.

To second Allen's suggestion on books needed to be written, someone should do a Kirkland or Steinbernner type book, with lots of technical details, on both EMD and GE. Its too bad that a builder has to disappear before those kind of books get written.
  by Allen Hazen
Kirkland was supposedly working on a GE volume when he died. I have been told (but can't remember when or by whom) that his materials have gone to someone interested in the project, so the volume MAY eventually appear. We live in hope!
Cooper-Bessemer engines don't seem to have been used for navy ships during WW II, but were applied to a few post-war. There is some information in the "Origins of the FDL" string on the Railroad.net GE forum.
  by Ðauntless
Im surprised GM never tried to push Cleveland 278s in Railroad service. Being the same HP at the time for the most part, and there narrow design you would think they would have worked well in cowl units. I think the 278s are a little superior to 567s in some ways and designs. Very easy to work on as well..

For what its worth, Hatch and Kirk still makes all 278 parts as the OEM. Alot of it goes overseas.

Coopers were used in alot of tugs as well, such as the newer LT's, along with FM direct reversibles.
  by Pneudyne
Allen Hazen wrote:I wonder what sort of engine governors were used on earlier GE locomotives with Cooper-Bessemer engines (70-tonners, export U-series)?
It’s an old thread, but I have only just seen this question buried within it. A partial answer:

The export Universals with C-B engines (U9, U12, U18 et seq), as announced in 1956, had Woodward PG governors with built-in load regulator rheostats. They had gear-driven auxiliary generators and exciters, using the customary triplex drive at the free end of the main generator, with the third leg mechanically driving the equipment blower. The overall control system was quite simple, and generally what one might expect from GE. The main generator was heavily decompounded with resultant steeply drooped curves that dropped on to the standstill line to provide carefully graduated starting tractive effort steps. The load regulator rheostat, in series with the exciter battery field, essentially trimmed the curves over their middle ranges to the respective constant power hyperbolae, but their basic positioning was determined by the fixed resistances, switched by throttle sequence relays, also in series with the battery field. Fine power control of the humping type was optional, and as far as I know it was used on the South African U18C1, which may have been a little “light-footed” as compared with the regular U18C. Potential wire dynamic brake control was obtained simply by feeding the exciter battery field directly from the DBX trainwire, which this provided battery field current as well as the reference voltage.

The 70-tonner had a Woodward UG8 governor with solenoid shutdown (energize-to-run). For non-MU units, the 7-notch throttle was mechanically operated. For MU units, the 7-notch throttle was electrically operated by the GE17MK3 electropneumatic throttle operator, external to the governor. All four cylinders of the latter were used in various combinations (although not in all possible combinations) to obtain the 7 steps. It had a belt-driven exciter-auxiliary generator unit, with split-pole exciter, and used inherent characteristic (Lemp 1924) load control. Thus it was much like the Alco-GE 539-engined switchers, except that the latter had 8 notches, and in MU form, used three units of the 17MK3 to obtain 8 steps according to the normal pattern for three-binary-unit, 8-step mechanisms. But there were variations. The Queensland Railways A1A+A1A version, as far as I know, had a 7-notch pneumatically operated throttle (essentially the same as used on the USG 54-ton model) with the UG8 governor. Possibly the earlier C+C versions (supplied to Bolivia, Brasil and Chile) had the same.

Pre-Universal GE export models fitted with C-B 12-cylinder engine were the shovel nose A1A-A1A cab units supplied to Argentina and Chile, and the C-C road switchers supplied to Queensland. The former had amplidyne control with GE 17MG3 governors. The latter had belt-driven exciter-auxiliary generator units and UG8 governors with 8-notch pneumatically operated throttles. As far as I know, they also had inherent characteristic load control. There were several GE export models with the Alco 12-244 engine; C-C shovel-nose cab units for the Congo, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile; C-2-C shovel-nose cab units for Indonesia, C-C cab units for New South Wales, C+B+C road switchers for Guatemala and Columbia, and C-C road switchers for Brasil. To the best of my knowledge, all of these had amplidyne control with GE 17MG3 or 17MG6 governors.

The White Pass & Yukon shovel-nose cab units with Alco 6-251 engines I am not sure about. They had a belt-driven exciter-auxiliary generator unit. So they might have been somewhat like the 70-tonner, with inherent characteristic load control. But then one could not outrule the use of Woodward PG governors with integral load-control rheostats. The latter, together with the belt-driven combination machine, was used in the Alco 6-251 powered DL531 export model of few years later. The WP&Y units had dynamic braking, and my guess here is that the exciter battery field was fed direct from the DBX trainwire as on the later export Universals.

It may be seen that GE had a long and ongoing relationship with Woodward, going back to the 1930s, when the UG8 was a new item. Quite why it made an excursion into its own 17MG series of governors is not recorded, but perhaps one may construct a reasonably plausible story. Its planning for the post-WWII Alco-GE road units included using its amplidyne system, and it may have wanted more precise engine speed and load control than was hitherto possible, whilst avoiding undue mechanical complexity. At the time the Woodward PG governor was apparently still in the future, and possibly GE may not have been aware of it. For the twin-539-engined Alco-GE road units, it had used UG8 governors with rod-shutdown and 8-speed electro-pneumatic throttle operators. Load control was basically by inherent characteristic using split-pole exciters, but speed-switch assisted. So something better was needed. EMD, for its 567 engine at least, had adopted Lemp 1914 load control but with the modification that load point was proportional to set engine speed for each notch, something not in the original Lemp patent. It did this by using the UG8 (or a similar) governor with an external 8-speed electro-pneumatic operator (perhaps based upon the GE unit) and with an external floating lever and load control pilot valve. EMD may have invented this means of speed-proportional load control, and it had a couple of pertinent patents. But on the other hand at about the same time, Sulzer had a patent for the same arrangement inside a governor along with an 8-speed control (and also an optional two-load setting for each speed). So who knows who did what first. The rationale for engine speed-proportional load control was that highly turbocharged engines, unlike their naturally aspirated forbears, did not have flattish torque curves, and needed lower torque settings at lower speeds. The same tended to be true for two-stroke engines, even those without turbocharging.

EMD was evidently happy with what it had in principle, but moved over to the Woodward PG governor starting with its F-3 model. As far as I know it was the first user of the PG. Essentially what the PG did was put the throttle operator, the floating lever, and the load control pilot valve inside the governor, otherwise mimicking exactly the behaviour of EMD's previous arrangement. The PG included a rather neat arrangement for the electro-hydraulic speed control mechanism, which enable the D solenoid to be used both for shutdown when used alone and as a subtractive speed setting element when combined with one or more of the A, B or C solenoids. Whilst I have not seen the exact layout for the earlier electro-pneumatic speed setter, it surely had a set of conjugating levers that allowed the A, B and C cylinders to be additive for speed setting, with the D cylinder subtractive, and when used alone, moving the fuel rod upwards enough to operate the rod stop mechanism. It certainly looks as if the PG was designed precisely to meet EMD’s requirements. Whether EMD claimed any intellectual property is unknown, but it did have a patent that looks pertinent (and which also referred to the addition of the overriding solenoid). If nothing else, it is possible that Woodward kept quiet about the PG until EMD announced the F-3. Or perhaps GE was committed to the 17MG before Woodward started work on the PG. The evidence here is circumstantial and incomplete, leaving one to draw inferences that will not necessarily be correct.

Be that as it may, GE developed its 17MG governor for use in association with its amplidyne control system as its path to improving upon what had gone before. It too had engine speed-related load points, but these were obtained by limiting fuel rod travel, with lower settings for the lower notches. As far as I know, this idea was first added to Lemp 1914 load control by Brown Boveri, although by different means. The GE approach though did not enforce a monotonic relationship between engine speed and load.

One may imagine the eventual ubiquity of the Woodward PG governor – used worldwide by locomotive builders – forced a rethink by GE, hence its selection for the Universal models. Possibly GE had something to do with the development of the integral load regulator rheostat. That was not part of the original; EMD, controlling main generator battery field directly and not via an exciter, required a larger external load regulator rheostat. On the other hand, the integral rheostat was well-suited to the light current requirement of an exciter battery field.

The persuasiveness of industry standardization may also be why GE chose the regular version of the Woodward PG for the U25B, even though it wanted 16-notch control. Conceivably the PG could have been modified to provide 16 speeds without great difficulty. For example, within a couple of years Regulateurs had a 4-solenoid 16-speed version of its 1100 series governor, as well as an 8-speed version. And by circa 1960, Westinghouse had a 4-concentric cylinder, 16-speed external electro-pneumatic throttle operator for railroad applications. Alternatively, two load points for each of 8 speeds would have been possible with a single additional solenoid following the Sulzer example. But either of these pathways would have resulted in a non-standard governor, so may have been outruled for that reason alone. So GE settled for 16 basic main generator curves, giving fine control of standstill tractive effort – which I think was its primary goal - but 8 supervening load curves, meaning that adjacent (half) notches were sharing the same curves over the respective constant power regions. Whether there was actual compromise in respect of the original goal is unknown, but it may be noted that for the UP 8500 hp GTELs, GE had used simple electronics to construct 20 constant power load curves, one for each notch, with the addition of supervening exhaust temperature load control. And I have heard that it was the GTEL precedent that prompted GE to seek more than 8 notches for what in those days was a relatively high power-per-axle diesel locomotive.