• UP SD70Ms built simple?

  • Discussion about the Union Pacific operations past and present. Official site can be found here: UPRR.COM.
Discussion about the Union Pacific operations past and present. Official site can be found here: UPRR.COM.

Moderator: GOLDEN-ARM

  by guilford88panam
Weird question, I read somewhere that UP ordered their SD70Ms to be "simple". The modern SD40-2? I am not sure exactly what it said. I just know it had to do with the UP SD70Ms being simple electronically. I presume computer wise so they would last longer and not have as many problems? If anyone can confirm or deny this I would greatly appreciate it.

  by MichaelB86
As far as I know, they are all analog display, drafty, squeeky, and austere. There isn't really anything to like about a 70M. Probably the nicest thing about a 70M is the gigantic dash board forward of the conductors desk. You can almost put all of your stuff on it and still see out the window; or you can put three cases of water, your lunch or about 50 crew packs up there too. Anyway, I don't know if that's the "simple" you're looking for but, that's what they are.
  by Pj
If you are thinking computer displays and the such, then no, UP did not order them with those options. Analog gauges with CNW/UP cabsignals.

They do use the EM2000 computer control system, which is on the back wall which is similar how the GE's (and the SD50's and SD60's I believe) were setup.

The last order of the SD70M's with the square noses do have a single FIRE computer display, and the side console setup where as the other 1000 of them were desktop control stands.

The BNSF SD70MAC's came with the FIRE computer display's, which appeared to be standard for AC units.

They were generally all built to the same EMD SD70 setups, but with some of the customer specific options (ice box vs fridge, seat type, air brake control, etc).
  by Engineer Spike
For all the negatives written about them, I still like them. Although EMDs tend to be loud, everything doesn't rattle, like on the equivalent over glorified washing machines. They do what the engineer wants, when he wants it.

Much of the negative points may have do do with the way UP ordered them. CN's seem to be better appointed, and quiet. They also have conventional control stands. The CN version is one of my favorites to run.
  by Leo_Ames
Trains Magazine may be what you originally read.

They ran an article by Paul Schneider back in the July 2001 issue about the longevity of the SD40-2 and mentioned how the huge SD70M order had finally put their life extension program for SD40-2's to an end. In it, Rick McDonough, Union Pacific's Director of Locomotive Process & Scheduling (The department in charge of locomotive retirements) described them as "old tech" new locomotives that were much like a modern SD40-2.

"You've got to realize, we took two steps back with the SD70M's. The 70M's, with 26L air brakes and D.C. traction instead of electronically controlled air brakes. Reliability is the key. The units don't have the problems with electronic air, problems with electronics monitors, and computers. We've put back into service a tested, reliable locomotive."
  by Pj
The 5200 series has old school air with the FIRE screens. I want to say they appear to be a tack on order. I had one last week. Think of a SD40 control stand with SD70ACe screen (just one). The effort is displayed in lbs like an AC vs amps. Air is analog gauges.

Let's you
Stretch out the legs though.
  by v8interceptor
I also recall reading that the UP SD70Ms in that order were built without the then-standard EMD Isolation cab system which might explain all the shake,rattle and roll other posters are mentioning..
  by Pj
Isolated cabs were an option until 2008? when they became standard on the ACe. I believe IC/CN are the only who have /had isolated cabs - known as the SD70I.

Every unit shakes and rattles. Most is from the inability (until the last two years) to place foam between equipment panels mostly.

GE engines are mounted on pads so to speak where as EMD (except the new T4) are frame mounted.

But - most are just panels and screws not tightened. The ACe cab with the non-isolated cabs picked up a wicked harmonic around notch 5-7 that really went nuts in the nose. It could be painful at times. Since the PTC equipment went on the forward wall it's helped, but still not great.

But also considering the lack of pm work done on anything on the RR...
  by gp9rm4108
CN has the SD70i and SD75i

Ontario Northland also has SD75i units.