• Wellsboro & Corning discussion thread

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

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  by Alcoman
 
Excellent. Alot of shortlines (thouugh not all of them) prefer to roster locomotives from a single manufacturer to keep the parts supply and maintenance as simple as possible... so it's nice to know WCOR will buck the trend.[/quote]

I wonder if they had purchased 12 C424's and/or RS-18's from CN, if it would have mad more sense and cheaper too?[/quote]

Maintenance and repair would be cost prohibitive to a better deal in the long run. SD40s have relatively recently become a dime a dozen now that so many 100's of 'em have been replaced by the latest technology, so prices have dropped and parts are easily attainable. So if it costs roughly $12,000 in annual repair and maintenance costs for each Alco, and an SD40 costs roughly $8,000 for the same, then:
12 x $12,000 = $144,000 for maintaining the Alcos annually, versus 3 x $8,000 = $24,000 annually for the EMD's....
It most surely doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that it makes more business sense over the next 3-5 years to go with SD40's, even if they cost twice as much per unit, compared with the Alcos.[/quote]

Some of the alleged savings will be consumed by increased fuel and lube oil costs.
  by Flat-Wheeler
 
Alcoman wrote:
I wonder if they had purchased 12 C424's and/or RS-18's from CN, if it would have mad more sense and cheaper too?
Maintenance and repair would be cost prohibitive to a better deal in the long run. SD40s have relatively recently become a dime a dozen now that so many 100's of 'em have been replaced by the latest technology, so prices have dropped and parts are easily attainable. So if it costs roughly $12,000 in annual repair and maintenance costs for each Alco, and an SD40 costs roughly $8,000 for the same, then:
12 x $12,000 = $144,000 for maintaining the Alcos annually, versus 4 x $8,000 = $32,000 annually for the EMD's....
It most surely doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that it makes more business sense over the next 3-5 years to go with SD40's, even if they cost twice as much per unit, compared with the Alcos.[/quote]

Some of the alleged savings will be consumed by increased fuel and lube oil costs.[/quote]

Perhaps so, but you are still providing fuel and lube for 12 Alcos, versus just 4 SD40s. It would be interesting if we had accurate information (fuel consumption, lube oil intervals, and other routine maintenance costs) just to see how much a difference there really is, if any, between a dozen Alcos and 4 SD40s. Also, if all were maintained equally, a dozen Alcos would have a greater chance for one of them blowing a rod, a turbocharger, or whatever alot sooner than for one of the 4 EMDs.
  by Alcoman
 
Perhaps so, but you are still providing fuel and lube for 12 Alcos, versus just 4 SD40s. It would be interesting if we had accurate information (fuel consumption, lube oil intervals, and other routine maintenance costs) just to see how much a difference there really is, if any, between a dozen Alcos and 4 SD40s. Also, if all were maintained equally, a dozen Alcos would have a greater chance for one of them blowing a rod, a turbocharger, or whatever alot sooner than for one of the 4 EMDs.[/quote]

I strongly disagree. First I used the figure of 12 Alcos is off the top of my head number. The railroad could get by on 6 of of them easily. Second, your statement of Alcos breaking down sooner is without merit. A well maintained locomotive (regardless of brand) should give reliable service for a long time between failures.
Third, railroads that have been using Alcos for a long time get better service out of them since they know more about them. Case in point: Genesee Valley Transportation, Arkansas & Missouri, Apache, Minnesota Commercial.
Another plus for Alcos is their GE electrical systems which are more durable and can take a lot more abuse than EMD electrical systems. The traction motors particularly are one of the Alco best features....and most desired.
Alco diesels are well liked by the marine industry and heaven knows that they cannot afford a failure while at sea.
Its been said by railroad people that Alco Locomotives use half the fuel of EMD's and use less lube oil because of the 4 cycle design.
One last comment: You can buy 2 Alcos for the price of 1 EMD. The SD40 runs about $200-300,00 each in decent shape. The CN Alcos in good condition on the other hand are about $75.-95,000 each
  by Matt Langworthy
 
I briefly pondered why WCOR didn't purchase more Alcos when the purchase of the SD40-2s was announced.... but then I realized the Alco market is probably getting alot tighter these days. They haven't been made in 41 years, the company is gone and the herd is slowly thinning. By contrast, the last SD40-2 rolled off the assembly line just 24 years ago and the company that built them still manufactures parts. Alcos are my favorite diesel locomotives... but I'm also a realist. There aren't alot of them available to purchase these days... and virtually all of the 3000+ HP Alcos are owned/leased by either GVT or the LA&L shortline family.

Just a guess here- I figured the Myles family was looking at the longterm viability of the locomotives hauling the sand when they made their decision on what to purchase. They were probably looking at 6 axle models to haul heavy loads at low to moderate speeds. There are plenty of SD40-2s on the market at the moment... so IMO it was an easy decision on their part.

And to be honest, I wouldn't worry overly much about WCOR purchasing SD40-2s, if I were you. The Tioga Central/WCOR will still offer Alco-powered excursions and that is fine with me. :wink:
Last edited by Matt Langworthy on Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by nydepot
 
Well said, Matt.

Charles
Matt Langworthy wrote:I briefly pondered why WCOR didn't purchase more Alco when the purchase of the SD40-2s was announced.... but then I realized the Alco market is probably getting alot tighter these days. They haven't been made in 41 years, the company is gone and the herd is slowly thinning. By contrast, the last SD40-2 rolled off the assembly line just 24 years ago and the company that built them still manufactures parts. Alcos are my favorite diesel locomotives... but I'm also a realist. There aren't alot of them available to purchase these days... and virtually all of the 3000+ HP Alcos are owned/leased by either GVT or the LA&L shortline family.

Just a guess here- I figured the Myles family was looking at the longterm viability of the locomotives hauling the sand when their made their decision on what to purchase. They were probably looking at 6 axle models to haul heavy loads at low to moderate speeds. There are plenty of SD40-2s on the market at the moment... so IMO it was an easy decision on their part.

And to be honest, I wouldn't worry overly much about WCOR purchasing SD40-2s, if I were you. The Tioga Central/WCOR will still offer Alco-powered excursions amd that is fine with me. :wink:
  by thannon
 
scottychaos wrote:Thanks Matt..

my sister and her family rode on a "Santa Train" on the Tioga Central 3 months ago..December 2009..
they are definately still running! ;)

Scot
It was a short ride to the North Pole...

Grandkids on the nearly full train, Nov 29.

Image

Now that we've been informed that I'll be unemployed by the end of the year I'll have time to head over and photograph the 'new' stuff...
  by Matt Langworthy
 
nydepot wrote:Well said, Matt.

Charles
You're welcome... and I apologize for my typos in the post. I was in hurry to get out to dinner, so I'm glad my post was somewhat legible!

Anyway, another thought came to mind on this subject and that is the location of the transload facility itself. I looked it up on Bing and, sure enough, I could make out the old wye at Wellsboro Jct just south of the facility. This led me to another another guess- I am assuming the tracks south of Wellsboro Jct probably aren't up to the same mainline/trunk line standards as the tracks between Wellsboro Jct and Gang Mills. The tracks south of Wellsboro Jct were just a light branchline back in the days of NYC... which means they were not built to handle large unit trains and heavy 6 axle units. Just as it makes sense for WCOR to purchase SD40-2s for the heavy unit trains, keeping the smaller Alcos also seems like a good idea IMO. The Alcos are better suited to the lighter rail in Wellsboro and will probably be needed to switch the customers (like Silvania) there... as well as pulling excursions. It seems to me that WCOR will have something to offer for Alco and EMD fans alike. Of course, the Myles family is entitled to do what they want- ownership does have its privileges.
  by lvrr325
 
Someone thought they should have bought like a dozen later model Alcos - I don't think you could buy that many if you wanted to, unless you bought hulks that need complete rebuilds, or paid top dollar for well-maintained locomotives. I see no cost savings there. SD40-2s are plentiful and cheap, should do the job relatively easily, and if you blow one up, you can just buy another one for less than it would cost to fix the one you broke. That's why the NYS&W ended up with four ex-UP/SP units a few years back. Also, if you need to finance them you're going to have better luck getting that done with the relatively newer EMDs than with old Alcos.
  by RS-3
 
"So if it costs roughly $12,000 in annual repair and maintenance costs for each Alco, and an SD40 costs roughly $8,000 for the same, then:"

Flatwheel, Could you tell us where you got the figures quoted above?

LVR325: "I don't think you could buy that many if you wanted to, unless you bought hulks that need complete rebuilds, or paid top dollar for well-maintained locomotives."

Actually a good number of C-424's and RS-18's just went to scrap despite being in great condition. But I suspect that if the trains are required to go off W&C trackage that the Class I's might not agree to Alcos.

RS
  by poppyl
 
Not sure what the relevance of this is, but the Alcos currently come off the W&C at Gang Mills and onto the NS yard tracks for interchange work.

Poppyl
  by spflanger
 
Just an interesting side note to all the discussion.

There is discussion going on about extending the dinner train & excursion rides into down town Corning. I assume the plan would be to draw passengers from Corning and start the trip from there, rather than driving to Wellsboro Jct and boarding. Many more customers!!! Not sure how far along it is or if it was dropped. The tracks still leave Gang Mills and run all the way down to the "Pressware Plant" in Corning. Anyways what used to be Corning, Inc. Pressware plant. I worked there once about a time.
  by scottychaos
 
spflanger wrote:Just an interesting side note to all the discussion.

There is discussion going on about extending the dinner train & excursion rides into down town Corning. I assume the plan would be to draw passengers from Corning and start the trip from there, rather than driving to Wellsboro Jct and boarding. Many more customers!!! Not sure how far along it is or if it was dropped. The tracks still leave Gang Mills and run all the way down to the "Pressware Plant" in Corning. Anyways what used to be Corning, Inc. Pressware plant. I worked there once about a time.
That is a GREAT idea! :)
they could have a "passenger station" right in downtown Corning!
right next to the little town square with the clock..

Corning is an ideal location for such a setup..its already the "most touristy" of all the Southern Tier towns..
not only in its own right, but also as a great "stepping off" point for all the Finger Lakes winery tourism..

brilliant..I hope they do it! :P

Scot
  by Matt Langworthy
 
scottychaos wrote:
spflanger wrote:Just an interesting side note to all the discussion.

There is discussion going on about extending the dinner train & excursion rides into down town Corning. I assume the plan would be to draw passengers from Corning and start the trip from there, rather than driving to Wellsboro Jct and boarding. Many more customers!!! Not sure how far along it is or if it was dropped. The tracks still leave Gang Mills and run all the way down to the "Pressware Plant" in Corning. Anyways what used to be Corning, Inc. Pressware plant. I worked there once about a time.
That is a GREAT idea! :)
they could have a "passenger station" right in downtown Corning!
right next to the little town square with the clock..

Corning is an ideal location for such a setup..its already the "most touristy" of all the Southern Tier towns..
not only in its own right, but also as a great "stepping off" point for all the Finger Lakes winery tourism..

brilliant..I hope they do it! :P

Scot
An excursion operationg out of Corning would be great, but it would require the permission of NS... as they own the tracks from Gang Mills into Corning.
  by poppyl
 
Don't the subject tracks end somewhere west of the Wegman's parking lot or do they still extend further towards downtown? Anyone still remember when the area around the Wegman's was the Erie yard and the Erie station was on the corner downtown?

Interesting idea, although I wonder how much the Steuben and NYS gov'ts would like to see tourist trains going into PA rather than up the B&H to Bath and H-port. I vaguely remember that the idea of running from Painted Post to H-port was kicked around a while back but died due to a lack of private and public money and willingness.

Still, it's a good idea that deserves some serious consideration.
  by scottychaos
 
poppyl wrote:Don't the subject tracks end somewhere west of the Wegman's parking lot or do they still extend further towards downtown? Anyone still remember when the area around the Wegman's was the Erie yard and the Erie station was on the corner downtown?

Interesting idea, although I wonder how much the Steuben and NYS gov'ts would like to see tourist trains going into PA rather than up the B&H to Bath and H-port. I vaguely remember that the idea of running from Painted Post to H-port was kicked around a while back but died due to a lack of private and public money and willingness.

Still, it's a good idea that deserves some serious consideration.
Its a nice idea..but IMO Painted Post to Hammondsport is just way to long for a tourist train..
50 miles round trip..thats just not feasable..

And I dont see any issues with a train from Corning "going into PA"..
because it probably wouldnt go very far into PA..
and all it would do is go into PA a few miles, then turn around and come back to NY..

The Reservoirs are also 20 miles away from Corning..thats a bit far..
that would be an hour one-way..
maybe doable! for a few of the longer excursions..but most would probably be shorter..

there are few logistical problems for a train out of corning! ;)
but its certaintly plausable..

(I think the tracks still go straight through Corning..the only industry on the line (the only reason the tracks still exist) is East of downtown..)

Scot
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