• Where'd this block come from?

  • Discussion of Electro-Motive locomotive products and technology, past and present. Official web site can be found here: http://www.emdiesels.com/.
Discussion of Electro-Motive locomotive products and technology, past and present. Official web site can be found here: http://www.emdiesels.com/.

Moderator: GOLDEN-ARM

  by conrail71
Suppose I had access to an Alco RS-3m that was re-motored with an EMD plant. Also, suppose I had the serial number off of the block, EMD 52-D-90. How would I go about finding out which unit this block was previously in?
Mike Smith
  by Allen Hazen
Sorry, I don't know the answer to your question... but I'll bet the engine is from a Penn Central (well, just maybe Erie-Lackawana, but more likely Penn Central) E-8. (Grin!) There are published rosters of Conrail RS3M (alias "Dewitt Geeps") showing the origins of the RS3 that went into the rebuild, but I don't know of any for the engines.
  by RickRackstop
From the example serial number that engine would have been built in 1952, in April and would be the 90th engine completed that month. If you were a important EMD customer with orders for new locomotives on the books they may send someone down to the archives to see if they still have that information. If its not there maybe Preston Cook has it.
  by conrail71
Cool, in that case someone should have the information. The block came from either a PRR or NYC E unit. It's not imperative I know where it came from I just thought it'd be neat to know. Thanks for the info you 2!
  by Allen Hazen
I agree, it WOULD be neat to know, and I hope you find out. Of course, both PRR and NYC had dozens of E-8 units, and -- since sometimes the work needed on an engine doesn't take the same amount of time as the work needed on the rest of the locomotive -- I think they switched engines around from one locomotive to another in the course of repairs(*). So you might find out that "your" engine served in several E-units.
(*) I have read somewhere that, since the New York Central had a large nummber of RS-3 units, when one went into the shops for major work and had its engine removed for overhaul, it would be put back into service with the first available 12-244 engine, which in general wouldn't be the one just pulled from it. They only had a very small number of RS-11, however, so no "pool" of 12-251 engines. So, when an RS-11 went into the shops for similar work, it would (engine overhaul typically taking longer than repairs to the rest of the locomotive) just sit with an empty engine compartment until its original engine was ready to be re-installed. ... So, I have no idea HOW many engines have chugged away in a DeWitt Geep since Alco built it!
  by conrail71
Ahhh, I see. I never thought of that aspect of it! Maybe someday I'll find a way to research which engine it was in when it left the plant new. That would be better than nuthin'! Thanks for your ideas, they helped me to realise the complexity of my search!
  by Engineer Spike
You also need to consider EMD supplying spare prime movers. Say your SW7 put a rod through the crankcase, and the unit was still under warrantee. EMD might send a new one. I have a question. For a common powerplant, like a 12-567B, might the railroad have some spares? This way a failed prime mover can be directly replaced, and the failed on could be rebuilt as time permitted.
all the big roads have/had spares for all large components on hand. send a loco into the backshop, swap out motors, new rebuilt generator, air compressor, and rebuilt prime mover. test and tune, head to the load rack, wash it, service it and send it back out. even small roads have spares for a lot of large items, like tm's and air compressors. the prime mover is just another part of a machine, and no concern is given to what's original to the unit, and what's not. bottom line, an idle loco produces no revenue..... :P
  by SSW921
EMD block 52-D-90 was originally installed in Pennsylvania E8A #5769A. That PRR unit was built in May 1952.

Ed in Kentucky
  by Engineer Spike
Just think, the PC/CR pool of 12-567 wouldn’t necessarily be swapped around the E unit fleet, but the SW fleet also had the same power plant