• Where have all the SD50's gone?

  • Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.
Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.

Moderator: MBTA F40PH-2C 1050

  by train2
For a number of years the SD50's have held down the junk assignments on CSX, doing things like local train engines, helpers, etc. Then about a 1-2 years ago these things seem to have vanished in large numbers. I know for a small period of time CSX rebuilt a few, but then changed to the SD40-3 program

So what happened to these units? retired? scrapped, reassigned? Any sizable pockets of these units still working in one geographic location?

  by charlie6017
They are here........courtesy of the Bullsheet

Most carriers that purchased the SD-50 soon found out they were a reliablity headache. CSX
has redone most of them in some way or another. There are only six regular ones left on their roster.

NS is converting a ton of them into SD40E units (#6300-6347)

For the heck of it.........
here is NS's SD-50 roster from nsdash9.com
Thanks Chris Toth!

It's rare to see a major carrier using straight SD50's in regular service these days.

  by roadster
Thank goodness.
  by mmi16
SD-50's are operating all over the CSX system - they are not currently being operated in only narrowly defined territories.
  by Earle Baldwin
The 8522 is currently assigned to Bayway on the Chemical Coast Secondary in New Jersey.
  by roadster
Their around, had one as leader last Monday, saw several on other trains in transit this past week and at the Selkirk Yard Service center. Today I had the 8590 in the middle of a 3 unit consist. So their around, just out numbered by the multitudes of GE's.
  by WVU
The CSX SD50-2 units are alive and well on CSX, there has been a big number of them that has been going down the Standard Repair Line in the Huntington Heavy Repair Shop in Huntington, WV. New PA's and new governor with Notch 8 Engine Speeds of 904 RPM. The unit is hooked to the Load Box and given an Extended Load. They are Calibrated and given a good track test as well.The engine is now a 645E3C and the Rack is .85. This replaces the 645F3B with a .88 Rack.
  by Noel Weaver
I can remember when I went back to Conrail from Metro-North in the late fall of 1987 and took SEEL and TV-6 from Selkirk to Buffalo and return. SEEL was a through train from Selkirk to Elkhart and it was usually long if not always heavy but almost always long. I remember my first couple of trips on SD-50's which were often used on that job westbound and I was very impressed with them at that time. The road very well, the cabs were much quieter than the SD-40-2's and they did a good job with a big train. Not only were they a pleasure to run but they were warm in the winter as well and that was a big plus in New York State in the winter time. Of course they were much newer then but I had very little trouble with them. Later on after some years of pretty hard use they were not quite as reliable but they were still a good rider and the cabs were pretty tight and pretty quiet as well. In so far as trouble on the road, I think they were generally better than the GE Dash 7's of which we had a lot in Selkirk but they were not trouble free and more than once they got towed by another unit along with the entire train too. I guess overall the SD-40-2 was probably a better overall unit but it was an older design and the engine was noisy but they were very reliable and good riders too. It is a tribute to EMD that over a long period of time there are still a lot of SD-40-2's still producing ton miles for a number of different railroads and doing a good job of it too. Right down here in Fort Lauderdale I see them almost every day on the Florida East Coast doing what EMD intended and doing it well too. Many of the FEC people still like them too.
Noel Weaver
  by roadster
When I first started running regular road assignments early '03/04, they were getting badly wornout and terribly unreliable. Electrical issues, ground relays, stop loading at crucial moments, noisey (cab rust and bad door insulations, etc.). I used to cringe when I saw I had one in the consist, or even worse, as the leader. In the past 3 years, rebuild programs, seem to have resolved most issues and are much more reliable again. I still prefer SD40-2s over those things. Ride is much better, and those SD40-2's are incredibule pullers. Had a Q640 come into Dewitt a couple weeks back with an 8800 and 8100 for power. The Buffalo crew started with 5300 tons and picked up a bunch of Rock salt at Rochester, doubling their weight to over 11,000 tons. I was sure how we weren't gunna make track speed. But those 2 pulled their hearts out, picking up speed quicker and easily maintained track speed East of Rome, better than I would have imagined.
  by lvrr325
I talked to a crew in the mid-90s who told me how one of those had a wild electrical flashover in the cab when it went down and they tried some things to try to get it going again. Engineer didn't like them then. Everything I've read indicates the electrical system was the weak point, just like with the GP30/GP35, although for different actual reasons.
  by Earle Baldwin
The 8510 was the lead unit on an ethanol train at Carteret this morning.
  by roadster
I see them dailey on numerous trains on the Albany division and the service centers at Dewitt and Selkirk, waiting the next assignment.
  by MSchwiebert
They're commonly used as "trimmers" at Stanley Yard near Toledo as well. The units for that assignment have had RCL equipment installed.
  by mu26aeh
SD-50's have long been a mainstay on the Hanover Sub in Southcentral PA. It used to be all that I ever seen, maybe with a mother/slug set. Now that line has been rebuilt though, I'm seeing everything, even a SD80MAC last year, on a work train no less.
  by roadster
In November of 2000, I went to Engineer training in Cumberland, Mayland. I saw SD50 helper sets all over the area around Cumberland.