• If you like antique engines, vintage tractors or old iron machinery, register and join us. When you register on Smokstak, please give complete answers and fill in all blanks. IF YOU ARE ON WIRELESS OR SATELLITE, GIVE YOUR CITY AND STATE! NO ZIPCODES! All registrations are manually approved.

General Electric Introduction to the 7FDL Maintenance Engineering & Education Dept.

Vanman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
Re: General Electric Introduction to the 7FDL Maintenance Engineering & Education Dep

Pretty cool. Love old films like that.

Back in the early 2000's I recall "hearing" that the GE diesel engines were descendents of the Alco diesels. Don't know if it was true. At that time the current GEs were the 4400 hp V-16s. Those have since been replaced by a 4400 hp V-12, though many of the "old" V-16s are still operating.

I have always been more of an EMD kind of guy because I like two strokes, but I spent most of my short RR career riding on the aforementioned V-16 GEs, at least on the through freights.

Most of the switchers back then were old 567 EMDs, which I really and truly enjoyed. They were SO cool. But I do recall seeing one OLD GE switcher, maybe it was in Winslow, and it was quite interesting to listen to. Pretty cool. Wonder if it was like in the film?

At the time, the BNSF interchanged with a shortline (sorry, don't recall the road- somewhere on the Southwest Division) that had a GORGEOUS set of four immaculate six axle Alcos. They looked brand new. I only got to hear them idling, not working, but distinctly recall they have a very distinct "rolling" idle is the best way I can describe it. Very cool. Were those the GE predecessors? I have no idea... Have also seen one in a museum, perhaps the Perris Railway Museum...

Keith
 

Railroads

Registered
Re: General Electric Introduction to the 7FDL Maintenance Engineering & Education Dep

Keith, I prefer EMD and the old Baldwin switchers myself. I know out in Arizona there was a mining railroad running Baldwin AS-616's and a old S8 and S12. I think it was the Magma RR. Edit, It was the Magma RR. http://baldwindiesels.railfan.net/magma/index.html

I've head the GE FDL is related to the Cooper Bessemer engines. Some of which were used in the UP turbines. I've heard a GE 7FDL V8 should fit in the turbine in place of the unobtainable Cooper Bessemer parts. Assuming IRM wanted to get UP 18 able to move on diesel power atleast. GE 7FDL V8 only used them in the USA in the U18. Most of the type were shipped overseas. Thanks to the EPA there is no hope of importing any diesel engines these days of that vintage.

Keith, I think the line your thinking of is the Apache Railway. They have two C420's and two C424's. Nothing 6 axle though. Could be another shortline I've forgotten?

The Apache Railway is an Arizona short-line railroad that operates from a connection with the BNSF Railway at Holbrook to the Snowflake Mill near Snowflake, Arizona, 38 miles. The APA was acquired by Catalyst Paper from Abitibi Consolidated in 2008. The Snowflake paper mill shut down permanently on September 30, 2012.

Me, I grew up in the NE corner of PA and can remember EMD and GE on Conrail and NYSW. They still had the Alco's working on the NYSW back then. I can still remember the sound they make. Awesome!

I haven't heard or seen a Baldwin S12 in years. I love their unique sound and morn their passing. I guess SMS in NJ has some operational. I've never been there though. Only seen a video on Youtube about their Baldwin collection.

See the discussion on RYPN a couple months ago about trying to save a D&H C628 in Mexico. The last one of that model in existence. The only hope would be to leave behind the engine block and hope they would let the carcass across the boarder engineless. Then folks want to know why I hate the EPA. All their enviro nonsense has gone way too far. It almost took the act of congress for the Smithsonian and Doyle McCormack to bring back the two Alco PA units around 2000. They had been working on that for a couple years.

Robert
 
Last edited:

Vanman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
Re: General Electric Introduction to the 7FDL Maintenance Engineering & Education Dep

Robert, yes, the Apache Railway. That sounds right. I"d say it is right, and I was just wrong about the six axle units. My memory never has worked well. But Apache really rings a bell. I'm sure that's it, and I certainly was in that area then, in '02.

Sad to hear of the plant, and presumably then the line, closing down.

Don't know that I've ever seen a Baldwin diesel. Pretty cool.

I did also see a cinder mine while I was out there, somewhere. Don't remember much about it though. I think we came all the way up to the mine, so it wasn't a separate shortline. I guess that's the raw material for cinder blocks. I had never known why they were called that lol.

Keith
 

Railroads

Registered
Re: General Electric Introduction to the 7FDL Maintenance Engineering & Education Dep

Robert, yes, the Apache Railway. That sounds right. I"d say it is right, and I was just wrong about the six axle units. My memory never has worked well. But Apache really rings a bell. I'm sure that's it, and I certainly was in that area then, in '02.

Sad to hear of the plant, and presumably then the line, closing down.

Don't know that I've ever seen a Baldwin diesel. Pretty cool.

I did also see a cinder mine while I was out there, somewhere. Don't remember much about it though. I think we came all the way up to the mine, so it wasn't a separate shortline. I guess that's the raw material for cinder blocks. I had never known why they were called that lol.

Keith
Keith, Apache Ry hangs on. For how long though is anyone's guess. The people really didn't want to lose their railroad. A last minute perchaser came forward to save the RR line. https://www.railwayage.com/news/apache-railway-saved-by-last-minute-purchase/

I fear the Alco engines might not survive though. Parts are getting scarcer every year for Alco engines. FM offered parts and complete 251 engines up until recently.

Another Railroad I find interesting is the Arizona California Railroad. It's Ex ATSF track on the border of Ari and cal.
The California Northern RR was interesting in operating SD9 locomotives for years too. They both were owned by the same guy at one time.

There are two none operating Baldwin switchers. Orange Empire Railway Museum, Perris, CA. One of them is ex SP and a S12. They might well both be ex SP. I'd have to dig a little to refresh my memory.

The best example of Baldwin S12's operating in Ca would have been the Amador Foothills RR and the Sierra Ry. The Baldwin's are long gone now sadly. Sierra cut them up a couple years ago. I think of the 4 they had, only the #42 survives. It was for sale recently at a steep price. The Amador Central closed and one S12 was scrapped. The scrapped unit was Ex SP. I guess it was bought for parts with the intention of stripping and scrapping it to put the other one back together. The other was bought and is privately owned. Was said to be operational.

Phew, I'm tired!

Time for tea and to sit back and listen to this GE 7FDL V8 being load tested. The frame looks like one of the ex Maine Central U18B locomotives. Sad to see it on the ground as load test stand. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_m_EXGqPOnc

Robert
 
Last edited:
Top