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View Full Version : I need of a bit of education regarding locomotives.


Super2000
06-27-2005, 02:12 AM
I'm using one of my own photos because the hookups on the locomotive are easy to see.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=106776

I know what some of this stuff does. I know that the six short hoses are the MU connections, but I don't know how they actually work.

What is the W-shaped cord right above the coupler? The round cover plates on the ends say "DUMMY."

quiksmith10
06-27-2005, 02:17 AM
I believe the W-cord above the coupler is the air line being run back into the system instead of it running out on that end.

Brandon Smith

**Oops, I thought I remembered seeing somewhere about that. I guess I was wrong. That jumper cable makes more sense.

Super2000
06-27-2005, 02:19 AM
I believe the W-cord above the coupler is the air line being run back into the system instead of it running out on that end.

Brandon Smith
That seems strange. The air brake hose is just to the right of the coupler; I don't know why there would be a second air hose.

David Telesha
06-27-2005, 02:33 AM
Its actually simple. (unfortunately the other response is wrong, btw - nothing to do with air)

OK - the reddish "W" shaped cable. Its a jumper.

Where ya gonna keep a jumper cable when ya ain't usin' it?

To keep the connections dry and keep the cable in reach you plug each end into a DUMMY plug and chain it up above the coupler.

When you need to jump it to another engine, simply remove it from the DUMMY and plug one end into the plug under the RED cover on the right in your picture (next to the ditch light) and into the other MU recepticle on the other unit, in the same location.

Simple.

The other hoses on the pilot are for things like the sander, etc..

E.M. Bell
06-27-2005, 04:39 AM
As David said, the orange "hose" is the 26 pin MU cable (jumper cable). It plugs in to a trailing unit and controls everything from Throttle poistion to the headlights on the trailing units.

As for the hoses, these are also part of the MU set up. The larger of the three is the main reservoir hose, which helps to maintain the main air reserve on each locomotive, lettting all of the units act as one while your pumping up air..very helpful on a large train in cold weather. Next to that is the accuating hose, which controls the independent (locomotive) brakes, let the brakes on the whole engine consist act as one unit. the third hose is a sanding hose (not found on some newer power), controling the sanders on each unit.

Back in "the day" there would have been at least one other cable, for the old field loop dynamic brakes.

hope this helps...

Super2000
06-27-2005, 07:06 AM
It does indeed.

If a locomotive was set up to be able to use a slug, would there be extra hookups, or does the jumper cable allow for that too?

E.M. Bell
06-27-2005, 08:37 AM
It does indeed.

If a locomotive was set up to be able to use a slug, would there be extra hookups, or does the jumper cable allow for that too?

A standard slug is just basicly a frame on wheels, ballast on top and traction motors below. They will have the standard MU cable to control direction of the traction motors and headlight if so equipped, plus all of the air connections. Special cables (like the HEP cables found on passenger cars) will bring the power from the main generator of the powered unit over to the slug and feed it to the slug's traction motors. Pretty simple really.

Now, there have been some roads (like the NS) that have created Road slugs, which are basic slugs that will have the addtion of dynamic brakes, and a few even had fuel tanks to provide the mother units with extra capacity. NS used these units in slow speed drag service, and I am not sure how many, if any, are still in service.

The basic drawback to using a slug in road service has always been the horsepower curve (on a diesel, as speed increases, horsepower decreases), thus the maximum speed of a slug set is limited to how much the mother units main gen can put out, plus the slugs inability to make transition. These factors would mean that they are just about useless at speeds above 16 mph or so, where most units make first transition. I am not sure how CSX has thier slugs sets set up, but you tend to see those out on the road a lot..id be interested to know how those are set up.

J
06-30-2005, 02:40 PM
A standard slug is just basicly a frame on wheels, ballast on top and traction motors below. They will have the standard MU cable to control direction of the traction motors and headlight if so equipped, plus all of the air connections. Special cables (like the HEP cables found on passenger cars) will bring the power from the main generator of the powered unit over to the slug and feed it to the slug's traction motors. Pretty simple really.

Now, there have been some roads (like the NS) that have created Road slugs, which are basic slugs that will have the addtion of dynamic brakes, and a few even had fuel tanks to provide the mother units with extra capacity. NS used these units in slow speed drag service, and I am not sure how many, if any, are still in service.

The basic drawback to using a slug in road service has always been the horsepower curve (on a diesel, as speed increases, horsepower decreases), thus the maximum speed of a slug set is limited to how much the mother units main gen can put out, plus the slugs inability to make transition. These factors would mean that they are just about useless at speeds above 16 mph or so, where most units make first transition. I am not sure how CSX has thier slugs sets set up, but you tend to see those out on the road a lot..id be interested to know how those are set up.

Good information. Some road slugs (SP's TEBU's) had fuel tanks and hose connections to provide fuel to the adjacent locomotive.

Now, let's talk about Baldwin's air throttle system:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=75976

E.M. Bell
06-30-2005, 09:51 PM
I have only had the chance to run one Baldwin, and the air throttle was about the only good part of the engine. I remember reading how certain models of Balwdwins would only MU with other engines of the same type due to the air throttles, and this engine (A RS12) had a extra MU air hose for the throttle system, but also had a standard MU plug as well. We never had anything to MU to, ao I am not sure how it all worked. That old engine ran pretty good considering it had sat dormant for almost 20 years.. One neat feature of the Baldwins was the glow in the dark gauges..the only true gauge lights you had was on the air gauges!

[photoid=36820]

here is a cab shot of a sister engine that was also on the property (not operable) showing the control stand.

[photoid=36829]

Fairbanks Morse units also featured a air throttle. I have no idea how many hours I spent in the right hand seat of ex US army H12-44 #1849 in both freight and passenger service, and that engine is one of my all time favorites. The air throttle (no notches) was extremely responsive, and was great for switching! With no notches, you had a lot better control over what the engine did, and could make very minor changes in throttle settings to keep it from slipping..almost like running a steamer. When switching, you had instant response...open the throttle and that sucker loaded QUICK..kicking cars was a breaze when you could do that. From a operational standpoint, the FM where a engineers engine....to bad they where a pain in the rear to maintain. I had a old timer tell me one time that FM designed a special set of tools, and produced a engine around them!

[photoid=22181]

J
06-30-2005, 10:11 PM
In defense of F-M, the engines were smooth-running and reliable when properly maintained by mechanics familiar with their quirks. Consider SP's H12-44s and H24-66's operating for 20 years in the environmentally-conscious Bay Area. And, of course, they did fine in our diesel subs where the crew's life depended on their reliability. Presumably the engineering staff was motivated to baby them!

An old Indianapolis Belt engineer said he loved their switching capability. Rather than a reverse lever imagine the throttle lever in a backwards "C" quadrant. You would shove the throttle forward to idle, then raise it up (or lower it, I forget) and then pull back to apply power in the opposite direction. You could make some fast moves with such a set up.

E.M. Bell
06-30-2005, 10:36 PM
I had forgot to mention that unique built in reversor, out you are right...you could get down slow and reverse direction without even stopping...try that with some of this modern stuff!

We had a fellow from Coltec, who now holds all the rights to produce and maintain FM products, come and do some service work for us one time. He made mention that a FM prime mover was not happy unless it was working under load almost all the time! We had some problems with oil leaks and excessive smoking due to oil pooling on top of the cylinders at low RPM's, and he told us that the rings (even new ones) would not stay seated unless the engine was used almost constantly, and not at idel. At that time, the engine was being used for weekend passenger trains...3 or 4 coaches at 10 MPH..not a real challange. We decided to take her over to the LXOH (my paying job) and run it on freight trains for awhile and try to blow her out and get those rings to seat.

The first trip we made with a freight train over our hilly mainline (3% in places) with the FM was a show. We must have killed every insect in Woodford and Fayette counties with the decades of carbon and oil that had built up in the inards of that OP engine...the smoke was something to see. During one of the break-in trips, we had a large basket ball sized blob of carbon (on fire I might add) shoot out the stack, followed by a stack fire that lit up the night. All of this happened near town, and by the time we reached the yard, the Fire dept was looking for us. No damage at all to the engine, and after that she ran like a dream!

Another great thing about the FM's...they would really get down on thier knees and pull. The regular GP9's we used in regular service would only pull about 8 or 10 loads (and thats on a dry day) Westbound up our ruling 2 mile long 3% grade. One day I decided to see just what that old FM was made of, and managed to walk 16 loads up and over that hill. 12 or 15 mph at the bottom, sand on full, and maybe 2 or 3 mph at the top with the amp meter pegged at 1500 and a big ol smile on my face. If we had one of the geeps, we would have stalled or slipped down less than halfway...

After a few months in freight service, that old FM ran like a top and we sadly returned her back to the Museum and the weekend passenger trains. The rest of our crew was glad to see it go (few of them ever had any luck running it due to the old 14 brake stand), but I hated to go back to the ho-hum routine with the geeps.

J
07-01-2005, 02:41 AM
On the F-M model 39 engine, the exhaust exits the block the bottom on the end and is directed into two barrel-sized verticle silencers. The following photo shows the headers sweeping upward at the end of the block. The silencers would be bolted on top of these and directed to the two familiar holes in the locomotive hood.

Based on your description of the smoke, I suspect the silencers on your unit were filled with oily sludge!

I've some slides of the FM Trainmasters being scrapped in 1975. If someone can tell me how to digitize them, I'll put them up one of these days.

Many FM's (like Baldwins) were equipped with Westinghouse traction motors which were known for their ability to handle overloads.

Super2000
07-01-2005, 05:53 AM
I've some slides of the FM Trainmasters being scrapped in 1975. If someone can tell me how to digitize them, I'll put them up one of these days.
Take them to a photo shop and ask to have them put on a photo CD.