Old 12-28-2007, 04:11 PM   #1
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I don't know equipment like you guys. Tell me what I'm looking at here:

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Old 12-28-2007, 07:03 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockwallTim
I don't know equipment like you guys. Tell me what I'm looking at here:
That would be an EMD SW1500 switcher, commonly referred to as a "cow" or a "butthead".

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Old 01-05-2008, 03:04 AM   #3
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I think that this is a slug. Or at least it looks like a slug... With a roof!
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Old 01-05-2008, 03:35 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by railroadlover
I think that this is a slug. Or at least it looks like a slug... With a roof!


noooooo a slug does not have a cab. A slug is simply traction motors. As previously stated this is a switch engine
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Old 01-05-2008, 04:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burner50
noooooo a slug does not have a cab. A slug is simply traction motors. As previously stated this is a switch engine
So is this not a slug:

Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 61340
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus
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Old 01-09-2008, 07:48 AM   #6
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Looks like an EMD MP15DC
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Old 01-09-2008, 11:52 AM   #7
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EMD SW 1500. Former SP / SSW - you can tell by the offset headlight arrangement.

SP Unit:
http://espee.railfan.net/nonindex/sw...ob_dengler.jpg

Another view of RMPX unit:
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/sho...aspx?id=535665

Last edited by J; 01-09-2008 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 01-09-2008, 10:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
So is this not a slug:

Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 61340
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus
If you want to get technical, that is a road slug... yard slugs do not have cabs.
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Old 01-09-2008, 10:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burner50
noooooo a slug does not have a cab. A slug is simply traction motors. As previously stated this is a switch engine
A slug is much more than just traction motors.

Generally it's an entire locomotive that has simply had it's prime-mover (read as: engine) removed and replaced by ballast, often a large concrete block to add weight.

The concept is that the "mother" produces more electricity than it needs when operating at slow speeds under load. So the electricity is shared with the slug to power it's own traction motors. So now you've taken horsepower that would ordinarily be spread over 4 or 6 axles, and doubled it, depending of course on how many axles the slugset has, but you get the point.

Also I've never worked with a yardslug, but I know that road slugs will cut themselves out of power when the consist reaches a predetermined speed, on CSX road slugs, I think it was 22mph.

Road slugs are the nicest to ride in because they're amazingly quiet, especially if you get the old GP30 carbodies, you can actually stand up in the cab if need be.
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:18 PM   #10
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BNSF "yard slug" with cab

http://archive.trainpix.com/BN/EMDRBLD/TEBUC6/6294.HTM
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Old 01-10-2008, 09:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoydie17
A slug is much more than just traction motors.

Generally it's an entire locomotive that has simply had it's prime-mover (read as: engine) removed and replaced by ballast, often a large concrete block to add weight.

The concept is that the "mother" produces more electricity than it needs when operating at slow speeds under load. So the electricity is shared with the slug to power it's own traction motors. So now you've taken horsepower that would ordinarily be spread over 4 or 6 axles, and doubled it, depending of course on how many axles the slugset has, but you get the point.

Also I've never worked with a yardslug, but I know that road slugs will cut themselves out of power when the consist reaches a predetermined speed, on CSX road slugs, I think it was 22mph.

Road slugs are the nicest to ride in because they're amazingly quiet, especially if you get the old GP30 carbodies, you can actually stand up in the cab if need be.
Thanks for the explanation, Hoydie. So the definition of a slug is not determined by its appearance, but rather by what has been done to it? Are the slugs with cabs FORMER locomotives that have been converted, or are they actually built that way?
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias
Thanks for the explanation, Hoydie. So the definition of a slug is not determined by its appearance, but rather by what has been done to it? Are the slugs with cabs FORMER locomotives that have been converted, or are they actually built that way?
Converted former engines. Here is someone else's shot of a GP-30, now a CSX slug. Note how the openings on the upper rear of the long hood are now solid sheet metal. These slugs are very common around here, but I don't have a shot of one on RP! Hmm... Some have been repainted into YN2 colors, and I -think- that at least one is in Dark Future.

Image © Ray Peacock-heartlandrails.com
PhotoID: 178134
Photograph © Ray Peacock-heartlandrails.com
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Old 01-11-2008, 01:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoydie17
That would be an EMD SW1500 switcher, commonly referred to as a "cow" or a "butthead".

Sean
and this would be referred to as the "cow and the calf," right?
trying to make sure I have this right,

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/sho...aspx?id=798876
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Old 01-11-2008, 01:54 AM   #14
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Keep in mind that slugs are often (always?) in house rebuilds of old locomotives, so terminology and models will vary from railroad to railroad. The link mentioned above to the BNSF slugs with cabs were built by BN, for example.

Cabs aren't a deciding factor either, as pointed out there are some models of slugs with cabs, and there are some locomotives that don't have cabs (think about the streamlined B units, or the GP60B's that Santa Fe had).
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sd9
and this would be referred to as the "cow and the calf," right?
yup, that's what it is
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:46 AM   #16
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Here's the northern plains' most popular cow & calf:

Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 157650
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus


However, I always assumed the MNN 911 had an engine in it...look at the stacks...
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Old 01-11-2008, 03:02 AM   #17
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Re: "cow/calf"

Wow, you learn something new every day. I've never heard that before nor seen a consist like that. Cool stuff.
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Old 01-11-2008, 03:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Here's the northern plains' most popular cow & calf:

Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 157650
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus


However, I always assumed the MNN 911 had an engine in it...look at the stacks...
That's because it does have an engine in it. Calfs like that are analogous to B units - just for switching / transfer work.
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:22 PM   #19
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Some slugs were produced by manufacturers.

Here is a Seaboard Coast Line MATE (Motor for Additional Tractive Effort) built by GE - note EMD Blomberg trucks.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/sho...aspx?id=827607

Here is an SP TEBU (Tractive Effort Booster Unit)
One was built by Morrison-Knudson in Boise - the rest by SP from retired U25B's. They worked with GP35's and had dynamic brakes and fuel-transfer capabilities.

http://espee.railfan.net/picindex/te.../gr000000.html

Last edited by J; 01-11-2008 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 01-11-2008, 05:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias
Thanks for the explanation, Hoydie. So the definition of a slug is not determined by its appearance, but rather by what has been done to it? Are the slugs with cabs FORMER locomotives that have been converted, or are they actually built that way?
This is correct Jim.

On CSX the road slugs are built from either GP30's, GP35's, and a token amount GP38's, and I believe even one or two GP40's were also converted to road slugs. The GP38's/40's were converted to slugs generally because they suffered a catastrophic failure of one form or another. Due to the cost of rebuilding them, it was deemed to be more cost effective to convert them to slug units.

As far as yard slugs, it varies, some are produced by manufacturers specifically for the purpose of being a yard slug. Most however are former locomotives rebuilt by their owners, many (but not all) of ALCO and EMD heritage that had the cabs removed and were permanently mated to a yard switcher. And not all yard slugs are mated to the "cab forward" design as referenced at top of the thread. Some are mated to power such as SD38's, SD40-2, and GP38-2s.

Generally you'll see slugs and their "mother" units on heavy trains (rock and ballast trains) which are expected to do a great deal of switching (i.e. stopping, starting, low speed movement, etc.) as they can provide the necessary tractive effort to help speed up the process.

A common misconception on the CSX side of things is that the remaining Chessie and Pumpkin units are actually road slugs. This isn't true, they are simply remote units that when lashed to another yard engine allow an employee to operate the entire lashup by bellypack remote. They do not have traction motors, only idler wheels and handbrakes.
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Old 01-11-2008, 05:17 PM   #21
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We've discussed slugs, calves, and RCL control cars.

In 1974 when SP was in the process of retiring their Fairbanks-Morse H24-66 Train Masters from Peninsula Commute service, two were dispatched to West Colton Yard as Break Sleds.

Here they were coupled to various units including C-630ís which had been modified into heavy haul yard engines (transition deactivated) to supply additional independent air brake capacity. West Colton is built on a grade and braking was more important than tractive effort. One of the Train Masters, #3027 (ex #4807) had its superstructure removed and the frame loaded with concrete. I recall the other unit was never modified - both have been scrapped.

http://espee.railfan.net/sp_brake-sleds.html
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