Old 07-21-2004, 01:43 AM   #1
Mike Kroth
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Default GE or EMD?

Why do the majority of people like the EMD's over the GE's?

I like the sound the EMD makes, but that's where it ends.

They ride rough, and the throttle and brake response is much slower than the GE's (comparing a Dash-9 to a SD70).
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Old 07-21-2004, 03:36 AM   #2
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I guess it's the whole "underdog" thing. 20 years ago it was the other way around.
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Old 07-21-2004, 01:38 PM   #3
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I've never run any locomotive and I still like GE better! I'm not exactly sure why I like it better, but it may be because I live near the BNSF and they have a lot of Dash9s! (I also like the chugging sound they make when they throttle up.)
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Old 07-21-2004, 06:38 PM   #4
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I give the GE lovers a lot of grief, but they both have their good and bad points. EMD has a much better built prime mover and suport systems, and look better (not that it matters)..the newer EMD's tend to be weak in the areas of crew comfort, computer systems and the electrical systyems..and they tend to ride rather poorly at higher speeds.

Newer GE's tend to have rock solid computer and electrical systems, and traction motors that can take much abuse and keep going. The crews love them because they ride well, and have better AC and other crew comforts. The railroads like them because they are cheaper.. The weak points are the Prime movers and fuel systems, which among other things are prone to fire. Take the good points of both builders, combine them into one loco, and you would have a fine Machine!!

I have run locos from about every builder in one form or another, mostly older stuff. The GE's I have run (including a pair of P40's) just didnt do it for me. The company I worked for was all EMD (GP9. GP10, SW1500, SW1, NW2, GP38-2) so I guess I am a little biased in that respect, atleast towards the older stuff. As far as crew comfort goes...well, there wasnt much. Now, if you want a REAL locomotive, give me a Fairbanks Morse H12-44 or anything made by Alco...they will out pull, out look, and out preform any GE or EMD ever made....to bad they where a royal pain in the arse to work on...

asbestos undies are donned.....let the flaming begin
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Old 07-21-2004, 07:53 PM   #5
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I like all of the older GE's: U-Boats, -7's, and -8's but for some reason the -9's don't appeal to me and same goes for the AC units as well. I don't know why. There's just something about them that turns me off.

I have always been a big fan of EMD. From older E-units to the newest SD70ACe (and soon SD70M-2), I like them all. IMO, soundwise, GE's FDL is no comparison to EMD's 567. The 567's sound is 'throaty' and the FDL sounds like its stuck on choke. The 567's sound is classic. I guess you could also say that the FDL's chugging sound is classic, if you're a GE fan.

Either way, when I'm railfaning I enjoy it, no matter what comes down the tracks.
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Old 07-22-2004, 02:44 AM   #6
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I have not had the opportunity to drive an Alco. I'm looking forward to it.

The new GE's and EMD's we have (BNSF) are about equal in crew comfort. They have AC's, small refridgerators, and a bathroom. The computers in the EMDS are a bit confusing.

I agree with the rough ride at high speeds in the EMD's. Just a few weeks ago we hit a soft spot and I though we had been tossed 10 feet in the air. The same spot in a GE was almost not felt.

I value keeping the windows (and head) intact
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Old 10-04-2004, 09:36 PM   #7
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Default I agree with Joe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe
(I also like the chugging sound they make when they throttle up.)
Thats the same reason I'm a GE guy, I neve knew more people where into EMD than GE until I hopped on this message board.
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Old 10-15-2004, 04:02 AM   #8
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Default GE OR EMD

l am a bit fussy over GE Diesel Locomotives That manyUS railroad companies have & also l like all the EMD Diesel Locomotives we over here in Australia have had many types of Diesel Locomotives from ALCO EMD & ENGLISH ELECTRIC.
My favourite Australian Diesel Locomotives are right here in my state of Victoria they are all from EMD the first ones from EMD arrived here in Victoria in 1951 the were painted in blue & gold colors from that time many other types of Diesel Locmotives arrived from EMD they are T S X Y H C N G Today many of the good Diesel Locomotives from VR V/LINE FA have gone to new homes or ended up in the scrap heap or put into Railway Museums hope to hear from you bigboy 4020 jeffrey somerville northern844@hotmail.com
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Old 10-22-2004, 12:15 AM   #9
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Default Re: I agree with Joe

oops double post.
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Old 10-22-2004, 12:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: I agree with Joe

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Originally Posted by Andy1142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe
(I also like the chugging sound they make when they throttle up.)
Thats the same reason I'm a GE guy, I neve knew more people where into EMD than GE until I hopped on this message board.
It seems like most people prefer EMD over GE, probably because everywhere you look there's another GE. I've liked GE more ever since the SD70ACe came out, IMHO the SD70ACe's the ugliest engine since the BL2 .
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Old 10-23-2004, 03:12 AM   #11
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It was not that long ago that operating railroaders were not that thrilled whenever a GE showed up in a consist. The U series and even the Dash 7's weren't too popular and were heavily outsold by EMD's year after year. The GE's had tough main generators and traction motors but the FDL engines seemed more trouble prone than the EMD 567's and 645's. The units had novel engineering features but were just kind of cheap.

SP recognized the U Series' good features and heavily rebuilt two U25B's into "U25BE's." The result was a pretty good unit, but the high remanufacturing costs killed the program after the first two units. SP stuck with rebuilding GP 9's and GP 35's and SD40's and SD45's. Three U25B's were also rebuilt by Morrison Knudson (now called Motive Power) with Sulzer engines. They had as many problems as various experiments with Cat engines and only lasted a couple of years. I think one or two may still exist in the Bay Area.

The cheapness of the older GEs could be seen in minor things as well such as flimsy window latches or the electrical switches for the rear of the cab.
It's not surprising that you see so few older GE's on short line roads. Dash 7's are starting to show up here and there but are certainly not numerous.

When Jack Welch became CEO, his instructions to his divisions was something like, "If we're not number one in our market, we'll sell the division."

Dash 8 and 9 units show his influence.
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Old 10-23-2004, 05:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J
The GE's had tough main generators and traction motors but the FDL engines seemed more trouble prone

They still are. I believe it was mentioned earlier that the GE's have rock solid electronics, but the prime mover still has problems, especially with the turbocharger. Not too long ago, an NS Dash 9 just two weeks out of Erie caught fire in Harrodsburg. I guess you get what you pay for though.
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Old 10-23-2004, 06:56 PM   #13
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"They still are."

Of possible interest, I certainly was an EMD advocate in an earlier job. That said, an early failure can happen to anyone's product once in a while. Since the Dash 8 era, GE has clearly become dominant as their product evolved and EMD ran into some rough spots. Look how the troublesome SD50's are being cast aside while retired Dash 2's keep showing up in lease fleets.

Railroad mechanical officers aren't particularly concerned whether a unit is attractive or sounds interesting. They buy the products that are priced competitively and don't give them any trouble. Both manufactures put out good products and both AC44's and SD70's have won large orders and repeat orders. We’ll see how the new Tier II units from both manufacturers sell.
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Old 10-24-2004, 04:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Railroad mechanical officers aren't particularly concerned whether a unit is attractive or sounds interesting. They buy the products that are priced competitively and don't give them any trouble.
Looks do play a part. If you put out a visually repulsive product, regardless of performance, you're hurting your chances of success. For an example, I have to use airplane examples (sorry):

Look at the YF-22 vs. YF-23 competition. By pretty much all accounts, the YF-23 was a superior airplane, but it looked odd compared to everything that preceded it. The YF-22 looked like a more tradional fighter, and was chosen by the military. I haven't looked at much of the comparison stats for the JSF competiton, but just looking at the Boeing entry left no doubt that any fighter jock would not be caught dead in that flying pelican looking thing.

The SD70ACe has been given a nose that gives it a bat-face appearance. The GE Tier II looks more like a conventional locomotive. But we'll see how the sales play out...
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Old 10-24-2004, 06:15 AM   #15
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Default Bleeeeaaaahhhhh!!!!!

Ug-ly. At least the paint's kinda cool...


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Old 10-24-2004, 02:49 PM   #16
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Here's the link to that photo...http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/sho....aspx?id=57813
Also, check out all the wires sticking out from the electrical cabinets... http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/sho....aspx?id=57818

We'll see how many "comments" it receives.

All EMD needs to do is stick DD40 cabs on them and they will look much better!
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Old 10-24-2004, 03:37 PM   #17
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Finally, the SD70M-2!

The reason why all the electrical cables are on one side is for easy maintenance. All the of the air and other non-electrical equipment is on the other side; again for easy maintenance. Yeah, seems like they forgot to tuck in some cables. There shouldn't be that many cables hanging out. The cables that aren't painted blue look like they should be in the electrical cabinet.
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Old 10-27-2004, 10:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe
All of a sudden I'm starting to feel sick...
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Old 10-27-2004, 11:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
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All of a sudden I'm starting to feel sick...
Yeah, that thing is UGLY. At least it still sounds better than a GE, though.
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Old 10-28-2004, 12:53 AM   #20
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Default GE vs. EMD?

I am a simple trackside railfan, and I grew up around EMD locos, so I have a tendency to like them today over the GE's. The biggest reason is that I can hear them coming. Even today they have "that sound". The GE's are so quiet. From what I have seen in comparison, the EMD's get up and move quicker than the GE's, and as Tim Allen would put it, "auh auh auh!"
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Old 10-28-2004, 02:24 AM   #21
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Default Re: GE vs. EMD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtrails
I grew up around EMD locos, so I have a tendency to like them today over the GE's. The biggest reason is that I can hear them coming. Even today they have "that sound". The GE's are so quiet. From what I have seen in comparison, the EMD's get up and move quicker than the GE's, and as Tim Allen would put it, "auh auh auh!"
Yeah, I'm the same way since I remember countless EMD's on NS trains in the early to mid 90's with the radio control mid train helpers too. Now, while it's easier to hear an EMD from a distance, GE's are just as loud, but don't have nearly the character as say, an aspirated 16-645E at full throttle. Another good way to look at an EMD is to say that it's nothing more than a big ol' Chevy truck.
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Old 10-28-2004, 01:26 PM   #22
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speaking of sounds, EMD will outdo GE in that repsect every time... That high pitch whine when the Dynamics are are on (that carries for miles) , and that low gut rumbling wave that a 645 makes in #2 or 3 throttle that will vibrate you down to the loins....
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