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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Henry Ford Museum to restore PRR GG-1


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Date: 04/07/08 14:55
Henry Ford Museum to restore PRR GG-1
Author: wabash2800

I think Henry Ford would be delighted:

Quoted:


DEARBORN, Mich. - Pennsylvania Railroad GG1 No. 4909,
which has spent years rusting alongside a highway in
New York State, will get a new home at the Henry Ford
Museum, the New York Daily Star reported. One of the
nation's premier history and culture museums, the
Henry Ford is buying the engine from the
Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society.

No. 4909, one of 16 surviving GG1s out of a class of
139, will be restored to PRR Tuscan Red with
pinstripes. Before it moves, the museum will remove
asbestos from the engine, as well as its transformer.

The Leatherstocking group had long wanted to restore
No. 4909, but was never able to raise the money. "I
think it's fantastic," said Bruce Hodges,
Leatherstocking's president. "I can't think of a
better home to go to than the Ford Museum."



Date: 04/07/08 15:22
Re: Henry Ford Museum to restore PRR GG-1
Author: danf

So when they say "restore" - I assume that means cosmetic only. Being a West Coaster, I don't know a whole lot about those engines but have always been fascinated with them. From what I understand, it's unlikely that a GG-1 will ever run again because of associated costs of having to virtually re-wire one of them (besides the costs of toxic material removal). Still sounds like good news though.



Date: 04/07/08 15:55
Re: Henry Ford Museum to restore PRR GG-1
Author: F40PHR231

A GG1 can run again... with the right amount of $$$. Hope one day when electrical components aren't as expensive, that one will run again. Like recycling old computers, would it be possible to take the innards of an AEM-7 when they're retired, and put one inside a GG1 for potential restoration to operation?



Date: 04/07/08 17:05
Re: Henry Ford Museum to restore PRR GG-1
Author: dsktc

A GG1 will never run again, period.

It had poor sight lines, a cramped interior
and cash won't solve these problems.

The best place for a GG1 is inside a climate-controlled museum not
exposed to the elements out of doors.

Dave


F40PHR231 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A GG1 can run again... with the right amount of
> $$$. Hope one day when electrical components
> aren't as expensive, that one will run again. Like
> recycling old computers, would it be possible to
> take the innards of an AEM-7 when they're retired,
> and put one inside a GG1 for potential restoration
> to operation?



Date: 04/07/08 17:09
Re: Henry Ford Museum to restore PRR GG-1
Author: Nictd1000

wabash2800 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I think Henry Ford would be delighted:
>
> Quoted:
>
>

>
> No. 4909, one of 16 surviving GG1s out of a class
> of
> 139

Just in case you were wondering where the others are nowadays...

PRR 4800 - GG1 electric- RR Museum of PA (Strasburg, PA)
PRR 4859 - GG1 electric- RR Museum of PA (Harrisburg, PA)
PRR 4876 - GG1 electric- B&O Museum (Baltimore, MD)
PRR 4877 - GG1 electric- URHS-NJ (Hoboken,NJ)
PRR 4879 - GG1 electric- URHS-NJ (Storage ?)
PRR 4882 - GG1 electric- New York Central Museum ( Elkhart, IN)
PRR 4890 - GG1 electric- National Railroad Museum(Green Bay, WI)
PRR 4903 - GG1 electric- Age of Steam Museum (Dallas, TX)
PRR 4909 - GG1 electric- Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society ( Cooperstown Jct, NY)
PRR 4913 - GG1 electric- Railroaders Memorial Museum (Altoona, PA)
PRR 4917 - GG1 electric- Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society (Cooperstown Jct, NY)
PRR 4918 - GG1 electric- Museum of Transportation (St Louis, MO)
PRR 4919 - GG1 electric- Virginia Museum of Transportation (Roanoke, VA)
PRR 4927 - GG1 electric- Illinois Railway Museum (Union, IL)
PRR 4933 - GG1 electric- New York State Fairgrounds ( Syracuse, NY)
PRR 4935 - GG1 electric- RR Museum of PA (Strasburg, PA)

Ryan



Date: 04/07/08 17:22
Re: Henry Ford Museum to restore PRR GG-1
Author: F40PHR231

dsktc Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A GG1 will never run again, period.
>
> It had poor sight lines, a cramped interior
> and cash won't solve these problems.



Of course cash won't solve the sight lines or cramped interior, preservation is to KEEP it that way. The naysayers remind me of the folks who said a particular GS4 would never run again, it too was cramped, had poor sight lines, and was left out in the elements for 15 years.

I do believe that if someone took an AEM-7 locomotive, removed the electrical components and installed it inside a GG1... Yeah, it won't be the original voltage like the old days, but at least it could move under its own power.



Date: 04/07/08 17:26
Re: Henry Ford Museum to restore PRR GG-1
Author: railcity

F40PHR231 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> dsktc Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > A GG1 will never run again, period.
> >
> > It had poor sight lines, a cramped interior
> > and cash won't solve these problems.
>
>
>
> Of course cash won't solve the sight lines or
> cramped interior, preservation is to KEEP it that
> way. The naysayers remind me of the folks who said
> a particular GS4 would never run again, it too was
> cramped, had poor sight lines, and was left out in
> the elements for 15 years.
>
> I do believe that if someone took an AEM-7
> locomotive, removed the electrical components and
> installed it inside a GG1... Yeah, it won't be the
> original voltage like the old days, but at least
> it could move under its own power.

No, Railroad in USA would let the GG1 back on they rails again.



Date: 04/07/08 18:12
Re: Henry Ford Museum to restore PRR GG-1
Author: danf

I would think that with 16 surviving GG-1's that at least one could be gutted and rebuilt (I know - money). But with 15 other units preserved, it doesn't seem like a big loss. The sightlines can't be much worse than a GS-4, like Chris said. If there is money and a will, then I would think it could happen. I don't know what railroad would allow it to run on their rails though. The biggest argument I could see is that it would probably not draw the attention that a steam locomotive gets, and may not be worth the millions to make it happen.



Date: 04/07/08 18:25
Re: Henry Ford Museum to restore PRR GG-1
Author: REflectiveMAN

F40PHR231 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> I do believe that if someone took an AEM-7
> locomotive, removed the electrical components and
> installed it inside a GG1... Yeah, it won't be the
> original voltage like the old days, but at least
> it could move under its own power.

Except its not that easy... millions of dollars would have to be spent engineering solutions to house AEM-7 parts into the GG1. The transformer and switch gear might be a simple solution, but the traction motors and running gear would probably be another problem entirely.

And after one has spent the millions to do the conversion, where would you run it?



Date: 04/07/08 19:00
Re: Henry Ford Museum to restore PRR GG-1
Author: CR6079

REflectiveMAN Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> F40PHR231 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
>
> >
> > I do believe that if someone took an AEM-7
> > locomotive, removed the electrical components
> and
> > installed it inside a GG1... Yeah, it won't be
> the
> > original voltage like the old days, but at
> least
> > it could move under its own power.
>
> Except its not that easy... millions of dollars
> would have to be spent engineering solutions to
> house AEM-7 parts into the GG1. The transformer
> and switch gear might be a simple solution, but
> the traction motors and running gear would
> probably be another problem entirely.
>
> And after one has spent the millions to do the
> conversion, where would you run it?


The Northeast Corridor, Harrisburg to Philadelphia.Right where they were meant to run.



Date: 04/07/08 19:45
Re: Henry Ford Museum to restore PRR GG-1
Author: KeyRouteKen

MONEY can buy ANYTHING-- including a RR's positive decision from its Board of Directors..

Why do you need to change out parts on the GG1.. Enlighten this Interurban dude if you please.
Chris Bekaris (Mr.Amtrak) should know the answer here..

The GG1's ran on 11,000 volts AC... Did they change the voltage for the arrival of the AEM-7's ???

After the G's were retired, they ran a fan trip with a restored/re-painted 4935 I believe it was. How was THAT done..?? Was the overhead upped to 25 or 50KV "after the fantrip" ??

Technical giants (ME) want to know !!! (grin)



Date: 04/07/08 20:14
Re: Henry Ford Museum to restore PRR GG-1
Author: pennsy3750

KRK -

Amtrak now buys commercial electric power for propulsion. The PRR (and New Haven) maintained their own power plants and substations back in the day. Modern commercial power supplies 60Hz AC. Pennsy's power supply system supplied a different frequency of AC power; I believe it was 25Hz, but its been a long day and I might be wrong on that.

Incidentally, I read somewhere that the AEM7s' electrical gear is designed to work on two or three different voltages (11K, 25K, and maybe 12,500 volts all come to mind) depending on where you are.

That said, a GG-1 CAN run, if someone ever throws enough money at it. They all have a few issues in common, but none is insurmountable from an engineering point of view. I've been in 4913's cab, and the visibility is no worse than a steam locomotive. The cab itself was not especially cramped, just the doorway to get into it. And I know at least one Amtrak engineer who would love to run a restored G.



Date: 04/07/08 20:40
Re: Henry Ford Museum to restore PRR GG-1
Author: F40PHR231

So, it IS possible. :) Never say never.



Date: 04/07/08 21:25
Re: Henry Ford Museum to restore PRR GG-1
Author: SOO6617

The old system AEM-7 motors were DC, the rebuilt AEM-7AC locomotives use 3-phase variable frequency AC motors. The GG-1s used single phase low-frequency AC motors. The really big problem is the transformer, you would probably have to get one custom made. All the existing ones were scrapped, as they were designed to be cooled with PCB laden oil. What you would probably have to do is fabricate a single phase invertor to output 25Hz power and then a IGBT chopper to regulate the voltage to the traction motors, and then hope the motors could handle the waveforms.



Date: 04/07/08 21:37
Re: Henry Ford Museum to restore PRR GG-1
Author: arrow611

Sight lines and cramped quarters not withstanding, had a GG-1 been powering the Colonial at Chase MD instead of an AEM-7, that engineer might still be alive today. Ever see pictures of the "G that ate the track machine?"



Date: 04/08/08 01:35
Re: Henry Ford Museum to restore PRR GG-1
Author: JPB

Here's the asbestos removal house for the Ford Museum's newly acquired GG1. I've read that some of the residents of Cooperstown Jct weren't too happy to find out that the GG1s that have been sitting there for years contained asbestos. 4917 sits forlornly next to the D&H main awaiting eb/nb freight to pass.









Date: 04/08/08 02:40
Re: Henry Ford Museum to restore PRR GG-1
Author: jkchubbes

Im a west coast guy and have never seen an AEM-7, E60, HHP8, Acela or anything like that. I think it would be great to see one of these running down the rails. IMHO I think they are great looking motors and I would travel to the East Coast to see one running down the NEC.

-Jacob Klatt
www.jkchubbes.com



Date: 04/08/08 05:23
Re: Henry Ford Museum to restore PRR GG-1
Author: ajy6b

My brother-in-law worked as an engine hostler for the Penn Central. He would probably agree about the cramped interiors of a GG1. He told me there was an electrical box right behind the seats, he said that those things would pop, spark and smell. No warm and fuzzy feeling with those beasts. He also said if you had long hair, you would end up cutting it short after a couple of times in the GG1.

AJ

dsktc Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A GG1 will never run again, period.
>
> It had poor sight lines, a cramped interior
> and cash won't solve these problems.
>
> The best place for a GG1 is inside a
> climate-controlled museum not
> exposed to the elements out of doors.
>
> Dave
>
>



Date: 04/08/08 05:28
Re: Henry Ford Museum to restore PRR GG-1
Author: NYCSTL8

I wonder if anyone at the Ford Museum has considered setting up an O-Gauge r.r. layout near the big motor, with a couple of G's, one Tuscan on varnish, one Brewster Green on freight, tooling around beneath catenary?



Date: 04/08/08 06:24
Re: Henry Ford Museum to restore PRR GG-1
Author: filmteknik

Most of the NEC is still 25 Hz. The conversion to 60 Hz. never happened. Low frequency has some advantages aren't large enough to warrant new installations but enough that if you have it you should keep it.

Many of the GG-1's have cracked frames. If you truly want a G to be doing its thing on the NEC at track speed it would probably take a major effort of welding and use of an annealing furnace besides the electrical work and general restoration.

At least one G still has a transformer. Perhaps it's Old Rivets with an air blast transformer.

If you want to see a G run at all in a very minimal sense Illinois Railway Museum has 600 V trolley wire and about 5 miles of mainline. It's not entirely far fetched to imagine stuffing simple trolley gear inside their GG-1 (resistor grids, switchgear, a 600 V compressor, and a motor-generator) and using it to power whichever 4 of the 12 motors seem to be in best condition. They should run happily on DC. IRM's overhead would need work to be pantograph compatible but the pans can stay down (or be lashed to go partway up but not touch anything) while taking power via pole on an adjacent car, but that's the least of the problems. I would presume the physical condition would be safe at the low speeds involved. But would anyone want to see a G run like that?

Modern thyristor controls are a possibility and they do make the transformer simpler. But you'd probably want to design it especially for 12 motors. I don't know how happy the motors would be with the odd power waveform. Those motors would probably run just fine on DC but thyristor regulation does not put out smooth DC.

If you want a full on fully restored and operational GG-1 then you need to make a transformer for use with the original arrangement of tap changers to control the unit. Such could be custom ordered but it's possible it could be an amateur project (with some professional help) following the original plans. A transformer is a lot of thin iron laminated together along with the coils. It's possible an amateur group could manage such a project as it's not like, say, expecting them to cast a one-piece steam locomotive frame. A lot of work and a lot of money are involved but for such a beloved class I'm surprised no one, AFAIK, is even giving it a serious evaluation.



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