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Passenger Trains > SDP40F Derailment Photos circa 1976-77


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Date: 11/28/12 08:23
SDP40F Derailment Photos circa 1976-77
Author: tsolanke

I'm searching for photos featuring derailed EMD SDP40 locos, with the trucks clearly visible. This is for illustration purposes: I'm writing a book that touches on problem of their trucks which were quite prone to derailment particularly in 1977/77. All contributors will be credited and receive a copy of the completed book. All help will be very gratfully received.

Feel free to contact me direct on:

tolu@images-od.freeserve.co.uk

Tolu Solanke



Date: 11/28/12 09:15
Re: SDP40F Derailment Photos circa 1976-77
Author: knotch8

To play devil's advocate here, who says there was a problem with SDP-40 trucks?

Santa Fe never restricted them at all, and they ran at 90 mph in the ATS territories that existed in various locations between Chicago and Los Angeles and San Diego. And they ran at maximum authorized speed everywhere else on Santa Fe, too, whether that maximum speed was 79 mph or whatever it was.

The memories are fading, but the general restriction on the railroads that imposed restrictions was 40 mph on curves of greater than 2 degrees, but that might not be exactly right, depending on the railroad.

My feeling was that if there was bad track, SDP-40s found it. They couldn't "ride it out" as more forgiving locomotives could. And let's remember the condition of a lot of the railroads in the 1970s. Times were bad, even for western roads, and we've all seen the pictures of the trackbeds in the 1970s. They were nowhere near the quality of trackbeds today.

But Santa Fe never restricted them, not at all. 79 mph, 90 mph, notch it out.

The days for SDP-40s were numbered, though, when Amtrak elected to convert its fleet to HEP. It was easier to trade them in for the new-technology F-40s with their HEP and lighter weight. It also solved the problem of fighting with the freight railroads about speed restrictions on SDP-40s.



Date: 11/28/12 09:43
Re: SDP40F Derailment Photos circa 1976-77
Author: WAF

BN did as did the SP. SP addded a vertical shocker to the trucks similar to Amtrak's which were also on Dash 2 SD40s, and SD40T-2 and 45T-2.



Date: 11/28/12 10:03
Re: SDP40F Derailment Photos circa 1976-77
Author: ctillnc

I just knew this would start a rehash of arguments that are 25+ years old. Some observers believe it wasn't the trucks per se but the joint dynamics of the trucks and the high-mounted water tank for the steam generator. Clearly going around curves on Class IV track was the trigger for trouble. Few curves and/or Class V track meant no problem. Blaming the track alone isn't the answer because there were no derailments when the SDP40s were replaced by F40s (sometimes running in conjunction with E8s) -- same track, same mph, same passenger cars, not one derailment.



Date: 11/28/12 10:13
Re: SDP40Fs
Author: timz2

> Santa Fe never restricted them at all...

That may be strictly true-- maybe it wasn't
SFe that imposed the restriction-- but they
were restricted on SFe, by somebody, starting
about January 1977.



Date: 11/28/12 10:18
Re: SDP40Fs
Author: seaboardc30-7

Amtrak ran SDP40s on the Seaboard System at 70 MPH for over ten years without derailment problems. These were the Siulver Service trains, which were the Silver Star, Silver Meteor, and the Champion.



Date: 11/28/12 10:45
Re: SDP40Fs
Author: amtrakbill

Sure you're not confused by the issue Amtrak had with the GE P30ch's?

These locomotives would loose headend power regularly and if that didn't occur they would derail

Posted from iPhone



Date: 11/28/12 10:49
Re: SDP40F Derailment Photos circa 1976-77
Author: CSX_ENG

ctillnc Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I just knew this would start a rehash of arguments
> that are 25+ years old. Some observers believe it
> wasn't the trucks per se but the joint dynamics of
> the trucks and the high-mounted water tank for the
> steam generator.

From photos it appears the water tank was adjacent to the fuel tank. Are you suggesting there was an additional water tank within the carbody? Just curious......



Date: 11/28/12 10:52
Re: SDP40F Derailment Photos circa 1976-77
Author: ctillnc

> Are you suggesting there was an
> additional water tank within the carbody?

Yes there was.



Date: 11/28/12 11:00
Re: SDP40F
Author: timz2

1350 gallons I think it was.



Date: 11/28/12 11:06
Re: SDP40F
Author: ctillnc

... which is 5+ tons of water, above the center of gravity of the locomotive.

http://atsf.railfan.net/cowls/sdp40f.html has a balanced explanation.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/28/12 11:07 by ctillnc.



Date: 11/28/12 12:20
Re: SDP40F
Author: Out_Of_Service

the Floridian was the downfall of the SDP40Fs



Date: 11/28/12 12:26
Re: SDP40F Derailment Photos circa 1976-77
Author: miralomarail

CSX_ENG Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> >
> From photos it appears the water tank was adjacent
> to the fuel tank. Are you suggesting there was an
> additional water tank within the carbody? Just
> curious......


There were 2 tanks inside a SDP40F, it was fun to fill them on a Hot Day, and a Sauna by the Steam Generators



Date: 11/28/12 13:31
Re: SDP40F Derailment Photos circa 1976-77
Author: highgreengraphics

"Vibratory yawing" of the trucks is what the defect was called. I read somewhere that an Amtrak derailment of either Train 5 or 6 on the slight curve next to the park at Ralston, NE on the ex-Q was the final straw for the SDP40F's. === === = === JLH



Date: 11/28/12 15:10
Re: SDP40F Derailment Photos circa 1976-77
Author: Daze

The 40 MPH curve restrictions did not apply on Class 5 track, therefore most of AT&SF did not have the restrictions. However, where AT&SF did not have Class 5 track, they did have the 40 MPH restrictions.

But we can open another can regarding AT&SF and the GE U28 and U30 passenger units.



Date: 11/28/12 15:40
Re: SDP40F Derailment Photos circa 1976-77
Author: ctillnc

In fairness to the L&N, it wasn't the Floridian alone. Once Amtrak provided an F40/E8 combo, the Floridian ran great and derailment-free.

Incidentally, Southern was so determined to keep the SDP40Fs away -- even for detours -- that they printed a 35 mph speed restriction for them in their employee TTs.



Date: 11/28/12 15:44
Re: SDP40F Derailment Photos circa 1976-77
Author: Evan_Werkema

Past discussions indicate that Amtrak imposed the 40-mph/2-degeee restriction themselves, but Santa Fe didn't necessarily observe it.

http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?11,2467260

Santa Fe's FP45's also had an internal water tank inside the carbody in addition to the partitioned underbody tank, and they had no derailment issues either.



Date: 11/28/12 16:18
Re: SDP40F Derailment Photos circa 1976-77
Author: usmc1401

One problem with the trucks turned out not to be the trucks fault. Amtrak sent units from a eastern pool to Los Angeles that did not have any problems. Problems soon developed on these units. Traced to a diamond at LAUPT that was out of gauge.



Date: 11/28/12 16:35
Re: SDP40F Derailment Photos circa 1976-77
Author: tsolanke

Thanks for the interesting feedback guys; my apologies for my unintended reignition of an old controversy. Certainly the SDP40F problem was not simply just an matter of its trucks. But the fact remains BN banned them and Amtrak attributed a good part of the problem to the this area. Equally, as on the BN, there were derailments. The late photographer Roy Arpan took an excellent shot of a derailed SDP40F published in the June 1977 edition of Trains, but I have no idea how to get a copy of the print. Any pictures depicting an SDP40F derailment would be very gratefully received. Many thanks.



Date: 11/28/12 17:15
Re: SDP40F Derailment Photos circa 1976-77
Author: WAF

SP slowed them down on three degrees along with theirs and UP SD40-2s.



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