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Western Railroad Discussion > 4-axles on hotshots


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Date: 11/24/22 12:38
4-axles on hotshots
Author: JGFuller

Given that BNSF gets 50% of revenues from intermodal, might it make more sense to run high-horsepower 4-axles [a GP70?] on these trains, rather than 6-axles? Seems like there's enough i/m to make a separate power pool work OK.

Jack Fuller
Lafayette, CA



Date: 11/24/22 12:45
Re: 4-axles on hotshots
Author: ns2557

Used to be a time that was all ya found on I/M's. CR ran solid sets of 4 or more on their TV/MAIL Trains in combos of B36/B40 and GP40/-2s. CSX the same. Be nice if that was to happen again. Ben



Date: 11/24/22 12:57
Re: 4-axles on hotshots
Author: goneon66

i remember i caught a z-nyclac9 that had a warbonnet gp60m for a leader (4 axles).  we SCREAMED across the needles sub and the dispatcher even buried a long pool z for us to run around.  we were that "hot."

we bounced around a little more than a 6 axle motor would have but i didn't mind the ride.

with the huge intermodals that are run in this day and age, i just don't think the class 1's would go back to 4 axle motors unless there was a substantial savings.............

66





 



Date: 11/24/22 13:44
Re: 4-axles on hotshots
Author: SpringedSwitch

BNSF's ES44T4C locomotives are the closest thing we've seen for a new 4 axle freight locomotive this century.

From everything I've heard about them I doubt we'll see any more attempts for this.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/24/22 14:00 by SpringedSwitch.



Date: 11/24/22 13:45
Re: 4-axles on hotshots
Author: swaool

A C4 essentially is a four axle...

mike woodruff
spokane



Date: 11/24/22 14:03
Re: 4-axles on hotshots
Author: PHall

JGFuller Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Given that BNSF gets 50% of revenues from
> intermodal, might it make more sense to run
> high-horsepower 4-axles on these trains, rather
> than 6-axles? Seems like there's enough i/m to
> make a separate power pool work OK.

What makes you think that todays "hotshot" intermodals are light enough to use four axle power? They're not.
Even todays computer controlled wheel slip systems would have problems handling 1,125 HP per axle on a "GP70".
Just look how much trouble the SD70ACe-P4 and the ET44C4 locomotives have with their four powered axles.



Date: 11/24/22 14:14
Re: 4-axles on hotshots
Author: TomG

Well since there isnt a catalogue listing for a 4 axle freight locomotive its a mute point. Railroads like the WP embraced 4 axle locos for fast freight as a competition advantage. Today there basically is little competition to speak of and railroads have moved back to the old days of drag freights, some less hindered than others.

Tom
Weaverville, CA



Date: 11/24/22 14:27
Re: 4-axles on hotshots
Author: pdt

IIRC, the class 1's did a ton of research on this, and the conclusion was that the current day 6 axle power was much more economical than going back to 4 axle road power.   When was the last year that GP60's and B40's were made?  I dont remember. 4 axle GE's are mostly (if not entirely) retired from the class1's, and the GP60's are now local or hauler power.

Not sure why this 4 axls thing came up.  Its not happening in the foreseeable future.



Date: 11/24/22 14:29
Re: 4-axles on hotshots
Author: goneon66

pdt Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> IIRC, the class 1's did a ton of research on this,
> and the conclusion was that the current day 6 axle
> power was much more economical than going back to
> 4 axle road power.   When was the last year that
> GP60's and B40's were made?  I dont remember. 4
> axle GE's are mostly (if not entirely) retired
> from the class1's, and the GP60's are now local or
> hauler power.
>
> Not sure why this 4 axls thing came up.  Its not
> happening in the foreseeable future.

because this is a DISCUSSION board................

66



Date: 11/24/22 14:32
Re: 4-axles on hotshots
Author: oneblock

My experience with the gp 60's was they were fine until train weight got over 5500 to 6000 tons. After that thresh hold they were slippery. Train length and weight today dictate bigger power. 



Date: 11/24/22 15:25
Re: 4-axles on hotshots
Author: cajon

Bigger fuel tanks on the big GE with 6 wheels and only 4 for tractions.
Long runs with out for fueling and more weight for traction.
Dennis

Posted from iPhone



Date: 11/24/22 17:36
Re: 4-axles on hotshots
Author: Pacific5th

Had a GP60M on a Geo train this summer. It was fun but not something I would want to do daily. I swear we slamed the snow plow off the rails a few times. At 70mph it was rough. And the dyno's sucked. I had to set air to slow down to 50mph on flat track. After that I turned the second unit on dyno's only. 



Date: 11/24/22 21:04
Re: 4-axles on hotshots
Author: PHall

pdt Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> IIRC, the class 1's did a ton of research on this,
> and the conclusion was that the current day 6 axle
> power was much more economical than going back to
> 4 axle road power.   When was the last year that
> GP60's and B40's were made?  I dont remember. 4
> axle GE's are mostly (if not entirely) retired
> from the class1's, and the GP60's are now local or
> hauler power.
>
> Not sure why this 4 axls thing came up.  Its not
> happening in the foreseeable future.

Because the question was asked, that's why.



Date: 11/25/22 07:44
Re: 4-axles on hotshots
Author: SanJoaquinEngr

I really do not think there are a few or any hotshot IM trains left. Back in the 80s you were around for the City of Industry to Phoenix Sprint train. Used four axles mostly. Today as you know with PSR and those days are gone. The UP Z trains are usually 7,000 feet and more. The only short trains anymore are the officers specials.
4 axles are fine on a local. The trend now is AC power with the motto run the train until it stalls.
Since the price of a new locomotive is nearing 2 million doubt if that money will be a budget item. Also when it comes time for the 92 day inspections only certain dedicated shops will work on these units.
Take a look at Southwest Airlines their entire fleet is 737s. Railroads are doing the same standardizing their fleets.
Your idea is bonified but in the real world doubt if it will happen.

Posted from Android



Date: 11/25/22 07:53
Re: 4-axles on hotshots
Author: oneblock

You forget how bad a four axle unit rides until you haven't been on one in a while!



Date: 11/25/22 11:03
Re: 4-axles on hotshots
Author: callum_out

And at least on BNSF the only things still getting 92 day inspections are the 4 axle units and the SD40-2s, everything
else is out at 184 days. 

Out



Date: 11/25/22 11:47
Re: 4-axles on hotshots
Author: SpringedSwitch

callum_out Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> And at least on BNSF the only things still getting
> 92 day inspections are the 4 axle units and the
> SD40-2s, everything
> else is out at 184 days. 

The FRA granted a waiver a few years back if a locomotive has certain microprocessors, it can go 184 days between insections instead of the typical 92.



Date: 11/25/22 11:50
Re: 4-axles on hotshots
Author: donner_dude1

Any one remember the Gray LMX 4 axle units? I can remember crews complaining about how slippery those units were to the Dispatchers in my area. 

During the 90's SP/UP used to (occasionally) run 4 axle units on the Auto trains up Donner and crews were complaining about the wheel slip especially W/B from Truckee (without helpers)



Date: 11/25/22 12:43
Re: 4-axles on hotshots
Author: dan

The locos were getting to heavy for 4 axles i thought, and at high speeds seems everyone agrees things were getting rough, except was wondering about the F-40's i don't recall speed complaints there? except about the loud HEP



Date: 11/25/22 14:03
Re: 4-axles on hotshots
Author: callum_out

Look at a "CH" @ 432K and then figure that a "BH" would be in the 288K range, that's one heavy 4 axle unit. The
other point is that there's so much equipment in a unit these days that a 4 axle isn't large enough to contain it.

Out 



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