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Nostalgia & History > Ex SLSF U25B on CR


Date: 01/15/22 15:54
Ex SLSF U25B on CR
Author: ns2557

Back in the early CR days they leased numerous units from where ever they could find them. Among some of the units they leased were a few EX SLSF Hi Short Hood U25B's. I recall seeing 802, 805 and this one here the 806. Not ever expecting to see HSH UBoats where I lived this was quite the surprise. And on top of that, this particular unit, GE 806 was one of the first U25B's built. They carried GE numbers 753-756. This one was GE 755 and had a builders date of 1-61 on B/N 34222 and on Batch Number 1311. Here it sits awaiting call to work on a snowy Feb 20 1978 in Enola Pa. Quite the catch back then and perhaps even now. Got shots of the otehr 2 mentioned here in post, but have not scanned them in just yet. Still goota find them.  At home recuperating for the next few weeks so I should be able to locate them.  Thanks for looking. Ben




Date: 01/15/22 18:44
Re: Ex SLSF U25B on CR
Author: refarkas

Rare catch!
Bob



Date: 01/15/22 20:47
Re: Ex SLSF U25B on CR
Author: ironmtn

Thanks for this photo!

One of Frisco 1522's regular engineers, Jeff Schmid, wrote in an article in one of the Kalmbach magazines (Classic Trains, I think) about running those demonstrator U-boats on the Frisco early in his career as a locomotive engineer with SLSF and later BN. And on some other occasion previous to that, being an early U-boat fan, I had talked with him about running them at a St. Louis Chapter NRHS meeting, where we both were members.

I recall being crestfallen when he told about how roughly they ran, and how breakdown-prone they were. And particularly how difficult the 16-notch throttle (with a big, long steam-engine-like throttle handle), was to use. I think I recall also that there was something weird about the gauges, and the brake valve arrangement. He was not nearly as enthusiastic about them as I was.

Well, that was then, and this is now. And that is a remarkable photo. I either had forgotten, or hadn't known, that the demo unit had gone to CR. Some might say unkind things about that (like, "a junk locomotive to a junk railroad"). I would instead say, "Thanks, CR, for giving it a shot. And I hope it was able to do some good work for you for a while". Because yes, despite their issues, my friend and others have told me that they pulled well. Sometimes that's really what counts.

MC



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/15/22 20:50 by ironmtn.



Date: 01/16/22 07:08
Re: Ex SLSF U25B on CR
Author: junctiontower

I vividly remember reading Schmid's article which painted a pretty unflattering picture of the early U-boats.  Among the things he talked about was crawling through an ooze of leaking oil to reset the low oil pressure warning switch with a flag stick, and the carbody doors slamming open and shut, ready to remove fingers if you got your hand in the wrong place.  Another similar article was Steve Lee's story on the horrors of operating Illinois Central's Alco C636s.



Date: 01/16/22 09:26
Re: Ex SLSF U25B on CR
Author: tomstp

A Santa Fe engineer told a GE rep to just "wipe the deck clean and start over".  Nothing but junk.



Date: 01/16/22 09:35
Re: Ex SLSF U25B on CR
Author: Evan_Werkema

tomstp Wrote:

> A Santa Fe engineer told a GE rep to just "wipe
> the deck clean and start over".  Nothing but
> junk.

A caption in Iron Horses of the Santa Fe Trail contains an interesting comment regarding the railroad's relatively new 1600-class U25B's:

"1600 Class are big favorites with crews as a stout locomotive.  Only big dislike is a rather inadequate dynamic brake"

I'm not questioning the mountain of negative employee commentary about the U25B's failings as a locomotive, just pointing out that evidently the dislike wasn't instantaneous and universal.  Author E.D. Worley worked for the Santa Fe as a conductor and was in a position to ascertain crew sentiment.



Date: 01/16/22 15:29
Re: Ex SLSF U25B on CR
Author: junctiontower

Evan_Werkema Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> tomstp Wrote:
>
> > A Santa Fe engineer told a GE rep to just "wipe
> > the deck clean and start over".  Nothing but
> > junk.
>
> A caption in Iron Horses of the Santa Fe Trail
> contains an interesting comment regarding the
> railroad's relatively new 1600-class U25B's:
>
> "1600 Class are big favorites with crews as a
> stout locomotive.  Only big dislike is a rather
> inadequate dynamic brake"
>
> I'm not questioning the mountain of negative
> employee commentary about the U25B's failings as a
> locomotive, just pointing out that evidently the
> dislike wasn't instantaneous and universal. 
> Author E.D. Worley worked for the Santa Fe as a
> conductor and was in a position to ascertain crew
> sentiment.

Well, in Scmid's case, many of the items he complained about likely did not crop up until the units had a few years on them.  A lot of people liked Yugos when they BOUGHT them..........



Date: 01/16/22 20:45
Re: Ex SLSF U25B on CR
Author: GN599

I have read both articles by the gentleman mentioned. The Schmid article was in 99 as part of an all GE issue if I remember correctly. And yes by the time he was running them as a young man they were probably about 15 year old locomotives. It kind of reminds me of the things the old heads used to say about the Alcos. Every story was either a break down story, or a tale of some miracle about how great they pulled that one trip all of the EMD's quit running. No in between! Anyway great shot. I know of their time on Conrail but have only seen photos of them mid consist. I know Conrail leased 6 BN RS3's still in SP&S paint. I am guessing like the BN RS3's on lease, those early U25's were probably not lead qualified!



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