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Canadian Railroads > MK 5001


Date: 02/06/19 04:40
MK 5001
Author: hoggerdoug

August 1981 at the BC Rail Prince George loco shops. 5001 was a GP9 rebuilt by Morrison Knudsen, upgraded electrically and equipped with a Sulzer 6 cylinder marine diesel motor, rated at 1500 horse power. Not sure if BCR had it during a locomotive shortage or if it was being tested / evaluated for future purchase. It was illusive unit for photos and this was the only chance I had.
Doug




Date: 02/06/19 10:13
Re: MK 5001
Author: ccarlson

Great shot of one of my favorite units Doug!
5001 was intended to serve a 1-year lease for BCR. Because it had been demonstrating for nearly two years by this point, prior to shipment the unit was cycled through Boise for additional upgrades and a general freshening. It entered service on the BCR in June but apparently a lumber strike only three months later cut the lease short.
It should be noted that this was quite a successful repower compared to the other Sulzer attempts. 5001 was a reliable unit that had a very high number of operating hours and seemed to be generally very well liked. She was quite fuel efficient, particularly in the higher throttle notches. However, it was not equipped with low-idle and as a result had a higher overall fuel consumption than its direct competitor, the EMD GP15-1's.



Date: 02/06/19 10:27
Re: MK 5001
Author: CPR_4000

I shot that unit trailing on the Maine Central Mountain sub out of St Johnsbury, VT in the late 70's. Wish I could remember what it sounded like.



Date: 02/06/19 11:35
Re: MK 5001
Author: NYSWSD70M

ccarlson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Great shot of one of my favorite units Doug!
> 5001 was intended to serve a 1-year lease for BCR.
> Because it had been demonstrating for nearly two
> years by this point, prior to shipment the unit
> was cycled through Boise for additional upgrades
> and a general freshening. It entered service on
> the BCR in June but apparently a lumber strike
> only three months later cut the lease short.
> It should be noted that this was quite a
> successful repower compared to the other Sulzer
> attempts. 5001 was a reliable unit that had a very
> high number of operating hours and seemed to be
> generally very well liked. She was quite fuel
> efficient, particularly in the higher throttle
> notches. However, it was not equipped with
> low-idle and as a result had a higher
> overall fuel consumption than its direct
> competitor, the EMD GP15-1's.

It's demonstration period was before my time but it was in Hornell as a shop switcher until sold to the M&E. I got to see some numbers for this unit. The operational cost of this locomotive was very unattractive. It was certainly the best of the "Sulzers" but the others were so bad, that was an easy bar to clear.

No serious sales proposals were ever submitted to a customer. It did operate on the Dease Lake extension of the BCR however, which I find interesting.

Posted from Android



Date: 02/06/19 12:18
Re: MK 5001
Author: ccarlson

Agreed. If you worked at Hornell, you must have known Joe Fearon? He relayed to me that he really felt he had Conrail interested at one time in the 5001 and potential Sulzer repowers, but too many things (training, tooling, reliability) conspired against it. Too bad, as M-K made an interesting effort in an attempt to offer the railroads a prime mover alternative.

Casey Carlson



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/06/19 12:18 by ccarlson.



Date: 02/06/19 13:15
Re: MK 5001
Author: hoggerdoug

August 1981 there was an extensive labour strike in the lumber, pulp & paper industry in BC and the the economy tanked everywhere. So that would be about right with the lease being cancelled account the situation. I was laid off late August 1981 and did not get recalled back to BCR unitl April 1984, tough times.
Doug
ccarlson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Great shot of one of my favorite units Doug!
> 5001 was intended to serve a 1-year lease for BCR.
> Because it had been demonstrating for nearly two
> years by this point, prior to shipment the unit
> was cycled through Boise for additional upgrades
> and a general freshening. It entered service on
> the BCR in June but apparently a lumber strike
> only three months later cut the lease short.
> It should be noted that this was quite a
> successful repower compared to the other Sulzer
> attempts. 5001 was a reliable unit that had a very
> high number of operating hours and seemed to be
> generally very well liked. She was quite fuel
> efficient, particularly in the higher throttle
> notches. However, it was not equipped with
> low-idle and as a result had a higher
> overall fuel consumption than its direct
> competitor, the EMD GP15-1's.



Date: 02/06/19 14:09
Re: MK 5001
Author: NYSWSD70M

ccarlson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Agreed. If you worked at Hornell, you must have
> known Joe Fearon? He relayed to me that he really
> felt he had Conrail interested at one time in the
> 5001 and potential Sulzer repowers, but too many
> things (training, tooling, reliability) conspired
> against it. Too bad, as M-K made an interesting
> effort in an attempt to offer the railroads a
> prime mover alternative.
>
> Casey Carlson

I was domiciled in Hornell. Very little locomotive work was done there. Joe talked to many, many people and about many things. Some extremely successful, others, not so much. He was an amazing individual to be sure. He was (along with help from select others) the entire reason there was a MK Rail Division or Rail Systems Group as it was later known. Several people talked to MK about Sulzers, but serious interest was lacking.

The "Sulzers Era" was one of three alternative engine periods at MK. The 1970's were the Alco years - resulting in the PA rebuilds and the 10 RS3's 251 upgrades(8 D&H 2 D&M).

Next up were the Sulzers. 4 U25B's for the SP, 6 SD45's for the UP and 4 more for the ATSF. The ATSF units were re-equipped with EMD 645's and the UP units were sold to PNC. They were later rebuilt into SD40-2's and leased back to the UP. The 5001 with it's inline 6 was the most successful but I would say, "define success".

The last were the CAT's. The 50 3500 powered units for EMD and the 6 3600 powered MK5000's. None were all that successful.

Truth be told, serious interest for an alternative diesel engine is hard to come by from a customer standpoint. After 82 years, EMD is still selling a variation of what they started with in 1938 (since 2015 (in locomotives) with credits). They have yet to achieve success with their second design. GE has only had two basic designs. It was always going to be a tough sell.

Years ago, I got into a debate with a TO poster about selling locomotives. The person equated it to selling (used)cars with a slick brochure and a sales pitch. "Move the metal and on to the next sale" was the general idea. That was laughable. The industry has a limited number of customers (MK generally pursued Class 1's, large Class 2's, leasing companies and commuter agencies - with fully remanuctured locomotives and components). Joe stressed that we were not a locomotive dealer. This limited number of customers had a limited number of mechanical people who all talked to one another and who generally knew as much or more about locomotives as most of the people we (MK) employed. "Slipping one by the customer" generally didn't work in your favor.

Posted from Android



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/06/19 17:20 by NYSWSD70M.



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