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Date: 09/12/20 13:43
Switcher Saturday
Author: briancdn

I spotted this unit at the massive Rio Tinto operation in Sorel/Tracy (Quebec) on Friday. Quebec Iron & Titanium 5171 seems to be either an SW8 or SW900, remote controlled, and riding on one AAR truck and one flexicoil. I don't have a copy of a canadian Trackside guide handy, maybe somebody can shed light on this engine's heritage.

Brian N.






Date: 09/12/20 18:44
Re: Switcher Saturday
Author: cn6218

Just checked the latest TSG.  They don't know either.

GTD



Date: 09/12/20 20:41
Re: Switcher Saturday
Author: PHall

I would bet it's an ex-CN SW8.



Date: 09/12/20 22:30
Re: Switcher Saturday
Author: feclark

PHall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I would bet it's an ex-CN SW8.

I imagine the spark arrestor suggests this, but there's an issue. The Stelco and Algoma Steel SWs, which had this distinctive, factory low-profile cab for industrial clearances, also had a cut-down stack. If this was ex-CN, it wouldn't have had the low cab roof, and there's no practical reason I can think of for cutting down the cab after the fact, when the stack is full height. A possibility is it's a factory industrial cab, acquired second-hand, with the spark arrestor added because this is a concern, but low clearances aren't needed. Just a guess, trying to make sense of this Frankenswitcher.
Fred



Date: 09/12/20 23:54
Re: Switcher Saturday
Author: railsmith

The latest Canadian Trackside Guide lists the unit on page 2-32, speculates that it is an SW8, and states "Ancestry not known". The listing is marked with an asterisk, indicating that the unit was not listed in previous editions.



Date: 09/13/20 05:04
Re: Switcher Saturday
Author: briancdn

feclark Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> PHall Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I would bet it's an ex-CN SW8.
>
> I imagine the spark arrestor suggests this, but
> there's an issue. The Stelco and Algoma Steel SWs,
> which had this distinctive, factory low-profile
> cab for industrial clearances, also had a cut-down
> stack. If this was ex-CN, it wouldn't have had the
> low cab roof, and there's no practical reason I
> can think of for cutting down the cab after the
> fact, when the stack is full height. A possibility
> is it's a factory industrial cab, acquired
> second-hand, with the spark arrestor added because
> this is a concern, but low clearances aren't
> needed. Just a guess, trying to make sense of this
> Frankenswitcher.
> Fred

All valid points. amazing these days to have a unit with no known heritage! That stack is pure CN, but the industrial cab is definitely fabricated, even the side windows are not salvaged from the original. The plot thickens..........
Brian N.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/20 05:10 by briancdn.



Date: 09/13/20 09:57
Re: Switcher Saturday
Author: feclark

briancdn Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> feclark Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > PHall Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > I would bet it's an ex-CN SW8.
> >
> > I imagine the spark arrestor suggests this, but
> > there's an issue. The Stelco and Algoma Steel
> SWs,
> > which had this distinctive, factory low-profile
> > cab for industrial clearances, also had a
> cut-down
> > stack. If this was ex-CN, it wouldn't have had
> the
> > low cab roof, and there's no practical reason I
> > can think of for cutting down the cab after the
> > fact, when the stack is full height. A
> possibility
> > is it's a factory industrial cab, acquired
> > second-hand, with the spark arrestor added
> because
> > this is a concern, but low clearances aren't
> > needed. Just a guess, trying to make sense of
> this
> > Frankenswitcher.
> > Fred
>
> All valid points. amazing these days to have a
> unit with no known heritage! That stack is pure
> CN, but the industrial cab is definitely
> fabricated, even the side windows are not salvaged
> from the original. The plot thickens..........
> Brian N.

You're right about the windows; the raised surrounds and bolts are a detail I should have caught.
Fred



Date: 09/13/20 10:10
Re: Switcher Saturday
Author: EMDSW-1

If you can see the handrail stanchions a spotting feature I use is a SW-900 has the newer stamped version whereas a SW-8 has the forged / bolted style kinda like GP7 vs GP9. Appears to be a SW-8.

Dick Samuels



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/20 10:11 by EMDSW-1.



Date: 09/13/20 10:11
Re: Switcher Saturday
Author: feclark

Here's a thought: years ago, CGTX in Red Deer got a little GE 25t, identity unknown. I phoned down from Edmonton to see if I could get permission to enter the plant to shoot it. No dice. So I explained the Trackside Guide, the fact railfans are fascinated by this stuff, and asked if they could give me any information, like builder's plate. So darned if the guy didn't offer to have someone go out and check it, and he'd call me back. Less than an hour later, I had the information (b/n. b/d, GE model), passed it along to Earl Roberts, and the history of the unit was soon determined. Can you call the plant?
Fred



Date: 09/13/20 10:20
Re: Switcher Saturday
Author: feclark

EMDSW-1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If you can see the handrail stanchions a spotting
> feature I use is a SW-900 has the newer stamped
> version whereas a SW-8 has the forged / bolted
> style kinda like GP7 vs GP9. Appears to be a
> SW-8.
>
> Dick Samuels

The handrails argue against a CN origin; their SW8/SW900 came with full-length hood-mounted handrails, which were completely removed when they got full length handrails with stanchions at the walkway outer edge. This beast has a remnant (or was it always short?) hood-mounted handrail. As well, you'll see a vertical stanchion next to the cab face, which CN's definitely didn't have, so this looks like a shop fabrication, perhaps. Also the headlight is twin sealed-beam, whereas CN's single-stack SW retained the larger, barrel headlight. Of course, this could be switched out, but why? The paint is reminiscent of some of the US Steel [?] roads, who used a yellowish-tan colour, with dark top, colour sometimes indeterminate due to weathering. The mix of trucks is another puzzle.
Fred



Date: 09/13/20 10:24
Re: Switcher Saturday
Author: wag216

Many THANKS to the gentlemen who helped many of us. wag216



Date: 09/13/20 12:35
Re: Switcher Saturday
Author: The-late-EMD

One word 'kitbashed'

Posted from Android



Date: 09/13/20 13:45
Re: Switcher Saturday
Author: PHall

I have no doubt at all that the steel mill locomotive shop did the cab, handrail and truck mods to this unit. It's what they do.
A working steel mill is a very specialized environment.



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