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Railroaders' Nostalgia > EMD Truck Tests in the 1980's


Date: 10/09/18 18:55
EMD Truck Tests in the 1980's
Author: bogieman

Starting in 1982, I joined the EMD truck design group after being the noise and spark arrester guy. Between then and 1990 I had the pleasure of participating in or leading many development tests, many starting at TTC in Pueblo but then on to the RR's:

1982 - testing of the prototype low profile elliptic spring on a Conrail GP40-2 from Boston to Chicago,
1983 - GM6C testing at TTC for axle torsionals in advance of the GF6C testing,
1984 March - testing axle torstional response on the GF6C in British Columbia,
1984 September - testing of the HT-BB 4-axle articulated truck on BN 6599 out of Auburn, WA on Stampede Pass when the track was out of service,
1984 November - testing of a pre-prototype 2 axle radial steering truck on GP50 SF 3810 at TTC, then a week on Santa Fe out of Trinidad up to Wootton on Raton,
1986 May-June - testing of a prototype 2-axle radial truck on SF 3810 at TTC, then Raton,
1987 June-Sept - testing of a prototype 3-axle HTCR radial truck on EMD3 at TTC, then Raton,
1990 July - testing of HTCR trucks permanently retrofit on EMD3 for stability on the BN between Earlville and Somonauk, IL,
1990 Aug-Dec - testing of a production version of the HTCR trucks permanently retrofit on EMD3 at TTC and on the UP Reno Branch between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I spent Thanksgiving day in the EMD 820 test car parked in Cheyenne next to the steam shop before moving on to Portola then Reno.

This was definitely the most enjoyable and satisfying part of my 41 years with EMD (6 more years at ASF or consulting). The crews we were assigned were always top notch and a pleasure to work with. We always had more crew assigned than required to operate the test consist and those guys not running the locos often did the cooking for the group on the test car; we had many outstanding meals. I can also remember the many radio calls between the crew and the dispatcher to get track time and signals; the crews always advocated for us and we wouldn't have gotten the testing in we needed to do without their efforts. It did seem the crews really liked the assignments both for a change of pace and to get home every night. I heard some great stories and have a few of my own. 

I sincerely appreciate the help we got.

I've been wondering if any of the crew members who participated in any of these test programs are currently on TO. Unfortunately, I don't have my log books and can't recall other than a few first names. Maybe some photographers, who always seemed to be near, have some photos.

Dave Goding
 



Date: 10/10/18 15:17
Re: EMD Truck Tests in the 1980's
Author: engineerinvirginia

Getting manufacturer reps on board is always treat...you can always harangue them with "why didn't they this or that?" They always say..."Er I'm not in that department" But they are always good joes. We had a GE rep on board one time mapping the lines with a supersensitive GPS antenna...to develop maps for Trip Optimizer, what he didn't know was that we were going up a short line we have track rights on. One which wouldn't be suitable for TO because of the undulating terrain, and who would not have wanted to pay to get it set up on their line! But he rode all the way...and what ever became of the mapping data I don't know.....I suppose it still on a GE server and can be pulled out if that short line ever wants to get TO!



Date: 10/11/18 06:48
Re: EMD Truck Tests in the 1980's
Author: E25

Dave, thanks to a heads-up from Keith Ardinger ( "FT" on TO), I was able to get into Lester, WA and capture a few shots of EMD's modified BN SDP45 taken while you were testing out the new HT-BB 4-axle articulated rear truck on the then moth-balled Stampede Pass near Lester, WA

(1)  BN #6599 on Stampede Pass near Lester, WA (1984)

(2)  Close-up view of the modified rear truck on BN #6599 near Lester, WA on Stampede Pass (1984)

(3)  BN #6599 eastbound on Stampede Pass near Lester, WA (1984)

Best regards,

Greg Stadter
Phoenix, AZ



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 10/11/18 14:43 by E25.








Date: 10/11/18 06:49
Re: EMD Truck Tests in the 1980's
Author: E25

The entire consist was pretty unusual:  The modified #6599, and the EMD SD45X #5740 and a rare former Frisco SD38-2, #6261 as "braking sleds" to provide the simulated load.

(4)  BN #6599 eastbound on Stampede Pass crossing the Green River Trestle near Lester, WA (1984)

(5)  BN #6261 westbound on Stampede Pass crossing the Green River Trestle near Lester, WA (1984)

(6)  BN #6261 westbound on Stampede Pass near Lester, WA (1984)

Greg Stadter
Phoenix, AZ



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/11/18 08:16 by E25.








Date: 10/11/18 06:49
Re: EMD Truck Tests in the 1980's
Author: E25

(7)  F9A #462 is in good EMD company at BN's Auburn, WA locomotive facility during another Stampede Pass mountain grade testing sesion with SD45X #5740 (1977)

(8)  EMD F9A #462 and SD45X #5740 at BN's Auburn, WA locomotive facility (1977)

Greg Stadter
Phoenix, AZ



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/11/18 08:01 by E25.






Date: 10/11/18 12:39
Re: EMD Truck Tests in the 1980's
Author: jtwlunch

Dave,

What were the goals of the 4 axle truck?  How did it do in meeting those goals?



Date: 10/11/18 16:50
Re: EMD Truck Tests in the 1980's
Author: bogieman

Great photos Greg. Don't know if you saw the consist on the first day on the hill with the BN private car attached. Don't recall the car number but it had a picture window on the rear. I didn't get inside the car to see how it was furnished but there was a chef on board. George Thompson at BN, VP of Maintenance and Engineering, was the driving force behind the railroad's interest and the one who gave us the locomotive to modify. When he retired a few months later, his successor at BN had no interest so the project died when the loco failed a turbo and was scrapped shortly after having run about 120K miles with no truck issues.

Dave



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/11/18 17:16 by bogieman.



Date: 10/11/18 17:13
Re: EMD Truck Tests in the 1980's
Author: bogieman

jtwlunch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Dave,
>
> What were the goals of the 4 axle truck?  How did
> it do in meeting those goals?

This truck was the brainchild of Roy Roush, a long time member of the truck group at EMD. It was first proposed for use on the South African 11E electric locomotives built by EMD with ASEA in the early 80's. With 8 motors, the EMD narrow gauge traction motor would have met the tractive performance requirement but SAR wasn't interest in 8 axles, preferring the GSI 3-axle zero weight shift truck which was ultimately used there. So Roy kept the design alive by pitching it to any customer that would listen - it was proposed to replace the rigid trucks on the Brazilian DDM45 several times but the cost was always too high. The BN was the only RR interested and had enough interest to donate the SDP45 for retrofit, which we did in the high bay at EMD during 1984. The testing was to demonstrate that the 4-axle lateral track forces were less than a 3-axle truck as the math models predicted. We had instrumented wheelsets in axles 1, 4 and 6 so we could compare leading axle lateral and L/V directly. It more than met the comparison criteria and the track forces were actually less than a standard 2-axle truck would develop, this the result of the link joining the end transoms of the two 2-axle sub-trucks. George Thompson, VP of Maintenance and Engineering at BN was interested party on the RR but he retired a few months after this test and the RR lost interest. EMD Sales and Engineering were mixed as far as support for another 8-axle loco went. It would have required developing a bigger alternator to make the current required for 8 motors in full parallel and the cost of extra motors and wheelsets was too much to justify. I think if a RR had enough interest to place an order, EMD would have pursued it.

Dave



Date: 10/12/18 16:58
Re: EMD Truck Tests in the 1980's
Author: snoopy51

mmmmmm 
The biggest mistake was locking the two bogies to the frame,
should have put a DD truck under it . my $2.00 worth   loll



Date: 10/12/18 18:35
Re: EMD Truck Tests in the 1980's
Author: PHall

snoopy51 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> mmmmmm 
> The biggest mistake was locking the two bogies to
> the frame,
> should have put a DD truck under it . my $2.00
> worth   loll

They were trying to reduce the rigid wheelbase. This was a "self steering" truck design.



Date: 10/14/18 09:23
Re: EMD Truck Tests in the 1980's
Author: engineerinvirginia

An  8 axle motor with todays technology might mean you could pull a train of given weight that took three six axle engines and do it with two At the least you'd have stellar traction!!



Date: 10/14/18 15:29
Re: EMD Truck Tests in the 1980's
Author: bogieman

PHall Wrote:

> This was a "self steering" truck design.

Not really self-steering which I reserve for radial trucks that allow axle yaw within a frame. But as noted, the short 2-axle wheelbase sub-trucks create much lower lateral forces than the long wheelbase of a 4-axle rigid truck.

Dave



Date: 10/15/18 08:00
Re: EMD Truck Tests in the 1980's
Author: Royal_Palm

I recall seeing the 6599 at Precision National in Mount Vernon, IL in the early 1990's - silver trucks and all - along with a few UP DD40AXs.  Neat times.
 



Date: 10/16/18 23:07
Re: EMD Truck Tests in the 1980's
Author: MC6853

Any photos out there of ATSF 3810 with its test trucks?

Posted from Android



Date: 10/20/18 10:11
Re: EMD Truck Tests in the 1980's
Author: TexasRocket

I'd like to see that, too.



Date: 10/23/18 12:59
Re: EMD Truck Tests in the 1980's
Author: rfdatalink

I started as an engineering co-op at EMD the summer of 1984.   I can remember walking out and seeing the work being done in the high bay and thinking it was quite interesting as well as odd.  All these years I have always assumed that the work on the 4 axle steering truck was a precursor to the self steering 3 axle.   But if I understand what you wrote correctly, they were two very different items.   
Having already been a railfan as long as I could remember, I really enjoyed my time as a co-op at EMD.  Unfortunately I had to leave at the beginning of 1986. 
Stephen



Date: 10/29/18 23:44
Re: EMD Truck Tests in the 1980's
Author: NebraskaZephyr

IIRC, didn't you guys have to disconnect/remove the No. 2 traction motor (center axle, lead truck) on the 6599 in order to stay within the six-motor cofiguration of its electrical system?  That would have made it a truly one-of-a-kind A1A-B+B wheel arrangement.

After the 6599 finished in Washington, didn't it come back to Illinois for a short time? I have a BN employee friend that swears on a stack of Bibles that the 6599 made at least one trip down the Fox River Branch on the Eola-Ottawa roadswitcher (11841). Sure would have liked to have caught that!

NZ  



Date: 10/30/18 14:53
Re: EMD Truck Tests in the 1980's
Author: MP683

Maybe you’d be able to shed some light on this.
I’ve noticed on most UP SD70’s i get, the trucks are stenciled “steering link removed”

I am ASSuming that these have reverted back to essentially a standard truck in operation, is this due to a design issue, or the railroad not wishing to maintain due to cost/benefit?



Date: 11/02/18 16:36
Re: EMD Truck Tests in the 1980's
Author: wabash2800

I've seen the F9 before. What is its heritage? Was it never sold to a customer or did it come second-hand from a railroad? Incidentally, I like the other paint scheme better than the solid color.

Victor A. Baird
http://www.erstwhilepublications.com

Edit:

OK, looked it up. It was former C&NW F7 retired in 1959 and rebuilt into an F9 by EMD. It appears to have at least three different paint shemes. It was scrapped in 1998.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/02/18 16:45 by wabash2800.



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