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Railroaders' Nostalgia > EMD's Hot Dog Cooker


Date: 06/04/23 17:04
EMD's Hot Dog Cooker
Author: ApproachCircuit

I know most of you can identify with the following: esp people working the colder climates.
Until EMD went to electrical cab heat, we had a hot water affair directly in front of the Engr's seatbox.
Now this heater took scalding water directly from the engine block. Inside the heater unit was a small radiator
that circulated the scalding water in front of an electical blower.(fan) Now this unit worked great even in the coldest weather.
No complaints at all. It was a bit noisy but not that bad.
Now here comes the Problem: After years of service and maybe railroad neglect, the radiator core would start to leak.
And leak it did.
Not only did it leak but clouds of steam would arise fogging up your front window. I think the hood units were more of a problem than the cab units(?)
You could hardly operate your power due to the amount of steam and escaping heat. Sometimes the RH would release the same unit over and over
without doing much. about it. Oh well, welcome to railroading!  At least you could steam your hot dogs- Beans in the Cab!



Date: 06/04/23 17:52
Re: EMD's Hot Dog Cooker
Author: King_Coal

Ha. All I can remember is cold (in Northern Kansas and Illinois) and heat (in Texas) riding EMDs. In the wrong season. "Why did you bring that duct tape?" the unseasoned employee would ask? Answer came pretty quickly.  No explanation on opening the cab door needed even for me moving at 35 mph in south Texas sun.



Date: 06/04/23 17:53
Re: EMD's Hot Dog Cooker
Author: Notch7

I also preferred the hot water or steam line heaters.  I had some uncomfortable electric heater failures.  I still remember one bitter cold afternoon when we caught up on the fly  on SCL's hottest pig train No.175 - complete with all the earliest UPS traffic.  We had four brand new just accepted GP40-2's as power.  None of the electric heaters worked.  The hottest freight train on the railroad was also the coldest.  The bitter cold outside plus the wind chill from running near passemger speed was barely bearable on the lead new GP40-2.  Thankfully it was only about 98 miles to our home terminal where No. 175 got fresh power anyway.

Yes, sometimes the hot water / steam heater cores would sometimes leak and fog the windschields.  In bitter cold weather this could cause ice to form on the inside of the windschields.  For that I always carried a plastic ice scraper.




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/05/23 07:33 by Notch7.



Date: 06/04/23 20:58
Re: EMD's Hot Dog Cooker
Author: Westbound

You have described exactly what went wrong in two of my Plymouths years ago. The only solution was to remove the heater radiator core and take it to a radiator repair shop. I have not had such a problem in decades so don’t know if modern cars still work that way. Perhaps both locomotives and automobiles have gone to electric heat?



Date: 06/04/23 22:01
Re: EMD's Hot Dog Cooker
Author: roustabout

All of the old GP and SD units that my shortline employer had were equipped with the hot water radiators.  One of the GP9s, Portland & Western 1803, sprung a leak in the radiator core, leaked all over the cab. I very quickly figured out where the hot water shutoff was back in the long hood.  Later years running SD7 1501 in Albany yard, I would shut the hot water line off in the summer, sometimes to the chagrin of the engineer working the other shift but they firgured it out, also.  



Date: 06/04/23 22:31
Re: EMD's Hot Dog Cooker
Author: PHall

Westbound Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You have described exactly what went wrong in two
> of my Plymouths years ago. The only solution was
> to remove the heater radiator core and take it to
> a radiator repair shop. I have not had such a
> problem in decades so don’t know if modern cars
> still work that way. Perhaps both locomotives and
> automobiles have gone to electric heat?

With automobiles it's probably because most modern vehicles have aluminium heater cores and radiators. Much more corrosion resistant then copper.



Date: 06/05/23 07:56
Re: EMD's Hot Dog Cooker
Author: HotWater

PHall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Westbound Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > You have described exactly what went wrong in
> two
> > of my Plymouths years ago. The only solution
> was
> > to remove the heater radiator core and take it
> to
> > a radiator repair shop. I have not had such a
> > problem in decades so don’t know if modern
> cars
> > still work that way. Perhaps both locomotives
> and
> > automobiles have gone to electric heat?
>
> With automobiles it's probably because most modern
> vehicles have aluminium heater cores and
> radiators. Much more corrosion resistant then
> copper.

Considering the caustic cleaning "soaps" that railroads used "back in the old days", ANYTHING constructed of aluminum in/on a locomotive would have been eaten up pretty quickly. Thus, the use of copper. Also, even back in the 1940s, automobiles began using ethylene glycol anti-freeze, which was not harmful to aluminum, but would attack copper.



Date: 06/05/23 12:42
Re: EMD's Hot Dog Cooker
Author: ln844south

Remember some carmen in the shop thought the water treatment in locomotives was anti-freeze. Several busted blocks that winter.



Date: 06/08/23 08:15
Re: EMD's Hot Dog Cooker
Author: LocoPilot750

You could usually tell how the trip was going to be if you smelled anti-freeze and felt humidity as soon as you came in the door. (Wasn't really antifreeze, it was green treated water that smelled the same) I thought things would get better when they converted over to electric heaters...until the heating elements burned out. But it was a DRY heat when they worked ! Still, sidewall heat was your best friend in cold weather after all the Skoal drippings burned off in the fall). And the cab interior dried out quickly with electric heat, and we used to drip drinking water on the sidewalls to moisten the air.

Posted from Android



Date: 06/08/23 11:54
Re: EMD's Hot Dog Cooker
Author: Drknow

LocoPilot750 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You could usually tell how the trip was going to
> be if you smelled anti-freeze and felt humidity as
> soon as you came in the door. (Wasn't really
> antifreeze, it was green treated water that
> smelled the same) I thought things would get
> better when they converted over to electric
> heaters...until the heating elements burned out.
> But it was a DRY heat when they worked ! Still,
> sidewall heat was your best friend in cold weather
> after all the Skoal drippings burned off in the
> fall). And the cab interior dried out quickly with
> electric heat, and we used to drip drinking water
> on the sidewalls to moisten the air.
>
> Posted from Android


Good sidewalls can’t be beat. Wet paper towels on the sidewalls work great.

Regards

Posted from iPhone



Date: 06/08/23 13:04
Re: EMD's Hot Dog Cooker
Author: LocoPilot750

I forgot the wet towels, on old standard cab units and waycars, you could stick wet towels on the doors when it was freezing, and they would freeze to the door if the seals were bad.

Posted from Android



Date: 06/08/23 22:50
Re: EMD's Hot Dog Cooker
Author: Drknow

Yep.

Freezing paper towels into the doors and windows and the role of duct tape to do same are still viable tools.
The older EMD units had the best sidewalls. Wrapping sausages or leftovers in tinfoil or whatever canned foods you have and a couple of hours later you had a great meal. They also were ten times better at keeping the cab warm than the blowers. The newer EMD’s and GE’ have pretty sh$tty sidewalls in comparison.

Regards

Posted from iPhone



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