EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Cars & Motorcycles
Locomotive

Locomotive

2019

From the publisher of Trains magazine, Locomotive 2019 is back with the latest trends, statistics, and inside stories from the exciting world of locomotives. This year’s edition pays tribute to the longtime locomotive builder ALCO, 50 years after the company ceased production. Other stories include: • Electro-Motive F59s: A story about two diesel-electric locomotives built by General Motors. • Mission Control: How Wabtec-GE remotely monitors locomotives around the globe. • All-New Motive Power Review: Exclusive listing of new locomotives and major rebuilds. • Updated Big Six Fleets by the Numbers: A look at this year’s trends. • And more!

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
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in this issue

3 min.
backstage pass

I had occasion the other day to rummage through one of those catch-all file drawers we all seem to have. I never did locate the object of my search, but I did come across an all-but-forgotten souvenir from the past: an all-access backstage pass from a Bob Dylan concert a few decades ago. That’s another story for another time, but it occurred to me that Locomotive presents it own version of an all-access backstage pass. It’s rare privilege in these days of dehumanizing technology and corporate business practices to be afforded the opportunity to pull back the curtain and present in-depth, inside stories from the boardrooms, backrooms, and backshops of modern railroading. Locomotive has been granted that benefit throughout its 14 years of publication: from the erecting halls, paint shops, and…

2 min.
making style points in meridian

To borrow from songwriter Stephen Stills, there’s something happening here, but what it is ain’t exactly clear. It’s July 1958 in Meridian, Miss., and two crews on two different railroads have something to say to each other. In the foreground, a Southern F3 is getting a wheel into tonnage bound for New Orleans, 203 miles distant. On an adjacent track, the crew aboard Gulf, Mobile & Ohio FA1 753 is waiting for clearance to take a local freight across Southern’s tracks. The GM&O hogger clearly has something on his mind. You can see him saying — or more likely shouting — something to his counterparts just a couple of tracks away. Does it have to do with the orders for his train, the Union Turn, about to head northwest 33 miles…

2 min.
parker, you shoulda been there

Six decades have gone by since J. Parker Lamb watched Southern Fs and Gulf, Mobile & Ohio FA1s pass at Meridian, Miss., in summer 1958, “at the high tide of the cab unit,” as Kevin P. Keefe so eloquently put it. Cab units were a fixture in freight service when Parker framed Southern F3A 4157 and Gulf, Mobile & Ohio FA1 753 in his viewfinder. These days, the concept of cabs hauling tonnage is all but ancient history. A precious few F units — most notably Ontario Southland’s quartet of FP9s — survive in revenue freight service. However, for all intents and purposes, the era of Alco cabs working freight ended with a one-two punch in the mid-to-late ’70s. In 1975, CP Rail retired its fleet of Montreal-built FA1s, FB1s, FA2s, FB2s,…

9 min.
motive power review

And then there were none. On Feb. 25, 2019, General Electric completed the spinoff of its transportation division to Wabtec Corp. with the two entities merging, producing a company expected to earn over $8 billion in revenues this year. The move is historic. GE Transportation was the last major locomotive builder in North America that hadn’t been sold, spun off, or gone out of business outright. GE had been in the locomotive business since 1892; pioneered in development and construction of electric, diesel-electric, gas-turbines, as well as electric M.U. cars and other rail products on its own as well as under the famed Alco-GE partnership that lasted from 1940 until 1953. GE was No. 3 in the locomotive market when its U25B hit the market in 1960, rose to No.…

13 min.
evo phone home

A two-unit consist is working hard as it leads a long hotshot intermodal train upgrade. The crew is unaware, but trouble is brewing in the trailing locomotive. Sensors have detected that it’s beginning to run hot. The locomotive essentially phones home, a blip in its continuous stream of data letting Wabtec know that all is not well. The information is analyzed automatically. And, thousands of miles away at one of Wabtec’s Global Performance Optimization Centers, an alert flashes on a computer screen. Within 15 minutes, a pair of human eyes has looked at the unit’s maintenance history and glanced at the train’s speed, trailing tonnage, its precise location on the railroad, and even the weather. The expert’s conclusion at mission control? The train is near the top of the grade and the…

3 min.
tip of the hat to the top hat

They called them “top hats.” Norfolk Southern’s 125 standard-cab GE Dash 9-40Cs were a staple of coal-field railroading as I grew up watching these workhorses pull heavy trains through the rugged mountains of southwest Virginia in the late 1990s and early 2000s. When most Class I railroads embraced safety cabs and A.C. traction, NS stuck with standard-cab D.C. EMDs and GEs. Delivered between January and March 1995, NS Nos. 8764 to 8888 were the last standard-cab GE locomotives built for a Class I railroad. They would also be the only standard-cab Dash 9s built. NS switched to wide-nose models in January 1996 and joined the A.C. revolution in 2008. “The C40-9s were workhorses, plain and simple,” says veteran engineer Greg Bowman. He worked for NS for almost 30 years, the last 18…