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Farewell Norfolk Southern F-units.

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Big Papi34, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. Big Papi34

    Big Papi34 Well-Known Member

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    Roughly 13 years ago railfans received a rumor of 4 F-Units being purchased by Norfolk Southern from a charter engine company. Soon these engines were repainted and refurbished to NS livery for their business or office car special ( OCS for short) train. 26548506526_d6ffa2cf19_b.jpg
    However, with the recent implementation of precision schedule railroading (psr), Norfolk Southern has been making fewer, longer trains to save money. If your wondering the affect this had on the F-Units, let me explain.
    When NS started cutting back to save money, this included getting rid or storing no longer needed engines. And four old passenger engines with worse fuel efficiency standards than newer freight engines that could easily do their job isn't what you call "money saving". So, after 13 years of duty under new owners, these railfan favorite engines have had their career come to an end. I have never had the luck to see them myself though they've been through where I live. These engines only chance of riding the rails again is if another company guys them from Norfolk Southern's auction, which is possible that BNSF would since their the only railroad without special engines for their OCS. Thanks for reading my post, and to the railfans that saw the F-Units in person, I hope you got pictures. IMG_4223.jpg
     
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  2. Digital Draftsman

    Digital Draftsman Well-Known Member

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    As someone who's dealt with parts supply and maintenance on the railway I can see why they'd get rid of them. They won't have the reliability of newer equipment and you can bet that the spares are located in one place, so anytime something goes wrong the parts or the locomotives have to be moved across the network before they can be fixed. If you want a gasket for an EMD 710 then you can bet every servicing facility will have plenty, however if you need a similar part for a EMD 567, it'll probably require a few phone calls and a courier. Being rebuilt in 2007, now after 12 years service, they'll be due another rebuild, which isn't straight forward. Locomotives of that age may have issues with cracking and wear on the trucks and frames which may be difficult to repair to mainline spec.

    It'll be a shame to see them go as they're at their best flying along the mainline at 60mph rather than sitting in a museum or plodding up and down a scenic railroad at 25mph.
     
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  3. Big Papi34

    Big Papi34 Well-Known Member

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    Couldn't agree more with your last sentence. Thanks for that other info as well, I can understand why their selling them, though I wish I could have saw them.
     
  4. StratPlayer62

    StratPlayer62 Well-Known Member

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    Didn't they rebuild them with the same prime mover as a GP-38?
     
  5. Big Papi34

    Big Papi34 Well-Known Member

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    Huh. I'll have to look into that.
     
  6. Digital Draftsman

    Digital Draftsman Well-Known Member

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    It seems you're right, they're basically gutted of all their original equipment. They're what in the UK we call 'Body Snatchers' as they look original on the outside, but on the inside they're different, as per the film of the same name!

    More info here: http://www.altoonaworks.info/rebuilds/ns_funits.html
     
  7. StratPlayer62

    StratPlayer62 Well-Known Member

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    So they should be pretty easy to maintain as there are a lot of GP38 locomotives out there.
     
  8. Big Papi34

    Big Papi34 Well-Known Member

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    Easy to maintain, yes. But cost effectient? The gp38's are actually being upgraded as we speak to be fuel efficient and eco friendly, as well as higher ranking horsepower. Plus the engines their being replaced with are less costly to run.
     
  9. Digital Draftsman

    Digital Draftsman Well-Known Member

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    There's also the issue of the carbody design which makes maintenance more difficult. With a hood unit like a GP38-2, you can lift off a hood section if you need better access, where as with a carbody design you'll have to lift the whole prime mover out of the locomotive and put it back in.

    Like this:
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Big Papi34

    Big Papi34 Well-Known Member

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    Neat picture.
     
  11. StratPlayer62

    StratPlayer62 Well-Known Member

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    Well I hope they are bought by someone who will put them to good use.
     
  12. Big Papi34

    Big Papi34 Well-Known Member

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    Same here. NS will deliver them to the winner so that will probably be my last chance to see them in person.
     
  13. JohnnyK98

    JohnnyK98 Member

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    Great post!
    I've stepped in an F-9 locomotive at a train museum nearby two months ago. The thing is gigantic!
     
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  14. Big Papi34

    Big Papi34 Well-Known Member

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    I've seen a couple of f units, but not these or a f9. There beautiful machines.
     

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