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In the late 1940s, even as it was building diesels in partnership with Alco, General Electric was experimenting with ways to apply its aircraft jet engine technology to railroading. Undeterred by the failure of its steam turbine prototypes, GE perused the development of a gas turbine engine, and in June of 1949 UP added the prototype to their roster for further testing. While not intended for passenger use, on occasion the gas turbine 4500 locomotive pulled in a streamlined passenger train after a diesel engine would break down. Averaging around 10,000 miles a month (400 turbine operating hours), the locomotive also contained a 250hp diesel engine, which was used to bring the turbine engine up to its firing speed of 700RPM. The first Challengers were conceived in 1936 to replace the Union Pacific's fleet of three-cylinder 4-12-2s (shown elsewhere in this catalog). This is an awesome loco, I've been captivated by USA steam power and I have to say this unit is pretty much as good as it gets.
Under the hood beats a third-generation model 710 diesel with 4300 horsepower; only slight modifications were needed to make the existing model 710 meet new emission standards. Other than the prime mover, however, virtually every element of the SD70ACe has been re-thought to create a 21st century locomotive. The SD70ACe also offers, in EMD's words, "outstanding improvements in maintainability." All electrical wires are on the right side of the locomotive and all piping is on the left, with most pipes and wires routed under the frame so they can be serviced by a man standing outside the engine - rather than crawling around at the bottom of the engine room.
After a year of testing on the road and at the Association of American Railroads' test track in Pueblo, CO, the first SD70ACe's ('e" stands for "enhanced") were delivered to CSX Transportation in 2004.
I purchased this piece mainly to be utilized on my Railroads Intermodal service because of it's size and weight I know it's going to be extremely good in pulling long freight. With a wave of consolidation behind it, North American railroading is once again a good business to be in.
At the heart of the Evolution Series is a brand new prime mover, the turbocharged four-cycle, 12-cylinder GEVO-12.
GE claims the EVOs are "the most fuel-efficient, most environmentally friendly diesel locomotives in history. Just months before Pearl Harbor, the American Locomotive Company delivered the first Big Boy to the Union Pacific Railroad.
Writer Henry Comstock beautifully described the Big Boy's place at the apex of steam engine history: "A Union Pacific 'Big Boy' was 604 tons and 19,000 cubic feet of steel and coal and water, poised upon 36 wheels spaced no wider apart than those of an automobile. Its gas turbine electric (GTEL) was basically a diesel engine with a large turbine replacing the diesel as the prime mover. Although the locomotive was not designed for multiple unit operation, they were occasionally double loaded, even through long tunnel routes where recalculation of exhaust gasses could pose problems.
This allowed the engine to then run fans, pumps, cooling motors, auxiliaries, and allowed the locomotive to move around terminals when running light. With a 50 mph top speed, the 4-12-2s had been the road's primary fast freight engines when built in 1926. In the midst of World War II, the War Production Board refused the Rio Grande's request to order new articulated of its own design and instead diverted the last six Challengers in UP's order to the D&RGW - which turned up its nose at the locos and decided to lease them for the duration and return them after the war.
While designed to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's Tier-2 emissions requirements that took effect on January 1, 2005, this replacement for the SD70MAC also has a higher purpose: to recapture the lead in North American locomotive sales that EMD lost to General Electric in 1987. With 5000 such motors in service worldwide and a reputation for dependability, EMD reasoned that shop crews would prefer familiar technology. And the time between service intervals has been doubled, from every three months to every six months.


While producing the same 4400 horsepower as its 16-cylinder FDL-series predecessor, the GEVO-12 uses less fuel and spits out 40% fewer emissions.
The UP's Department of Research and Mechanical Standards had designed the locomotive for a specific task: to pull a 3600-ton train unassisted over the Wasatch Mountains in Utah.
That it could thunder safely over undulating and curved track at speeds in excess of 70 miles an hour was due in large measure to the efforts of two long-forgotten pioneers. In a turbine, intake air is compressed by spinning turbine blades and fed into combustion chambers, where fuel is added and ignited, as in a jet engine. In their first year of operation the locomotives averaged approximately 4.2 gallons of total fuel per 1,000 gross ton-miles.
After two years of testing GE's prototype, the Union Pacific ordered its first ten GTELs in 1951. Unfortunately, by the early 1960s, the turbines' use of Bunker C fuel had changed from an advantage to a problem.
In 1947, the War Assets Administration sold the orphan locos to the Atlantic Coast Line and Louisville & Nashville Railroads, which put the Challengers to work on their jointly-owned subsidiary, the Clinchfield, Carolina & Ohio. The engine's angular nose offers the crew far better visibility than most other locomotives, and the cab is comfortable for engineers of almost any size. At the present time, mainline American railroads generally maintain dual fleets of locomotives. Locomotive orders are coming in at a solid pace from the Big Six roads that dominate rail transportation on the continent: Union Pacific, BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern, Canadian National, and Canadian Pacific.
Each of its cylinders displaces 950 cubic inches, nearly three times as much as an entire Corvette V-8. Listen to the chant of an authentic GEVO-12 motor in the Proto-Sound 3 versions, and throttle down as low as three scale miles per hour so you can admire the details as the Evolution Series glides by: see-through fans and grilles, walkways with safety tread, flashing ditch lights, windshield wipers, body and truck air brake piping, and a host of other separately applied details. While the Big Boy is often cited as the biggest steam locomotive ever built, in fact it is not.
The hot exhaust gases spin the blades of another turbine that powers one or more generators, which produce electricity to power diesel-type traction motors. The engines were designed to burn Bunker C oil, a byproduct of petroleum distillation that was almost considered waste material. The plastics industry had found new uses for the former waste product and its price skyrocketed. So American Locomotive Works (ALCO) was commissioned to build what became one of the most successful fleets of articulated engines on any railroad. Thus six engines intended to speed over western deserts and mountains ended up thundering through Appalachia. Digital screens provide a range of information on what is happening both inside the locomotive and out on the road. AC power is used for heavy coal hauling and hotshot intermodal traffic because AC traction motors offer higher starting tractive effort with the same horsepower. And the two remaining diesel builders are locked in a battle to become the locomotive supplier for the 21st century. Before they went on sale in 2005, 52 preproduction units were tested in revenue service across the continent for more than a year. Activate the couplers from anywhere on the layout using any DCC controller or the DCS Digital Command System.


The Norfolk and Western's Y6 and A, the Duluth Missabe and Iron Range's Yellowstones, and the Chesapeake and Ohio's Alleghenys were all in the same league, and some exceeded the Big Boy's weight and power. Compared with diesels of the period, GE's GTEL put three times as much power (4500hp) in one locomotive, had significantly fewer moving parts, and did not vibrate like a diesel. The Baby's 4500hp turbines demonstrated the locomotives ability to go faster then diesel engines and appeared, at the time, to be the more economical choice. The low cost of Bunker C more than compensated for the turbines' high consumption, although the oil was so thick it had to be heated to 240 degrees Fahrenheit to flow though the fuel system. In 1955 auxiliary fuel tenders were added to the locomotives, this additionally 24,000 gallons of oil allowed the train to make longer runs, increasing monthly mileage.
At the same time, the corrosive nature of the fuel led many of the turbines to develop engine problems. The cab easily accommodates a crew of three - an important factor in a modern world without cabooses. Caterpillarr-owned EMD, no longer a division of General Motors, is represented by the AC-traction-motored SD70ACe and its DC-traction sibling, the SD70M-2.
Every Big Six railroad has ponied up to buy the ES44, with the BNSF currently rostering the largest EVO fleet.
For the ultimate in power and sound, operate these diesels in multiple-unit lashups under DCC, or DCS digital command control. The Verandas were retired in 1963-64 in favor of newer 8500hp Big Blows, and the UP's entire turbine program was finished by 1970. The pressure of wartime traffic brought an order for 65 more of these 70 mph greyhounds in 1942-44, with improvements based on lessons learned from the UP's 4-8-8-4 Big Boys.
But with the SD70ACe, Electro-Motive hopes it may have the 21st Century successor to its 1949 Geep - a locomotive that can be nearly all things to all railroads. In service, the Challengers often complemented the Big Boys, speeding traffic over less rugged territory and handing it over to the Big Boys for the passage over Utah's Wasatch Mountains.The Challengers were steam power at its zenith.
DCS system, you can double- or even triple-head the ES44AC with virtually any combination of 3.0 locomotives. Perhaps it was the name, simple and direct, scrawled on a locomotive under construction by an Alco shop worker. They incorporated all the technology that represented super-power steam, including roller bearings on all axles and drive rods - but none of the foolishness that characterized some of the desperate efforts to save steam in the post-war years. Maybe it was timing, as the Big Boys hit the road just when America needed symbols to rally around. While most Challengers hauled freight, a number were assigned to passenger service in the Pacific Northwest, where they were converted to oil burners, equipped with smoke lifters ("wind wings" in UP parlance), and painted two-tone gray in 1946.It was in a roundabout way that six Challengers ordered by the UP ended up hauling coal for the Clinchfield Railroad. Maybe the UP's publicity department just did a better job of telling the world what great equipment they had. In the midst of World War II, the War Production Board refused the Rio Grande's request to order new articulateds of its own design and instead diverted the last six Challengers in UP's order to the D&RGW - which turned up its nose at the locos and decided to lease them for the duration and return them after the war. Whatever the reason, the Big Boy captured the imagination of railfans and the American public over the ensuing years, perhaps more than any other steam engine. In many ways it is the symbolic locomotive of the American West, as big and powerful as the country it sped through.



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  • jakira, 07.07.2015 at 20:33:50
    The floor is your trains won't nicely with trains to full series.