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Thread: On manufacturing quality...

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coal Dragger View Post
    I guess on topic I can relate the joys of operating brand new locomotives that still have new car smell in the cab. Often times they have issues, usually minor, doesn’t matter if it’s a GE or an EMD. Almost always electrical problems or a computer/radio/data issue. One look in the electrical cabinet of a 4400hp AC locomotive and I’m actually surprised there aren’t a lot more defects, that is a lot of stuff going on, a mind boggling amount of wiring, harnesses, relays etc. All of it ultimately controlled by a computer and sometimes those go bad, or there are software faults. More often than not dropping the breakers and hard rebooting will clear things up, but when it doesn’t you are in for a shit show.

    The big medium speed diesels are shockingly durable and reliable considering what they do every day. If new ones do have issues it’s usually a loose connection in the high pressure side of the fuel lines. If you ever see one go by with damage to the long hood that has burned the paint off 99% of the time at some point the high pressure side of the fuel rail has sprung a leak back by the turbo and gotten hot enough to light off a fuel fire. Very rare to see a new motor have hard parts failures, but eventually things will break. I’ve had turbochargers blow up, rods let go, and once even had a rod bearing go bad and spin on the rod journal of a crank and grind it down until it split in two. Threw the rod out of the block at an access hatch and I got some good photos of it.

    Electric traction motors are also a common point of failure, they’ll give you a bit of warning if you pay attention but often just suddenly give out. Worse yet is if the bearings in the pinion gear or armature go bad and lock up an axle. That is pretty much the end of your day, it will take hours to get that locomotive set out somewhere at walking speed. Destroys the wheels, last time we had maybe a 9” flat spot on the wheel by the time we got it set out. Otherwise they torch out the pinion so the wheel will turn freely but that is $30K bill to fix the damage from torching it vs turning the wheels down or slamming a new axle and wheels in.
    If you have pics to share that would awesome. I love me some heavy machinery carnage. Being a locomotive makes all the awesomer.


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  2. #42
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    Ask and you shall receive:

    This was an alarm on the lead unit indicating a trailing locomotive, went back to the 2nd unit after we stalled out to a stop and had a crank case over pressure alarm.


    accent 0 60

    Oh no an access hatch has been blasted off.... what’s inside?




    accent 0 60

    Not sure what that rebuild bill was but I’ll bet it was expensive.

  3. #43
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    Next up a train ahead of me had a B consist alarm, so a distributed power locomotive had an issue. Dispatcher put us on the other main to run around them but asked us to stop and check out the alarm so mechanical knew what to expect or see if we could reset some breakers.

    Again an access hatch blasted off, somehow a portion of camshaft fell down and must have had a crank throw punt it out the side.



    accent 0 60

    Camshafts on these engines bolt together in sections so individual power assemblies can be changed out. Still not sure how it fell down into the crank case.
    Last edited by Coal Dragger; 06-03-20 at 02:46.

  4. #44
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    Hell yes! #goodcontent gang in here tonight.

    What kind of RPMs are these seeing?


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  5. #45
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    Next up a turbocharger impeller failure, this is the fresh air side of the turbocharger. On EMD two stroke diesels the turbo is also driven off the crank via gearing because positive manifold pressure is needed to get proper charge air and exhaust scavenging. There is a clutch mechanism that decouples the shaft once exhaust gas velocity is adequate to make boost, past about 75% throttle.

    This happened almost immediately in the trip, loaded coal train pulling out of the mine and right on a hill. Just grinding up the hill in full throttle going maybe 11mph and losing speed due to frost on the rail. Then all of a sudden BOOM! loud pop and a bright light as the motor dropped all load must have grounded out all the current. Stalled to a stop, set air brakes. Then tried to determine the problem, strangely no alarms or fault codes. So I tried to restart the engine, it attempted to run and turn over but it sounded bad.... really really bad.

    So I went exploring to be met with smoke pouring out of a long hood door, and it as kind of bent. So I opened it and was rewarded with broken smoking hot parts falling out.









    accent 0 60

    Notice there was enough energy to puncture the long hood door, after blasting a 1/2” thick steel casting for the cold side of the turbo to bits.

    That chunk of impeller probably weighed 30lbs and was only a small portion of the part.

    We secured the train, and had to hang out on the second unit until relieved because it was -15 that night and with no heat on the lead it was pretty chilly.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpmuscle View Post
    Hell yes! #goodcontent gang in here tonight.

    What kind of RPMs are these seeing?


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    About 950-1000RPM is where the governor shuts them down.

  7. #47
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    What size are the turbos?


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  8. #48
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    Hard to quantify that in terms a car or truck guy would understand.

    That particular engine is an EMD 710 series V16. So 16 cylinders at 710 cubic inches per cylinder. If I had to guess that turbo housing is about 5ft in diameter.

    https://www.progressrail.com/en/engines/locomotiveengines/locomotive.html

    So the 710 series is 68” wide and the turbo is basically almost the same diameter as the over all width.
    Last edited by Coal Dragger; 06-02-20 at 22:34.

  9. #49
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    Interesting pics. If memory serves, isn't the 710 just a bored and stroked 645, which was in turn a bored/stroked version of the original 1930s EMC 567?

    To the non-railroaders: EMC/EMD model numbers are based on cylinder count and cubes per, the 20-645 that powered the late 1960s SD45 and required its distinctive flared radiator was a V-20 at 645cid per cyl, while a typical 1950s E-series passenger diesel had two 12-567s and the light-duty models in the SW series of yard switchers ran 6-567s. The 6000hp 265H that ran the short-lived and no-virtually-extinct SD90MAC are an exception to this pattern, but the 1010 derived from it is a reversion.
    Last edited by Diamondback; 06-02-20 at 23:16.
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  10. #50
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    Where basic architecture is concerned that is fairly accurate.

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