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GG-1 & Other Electrics
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Author:  Bob Davis [ Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GG-1 & Other Electrics

When you start talking 600 volts DC, you're moving into my neighborhood (Pacific Electric Red Cars forever!). Has anyone figured out the current consumption of a GG-1 modified for 600 volts? Then there's the question of track structure. Tracks that are OK for 60-ton interurban freight motors or even three-car PE Blimp or North Shore trains might find a GG-1 to be rather challenging. And of course just moving such a behemoth to a museum with trolley wire would be a Herculean labor. According to PNAERC, the only GG-1 at such a museum is at Illinois, and they have plenty of other projects to stay busy with. It's fun to think about anyway, and for many of our readers, it's too cold and miserable outside to do much else.

Author:  Stationary Steam [ Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GG-1 & Other Electrics

Yes it is fun to speculate when its too cold outside to do any real work!

The GG1s had a weight on drivers of 50,000 lbs. per axle, while an SD9 has 60,000 lbs. on each wheelset. The SD9 is 360,000 lbs. and the GG1 dwarfs it at 468,000 lbs., but there are four more wheelsets to carry that additional 54 tons. So I don't think the rail loadings are an issue. They were also known for being easy on the track.

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GG-1 & Other Electrics

Look, folks, if (and I do mean IF) a GG1 were made to be able to move itself under wire, no GG1 enthusiasts are going to be happy until it's doing 75+ on the mainline. Would it be worthwhile to see--to make up examples--Milwaukee 4-8-4 261 chuffing around the loop at Green Bay at 10 mph, or Reading 2102 working shuttles at Steamtown, or Santa Fe 3751 doing short excursions at Perris?

IRM does indeed represent the ONLY place--for now, at least--where a G could be reactivated under wire, and I think that, although there are legends of IRM interurbans doing fast things on their track, that they have better uses for their funds.

Now, if some PRRT&HS member should win the lottery, on the other hand.........

Author:  buzz_morris [ Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GG-1 & Other Electrics

Some of us at the IRM, that will remain un-named, tossed the GG1 on 600-volt idea around a few years ago. I think that may have started an incorrect rumor that we were planning to try something. Like this thread its just idle speculation, nothing more.
The experts agreed that yes you could hot wire a couple motors to a trolley controller and grids, attach a trolley pole, and make it move on 600 volts DC. May be as fast as 30 to 40 MPH.
However there were many more problems past just getting it to move. Air compressor and auxiliary equipment, lighting, ect would all need to be modified. Of larger concern was the turn radius of the GG1. Our wye is probably too tight for it. It would also need a lot of labor to inspect, grease, and repair, all the running gear, brakes, and who knows what else (wheel flanges?) to pass a safety inspection. And then after all that you would not have a GG1 any more. Just a modified thing that looked like a GG1.
On another note have any of you sat in the engineers seat of a GG1? It has to be the most claustrophobic control stations I’ve ever seen. It’s like being in a midget submarine looking out a torpedo tube.

Author:  Bob Davis [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: GG-1 & Other Electrics

Thanks for the reply from the only place with a GG-1 and trolley wire. One might say that the resulting unit would bear about the same relation to the original that a NASCAR entry bears to an off-the-assembly-line Chevy, although going in the opposite direction regarding speed capability. I've only seen a live GG-1 once, and that was many years ago, but my main memory was the blowers, presumably keeping the motors cool.
And regarding 3751 running at Perris--I can't speak for the rest of OERM, but I think our Ventura County 2 (2-6-2, Baldwin, 1923, about 70 tons) is a good fit for our operation, and as long as we can get an occasional LA to San Diego run with 3751, life is good!

Author:  pennsy3750 [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: GG-1 & Other Electrics

What about restoring the engineer's controls in a GG-1? Then raise the pantograph, and push it with a diesel. (Preferably a diesel located at the far end of a cut of coaches with MU pass-through capability.)

Yes, I know - not the same. But much better than nothing.

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: GG-1 & Other Electrics

Image

Guys........

Image

Image

Author:  filmteknik [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: GG-1 & Other Electrics

Just a modified thing that looked like a GG1.

From the museum that doesn't mind pushing around a dead DDA40X or a dead FP45 I would think a GG1 running under its own power would be just dandy. I don't think anyone is going to care if the MG and compressor have been swapped out and resistors have substituted for the transformer. It would still be capable of...um...track speed. The museum would be hailed throughout the country for running a GG1.

The main reason this won't happen is that PRR is not MILW, C&NW or CB&Q. On the north to west to south to east compass, IRM interest wanes after the southwest compass point and RI. Even ATSF gets less attention than you'd expect. Eastern roads? Pffft. (That's why MRM is becoming the major IC museum.)

If the MILW bi-polar at St. Louis was at IRM you can rest assured they'd have either gotten it running on 600V or determined it to be impossible for some reason.

Steve

Author:  Stationary Steam [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: GG-1 & Other Electrics

Who would do this for enthusiasts? We all know they are a most ungrateful group.

Restore a GG1. They will complain that its not on the NEC.
Run it on the NEC. They will complain the cars are Amfleet and not PRR.
Find a train of PRR varnish. They will complain that the rail is welded.
And on and on and on...

Author:  JR May [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: GG-1 & Other Electrics

> Restore a GG1. They will complain that its not on the NEC.
> Run it on the NEC. They will complain the cars are Amfleet and not PRR.
> Find a train of PRR varnish. They will complain that the rail is welded.

And who are "they?" The "they" you are talking about are not the ones who fork over the cash to visit a museum or ride the trains. Of the thousands who visit any particular museum in a given year a tiny percentage are die hard rail enthusiasts and even fewer are seen on this board.

That said, why is replacing some of the key guts of a GG1 any different than putting a new welded square cornered boiler on a steam locomotive or steam tractor? There are some pretty extensive steam locomotive restorations under way around the country that will result in maybe 50% of the original locomotive being replaced, yet that is seen as somewhat acceptable. With the number of GG1s sitting idle in museums around the country, what is the harm in taking one and figuring a way to make it operational, even to some limited basis? Do I remember them running down the corridor? No. I remember standing next to them in South Amboy as they traded places with E-8s back in the late 1970s/early 1980s. They are a beast to stand next to as they roll by and that is something I would like to see once again.

Would it be a customer (families) draw? They certainly could be with the right marketing effort. I wonder how many Lionel and MTH sell in a given year for gosh sakes. There's just something about a GG1.

If its doable, lets support the effort, not shoot it down.

J.R. May

Author:  Dave [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GG-1 & Other Electrics

Easier heresy: replace the body of any spare road diesel with a body design based on the GG1.

I think the GG1 was notable for two reasons: the Loewy body and the ability it had to do what it was designed to do. You can appreciate the design of the body sitting still, but limping on a couple underpowered motors at low speed does nothing to demonstrate the GG acting like a GG. A GG in good working order today could still handle commuter trains (if geared up) in the corridor - cars are lighter today - and that's what makes its technology as important not to lose in interpretation as its streamlined design.

I just don't see any advantage in making a GG run if it can't run like a GG.

dave

Author:  wilkinsd [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GG-1 & Other Electrics

filmteknik wrote:
Just a modified thing that looked like a GG1.

The main reason this won't happen is that PRR is not MILW, C&NW or CB&Q. On the north to west to south to east compass, IRM interest wanes after the southwest compass point and RI. Even ATSF gets less attention than you'd expect. Eastern roads? Pffft. (That's why MRM is becoming the major IC museum.)

If the MILW bi-polar at St. Louis was at IRM you can rest assured they'd have either gotten it running on 600V or determined it to be impossible for some reason.


Yeah, I guess it's a lack of attention to Santa Fe that caused IRM to move the Santa Fe 4-8-4 on panel track for blocks, then up a ramp to the IC to get it from MSI. Or I guess it was that same lack of attention that caused IRM to get the FM switcher from Sacramento.

Getting a locomotive designed for 3000v DC to run on 600v DC is a whole heck of a lot easier than getting a locomotive designed for AC operation, and missing a transformer to boot, to run again.

Then again, I guess it's the fact that IRM repainted their GG1 several years ago, and that it sits in a barn, covered shows they don't care about eastern railroads.

Seriously, to the armchair preservationist, it probably seems to be very easy to turn a GG1 into a 600v powered locomotive. In reality, it's probably much more difficult, and probably not worth it, given every museum's battle against a shortage of resources.

IRM has a South Shore 800 (think "Little Joe" though the CSS never called them that) on the property that has operated at the museum in the past. It would probably be a much more worthwhile project.

Author:  fkrock [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GG-1 & Other Electrics

survivingworldsteam wrote:
SteveRG wrote:
When the Pennsy had them built, were they aware of the toxicity of said chemical and simply turned a blind eye or were they unaware at the time? At what point did they stop using this chemical and what if any other electric locomotive utilized this PCB in their cooling system as well?


The Pennsy was far from alone in using PCBs in transformers and electrical gear; just about any transformer from that period had PCBs in them as well. It was the industry standard at the time; like Richard said; just like asbestos and other stuff now considered to be bad.


Up into the 1960's PCB oils were not condidered dangerously toxic. I remember a salesman at a trade show dipped his hands into a container of PCB oil to demonstrate that he was not afraid of the stuff. As a result I never took any special precautions when dealing with oil filled transformers or other electronic components.

Fred Krock

Author:  Stationary Steam [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GG-1 & Other Electrics

The "they" are the vocal foamers who love to naysay and will find fault with anything that is done. These people frequent railfan forums and the magazines, shoot pics but never support the program. You know the type.

I definitely think low speed operation of a G under trolley wire would be worthwhile as an educational tool. Create an educational program about the history and operation of the GG1, culminating with short rides on board and even the opportunity to take the throttle for a little while. The experience of just moving the G under its own power for a short distance would be enough to draw in many people willing to participate.

Remember we're educators not railfans, so lets look at this from the educators perspective.

BTW I'm not an armchair preservationist. I would enjoy the challenge of making the modifications that we've discussed, and probably have access to much of the equipment that would be needed to do it. I'm just not within driving distance of any GG1s, and there doesn't seem to be any on the market at the moment!

Author:  davew833 [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: GG-1 & Other Electrics

Fitting a diesel loco with a GG-1 style carbody might result in something like Tyco's early '80s HO version of the GG-1 with GE-style C-C trimount-looking trucks. I always got a laugh when I saw one of these in the store.

http://www.tycoforums.com/tyco/forum/to ... IC_ID=6818

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