Railway Preservation News

45- and 50-ton GE chain lubrication
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Author:  Andrew Durden [ Wed Oct 28, 2015 1:58 pm ]
Post subject:  45- and 50-ton GE chain lubrication

I'm trying to figure out the best way to lubricate the chain between the powered and non-powered axle on the trucks of a 50-ton GE. Ours has some sort of bracket just above the chain on each side, and some lines hanging above that appeared to have once gone into some device mounted on said bracket. These lines tie in to the air line for the independent brake cylinder on the front, and terminate as two capped off pipes just inside the center hood door on the front, engineer's side. I haven't found any evidence that this was a GE factory appliance, and all of the parts are obviously missing, either way. I've been able to determine that some of the 25-ton GE's (single truck) simply had an oil cup in the cab which the operator turned on or off as needed.

Our engine was just recently acquired, and has obviously had its chains lubricated (heavily) with grease, which is not the preferred method.

Anyone have any intel to share on the best way to deal with lubricating these chains?

Author:  David H. Hamley [ Wed Oct 28, 2015 3:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 45- and 50-ton GE chain lubrication

Pennsylvania Trolley Museum's 25 tonner has a solenoid valve that opens when the reverser is in forward or reverse and the throttle is opened above idle. That allows oil to flow only when it's needed. There are two feeds from the valve, one oils each side of the roller chain. There are adjustments provided to limit the amount of oil being dripped on the chain. PTM has added to this scheme a shut off valve that we keep closed while loco 89 is being used in and out of our shop buildings to limit how much oil ends up on the shop floor. When the loco goes on the half-mile run between our two sites, the oiler is turned on for the trip. Older 25 tonners had the manually controlled oiler that sat right in front of the operator. The success of this device depended on human memory, which explains why a lot of 25 tonners were parked over big oil stains.

Author:  Andrew Durden [ Fri Oct 30, 2015 12:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 45- and 50-ton GE chain lubrication

Thanks David. There is a 50 tonner of the same vintage in the metro Atlanta area which has never been rebuilt (it still has its original Cummins HBI600 engines, while ours has been upgraded to N-855) and has only had two owners. I've made arrangements to check it out and see if any original equipment is still installed for the purpose which I've described.

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