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 Post subject: DL&W mu cars?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:49 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:40 am
Posts: 325
Evening, I am wondering if any of the old DL&W/NJT MU cars have survived in working order that could run under the 600v of say IRM? Seems most of these cars had the electrics stripped for use as steam/diesel hauled stock after NJT sold them off in 1984.

Robert


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 Post subject: Re: DL&W MU Electrification Question
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:02 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:48 pm
Posts: 35
Location: Watchung, NJ
Good evening folks,

This is the first thread I have seen that I have a personal interest in "hijacking"... (My apologies to Robert for steering his thread in a different direction).

While Robert seems to be seeking information about cars which remain operable, I would like to alter the conversation into a discussion about whether a Direct Current electric MU could still operate using a transmission system which puts out less voltage than what the MU was designed to operate on in regular service.

I start off with a disclaimer: ... I know enough about electrification to easily get myself electrocuted. I simply don't understand the basics of electricity well enough to get my head around the concept of how it all works. However, I do know that many people on this forum know this subject well, and i'm hoping someone might be able to provide some simple explanations for the electrically impaired (like me).....

Robert seemed to suggest, or asked, whether an EL MU could run on the electrical system, such as the one at IRM. I found the question/suggestion intriguing.

The fine folks at the East Troy Railroad Museum appear to routinely operate traditional streetcars alongside former C.S.S. & S.B. MU's on a regular basis. This appears to demonstrate that cars which routinely operated on 1500v DC system could operate on 600v - 750v DC systems and vice versa.

In researching this topic before writing this post, I seemed to get the impression from what I read that an increase in voltage was needed when DC substations were located further apart. It appears that electrical engineers designing electrification systems would take into consideration such other factors as: top speeds, train lengths, acceleration, and distance between stations.

All this leads me to my question. Is it possible for a DC MU to run on a power system with a lower voltage than what the car was designed to handle?

Thanks in advance for those who might be able to provide some insight on the subject!

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CNJ Rail Corporation


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 Post subject: Re: DL&W mu cars?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:23 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:56 am
Posts: 380
Location: Northern California
According to Frank Hicks web site there are 113 of these cars in various conditions around the country. None are operational at an electric railway museum.

As for running electric cars at reduced voltage, I believe GE designed cars to run properly at 2/3 of the design voltage. 600 volt cars can run at 400 volts. I have run 600 volt switch group cars at just less than 200 volts without any problems. There are two potential problems with low voltage operation. One is that the air compressors are splash lubricated. If the compressor motor runs too slow there will not be any lubrication. The other problem is that electric lamp light output is not liner with voltage. At 200 volts the lamps will be completely dark, so running at night could be a challenge.


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 Post subject: Re: DL&W mu cars?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:40 am 

Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:40 am
Posts: 325
The South Shore & South Bend Little Joe is no different from those the Milw ran. The milw used 3400v DC. S&SBRY ran somewhere between 1500v and 600v. Not sure which is the correct info? IRM has had their EF4 running on 600v but did have trouble with the air compressor not wanting to start. I still don't know how they solved for that particular problem?

Not to hijack my own thread on my favorite MU cars. I do wonder how many of the Erie Stillwell coaches survive? The ones with the fancy arched windows. What ever became of that Erie Doodlebug at Ohio Railway Museum? It was connected to the stillwell family of cars.

Robert


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 Post subject: Re: DL&W mu cars?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:20 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:53 pm
Posts: 139
The DL&W MU cars were built to run on 3000 V DC. My understanding is that the motors are actually 1500 volt motors, and wired in such a way (perhaps permanently in Series pairs?), to accept the 3000 from the overhead. 600 Volts from the overhead will not work.

They do have the capability to run on lower voltage from a "shop tap", via a tethered ground cable. I believe the shop tap voltage is 600 DC. This was to facilitate slow movements around service areas, not for "main line" operations.

The R&GV RR Museum has a mechanically and electrically complete MU power car on its roster. I've been told (please correct me, if I've been misinformed), that this is the last remaining example of a complete/unaltered DL&W MU power car.


JR


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 Post subject: Re: DL&W mu cars?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:22 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:18 pm
Posts: 450
Location: Illinois
Also, keep in mind that IRM hasn't recently allowed pantograph-equipped equipment - such as the Little Joe - to operate, until they make some repairs to their overhead wire.

As of 5-10 years ago there were a few of the ex-Lackawanna cars out there with at least parts of the electrical system on them, but they will be in very, very rough shape and likely aren't candidates for restoration at this point. If you look at the CERA/Hicks website, there was one sitting on a siding in Toledo, OH, and a few others sitting outside in Croton, NY. Even the one at the R&GV museum in Rochester is in poor condition - see their web site.

So, if you had millions of dollars for a wheels-up restoration of one of these cars, along with mechanical modifications - yes, it could be done - otherwise no.

Chris.


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 Post subject: Re: DL&W mu cars?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:33 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:31 am
Posts: 525
Steamtown has a number of them, non-operable, some still with pantographs.

[EDIT] Let me correct that, they have one powered car and three trailers on the roster.


Last edited by 6-18003 on Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: DL&W mu cars?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:09 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:32 pm
Posts: 177
Using the Bluegrass cars and my childhood memories as a basis, I'd say most of the cars have various parts remaining, though a lot of parts are suspect at best. But these cars (and their competing siblings from other roads) were made in such numbers that given time and effort you could do it. The problem is this, and I'll be frank. The longer it is since the 1980's retirements, the less likely it gets. Also most museums are fighting to stay operational, with more equipment than money or time. Is it do-able: yes. Is it likely: no.

As an aside, once again using BGRM as a basis, I feel like the cars would be a good candidate for a similar style of operation, putting cab control equipment back in and restoring the MU cabling. Just with a diesel on one end in push-pull operation. I feel this would suit a lot of museums even ones that aren't electrified.


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 Post subject: Re: DL&W mu cars?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:16 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:32 pm
Posts: 177
One thing I will add, is I feel like the preservation community could easily technically document these cars, how they worked, what parts they used, and preserve the knowledge for future generations. And doing so would be both cheap and easy.


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 Post subject: Re: DL&W mu cars?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:04 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:26 pm
Posts: 201
Location: Pure Michigan
The Coopersville and Marne Railroad in Coopersville, Michigan has a few of these.


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 Post subject: Re: DL&W mu cars?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:23 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8921
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
I've been told that two other examples, acquired decades ago by the owner of Front Street Station restaurant in Northumberland, Pa. for use at the station, now owned by the same gentleman that owns the former West Shore RR equipment and other cars occasionally used by the North Shore/Lycoming Valley/Shamokin Valley in Pa., are mechanically complete, but have suffered from decades of neglect and are all but unusable now.

Two others acquired by the station restaurant are now part of the station complex as "dining cars." Dunno if they still have motors, but you're not getting them out for now.


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 Post subject: Re: DL&W mu cars?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:28 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 5:10 pm
Posts: 999
The two DL&W cars in question, Sandy, have no seats. The restaurant sold the seats to the Cumbres & Toltec about 20 or 25 years ago.


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 Post subject: Re: DL&W mu cars?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:55 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:16 am
Posts: 1447
Tavor wrote:
One thing I will add, is I feel like the preservation community could easily technically document these cars, how they worked, what parts they used, and preserve the knowledge for future generations. And doing so would be both cheap and easy.


There were excellent technical articles published about these cars when they were built, and copies of the bill of materials are known to survive, although many of the suppliers are long gone.

PC

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Advice from the multitude costs nothing and is often worth just that. (EMD-1945)


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 Post subject: Re: DL&W mu cars?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:23 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 10:58 am
Posts: 384
Location: Reston, VA
Yes, a Lackawanna MU motor car could be rebuilt to run on 600vdc, given lots of money and effort. It would probably require replacing the motors with 600vdc motors that would fit in the trucks. However, I doubt that any existing museum would have any interest in such a project. It would be outside of the geographic scope that some of the most suitable locations, such as the museums in California, have placed on themselves. Also, pantograph operation is not for the faint of heart! IRM, for example, will never be able to run pantographs reliably without a complete rebuild of their trolley wire. East Troy wisely put trolley poles on their South Shore cars.

Another factor is that the cars were built to run in motor-trailer pairs. Although not permanently coupled, they are single end, with controls on the motor cars facing in one direction and controls on the trailer cars facing in the other direction.


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 Post subject: Re: DL&W mu cars?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:04 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:40 am
Posts: 325
Interesting considering the fact several of these cars have had motors and electrical removed and had their parts go to some of the aforementioned trolley museums. I'm thinking these cars might have 600v motors but use big power resistors along with a series connection scheme.

Robert


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