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 Post subject: FRA awards to 70 rail improvement projects
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2023 6:25 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 2250
It says fiscal year 2022 but it is just now being awarded: https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews ... -projects/

https://railroads.dot.gov/sites/fra.dot ... s_PDFa.pdf

This one caught my eye:

"California - California Napa Valley Railroad Locomotive Emissions Improvement Project
(Up To $2,058,750)
Napa Valley Railroad
The proposed project involves final design and construction activities to replace seven (7) highly polluting locomotives with three (3) near-zero-emission locomotives. The project aligns with the selection criteria by enhancing competitiveness, service performance and ability to meet existing and anticipated demand as it will allow Napa Valley Railroad to transport its passengers more efficiently with lowered fuel consumption, decrease the surrounding community’s exposure to harmful emissions, and it may aid with climate change mitigation. The Napa Valley Railroad and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District will contribute funds totaling a 75 percent non-Federal match. This project qualifies for the statutory set-aside for projects in Rural Areas."

Napa Valley Railroad is the operator of the Napa Valley Wine Train, which uses former CN/VIA FPA-4s, correct? Does this mean that the FPA-4s will have holes cut in their engine blocks?


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 Post subject: Re: FRA awards to 70 rail improvement projects
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2023 8:15 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2023 1:55 pm
Posts: 35
Wow 29+ Million for the Paducah and Louisville...they lucked out. owners must be friends with some folks in high places for that


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 Post subject: Re: FRA awards to 70 rail improvement projects
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2023 1:35 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
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BWills wrote:
Wow 29+ Million for the Paducah and Louisville...they lucked out. owners must be friends with some folks in high places for that

I believe CSX owns a majority stake in P&L now, also in Indiana Railroad, another ex-IC line.

I also note that Keokuk Junction RR received $15M for the west end of the original Toledo, Peoria and Western (126 miles), to bring it up to Class 2 standards (25 MPH) from Excepted track, and G&W $8M for the east end of the TP&W. KJ will need a lot of ties, several former owners ran it into the ground after the Santa Fe sold it in the late eighties.


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 Post subject: Re: FRA awards to 70 rail improvement projects
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2023 10:31 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:38 am
Posts: 999
Location: Philadelphia
"New York - Livonia, Avon & Lakeville Systemwide Tier 3 Clean Locomotive Acquisition
Project (Up to $12,600,000) Livonia, Avon & Lakeville Railroad Corp.
The proposed project involves final design and construction activities to rehabilitate six (6) Tier 0 locomotives to meet Tier 3 Environmental Protection Agency standards. The project aligns with the selection criteria by improving system and service performance as it will help provide substantial operational savings (potential 40 percent to 65 percent reduction in fuel consumption) and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thereby imparting benefits to the rural New York population communities and rail users that the Livonia, Avon & Lakeville Railroad serves. The Livonia, Avon & Lakeville Railroad Corp. is providing a 30 percent non-Federal match. This project qualifies for the statutory set-aside for projects in Rural Areas."

Could not be so good for the Alcos there. They sold a bunch (all?) of their six axles to GVT/D-L (in transit now actually).

Joshua


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 Post subject: Re: FRA awards to 70 rail improvement projects
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2023 2:09 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 2250
https://www.facebook.com/groups/3795779 ... 391358901/
"So I’ve got some news about the torch and the Napa Valley Wine train.
They have received one of the eco-units replacing their iconic Alco FPA’s and RS11.
I spoke with the Trainmaster of the ‘road today and he said that they just received the grant for two more eco locomotives that should be delivered in the second half of next year from KLW at the earliest. He also said that the requirement of the grant was to have a hole drilled in the prime movers. But he also said that he hopes that these iconic locomotives can be sold off and operated somewhere else. If you have the cash and the willpower, you know what to do.
Edit: if interested in acquiring these locomotives, call the main phone number for the Napa valley wine train and ask to be forwarded to Tony the trainmaster."

Two photos, Thomas Beckham. The rebuilt unit is a "KLW tier 4 rebuild", I don't recall hearing who KLW is previously, but I would bet it is this entity: https://www.goklw.com/


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 Post subject: Re: FRA awards to 70 rail improvement projects
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2023 9:56 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:17 pm
Posts: 90
Couldn't the cab units be repowered, with new prime movers?
Seems like that would be cheaper than all new (I'm assuming the frame isnt)
Locomotives.


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 Post subject: Re: FRA awards to 70 rail improvement projects
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2023 12:41 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
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Joshua K. Blay wrote:
"New York - Livonia, Avon & Lakeville Systemwide Tier 3 Clean Locomotive Acquisition
Project (Up to $12,600,000) Livonia, Avon & Lakeville Railroad Corp.
The proposed project involves final design and construction activities to rehabilitate six (6) Tier 0 locomotives to meet Tier 3 Environmental Protection Agency standards.


Maybe this grant is for their AC6000 fleet?

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 Post subject: Re: FRA awards to 70 rail improvement projects
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2023 3:59 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 2250
What is an Alco 251 block made of, if it is cast iron I would guess that means a reversal of a hole drilled in a block is very difficult. Some blocks are fabricated rather than cast though, and it also matters where the hole is drilled. But I am thinking of patches on steam boiler courses: if those will hold, a patch on a crankcase, if done right, might hold (all of the above being true).


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 Post subject: Re: FRA awards to 70 rail improvement projects
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2023 7:56 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2021 4:36 pm
Posts: 210
Chris Webster wrote:
Joshua K. Blay wrote:
"New York - Livonia, Avon & Lakeville Systemwide Tier 3 Clean Locomotive Acquisition
Project (Up to $12,600,000) Livonia, Avon & Lakeville Railroad Corp.
The proposed project involves final design and construction activities to rehabilitate six (6) Tier 0 locomotives to meet Tier 3 Environmental Protection Agency standards.


Maybe this grant is for their AC6000 fleet?


Unfortunately this has been confirmed to be referring to the Alcos. From a local news article:

"Livonia Avon and Lakeville Railroad has been around for 60 years, which is exactly how long the railroad’s locomotives have been running.

“Thankfully, we've gotten almost 60 years of use out of these engines, which is a really good investment,” said Bob Babcock, L A & L president and CEO. “But they're tired. They're old.”

“Engines are anywhere from $3 to $4 million apiece,” said Babcock. “So it's a very expensive proposition.”

“This railroad is pretty popular with the rail fan community, because we have the older engines,” he said. “So there are some people that aren't happy with what we're doing. But it needs to happen.”

https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/rochester/news/2023/11/01/federal-grant-will-help-western-n-y--railroad-buy-more-environmentally-friendly-locomotives?fbclid=IwAR1UtNileaOYvBKAnGk7UeOvT_BSF2gTUHZzPsCOx5rIs9pwZO2y8Tn3dfo


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 Post subject: Re: FRA awards to 70 rail improvement projects
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2023 8:52 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 2250
https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews ... ine-train/
"As of Nov, 4, FPA4 No. 71, has had its engine removed and scrapped."


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 Post subject: Re: FRA awards to 70 rail improvement projects
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2023 9:21 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 2173
Wonder why nobody has proposed making a hybrid turbocharger and (small) associated battery pack for Alco 251s. Provide appropriate boost and charge stoichiometry regardless of governed throttle position or excitation...

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 Post subject: Re: FRA awards to 70 rail improvement projects
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2023 11:04 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:17 pm
Posts: 90
Overmod wrote:
Wonder why nobody has proposed making a hybrid turbocharger and (small) associated battery pack for Alco 251s. Provide appropriate boost and charge stoichiometry regardless of governed throttle position or excitation...

I don't understand why they can't just replace the 251 with battery pack, the next time it fails.


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 Post subject: Re: FRA awards to 70 rail improvement projects
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2023 12:41 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 11433
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
scratchyX1 wrote:
Overmod wrote:
Wonder why nobody has proposed making a hybrid turbocharger and (small) associated battery pack for Alco 251s. Provide appropriate boost and charge stoichiometry regardless of governed throttle position or excitation...

I don't understand why they can't just replace the 251 with battery pack, the next time it fails.

Where do you get the battery pack?

How thoroughly road-tested for reliability will it be?

What's the catalog number at RockLoco.com? And can I apply my 5% off coupon offer to the order?

Why doesn't everybody just drop a battery pack in their automobile or truck when the engine fails?

........................................ are you catching on yet?

I had a particular RR official that explicitly said to me that the reason they're still using the old, "crappy" power in spite of its flaws is that "the used locos out there cheap, when they fail, it's a computer problem and they go down completely in the middle of nowhere, and I have to pull up an obsolete laptop to get them running again. I can limp a failing EMD 567 or 645 home if I have to."


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 Post subject: Re: FRA awards to 70 rail improvement projects
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2023 12:54 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 11433
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
PMC wrote:
https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-wire/first-tier-4-locomotive-enters-service-for-napa-valley-wine-train/
"As of Nov, 4, FPA4 No. 71, has had its engine removed and scrapped."

It is possible to "scrap" the engine while still doing massive parts salvage. Pull off/out every feasible part you can, then drill/cut/smash the engine block.

The relevant issue is, how many potential buyers are there for old 251B parts, especially after probable modification? I can think of three off the top of my head with the shop capacity to do things like change out pistons or the like: Delaware/Lackawanna, Cuyahoga Valley, and Grand Canyon Railway. The latter has committed to retirement of the MLW fleet. There exist a few other preservation Alco users such as Monticello and C&CV, but I am leery of their realistic ability to do things like a major engine rebuild........


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 Post subject: Re: FRA awards to 70 rail improvement projects
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2023 2:25 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:17 pm
Posts: 90
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
scratchyX1 wrote:
Overmod wrote:
Wonder why nobody has proposed making a hybrid turbocharger and (small) associated battery pack for Alco 251s. Provide appropriate boost and charge stoichiometry regardless of governed throttle position or excitation...

I don't understand why they can't just replace the 251 with battery pack, the next time it fails.

Where do you get the battery pack?

How thoroughly road-tested for reliability will it be?

What's the catalog number at RockLoco.com? And can I apply my 5% off coupon offer to the order?

Why doesn't everybody just drop a battery pack in their automobile or truck when the engine fails?

........................................ are you catching on yet?

I had a particular RR official that explicitly said to me that the reason they're still using the old, "crappy" power in spite of its flaws is that "the used locos out there cheap, when they fail, it's a computer problem and they go down completely in the middle of nowhere, and I have to pull up an obsolete laptop to get them running again. I can limp a failing EMD 567 or 645 home if I have to."


While it's true that I'd prefer less tech than more in a locomotive, 251b engine parts are getting harder to find. If the rest of the locomotive is still sound, replacing the prime mover would still be a good option.
I'm pretty sure that RR official is from a Class 2, in Pennsylvania.

That said, We should have data about flex and other battery rebuilds, soon.


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