Railway Preservation News

Looking for Locomotive batteries.
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Author:  the Alco kid [ Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Looking for Locomotive batteries.

Hi I am looking for a used set or a cheap set of locomotives batteries for a Alco S1 switcher if anyone has any leads please shot me a message or reply below.

Author:  Doug Debs 2472 [ Sun May 05, 2019 3:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Looking for Locomotive batteries.

15-20 years ago, Golden Gate RR Museum tried having locomotive starting batteries rebuilt. The batteries were better than before, but rebuilding wasn't cheap, and they didn't last long. Lesson learned: Rebuilding didn't save money in the long run.

It's better to recycle the old batteries for scrap $$ and then buy new batteries. Lead-acid battery disposal is "hot button" item for environmental inspectors, so be sure to retain the scrap disposal receipt to prove that you disposed of the old batteries legally.

- Doug Debs

Author:  crij [ Mon May 06, 2019 5:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Looking for Locomotive batteries.


Talk to your local battery distributor, ask them about 8V195 size batteries. They are an 8V, 4 cell lead acid battery, 980 CCA, 1170 reserve capacity, 20.75"x7.25"x10.63" tall (Deka/EastPenn), built to automotive specs, which means clamp terminals, plates are closer together and the sump is smaller (area below plates to catch sulfacion), as compared to the heavy equipment grade ones that railroad batteries are built to (designed to take a lot of vibration and jostling, like you would see in a bulldozer). The alternative for us was the `marine diesel' battery #825, 730 CCA, 870 reserve capacity, 26.88"x8.50"x11.75" which are basically half tall railroad batteries, built to heavy equipment specs.

For general light or museum usage they should last you a long time. As long as you maintain them and get a quality battery charger (preferably a float charger), to make sure they don't freeze in the off season and you don't cook them. Do that and maintain water levels and you should get a good long life out of them.

Two years ago we started our SW-8 (900HP 8-567C upgraded) over a dozen times, while we were chasing what we though was a fuel delivery issue, but turned out the charging diode went, (with this generation of EMDs, if the battery is not being charged, the fuel pump shuts off) without connecting it to a charger. We also use the same size battery to start our 44 tonner, but the SW-8 should be close to the power demands of a S-1.

Last time we had them quoted (June 2017) the 8V195 were about $2500 for a set of 8 and the 825 were $5400 a set. For comparison Rolls/Surrette 8NS23PR (full size railroad batteries) were $4000 a set in 2007, not sure I want to know the current price.

Hope this helps,
Rich C.

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