Posts Tagged ‘diesel locomotives’

Prototype Engine Wins Historical Designation

August 18, 2020

A prototype diesel engine has been declared an Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ National History & Heritage Committee.

The engine is now in the collection of the Lake Shore Railway Historical Society in North East, Pennsylvania.

The museum specializes in GE locomotives due in part to its proximity to the GE Erie locomotive assembly plant, which is now owned and operated by Wabtec Corporation.

The 1,200-hp Cooper-Bessemer FVAL8T was used in GE test locomotives, including A-B-B-A test locomotive No. 750 that operated on the Erie Railroad from 1954 to 1957.

One A and B unit had the FVAL8T, while the other two units had 1,600-hp FVAL12T engines.

The FVAL8T was later used to run an air compressor for a factory in Mount Vernon, Ohio, for several decades.

The Lake Shore museum acquired the engine from the Ohio factory.

The FVA8T demonstrated that it was suitable for use in GE locomotive. It would evolve into the

GE 7FDL engine, which was introduced with its U25B locomotive line.

The prototype FVAL8T is the only survivor of four such engines build by Cooper-Bessemer.

The North East Museum currently has it stored but hopes to put it on public view next year.

Waiting Their Turn

March 21, 2020

It is early in the Penn Central era and we’re standing outside the former New York Central diesel shops in Cleveland. Lines of locomotives await their turn in the shop to be repaired, repainted or whatever. Do you wonder how many of these locomotives still exist today let alone are still pulling trains?

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Not All Traction at NORM

August 30, 2019











The Northern Ohio Railway Museum has a fine collection of streetcars and interurban railway cars, many of which once operated in Northeast Ohio.

On select Saturdays, visitors to the museum can ride Shaker Heights Rapid Transit Car No. 12, which is shown on Aug. 10.

The car is operating on 12 dates this year with the last of them in October.

But it is not all traction. The museum uses a Plymouth switcher to shuffle cars around the museum grounds.

It is shown on the same day that Car 12 was photographed.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

More Than Just a Roster Shot

August 3, 2017

Sometimes a photo is more than a roster shot. Take a look at Norfolk & Western No. 2918 photographed in Brewster, Ohio, in September 1972. Then look at the total scene. So much has changed, and so much has stayed the same.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

WNY&P Gets Another Alco Locomotive

June 24, 2016

The Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad plans to place another Alco diesel locomotive into service by the end of the month.

Western NY & PennsylvaniaTrains magazine reported that former Tioga Central No. 406, an Alco RS34M, will begin serving the WNY&P, which is known for its Alco motive power fleet.

No. 406 has been renovated, including receiving LED lighting, a camera, alerter system, turbo replacement, new federally-mandated window glazing, and new paint, among other improvements. It has a 12-cylinder Alco 251 prime mover.

Cummins Engine Certified Tier 4 Compliant

April 10, 2016

An engine manufactured by an Indiana company and which will be used in passenger locomotives has been certified a meeting Tier 4 emission standards.

Cummins Inc., based in Columbus, Indiana, said its QSK95 locomotive engine is the first single prime power engine certified to Tier 4 standards by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

CumminsThe QSK95 is rated at 4,400 horsepower and the 16-cylinder high-speed diesel engine achieves Tier 4 status through a modified direct fuel injection system and the urea-based after treatment.

The engine is being installed in the Charger passenger locomotives being assembled in Sacramento, California, by Siemens.

The Charger locomotives will be used on Amtrak corridor routes in Illinois, California, Missouri, Washington, Michigan, Wisconsin and Oregon.

The Charger will also be used by commuter rail agencies as well as the Brightline rail service between Miami and Orlando, Florida.

Cummins is testing a freight version of the engines in a modified SD90MAC locomotive on the Indiana Rail Road.

“We’re pleased to have reached this milestone,” says Jim Trueblood, Cummins vice president of the high-horsepower engine program. “Cummins is committed to bringing clean, efficient, durable engines to every market we serve.”

Cummins Delivers Diesel to be Used in Passenger Locomotives Being Built by Siemens in California

October 3, 2015

A diesel locomotive to be used in locomotives being built for Midwest, California, Florida and Washington state passenger service has been shipped to the factory assembling the locomotives.

Cummns Inc. said the first production 95-liter, 16-cylinder QSK95 engine built to a rail specification has been received at the Siemens plant in Sacramento, California, that is assembling the Charger locomotives.

The engine is rated at 4,400 hp (3,281 kW). Siemens is building the locomotives as part of a 35-unit order placed by the departments of transportation of Illinois, California, Michigan, Missouri and Washington.

The Charger locomotives will also power the trainsets for All Aboard Florida.

Cummins said that the QSK95 can support a top locomotive speed of 125 mph, which achieves the highest output of any 16-cylinder high-speed diesel

The company said that the combination of its Modular Common Rail Fuel System with quad-turbocharging allows the engine to deliver reduced noise and good response in a smaller footprint than medium-speed diesels traditionally used in locomotives.

The engine is compliant with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tier 4 emission standards.

Diesel Day Set at Western NY Museums

August 9, 2014

It will be a celebration of diesel locomotives on Aug. 17 at the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum in partnership with the New York Museum of Transportation.

Among the locomotives appearing will be Rochester Gas & Electric No. 1941, a General Electric 45-ton side-rod switcher once used to shuttle coal hoppers for local power plants; U.S. Army No. 1843, a Fairbanks Morse H12-44 retired from the nearby Seneca Army Depot; and R&GV No. 1654, a rebuilt GE 80-ton switcher formerly assigned to the Defense Distribution Depot in New Cumberland, Pa. Also on display will be Lehigh Valley No. 211, a high-hood Alco RS-3 originally built for the Pennsylvania Railroad, as well as Kodak Park Railroad No. 9, an Alco RS-1 retired from the company’s sprawling film products factory located in Rochester. The museums will operate two diesel trains over their shared demonstration railroad, meeting a shuttle provided by NYMT’s electric trolley. The site is located 15 miles south of Rochester.

“It can be a challenge keeping up with a locomotive that is 50 years old or more,” said Joe Nugent, R&GVRM motive power superintendent. “Diesel Day is our chance to shine a spotlight on the collection and highlight the accomplishments of our volunteers as well.”

Visitors will ride behind vintage diesels aboard the museum’s restored Erie Railroad and Penn Central cabooses.

Supervised cab rides and visits will also be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The train ride connects the extensive trolley and transportation displays at NYMT with the restored 1909 Erie Railroad depot and exhibits at R&GV.

The special event also has extended hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Directions, ticket information, schedule, and full event details are available at

Diesels on Parade at Illinois Railway Museum

July 28, 2013


The Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Ill., held a diesel days celebration on Saturday, July 20.  The museum had about 20 engines out for a parade including CB&Q Silver Pilot, an ex-AT&SF Alco RSD15 “alligator,” a Milwaukee Road Fairbanks Morse switcher and many others. Also on display but not in the parade was my favorite, the MNS “blue dragon,” a Lima Hamilton Center cab.

Photographs by Todd Dillon











Expect to See Fewer GE Deliveries in NE Ohio

March 27, 2013

Northeast Ohio railfans have long enjoyed watching new locomotive deliveries pass through the area after being released by the General Electric manufacturing plant in Erie, Pa.

But now sightings of those deliveries to Union Pacific and BNSF will become less frequent following the opening of a new locomotive factory in Fort Worth, Texas.

The first new locomotives built at the Texas plant were recently released and sent on their way.

The Fort Worth facility is building some of the 175 ES44C4s ordered by BNSF.
The locomotives were assembled in Texas using components sent from various sources. GE plans to eventually build its own components in-house.

Of the 175 units that BNSF ordered, 100 will be built in Ft. Worth with 75 being assembled in Erie. These numbers could change, depending on the new factories performance. Road numbers for the order will be BNSF Nos. 6508-6599 and No. 7100-7182.