Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Inside a GE C44ACCTE Locomotive

I swore that I would never reveal information and circumstances surrounding my acquisition into various locomotive cabs I have encountered in my journeys.

With that in mind, I happened to have been invited into a DPU cab, within the past few months, after the train stalled in the mountains on the Roseville Subdivision.

As opposed to EMD locomotives, GE units have exhaust stacks (above) that extend above the roof of the engine room, one clear method of differentiation between manufacturers.

An overall view of the same engine room -- with clear signs of an engine room fire. For whatever reason, GE engines have had more engine room fires than EMD units. Also, GE units from the mid-to-late 90s ran rich and, upon throttle-up, would occasionally belch fire from their stacks. Was it a two-stroke v four-stroke issue? Some theorized it was an initial software problem.

Detail of the engine room fire. Note blistering, dripping, subsumation of colors from high heat. Engine repaired. Not so much the engine room doors.

Interior, GE 5652, view from the engineer's seat. Computer bank on left (two monitors were "dead" because of DPU status), with desktop controls on right. In trailing units or DPUs, reverser levers are removed.

Closer view, DPU. GE unit ahead. Through Milepost 148. Train is moving and not yet completely stalled. Conductor came to check DPUs for their status. UP 7095, shall we say, is not doing very well at this point.

A desktop control stand, with computers frozen because of DPU status. Reverser removed. Top left square controls are for lead axle sanding. ON left, OFF right. Lower square blue buttons are for that unit's manual sanding. ON top, OFF bottom. Yellow square is the bell button. Horn is a yellow button below that. Conductor has his own square yellow horn control, lower right below desk. Missing control is reverser; forward for same, back for reverse. Black round handle is the throttle.

Reverser removed; throttle in idle. Train in full release. There are 8 "notches" for the throttle. To increase the throttle, it is pulled towards engineer. From idle (current position), there are also 8 notches (pushed away from engineer) for dynamic braking. Red (up) and black (down) handles on the right control braking. Brakes are applied by pushing away from engineer; brakes are released by pulling towards engineer. Train brakes are on left; independent locomotive brakes are on the right.

View out engineer-side door, looking to rear. There is no door on the conductor's side on any American freight engine comfort cabs. Earlier non-M cab EMD SD-40/50/60 locomotives, and early GEs, had main entry door on conductor (left) side.

Conductor side of cab, with speedometer (left) and red Emergency Brake handle (right). Up is applied, down is released. Also includes convenient desktop surface. Horn button on lower right. Refrigerator behind Conductor and to the rear of seat. Seat closest to camera is for third occupant. May be for trainee or rider or unanticipated third. Locomotive camera can be see on metal stalk to upper right of photograph. Cameras are now in every cab of every locomotive in America and are on when locomotive is active.

Looking over the downhill track from the Conductor's left seat.

Engineer's position. Seats in locomotives are heavy vinyl and "industrial strength." Rear access cab door to right. This unit, UP 5652, is one of 141 General Electric C44ACCTE units with 4,390 hp manufactured in 2004. You can clearly see that, in just six years, this unit has seen some heavy use resulting in a grimy interior smattered with grime and more grime. Even when moving, the cab was remarkably quiet. In idle, the engine could be felt more than heard.

This is my first attempted posting with a video from my new Flip SlideHD cam. Even with a faster connection from my wife's internet access, I couldn't post more than a few seconds from this camera. I caught many excellent videos from my cab visit which, apparently, I can't upload directly to Blogger.

Please let me know if you can see this video. Blogger indicates it has completely loaded; I'm not quite so convinced.