Engine Identify

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frolf_king

Train Roll on
I am new to this game and have a question… I figured out how to identify steam locos by the wheel count. 2-4-2.... 4-8-8-4, but how do you identify the other engines like the diesel engines.
 

JeffShultz

Stay off the tracks!
By counting the powered axles in the truck - 2 axles is "B," 3 is "C" except where you've got two powered and an unpowered one between them, that's "A1A." 4 axles is "D"
So you'll see references to 4-axle Geeps as "B-B" locomotives, or in the case of some of the retrucked engines in Brazil, "BB-BB" where they have two two axle trucks together where there used to be a single 3 axle one. EMD SD-series locomotives are "C-C" because they've got two 3 axle trucks. It used to be that the B & C designations were part of GE locomotive names, but that is apparently no longer done.
 

kjd

Go make something!
It is sort of like looking at cars and getting to know them. There are books from Kalmbach like the Diesel Spotters guide, etc. Also several websites have rosters with photos. One of my favorites is:

http://archive.trainpix.com/BN/ROSTER.HTM

Currently there are two major manufacturers, GMMD, more commonly known by its former name, EMD (ElectroMotive Division of General Motors) and GE, (General Electric).
Generally speaking if the loco name starts with F, GP, SD or SW it is EMD. F means a full width body like the streamliners of the 1950s as well as F45s from the 60s and F40PHs from the 70s. GP means General Purpose and has 4 axles. There are GP7s to GP60s (not every number). SD means Special Duty and has 6 axles and include SD7s to SD90MAC, also not every number. SW means it is a switcher. EMDs most popular locomotive now is the SD70M. It is 6 axles (SD), 4000hp. The M means safety cab. It is a '70' because it came after '60.'

If it starts with U, B or C it is GE. U means Universal and unlike EMD, the following number is related to horsepower. For example a U30B is 3000hp and 4 axle (two trucks with two axles each). B means 2 axle trucks and is followed by a number related to horsepower. A B23-7 is a 4 axle 2300 hp locomotive from the Dash 7 series. The C means 3 axle trucks, 6 total ad the following number is similiar to the Bs. So a C40-8 is a 6 axle 4000 hp Dash 8 series. GE's most popular locomotive currently is the 9-44CW. It is Dash 9 series, 4400 hp, six axle with a Wide (safety) cab.

That is just the start, it is a lot to know. For example, in the drop down menu at one popular photo site there are 237 model selections for diesel locomotives, including some rebuilds but not counting ones for export.
 

kjd

Go make something!
I forgot.

ES stands for Evolution series from GE and AC means AC drive? from EMD.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Nope, an AC4400, is an GE, but an SD70ACe, or SD70MAC would be an EMD. Some of the more confusing ones would be GE's referred to a C44AC, though GE's designation is AC4400CW.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
I handed out a few minor pointers on ModelRailroadTips, about EMD units.

The GP38, GP39, GP40, SD38, SD39, SD40 & SD45 series have -2 counter parts. To tell the difference easy requires looking at the engineer's side. All dash 2 models have a water sight glass on a door towards the rear.

GP50/SD50+ have the sight glass, but have no -2 counterpart, besides the SD70M-2, but thats more complicated. They all should have the sight glass though, as they've got "-2 technology", the sight glass was introduced with the -2 line to make it so crews would not have to open that door to check the water level, so its obvious they'd keep it on the gp50/sd50+ lines.

EMD's are sometimes referred to with out the M, if they're AC units, because there is no AC drive, standard cab (beyond the GP15AC). So you'll see CSX units referred to as SD70AC, its EMD designation is still SD70MAC. EMD has since dropped the M with the Tier II line, on AC units, following in this idea, so the SD70ACe would not have a standard cab, because its an AC unit, so no need to add the M. The "e" refers to the Tier II engine, differentiating it from an SD70MAC. I think CSX still calls them SD70AC's (Unless they cot rid of the computer system that only allowed 6 letters & numbers). The SD70M-2 is the DC powered counterpart of the ACe, and has an M to designate the wide cab, and -2 to differentiate it from a SD70M.

Whew... Now to post spotting differences.
 

kjd

Go make something!
I forgot.

ES stands for Evolution series from GE and AC means AC drive? from EMD.
That is not correct, I confused AC with ACe which is the new one from EMD as in SD70ACe which meets current emission standards. Meeting emissions was the reason for the introduction of the ES (Gevo) series from GE.

Basically, it is a lot to know and that is why there are books with hundreds of pages on the subject.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
That is not correct, I confused AC with ACe which is the new one from EMD as in SD70ACe which meets current emission standards. Meeting emissions was the reason for the introduction of the ES (Gevo) series from GE.

Basically, it is a lot to know and that is why there are books with hundreds of pages on the subject.
Well no matter what, EMD or GE, AC means AC traction, just how they use it in the name.
 




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