I was looking at some photos of 1960's B&O Railroad coal operations. In many photos, I see mixed engine consists of EMD F-units and GP's around the mining areas of Grafton WV. There were also many of these consists parked in the engine facilities and yards in Connellsville PA and Clarksburg WV.

I've seen mixed consists before, but not nearly to this degree.

Do the two different locomotives bring different characteristics to the consist? Or, it was sheer coincidence …B&O quickly cobbling together whichever running engines were available, during trying financial times?

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Thanks.

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EBT Jim posted:

...it was sheer coincidence …B&O quickly cobbling together whichever running engines were available, during trying financial times...

Bingo. That is exactly what’s going on here.

Underneath the sheet metal, Geeps and F units were mechanically the same basic locomotive. The GP7 and F7 were the same at 1,500 HP, while the GP9 and F9 were essentially the same at 1,750 HP. The FT and F3 both predate the Geep design and were rated at only 1,350 HP.

Rich Melvin

A number of railroads routinely m-ued F units and geeps.  In general, FT's would not m-u with geeps, or even later F-units (except F2's), because of a different wiring configuration on the m-u receptacle.  Santa Fe had a few special jumper cables with one end having the standard 27-pin plug and the other end fitting the FT.  Rock Island is the only carrier I can recall which routinely m-ued FT's with other models, and they might have modernized the m-u setup on their FT's and F2's.  However, in 1961, I watched a Denver & Rio Grande Western passenger train depart Salt Lake City behind a consist of FTA-FTB-F3B-F3A.  I suspect they used a special jumper cable between the FT's and F3's.

Even GP30, GP35, SD40, and SD45 units built through the late 1960's still had a transition lever on the control stand, in case there was an F3 or other manual-transition locomotive trailing in the consist.

Tom

 

Superintendent, High Plains Division (O Gauge) 

The Panhandle & Santa Fe Railway Co.

Lone Star Hi-Railers

Santa Fe, All the Way

Thanks for all the replies, guys.

It was the photos of the B&O yard and engine facility that looked odd to me. There were so many of these mixed pairs parked, I was starting to wonder if it was by design.

And, I agree … they look cool. Kinda ornery. Like this Central of New Jersey EMD/ALCO/F-M mixed bag:

consist

 

I don't know what's going on here. If memory serves me, that is a New Jersey Transit line bridge over the Raritan River. Don't know why there would be an AMTRAK engine, but I don't know about such things. Just a neat photo:

4881071582

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I like it when there are mixed consists like that, the Illinois Terminal used to do this all the time, for them it seemed to be the norm. It made for great train watching growing up, you never knew what you were going to see! I really wish I would have taken pictures, even with the 110 Kodak we had, it would have been better than what I have now, nothing!

Rusty

And as the sunset faded, I spoke to the faintest first starlight.
And I said next time, Next time, We'll get it right!

A friend of mine had an NYC based layout and he routinely ran a set of EMD F7 and ALCO FA2 AND his time frame was the 50s.    He had an open house for the NYC Historical Society convention one year.   One of the visitors told him that was not right for the 50s.   The guest told him that until the NYC rebuilt the units after about 15 years of life, they could not MU different mfg  units - ie no alcos with EMDS etc.    After the stuff was rebuilt in the late 50s and early 60s they rewired them to MU.    

This would not apply to GPS and Funits since they are the same internally.   One issue would be however that I think a lot of F units did not have MU cables/connections on the nose as delivered.    By they 60s these would have been installed again as rebuilds occur.   

EBT Jim posted:

Thanks for all the replies, guys.

It was the photos of the B&O yard and engine facility that looked odd to me. There were so many of these mixed pairs parked, I was starting to wonder if it was by design.

And, I agree … they look cool. Kinda ornery. Like this Central of New Jersey EMD/ALCO/F-M mixed bag:

consist

 

I don't know what's going on here. If memory serves me, that is a New Jersey Transit line bridge over the Raritan River. Don't know why there would be an AMTRAK engine, but I don't know about such things. Just a neat photo:

4881071582

Jim, you are right, this is the drawbridge over the Raritan river.  Both GG1 4881 and E60 967 belonged to NJT.  NJT wasn't big on paint, usually just painting over an existing logo and slapping NJT logo somewhere.  This might be just after the E60 was acquired.  Since either locomotive could have handled that 8 car train this might be a motive power move or something wrong with the E60.

Dan

As a kid I used to see EMD GP9/7 M.Ued with F units ( both A & B units )  all the time on the B&O's Washington Branch ( now CSX/ MARC Camden line ).  Chopped nosed hood units were in the locomotive consists at times too.  Occasionally I would see an end cab switcher in the loco consist as a trailing unit.  

On this line B&O ran E units on their passenger trains back in the 1960s.  They ran one F unit on some of their commuter trains while other commuters were pulled by a GP9.  I never saw a mixed locomotive consist on a B&O passenger train on this line .... although B&O may have done it and I just never saw it.  RDC's were a common commuter train on this line as well.  I'm sure B&O mixed passenger train locomotive consists at time elsewhere on their system though.  

The Western Maryland would also put together locomotive consists ( coming in /out of Baltimore running west and east ) using A&B F units with GP units and perhaps some ALCO FA2 at times.   Sometimes I'd see long freights with mid train helpers of F units ( usually two ) coming out of Baltimore.  I would see these trains as the WM main line ran under Liberty Heights Ave. in Baltimore City.   A great place to view WM trains back around 1970!  

I love the eclectic look of the mixed locomotive consist comprised of first generation diesels ...  and also love first and second generation diesel consists as well!  To me, the look conveys a sense of ultra power and ruggedness ... even though under the hood the units are basically all of similar horsepower.   As a modeler these mixed consists also provide a nice visual contrast to the all F or E unit ABBA consist.   After viewing several mixed consists, my eye has a greater appreciation for the sleekness of the all F or E unit consist and/ or the all PA or FA consist which allow these sleek consists the streamlined look of which they were intended. 

Most enjoyable thread!  I've enjoyed reading everyone's comments! 

Cheers and Happy Railroading,

Patrick W  

CEO - The Free State Junction Railway 

" Where the music is sweet and the trains always run on time"

Home Office - Patsburg, Maryland 

This reminds me of when the Boston & Maine and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority were trying to keep the commuter service out of Boston operational when they were having trouble keeping the Rail Diesel Cars running. They put a GP7 or a GP9 on the end of the train but I don't remember whether they used them in push/pull operation or if the driver was able to control the train from a leading RDC.

Art

B&MRRHS

LCCA

LOTS

The NYO&W routinely MU'ed FTs and F3s. They ordered their F3s with a special MU adapter cable to allow this. 21 pins on one end, 27 on the other, if I remember correctly. I'm pretty certain they did not have MU recepticals on the noses, only the back ends.

Chris

LVHR

 

Chris

LVHR

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