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I think BN tried something like this with buying kilowatt hours off leased locomotives.  But has any railroad attempted to have all of its motive power needs supplied by a third party?  This party supplies and maintains all the motive power, supplies the number of locomotives needed forva train, and has.a level of service provided in the contract.  Guess we have not seen more of this due to the Unions?  But a shortline or tegional, is this possible?

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It's been common since the late 1980's, to purchase locomotives with a maintenance contract included.  There are variations, but it works like this:

It does not cause union trouble, because the railroad's employees (Machinists, electricians, cab carpenters, laborers) still perform all the work.  The builder gets paid for locomotives that are available for service.  The employees are supervised by the locomotive manufacturer's Foremen in the railroad's shop, on dedicated tracks.  The builder does better when there are few road failures.  They get no payment on locomotives which are unavailable due to mechanical failures.

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