Trainlover9943 posted:

On the prototype SF FT sets how were they configured? In the photos I looked up (quick google search) many of the pictures I found (mostly the freight painted colors) were mainly ABBA, however I did see a few pictures of an ABA and one of a ABB set. As a general rule, what were they ran as ABBA or ABA? 

There really was no "general rule". It all depended on the HP requirements for that given train, at that given time. Also, unlike most other railroads, the Santa Fe FT units had couplers on both ends of the "B Units", instead of the semi-permanently draw-bar connection between the "A Unit" and the "B Unit". 

Hot Water posted:
Trainlover9943 posted:

On the prototype SF FT sets how were they configured? In the photos I looked up (quick google search) many of the pictures I found (mostly the freight painted colors) were mainly ABBA, however I did see a few pictures of an ABA and one of a ABB set. As a general rule, what were they ran as ABBA or ABA? 

There really was no "general rule". It all depended on the HP requirements for that given train, at that given time. Also, unlike most other railroads, the Santa Fe FT units had couplers on both ends of the "B Units", instead of the semi-permanently draw-bar connection between the "A Unit" and the "B Unit". 

Ah alright. I'm looking at models of them which is why I asked. Debating how many B units to buy. 

The first 10 (100-109) had different gearing than the rest of them. The quantity purchased makes them [theoretically] ABBB sets. The rest would be ABBA, in theory, but would be sent out as demand required.

 

"Of course we know its O-gauge or no gauge." -- Sheldon Cooper

At the OKC Train Show last weekend, picked up a book by Steve Goen - "Santa Fe in The Lone Star State Vol. One 1949-1969"...…   All FT units shown are all in freight colors, none in the Warbonnet paint scheme.  Of interest, some were refurbished in the late 1950s and renumbered 400-430.  Santa Fe had a total of 155 cab A units, 165 booster B units.  By 1966 the use of FTs was no longer happening in Texas.  The most common lash-up of FTs shown is ABBA, although there are also ABBBA, ABBB, one is FT 126 ABBBBA.  Perhaps the most unusual is FT 121 with ABBA-GP7-BBA in July of 1960.  As stated by Hotwater and LAIDOFFSICK, and others above, it all depended upon the power requirements.

Jesse   TCA  

And the ATSF seemed to use their covered wagons a lot longer than most roads.  I remember F units on freights in the mid 1970's in Texas while riding the Amtrak LONE STAR.  And B units on a freight crossing the causeway going to Galveston.

By that time, though, i would think the FT's would have retired.

The TEXAS SPECIAL:  The REAL RED streak of the golden prairies!

Dominic Mazoch posted:

And the ATSF seemed to use their covered wagons a lot longer than most roads.  I remember F units on freights in the mid 1970's in Texas while riding the Amtrak LONE STAR.  And B units on a freight crossing the causeway going to Galveston.

By that time, though, i would think the FT's would have retired.

The last Santa Fe FT-A was scrapped in 1965, the last FT-B in1966.

And of course, 94 F3's and F7's went on in 1970-1973 to become CF7's, some of which are still in service.

Rusty

The GN Man posted:

FT A-units, as delivered, did not have m.u. connections on their front ends.  I don't know if ATSF ever added them, but NP definitely did not and I don't believe GN did so, either.   So, you would not see an FT m.u. consist in A-A-B-A, for example. 

There must have been some GN FT's later equipped with nose MU.  There's a photo in Burlington Bulletin #4 of a CB&Q F2 leading a 4 unit GN FT/F7 consist through Savanna, Illinois.  After the CB&Q F2A, follows GN FTA, GN F7A, GN F7B, GN F7A.  There's either nose MU on the FT or there were 2 crews used.

I recall occasionally seeing CB&Q/GN pool power coming out of Clyde, but I don't recall clearly what GN F's were used.

Rusty

Rusty Traque posted:
The GN Man posted:

FT A-units, as delivered, did not have m.u. connections on their front ends.  I don't know if ATSF ever added them, but NP definitely did not and I don't believe GN did so, either.   So, you would not see an FT m.u. consist in A-A-B-A, for example. 

There must have been some GN FT's later equipped with nose MU.  There's a photo in Burlington Bulletin #4 of a CB&Q F2 leading a 4 unit GN FT/F7 consist through Savanna, Illinois . . . There's either nose MU on the FT or there were 2 crews used.        Rusty

Santa Fe definitely did not add nose m-u to the FT units.  However, some FTA's were equipped with footboards and large back-up headlights, to be used in local freight work.  It was another example of quirky Santa Fe practices.  Those locomotives were renumbered from the 100's to the 400's.  Some later had the local freight appliances removed when GP7's showed up, but they kept the 400 series numbers.

Rusty, as to the Burlington F2 leading the GN FT consist, my educated guess is that it was likely a genuine double header with the first engine being a 1-unit F2 consist and the second engine being the 4-unit FT/F7 consist.  Sometimes this was done instead of deadheading, when crews and locomotives were both needed at another terminal.  I can't remember seeing photos of any FTA on any railroad with nose m-u.

A probable explanation is that FT's do not make manual transition.  Having a manual transition unit buried in a locomotive consist requires that the Engineer force manual transition through use of the transition lever on the controlling unit.  If the controlling unit were equipped with automatic transition it would be easy for the Engineer to neglect to manually shift the consist.  F2's were not built with manual transition either, so in this case that does not explain the odd makeup, but it does explain the reluctance to equip FT's with nose m-u so that they could be coupled into trailing position on consists made up of -- and controlled by -- F7, GP7, or later units which had automatic transition.

Notice that Rusty described the trailing GN units as an FT/F7 consist, with the FT's leading the F7's.  When coupled that way, the F7's would have independently made automatic transition on their own, with no harm done to the FT's, and would have also manually responded when the FT Engineer shifted the consist manually,  by use of the transition lever.  For the F7's it would be overkill, but not harmful.

Tom

 

Superintendent, High Plains Division (O Gauge) 

The Panhandle & Santa Fe Railway Co.

Lone Star Hi-Railers

Santa Fe, All the Way

Many railroads running FTs found a problem due to their being designed to run as A-B sets with drawbars. Each unit created 1350 horsepower, so an A-B set had 2700 HP, and two A-B sets coupled back-to-back had 5400HP. At that time, mainline freights required around 4000 HP. So the FTs had sort of a "Goldilocks" problem - one A-B set didn't have enough horsepower, and two sets (back-to-back A-B-B-A) had a lot more power than needed.

The Burlington solved the problem after WW2 by buying F2 A-units from EMD and putting them together with A-B sets of FTs. F2s had the same 1350 HP, so what the Burlington called an "FT-2" set had 4050 HP..."just right" for mainline trains.Some other railroads did something similar (C&NW for example), so seeing an A-B set of FTs with an F2, F3, or F7 on a mainline freight in the transition era was pretty common. A few bought the FTSB (FT - Short Booster) B unit, which had drawbar connections at both ends, so the railroad could have an A-B-A set of FTs (but the short booster didn't have space for steam generators for passenger service).

BTW Santa Fe did briefly have some FTs in the warbonnet scheme. After WW2, there was a backup of months or years to get new diesels, so while Santa Fe had F-units on backorder they repainted some freight FTs into the warbonnet scheme and added steam generators so they could fill in on passenger trains as needed. By about 1950 ATSF had enough new passenger F's and the FTs went back to freight service in the blue and yellow freight paint scheme.

 

- Stix
wjstix posted:

Many railroads running FTs found a problem due to their being designed to run as A-B sets with drawbars. Each unit created 1350 horsepower, so an A-B set had 2700 HP, and two A-B sets coupled back-to-back had 5400HP. At that time, mainline freights required around 4000 HP. So the FTs had sort of a "Goldilocks" problem - one A-B set didn't have enough horsepower, and two sets (back-to-back A-B-B-A) had a lot more power than needed.

Not sure where you came up with your "facts", but The Electro-Motive Corporation designed/developed the "FT concept" so as to compete head-to-head with the high horsepower steam locomotives of the mid 1930s; those being the 4-8-4s of 5000+ HP. Thus the FT (F for Freight, and T for Twenty seven hundred HP) with it's two drawbar connected "sections" of 2700 HP each (the term 'unit' was not yet invented/used in 1938/1939), made a 5400 "set", that we refer to today as A-B-B-A. 

The Burlington solved the problem after WW2 by buying F2 A-units from EMD and putting them together with A-B sets of FTs. F2s had the same 1350 HP, so what the Burlington called an "FT-2" set had 4050 HP..."just right" for mainline trains.Some other railroads did something similar (C&NW for example), so seeing an A-B set of FTs with an F2, F3, or F7 on a mainline freight in the transition era was pretty common. A few bought the FTSB (FT - Short Booster) B unit, which had drawbar connections at both ends, so the railroad could have an A-B-A set of FTs (but the short booster didn't have space for steam generators for passenger service).

BTW Santa Fe did briefly have some FTs in the warbonnet scheme. After WW2, there was a backup of months or years to get new diesels, so while Santa Fe had F-units on backorder they repainted some freight FTs into the warbonnet scheme and added steam generators so they could fill in on passenger trains as needed. By about 1950 ATSF had enough new passenger F's and the FTs went back to freight service in the blue and yellow freight paint scheme.

 

Hot Water posted:
wjstix posted:

Many railroads running FTs found a problem due to their being designed to run as A-B sets with drawbars. Each unit created 1350 horsepower, so an A-B set had 2700 HP, and two A-B sets coupled back-to-back had 5400HP. At that time, mainline freights required around 4000 HP. So the FTs had sort of a "Goldilocks" problem - one A-B set didn't have enough horsepower, and two sets (back-to-back A-B-B-A) had a lot more power than needed.

 

 

 

There was no such thing as a normal horsepower requirement for main line freight trains.  I'd like to know where that 4000 number came from.  Must have been on railroad that had a fairly constant train length and normal operating speed, and only on that part of the railroad that had the same topological characteristics like the UP between Omaha and Cheyenne.

Horsepower needed depended on train resistance which varies with tonnage, speed and grade.  Rolling resistance is proportional to the speed and wind resistance to the square of the speed.  
Ruling grade and short time ratings were other factors.  No way there could be a usual horsepower common to many railroads.

 

Up till the mid 1950s ATSF liked to run their F units in as delivered ABBA sets, considering the ABBA set one locomotive. After the mid 50's units were interchanged based on train needs. ATSF was also one of the few roads to order FTs with couplers on both ends of the unit. No ATSF FT had a drawbar. 

Santa Fe, All the Way

I like to get my "facts" from "books" - old-fashioned though that may be. 

Re the FT name "F stood for Fourteen (an approximation of the 1350 h.p. of each unit) while the T indicated Twin units, as each unit of an A-B set was dependent upon the other. The cab unit had the controls while the booster carried the batteries." "Some flatland FT purchasers found that four-unit sets were too much locomotive for the trains their yards and sidings accommodated, so four-unit FTs were split up and mated with F2 cabs to create three-unit, 4050 h.p. locomotives." - "Diesel Demonstrators" by K.Erk, J.C. Smith, J.J. Scala, pg. 49-50.

"(EMD Chief Engineer Richard M.) Dilworth reckoned that a 2,700 h.p pair was the equal of a typical 2-8-2 or 2-10-2, and that the full 5,400 hp set could equal any of the largest articulated steam engines." - "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of North American Locomotives" by Brian Hollingsworth, pg.122.

The problem there was many railroads in 1939 were running mainline freights with engines larger than a 2-8-2, but smaller than a Mallet. A good example was Boston & Maine, who relied on 2-8-4 and 4-8-2 engines. B&M soon found that a four-unit FT set was too much power for most mainline trains, and "(a)s a result, orders were placed with EMD in mid-1945 for as-soon-as-possible delivery of another 15 individual A units to convert the the 12 A-B-B-A sets into 15 A-B-A combinations with either four A-B-B-A or nine A-B sets for added flexibility." They received F2s, which like the FTs were 1350 hp, creating three-unit sets of 4150 hp. This is from "The Revolutionary Diesel, EMC's FT" by Diesel Era, pg. 57.

That book also notes that other railroads that found three-unit sets to be 'just right' for most mainline needs were the Santa Fe ("A Test Department study showed, however, that in Chicago-Texas service, three units per consist were entirely adequate" - pg.17), Atlantic Coast Line (photo of FT A-B set mated with an F2, pg. 24), C&NW (pg. 40), Burlington ("These F2A-FTB-FTA sets were then semi-permanently coupled into 4,050-horsepower "FT-2" locomotives..." - pg.44), Rock Island (pg 51-52, Rock Island also purchased some A-B-A FT sets using the FTSB, as did the Lackawanna (pg. 54), Great Northern (pg. 67), and M-St.L (pg.74)). Other photos showing a NYC FT A-B set with an F7 (pg. 81), NP FT A-B set with an F-9 (pg. 92) and other lead me to believe this was fairly standard procedure. 

- Stix
wjstix posted:

I like to get my "facts" from "books" - old-fashioned though that may be. 

All well and good, as long as the authors of those books conducted proper & extensive research, in order to obtain correct information.

Re the FT name "F stood for Fourteen (an approximation of the 1350 h.p. of each unit) while the T indicated Twin units, as each unit of an A-B set was dependent upon the other.

This is absolutely incorrect! I began my career with EMD on June 1, 1962, and met & worked with many, MANY of the "old timers" from the early 1940s. I have also seen the actual internal Engineering Dept. paper work for the very first EMC FT demonstrator set. As I stated previously, the "F" stood for Freight, and the "T" stood for Twenty seven hundred HP. The men in Engineering were following the same pattern as the E Series (E stood for Eighteen hundred HP on the first E), while the "SC" switching model was "S" for Six hundred HP, and "C" for Cast under frame  (the second model 'SW' stood for Six hundred HP, with the "W" standing for Welded under frame)  

The cab unit had the controls while the booster carried the batteries." "Some flatland FT purchasers found that four-unit sets were too much locomotive for the trains their yards and sidings accommodated, so four-unit FTs were split up and mated with F2 cabs to create three-unit, 4050 h.p. locomotives." - "Diesel Demonstrators" by K.Erk, J.C. Smith, J.J. Scala, pg. 49-50.

That, they got correct.

"(EMD Chief Engineer Richard M.) Dilworth reckoned that a 2,700 h.p pair was the equal of a typical 2-8-2 or 2-10-2, and that the full 5,400 hp set could equal any of the largest articulated steam engines." - "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of North American Locomotives" by Brian Hollingsworth, pg.122.

Wonder if they actually consulted with Mr. Dilworth, or anybody that worked with/for him. There is no internal documentation to document such statements.

The problem there was many railroads in 1939 were running mainline freights with engines larger than a 2-8-2, but smaller than a Mallet. A good example was Boston & Maine, who relied on 2-8-4 and 4-8-2 engines. B&M soon found that a four-unit FT set was too much power for most mainline trains, and "(a)s a result, orders were placed with EMD in mid-1945 for as-soon-as-possible delivery of another 15 individual A units to convert the the 12 A-B-B-A sets into 15 A-B-A combinations with either four A-B-B-A or nine A-B sets for added flexibility." They received F2s, which like the FTs were 1350 hp, creating three-unit sets of 4150 hp. This is from "The Revolutionary Diesel, EMC's FT" by Diesel Era, pg. 57.

Again, actual conversations with men who were there, indicate that the goal for the FT demonstrator set was to compete with the 5000+ HP modern steam locomotives of the mid to late 1930s, those being the 4-8-4.

That book also notes that other railroads that found three-unit sets to be 'just right' for most mainline needs were the Santa Fe ("A Test Department study showed, however, that in Chicago-Texas service, three units per consist were entirely adequate" - pg.17), Atlantic Coast Line (photo of FT A-B set mated with an F2, pg. 24), C&NW (pg. 40), Burlington ("These F2A-FTB-FTA sets were then semi-permanently coupled into 4,050-horsepower "FT-2" locomotives..." - pg.44), Rock Island (pg 51-52, Rock Island also purchased some A-B-A FT sets using the FTSB, as did the Lackawanna (pg. 54), Great Northern (pg. 67), and M-St.L (pg.74)). Other photos showing a NYC FT A-B set with an F7 (pg. 81), NP FT A-B set with an F-9 (pg. 92) and other lead me to believe this was fairly standard procedure. 

 

Posted by WJSTIX;

Re the FT name "F stood for Fourteen (an approximation of the 1350 h.p. of each unit) while the T indicated Twin units, as each unit of an A-B set was dependent upon the other.

Posted by HOTWATER; 

“This is absolutely incorrect! I began my career with EMD on June 1, 1962, and met & worked with many, MANY of the "old timers" from the early 1940s. I have also seen the actual internal Engineering Dept. paper work for the very first EMC FT demonstrator set. As I stated previously, the "F" stood for Freight, and the "T" stood for Twenty seven hundred HP. The men in Engineering were following the same pattern as the E Series (E stood for Eighteen hundred HP on the first E), while the "SC" switching model was "S" for Six hundred HP, and "C" for Cast under frame  (the second model 'SW' stood for Six hundred HP, with the "W" standing for Welded under frame)“

 

I have no desire to argue about this but does anyone else wonder why in the FT designation the second letter refers to horsepower while in the E series and the SC/SW switcher series the first letter is the horsepower reference?  Also, I find this part of HOTWATER’s statement, “The men in Engineering were following the same pattern as the E Series...” to support the assertion that the F in FT stood for fourteen.  YMMV

 

Greg

GREGM,

Please remember that the FT was the very first diesel electric locomotive SPECIFICALLY developed by EMC for main line Freight Service. Previously, all the locomotives designed & built by EMC were for passenger service, and switching/transfer service. Back in the early and mid 1930s, railroad management was under the belief that "Diesels were fine for light weight passenger trans and switching, but steam locomotives were the only form of motive power capable of handling main line freight trains". Naturally, that philosophy was FULLY promoted by the big three steam locomotive manufacturers! Thus the "FT", i.e. "F for Freight" was developed.

Again, I have actually seen the original internal EMC/EMD documents for the "FT" demonstrator set; "F" stood for Freight, and "T" stood for Twenty seven hundred HP. 

You all can argue/debate all you want, however many, MANY publications got it wrong, and continue to do so. As more factual information, search for the Railfan & Railroad Magazine series on the 50th anniversary of the FT103, from 1989.

So the ATSF had to put into the FT units converted into passenger service items like signal lines, steam generators, and higher gearing in the trucks?

Did they do it themselves, or sent them back to EMD?

And did most of the passenger equipment stay onboard when they went back to freight service?

The TEXAS SPECIAL:  The REAL RED streak of the golden prairies!

Dominic Mazoch posted:

So the ATSF had to put into the FT units converted into passenger service items like signal lines, steam generators, and higher gearing in the trucks?

Yes.

Did they do it themselves,

Yes.

or sent them back to EMD?

No.

And did most of the passenger equipment stay onboard when they went back to freight service?

Probably not. The steam generators would surely have been removed for replacements/parts for other passenger units.

 

mikey posted:

I love reading Hot Waters posts because they are full of historical Information.

Mikey

Ditto, ditto. Hot Water was able to correct me regarding the direction 844 was moving in a photo based on the position of the Expansion Link (valve gear). It turns out Dad had done that photo as a spoof and for all these years (from the 1963 NRHS Convention) I didn't realize it.  Being a sponge for Diesel Electric locomotive history/technology I have learned lots and lots of tidbits from Hot Water.

 

Thank you, Hot Water, for all your contributions here. 

Lew

 

Operator of the Plywood Empire Route in the Beautiful Berkshires

Growing old is so much more fun than the only alternative.

In addition to the internal changes made to FT units for going from freight to passenger service, there was the change in paint scheme, as all are aware.  However, the biggest external modification was the nose remodel of the headlight lowered to the center door and installation of the Mars light in the original headlight location, and relocation of the beaded number board.

Jesse   TCA 

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