Thursday, February 19, 2015

Old GE U and -7 series rebuilds B36-7 U30B U28B

What is on the Bench Today

Here is what I got going on today:

So what are they and more importantly: why would anyone do a thing like this?

Since I'm modeling a large belt railroad that goes around Chicago outside of the EJ&E loop, I need locomotives to represent the interchange.  These 5 units are all being rebuilt and upgraded and will be called B38A2.  I got a little crazy with the saw on one unit as you can see and had to cut in a section of an SD24 to make the cab fit.  Yes it's crazy, but really fun.

All of these are going to be CSX with the Yn3b paint scheme.  The story goes that CSX needed more 4 axles locomotives and bought these 5 rebuilds from VULCAN Industries.  They have huge anti-climbers and the new 16-252 engine from  Fairbanks Morse, which is the ceramic version of the 16-251, and yes that is the ALCO prime mover that is still being built by Fairbanks Morse.

3 of these are Athearn Blue Box, the one with SD24 cut in is a U36B with the original 8 wheel drive and the final one is a U36B with the pancake motor.

The old 8 wheel drive was tricky to get it running smooth. I tried everything I knew.  In a final act of desperation I sprayed contact cleaner on the brushes and WD40 everywhere else and suddenly it came to life and runs super smooth.  I would say it will have a rating of Mission Capable around 70%.

The Athearns are 2 with the gold motor and 1 with the old motor.  They are run very smooth after a total tear down and rebuild.

Finally the pancake looked like it had spent a couple years in a sandbox, but when I removed the shell there was an almost never used motor in it.  It runs great and the circuit board makes DCC so easy on this one.  Super quiet and smooth, its really unbelievable.

OK...back to the bench....