Magazines » Prototype Modeler - October 1985 » Page 18 Text View Magazine View

Page
of 48

October 1985 - Page 18


Southern Gives the Green Light to Innovation: Locotrol

A Locofrol-equipped Southern G P50-note the white n umberboardsleads a p iggyback t rain at Greensboro, N.C., in February of 1981. SR has e quipped as m any as 139 different units with l ocotrol.

robably t he m ost s uccessful i mplementation o f r emote r adio controlled m otive p ower, t he S outhern R ailway 's L ocotrol o perations h ave e ndured i nto t he 1 980 's. I n f act , o perating m en o n t he S outhern h ave w ondered w hy o ther r ailroads h ave t ried a nd a bandoned s imilar a ttempts t o r emotely c ontrol t heir h elper p ower. S outhern h as s o s uccessfully i ntegrated L ocotrol i nto i ts o perations t hat t he s ervice i s r outinely e mployed o ver m ost o f t he s ystem. T rains u tilizing h elpers a re a ssisted u p t he "Rat-Hole" (ex-Cincinnati , N ew O rleans & T exas P ac ific R a ilroad) , o ver S aluda M ountain o n t he S partansburg-Ash v illeKnoxville l ine , d ragging c oal t rains a long t he K noxville-Appalachia l ine , d own t he m ain s outh o f A tlanta a nd a cross t he b usy W ashington-New O rlea ns m a in l ine. F rom t railer t rains t o u nit c oal t rains , L ocotrol h as b een a n i nte gral p art o f S outhern 's i nnovative o pera tions f or t wenty y ear s. T he m otive p ower h asn 't n ecessarily b een a nything s pecial , a lthough " sending" u nits h ave g enerally b een n ewer l ocomotives. O nly t he h ead-end u nits n eed t o b e e quipped f or t his o peration ; u nlike U nion P acific a nd o thers '

P

B Y W ARREN CALLOWAY
P HOTOGRAPHS B Y T HE AUTHOR

v ersions o f r adio-controlled h elper p ower , t he r adio c ontrol (RC) c ar a cts a s t he r eceiving u nit a llowing f or a ny m ultiple u nit ( m.u.)-equipped l ocomo tive (m. u . 'd t o t he RC c ar) t o f ulfill t he r oll o f r emote p ower a llowing f or o ne o r m ore u nits t o b e p laced i n t he m iddle o f t he t rain . N ot h aving t o m aintain "master-slave " l ocomotive p airs h as b een o ne o f t he m any r easons f or S outhern 's s uccessful a pplication o f L ocotrol. A s f ar a s c an b e d etermined , 1 39 d ifferent l ocomotives h ave a t o ne t ime o r a nother b een e quipped a s L ocotrol s ending u nits. D istinguishing t hem f rom o ther p ower , L ocotrolequipped d iesels p ossess b lack n umbers o n w hite n umber b oards ; E lectroMotive G P50 N o . 7 004 m ay b e t he o nly u nit t o b e e quipped a s a s ending u nit w hich l acks t he w hite n umber b oards. A t o ne t ime , e arly G P7 's , G P9's , G P30's a nd G P35 's a long w ith v enerable S D35 's m ade u p t he r anks o f t he L ocotrol u nits. F ive G eneral E lectric U 30C l ocomotives a lso w ere s o e quipped d uring t he l ate 1 960's a nd e ar ly 1 970's . Today, EMD G P38-2 's , G P50 's , S D45's a nd S D40-2-type loco-

motives c arryon o perations. A s u nits a re r emoved f rom L ocotrol s ervice , m any h ave r etained t heir r ooftop a ntenna f ixtures , a lthough t he c ontrol e quipment h as b een r emoved a nd i nstalled i n n ewer l ocomotives. S ome o f t hese u nits h ave b een r enumbered w ith n umber b oards r eversed b ack t o t he s tandard b lack b ackground w ith w hite i dentifying n umerals. T he RC c ars t hemselves a re v ery s impIe a ffairs , a ppearing m uch l ike s mooth-sided 4 0-foot b oxcars w ithout s ide d oors. O f w elded c onstruction , t hey a re p ainted s tandard B oxcar R ed c olor w ith w hite r oofs a nd l ettering. I nitially , t hese c ars w ere e quipped w ith p assenger c ar-type t rucks, b ut t oday t hey r ide o n t ypical f reight c ar r oller b earing-equipped t rucks. T hree "firecracker" a ntennas a re m ounted a top t he r oof; t wo a t o ne e nd , o ne a t t he o ther. N o r oofwalks w ere e ver a pplied a nd f our-rung l adders w ere i nstalled a t e ach e nd . A d oor i s p rovided i n t he c enter o f e ach c ar e nd f or e asy e mployee a ccess . M .u . f ixtures a nd a dditional l adders a re a lso l ocated a t e ach e nd. O ne S outhern o fficial d escribed t he c ars a s " essentially e mpty," s ave f or t he e lectronic e quipment a nd s everal t ons o f c oncrete a dded f or b allast.
PROTOTYPE MODELER

18

Added August 11, 2011 - Share
0 comments