Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16
  1. #1

    Identifying a diesel Locomotive

    I am new to railfanning and wondering How do you identify a diesel locomotive?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Waldport, OR, USA
    Age
    74
    Posts
    7,218
    Blog Entries
    4
    TSByman, welcome to Trainboard! Now, I am an old steam curmudgeon and don't know anything about diesels except what I have learned from other railfans. There are some books available, diesel spotting guides, but I have forgotten their titles. Here's what I know: Six axle EMD's are SD class, and four axle EMD's are GP class. All these new -44AC and all that other stuff I know nothing about. One of the reasons I have posted this is to arouse the diesel knowledgable people to correct me.
    :tb-biggrin:
    http://www.pioneer.net/~fitzrr/
    "The Water Level Route"
    Jim Fitzgerald
    Thanks to Siggie Masta for this great New York Central Avatar!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Wishing I was at MP 35 on the Moffat...
    Age
    36
    Posts
    16,189
    Blog Entries
    57
    First, let me welcome you to Trainboard!

    It's good to have you here!

    The way I ID a locomotive, is first look at the cab. Is it an angular design, or of a more blocky square angles construction? General Electric (GE) widecabs tend to be angular, while Electro-Motive Division (EMD) widecabs are more blocky, using square angles. Ther are exceptions. The noses of each manufacturer for spartan cabs (the more narrow cab) look somewhat similar, with EMD noses having pointed noses, and GE noses more blocky. The hood is another spotting feature. GE and EMD hoods are somewhat similar. The radiator sections is where they differ most. GE radiators use a "wing" approach, while EMD radiators are of a flush variety, with grilles. The later-model EMDs use a flared radiator. Trucks differantiate a loco from another maker as well. EMD trucks are distinctly different from GE trucks. GE trucks on late model units use a large cast frame, with twin springs for each axle. EMD trucks do not sport the springs as visibly as the GE units' do.

    See the GE Dash 9-44CW example below; angular cab nose, winged radiators, prominent truck frames with the springs showing:



    And an EMD SD70ACe example, with flared radiators, blocky cab, radial trucks without prominent springs:



    Back in the 70's, the SD40-2 was one of the most ubiquitous locomotives around. Here's classic EMD construction from the older generation--three-hole truck sideframes, flat radiators, dynamic brakes with a "blister" and fans, pointed nose, blocky cab face, and rounded fuel tank:



    Here's an earlier GE model, a C30-7. The classic flat "pug" nose, the trucks do not have the 3-holes in the side frames, the radiator wings and angular fuel tank:



    Passenger engines are a whole 'nother story, that to come soon.

    Defy Gravity--Ship Rio Grande
    My Rail Images Album
    My Trainboard Albums
    "What you run to in your time of need has become your god" --Anonymous

  4. #4

    Thank you

    thank you for helping me out
    :tb-biggrin:what U.P really stands for: unlimited parking.

  5. #5
    So how do you identify a gp-35 from a gp-38 or 40

    Again thank you to anyone who can help
    :tb-biggrin:what U.P really stands for: unlimited parking.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Springfield, OH
    Age
    60
    Posts
    89
    The best way to tell the difference between the GP35, GP38, and GP40 is by looking at the fans over the radiator section at the rear of the locomotive. The GP35 has three fans over the radiator, with the middle fan being a smaller diameter. The GP 38 only has two fans over the radiator The GP 40 has three fans again, all the same diameter. The spotting differences between a GP38/GP40 and a GP38-2/GP40-2 is that on the engineers side of the locomotive; (right side facing front); on one of the doors at the front of the radiator grills, there is a water level sight glass window. Also -2 angled cabs have an angled overhang on the back of the cab.

    Hope this helps.

    And Welcome to Trainboard.
    Phil

    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather, to skid in broadside, totally used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming " WOW!!!! WHAT A RIDE!!!!! "

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Wishing I was at MP 35 on the Moffat...
    Age
    36
    Posts
    16,189
    Blog Entries
    57
    GP35, note the small fan between the top radiator fans:



    GP38, note the twin radiator fans, spaced closely together:



    GP40, note the 3 closely-spaced radiator fans:



    Among other differences!

    Defy Gravity--Ship Rio Grande
    My Rail Images Album
    My Trainboard Albums
    "What you run to in your time of need has become your god" --Anonymous

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Waldport, OR, USA
    Age
    74
    Posts
    7,218
    Blog Entries
    4
    Man, you guys are good. :tb-biggrin:
    http://www.pioneer.net/~fitzrr/
    "The Water Level Route"
    Jim Fitzgerald
    Thanks to Siggie Masta for this great New York Central Avatar!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Age
    28
    Posts
    3,206
    Blog Entries
    9
    Oh... wow. That's a huge question.

    The features mentioned for the GP35, GP38/-2 and GP40/-2 can also be used on the SD35, SD38/-2 and SD40/-2 (but there's more to those as well). There's also the GP39/-2 and the SD39. They have two fans just like the 38-series, but they don't have the raised air filter box (the hump in the roofline just behind the air intake).

    Note that the GP35 and SD35 are shorter than the GP38/39/40 and SD38/39/40. Dash 2 GPs are the same lengths as their predecessors, but Dash 2 SDs are longer than their predecessors. The above-mentioned trucks with three holes are on Dash 2s; older SDs have pairs of holes.

    SD45s look like SD40s, but with the radiators (below the rear fans) flared outward. Not as much as on the SD70ACe above, though. SD45-2s don't have the flares, and look much like SD40-2s. The three fans are more widely spaced, and the radiator is larger. There is no GP45, but there is the GP40X, which looks like a 4-axle SD45.

    GP30s look like GP35s, but they have a raised roofline on the cab and forward part of the body. You can't mistake them for anything else.
    Fan of late and early Conrail... also transition-era PRR, 70s Santa Fe, BN and SP, 70s-80s eastern CN, pre-merger-era UP, heavy electric operations in general, dieselized narrow gauge, modern EFVM and Brazilian railroads in general... why bother trying to list them all?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    illinois
    Age
    55
    Posts
    1,157
    Blog Entries
    81

    Talking Thanks to the teachers

    Welcome to trainboard then thanks to the above teachers text with photos is great so teachers carry on :shade:
    MK&E Railroad ask me for a Rail Pass
    My Photo place My Blog

Similar Threads

  1. Runaway CSX train stopped after 2 hour uncontrolled trip!
    By chessie in forum CSX Corporation
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: September 1st, 2014, 11:23 AM
  2. Identifying a diesel locomotive by chassis number?
    By Ed M in forum International Railways
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: August 17th, 2008, 09:42 PM
  3. BLMA Z Scale Diesel Locomotive Details!
    By Craig Martyn in forum Z Scale
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: September 14th, 2006, 09:43 PM
  4. ATSF E8/9 question
    By NP/GNBill in forum Fallen Flags
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: July 7th, 2006, 05:46 PM
  5. OTHER Detroit, Toledo, & Ironton Railroad Diesel Dispositions
    By dti407 in forum Fallen Flags
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: July 26th, 2004, 09:18 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •