Jan 31, 2012
Which do you prefer... wide cab or standard (spartan) cab?
That question isn't nuanced enough for me.
For example, I like the GP60M cab the most, but I prefer the emd standard cab Angled and round to everything else. I like the GE wide cab better than the old GE standard, but I do like the newer standard cabs. And I like Alco standard cabs as well and I find canadian cabs especially on alcos and gp40s facinating. I like the new "ugly emd cab more than the 3 window or tapered teardrops and I don't really know how I feel about gullwings.
I'm not going to trash CW40-8's, AC44's, ES44AC's, AC44H's,etc and all those newer wide noses.. But I much prefer first and early second generation locomotives like GP7's, GP9's, RS3's, U25B's, GP30's, etc. Maybe I'm just biased since that is what I worked on and around for a few years of my life and came to know and love to a much higher level than "the new stuff".
As a railroader, wide nose for sure. As a modeller, standard cab, no contest. I think spartan cab geeps and SDs are the best looking locos out there. But they are pretty miserable if you have to travel 220 miles in the cab of one.
Is the cab really wider, or just the nose? He asked while ducking and running for cover.
Put me in the line with Dave. A 300mile trip Chicago- LaCrosse WI in winter in the cab of an SD-40-2
is a real character builder, not to mention a severe frostbite hazard!
I fortunate enough to work for a railroad who had all 8 locomotive cabs winterized. Always toasty after the cab heater ran for a little while. On the flip side, the whole railroad was 52 miles long and we never topped 25.
I'd imagine racing across the plains of Wisconsin at 55mph would tend to put cold air through just about any corner of a cab. especially on the older locomotives.
When I worked on CSX, we called the "wide nose" cabs widebodies, and the EMD/GE spartan cab engines "conventionals."
Engineers with whom I worked (I was a conductor) often preferred the conventionals for a number of reasons. One reason was that they could get a better "feel" for how the train handled when using a conventional, as opposed to a widebody with the desktop controls.
When it came to EMDs versus GEs, though, crews preferred to have the EMD leading in a mixed-bag lashup, because it would load faster. They were also preferable to use in the yard because of that; using a widebody GE to switch in the yard was a pain, to put it mildly.
I'm not a railroader by any stretch, but talking with the engineer who was assigned to the KCS Business Train a few years ago, he said his absolute favorite were the Southern Belle F9s. He believed they were the most beautiful KCS locomotives, with good visibility, and-drum roll please-they were just overhauled with the most modern EMD computer controls, electrical equipment, and prime movers. You don't think his being assigned to a two-week "vacation", uh, system-wide PR campaign had anything to do with his opinion, do you?
But Charlie, where was your duct tape lol. I dont know I just like the way I can lay back in a spartan cab feet on the heater and can see my guy down on the front step ( most of the mirrors on wide cabs showing him are broke or so dirty and etched they are worthless.)But I digress, I just like my spartan cab I guess I am old school.
Oh and if you dont have duct tape take some crew packs or paper towels get them wet then stick them around the leaky areas of the door
Cab's the same width, it's the noses that are different in width.
True Bob same width but a wide nose has more depth (in the cab) it seems.Could be the bigger windows or the desktop controls that make them feel this way.
It varies. For me, generally, I prefer standard cabs on smaller, four axle units. Better proportions, in my opinion. Just like I prefer regular cab, short bed Fords when we're talking about pre-1991 models, but Super Cabs when we're talking about newer models. The big wide cab, six axle stuff UP uses definitely have presence. Whereas the GP60M's just kinda of look funky with their wide cabs.
I've talked to several engineers out here in the PNW and one loco that they HATE is the current EMD SD70M-2 or the SD70ACe because of the vertical windshields. They say that 1)They reflect outside light into the cab at night (much like the original SD60M 3-windshield cabs did) and 2)You don't as good forward visibility as the older safety cabs. The one thing that most of them universally hated, though with all of the safety cabs, are the desk-top controls and especially the horn buttons.
Widebodies when I'm working. They're usually a lot quieter and nicer inside and have a desktop for my paperwork. The railfan in me would rather see an SD40 any day.
I like both but have a wide cab come straight at you and it looks menacing, the one thing the standard cab has over the wide cab is better front side viewing capabilities.
Just my opinion.
I have no preference, all are suitable! My absolute preferred locomotives as a railfan (I am not à railroader) are EMD SD40-2s (standard cab, if one forgets CP's -2Ws) as well as GE Dash9s and affiliates (wide cab).....
When I first came back to model railroading a few years ago I wasn't all that keen on widecabs because I thought they looked too bulky and detracted from the overall appearance (I like my autos with a nose down, low hood, muscular rear quarters look as well, why I'm not a fan of post 2000 models). As PNWR Power say's the new stuff does have a definite "presence" and I am now adding them to my roster but I think I've only come to terms with the "look" since the extra wide ride radiators have been added at the rear, seems to give a bit of balance in my opinion. I also like the looks of the trucks used on the GE Gevo's and others in that line, gives them a real ground hugging, solid appearance.
As you can see I like my motive power on road or rail to look "gutsy" and give the impression of latent power even when standing still. A reason I will be getting DCC as soon as possible so I can enjoy the sounds of my locos even when just idling, nothing like the burble of a powerful engine at rest, road or rail.
Just one more comment on this wide v.standard cab, the railroader part of me really wants to see a clean cab with a toilet compartment in it that would pass a health department inspection. I don't know how some guys live but if their homes are like the way they treat their work environment, I wouldn't care to see where they live! I've had to do my own cab cleanup a number of times,including sweeping it out in addition to my regular inspection of the motive power. There are some real swine out there in the cabs. Nothing says "scumbag" better than to sit in the hogger's seat after someone was eating sunflower seeds or peanuts in the shell and just threw the shells on the floor and/or left their full "spit cups"(tobacco chewers and snuff dippers) in the cab.