Discussion in 'General Electric (GE)' started by gjslsffan, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    This is the first SL-SF GE "U Boat" or any "U Boat" for that matter, I have attempted. I see there are a few discrepancies in the Bowser model. I did add a few Rasza, wheel slip modulators a speed recorder, A 5 chime Leslie horn, a couple DW 130's pilot plows as well as a bunch of weathering chalk, some Dull Coat.

    I would welcome some input from my Frisco Hoghead friends, I am familiar with the newer GE's, but would like for someone that ran these, tell us how these old GE's loaded and ran. I have been told they were FRA bait for oil leaks especially on the walkways and were not dependable. Again, I would like to learn more about them.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2016
  2. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    I do not have any experience running them but here are the stereo types I have heard:

    The U series was not reliable, and the dash 7 series wasn't much better
    They did load slow, but were more fuel efficient compared o the GE's.

    These are just things I've heard and can't confirm them being real.

  3. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    I have no answers Tom but your skill at turning a model into a very realistic, weathered work of art is top notch. You're up there with the best.
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  4. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Supporter Supporter

    Cannot add to the reliability of such, but I am glad to see some in your roster.
    I always liked the looks of them and your rendition, especially the weathering, is great.
  5. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

    TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020) Passed Away July 15, 2020 Supporter

    I'm not concerned whether or not the U-boats were any good on the real railroad, the company did run them so they're good candidates to model. My favorites, of course were the hi nose black and yellow 801-808's.

    Tom G.
  6. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    Tom, great job on the weathering, that film or spray really looks great. We had a lot of the u-Boats on the BN out in the coal route in Wyoming. I rode with lots of engineers that liked them because of there so called lug power. Most said that at low speed up long grades they were the best. Nobody liked them on the head end because of the "Toad Stool Seats" they was really hard on the back and rear end. When I was Roadmaster in Denver, lots of the seats, right out the window. I picked up many of the seats a long the right of way. I used to put them in back of the hirail, pull up to the Globeville office and ask the Terminal Supt, where he wanted the seats put. Man that really ¤¤¤¤ed off Dan Watts and Mike Martin.
    I am somewhat sure some of the U-Boat fleet came off the SLSF, although they were all green by then. bout 84 or 85.
    I was on the coal route in Wyoming in 88 or 89. Seen lots of them on the Frisco, not sure I rode one while they was orange. Oh, most said they made great transition, easy on the knuckles. I did have one engineer let me take a consist out of Rawhide mine once, yes, I got s knuckle. Most all the grades out of that area (Powder River Basin) were .80 or better. Ran 5 units, 15K Tons. They ran 3 of the dash 8's and made bout 10 MPH up logan hill. 12 to 14 up Moorcroft hill.
    Bill Jackson
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2013
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  7. tmfrisco

    tmfrisco Member Supporter

    I ran them and hostled them at the diesel shop, and I hated them. They rode rough, and had a tendency to smoke heavily. You are right about the oil leaks and the slow loading. One characteristic I especially hated was the early GEs were dangerous if the hostler needed to add water. The only way to do this was by removing the water cap without being able to relieve the radiator pressure. Sometimes the back pressure would be so great that water would spew several feet out of the water pipe when the cap was removed resulting in spraying hot steam and water on the person who had opened the cap if he was standing in front of the cap. We were taught to stand behind the radiator cap and use one hand to remove this cap. That way, if the water did spew, it would spew away from the hostler. One day I had an engine that needed water, and the pressure was so great I could not remove the cap with one hand, so the electrician decided to help me. He stood in front of the cap and used both hands to overcome the pressure, and when he did, he was sprayed with hot water and steam. Needless to say, he was burned all over his back and neck. I of course felt really badly about that because he was trying to help me. The later models had this problem resolved with a filler pipe and pressure relief valve installed that was similar to the EMD' units. We didn't have to remove the radiator cap on these units. I especially hated the high nose units in the lead as visibility was restricted.
    In spite of these problems with the prototype, I also agree that they are candidates for modeling, and any Frisco diesel modeler should have some on his roster. I have a few and am waiting patiently for the Atlas U30B.

    Terry Jankowski
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2013
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  8. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    I have one of the Bowser U25b units. The detail on the model is okay, the hhandrails are wrong and too big, but I drilled out the radiator grill to place a speaker underneath when installing a Soundtraxx Tsunami. Great sound definition and I like the chugging of the GE FDL16.
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  9. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    I've never run a locomotive, so I have no first-hand experience. But I've read a lot about the GE's.

    Regarding the Frisco's U-boats - the early U25b's, particularly the eight high hoods, but also the first phase or two of the low hood U25b's, had reliability issues, not unusual for a new locomotive model. Many of their early problems were ergonomic, as mentioned. Uncomfortable seats and control stands, unfriendly cabs, dangerous ladders, oil leaks, some electrical issues, etc. The FDL engine was proven, but at 2500HP it was stressed, and that led to some issues as well. They did smoke somewhat, but nothing like the Alcos. As the later models came along, late U25b's, the U30b's and the B30-7's, many (not all) of these troubles were rectified. The U30b's and on were much more reliable than the U25b's, but as their HP was increased, the reliability of the FDL suffered somewhat as an offset- not unusual (see the EMD GP35's!). Overall, the Frisco liked the U30b's and the B30-7's, so said their Chief Motive Power Officer, who I had the pleasure of corresponding with several times. I asked him, though, if the SLSF had plans to get any "C-Boats", ie six axle C-C's. He said no, even though he had just obtained the EMD SD40-2's at the time.

    They did load slowly - after all the FDL is a four cycle with a turbo, but once you got that puppy running, it would out pull an EMD. In general, they were more fuel economic than were the EMD's as well.

    And, they made a lovely chug-chug-achuga-chug sound coming up a hill! I like 'em, and they looked neat.

    Ken (still waiting for his SLSF Atlas U30b's)

    ps - I recall the first time Kurt and I visited the Diesel Shop in Springfield, perhaps 1979 or 1980. Close to half of the units sitting out in front waiting their turn in the shop were U25b's.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2013
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  10. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Thanks Guys, one and all.
    I was hoping for just this kind of dialogue on this class of locomotive. Most interesting stuff for sure, always appreciate the personal touch you guys seem to bring to most any subject Frisco.
    I was told the FDL engine was an Alco or Bessemer-Cooper clone. Was this true?
    As always, I await, appreciate all of the responses and info.
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  11. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Tom -

    Yes, the GE FDL line of Diesel engines was based on the Cooper-Bessemer design. I'm not sure if GE bought, licensed, copied or re-invented the Cooper-Bessemer engine design, but it has worked out well. GE had a history of using Cooper-Bessemer engines. The GE 70-ton switcher had a six cylinder Cooper-Bessemer FWL engine. The U25b used a 16-cylinder V-block FDL engine. The "DL" supposedly stood for "Diesel Locomotive" in Cooper-Bessemer parlance.

    The Frisco U-boats all used variations of the 16-cylinder GE FDL-16 engine.

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  12. Friscotony

    Friscotony Member

    One of my engineer friends once told me he did not like the early U-25 as a lead unit because they had a 16 notch throttle verus the 8 notch for EMD.

    Tony L.
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  13. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Getting to more GE's around here all the time here is a couple shots of the SLSF 825 at work. It is interesting how short in height the GE's are compared to the EMD's behind it. I did a quick check and they are shorter almost the same a F units it seems.
    The first shot finds us climbing out of "Nincompoop Loop" on the approach to Lazar and "Gallstone Gultch".
    The second shot find us going right by some folks camping and hunting. It never ceases to amaze me how people will pitch a tent right next to a multiple main track railroad. Some of you might recognize this scene. :)

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  14. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Hey, I really like the realistic rock and trees in the camp scene not to mention all the beautiful model locomotives.
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  15. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Yea - more U-boats on the roster!

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  16. Brad Slone

    Brad Slone Member Supporter

    I've been pretty busy lately so I haven't been able to keep up. But it seems like I read a discussion earlier this week or the end of last regarding modeling a u25b high nose. I don't know what they were asking for it, but a few weeks back while in Omaha I noticed House of Trains there had one in their show case if anyone is looking for one.

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  17. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

    TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020) Passed Away July 15, 2020 Supporter

    I wish I had a four unit lash-up of the hi-hood, as-delivered black, and yellow U-25's in N scale. But I also wish there was a believable true-to-scale Texas Special train. Ifs and buts, candy and nuts etc...

    Tom G.
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  18. w3hodoug (Doug Hughes RIP 03/24/2021)

    w3hodoug (Doug Hughes RIP 03/24/2021) 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Keith, can you remember if the install was very difficult. My old B/Y Bowser/Stewart U-25B is probably next on my list even though those handrails are terrible. Not only are they oversized, they don't hold paint well. Thanks, Doug
  19. Larry F.

    Larry F. Member

    Tom, if you have access to old TRAINS magazines there is an article written by an engineer on driving a high nose. It's issue September 1999. The photo is one page of the article. Larry

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2016
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  20. Larry F.

    Larry F. Member

    I forgot to compliment you on some fine modeling--looks great. I'm in the midst of converting a low nose 25 to a high nose and if I ever get it right I'll post. Larry
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