Frisco SD45 question

Discussion in 'SD45' started by April, Aug 8, 2020.

  1. April

    April Member

    Of all the photos of SD45's I have come across I've never seen more than two running together. Was there some sort of rule limiting the number of six axle locomotives on any one train?

  2. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    The SD-45’s had territorial restrictions as well operational restrictions...

    From a 1967 ETT...
    Screen Shot 2020-08-08 at 6.58.09 AM.png

    Weight and truck wheelbase was a factor, but the combined tractive effort produced by electric traction also was a factor.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2020
  3. April

    April Member

    SD45's could show up in Joplin? I wonder if that ever happened.
  4. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Not be very likely, the amount of traffic on that sub most likely would not have justified that much power.
  5. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    I'll second what Keith said: not very likely.
    And to point a specific on the picture Karl posted, the time table only states Carl Junction - Joplin as allowed, which is the Tuckahoe Branch. This would exclude the Joplin & Galena Branch and what was left of the Carterville Branch.

    Joplin didn't handle any through traffic for the Frisco by this time. There just wouldn't be a need for the SD45's (or any of the other high horsepower locomotives) on this line. Specific information and pictures from the area are scarce, but I have only seen GP7's in Joplin. I would assume that they were replaced by GP38-2's when the last of the GP7's were retired.
    Joe Lovett likes this.
  6. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Let’s remember that during 1967, only the first batch of SD-45’s had arrived, and the Frisco had yet to realize the the impact that their use implied. Things on the railroad are dynamic, so let’s take a look at a later ETT from 1975.

    The Frisco experienced derailments with the new units as described by Lloyd Hobbs, the SW Division, Division Engineer:

    "The SD 45 were giving me fits on the "Chickashay" sub . Had two derailments both on curves at about the SC points (spiral to curve) . I got to both derailments first so nobody had a chance to see where the train ran off the track first . At the SC point it looked like something hit the high rail so as to turn the high rail out next thing I saw was a flange mark running on the web of the forcing wide gauge and yet the engines were sitting on top of the rail . I talked to several people about this. I felt like maybe the third axle wheel was the problem that it was hitting the high rail turning it out which led to derailment but they were a strong powerful engine two of those according to J P Knox mechanical officer would take the place of three other engines. I don’t remember any other SD 45 on the Chickasha sub.”

    My Dad, Charles Brand, was Roadmaster on the KC Sub at this time, and he was instructed to rattle-spike curves of 2-1/2 degrees(and greater) which alleviated the problem. On subdivisions where this measure was too expensive, the Frisco banned the units. The six-axle restriction also applied to foreign road units, which were used on run-through service.

    One Saturday, my brother and I were assisting my dad survey one of the new industrial tracks in Lenexa. FSE came to a stop at "Cross-Over C”. FSE left town with 4, UP 6 axle units in the consist. My dad had his pack set, and we could hear the crew and dispatcher conversing about the need to set-out the rear unit. Once the offending unit was removed, FSE headed south.

    Screen Shot 2020-08-08 at 7.06.59 PM.png
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2021
  7. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    I am still looking for an image of 3 SL-SF SD45's on a train I have seen at least one, but (not in the Frisco archives), in later years the SD45's were seen in consists of 3. They were hard on the rail as has been indicated on these earlier posts. The SD45's were main line heavy traffic locomotives. It was their horse power per powered axle, that made them shine. They did demand good track structure and maintenance, the SP and RG had many SD45's, that were used in 10 deg curves.
    They were heavy (368,000 lbs) so not friendly to light rail. They would flat boogie with a train, but they were rough riding locos. No shock absorbers, rode like you were on a pogo stick. Was on a few, over some rough switches at 50-60mph, and swore we hit the plow on the track and felt the journal boxes hit the pedestal straps. This all went away when the unit was in power or braking, meaning the journal boxes would be pressed to the pedestal liners, providing dampening of sorts.
    But there was nothing like being on these locos, feeling as well as hearing those 20 cylinder EMD's go to work, you knew you were on something very powerful.
    No micro-processors, no cameras, just power, raw and pure.
  8. Great info guys. Thanks

    Karl your memory is stunning. You are a fountain of knowledge.

    Tom, I always enjoy stories from guys like you, Bill, Andre etc.. real railroaders.
  9. gstout

    gstout Member Supporter

    I am probably going to get skewered for this, but I have a recollection of reading somewhere that Frisco ordinarily added a four-axle unit to a pair of SD45s to maximize tractive effort, the thinking being that three of the big beasts was too much horsepower. Lou Marre suggests as much on page 118 of Frisco in Color, authored by Lou and Greg Sommers. Photos that I have seen in various publications (including my own Frisco Power in Color), regularly show a pair of SD45s assisted by an F7B, a GP38, a GP38-2, a GP40 or a four-axle GE unit. In any event, I have never seen a photo of a Frisco power set that included more than two SD45s (which doesn't mean there never was one).

  10. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    I knew in the back of my mind that as time went on, they relaxed the restrictions, I just needed to find the pictures of it. I found two pictures from 1980 in Tulsa. The first is of 3 SD45's lashed together with no 4 axle power to separate it, which was always allowed, but maybe not commonly practiced? The second picture is a set of 3 6 axle units (SD40-2 and 2 SD45s) with a GP40-2 to split the SD45s, which was not originally allowed.
    Joe Lovett likes this.
  11. geep07

    geep07 Member

    I've read somewhere in this forum that the engineers have dubbed the SD45's as Cadillac's.
  12. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    They rode and ran very nicely.
  13. gstout

    gstout Member Supporter

    First time I saw that term applied to a locomotive was Southern Pacific's SD9s (or maybe SD7s--I'm too old to remember which).

    modeltruckshop likes this.
  14. Same here Greg
  15. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    I recall seeing several Frisco freights with SD45-GP35-GP35-SD45 lashups at the Frisco Geyer/Big Bend crossing on the EasternDivision in St Louis County. Those were the days!
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  16. mike_newton

    mike_newton Member

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  17. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

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