Yet another what if?

Discussion in 'General' started by HWB, May 1, 2009.

  1. FP45 locomotive in Frisco's original dark red with metallic gold stripes.
    Class C Shay in black/yellow, used in Frisco owned quarries.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2021
  2. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    One thing that continues to puzzle me is the fact that the Frisco didn't invest more in 6 axle power for the various power pools it operated, especially the western coal traffic that started showing up. I would like to imagine that an order of C30-7's would have been likely if it wasn't for the merger. I would also think that rebuilding or replacement of SD45's wouldn't be too far off either.
    Gabriel G. and mountaincreekar like this.
  3. Gabriel G.

    Gabriel G. Member

    I would've liked to have seen an RS-3 in Frisco black and yellow. Specifically, a "Hammerhead" RS-3 similar to those on the Western Maryland and Pennsy. Some Paducah Geeps in Frisco red and white would've been nice as well.
    mountaincreekar likes this.
  4. jmoore16

    jmoore16 Member

    My dad explained to me once that the center axle of a 3 axle truck would put a side loading on the rail in a tight radius and over time, the 3 axle trucks were thought to increase maintenence costs to the rails, ties and railbed over time. Track conditions on the Frisco were arguably the best in the US and one of the reasons that caused the BN to look at the Frisco as a candidate for takeover.

    Don't know how much truth there is to this notion...

    mountaincreekar likes this.
  5. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Frisco, and a few others, did not care for 6 axle power, for the reasons and more mentioned above. Above 27 mph a 4 axle unit, will pull almost all a 6 axle will, not withstanding ice, rain, grease ect. for which a 6 axle will suffer as well.
    4 axle power was preferred for rail wear on curves and HPT (horse per ton). Road-masters abhorred 6 axle power for same. EMD and later GE's steerable 6 axle trucks addressed this, but now we are talking a decade or more, after that merger. Realistically you just cannot put 1000+ HPA (horse per axle) to the rail in about any condition. Thusly 6 axle power is the norm, heck GE or EMD , don't even make newly developed 4 axle power (non passenger) these days.
    We have all seen the images of coal trains delivered to the Frisco, with 3/4, 6 axle GE/EMD's, with 3 Frisco 4 axle units added, it was a good train I bet, I would not have minded getting a train with that kind of power, just gotta be careful not to get "western" with it and tear it in half.
    Frisco's thin line of SD40-2's protected that 6 axle service, while not terribly prevalent they shouldered there tonnage duties honorably. I think the SD40-2's would have certainly replaced the SD45's. Frisco in the later years showed little interest in GE. This may have changed, but not until after the 50 series EMD failures. This would have likely led Frisco to consider and purchase the dash-8 and dash-9 GE's series. I'm confident they would have tried the EMD 60 series, both GP and SD as well.
    It is indeed a worthy endeavor to try and consider where the Frisco would have gone for power, MFG capacity would have likely been a factor as well.
    I like this kind of stuff.
  6. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Excellent breakdown of that subject.

    This is gonna be a bit off topic, but I can't wrap my head around the C4 units BNSF has ordered en mass. It's an ES44 with an unpowered axle in each truck. From what I read, the A1A configuration the E8s had really struggled with freight service and mountains. Can't figure out how they make it work on these high horse freight units.
    Gabriel G. likes this.
  7. Gabriel G.

    Gabriel G. Member


    Like you, I think Frisco would've ordered more SD40-2s had the Burlington Northern merger not taken place. While I doubt Frisco would've placed an order for the C30-7, another order of B30-7s is not out of the question. There was certainly room on the roster for more SD40-2s and B30-7s (SLSF 958-999 are empty, as are SLSF 871-899).


    It's best not to think of the C4s as six-axle units, but as four-axle units with an additional unpowered axle. The C4s are not used in the same sort of service as six-axle units, but rather in intermodal service. They are intended as replacements for the fleet of high-horsepower four-axle units that BNSF inherited from Santa Fe. I'm guessing GE didn't want to build new four-axle units, so they suggested an A1A configuration to BNSF as an alternative.
  8. WindsorSpring

    WindsorSpring Member

    After the BN merger took place there were many SD-40-2 locomotive consists "out behind the back fence;" They just were painted green and black, not O&W (alas).

    I too heard about the A1A C4's being acquired primarily for inter-modal use. However, many inter-modal trains that pass by (into and out of St. Louis) employ 6000 and 7000 series locomotives that, I believe, are still stock ES44 rather than ES44C4. On the other hand there are many ET44C4 and ES44C4 locomotives being used on standard manifest freights. Go figure. I will look more closely to confirm this. ET44C4 are easy to spot, but the ES44C4 can masquerade as a standard ES44.
    Gabriel G. likes this.
  9. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    The U25B's were at the end of their lives at the time of the merger. BN retired what was left of the fleet in 81. I would think the Frisco would have traded those U25B's for B30-7's or B36-7's.
    On that note, I'm kind of surprised the Frisco didn't buy into the higher HP U Boats like the U33B, or U36B over the U30B's.
    Gabriel G. likes this.

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