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 Post subject: Amtrak FL9s to New Owner
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:35 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:36 pm
Posts: 27
https://www.facebook.com/webbrail/posts ... 9837010774
https://www.webbrail.com/equipment

I’m surprised no one has posted about this yet. Webb Rail LLC has purchased M&E FL9s 485, 488, and 489. All are ex-Amtrak. 488 and 489 are operable, and 485 will be a parts donor. This is good news, as 489 was stored on a siding for a year or two and was starting to receive some vandalism including at least a broken windshield. 486 and 487 were cut up in 2014 due to years of vandalism from being stored in similar conditions.


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak FL9s to New Owner
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:41 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
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Location: Maine
M&E, Amtrak, MNRR? Pardon me for quibbling, but these are [u]New Haven Railroad[u]FL9's! Let's show some respect!

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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak FL9s to New Owner
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 2:51 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
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Richard Glueck wrote:
M&E, Amtrak, MNRR? Pardon me for quibbling, but these were [u]New Haven Railroad[u]FL9's! Let's show some respect!

Fixed that for you. Many of these locomotives have now, I believed, worked for multiple owners, each longer than New Haven ran them... that counts for something.

Of course I'm still bitter all the Starships were cut up, but that's another story...

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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak FL9s to New Owner
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 12:53 am 

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 4:23 pm
Posts: 15
Location: wichita, ks
Are you referring to the Beechcraft Starships? If so, you may Google them but several escaped the torch and there is a healthy gaggle of them still flying... We native Wichitans are very happy about it too!

Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak FL9s to New Owner
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:50 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
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superfleet wrote:
Are you referring to the Beechcraft Starships? If so, you may Google them but several escaped the torch and there is a healthy gaggle of them still flying... We native Wichitans are very happy about it too!

Dan

"Starship" was the nickname for 10 FL9s rebuilt into FL9ACs with 710 engines and electronics provided by ABB, later Siemens. It was essentially a test run for AC units. Here is a bit about them:

https://railroad.net/viewtopic.php?t=82025


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak FL9s to New Owner
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:51 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:36 pm
Posts: 27
Richard Glueck wrote:
M&E, Amtrak, MNRR? Pardon me for quibbling, but these are [u]New Haven Railroad[u]FL9's! Let's show some respect!


Lol, fair enough. But hey, Amtrak owned them for 26 years, M&E for 18, and both Penn Central and New Haven only owned them for 8. Maybe they are Amtrak units after all ;)

And the starships were the ill-fated FL9AC rebuilds. It’s not surprising that they didn’t work out too well given the very early gate turn-off thyristor inverters and questionable cooling system for the 12-710 transplants.


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak FL9s to New Owner
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:55 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 1385
Quote:
"And the starships were the ill-fated FL9AC rebuilds. It’s not surprising that they didn’t work out too well given the very early gate turn-off thyristor inverters and questionable cooling system for the 12-710 transplants."


An interesting consequence for 'preservation' was that no particular thought was given in the design and construction -- no real surprise, it you think about it! -- to removing components with market value from these locomotives in a form that would allow one to be donated to a museum afterward with much of its historic-fabric improvements intact. These were an important attempt at modern motive power, much as the RTL-IIIs were, and they deserved much better than they got.

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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak FL9s to New Owner
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 12:59 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:36 pm
Posts: 27
Overmod wrote:
These were an important attempt at modern motive power, much as the RTL-IIIs were, and they deserved much better than they got.

I agree, and especially about the RTL-III, hence my username. Unfortunately, these types of “valuable failures” are just perceived as boondoggles by their owners, and therefore are not likely to make it out of railroad ownership intact while the institutional contempt is still alive.


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak FL9s to New Owner
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:43 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 2:35 pm
Posts: 350
Location: Pacific Northwest
I had the good fortune to be given a backshop tour of the Morrison-Knudsen rebuild facility in Boise Idaho. It was an audio and visual experience I will never forget. There was a New Haven locomotive there very much disassembled getting new sheet metal, electrical, etc. I can only surmise that this was one of these units. If memory serves correctly, this was in 1992 or so.


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak FL9s to New Owner
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:14 pm 
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I was working in Boise around that time and one of the related projects was assembly of a training program for the FL9 rebuilds, an F-unit electrical and mechanical program developed in PowerPoint, and for locomotives already more than 30 years old at that time. It seems like it was just yesterday.

PC

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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak FL9s to New Owner
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:11 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
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Quote:
" ...one of the related projects was assembly of a training program for the FL9 rebuilds, an F-unit electrical and mechanical program developed in PowerPoint ..."
That is still ahead of the edge of history enough that it might be recovered, if it still exists, and some of the people responsible for it 'debriefed'.

That's a valuable enough thing that I'd volunteer to help in the effort if any of the material has actually survived (or the principals can be contacted!)

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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak FL9s to New Owner
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 6:34 pm 
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The person who had the closest long term association with, and the most extensive technical information collection on, the EMD FL9s was Bill Hoffmann. He worked on the delivery of the locomotives, and later became EMD Northeastern Region Service Manager, responsible for their technical support. Bill passed away in 2016 at age 98.

I am not aware of any time that Bill was contacted by, or invited to speak, to any historical society or preservation organization. This is unfortunate because all you had to do was ask Bill to tell you about the FL9, and you got several hours of great stories.

PC

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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak FL9s to New Owner
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2020 10:36 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2007 7:19 pm
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What ideas do you have for identifying people like Bill Hoffmann who are still out there? I don't recall seeing that name in my research of the FL9 locomotives - and I'm not sure of what source I would use to look up who EMD's regional service manager was at a given time or what railroads fell under what service region.

I would like to know if someone is out there who is familiar with the CNJ's GP40P locomotives - and I'm sure there are others who would appreciate some general guidance for their own research projects.



PCook wrote:
The person who had the closest long term association with, and the most extensive technical information collection on, the EMD FL9s was Bill Hoffmann. He worked on the delivery of the locomotives, and later became EMD Northeastern Region Service Manager, responsible for their technical support. Bill passed away in 2016 at age 98.

I am not aware of any time that Bill was contacted by, or invited to speak, to any historical society or preservation organization. This is unfortunate because all you had to do was ask Bill to tell you about the FL9, and you got several hours of great stories.

PC


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 Post subject: Re: Amtrak FL9s to New Owner
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2020 11:44 pm 
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Tom, That is a very difficult question to answer. Actually another entire discussion. Railroad History organizations have been around since the 1930s and multiple generations of steam and diesel manufacturers people have passed without notice. Encountering anyone from a builder usually required industry activity like attending a trade show.

From the builders standpoint, I can tell you that there is the consideration of company confidentiality, and the risk of adverse job consequences if some employees assist historical groups. Fortunately for me, I spent most of my working life in training related jobs where I was in contact with many people inside and outside the organizations, and also worked closely with public relations and provided photography in support of company advertising and corporate reports. I was frequently asked to talk at trade shows and conferences, as well as local civic groups including historical societies, that provided a close parallel to the railroad historical groups. So I generally encountered no problems in doing a technical talk for a railroad historical group, it was just an extension of talks I did for civic groups.

The organization of the service and sales departments was frequently posted in the company newsletters, and occasionally in trade show and technical society documentation. I doubt much of this came to the attention of railroad historical groups. Their normal access to the company was through public relations.

From the standpoint of being a member of several railroad historical societies, I can tell you that there were many absolutely stunning missed opportunities. I knew many people who had worked for other equipment builders, and tried to get a number of groups to invite them as speakers. In many cases there was no follow-up at all. Groups where I was a member passed on the opportunity to hear from the one surviving Alco employee who accompanied the Black Maria experimental locomotives, several people who delivered first generation diesels for EMD and Alco, and one of the most respected engine designers in the industry. In a lot of cases the groups seemed much more interested in having someone "interpret" (guess about) a subject when they could have heard directly from the person who designed the equipment or "lived" the history. Unfortunately all of the folks I mentioned have passed away now.

From a retiree's standpoint, I can tell you that once you retire, your circle of friends and contacts with similar industry experience continually grows smaller as people pass away. Other than an occasional chance communication with someone from the former employer who is looking for help with an old product, there is no group of younger, current contacts arriving to take their place.

So as they say, "That's History". It is what it is. The good news is that there are groups out there that made the effort to invite talks by manufacturers representatives over the years. Ones I know of among them are Reading Company Technical and Historical Society, the NYC Historical Society, Anthracite Roads Historical Society, Amherst Railway Society, 470 Railroad Club, Erie Lackawanna Historical Society, B&M Historical Society, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, CSRM, a few individual NRHS chapters, many NMRA (National Model Railroad Association) divisions ,and the NMRA national convention on multiple occasions, and Norfolk County RR Club (Boston), just to name a few.

I should add that the NMRA kept a database of programs and presenters. This helped them keep in touch with people they knew in the industry and invite them back as speakers for subsequent events. I wonder if they still keep one, and have maintained contact with the industry people they knew.

PC

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