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 Post subject: UP 8500 turbines?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:27 am 

Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:40 am
Posts: 112
Evening, I've just gotten through viewing UP 8500 turbines of the wasatch. Not a bad program as I've always wondered what they must have sounded like when operating. I just wish there was less narration and more turbine sound.

I have been doing a little research on the 8500's but have failed to come up with the model and type of generators fitted to these locomotives?

I was also wondering if they had survived a couple more years if they would have been upgraded with AR10 alternators and Dash-2 electrical if better use of the turbines power and thus fuel would have been possible? I understand that generator excitation was the main limiting factor in how much power could be had from the 8500 series turbines without burning up the traction generators.

Robert


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 Post subject: Re: UP 8500 turbines?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:25 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2445
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Robert,

The real curse of the turbines was fuel consumption. A UP GTEL consumed like 66%-75% of the fuel at idle that it consumed at full throttle. It was okay when the Bunker C was cheap, but as alternate uses were found for Bunker C, driving up the price, it made less and less economic sense. Running them on an alternate source of fuel, like diesel, made even less sense. Need 8500 hp?, lash up 3 SD40-2s.

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David M. Wilkins

"They Love Him for the Enemies He Has Made!"


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 Post subject: Re: UP 8500 turbines?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:46 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 1:27 pm
Posts: 369
Location: Milford,Mass
Attachment:
File comment: I found this on the Web
GE Frame 5 Gas Turbine.png
GE Frame 5 Gas Turbine.png [ 116.28 KiB | Viewed 1210 times ]
Hi Big Boy 4023
I found something dealing with the Gas turbines, I put a search in for GE 5 gas turbines I am not sure if this is the answer you are looking for? please see attached.


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 Post subject: Re: UP 8500 turbines?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:28 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:40 am
Posts: 112
Pat, The GE frame 5 fitted to the UP locos was of special design for their purpose as railway prime movers. The generator types were different as the turbine you linked is setup for power grid voltages instead of the typical 600 volt DC traction motor voltages.

It's been rumored that salvaged turbines from the big blows ended up on river dredges and in the oil and gas fields.

Robert


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 Post subject: Re: UP 8500 turbines?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:08 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 6:51 pm
Posts: 126
I believe at least two of the turbines ended up in Kansas City where the turbine/generator sets were removed for further use on what was at the time the world's most powerful dredge, owned by Western Contracting. This would have been c. 1980. The dredge was used at the mouth of the Amazon and later was used to dredge out Los Angeles harbor to handle the newer, larger container ships. Western Contracting shared common ownership with the L. G. Everist Co, quarry operators in South Dakota and other states. While working for LGE, I was given some snapshots of one of the UP turbines in Kansas City and was told about using them as donors.


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 Post subject: Re: UP 8500 turbines?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:59 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:32 pm
Posts: 245
I know there were four generators. The reduction gear had two lower rpm output shafts with two generators on each shaft.
At first each generator fed three motors on each of four trucks. However speeds above 40 MPH were difficult to achieve. At some point all 8500 turbines were retrofitted so two generators fed six motors. At 38 MPH contactors changed generators from parallel to series allowing speeds up to 60 MPH.
There was no “power limiter” as such but a load meter in the cab shows 8500 HP as continuous, with a red line above that going up to 10,000 marked off in maximum minutes allowed. If you went all the way to 10 KHP you could keep it there for one minute before the electrics started frying.
My feeling on what killed the turbines is that, besides the fuel cost, if you had one huge engine that went kaput, your train was dead on the tracks until help arrived. If you had four smaller locomotives and one died, no big deal.
They preformed as advertised for ten years, they took the place of the big-boys at significantly reduced operating cost. Used the same crappy fuel, with no water, at an initial purchase price almost half of what five first generation diesels cost.


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 Post subject: Re: UP 8500 turbines?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:10 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:58 pm
Posts: 1197
Location: Chicago USA
Same crappy fuel? Big Boys burned coal other than the experiments with 4005.


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 Post subject: Re: UP 8500 turbines?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:38 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:32 pm
Posts: 245
Now your testing memory I have on these things. Somewhere amongst the history I’m pretty sure about 1950 UP had outstanding contracts for number 6 fuel oil (bunker C). As well as existing infrastructure to store it in heated tanks. That's one reason why it was specified to GE as the desired fuel. They were getting it from a refinery out west somewhere, Richfield? I guess that dates it to the first test unit #50. Still could not tell what steam might have been running then.


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 Post subject: Re: UP 8500 turbines?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:28 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 723
buzz_morris wrote:
Now your testing memory I have on these things. Somewhere amongst the history I’m pretty sure about 1950 UP had outstanding contracts for number 6 fuel oil (bunker C). As well as existing infrastructure to store it in heated tanks. That's one reason why it was specified to GE as the desired fuel. They were getting it from a refinery out west somewhere, Richfield? I guess that dates it to the first test unit #50. Still could not tell what steam might have been running then.


#6 is not bunker C. It's not much better, but it is a bit cleaner. That is why in steam days
UP fueling facilities that hosted both oil-fired steam and the turbines had separate tanks and pipe systems for the two types. #6 still had to be heated, but it didn't have the corrosive effect on the turbine blades as Bunker did.


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 Post subject: Re: UP 8500 turbines?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:29 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
Posts: 570
As I recall the two turbines were purchased by the dredge company for their power plants and traction motors. Sometime after these were removed the remains were donated to the KC railway museum. One loco was still able to move under its own power with a small "hosteling" generator and one remaining traction motor. Back in 1964 I remember passing a freight with one or more 8500s on it. Sounded like a huge jet at low altitude.


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