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 Post subject: Erie Lackawanna E8A Freight Conversion Program
PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2024 10:46 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:16 am
Posts: 2033
Had a question on this late-1960s program recently. Sharing the information while I have the notebook out. Here is the list of alterations:

1. Steam generators were removed as spares for the remaining units in passenger service, their place was taken by a weight block (usually a steel box of old brake shoes trapped in concrete).
2. The locomotives were fitted with automatic backward transition (a feature standard on E9’s).
3. The traction motors were changed to 15 tooth pinion gears.
4. The traction motors were fitted with larger gear boxes.
5. To accommodate the clearance for the larger gear boxes on the traction motors, the wheel sets were changed from 36 inch to 38 inch (the truck would not accept 40 inch wheels) with 62 tooth bull gears.
6. The brake rigging was altered to suit the wheel size change.
7. The steam cab heaters were changed to hot water cab heat, since there was no steam generator.
8. Changes were made to the MU arrangements to eliminate steam generator related features.
9. The combined fuel/water tank was converted to fuel only, or replaced with a new tank depending on its condition.

E8A Freight conversions by 1975:

809, 810, 812, 813, 814, 815, 817, 818, 819, 820, 826, 827, 828, 832

E8A Locomotives not converted:

811, 816, 821, 822, 823, 824, 825, 829, 830, 831, 833


Attachments:
ELRR-818-E8A-POTTERSBURG-OH-P-COOK.jpg
ELRR-818-E8A-POTTERSBURG-OH-P-COOK.jpg [ 193.43 KiB | Viewed 5361 times ]

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Last edited by PCook on Thu Feb 22, 2024 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Erie Lackawanna E8A Freight Conversion Program
PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2024 11:22 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2023 1:55 pm
Posts: 40
Pretty interesting!

Isn't a major issue for E units now, their wheel size and lack of replacements?

Then also I've read they have less pulling power due to gear ratio. Wonder if a shortline / tourist op would benefit from going to 38 in. wheels and a lower ratio, or if that's too much $$ /invasive work for most preservation era E unit operators.


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 Post subject: Re: Erie Lackawanna E8A Freight Conversion Program
PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2024 11:24 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 1420
Location: Philadelphia, PA
62:15 is a familiar number.

On an F3 it would get you 65 mph, but with 38" wheels the freight E8 would be a bit slower.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: Erie Lackawanna E8A Freight Conversion Program
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2024 12:03 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2539
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
9 of the converted units were former DL&W; probably a coincidence.

The conversions made perfect sense, for running out the miles left in those locomotives, in comparatively flat country. The EL almost beat the odds and made it on its own, without Conrail. It was a resourceful and customer-oriented railroad. The PC/PRR crowd that ran CR couldn't wait to chop it up.

Howard P.

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 Post subject: Re: Erie Lackawanna E8A Freight Conversion Program
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2024 4:56 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:16 am
Posts: 2033
I wanted to add that after they converted the freight units to 38 inch wheels, they kept going and changed the passenger units over to 38 inch as well. That way they only needed to buy one size for the entire fleet.

PC


Attachments:
ELRR-E8A-809-NIGHT-MARION-SHOP-P-COOK.jpg
ELRR-E8A-809-NIGHT-MARION-SHOP-P-COOK.jpg [ 194.76 KiB | Viewed 4505 times ]

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Last edited by PCook on Sat Feb 24, 2024 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Erie Lackawanna E8A Freight Conversion Program
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2024 11:01 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 2286
The absence of automatic back transition on E8s was, as I recall, a significant issue when PRR tried using them on TrucTrains in the mid-Fifties. Freight engineers were having unanticipated stops at Flashover City with surprising frequency...

Were the MU changes related to just disconnecting the connections for the SG statusz? Were those connections in the cable reserved for something else on EL non-passenger power?

Was any thought given to 'running out remaining life' on the 36" wheelsets in the middle position of the A-1-A trucks (by shimming the inner equalizer ends?) There are several notable (and, seemingly, not unsuccessful) uses of a smaller diameter wheel in the central position of this type of truck, and I'd expect that a 36" set even with bull gear still installed would run fine in that middle position.

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 Post subject: Re: Erie Lackawanna E8A Freight Conversion Program
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2024 2:34 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:16 am
Posts: 2033
If I remember correctly, there was an active wiring conflict between trainlined boiler separator blowdown on E8A units and trainlined ground relay reset on later freight locomotives. If the E8A had been the lead unit in a mixed lashup and the fireman rode with his foot on a still active left side panel, holding a button down continuously could have overheated the ground relay reset coil on another unit.

Since the remaining passenger units were in commuter operations at several locations, I think they used up 36 inch wheels on units at one shop.

I wish I could remember more clearly but it was half a century ago..............

PC


Attachments:
ELRR-E8A-821-MARION-SHOP-P-COOK.jpg
ELRR-E8A-821-MARION-SHOP-P-COOK.jpg [ 111.39 KiB | Viewed 4509 times ]

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Last edited by PCook on Sat Feb 24, 2024 8:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Erie Lackawanna E8A Freight Conversion Program
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2024 4:55 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
Posts: 1118
Location: B'more Maryland
Can someone explain what automatic back transition means for me?

Did stock E8s not originally transition back when you throttled down?

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 Post subject: Re: Erie Lackawanna E8A Freight Conversion Program
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2024 5:46 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:30 am
Posts: 292
E8's as-built only had automatic forward transition. The engineer had to do it manually as speed decreased. E9's introduced automatic backward transition and was later retrofitted to many E8's.


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 Post subject: Re: Erie Lackawanna E8A Freight Conversion Program
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2024 11:52 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:16 am
Posts: 2033
I just remembered one important difference between the EMD E9 backward transition and the Erie Lackawanna freight E8 system. On the E9, you would have to close the throttle to idle to get the unit to step from parallel to series connection. On the EL E8 freight system, the locomotive would step down from parallel to series regardless of throttle movement. It was a true freight locomotive control system. I believe it was designed by EL’s electrical engineer, R. H. Melius (1928-2004).

Adding some photos. This was a great railroad.

PC


Attachments:
ELRR-SUNSET-KENTON-AVE-MARION-OH-P-COOK.jpg
ELRR-SUNSET-KENTON-AVE-MARION-OH-P-COOK.jpg [ 73.51 KiB | Viewed 4518 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Erie Lackawanna E8A Freight Conversion Program
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2024 3:42 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2023 1:55 pm
Posts: 40
Are the UP e8s retrofitted with the auto transition? but they kepy the 36 in wheels?


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 Post subject: Re: Erie Lackawanna E8A Freight Conversion Program
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2024 5:12 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:16 am
Posts: 2033
The UP units rebuilt with 16-645E engines and AR10 alternators would not normally require transition, an AR10 can handle four traction motors in permanent parallel connection.

Cannot answer the UP wheel size question, maybe somebody else will...........

PC


Attachments:
ELRR-E8A-832-TWILIGHT-P-COOK.jpg
ELRR-E8A-832-TWILIGHT-P-COOK.jpg [ 100.1 KiB | Viewed 4295 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Erie Lackawanna E8A Freight Conversion Program
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2024 5:51 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 1589
Location: Byers, Colorado
A member of the UP Steam Crew told me that the Es were GP38-2s except for their external appearance, and that they are currently dead and drained, stored under cover. Ed Dickens said that Omaha hasn't allocated a nickel for these units in years, no telling when we'll see them run again. Wheel size ??

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 Post subject: Re: Erie Lackawanna E8A Freight Conversion Program
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2024 8:32 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:16 am
Posts: 2033
Thanks Sammy. Just to be consistent I'll post some Union Pacific E-units too.

PC


Attachments:
UP-E8-BRIDGE-OMAHA-NE-P-COOK.jpg
UP-E8-BRIDGE-OMAHA-NE-P-COOK.jpg [ 202.73 KiB | Viewed 4111 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Erie Lackawanna E8A Freight Conversion Program
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2024 8:39 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:41 am
Posts: 138
Mr. Cook, your knowledge and willingness to share some of the technical aspects is what makes this a great site. Thank you.


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