Author Topic: Running a GG1  (Read 13428 times)

Matthew Gustafson

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Running a GG1
« on: January 28, 2009, 09:46:46 PM »
Back when I ran GG-1!
Cool. I did not know that you once drove the GG-1's. How was it like to operate them on the mainline since ive heard that its to difficault to restore them to operating condition because of the correct volts it needs is to much to spend on overhead wires.  :o :o :o :)
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Keith Taylor

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Re: Running a GG1
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2009, 11:03:21 PM »
Matthew,
Running GG-1's was a lot like running a steam locomotive. The problem with restoring them is not the voltage, as the Northeast Corridor is still 11,000 volts A.C. The problems are two, one being the metal fatigue in the cast engine beds. By the time they were retired, there was more weld than original casting, and second and more importantly, the transformers were cooled with PCB contaminated oil. All of the transformers were removed so the cancer causing PCB's could be eliminated. Without transformers to convert the voltage of the overhead from 11kv  AC to the 600 volts DC required by the traction motors....they are just dead hulks.
Keith

Vincent "Lightning" LeRow

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Re: Running a GG1
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2009, 09:25:36 PM »
what a shame!  these beautiful locos were a landmark in history.  what the Pensy did with these transformed the industry of the era forever.  there shoulod have been at least one saved...  hindsight is 20/20.
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Bill Sample

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Re: Running a GG1
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2009, 10:23:29 PM »
Not to worry - there are about 16 still in existence at various locations, and a number of them have been cosmetically restored and are on public display.

Keith Taylor

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Re: Running a GG1
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2009, 11:13:00 AM »
In fact, there are two at Pennsylvania State Railroad Museum at Strasburg, PA. 4800 the first GG-1 (called "Old Rivets" because the body work is all riveted and not welded) and 4935, which was the first G restored back to its original PRR paint scheme while in service with New Jersey Transit.
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Stephen Hussar

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Re: Running a GG1
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2009, 11:33:17 AM »
Keith, I've read many discussions over the years inquiring what the best way might be to get a GG1 operating again. First a group would have to have a GG1, and overhead wire, so the conversation almost always leads to IRM. In your opinion how could one be made to operate in an historic manner, without the PCB's of course, for the purpose of demonstration.

PRR 4927 at Illinois Ry Museum

Matthew Gustafson

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Re: Running a GG1
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2009, 11:51:18 AM »
PRR 4927 at Illinois Ry Museum

I see this one every day I visit IRM. I've heard that it is operational but the museums main line overhead wires are to low on voltage which make the GG1 operate only at a very low speed which is not enough to make it operate on the museums main line.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2009, 12:17:08 PM by Ed Lecuyer »
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Stephen Hussar

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Re: Running a GG1
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2009, 12:29:41 PM »
Matthew, the GG1 at IRM is not operational. None of the preserved GG1's are operational.

Keith Taylor

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Re: Running a GG1
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2009, 02:29:39 PM »
Stephen, the IRM has 600 volt DC overhead, and the G's require 11kv AC, so you won't see one run there even if they could solve the transformer problem.
Even if you could get new transformers, the major problem and the reason that NJ Transit finally retired the G's was metal fatigue. The engine beds were steel castings, and they just got tired! NJ Transit looked into getting new castings made, but the technology just doesn't exist anymore. Firms like General Steel Castings and Commonwealth just don't pour anything that big anymore....or in the case of Commonwealth...the firm itself is gone.
The former Pennsylvania RR mainline is still 11kv AC overhead, but I don't believe that Amtrak, Septa or NJ Transit want tourist trains messing around on their mainline.
I suppose a tourist road could put up overhead but as far as I'm concerned....a G just plodding along on a couple miles of shortline is NOT a G! To me they are powerful locomotives travelling at 90 mph with Mail - 9 or heading up the Congressional.
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Eric Bolton

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Re: Running a GG1
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2009, 02:46:40 PM »
I suppose a tourist road could put up overhead but as far as I'm concerned....a G just plodding along on a couple miles of shortline is NOT a G! To me they are powerful locomotives travelling at 90 mph with Mail - 9 or heading up the Congressional.
Keith

Amen to that. That is if Mail - 9 still ran.
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Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: Running a GG1
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2009, 04:08:44 PM »
Keith, You are right, the GG1's were speed machines and wouldn't look right doing 15mph through the woods.  I've ridden in the cab on the NEC at 90 plus mph and it was something.  They accelerated quickly and really tracked well.  I remember that I couldn't see much to the front or back but I didn't care.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2009, 07:35:58 PM by Stewart Rhine »

Stephen Hussar

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Re: Running a GG1
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2009, 05:07:00 PM »
So what you guys are saying is, if we can't run one at 90mph, then don't bother! Gotcha.

Allan Fisher

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Re: Running a GG1
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2009, 05:16:57 PM »
During PRR/Penn Central days , the GG-1's hauled the "Congressional" at authorized speed of 135 mph between Princeton Jct and Trenton .

This stretch of the Northeast Corridor (called the Speedway) had a 140 mph track speed for the original Metroliners in the late 60's/early 70's. So much for the Acelas - which today and since their inception are only able to use track with speed of over 135 for 20 miles in Rhode Island.

High Speed Rail in America - it's a bad joke!
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Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: Running a GG1
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2009, 07:44:07 PM »
The GG1 is a pretty engine as electrics go.  I think the styling makes it look like it's doing 100mph  when it's sitting still.

Keith Taylor

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Re: Running a GG1
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2009, 11:32:36 AM »
The G's looked cool, but they had some problems too. For one thing....getting up on them with your grip meant climbing up the ladder and opening the door, then climbing back down and flinging your grip about ten feet up in the air into the doorway, then climbing up after it. After you were there, you had low gangways from the engineer's side to the fireman's side. I have a permanent crease in my skull from cracking my head on those doorways. Traveling at 90 mph or better in a snow storm the snow would fly up your pants leg giving you frost bite. Like Stewart said....you couldn't really see, but that wasn't important as you had cab signals to tell you how fast you could go. Traveling at those speeds, by the time you saw something on the tracks, it was too late to do anything about it, you were going to hit it. They did track very well, because of the pilot trucks that led the driving wheels into the curves.
Keith