Norfolk Southern returning SD70M-2's to service

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David Collins
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Norfolk Southern returning SD70M-2's to service

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Two of NS' SD70M-2's arrived in Bellevue yesterday without PRLX markings, this is a big deal since these units have sat in storage for close to three years and were thought to be retired off the roster.


Word on the street is that 10-20 will return to service, unfortunately it sounds like they're gonna be sent out to the UP for horsepower hours. There is no date as to when they'll officially re-enter service.
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SD80MAC
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Re: Norfolk Southern returning SD70M-2's to service

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Massive piles of garbage. I hope for the UP crews sake they are trail or DPU only.
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Re: Norfolk Southern returning SD70M-2's to service

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They ran 2 through Alabama and 4 out of roanoke, va going away from the UP
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Re: Norfolk Southern returning SD70M-2's to service

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SD80MAC wrote:
Thu Jan 19, 2023 3:08 pm
Massive piles of garbage. I hope for the UP crews sake they are trail or DPU only.
If you wouldn't mind, could you please elaborate as to why they're bad?

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Re: Norfolk Southern returning SD70M-2's to service

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David Collins wrote:
Fri Jan 20, 2023 11:43 am
SD80MAC wrote:
Thu Jan 19, 2023 3:08 pm
Massive piles of garbage. I hope for the UP crews sake they are trail or DPU only.
If you wouldn't mind, could you please elaborate as to why they're bad?
I wonder what CN crews think of there fleet of SD70M-2s?

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Re: Norfolk Southern returning SD70M-2's to service

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penn central wrote:
Sat Jan 21, 2023 12:33 am
I wonder what CN crews think of there fleet of SD70M-2s?
IIRC M-2s are known to have electrical issues, as to what or why, I have never been able to find information.

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Re: Norfolk Southern returning SD70M-2's to service

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The SD70ACes and SD70M-2s without isolated cabs suffer from severe vibrations that make the operating cabs practically inhospitable at certain RPMs. EMD came out with some software updates for them to address it but the severe vibration was never fully resolved. They’re so bad that BNSF banned all of their early, non-isolated cab SD70ACes from leading trains around 10 years ago (still to this day), making them trailing or DPU units only. NS’s SD70M-2s and CN’s 8000 and 8800-8849 units suffer from the same problem. Ask any NS or CN engineer what they think of non-isolated cab 70M-2s! The NS units also had several electrical problems, which is why they were among the first units stored and sold off when NS went on their PSR kick.
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Re: Norfolk Southern returning SD70M-2's to service

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SD80MAC wrote:
Sat Jan 21, 2023 10:55 am
The SD70ACes and SD70M-2s without isolated cabs suffer from severe vibrations that make the operating cabs practically inhospitable at certain RPMs. EMD came out with some software updates for them to address it but the severe vibration was never fully resolved. They’re so bad that BNSF banned all of their early, non-isolated cab SD70ACes from leading trains around 10 years ago (still to this day), making them trailing or DPU units only. NS’s SD70M-2s and CN’s 8000 and 8800-8849 units suffer from the same problem. Ask any NS or CN engineer what they think of non-isolated cab 70M-2s! The NS units also had several electrical problems, which is why they were among the first units stored and sold off when NS went on their PSR kick.
Not only do they rattle, they relentlessly squeak and croak with every little bump. Loud engine noise is one thing, but all the extra annoyances make it headache enducing
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Re: Norfolk Southern returning SD70M-2's to service

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SD80MAC wrote:
Sat Jan 21, 2023 10:55 am
EMD came out with some software updates for them to address it but the severe vibration was never fully resolved.
Fascinating but it makes sense to me, any first hand experience at how much the software tweaks helped fix things?
Any idea what was tweaked in the software? I imagine engine speeds at the different notches were adjusted to minimize resonance.

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Re: Norfolk Southern returning SD70M-2's to service

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Thanks for your insight SD80MAC.

NS will be bringing all 46 units out of storage, some for horsepower hours or west and some for use on the NS system.

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Re: Norfolk Southern returning SD70M-2's to service

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aside from the cab, are the M-2s decent running reliable units? seems like BNSF, Cn and NS would get with EMD/Progress and work through a cab replacment program of some sort to either fix the cabs or replace them entirely with the newer isolated cab that is better for the crew ( oh thats right, that'd mean management needed to care about crews :-) ) just my thought

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Re: Norfolk Southern returning SD70M-2's to service

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David Collins wrote:
Fri Jan 20, 2023 11:43 am

If you wouldn't mind, could you please elaborate as to why they're bad?
I heard the toilet ventilation is akin to going into a porta-jon baking in the summer sun keeping the whole cab freshened.
Schteinkuh wrote:
Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:46 am

Not only do they rattle, they relentlessly squeak and croak with every little bump. Loud engine noise is one thing, but all the extra annoyances make it headache enducing
One engineer described the M-2 cab as like "being in a dumpster with two guys pounding sledgehammers against the sides".


Those two are gonna need some horns if they are returning to sevice.

Old EMD’s are the gift that keeps on giving.

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Re: Norfolk Southern returning SD70M-2's to service

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patrick wrote:
Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:36 pm
aside from the cab, are the M-2s decent running reliable units? seems like BNSF, Cn and NS would get with EMD/Progress and work through a cab replacment program of some sort to either fix the cabs or replace them entirely with the newer isolated cab that is better for the crew ( oh thats right, that'd mean management needed to care about crews :-) ) just my thought
Cost prohibitive. Easier to make them B units.
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