Has anyone bought either a GE or EMD T4 locomotive the last 4 years?

News or chat about railroad info that pertains to the entire United States, another state, or country.
Anti Social Railfan
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2021 10:00 am
Location: The Carolinas

Has anyone bought either a GE or EMD T4 locomotive the last 4 years?

Unread post by Anti Social Railfan »

Word is they ride great and pull great. Bad news, they are very expensive to buy and maintain which inflates operation costs.

T4 regulations is what happens when too many kids in the 90s watched too much Captain Planet. I don't see anyone buying the current T4s given PSR and all the rebuilding programs. Wabtec and EMD see this which is why they're so open to rebuild projects. Not all of those are stunning successes either, but all are cheaper.

I thinking we may be seeing the last of the New Locomotives.
I Hated GP50s, until they were gone.


http://www.youtube.com/c/AntiSocialRailfanProductions

User avatar
David Collins
Youtube Railfan Guru
Posts: 1824
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2020 10:46 am
Location: Bloomfield Hills, Mi
Contact:

Re: Has anyone bought either a GE or EMD T4 locomotive the last 4 years?

Unread post by David Collins »

Anti Social Railfan wrote:
Mon Jul 25, 2022 2:25 pm
Word is they ride great and pull great. Bad news, they are very expensive to buy and maintain which inflates operation costs.

T4 regulations is what happens when too many kids in the 90s watched too much Captain Planet. I don't see anyone buying the current T4s given PSR and all the rebuilding programs. Wabtec and EMD see this which is why they're so open to rebuild projects. Not all of those are stunning successes either, but all are cheaper.

I thinking we may be seeing the last of the New Locomotives.
Personally, I have not, I'd like one though :lol:

On the railroad end, Yes, CSX Purchased some ST70AH-T4s (Which are SD70ACe-T4's essentially) back in 2018. KCS (if I remember correctly) in late 2018/early 2019 purchased some ET44AC GEVOs. But other than those, there aren't any that I know of.

"I thinking we may be seeing the last of the New Locomotives."

Wow, that's a bold statement, in a very good way. In my opinion, It's quite possible that railroads would keep experimenting with their older engines, like what CP is doing with one of their EMD cowls, the model designation escapes me but they're doing hydrogen cell testing on it, and of course, we've got NS with their AC44C6M's, they can upgrade those engines to Tier 1 Standards with the rebuild from Dash 9's.

There's one project that no one talks about that could prove your argument to be plausible. Which is WNYP's new (essentially) AC6000CW's. These engines (if i've heard correctly) have 5,800 horsepower and can meet EPA T2 standards (since these engines are reported to have either the GEVO-12 or GEVO-16 engine fitted). The point I'm trying to make is that railroads could definitely try to take existing engines and make them more efficient. However, that would be way more costly over the years than just buying a new engine.

One thing that could change the whole direction of this conversation is if the EPA starts going after railroads for not trying to meet their current emissions standards. Essentially, with the rebuild/lifespan extension projects railroads are doing on their older engines, railroads are pretty much cheating their way out of this whole thing with Tier 4 emissions standards, because the engines they're overhauling are NOT newly built, and therefore do not need to be certified to meet new emissions standards.

In plain person terms (I think) it would be like something like this: If I rebuilt this entire locomotive model type and others, I don't need to worry about meeting new emissions standards because it isn't a new locomotive design/type, therefore I could save more money and not need to buy new engines.

Honestly right now, I think it's highly unlikely we'll see a major new order in the next several years, and I greatly doubt we'll see a new standard diesel fuel-powered locomotive hit the market.
Last edited by David Collins on Mon Jul 25, 2022 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
DaveO
Read more, think more, post less
Posts: 1203
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:57 pm
Location: Between here and there

Re: Has anyone bought either a GE or EMD T4 locomotive the last 4 years?

Unread post by DaveO »

When I started driving school buses, you took a deep breath before heading into the bus yard in the chill of the morning.
When I retired, it was no longer needed to do that.
Thank you T4 diesel regulations.

Anti Social Railfan
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2021 10:00 am
Location: The Carolinas

Re: Has anyone bought either a GE or EMD T4 locomotive the last 4 years?

Unread post by Anti Social Railfan »

Well, I guess we can all feel better now that private enterprise cannot make or sell new locomotives in the US due over stringent regulations no one wants to fool with. But hey, we can all go to the local bus garage and breath deep.
Last edited by Anti Social Railfan on Mon Jul 25, 2022 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I Hated GP50s, until they were gone.


http://www.youtube.com/c/AntiSocialRailfanProductions

Anti Social Railfan
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2021 10:00 am
Location: The Carolinas

Re: Has anyone bought either a GE or EMD T4 locomotive the last 4 years?

Unread post by Anti Social Railfan »

This is in reply to Mr Collins.

CSX leases those 10 units. UP bought some EMD T4s , I think most if most if not all are being stored. In fairness, that has as much to do with PSR as anything NS was going to buy some, opted for T3 credit units.

I think it was interesting were either given, or they found, way to get around buying the T4s. There are some T3 Credit units but most of the newer units are rebuilds. I'm almost surprised the EPA goes for this.

It is no wonder GE spun off their Transportation Div out to Wabtec
I Hated GP50s, until they were gone.


http://www.youtube.com/c/AntiSocialRailfanProductions

User avatar
DaveO
Read more, think more, post less
Posts: 1203
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:57 pm
Location: Between here and there

Re: Has anyone bought either a GE or EMD T4 locomotive the last 4 years?

Unread post by DaveO »

T4 engines are much better for the living, breathing humans that have to work and/or be around them daily.

Edited by me
Last edited by DaveO on Tue Jul 26, 2022 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
AARR
Ann Arbor RR Nerd
Posts: 36332
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 7:39 pm
Location: Washington, MI

Re: Has anyone bought either a GE or EMD T4 locomotive the last 4 years?

Unread post by AARR »

If this thread becomes about whether clean air is good or not it will get locked down.
PatC created a monster, 'cause nobody wants to see Don Simon no more they want AARR I'm chopped liver, well if you want AARR this is what I'll give ya, bad humor mixed with irrelevant info that'll make you roll your eyes quicker than a ~Z~ banhammer...

User avatar
SD80MAC
Ingersoll's Mr. Michigan
Posts: 9851
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 4:59 pm
Location: Grand Rapids

Re: Has anyone bought either a GE or EMD T4 locomotive the last 4 years?

Unread post by SD80MAC »

The biggest issue with the Tier 4s from both GE and EMD is that they use more fuel than their Tier 3< cousins. They also require a bit more maintenance, from what I hear. They are also very expensive to purchase, which is why you are seeing most railroads elect to rebuild older locomotives and or buy used ones. The rebuilds are not required to meet the same Tier 4 standards, and older locomotives can be rebuilt for a fraction of the cost of purchasing a new one.

Having been on several ET44ACs, I will say they are very quiet, comfortable, and will pull like a SOB. They also have some of the best dynamic brakes I've ever encountered.
"Remember, 4 mph is a couple, 5's a collision!"
http://flickriver.com/photos/conrail680 ... teresting/
Image

User avatar
DaveO
Read more, think more, post less
Posts: 1203
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:57 pm
Location: Between here and there

Re: Has anyone bought either a GE or EMD T4 locomotive the last 4 years?

Unread post by DaveO »

Not going to look, but my memory says there are certain rules to be followed for a rebuild to qualify for an exemption.

Engines used in buses and trucks basically ended up costing $10,000 more.
The first ones had problems mainly with the regen thing.
They figured it out after a few years.

The engines in locomotives, while diesel, are built differently than those for over-the-road use.
Therefore your mileage may vary :)

Chip
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 385
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:25 pm
Location: Brownstown, Michigan

Re: Has anyone bought either a GE or EMD T4 locomotive the last 4 years?

Unread post by Chip »

DaveO wrote:
Tue Jul 26, 2022 9:28 am
The engines in locomotives, while diesel, are built differently than those for over-the-road use.
Therefore your mileage may vary :)
Well yeah, for one you can rebuild individual cylinders without having to tear the entire engine apart

Anti Social Railfan
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2021 10:00 am
Location: The Carolinas

Re: Has anyone bought either a GE or EMD T4 locomotive the last 4 years?

Unread post by Anti Social Railfan »

SD80MAC wrote:
Tue Jul 26, 2022 9:20 am
The biggest issue with the Tier 4s from both GE and EMD is that they use more fuel than their Tier 3< cousins. They also require a bit more maintenance, from what I hear. They are also very expensive to purchase, which is why you are seeing most railroads elect to rebuild older locomotives and or buy used ones. The rebuilds are not required to meet the same Tier 4 standards, and older locomotives can be rebuilt for a fraction of the cost of purchasing a new one.

Having been on several ET44ACs, I will say they are very quiet, comfortable, and will pull like a SOB. They also have some of the best dynamic brakes I've ever encountered.

Approx how much more fuel do the T4s use over the T3s? I had been told they are significantly more expensive to operate than older motors. I didn't figure that could be the result of the T4s using more fuel.

Allow me to add some context. I don't dislike T4s. t4s have their strong points, they could pull Satan right out of the hot place if need be. As a railfan, seeing one pushing a loaded unit coal train up a nice hill gives me as good of a power fix as the T3s, FDLs and / or EMDs. In their way T4s sound nice.

I've been told T4s GEs load quicker than older GEs. Is that accurate?
I Hated GP50s, until they were gone.


http://www.youtube.com/c/AntiSocialRailfanProductions

User avatar
SD80MAC
Ingersoll's Mr. Michigan
Posts: 9851
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 4:59 pm
Location: Grand Rapids

Re: Has anyone bought either a GE or EMD T4 locomotive the last 4 years?

Unread post by SD80MAC »

Yes, they do load quite a bit quicker than older GEs. Not like a 2-stroke EMD, but faster than you would expect.
"Remember, 4 mph is a couple, 5's a collision!"
http://flickriver.com/photos/conrail680 ... teresting/
Image

User avatar
Standard Railfan
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 1685
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:25 pm
Location: Marquette, MI

Re: Has anyone bought either a GE or EMD T4 locomotive the last 4 years?

Unread post by Standard Railfan »

Another reason Tier 4 locomotive sales have been slow is lack of need on the part of the railroads.
Since the GE AC series and the EMD SD 70 series were introduced in the 1990’s the two suppliers sold over 13,000 locomotives. Because locomotives have a very long life span and coal shipments are declining, the demand for new locomotives is not high.

EWRice
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 443
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 7:07 pm
Location: Muskegon, MI

Re: Has anyone bought either a GE or EMD T4 locomotive the last 4 years?

Unread post by EWRice »

This is an interesting topic. I used to deal with the truck side of emissions and it was a nightmare. The maintenance costs, repair costs and mostly reliability issues put a real sour taste in people's mouths. Specifically the egr cooler failures on the ford 6.0 psd. The idea that a mandated emissions component could fail at random and completely destroy a $20k engine did not sit well with operators, and owners. I am not familiar with what after treatment systems or special features that the T4 licos are using but I have to imagine that their purchase and maintenance costs are astronomical. Plus, based on how much these systems choke truck engines, and reduce their fuel efficiency, I have to believe there are similar results with locos. We were seeing 6-8% increases in fuel economy when DPFs and SCRs were deleted. That would be a huge deal on a loco.

User avatar
Saturnalia
Authority on Cat
Posts: 14953
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:54 pm
Location: Michigan City, IN
Contact:

Re: Has anyone bought either a GE or EMD T4 locomotive the last 4 years?

Unread post by Saturnalia »

Standard Railfan wrote:
Thu Jul 28, 2022 8:46 am
Because locomotives have a very long life span and coal shipments are declining, the demand for new locomotives is not high.
Not to be forgotten are the significantly lower horsepower-per-ton ratios accepted in modern practice. If a job requires 1.0 HPT you'll probably see it powered with 1.1 or 1.2 HPT. Just about the only railroad that still packs trains with power for speed is the BNSF on their Transcon intermodals.

Look at the Chicago Line - NS used to have 3-4 units on darn near every train even just 5-10 years ago. Now you see a lot more of the 2-3 flavor, and the trains are longer than they used to be! Everything is a drag freight now. Therefore, even though tonnage has only dipped modestly, the demand for horsepower has slumped faster due to the railroads moving away from providing any more power than the absolute minimum.
Thornapple River Rail Series - YouTube
Safety today is your investment for tomorrow

NSSD70ACe
The Conrail Guru
Posts: 1054
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:34 pm
Location: Somewhere over the Rainbow

Re: Has anyone bought either a GE or EMD T4 locomotive the last 4 years?

Unread post by NSSD70ACe »

Saturnalia wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 6:49 pm
Standard Railfan wrote:
Thu Jul 28, 2022 8:46 am
Because locomotives have a very long life span and coal shipments are declining, the demand for new locomotives is not high.
Not to be forgotten are the significantly lower horsepower-per-ton ratios accepted in modern practice. If a job requires 1.0 HPT you'll probably see it powered with 1.1 or 1.2 HPT. Just about the only railroad that still packs trains with power for speed is the BNSF on their Transcon intermodals.

Look at the Chicago Line - NS used to have 3-4 units on darn near every train even just 5-10 years ago. Now you see a lot more of the 2-3 flavor, and the trains are longer than they used to be! Everything is a drag freight now. Therefore, even though tonnage has only dipped modestly, the demand for horsepower has slumped faster due to the railroads moving away from providing any more power than the absolute minimum.
You’re more likely to see trains under 1.0 HPT than above it on the BN…seems to be their latest craze. Still having problems with a lack of locomotives despite pulling a significant number out of storage. The days of packing Z’s with power are gone, because they just can’t afford to. Too much demand elsewhere. Coal traffic is going up, grain traffic is coming online for the harvest, and carload customers are still putting a lot of cars on the network every week.

BN is going to need to do something to get their hands around this:

1) get over the fact that EMD locomotives don’t have TO and get them back into service. I don’t know how many road motors they have stored but a lot of the ones I’ve heard about are MACs, and it’s supposedly because they don’t have TripOptimizer. It used to be that the GEs handled intermodal and manifest while the EMDs handled heavy haul. Now you’re more likely to see GEs on every train and EMDs relegated to DPU assignments if they aren’t laid up somewhere.

2) Buy new locomotives to replace the bad actors

3) Invest in a rebuild program for the C44-9Ws and AC4400CWs, like the AC44C6Ms. There are quite a few of the NS C6Ms running around the BNSF system right now, mostly in coal service and apparently BN is very interested in how their performance is..
:roll:

the contents of the above post are my opinion and mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

User avatar
SD80MAC
Ingersoll's Mr. Michigan
Posts: 9851
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 4:59 pm
Location: Grand Rapids

Re: Has anyone bought either a GE or EMD T4 locomotive the last 4 years?

Unread post by SD80MAC »

^ The above is why CSX got rid of their SD50/SD60 fleet and has been very reluctant to pull CW40-8s, CW40-9s, and SD70ACs from storage until absolutely necessary: no Trip Optimizer. The fact that CSX does continue to slowly crank out rebuilt SD70ACs is pretty amazing considering their obsession with T.O. The STB said it best; "The person paying more for their electricity and more for a loaf of bread at the store doesn't care about Trip Optimizer". The Class 1s have this weird fixation with T.O. "It saves on fuel". Ok, maybe it does. But weigh that against the costs of slowing down your velocity, increasing your dwell time, increasing overtime and limbo for crews, and recrewing trains that would otherwise make it if they were able to actually run normal speeds.
"Remember, 4 mph is a couple, 5's a collision!"
http://flickriver.com/photos/conrail680 ... teresting/
Image

NSSD70ACe
The Conrail Guru
Posts: 1054
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:34 pm
Location: Somewhere over the Rainbow

Re: Has anyone bought either a GE or EMD T4 locomotive the last 4 years?

Unread post by NSSD70ACe »

SD80MAC wrote:
Thu Aug 11, 2022 4:16 pm
^ The above is why CSX got rid of their SD50/SD60 fleet and has been very reluctant to pull CW40-8s, CW40-9s, and SD70ACs from storage until absolutely necessary: no Trip Optimizer. The fact that CSX does continue to slowly crank out rebuilt SD70ACs is pretty amazing considering their obsession with T.O. The STB said it best; "The person paying more for their electricity and more for a loaf of bread at the store doesn't care about Trip Optimizer". The Class 1s have this weird fixation with T.O. "It saves on fuel". Ok, maybe it does. But weigh that against the costs of slowing down your velocity, increasing your dwell time, increasing overtime and limbo for crews, and recrewing trains that would otherwise make it if they were able to actually run normal speeds.
It’s hilarious that some people are all worried about the costs regarding fuel and then don’t worry about the costs to recrew a train due to TO usage, which is definitely higher. I don’t have exact amounts but I’d rather pay to get my trains over the road quickly and provide better service than to keep burning the boards with constant recrews…
:roll:

the contents of the above post are my opinion and mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

User avatar
AARR
Ann Arbor RR Nerd
Posts: 36332
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 7:39 pm
Location: Washington, MI

Re: Has anyone bought either a GE or EMD T4 locomotive the last 4 years?

Unread post by AARR »

And to credit both of your points Railway Mag had a recent article about how Wall Street and its obsession with lowering railroads Operating Ratio is causing railroads to make decisions that might be good for the bottom line but not for customers or their future. However, the article pointed out that CN, CP and KCS have low OR’s and decent customer service scores.
PatC created a monster, 'cause nobody wants to see Don Simon no more they want AARR I'm chopped liver, well if you want AARR this is what I'll give ya, bad humor mixed with irrelevant info that'll make you roll your eyes quicker than a ~Z~ banhammer...

User avatar
LansingRailFan
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 7761
Joined: Fri Nov 01, 2019 4:21 pm
Location: Lansing

Re: Has anyone bought either a GE or EMD T4 locomotive the last 4 years?

Unread post by LansingRailFan »

NSSD70ACe wrote:
Thu Aug 11, 2022 5:09 pm
SD80MAC wrote:
Thu Aug 11, 2022 4:16 pm
^ The above is why CSX got rid of their SD50/SD60 fleet and has been very reluctant to pull CW40-8s, CW40-9s, and SD70ACs from storage until absolutely necessary: no Trip Optimizer. The fact that CSX does continue to slowly crank out rebuilt SD70ACs is pretty amazing considering their obsession with T.O. The STB said it best; "The person paying more for their electricity and more for a loaf of bread at the store doesn't care about Trip Optimizer". The Class 1s have this weird fixation with T.O. "It saves on fuel". Ok, maybe it does. But weigh that against the costs of slowing down your velocity, increasing your dwell time, increasing overtime and limbo for crews, and recrewing trains that would otherwise make it if they were able to actually run normal speeds.
It’s hilarious that some people are all worried about the costs regarding fuel and then don’t worry about the costs to recrew a train due to TO usage, which is definitely higher. I don’t have exact amounts but I’d rather pay to get my trains over the road quickly and provide better service than to keep burning the boards with constant recrews…
Calculating fuel costs/savings etc… js a very easy metric which is why it’s so popular.

Weighing fuel savings against the amount of trains being recrewed or other intangibles like dwell time etc… is very complicated. There are a number of factors that can influence dwell time or needing additional crews for a train, therefore making it easy to shift blame away from things like TO for those instances.
“I'll be honest with you, I love his uploads, I do, I'm a Drayton Blackgrove fan. For my money, I don't know if it gets any better than when he released “Freeport McMoRan’s Industrial Railroad in Eastern Arizona.”

Post Reply