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  • Topic: Just cuz I like B units

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    • March 20, 2017 4:53 PM EDT
      • Spokane Valley, Washington St.
         
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      My late Aunt used to live on Illinois Ave that paralled that line. It was a steep climb all the way from Mission Ave to Hillyard. One time the train stalled on the hill right in front of her house. It blocked Mission Ave for about 1/2 hour. Finally they got a couple more locos out of Yardley and pushed the train up the hill. Pretty cool. 6 locos stalled.

       

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    • March 20, 2017 7:08 PM EDT
      • Port Orchard, Washington
         
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      David Marconi said:
      Craig Townsend said:
      Dave, The BN guys and gals here in the PNW have always called slugs and B units the same as I explained. Calfs are unpowered. Every single time this topic comes up and I explain how I was taught it as a railroader, I get corrected by a non railroader.. What Wikipedia calls it is what Wikipedia calls it. Show Devon's picture to a rail and he will say those are slugs. Show, Chris's picture and they will say calf.

      Point well taken. The BL2 I modeled after Western Maryland's 81 was normally coupled to WM139 ( a re-purposed RS1 ) which was referred to as a slug. Close inspection and research show it is filled with cement/ballast for weight and gets all it's power from 81. Maybe an east west terminology but I defer to your statement. 


      Dave, I think it might be just a term from the Burlington Northern days, but I could be wrong. Before I worked on the railroad, I too called them the way you describe. But on hearing the "correct" term being used at work, I quickly changed. Notice that a slug and B unit are defined as different terms. A slug is a locomotive that was built without a cab, while a b unit is a locomotive that has a do not occupy cab (say no toilet, no radio) but has a working control stand. Confused even more?
    • March 21, 2017 8:10 AM EDT
      • Marysville, Kansas
         
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      Craig Townsend said:

      Dave, I think it might be just a term from the Burlington Northern days,.... 

       

       

      I told you the BN was Bass-Ackwards! 

    • March 21, 2017 9:21 AM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Todd Haskins said:

       Those B units are really cool.  I didn't know they had those.   There is a prototype for everything.

      I am not sure which models of locomotives had B units versions made. I do know that the GP9 has a B version. I am sure others could offer much more on what B units were made.

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    • March 21, 2017 9:51 AM EDT
      • Marysville, Kansas
         
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      Most of the F and E series had B units.

       

      BN made SD40-2 B units out of wrecks.

      CP Rail converted SD40-2 into a B unit

      Santa Fe had SD45B units.  (I think these were factory made)

      Union Pacific had factory made GP30Bs

      Union Pacific had factory built DD35Bs

      Rarest is the Alco C855, there were 3 C855s built for the UP (2 As and 1B), all three are in this picture.

       

      Chris

       

    • March 21, 2017 11:31 AM EDT
      • Spokane Valley, Washington St.
         
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      Here is my "B" Unit. I call it a calf.

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    • March 21, 2017 12:50 PM EDT
      • Marysville, Kansas
         
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      That is cool John.

    • March 21, 2017 1:27 PM EDT
      • Minneapolis, Minnesota
         
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      That really is neat!

      I bet it looks great with all those side axles running together.

    • March 21, 2017 10:51 PM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Chris Kieffer said:


      Chris

       

      Your pure evil for posting this.. I love the EMD DD35. I bought one in N scale before I began modeling in N sale and it dictated my layout. They are just massive. And I had no idea they made a B unit. Now I want to model it in G. But I am affraid my 8 foot curves would disagree.

       

      Thanks for posting all those beautiful B's.

       

      John B. Not being having much knowledge on the matter I would call that a calf also. But I defer to Craig and would ask if it has primary power source or if it relies on the Cow for its electrical power.

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    • March 21, 2017 10:52 PM EDT
      • Port Orchard, Washington
         
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      Those are not b units Devon.... They are slugs! Get it right!
    • March 21, 2017 11:04 PM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Well far be it fro me to argue with a 1:1 train guy but since the manufacturer but a b in there designation and many of the RRs put a B in their numbering I think I am safe calling them B units. But who cares about that. If the the guys that run them call the slugs then they are slugs. i will try and correct my vernacular.

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    • March 21, 2017 11:05 PM EDT
      • Spokane Valley, Washington St.
         
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      Devon, it has its own twin diesels and traction motors. Controlled by the cow.
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    • March 21, 2017 11:09 PM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      John Bouck said:
      Devon, it has its own twin diesels and traction motors. Controlled by the cow.

      Then I think would be a B. But I am going by Craig's definition. Until this conversation I had no idea that Calves did not have primary power units. I just thought they were cute little locos that followed switchers around.

       

      I do like it though. I want to build a GP9 phase 3 B (slug). As far as I know the only B version of the GP9 was a phase 2. But in my world St Maries River Railroad bought the three phase threes and chopped the noses on two and made a B out of the third. Its my RR I can do what I want. Your little B gives me the inspiration to do it.

      This post was edited by Devon Sinsley at March 21, 2017 11:12 PM EDT
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    • March 21, 2017 11:19 PM EDT
      • Spokane Valley, Washington St.
         
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      Devon,
      Calves and B units do have prime movers and traction motors. They are controlled by the attached locomotive. And with remote controls, can move by themselves.
      Slugs do not have prime movers and cannot move unless they are connected to a locomotive equipped with a prime mover.
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    • March 21, 2017 11:29 PM EDT
      • Spokane Valley, Washington St.
         
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      Copied and pasted from Railroad terminology.

       

      A B unit, in railroad terminology, is a locomotive unit (generally a diesel locomotive) which does not have a driving cab or crew compartment, and must therefore be controlled from another, coupled locomotive with a driving cab (an A unit). The terms booster unit and cabless are also used.

      Cow-calf. ... Cow and calf. In North American railroading, a cow-calf (also cow and calf) locomotive is a set of switcher-type diesel locomotives. The set usually is a pair; some 3-unit sets (with two calves) were built, but this was rare. A cow is equipped with a driving cab; a calf is not.

      A railroad slug is an accessory to a diesel-electric locomotive. It has trucks with traction motors but, unlike a B unit, is unable to move about under its own power, as it does not contain a prime mover to produce electricity, and there may or may not be a cab for an operator.

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    • March 21, 2017 11:46 PM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Makes sense to me

       

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    • March 22, 2017 12:11 AM EDT
      • Port Orchard, Washington
         
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      Craig Townsend said:
      Ray, A B unit or a slug has a prime mover and traction motors. Some b units even have cabs, but they can't be occupied, so they are labeled as b units. Meanwhile a calf unit is a locomotive that has its prime mover removed and replaced with weight. All of its power comes from a cow unit, hence the name cow and calf. A calf can't be run alone but a slug or b unit can. Make sense?

      Moving to page two.... If its got a prime mover its a slug... If not its a calf! End of story or at least when you ask a back asswards Burlington Northern rail..
    • March 22, 2017 12:13 AM EDT
      • Port Orchard, Washington
         
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      Devon Sinsley said:

      Makes sense to me

       


      But its wrong! ;)
    • March 22, 2017 12:27 AM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      OK we are all grown ups here. So I believe we can have this debate. We have pitted against each other the Internet and a real train guy.

       

      Craig,

      Beyond your experience working with these things, which earns you the nudge in my opinion, what documentation can you provide to back your claim to the terminology? Are you relying on layman's RR jargon used by the BNSF crews or is there something in your manuals and/or formal training that designates these as such. Your a researcher so its fair of me to ask you to back up your claim with primary sources.

       

      John,

       

      What is this reference to RR terminology you are quoting. Is this a a reliable technical sight or some one who "knows" what they are talking about, or worse yet an un monitored wiki that is user manipulated and unverifiable.

       

      I would love a definitive understanding. The best way to accomplish this is to reference industry accepted reference materiel used either by the manufacturer or the class 1 RRs. So state your cases gentlemen and keep it friendly. We are here to learn

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    • March 22, 2017 1:05 AM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Now this is fun. According to CSX your both wrong, lol. According to them:

       

      B Unit A cabless locomotive slug unit, not equipped with a diesel engine, but equipped with MU capability and traction motors, which receive electrical power from an "A" unit or mother locomotive. https://www.csx.com/index.cfm/about-us/company-overview/railroad-dictionary/?i=B

       

      Slug A locomotive unit equipped with an operating cab, but not equipped with a diesel engine. This type unit has MU capability and traction motors, which receives electrical power from a mother locomotive.https://www.csx.com/index.cfm/about-us/company-overview/railroad-dictionary/?i=S

       

      While they agree with Craig that a B unit is a slug unit. They also agree with John's claim that a slug does not have a diesel motor and that also is consistent with CSX. They clearly state that a "B" unit/slug unit is it is not equipped with a diesel motor and receives its power from the A. Now I have to argue this and would have to aske then what is a GP60B used by BNSF which is powered by diesels. The smoke is a dead giveaway. I wrote to EMD (the parent company actually) to ask them. We will see.

       

      But is this a case of no one "knows" because there is no actual universally accepted terminology or trade vernacular. Is it relative to the authority speaking?

       

       

      This post was edited by Devon Sinsley at March 22, 2017 1:08 AM EDT
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