Sunday, March 19, 2017

Plumbing on the Roof!

Canadian National Railways 4299, Prince Rupert Engine Service Area, May 30, 1959. Less than three months old, still has that heady smell of  DuPont Imron and stickers on the tire tread!

I was lucky to catch the GP-9L on her inaugural trip to Prince Rupert. Lack of ditch lights indicate this is the trailing unit on tonight's Time Freight.

As I was lining up my shot, I noticed a pipe on the roof of the machine room, running the length of the unit. I hadn’t paid much attention before this, and failed to notice a lot of the Geeps I had pictures of had that feature. (Gimme a break. I was only 15 years old!)

I now know that pipe is an air line, running from the Denver-Gardner air compressor located in the bow, to the brake system air tanks, located aft inside the short hood! You can see the pipe as well in the "Rare Bird" post on the CNR 4200.

Furthermore, other roads, to provide room for long-range fuel tanks, have repeated this concept.

But what makes this strange is the fact these GP-9L’s were fitted with small 1,000-gallon (Imperial) gallon fuel tanks. As you can see, there is plenty of room under the deck for air tanks.

There is also erroneous information on the 'net that in 1961, the CNR began mounting bells above the dual sealed beam luminary. This is May, 1959. And that's a bell!.

So now I am curious to learn if model railroaders are on to this, and have incorporated this plumbing feature on a model? Let me know in the comments below!

Railroad Stuff: Canadian National Railways 4299, built by General Motors Division, London Ontario, as a 1,750hp, GP-9L, March 1959, serial number A1656. Retired May 14, 1986.

Rebuilt and sold to Société de transport de la Communauté urbaine de Montréal (STCUM,) March 1990 as GP-9u numbered STCUM 1312. In January 1996, commuter train operations transferred to Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT) retaining number 1312.

4 Comments - Click here:

Anonymous said...

Great observation on that air pipe Robert, the sort of thing that escapes me most of the time...but every once in awhile I catch something like that. I'm working on a "in the details" post for the Milwaukee blog.

The small tank is indeed a curiosity. One question is, 'did it always have the small tank?' Given it has the light weight trucks, I'd guess yes but perhaps that could explain it?


Robert in Port Townsend said...

To be clear, all the GP-7, GP-9, and GP-9L that I photographed in Prince Rupert were less than two years old. I was fortunate to be there "in the beginning..."

Several road classes, in this case,GR-17n ("G = General Purpose" "R = Road Switcher" "17 = 1750 hp" "n" being the order number within the group) were built with the Flexicoil Trucks, 1,000 Imperial gallon fuel tanks (small) with the overhead pipe to the smaller air tanks housed in the short nose. This resulted in a weight saving of approximately 10 tons over a "conventional" GP-9.

Does this help?

However, the "rule" applies on a road class by road class basis, because CNR also ordered regular Geeps with Blomberg's; GR-17 m & r among others. But that's what keep rail fanning interesting!


Bruce said...

Robert, your observations regarding the overhead air pipe running between the compressor and the air tank (Main Reservoir) in the short hood are quite correct, with one exception. The main air reservoir in the short hood was quite large and, standing on its end, occupied so much available space that in order to access minor appliances which were housed in the short hood, one had to exit the cab and use the carbody doors in the short hood to access tools, extra flagging equipment, spare knuckles, corn broom etc. The main reservoir blowdown valve was located near the bottom of the big tank. Maintenance staff often missed that service item and over time, the tank would gradually fill up with yellow/green watery sludge from condensation and compressor lubricants. Eventually, an automatic blow-down was applied in later diesel models, hence the periodic 'psst' sound.

As for models being equipped with the overhead air pipe, or aftermarket applications of that feature on GP9 models...., I haven't seen any. Since model manufacturers don't seem to want to invest in a CN GP9, I don't expect to see that detail anytime soon. Cheers, Bruce (Caboose Coffee)

Robert in Port Townsend said...

Thank you Bruce, for the clarification. Unfortunately too many ferroequinologists overlook details, that permeate the Internet and dilute critical details.

Glad to see you are watching - miss your contributions!

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