Swanton GE U25B info reguest

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Loco112
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Swanton GE U25B info reguest

Post by Loco112 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:57 pm

The Swanton has a 19" gauge GE U25B that uses some kind of truck or forklift drop transfer case that in centered under the belly fuel tank and connects each of two driveshafts to each truck.

Does anyone have photos of that drive system? I'm wondering what transfer case was used and what the 90-degree gear boxes on the trucks look like.

I believe the locomotive was built by Keystone Lite Equipment Works (?) in the late 1970's and was bought by Al Smith at auction.
Last edited by Loco112 on Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Glenn Brooks
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Re: Swanton GE U30C info reguest

Post by Glenn Brooks » Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:57 pm

Here's the contact info for the Swanson Pacific RR.

Swanton Pacific Railroad
College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
831-458-5424
ccrabb@calpoly.edu

The direct number to the Ranch is 831-458-5410

Someone there likely could provide drawings etc. if you don't get the answer, let me know via PM. Iam heading down to SF in late April, and could stop by and ask them for permission to look at the loco and take photos etc. in the past, the RR manager has always been very helpful with these kinds of requests.

Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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ALCOSTEAM
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Re: Swanton GE U30C info reguest

Post by ALCOSTEAM » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:07 pm

That locomotive is a model of GE U25B, not a U30C.

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Re: Swanton GE U25B info reguest

Post by Glenn Brooks » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:27 pm

David,

Success! I visited the (19" ga) Swanton RR today and had a long conversation with Randy Jones, "chief mechanical officer" now, for 40 years or so. Randy showed me the Loco and explained the drive system. I will do my best to relate what he pointed out.

Basically the drive chain consists of an industrial Ford Diesel with a large torque converter bolted to the rear housing, then a u joint connects the output shaft to two speed gear box. The gear box is a vertical unit that allows the lower drive shafts to reach both front and rear trucks. The gear box is unusual in that the lower output shafts exit the case going both forward and rearward- providing power to both trucks with one shaft, having the gear case in the middle.

Here are some photos of the drive system - simple and robust - although similar components now may be hard to come by, as the loco was built in the 1970's or early 80's.
IMG_3011.JPG
Front view of the locomotive
IMG_3942.JPG
Side view of engine compartment, with doors opened up, exposing the Ford power plant.
IMG_3941.JPG
Ford diesel
IMG_3935.JPG
Torque converter fitted to rear of motor
IMG_3949.JPG
Drive shaft connecting the transfer case. Note the universal joint on the drive shaft, AND a shop fitted disk brake to stop rotation of the shaft when shifting between forward and reverse
IMG_3937.JPG
Two speed, coward and reverse gear case, with drive shaft existing bottom to power front and rear trucks.
Randy suggested you may wish to look at a GMC Twin Disk gear case as a possible solution to gearing your proposed loco. Also, it is possible to drive the trucks with a hydrolic system. However you will need a variable speed hydrolic motor setup that allows the loco to coast for frequent periods, without power engaged. May hydroelectric systems are "OFF/ON" power systems, and deliver very poor control over locomotive speeds and operations. He suggested it might be valuable to chat with him directly about the nuances of this, if you are considering hydrolics.

I will send you his email and contact info via PM.

Just for eye candy, here is one of their 19" steam loco's, currently ungoing new boiler replacement. The boiler is installed and they are reassembling the drive gear and plumbing.
IMG_3956.JPG
New boiler on Overfair 4-6-2 Pacific
And #1914, currently in service. A third loco has been shipped to Wasatch RR Contractors for a new boiler. A fourth Overfair loco is on display in the front lobby of the Cal State RR Museum in Sacramento - never been steamed as I remember, since new a 100 years ago!
IMG_3957.JPG
#1914 in the Swanton Roundhouse
Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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Loco112
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Re: Swanton GE U25B info reguest

Post by Loco112 » Sat Apr 29, 2017 2:41 pm

Glenn, This is going to help a lot. Being in a roundhouse when the RR is not running is the best of times. I get cramps in my face from smiling when I get those rare visits. Thanks so much! I'll call Randy asap.
Narrow Gauge (Information) Exchange dot Org forum
My Projects:
Davenport 30 ton diesel (SV#101 / D&RGW#50)
C&S 1908 steel & 1905 wood: box, stock, flat, gon
D&RGW wooden freight cars, long & short cabeese
EBT 2-bay hoppers, Conoco #44 tank
DV (K&J) hopper
8"n3 - 3-footers, 8" scale, 24" gauge

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RussellCofIdaho
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Re: Swanton GE U25B info reguest

Post by RussellCofIdaho » Wed May 17, 2017 12:46 pm

The story of our visit there in the '80s:

http://www.trainweb.org/NarrowGaugeNews ... ml#swanton

Mr. Smith told us when he went to load the U boat it was so heavy the forklift just tipped over, it was made of 1" thick ship-plate or something. I believe I have photos somewhere....
Russell Courtenay
Idaho - USA
Big trains and big dreams...

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