26.2.17

A HOLDOVER OF FAIRBANKS-MORSE INFLUENCE IN RUSSIA?

Here's a Bryansk-Built A-B-A set of the new 3TE25K2M diesel locomotives being delivered for use on the Baikal-Amur Main Line.
Designed to haul 7 100 tonne freight trains on the 2 800 km Baikal-Amur Magistral route between Taksimo, Tynda, Komsomolsk-na-Amure and Sovetskaya Gavan on the Pacific coast, the 9·3 MW locomotive has three six-axle sections with microprocessor controls and AC traction motors.

Initial testing is to be undertaken at Kurbakinskaya in Kursk oblast before the locomotive is transferred to the BAM route.
I've been led to understand that an early series of Soviet diesels borrowed the layout of the cooling system from the Erie-Built, which, in turn, borrowed it from a submarine (there being Fairbanks-Morse opposed-piston diesels in submarines, so why not?) and these new diesels have the same radiator layout.
Unattributed image retrieved from Railway Gazette.

To continue the Erie comparisons, each unit has about the same power rating as General Electric's contemporary ES44AC or ES44C4.  The Russian units (does the TE still stand for "teplo?") look prettier, but on a Powder River coal train, it's the oomph, not the aesthetics.

On the other hand, with the Erie-Builts, you had the aesthetics.  Well, the U.S. railroads had Raymond Loewy and the Soviets didn't.


Milwaukee, Wisconsin, sometime in the late 1940s.

The Milwaukee Road purchased these Erie Builts, with the special trim and lettering, to haul The Olympian Hiawatha between Chicago and Seattle, a distance of about 3500 km, without the change to electric locomotives in the Mountain West.  Elsewhere in the States, Kansas City Southern hauled long freight trains through the western Ozarks with four unit sets, rated at 6.8 MW, about what two of the current Russian units are good for.  Milwaukee's Erie-Builts didn't last long in Olympian Hiawatha service, although they stayed on corridor trains and in commuter service until the trust certificates expired.

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