13.3.17

IN PLACE OF A PAIR OF E8 UNITS.

The Cascade Corridor will be the first Passenger Rail route to get Siemens SC-44 Charger diesels.
Top speed of the Siemens SC-44 is 124 mph from 4,400 hp generated by a Cummins QSK-95 prime-mover built to Tier 4 emissions standards.

Firm orders and options total 66 units by the states of California, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri and Washington. Brightline of Florida has ordered Charger-powered integrated trainsets from Siemens.
Dare I modify the Cold Spring Shops "Free Rein to 110" campaign to start agitating for 124?  The Cascade Corridor is a curvy coastal route along the shelf where the Cascade Range encounters Puget Sound, not exactly terrain for fast running.  The diesels might have to deputise for electrics in Maryland.  But it's on the lines out of Chicago, whether formerly used by the Chicago Mercury or the Hiawathas or the City of New Orleans or the Nebraska Zephyr, where these diesels have a legacy to live up to.  Heck, there's an earlier Silver Charger in preservation in St. Louis.


Siemens photograph retrieved from Railway Age.

Now, if industrial designers could make passenger locomotives that didn't look like someone was attempting to cut a pat of butter off a cold stick!  Sure, powering four axles with a single prime mover is an advance over powering eight axles (plus four idlers) with four prime movers the way a pair of E8s did it.

But the original Silver Charger cut a more attractive profile on a short train.


Unattributed photograph retrieved from Railway Classics.

Note, the short General Pershing Zephyr had a cafe-parlor car at the rear that puts today's Amclub cars to shame.  Yes, that's a baggage compartment in the power car, this is not a diesel locomotive for a long train.

Before the E8 came the E5, with four thousand horsepower in the four prime mover, eight powered axle configuration.  Silver Speed would be another good name for a passenger diesel.


Unattributed photograph retrieved from Railway Classics.

These diesels were good for 117 mph on level track, and on occasion, they'd do every bit of it.

Perhaps part of Making America Great Again is Making Passenger Trains Fast and Attractive Again.

No comments: