Author: Jeff Moore
Date: 08-28-2023 - 21:38
My understandings based on what I’ve read and remember…
As designed and originally built the exhaust stack was up against the cab, but the warmth alone would make the inside of the cab a living hell, so a lot got the stack pushed out onto the hood, which led to the crew sucking exhaust fume problem. Catch 22 poorly designed loco edition.
Diesel engine was on one hood, radiator and fan and compressor (both powered by a shaft passing underneath the cab floor) were under other hood. Led to a lot of off balance problems and excessive wheel slip and wear, as noted. Also meant hot coolant water coming out of prime mover had to be piped to the other end of the unit- and by extension through the cab- to be cooled before being piped back, which also made life inside the cab a living hell regardless of if the stack had been moved or not. Especially when (not if) the pipes started leaking.
Then there was the 8-251 engine, which ended up having a lot of structural issues.
There’s a quote in one of the railfan magazines written about the Chehalis Western in which one of their crew was asked why they kept using their C-415 as long as they did, the response was something along the lines of We can only get something else if we sell this, and who wants to buy this pile of #*?!?