Monday, September 4, 2017

B-Units

I've talked about slugs, but I can't find anything on B-units. A slug doesn't have a cab, engine or generator; it gets its power from a "mother" unit. They are used in low-speed, high-traction applications such as hump yard pushing and transfer runs. A B-unit has an engine and generator, but no cab. The thought was if you are putting three or four locomotives on a train, why waste money on a cab for all of them when only the front unit needs one? So some railroads used to have quite a few of them. But they were considered a bad idea because it reduced operational flexibility. (In other words, someone in the yard had to think harder about which locomotives they could grab to put on a train.) So railroads quit buying them. But BNSF continues to use a couple in the Galesburg Yard as part of dedicated sets of locomotives that shove cars over the hump. The B-units are designated SD40-2B.

Britt Reeves commented on a posting
B-Unit 300

Britt Reeves commented on a posting
B-unit 301
Update: Michael Wayne Sitter posted two photos with the comment: "A very nice A-B-B-B-A lash up of GP60Ms and GP60Bs on a westbound Z-train passes through Chillicothe, IL in the fall of 1999. -Michael W. Sitter"

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Tom Rutkowski posted
Hodgkins. 6/17
Dennis DeBruler I assume 5/17. A B-unit.
[I assume this is in the GM Yard.]
Jerry Jackson posted
A solid A-B-A lash-up was kinda rare. This eastbound is about to cross the then-new Willow Springs Road crossover and pass the Willow Springs, IL UPS/BNSF Intermodal Yard in 1993.
Jeff LewisJeff and 1 other manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Chicagoland Railfan. I like B units. Too bad they stopped building them.
Donny Albertson posted
Would this be considered an A-B-A set of switchers? IDK but I shot it at Franklin Park on 23MAR1989. Does the IHB still use switchers?
[I suspect it is a calf instead of a B-unit.]
Craig Cloud What you photographed here is gone, NW2's I mean. SW1500's still in use along with newer Gensets and SD20's from NRE along with GP38-2' and SD40-2'S rebuilt (I believe) into SD38-2's. Been a great while traveling over to IL from Porter.
Nick Hart posted
The BNSF Chillicothe Sub had some great lash-ups between 2005 and 2008. My dad I would take a trip just about every weekend.
Back on September 17th of 2005, an A-B-A set of Cascade green Geeps highball west at Route 170 in Ransom, IL. Ransom is located at roughly MP 80 of the Chillicothe Sub, about ten miles east of Streator. Leading the way is GP38 2344, followed by GP9B 1701 (one of only three at the time) and GP28M 1513. A-B-A sets were not uncommon around this time, but this is the only A-B-A set of Cacade greens that I ever shot. This is train M IHBGAL (IHB Blue Island Yard in Riverdale, IL to Galesburg, IL).



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