Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Smoking Diesel Locomotives

Stan Sienicki posted
A 6 bagger of ALCO C420's on the A&M on a sunny
morning August 6, 1988 near Purdy, MO.
By "smoking locomotives," I don't mean that they are going fast. I mean that their exhaust is dirtier than a steam locomotive with a competent fireman. I have seen quite a few comments that Alco's smoked rather significantly.
Scott Thein posted
Lets get this party rolling!! EB coal train at Beverly yard Cedar Rapids, Ia. Don't remember the date but it was probably 1999/2000 time frame.
[Since this train is accelerating out of a yard, this could be turbo-lag. Turbo-lag is discussed below.]
Mark S. McCollum shared

Greg Kozlick posted
FeF. Metra 148 sends smoke into the air as they depart from their Lombard station stop. Taken on the much warmer day of July 11, 2022.
[I'm surprised at the late date. Metra has been replacing their engines.]

Tim Wilson posted
Doing their best steam engine impression.... ex. VIA FPA4 #6780 and it's sister smoke it up pulling into Cumberland, MD. To explain why #6780 is wearing one of it's sister's numberboard, well somewhere in the mix it lost it's original numberboards and all we had were the boards from #6771 not being used. So It's real easy to pin this trip down. November 9, 1991... first trip for #6780 over the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. Afterwards it would be repainted as B&O #800.
Mark S. McCollum shared
Delaware and Hudson Railway photo dated 1966.
[I can tell by the long flat hood that this is an Alco.]
John Durant posted
Mind if I smoke?? Conrail 4114 smokes it up on the point of SEAL at Iona Island, NY 4/1999.
Mark S. McCollum shared NS Locomotives and its Predecessors's photo.
Leroy Brandenburg posted
A&M c420 leads ex ohio central , A&M c420 and a bnsf es44 pulling half of a chicken feed train at the georges feed mill at Cassville mo on 06-14-2014, the engineer was kind enough to let off the throttle then notch it back up giving me some black alco smoke
Leroy Brandenburg posted
bnsf dash9 smokes it up on a SB freight at ft scott ks on 08-03-2014
Leroy Brandenburg posted
bnsf and ns power smoke it up pulling the M-GALTUL out of ft scott ks on 08-23-2014
Andy Brandley posted
Smoking in Phillipsburg, NJ.
Hopefully this link to the The Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway page from a posting to a closed group is permanent because the posting has a copyrighted photo and a long description. They explain that in this case the engineer has just shoved the throttle forward and the smoke is because of turbo-lag, which is temporary. But when we see one engine in a lash-up smoking, that is more serious pollution. For yard engines, even turbo-lag is an issue because the engine is constantly stopping and accelerating again.

Screenshot from a video
Looks like BNSF # 4038 was smoking a little bit as it helps pull a unit train through downtown Spokane, Washington on 12-6-15.
Tim Wilson posted
"Running on Smoke Signals"" ...... Doing it's best steam engine impression, CSX #442 leads a loaded coal drag westbound at Beryl, WV - 13 December 2015
Ken Durkel posted
[A CF&E train rolls westbound on PRR's old eastbound main at MP 435 in Hobart, IN because the second track was removed in 1986. This is the whitest smoke I have ever seen from a diesel.]

Hayden McSwiggin posted
Pan Am Railways train POED rolls thru Cross Rd in Bradford MA blowing smoke 12/14/15
MEC#337 505 373
[Pan Am has a reputation for bad maintenance of their track. Evidently they are robbing from engine maintenance as well.]
Mark S. McCollum shared Steve Schmollinger's photo
Steve's comment: A Santa Fe 881 train smokes it up at Lavic, CA, on the Needles District in 1983. Notice the Fuel Foilers.
I don't know what the Fuel Foilers are.]
Glenn Anderson posted
It was very early in Penn Central's history, as well as my photography's history when I caught NYC 1119 and a pair of PRR GP9s leading a westbound mixed freight on the former NYC through my hometown of Painesville, Ohio in early 1968. The FA seems to be putting out considerably more black smoke than the city's power plant smokestack above the first car, an N&W box car. This has long been one of my favorite cab unit images and I am happy to have finally gotten around to sharing it here.
Jim DeNicola The black smoke was either caused by lack of air at the engine air intakes or they really had the fuel turned up from the pump to the injectors to give the engine more horse power,
Richard Snook Or it's just an ALCO !! 
wink emoticonAl Galanty And intake/exhaust valves out of adjustment & possibly the fuel racks. A properly adjusted 244 does not smoke (much)
.Kurt Scribner Alco trademark lol

[Glenn explains that the "roller coaster track" on the left is the yard lead to Painesville Yard, which was built only a few years earlier.]

Roger Durfee posted
Toronto, Ontario Canada in July 1979. What a show that was !
Kevin Piper posted
This photo was taken during the Iowa Interstate's early, colorful, and often lean years. Gone today are the eclectic mix of paint schemes, Alco's, and EMD Geeps. The only former Rock Island locomotive to ever serve on "The Iowa" was GP7 400 (ex-RI 1275/4424.) Here it leads a late afternoon westbound into New Lenox, Illinois, on 6-18-91.John David Larson Stupendous (!) ... Alco smoke, #400 was a favorite, miss the days when there was so much variety on the IAIS.
[Metra will no longer allow IAIS and CSX to run freights during daylight hours east of Joliet.]

See CSX U36B 5785 at 5:05 in a video. Skip to near the end of this video to see the DPU smoking. That is not turbo-lag.

Sometimes engines do more than just smoke. I've seen other postings that indicate the turbochargers on GEs have a tendency to catch on fire. I've seen videos where they burn for a long time until the oil that is leaking runs out.

Mark Llanuza posted
its dead of winter at Munger 1998 with eastbound train I-12 all piggy back racing to Chicago
[You know the smokey one is not because of turbo-lag because the comment indicates the train is at speed and because the other units are clean.]
Jerry Jackson posted
I know my 199 and 188 shots get boring, but these late afternoon priority trains were in my window of opportunity. I worked in the western suburbs of Chicago and the Santa Fe mainline was only 20 minutes or so away, thanks to the newly completed I-355. I usually finished work at 1600 or earlier, so I would hop down to the Chili sub and shoot till I lost the light. Here's the 199 train in 91' splitting the probably long gone signals at the west end of Willow Springs. Santa Fe Speedway is behind and inside the curve.
[That is not turbo-lag. You can see that the other three are running clean.]

Brandon Cornett posted
GE trash nine on fireJoe Aziz Yep. My buddy had this happen to him awhile back with a CSX dash-8. Turbo blew up, fire out stack, oily smoke etc. It shut down... 60 some odd car train was way too much for just the trailing engine (an ex SP GP38-2 leaser which was ironically a CSX loco before that..). The geep had enough power to keep the train just barely moving long enough to get it into a siding out of the way. Clearly of that pair CSX sold the wrong engine.William Morrison In the newer GE's, if drop the throttle from Run * to idle, then wipe the throttle to Run 8, you will get a stack full of flames.
Brandon Cornett posted
Typical GE junk
[That is more than a turbo fire.]

Norman J. Barrett Any locomotive can have a fuel line rupture. GE locomotives have come a long way in the past 15/20 years.
Bob Gottschall never had a GE shut down on the road,cant say that about EMD's
Clay Monroe i"ll take the new GE over a new EMD any day as I just ran a new UP 8700 C45AC down and a new UP 8800 ACE on way home and GE was the better engine pulled better and was a better ride.

Jogn DeWit Woodlock II posted
BRC 603,601 @ Clearing Yard-Bedford Park,IL 05 JUN 96
John DeWit Woodlock II In this case both were putting out for the audience. I had my girlfriend of the time with me and she was wearing a pair of Daisy Dukes. The crew was quite happy, as was I!!!
Dan Tracy posted
GE's doing what they do best on a southbound at Joliet in March of 96.

Wayne Hudak posted
I finally found it! Smokin' RSD's on the Utah Railway. When these came out of the tunnel I thought they were on fire! I never noted the exact location, but somewhere near Helper Utah, I believe. Can't be sure.
John Koslosky posted
Adirondack Scenic's 1845 makes a dramatic entry into a rock cut located 1 mile south of Big Moose, NY Saturday morning, August 27th.
Since it is a tourist line, wondered if it was a diesel in front of a steam locomotive. I looked up 1845 to verify that the smoke is coming from a diesel!]

Jeff Wecker posted
Here's a UP SD70ACe channeling it's inner Alco. Abilene Ks 8/30/16

Sam Carlson posted
BRC 601 and 602 in December, 1995 at Bedford Park, IL, as per another John Welch request.
Barry Kincy Nice! Showing the A&M #32 (601) & #34 (602) in action in a previous life!
Sam Carlson I think this guy turned on the smoke unit just for me. He had a clear stack til he saw me!
B-Train David Lemke These crews were the best. Anytime we were around, they got the show going. I miss this today.
I knew the fireman of a steam locomotive could "turn on the smoke" by adding too much coal. But how do you cause a diesel engine to start smoking continuously? (Turbo-lag smoke is more like a puff of smoke, not the long plume that we see here.) It does make sense that the crew did something to the lead unit because the second unit is running relatively clean. Although it is dirty by EPA's Tier 4 standards. For a long time, the EPA did not consider diesel soot to be a pollutant because rain storms removed it from the atmosphere. They changed their mind when someone noted that city kids near railyards have a higher rate of asthma. There were probably other indications of the harm done by diesel exhaust before the next rain would come.]
Sam Carlson also posted a couple of pictures of GEs throwing smoke: 1 and 2. In the first posting he indicated that the smoke is because of heavy acceleration. Thus it is caused by turbo lag.

Sam Carlson posted
And some bigger Alcos crossing into Neenah, WI on December 7, 1985.
Michael Matalis posted
It's ok that he's smoking, he's over 21! A pair of ex-Q SD9's lead an eastbound merchandise train past Maple Ave in Downers Grove back on 01/20/80
Carl Venzke posted
Incomplete combustion - Ann Arbor Railroad Alco switcher in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on February 20, 1984.
John C Durant posted
Lehigh Valley Alco C628 #633 leads on D&H eastbound NE-84 at Hamilton Avenue Allentown, PA 2/08/1975 on the former CNJ
Brian Allen posted
Burlington 504 is 2nd in command behind GBW 2407 with a demonstration freight train Illinois Railway Museum a few years back
[Railroad museums must have a "grandfather clause" concerning exhaust emissions.]
Colin 't Hart posted John DeWit Woodlock II's photo
John DeWit Woodlock II You are correct! The Belt C424s were THE main attraction when I was out and about back then!
John DeWit Woodlock II commented on the above posting
Tim, it is an experience to savor, even after you have been brought to your knees from having smoke inhalation!!! That never gets old!
Kevin Piper posted
Blue Island, IL, 9-8-77
Paul Jansson posted
Hmmm, Alcos or F's leading this eastbound San Francisco Chief out of Empire, CA? In this case it was Alco PA #73 revving up. Photo by my dad Homer Jansson in Nov. 1964.
Rob Conway posted
The end always seemed to be near for the Rock Island, even long before it eventually arrived.
We are at Silvis in 1980 and this set of lite power was rockin and rollin past the shop at every bit of 25 mph! I've never seen units do the Watusi like I did this day. I guess there was really no reason to care if things went on the ground at this point.
The consist stayed on the rail and the smoke proves that both GEs were running and on the line.
Mark Llanuza posted two photos with the comment: "Its a cloudy misty day back in 1975 at Bellwood IL with a northbound Transfer heading to Bensenville IL with a Alco leading the way."


Dan Tracy posted
Some more goodies I've scanned. In July of 91 we drove down to Bloomington and all we saw was this baby boat kicking cars. This whole yard layout has changed since then.
Michael Matalis posted
From this afternoon at Belmont Ave in Downers Grove, a westbound empty grain train lead by a single unit with a slight respiratory problem. I sure hope that they made it to the end of the line!
Tom Carter posted
Chicago & Northwestern C628 6723 blowin’ a little smoke just as it’s getting dark in Negaunee, Michigan, on September 5, 1981. This is along the south side of US-41, and I’m standing a couple hundred feet west of Baldwin Avenue, facing northeast.
[So far, I think this is the champ. It even beats a steam locomotive!]

Doug Kroll posted
Minnesota Commercial RS-27 #316 puts out the traditional Alco smoke as M630 #73 passes by on another track in the yard at St. Paul, MN on 1/30/2000.
Jerry Jackson posted
I'll bet the guy in the 76' AMC Hornet could care less about this train and wonders if his spare is any good. I, on the other hand, wore a glove. Driving up the Stevenson Expressway, just past Harlem Ave. I saw this cool lash-up just after it had crossed the DesPlaines River, rolled the winder down and took as many as I safely could. This one was the best of the grab shots. The train is headed towards Nerska/Corwith. January 1988.
Craig Cloud GE were definitely smokers.
Mark Bilecki Sr. No thats not Ridgeland station , thats the Metro Water Reclaimation plant in the background. Ridgeland was directly north of where the photo was taken.
Jim A. Fuhrmann commented on a Ken Roble Jr posting
[Ken indicated it was a U33B. That would be a GE unit.]

HO Diesel Supply posted
Delaware-Lackawanna RS3's at Scranton,PA. August 2001. Photo by Craig Sturgeon with Scott Watson and Steve Hay.
[With a still photo it is hard to tell if it is just turbo lag as it starts the freight. It does look like the front unit is beginning to clean up. But boy is that black in the meantime.]
Jason Stevenson posted
Guys CP has its steam program back look at that smoke!!!!!!!
Alex Pate Turbos on the way out by the looks.

Steven J. Brown posted
Amtrak P32AC-DM's at Renssalaer, New York - November 19, 2000.
Dennis DeBruler I hope you caught turbo lag and the exhaust cleans up as it gets up to speed.
[Steven liked my comment.]
Ted Gregory shared
Thought this was a fitting picture for all the EPA Tiers that everything RR has to abide by. I'll let you guys guess as to brand of locos. You know, do any other transport modes have so much EPA crap to deal with?
Dennis DeBruler They sure do. Navistar spent $700 million trying to meet Tier 4 with EGR. This year they quit making any engines at their Melrose Park plant and now use Cummins engines in their medium-duty trucks. And don't forget that Volkswagon got caught cheating trying to pass EPA tests.

John DeWit Woodlock posted
BRC 601,605 @ 100th Street Yard-Chicago,IL 22 APR 97.
Elleby Richard Lord have MERCY I MISSES THOSE ALCO C424's.Jerry Smigla I know what you mean. They even smelled different than other engines. I loved running those guys.Jerry Smigla My favorites. Loved to run those units!
John DeWit Woodlock II posted two photos with the comment: "BRC 526 @ Clearing Yard-Bedford Park,IL 17 JUL 93."
Nhat Quan V. Do What type of loco is that?
John DeWit Woodlock II SW1200 if I am correct.
BRC must not have maintained their locomotives very well. I believe SW1200 is an EMD product, and they normally did not smoke as badly as Alcos did.

[It looks like it is continuing to smoke so it isn't turbo lag.]
Bill Kalkman posted
Smokin'. U36C-8758, GP50-3844 & B23-7-6353 are coming up-grade on the Seligman Sub with an E/B freight. 11:20AM on 2-12-89 in Truxton, AZ.
Robert Morrow May have some bad injectors.

Mike Cleary posted
Sherwood Mine loads out of Stambaugh throttle up on Fumee Hill just east of Quinnesec on June 8, 1979. Power for this train is C628s 6719-6724-6711 along with EMD re-engined Baldwin 1507. This was getting to be near the end for shipments from the Sherwood which was an underground shaft mine.

Great picture! Note the boxcar behind the last locomotive. I’m sure it was a little bit of General freight that was forwarded to Escanaba.
[A comment described how they worked the mines.]

 was 15hours 59 minute job 7 day a week until it froze then went to 14 hours a day then 12 hours. With the Federal hours of service reductions.

Kevin piper shaerd Screenshot @ 0:23
This video confirms that when a photographer catches a BRC Alco smoking, it is not just turbo lag. They smoke as long as they are pulling hard.
Dennis DeBruler This video confirms that when a photographer catches a BRC Alco smoking, it is not just turbo lag. They smoke as long as they are pulling hard.

Dave Blaze Rail Photography posted
The Big Show
This is what you come for. The Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad's Pocono job puts on a classic Alco powered show as they depart east toward Pocono Summit after wrapping up their switching at Tobyhanna. They are crossing Church Street and MP 107.6 passing the concrete former DL&W interlocking tower built in 1910 as part of the Lackawanna's massive upgrades to the road's infrastructure.
The four Delaware Lackawanna units in charge are: 3643 (MLW M636 blt. Nov. 1970 as CP 4743), 3642 (Alco C636 blt. Apr. 1968 as PC 6342), 3007 (MLW M636 blt. Dec. 1970 as PGE 707) , 3000 (MLW M636 blt. Dec. 1970 as PGE 706)
To read the story of this day's adventure check out this earlier post caption:
Unincorporated Tobyhanna
Coolbaugh Township, Pennsylvania
Friday September 4, 2020

Tod Riebow shared

Screenshot @ 2:27, same video as above

(new window)  (source)  "Railroad managers your engineers aren't always milking it. This was like every day when Ted was working a yard job and had to start my own power..."

Mike Harlan shared
[I'm sure this ship is smoking because it is still burning coal. But it illustrates that no matter how bad a diesel smokes, it is still better than a steam locomotive that isn't properly fed coal.]

Big tractors also use diesels with turbo chargers. Here is "a symphony of turbo lag."

Heritage Railway Magazine posted four Santa Fe Alco PA-1s generating an impressive cloud of smoke.

Michael Doran shared some more Alcos doing a good impression of steam locomotives with the comment: "The four stroke Alco diesel used a "pressure time" type of injector."

Aaron Alice probably illegally posted a Geoff Elliott photo from RailPictures.Net with the comment: "Smoke'em if ya got'em! 4 C424's hit the throttle in Windsor, Ontario." Unfortunately, the RailPictures site was broke so I could not find a link to the original.

See Morgan Trestle for two out of three locomotives pouring out the smoke.

The second half of this video shows the third locomotive smoking continuously as the train climbs a hill.

A video of a NS locmotive throwing a lot of smoke and during the last 9 seconds you can also see flames!

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