Friday, July 28, 2017

The Ignitron Rectifier Locomotive

Courtesy of Richard Schauer, we have a large selection of photos of the newly-arrived electric locomotive.  This is about half of them; if there's any popular demand, we can probably show more.

I don't have many captions to add; in most cases it's obvious what we're looking at.  I cannot identify some of the pictures of the internal electrical equipment.

Inside the cab:

We could use a "Notching Guide" on a lot of our cars:

Some of the wiring was stolen by thieves:

Inside the arc chutes we probably have the contactors for the tap changer:

This is probably the control circuits for the igniters, and it looks like most of the components are missing:


Anonymous said...

That locomotive has quite a history from the Virginian to the New Haven to the Penn central to Conrail. Sorry I do not have all the numbers right at hand.

I hope it sees some paint sooner than later! My choice would be the New Haven; which I rode back in the old days.

Ted Miles

Randall Hicks said...

Virginian EL-C 131, Norfolk & Western EL-C 231, New Haven EF-4 300, PC E33 4601, Conrail 4601. It's also interesting that after retirement from Conrail, it was acquired by GE for possible rebuilding, but I don't remember what they had in mind.

Randall Hicks said...

Oh, and sorry, the number 300 has already been taken. Please make another choice. :)

Nick Gawriluk said...

Sounds like Ted will be happy as I hear its getting the New Haven livery.

Randall Hicks said...

So McGinnis lives! I take it that the only New Haven choice is something like this:

That's not as good as the New Haven PA paint scheme, but anything, even flat black, would be an improvement.

Frank Hicks said...

As I understand it, livery plans are a ways in the future - the thing still needs to raise enough money to pay for 70' of track space and then get a lot of steel work done before any paint can go on. If it does come time for a paint job, this would seem like a prime candidate for a "vote with your dollars" campaign: donate towards which of the four liveries you prefer, with all donations going towards whichever livery gets the highest proportion donated.

Nick Gawriluk said...

I hope Frank's idea comes to pass. The only reason I mentioned the New Haven paint is from the IRM Facebook page, but I honestly have no idea who runs that page.

Anonymous said...

Randy- Among the other photos that may be of interest- inside the "Danger 2500 volts" department, the large red apparatus is the silicon diode rectifier and heat sink assembly. It's obviously a fairly late retrofit. I managed to get a crummy photo of one of the hockey puck diodes between the heat sinks. This room that it is in was formerly the ignitron room, and you can tell what was in it by the tiny little portholes in the doors- there was one per ignitron, for checking the arc. I got a picture of them from the inside, covered (only) in Conrail blue paint. The cut-off wire photos are mainly to show the massive size of the wiring; they go to the (missing) transformer and load reactor. The missing relays are most likely common GE LV66 relays and shouldn't be a big problem to replace.

R. W. Schauer

M E Moyano said...

Almost looks like a 24RLMC-1 Brake stand, but probably is a #6. Would like to know. Thanks...

Steve Kraus said...

Richard, so it *did* get converted from Ignitrons to silicon diodes? Did they raise the HP level?

Anonymous said...

Myron- You had it right the first time. 24RL brakes.

Steve- No idea on the horsepower. It doesn't seem to be common knowledge that it was converted to diodes. In fact there is physical and photographic evidence to suggest that this unit probably didn't run in Conrail blue, or at least run much, and it appears to have had substantial work done at about the same time it was painted blue. Whether the silicon conversion was done at that time, or earlier, is something I don't know. But it's obviously a late conversion.

For everyone- An interesting one for you. Inside the cab, there's a stencil (I took a picture but Randy didn't put it up) that says "4601 E-33" and then above it, under a chipped-off layer of paint, is its N&W number. Not 232, as most Internet sources would seem to suggest, but 231. Hmmm.

R. W. Schauer

Frank Hicks said...

Richard, thanks for the confirmation on the N&W fleet number. At some point in the late 1960s it seems New Haven 301 was wrecked and swapped its order in the series with 300 for some reason. From what I've been able to gather, the EL-C series was renumbered as follows:

VGN > N&W > NH > PC (then CR same #)

130 - 230 - rebuilt to slug by N&W, sold to NH as parts source
131 - 231 - 300 - 4601 (now at IRM)
132 - 232 - 301 - wrecked sometime around PC takeover, assigned number 4600, scrapped
133 - 233 - 302 - 4602
134 - 234 - 303 - 4603
135 - 235 - 304 - 4604 (now at VMT) nauseam up to 141/241/310/4610.

I'm not 100% certain of this renumbering but it seems to fit the facts I've come across.

Chris said...

So would the changes theoretically limit a restoration of this locomotive to the later paint schemes, or since the hazardous transformers and stuff will never be put back anyway, could the exterior be restored correctly for earlier paint schemes?

Joshua Sutherland said...

Since nobody else has said it, I'd love to see some more images of it.

Maciek said...

The outside changes are strictly for Conrail era. They include double gill sheet of metal where rectifier doors used to be, small gill on the bottom of rear nose door, cut away corners on top of main pilot plate-front and rear plus the slanted lift bars for uncoupling-these were Conrail applications. Penn Central removed the main cable and insulator from the top of rear nose for multiple running. So to make the locomotive accurate for Hew Haven paint scheme, these would need to be reconfigured.