Article and photos by Robert A. LaMay
All content is Copyright 1998 by the Author.
Reuse or republication without permission is forbidden.
On May 9, 1998, I was given a tour of the Super Steel locomotive building facility in the Scotia section of Schenectady, New York. When I left my home in Connecticut some two and a half hours earlier, it was raining at a pretty good pace.
Arriving at Super Steel, it was much brighter but still overcast. The facility site along the wetsern side of the US Navy Depot. The building is fairly large with very high roofs that cover the assembly area. Alongside the building, one of the LIRR's new DE30AC locomotives, number 414, was connected to
Super Steel's Trackmobile. The locomotive was sitting under a wash rack, from which a regular garden hose was connected. The other end of the hose was connected to a nearby fire hydrant. The purpose. I was told, was to test for leaks in the body, windows and doors.
Super Steel is currently assembling the Long Island Rail Road's DE30AC (Diesel-Electric, 3000hp class, AC traction), and DM30AC (Dual-Mode) locomotives. Amtrak's California and North Carolina DOT's F59PH's are also being assembled here. Super Steel's other major project is the rebuilding of up to seven RTL trainsets into high-speed trains for service on the Empire Corridor.
Behind Super Steel a spur led from the facility to Guilford Rail System's branch that comes out of Rotterdam Junction, NY (approximately six miles away). A Guilford Rail System (GRS) locomotive had just arrived and coupled up to a string of four locomotives. The first two were LIRR DE30's numbers 403 and 405, followed by the DM30AC prototype number 500, and trailing was Amtrak California F59PH number 454 in primer paint. The DE30's were being delivered to the LIRR, the DM30 was going to Pueblo, CO for testing, and the F59 was going to Hornell, NY for painting and then to LaGrange, IL for finishing work.
In the back corner of the 26-acre facility is a small two-track yard that sits alongside GRS' spur to Rotterdam Junction. On this particular day, seven completed DE30's were awaiting delivery to the LIRR. An unnumbered F59PH was awaiting delivery for paint and finish work.
The following is a series of photos that give a better look at the "next generation" commuter locomotive:
- A full-frontal view of LIRR DE30AC number 404.
- The full rear view of LIRR 414 shows that the rear entry doors are recessed between a pair of collision posts. Note the rear hostler window and horn.
- The fireman's side of DE30AC's numbers 404 and 410, looking very much like an EMD publicity photo!
- The first look at LIRR DM30AC number 500. The only visible differences between the DE30 and DM30 are the number series (400-series DE30, 500-series DM30) and the third rail equipment on the trucks (note the white boxes on each truck). Note that the 500 also has its roadnumber on its side as well as above the cab windows. This is the first dual-mode locomotive by EMD since the FL9's were manufactured in 1957 and 1960. Since this is an EMD product, it truly is the next generation FL9.
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