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Based on the Delaware & Hudson U33C No. 757

Buy Your Own

*NEW* Project - Conrail B36-7 5008

Delaware & Hudson 757 Simulator
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In its new home at the Toronto Railway Historical Association's John Street Roundhouse

On Christmas day 1975, my brother and I were treated by my uncle to a cab ride in the “just returned” D&H SD45’s (801 - 803.) What a Christmas present! Although the ride was only a few hundred feet up and down the shop lead at the Oneonta car shops, this ride sparked a dream to build a locomotive control stand to operate my model railroad. As I grew, so did the ambitions.

Simulator Controls Circa 2006
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757 Rear Wall
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Engine Control Panel

Project Start

Starting in 1988, I initiated a project to build a full-size locomotive simulator. My original intent was to replicate one of the EMD products used by the D&H. However after a massive letter writing campaign, I found that EMD cab parts would be hard to find but GE U-Boats parts were readily available at low prices. Therefore I decided to base my simulator on the cab and nose of an early to mid-1970’s era General Electric model U33C locomotive. Many of these were used by my favorite railroad, the Delaware & Hudson so the change was an easy one.

The 757 In Oneonta, New York
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The 1988 to 1989 time period was a bad time for General Electric U-Boats. They were being cut up at alarming rates. Therefore finding parts for a U-Boat was fairly straight forward. Although I ended up with the majority of my parts from the Milwaukee Road U30C 5656 built in August 1974, I still wanted to be true to the D&H and chose to replicate the 757.

D&H 757 After Binghamton Roundhouse Fire
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Photo By Al Gorney

During the 1970’s and early 80’s the U33C’s were used as helper units on various grades between Albany and Binghamton. At the time, Oneonta was the central classification yard for all freight, north and south, and thus became a regular congregation point for the U33’s. The 757 was a frequent visitor to Oneonta until set aside for mechanical issues sometime in 1981 - 1982. It never ran again and after being sold to GE in 1988 for their ill-fated Super 7 rebuild program, it was scrapped in 1994.

After the 757 burned with the Binghamton roundhouse in October 1974, the D&H sent the unit for rebuilding to Morrison Knudsen in Boise, Idaho. The 757 returned with an updated AAR 105 design control stand. In doing further investigation, I suspect the reason 757 received new controls is because around the same time the D&H had previously sent U33C 760 to MK for intensive rebuilding. It had brake issues and ran away on the hills of Ararat slamming into a bridge abutment. This wreck destroyed all of the car body components. My theory is that the car body components from 757 were used to finish 760. If you look at photos of 760 the long hood has the older style hood latches. When the 757 was finished, it has the newer style hood latches. Therefore this makes me believe the parts were swapped to get 760 finished first since it arrived first. Then when the new components ordered for 760 were received from GE they were applied to 757. By this time GE had switched its cab design to use the newer AAR 105 controls thus the 757 received an AAR 105 control stand. These are the same controls used in Milwaukee 5656 so I had a close match for the 757 controls. Upon later parts gathering trips, I was able to retrieve components from the 757’s control stand and these were applied to the 5656 stand.  

 

D&H 757 After MK Rebuild
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On its way back to the D&H. Note the missing nose shield.

757 Set Aside in Colonie Shops
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It will never run again... Many components already stripped.

Change In Direction

NS B36-7 3604 (Former Conrail 5008) at Utica, NY
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Unit was parted out for other B36-7's to go to Brazil. Photo credit as shown.

In 2009, after obtaining additional parts to expand the 757 an additional 15 feet to the rear and 4 feet below, I had to decide whether I was going tear the original cab apart to rebuild the floor to accommodate the additional pieces underneath, or acquire a replacement cab with an appropriate height floor. Since a B36-7 cab from either Conrail 5008 or 5021 was available, I chose to buy the 5008 cab and put the original D&H 757 up for sale. If a buyer did not come along, I would have ended up scrapping the 757. Fortunately for me the TRHA came along and acquired the unit in April 2010. After an intense year of setting up the 757 and building five additional standalone control stand simulators for the TRHA, I am now beginning work on the Conrail B36-7 5008.

Control Stand Simulator Built for TRHA
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All controls interact with PC type train simulators. Control stand core came from Conrail 5021.

Conrail 5021 Control Stand
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Before restoration.

If you have any questions or comments, please use the “Contact Me” link to send me an email. Thanks.