What are some of the oldest diesel locomotives still in service today?

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#1
Greetings,
I was wondering if someone could tell me which diesel locomotive models are some of the oldest continously serving to see regular duty even in today's railroad environment? And which railroads seems to have a lot of them?
Thank you
 

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
#3
That is not an easy question. For instance, BNSF is using diesels whose frames, carbodies, and trucks are over 50 years old; but the "guts" of the units (diesel engines, traction motors, electrical systems, braking systems, etc) units have been rebuilt, replaced, upgraded, modernized, etc. The railroads used to do rebuilds and upgrades in their own shops, but now many contract that out to companies which specialize in rebuilding old units to meet modern performance, safety, and emissions standards.

There are short lines and regional railroads which are still using unmodified road engines which date back to the '60's and/or switch engines that are even older than that. For mainline freights, most class I railroads are using modern diesels or diesels which have been rebuilt to modern standards. Computers revolutionized motive power technology and class 1 railroads want modern engines with the latest technology for maximum performance and fuel efficiency, to meet Federal emission standards, and to link up with modern satellite oriented telecommunication and signal systems.
 
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Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
#4
One other comment on older engines. If there are some in a multi-unit lashup, they may not used as the lead engine due to the issues I mentioned above. Does anyone know if union-railroad labor agreements mandate the use of comfort cabs when available?
 
#5
Greetings,
I was wondering if someone could tell me which diesel locomotive models are some of the oldest continously serving to see regular duty even in today's railroad environment? And which railroads seems to have a lot of them?
Thank you
Yesterday I saw a B Class hauling a freight train in Victoria Australia. It was the B80. It looked incredibly shabby and unloved. The B80 turns 65 years old on the 9th October 2018. As I was driving on the highway, I couldn’t quickly pull over to take a photo. I wish I had now.
I found a photo of it with the newer paint job on the www.
The dark blue and gold was the original colours in the 50s.
44D9DDAB-F834-41E8-898E-D42BCB7CB896.jpeg
 

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
#9
While driving on I-5, I have seen old switchers serving grain elevators on the BNSF Portland-Seattle mainline south of Kalama, W. I don't know if the switchers are owned by BNSF or the elevator company. They are painted in BNSF colors and look like some of the old switchers lettered GN that I have seen in diesel consists of freights passing through Edmonds.
 

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
#10
Yesterday I saw a B Class hauling a freight train in Victoria Australia. It was the B80. It looked incredibly shabby and unloved. The B80 turns 65 years old on the 9th October 2018. As I was driving on the highway, I couldn’t quickly pull over to take a photo. I wish I had now.
I found a photo of it with the newer paint job on the www.
The dark blue and gold was the original colours in the 50s. View attachment 88552
Good news for those of us that love the old style "cab" units from the 1940's and 50's. If it is still in service, can you return and get some photos of B80 around its 65th birthday?
 



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