Thread: Why EMD > GE
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:38 PM   #114
Andrew Hamblyn
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Taranaki, New Zealand.
Posts: 7
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Yay!! A GE vs EMD debate!

Here in li'l ol' New Zealand, on he mainlin we have two models of EMD export locos (both built by GMDD Canada) and one built by GE.

Personally I am a big fan of our 35 year old GE's (rebuilt several times over) than our 30 year old rebuilt GM's.

Why? Well the GE's ( http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=364839 ) are heavier, have more horsepower, will pull anything and all have recently (last 5 years or so) been rebuilt with Brightstar control systems and brand new cabs with very good ergonomics for the LE's. They are very comfy and uber reliable.

Now, to be fair, our GM's are only 2400hp (turbo 645-12) vs our GE's 3000hp (7fdl12) and are about 10 tons lighter, and quite slippery on their feet.
( http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=307041 )

Unmolested the GM's were pretty responsive compared to the GE's and when fitted with a locally made wheelslip module ( Maxitrax ) they could pull like nothing, just somewhat slower than the GE's.
The Maxitrax modules wore out, and the designer fled the country and took his intellectual property with him so our railway boffins decided that GE's Brightstar system would be a good replacement to manage the GM locos, but how sadly wrong they were, and they turned an ok loco into a dog really quickly.
Long story short, they stopped fitting Brightstar to the GM locos and started using the big GE's on services to replace the now useless GM locos.

Our GM's were rebuilt in the early 90's, fitted with turbos locally and had extra weight added, but now 20 years on they shake and rattle and bounce and wobble something feirce and not very nice to operate....

Plus our GE's spit out flames, sound fantastic and go hard. Also due to the local operation I spend more time in GE's than GM's.... sweet!

Andrew Hamblyn
Loco Engineer,
Kiwi Rail
NZ
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