BNSF #9944: Live Steam Scale SD60M

A How-To Project Pictorial

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    Welcome to the BNSF #9944 Web Site. Here you will learn how David Hannah has reproduced an EMD SD60M, painted in the BNSF Premium Heritage paint scheme.

There are photos, as well as a full length story to read, written originally by Mr Gerry Bowden of Grants Pass, Oregon.

Click on a picture to see its full size.

SD60M Live Steam Article

EMD Truck Design
Main Diesel Frame
Belly Hydraulic Tank
Plumbing the Hydraulic Lines
Fuel Tank
Riding Car
First Test Run
Body Shell
Final Run
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Conception /\

The SD-60M Wide Cab Diesel was conceived to fill a need for a locomotive which:
      a. was simple to operate and maintain.
      b. would be able to negotiate 5% grades.
      c. would haul at least 15 passengers.

      Numerous locomotive designs in steam and diesel were considered, including the D&RGW, K-28 & K-36 narrow gauge locomotives. In the end it was felt that, for ease of operation, a diesel would be chosen and that it would have to be a design not available on the current market.

      Because Cannonball Enterprises Ltd. has an EMD, HTC 3-Axle Truck, we felt that as large a gas engine as possible should be included. We finally arrived at the UP SD-60M wide cab diesel.


Designing and Laying out /\

      The new Briggs & Stratton 18hp "V-2" Vanguard engine should have sufficient power if used in conjunction with the Eaton Model 11 pump (20hp) and the new Eaton "M" series Char-Lynn 4HP hydraulic motors which we found would fit nicely between the truck wheels.

      With the combination of 16HP at the wheels, 20HP at the pump, and 18HP at the engine we should have a good relationship and not overload the pump. The next item would be the purchase of an "O" gauge model of the UP SD-60M. Upon doing so we calculated the engine length to be 9'-6" over the pilots, using the common 1.6"/ft. scale.

      The physical outside dimension of the Vanguard engine, however necessitated an increase of 1" on the width and 1 1/2" on the height for it to clear the body frame work. The belly fuel tank would not carry gasoline but instead would be utilized as the hydraulic oil reservoir tank, which turned out to hold approximately 15 gallons. The combined weight of the tank and the oil was approximately 250 lbs. This would not only add weight but would assist in the stabilizing of the diesel.

      Because the EMD truck would have operating brakes it was necessary to install a Cannonball 12-volt air compressor. All the other standard items were:

      a. Electric fuel pump. (rather than the vacuum type supplied with the B&S engine.)
      b. Electric horns. The standard type I have used on all my engines are the Delco Remy A-C-D-F tones, which are very close to the prototype sound. These are very durable; one engine I built 10 years ago still has the original horns.
      c. A bell which was modified from an 8" diameter fire alarm bell.
      d. A 10 micro hydraulic oil filter.
      e. An 90 amp alternator, ( which will be discussed later)
      f. A 6-gallon fuel tank with level indicator.
      g. A hydraulic oil cooler.
      h. Three 4"x4"x1" muffin fans on the rear of the tunnel and mounted over the hydraulic oil cooler. Also a 7" diameter, five bladed fan with a heat resistant motor was mounted in the area of the dynamic brake fan.
      i. The electrical control gauges, I will discuss later.

      The hydraulic pump used is the Eaton Model #11, which I have found over the years to be an excellent unit. The mounting of the pump to the Vanguard engine uses the same basic principle as Railroad Supply Corporation with slight modifications to suit the larger B&S engine. I had valuable assistance in the hydraulic design from Mr. Kirk Jensen of TEX-A-DRAULICS in Houston Texas, which supplied the pump and motors. The hoses were Aero Quip type FC-300-6, rated at 3,000 psi on the high pressure side and 300 psi from the charge pump on low pressure side. Using Aero Quip type reusable fittings I was able to custom fit all the hydraulic hoses. Incorporated in the hydraulic system was a 3,000 psi bypass valve so that the engine could be moved without the engine running. This valve was installed between the hydraulic inlet and outlet of the pump.


EMD Truck Design /\

      The motors used were the Char-Lynn "M" series, 1.92 displacement, face mounted motors. Two motors were mounted on each set of trucks with the motor pivoting off the axle. Each motor had a torque compensatory set of springs. Each motor drives its own axle via a chain pivoting off on one side. The other side had another sprocket driving the center axle. Consequently all the axles were driven and if one started to slip it would be taken up by the other one. The installation of the motors required a slight modification of the truck frame. Torrington needle bearings were used for the motor pivot frames as were the journal boxes of the EMD truck due to the weight of the finished engine.


Main Diesel Frame /\

      The main engine frame was constructed of 3 sections of square tubing and rectangular steel tubing in what I call a triangular section. I have found that this type of construction is extremely strong. As a test of this theory the hydraulic oil tank was attached to the frame and blocks were installed under each pilot beam. A dial indicator was set up at the center of the frame and the tank filled with 15 gallons of water. The frame deflected .018th of an inch.

      The frame was constructed out of tubing, as stated. Three types were used, 1"x3"x .080 wall, 1"x11/2"x .080 wall and 1 1/4"x1 1/4"x .180 wall. The bolster plates were made from 1/2"x 6" plates. The pilot plates were made from 3/16" CRS plate. The whole assembly was wired welded. I had a 6 foot welding table fabricated for some of my larger commercial engines and this worked perfectly for this engine. I had to avoid putting too much heat in one spot, which can twist and bend a frame very quickly. This was the basic frame, other items such as lugs and brackets were added later as I decided where the other components were going to go. The trucks were attached to the frame via a 3" diameter x 3/8" boss and a 1/2" diameter kingpin. The Vanguard engine was mounted to the upper face of the bolster plate.


Belly Hydraulic Tank /\

      The hydraulic belly tank was constructed of 16 gauge steel sheet metal sides, 1/4" plate ends and 10 gauge bottom. The 1/4" plate ends were used so that drain plugs and oil temperature sensors probes could be threaded in. The 10 gauge bottom panel, was used so that in the event of a complete engine truck derailment, the bottom of the tank could take the weight without damage. Also added to the forward and rear end of the tank was a half round steel bar to stop the tank from digging into the rail in the event of a derailment. As on the prototype an oil level glass was constructed for a visual level indicator. The oil fill was constructed out of 1 1/2" diameter steel tubing with a breather cap. The top section of the tank had a 1" drop section installed. This served two purposes:

      a. Eight mounting angles could be welded to the tank and used for bolting to the frame.       b. To allow the high pressure hydraulic hoses to pass through from each set of motors and pumps without interference with the other equipment above.       c. To allow the high pressure by-pass valve to be mounted inline with the hoses. This valve had an extension rod protruding through the frame with an indicator showing open and closed position, plus a special key to operate it.


Plumbing the Hydraulic lines /\

      Attaching the hoses to the pump and motor can be a frustrating problem. The hoses had to clear obstacles to avoid wear and at the same time be allowed to flex and move with the trucks. This is where a good catalog like Aero Quip comes in handy because it is advisable to have formed 90 degree bends rather than sharp ones. When it came time to check the hydraulic system I removed the motor to axle chains to see if my motor rotation was correct. I only had to change one set of motor hoses. (Big sigh of relief.)


Electrical Wiring /\

      The electrical system of the engine was left to a good friend of mine Jerry Osteumeyer, who over the years has wired all my private and commercial diesel engines. He still amazes me in that; he doesn't need schematic diagrams. Whether the engines were 3/4 ton or 5 1/2 ton, they have always worked the first time. We did find that with all the electrical gauges, blowers, pumps, horns and bell the engine electrical rectifier was not enough. Briggs & Stratton put out an addition to the basic engine in the form of a stub shaft through the front grill. This required the removal of the recoil starter pull cord which we did not need as the engine has an electric starter. So with the stub shaft we added a V belt pulleys and a 90 amp alternator; that took care of the electrical problem.

      Unique on this engine were the operating gauges (where to put them?) Being hard of hearing, the owner needed them in order to check the operation of the engine. All told there were 6 gauges to be placed in a proper location. They could not go in the control box as this would be too big to handle. Then a "Flash!!!" why not install them at the rear of the tunnel behind two doors? So now an electrical switch on the control box operates an electro-pneumatic valve which controls two double acting air cylinders. The rear portion of the tunnel opens and there are the gauges. Throwing the switch the other way closes them. This way you set your engine tach and check that the other gauges are correct, close the door and off you go. The gauges are engine tachometer, fuel level, hydraulic temperature, amp meter, engine hour meter, and air pressure. With practice you can guess pretty accurately the RPM of the engine without looking at the tach.


Fuel tank, Oil Cooling and Horns, etc /\

      The gas tank was made of 16 gauge steel and holds 6 gallons of gas. A standard automotive type float gauge controls the fuel level. The heat exchanger is again an automotive type used for additional oil cooling. Added on top of the exchanger, that is mounted 1" above the fuel tank, are the three 4"x4" muffin fans mounted approximately 1" above the exchanger. I have found that this cooling system works very well. In heavy hauling tests with the ambient temperature in the 90's the oil temp has never run above 110-115 degrees F.

      The electrical horns were mounted on a frame work, which straddled and elevated them above the engine frame. The Cannonball air compressor system was mounted on its own base plate and again elevated above the frame. The reason for raising these items was to give as much room as possible for the hydraulic hoses.

      The exhaust system was constructed out of 3/4" ips black iron pipe with a 2 bolt flange connecting this to the cylinder heads. The pipes were constructed out of 45 degree elbows, nipples and straight sections. They were joined together with a special "Y" block of steel to form a single outlet. This then went into a muffler purchased from B&S. Because the muffler had a round outlet a rectangular box section was made and protruded through the shell to look like the prototype. The whole exhaust system was then shielded on the bottom and sides by a two piece aluminum box section which is removable.


Operator's riding car. /\

      The riding control car was a standard flat car with an imitation wood load so that the engineer has his feet on the deck while sitting on the load. The imitation wood load is actually a hinged toolbox and is also the mounting for the control box. The control box is a 10"x10"x3" fabricated steel box with a removable top. Two lever control arms for the engine throttle and the hydraulic directional control were pivoted with a compression spring to give drag so that they will hold in any position at which they are set. The remainder of the control box is taken up with electrical switches for the following:

      a. Lights,(headlights, marker lights, ditch lights, flashers.)
      b. Electrical horn.
      c. Electrical bell
      d. Electro-pneumatic door opener
      e. Parking brakes,(air operated)
      f. Vacuum brake switch for passenger cars.

      The key operated starter switch was mounted on the rear side and fuse holders are on the left side. This switch has three positions: off, accessories, and engine start. On accessories all electric components are actuated; lights, fans, blowers, air compressor, and fuel pump etc. But on engine start these are cut out so that full battery power is applied to the engine starter and returned when the key is released. Each switch was identified by dry transfer letters on the lid, and covered by a 1/8" plastic sheet for protection. The control box was attached to the dummy wood load with a special bracket which inclined the box toward the engineer. The engine throttle and the hydraulic directional controls were a little bit of a problem in that the throttle linkage was on the left side and the hydraulic linkage was on the right side, but the connection on the control box required that they both had to be on the right side. This was accomplished by a series of cables and linkage terminating at two levers protruding through the rear pilot. Bowden cables (no relation) were used from these levers to the control box levers. The inner core of the cable was .073 diameter stainless steel wire. For safety a solid 1/2"x1 1/4" wide solid steel draw bar was used between the engine and riding car instead of a coupler.


First test run /\

      The engine minus the bodywork was loaded on my 10' flat bed trailer for its first test run at our Medford Oregon track. Special holding brackets were designed to lock the engine to a 2x6x12' wood stud track framework which stops the engine from shunting backwards and forwards, up and down as well as rocking. Also a piece of 3/4" plywood was slipped under the belly tank to stop the center of the engine from bouncing. Fortunately little had to be done to the engine other than filling the fuel tank. The Medford track is in excellent condition so after some slow speed runs were done we decided to try a high speed run to see how stable the engine was. A level section was measured and tested with no problems. We estimated we were moving @ 19mph. On a regular public run day we decided to test the hauling capacity. Part of our track has a 1 1/2 % grade. Our first load was 48 passengers. Our second load was 55 passengers. Our final load was 59 passengers and by then we had run out of cars. After that the engine was brought back to my shop for a complete inspection and no adjustments were required other than increasing the drag on one of the control levers.


Building Body Shell /\

      The next major project was the body shell. At one time we were contemplating making it out of fiberglass. But because this engine was going to be one of a kind, the plug, female model, and finish shell would be too expensive. So we used all sheet aluminum. The tunnel was the first item and what I called the base body was made from 6061-T6 1/8" thick sheet with a 3/4"x 3/4" x 1/8" alum. angle framework flush riveting them together. All the top details were made of aluminum bolted to the base body. The three rear fans were machined from a 1/2" thick plate to the shape of a angle and the grill frame work was made from 3/32" brass rods soldered together with silver solder and 50/50 solder. Two of the four rectangular access doors on top were hinged upward to give access to the fuel filling cap and the air and electrical disconnect required when removing the tunnel shell. All the side doors were dummy made from 1/32" alum. and bonded to the base with an adhesive sealant called UE-6000. A test of this adhesive was made on two pieces of aluminum sheets and I destroyed both pieces trying to pry them apart. The hinges and latches were purchased from RRSC and recessed into the door panels and again bonded. All the side grills were scratch built from brass angles and brass perforated sheet formed with a die to a concertina shape as per the prototype.

      The final project was the cab. Again this was made of 1/8" alum. as the base. However, the roof and nose had very pronounced radiuses. A neat trick I found was to clamp a piece of plywood approximately 5' wide bye the required length in the milling machine vice and "C" clamp the piece of alum. to it. If, for example, you want a fairly sharp radius bend you mill a slot 1/8" diameter and approximately 2/3 of the way through the sheet then bend it on the edge of the bench. It you want a fairly large radius you mill a slot 1/4" wide and only 1/2 way through the sheet. It works and you get a straight bend in heavy material. This saves running to your local sheet metal company. Also you can re-adjust the angle by hand if it does not match up exactly. The crew door in the nose was made to open as this gave access to the electrical disconnect for all the lighting in the cab section.

      All the windows in the cab were left open to allow for air flow over the Vanguard engine heads. Both the tunnel and cab were then very lightly sand blasted and painted to match the color scheme of the "O" gauge model.


Final Run and Delivery to Texas /\

      A final heating test run was conducted at the Medford track with the body on to see that all the system worked OK. Due to the fact I had built a Dash8-40CW frame, belly tank and trucks for another customer in Texas I rented an 18ft van to deliver both at the same time. I have found over the years that a track made of 2x6 lumber works quite well in transporting medium weight locomotives. Because the van had an alum. floor and sides I was not able to tie the engines down properly. By laying 4 or 5 2x6's on the floor from side to side then screwing down 2x6's on top to make the track the engines were tied down to them. This worked great even on several trips to Chicago, Texas, and Los Angeles. Upon arriving at David Hannah's track in Chappell Hill, Texas near Houston, we found the van to be too high for the unloading ramp. But with a front loader, a small ditch was dug to lower the truck rear end, and after that unloading was easy.

      After taking the SD-60M and Dash8-40CW chassis up to the main depot, we decided to form up a train to see what would happen on the return trip up the 5% grades. It is advisable when forming a train up, and in particular when you are going down grade, to form the heavy cars up front and the light cars to the rear. We had a mid train derailment that would have made SP proud of us.

      However, after getting everything back in order we continued around and back up the grade as if it wasn't there. For the train load we had 60 freight cars and 4 passengers cars. In the fall of 1995 the new diesel returned to Oregon to run at the Southern Oregon Live Steamers track and at Train Mountain in Chiloquin Oregon. While at Train Mountain, Quentin Breen was interested in seeing what the diesel would pull on his track, so he suggested we add 17 propane cars to the four passenger cars already on the train. Each propane car weighs approximately 400 lb. So with the weight of the passenger car and the six people riding in the cars and the additional weight of the loaded propane cars, the SD-60M diesel was probably pulling close to 5 tons. This was accomplished on a grade of 2% for over a mile of track, and the diesel never miss a beat. The SD-60M proved to be a solid running diesel and a well-built hauler.

      In the fall of 1997 the SD-60M was moved to Zube Park, home of the Houston Area Live Steamers located in Hockley Texas, after the Browning Plantation was sold. In the beginning of 1999 the diesel was repainted in the BNSF Premium Heritage II scheme, and renumbered 9944.

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Copyright © 1999 David Hannah