I believe I read about these 2 units in Trains Magazine. It seems these 2 SD7's were equipped with special type of dynamic brakes that were capable of transition at very low speeds. This was necessary to operate dynamic brakes while going down the extremely steep grade and maintain slow speeds. Brakes alone could easily be rendered ineffective on this hill as the train would end up acting like a bobsled should the wheels lock up. Shortly after the Penn Central merger, these units were sent back east for major service. It is believed that some former New York Central technicians who were unfamiliar with the special equipment and unaware of its significance were assigned to do the major service. Unknown to the engineers that ran these locomotives, the shop techs disabled and bypassed all that important equipment. When the units got back, they had quite a hair raising first ride down the hill as the units didn't make transition to dynamic braking at 7mph. Somehow they made it down safely, albeit at a far faster speed than they desired.
|Posted by SES on January 29, 2020 |