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Big Blow 19 by classictrains Big Blow 19 by classictrains
The UP spent a lot of money experimenting with various technologies to get to high horsepower units that they hoped would reduce maintenance and provide efficient long haul power across Wyoming and Nebraska. I think this was the last generation of GE gas turbines before they scrapped them and resigned themselves to conventional diesel-electric transmissions. You could hear these things whining miles away hence the name.

Look at the horsepower on this train which (I think) is eastbound into Cheyenne just down off Sherman Hill.
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:iconeyepilot13:
eyepilot13 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, Man! Why didn't I take pix when I waS THREE!!!! :lol:
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:iconclassictrains:
classictrains Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013
LOL
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:iconcharukunova:
CharukuNova Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
very nice always wanted to see one of these.
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:icondinodanthetrainman:
dinodanthetrainman Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
very cool :)
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:iconwstv-news-23:
Wstv-News-23 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
y do engines like this make me think of DD's?
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:iconclassictrains:
classictrains Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2008
Could because there is a DD35 B-unit back there?
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:iconwstv-news-23:
Wstv-News-23 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
really? cool ...ow my little cousin is kinda new to deviantart and he added you ... he not a train person... but i just like to tell you that
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:iconzcochrane:
ZCochrane Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2008  Student Photographer
Big Blow and a DD35? This train is certainly not lacking power.
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:iconclassictrains:
classictrains Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2008
Sherman Hill tells the story. This train just came over UP's crossing of the Continental Divide.
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:iconsampug394:
Sampug394 Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh Yes, Good ol' Turbines... :evillaugh: They got so hot that They'd melt Bridges if they passed slow enough... ;)
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:iconfactorone33:
factorone33 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2007  Professional Photographer
After looking at this again, is that a Centennial back in the lash-up behind the lead? I can't really tell...
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:iconclassictrains:
classictrains Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2007
I believe it's a DD35 B (cabless) unit.
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:iconfactorone33:
factorone33 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2007  Professional Photographer
That's what I thought it might be.
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:iconthe-stealth-ninja:
The-Stealth-Ninja Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
My favorite story about these is when they melted a hole in an overpass with the exhaust port when they parked one under a bridge.
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:iconclassictrains:
classictrains Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2007
lol!
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:iconherrdrayer:
HerrDrayer Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
It wasn't the fault of the technology as much as a combination of other factors that killed these babies. They were highly efficient when they were pulling trains on the mainline. They burned almost as much fuel at idle as they did at speed however. For hostling purposes, the later models had a small conventional diesel engine on board. What ended up killing these behemoths was their fuel. They burned Bunker C fuel, which was very cheap in the 60's, when the engines were in development. Unfortunately, the high sulfur content of Bunker C caused the turbine blades to corrode prematurely, and the price of Bunker C fuel rose in the early 70's. With lower fuel costs of the Big Blows burned away by the market, UP retired these units as they came up for heavy engine maintenance in the late 70's. One of the two-unit pairings (in addition to a fuel tender) is in the collection at the Illinois Railway Museum...nonfunctional.
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:iconclassictrains:
classictrains Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2007
Hoyt... do you mind if I pick up some of your comments and fold them into the artist's comments section... with appropriate attribution of course?
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:iconherrdrayer:
HerrDrayer Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
That's totally cool with me. I was just looking at the UP website, and I got the dates wrong though. It turns out that the Bunker fuel prices rose in the late 60's, and the last Gas Turbine units went out to pasture in 1970. Do you have any pictures of the "Varandah" units?
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:iconclassictrains:
classictrains Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2009
Hey Hoyt... I just discovered something fascinating... the veranda units... guess what? These units were returned to GE and the bolsters and trucks went under the first batch of U50's: [link]
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:iconherrdrayer:
HerrDrayer Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Too bad the prime movers weren't as reliable as the electrics.
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:iconclassictrains:
classictrains Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2007
I think I have one shot of a verandah unit but I've been going crazy trying to find it... if I recall it was B&W.... the only thing that keeps me calm is all the other "ah-ha" stuff that keeps turning up... like the SCL (nee ACL) E6
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:iconjhg162:
jhg162 Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2007
It would be interesting if they could make this work with all the advances in technology today. I believe these ran on babbitted journal bearings which needed an oil wedge between the shaft and the bearing. The rough ride would cause this wedge to go away and destroy the bearing. Not economically feasable, but would be nice to see it done again.
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:iconclassictrains:
classictrains Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2007
re-scanned and color corrected today
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:iconfactorone33:
factorone33 Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2007  Professional Photographer
Ahhh, the Big Blow. I've heard much about how this was one of the biggest engineering flops of railroading history. Big-ass piece of machinery though, that's for sure.
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:iconclassictrains:
classictrains Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2007
the UP had 3 different attempts on the property when I took this picture... got some more pix around here somewhere including one in pieces.

one good thing about it... this is where the fuel tenders for the fan trip steamers came from!
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:iconjoseph-w-johns:
Joseph-W-Johns Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2007  Professional Photographer
That resembles the Emd E-unit a lot
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:iconclassictrains:
classictrains Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2007
Actually it more resembled an Alco PA with the flat nose and the 6 wheel trucks... And it was way weird to see a permanently could 3 unit set where the last unit was actually a fuel tender!
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:iconjoseph-w-johns:
Joseph-W-Johns Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2007  Professional Photographer
UP has a lot of odd power
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