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Thread: Dash 9 and Tier 4 GEVo

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    Default Dash 9 and Tier 4 GEVo

    Hi guys,

    Please excuse my 'noobness' to this hobby and model railroading in general, but as I understand it the Dash 9 is still very much in service along with the new Tier 4 GEVo's. I have a chance to pick up a Dash 9 from ScaleTrains (BNSF livery) but want to make sure before I shell out all that dough ($339 CDN + 13% tax) that it will fit in with my layout 'era'. I assume that the Dash 9 still runs with Tier 4 GEVO's at BNSF? I assume that they would even pull together (double heading)? I definitely want to eventually get a Tier 4 GEVO from ScaleTrains (in BNSF livery) but they won't be available till August (according to their website). I just want to be sure that my layout has trains that are 'era' accurate and would be seen together, especially since the Dash 9 has the old BNSF livery from the 90's. Would a Dash 9 with the old livery still be seen double heading with a Tier 4 GEVo in the new BNSF livery? Or have they repainted all the Dash 9's with new liveries?

    Any help and guidance would be most appreciated from all you train aficionados :-)

    -Greg

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    Well, it can depend on how deep into details you go.

    Yes, the 1993+ Dash 9s are still very much in service today at BNSF, alongside and consisted with Tier 4 GEVOs. Yes, I believe there still are a few left in "Warbonnet" livery, like this 2019 picture of BNSF 731 shows: http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPic...spx?id=5220641 (with what might be a GEVO to the left? I can't really read the number).

    And the ATSF/BNSF Dash 9s actually kept their numbers until today, which often is a deal for other loco series (take ATSF 5053 - an SD40-2 - was renumbered - but not repainted - to BNSF 6712, then renumbered and repainted again to BNSF 1821).

    Although many Dash 9s have been repainted in BNSF colors, some have lost the large Santa Fe and received a BNSF lettering instead (731 linked to above was a BNSF loco from the start) so if you want to go that deep in detail, you'll have to check the loco number. Which for such modern locos is pretty easy thanks to rrpicturearchives.net

    Hope this helps,
    Heiko

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    Quote Originally Posted by lgl007 View Post
    Would a Dash 9 with the old livery still be seen double heading with a Tier 4 GEVo in the new BNSF livery?
    "Double-heading" is a steam-era phrase, pertaining to two steam locomotives coupled together working in a train.

    Diesel locomotives work in multiple-unit consists.

    Dash 9s in any scheme run with anything from SD60s up through the latest Tier 4 offerings.

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    Thank you gentlemen... this is most helpful! And thanks for the link to the pic Heiko.

    -Greg

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    Do check out more pictures when you have the time and especially the particular loco number you are looking at: http://rrpicturearchives.net/Search/...comotives.aspx - at least if you want that much detail, it's not like anyone is going to check

    I just zoomed in to the picture above, the loco to the left of BNSF 731 seems to be BNSF 6978 which is a GEVO, though an ES44C4, not a Tier 4 ET44C4: http://rrpicturearchives.net/locopicture.aspx?id=176912

    Have fun,
    Heiko

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    In addition to the rrpicturearchives site @Heiko linked to, railpictures.net is also your friend for things like this. You can filter by year (helpful for your purposes), as well as railroad, locomotive type, location, and a few other criteria. It is also nice because it lists the date the photo was taken. By filtering for BNSF, C44-9W, 2010-2019, and "tier" as a key word, you'll get three pictures of a Dash 9 leading Tier 4 GEVOs in BNSF paint, not including demonstrators (there weren't any for 2020 yet when I checked). That doesn't mean it's only happened three times; those are just the times the photographer wrote it up in the comments for a keyword search to catch.

    https://www.railpictures.net/photo/610636/
    https://www.railpictures.net/photo/572526/
    https://www.railpictures.net/photo/572232/

    You can do those kind of searches with rrpicturearchives as well, but I find their interface a little more cumbersome, and in general there is less of a write up with their pictures, so you don't always get the information that it's a Tier 4 behind the Dash 9. Both sites are useful though.

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    Fantastic stuff!!! Thank you everyone.

    -Greg

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    I think I've photographed several variants of the BNSF Dash 9 paired with all kinds of stuff.

    NS 223, Gradison,KY 3/21/2014 by Jeff Wagoner, on Flickr
    NS 375 pushers, New Albany,IN 3/18/2014 by Jeff Wagoner, on Flickr
    NS 275, Bowen,KY 4/16/2014 by Jeff Wagoner, on Flickr
    NS 197, Tateville,KY 4/17/2014 by Jeff Wagoner, on Flickr
    NS 215, Faulconer,KY 8/12/2014 by Jeff Wagoner, on Flickr
    NS 223, Waddy,KY 10/1/2014 by Jeff Wagoner, on Flickr
    BNSF 4685 West, Huntingburg, IN 12/16/2017 by Jeff Wagoner, on Flickr

    I'm aware these photos are a few years old but feel they are still relevant.

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    SimRacin14: These are awesome. Thank you for going to all the trouble to pull these together. - it's very much appreciated! I have already gone to rrpictures.net and found numerous reference pictures of the specific numbered train. BTW you are a fantastic photographer... fabulous shots!

    Cheers guys!

    -Greg

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    Can I interject something in the interest of accuracy?

    Helper locomotives are rarely, rarely employed any longer. A helper is a manned locomotive or locomotive consist independently controlled.

    Almost all mid- and end-of-train power since the mid-1990s is "distributed power," locomotive that are remotely controlled as if they were directly m.u.'d to the lead locomotive.

    You won't hear crews call them "helpers" unless a crew in service is aboard. "DP" is the most common shorthand.
    Last edited by Paul Schmidt; 20th Feb 2020 at 07:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schmidt View Post
    Can I interject something in the interest of accuracy?

    Helper locomotives are rarely, rarely employed any longer. A helper is a manned locomotive or locomotive consist independently controlled.

    Almost all mid- and end-of-train power since the mid-1990s is "distributed power," locomotive that are remotely controlled as if they were directly m.u.'d to the lead locomotive.

    You won't hear crews call them "helpers" unless a crew in service is aboard. "DP" is the most common shorthand.
    The one helper photo I posted earlier in the thread is an NS operation out of Louisville. Once a westbound train crosses the Ohio, it has an uphill climb (through a tunnel) to Georgetown,IN. There's a regular pusher assignment which usually runs a D90 symbol I believe, most locals in the division use a "D" symbol prefix. But yeah, it is rare. CSX has a couple helper operations on the CC Sub between Cincinnati and Corbin, and NS has another south of Cincinnati on the CNO&TP.

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