Hard Coal Carriers Vol 1 First Generation Geeps, Thee Gerald Bernet Soft Cover
Hard Coal Carriers Vol 1 First Generation Geeps, Thee Gerald Bernet Soft Cover
Hard Coal Carriers Vol 1 First Generation Geeps, Thee Gerald Bernet Soft Cover
Hard Coal Carriers Vol 1 First Generation Geeps, Thee Gerald Bernet Soft Cover
Hard Coal Carriers Vol 1 First Generation Geeps, Thee Gerald Bernet Soft Cover
Hard Coal Carriers Vol 1 First Generation Geeps, Thee Gerald Bernet Soft Cover

Hard Coal Carriers Vol 1 First Generation Geeps, Thee Gerald Bernet Soft Cover

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Hard Coal Carriers Vol 1 First Generation Geeps, Thee Gerald Bernet Soft Cover
 
The Hard Coal Carriers Vol 1 First Generation Geeps By Gerald Bernet Soft Cover 1994 80 pages.
INTRODUCTION
There was a time when they were everywhere. From Hoboken to Harrisburg and from Bridgeton to Buffalo they roamed. Their tasks were varied; they pulled or pushed coal, commuters and everything in between. While their basic appearance was the same, subtle variations did make the fleets interesting. For the most part they are, now gone. Only one remaining unit is rostered by New Jersey Transit. Yes, some were rebuilt and continue to serve new owners but many more were restructured into manageable fragments called scrap.
From our current vantage point it is easy to look back to the 40's and not fully appreciate why the hood unit concept took so long to catch the dedicated interest of American railroads. The railroads chose to establish fleets of Streamlined "F" units of various makes. The key word to find the answer is "streamline". At the time, the railroads did not appreciate the versatility of a diesel locomotive. A diesel was something tucked away in a yard not readily available to steam servicing facilities. Another reason for this banishment may have been local smoke abatement laws or restrictions due to a fire hazard. All leading to the conclusion that any power other than steam was the result of a major application criteria. When the diesels were finally turned loose on the road it was their sleek streamline styling that found its way to hotshot freights or flagship passenger trains. At the time both services were in the publics' eye and appreciation. It was not until after WWII that railroads found the diesel suitable and preferred for the daily mundane services. EMD was in the forefront of road diesel design and naturally attempted to carry their reliability over to a hood configuration.
The merits of a hood are readily discernible. The configuration allowed good all around visibility when compared to a steam locomotive or a diesel cab unit. The EMD designers were certainly answering a request from the American railroads when the GP-7 design was laid to rest on paper. Granted, EMD was not the first builder to grasp the hood concept nor was the GP-7 their first approach to a non carbody diesel. That honor fell to their distinctive BL-1 and -2.
The look of a GP-7 was clean. Styling lines were neat and square. Only angled noses gave the unit a touch of character. Options were numerous hut basically revolved around dynamic brakes and passenger train capabilities. The CNJ, DL&W, Erie, LV, and Reading all rostered EMD "F" units of one variation or another and the desire for GP-7 or 9's was a natural one.
It is interesting to note that the GP'-7 was not the first hood locomotive placed in service on the roads in question. In all cases, the delivery of either ALCO, Baldwin or Fairbanks-Morse products all preceded the GP-7. The Lehigh Valley waited until 1959 to place a Geep on its roster and then only sampled two GP-9's. While on the subject of GP-9's, it must be mentioned that only the LV and the ERIE purchased this GP-7 descendant. At that, quantities were low. In fairness to the GP-9, it should be noted that its appearance in January 1954 was at the tail end of the dieselization of the Anthracite Roads. After the GP-9, the next unit in the line of progression was the GP-18. Sales of this 1800 hp locomotive to the Anthracite Roads were even lower then the GP-9. Only the LV rostered four of these upgraded units.
While some rosters contained more of the competitions' models, the GP's that did grace the rosters in question gave good solid service. Long after the last Baldwin ceased to burble and the last pair of FM pistons opposed each other, the Geep's kept plugging away.
The pages that follow break down the Geep count on the individual rosters. Today, interest in these units lies with historians and modelers. It is to these groups then that the data provided is directed.
This book is the first in a series of books about the railroads which operated in and around Northeast Pennsylvania. Their common denominator was Anthracite coal which they hauled out of the region. The general time period will start at 1940. The first topic to be covered will be the Electo-Motive's classic first-generation GP locomotives: the GP-7, GP-9 and GP-18s operated by these railroads.   


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