Cotton Belt FTs - in combination?

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by Meiriongwril, May 29, 2007.

  1. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

    Does anyone know if the Cotton Belt ran FTs (black widow era) in combination, and if so whether this was ABBA or ABAB, or both?
    Thanks!:wave: :thumb:
  2. slekjr

    slekjr Member

    See if this page will help you out. Cotton Belt FTA/B Info page My guess would be ABBA and AB as all units got equiped with couplers unstead of drawbars. An ABAB would have been possible but even then they liked the end units facing opposite directions. (all is speculation on my part) charlie
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I can't give any definite info, but check the photos to see if they had MU receptacles on the nose. I think a lot of early units didn't; I'm not sure when it became universal.
  4. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    You can never assume that an old diesel got standard MU on both ends. Early Alcos and FMs couldn't MU with EMDs, and many switchers had no MU at all. These deficiencies were not always corrected. VIA Rail had E-units without nose MU until the late 70s.

    That link says that the FTBs were eventually separated from the FTAs.
  5. wjstix

    wjstix Member

    FT's were designed by EMC/EMD to come in A/B sets with a drawbar between the two units - it was considered one two-section engine, kinda the diesel equivalent of a Mallet. Originally, there wasn't even a door that you could close between the two units, just the walkway and diaphragms. So FT's were run A-B or A-B+B-A. Later separate FT B units were made without the rear overhang (FTSB's - FT short B's) that could have drawbars connecting them A-B-A.

    Santa Fe IIRC wanted to be able to separate the B units and worked out a way to add couplers, other railroads also modified them, I can't recall if GM/EMD offered it as an option or that time they were already working to replace it with the F2 whose were designed to be able to take either a coupler or drawbar.

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