Question about Geeps (GP7)

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by 2-8-2, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    I've read that Geeps were designed to be a "bare bones" and ugly locomotive, intended to give EMD a grip on the branch lines market. Instead, railroads snatched them up for mainline duty, largely due to their low cost and good performance. They were also designed to be run either forwards or backwards, with the cab located at about 2/3. Some railroads, like the NKP, opted to run some Geeps backwards all the time. IE: long nose portion (typically the rear) first. This gave some old-school engineers the feeling of driving their old steam engines.

    My question is: Is it possible to set up a model GP7 to run in this manner? Would you just set it up on the track backwards and run it in reverse? Or would it be easier to rewire it? Maybe just change the body around?

    Thanks! :thumb:
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If you are running dc, the direction on the throttle is in relation to direction on the track and not locomotive direction. If your track faces East-West, and the forward position on the throttle is East, the locomotive will run East when the throttle is turned on regardless of which hood is facing East. The gp7 was not designed specifically for branch line service. It is a General Purpose locomotive to be used as the railroad sees fit to use it. The one limiting factor in which direction the hoods faced had to do with which way the control stand was oriented. If the control stand faced the short hood as front, you wouldn't want to operate long distances with long hood forward, or you would get sore from twisting around in the chair to watch where you are going. It would be like driving your car 100 miles in reverse. I think what happened is that the railroads ordering the locomotive had the option of orienting the cab for long nose forward or short nose forward. Most roads opted to run short nose forward. I think Pennsy, and some of the Southern roads like NW and Southern felt that there was more protection for the train crew in the event of a crash if they ran long hood forward, so they set up their locomotives accordingly. I think they even continued ordering locomotives with high short hoods until about the time when the gp50 came out. At that time Emd told the railroads that they could operate long hood forward, but they were not going to the expense to tool up for a small production run of high short hoods. The low short hood could run in the rear as well as the high hood.
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    If you operate DCC, there is a CV that you can set to tell the chip to consider the other direction to be forward. In DC, you tell it which direction to go down the track.
    Some railroads had paint schemes on their hood units that had a definite front. (Original CPR, the SF warbonnet when it went on hoods, maybe SP) so you could tell which way was forward.
  4. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    The "GP" does indeed stand for General Purpose. But it was not designed for mainline use. At the time of its conception, there were freight, passenger, and switching types of motive power...but there was no catch-all. No one locomotive could do all these things economically. Railroads had mostly dieselized their main lines. They traditionally bought locomotives for their main lines, then downgraded them to secondary and branch lines as they grew old and obsolete. A lot of these secondary and branch lines were still using steam engines during this time.

    When designing the cab for the GP, engineers from several railroads were invited to help with its design. A wooden mockup of the cab was built, and controls were placed in such a way that it could be run in either direction with equal functionality.
  5. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Did the GP7 have the drum styled control stand?
  6. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    Ralph -

    I've only seen pictures of the control stand taken from the operator's manual. From what I can tell, it looks very similar to the one you have here. Which, by the way, is awesome!
  7. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Thanks! I thought some of the early Geeps had that type of stand. I based mine on a picture taken from an F unit but hoped I'd be somewhat prototypic when I ran my GP7s and 9s.
  8. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Whoa! Dick Dilworth's ugly ducking was suppose to be a branch line engine.
    In fact Dilworth said that he will design a locomotive so devoid of Christmas tree ornaments and other whimsy and one so ugly in appearance that the railroads would not want it any where near headquarters and would keep it in the back country where it can do useful work. sign1 But,we all know this ugly ducking turn into a swan and would end Alco's dominant road switcher market.
    There is NO NEED for DCC..All you need to do is set the geep on the track long hood forward and you are ready to go simply by placing the reversing switch on your power pack to"foward"..No special wiring required.

    Ralph,The GP7 had the drum controls.

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