What exactly is a "Slug"?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by custom1106, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. custom1106

    custom1106 Member

    I was surfing the net reading up on some locomotive history and came across the phrase "slug". The article dealt with the conversion of F units to CF7's. I have a hunch that it is another term for the cabless B units. Does anyone have any particulars on the Slugs or when they were produced & used?

  2. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

  3. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    Correct me if I'm wrong (and I'm sure someone will [​IMG])...

    A slug is an unpowered unit, and are generally put together using scrap or spare parts by the railroad iteself. They aren't manufactured/factory built. From what I know, the slug unit's purpose is to provide more traction. Power from the loco is transfered to the slug.

    Think of it in automobile terms. It's more efficient for the engine to transfer power to 4 wheels (4WD) than 2 (2WD).
  4. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Yes 2-8-2. That's basically what the thread at the link I left says, it goes into a little more detail. :) Fred
  5. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    Hehe, yeah...I was checking some stuff out on eBay while replying to his post and you got finished before I did.

    Sadly I missed getting my NKP covered hopper cars for the second time in a week. The first time I was outbid at the last second (man I hate that!) and this time I forgot what time the auction ended and got outbid again.

  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    A slug is a cut down old road switcher (usually) that has had the diesel engine and generator removed. They are usually weighted down with cement for traction and they have traction motors in the trucks, but receive power from another unit. I kind of expect to see more railroads running slugs on the road soon. Right now the newest locomotives are making so much power that they can't put it all down to the rail. I keep wondering when one of the class one railroads will suddenly realise that they could use slugs to take advantage of that extra power available from the new super powered locomotives.
  7. LIRR

    LIRR Member

    Would there be any way to model one of these "slugs" without resorting to a dummy? DCC and a low power motor?
  8. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    A lot of times they pulled out the diesel and generator set and fill the empty hole with some concrete. The only way you can tell they are slugs is no black smoke comes out. LOL. So you could just pretend. :D Fred
  9. custom1106

    custom1106 Member

    Thanks for the info guys, I really appreciate it. I'll keep my eyes out for one!
  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think you could use an Athearn model in ho scale. Take out the motor mounts, and use some silicon or double sided tape to lower the motor down and then cut down the body to make your slug. If you can find an old Hobby town drive, I think the drive was mostly located below the frame rails at tank level. I'm not sure about the Overland Chassis that were offered for powering Railpower Products a few years ago. What you need to make a powered slug is a chassis that has the motor and drive mounted low enough to allow you to cut down the body to make the slug. Another way is to use some of the powered trucks offered by Northwest Shortline. Those powered trucks won't make a lot of power, but a slug has to have a locomotive to work with.
  11. Dragon

    Dragon Member

    This is a slug (in Buffalo NY)


  12. seanm

    seanm Member

    I always though they were green slimy things..... but live and learn!
  13. docsnavely

    docsnavely Member

    those pics helped me alot. i just couldn't picture what you guys were discussing in my little ol' brain:confused:

  14. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    There's a couple here in the CN yard that they use all the time. If you need any more pics, let me know and I can probably snap a couple for you during my lunch.
  15. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    That picture is misleading. That is a slug that belongs to Conrail. They had the $ to cut it down. Not all railroads cut them down guys. Some, like the MNA, just fill the hood with concrete and leave the cab on them (no body work). Fred
  16. SAL Comet

    SAL Comet Member

    Ha Fred, I read somewhere, sometime, that rail scraps were added to the concrete to add extra weight, Ever heard that?
  17. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Yeah Scott, LOL. I was working by an old bridge some contractors were knocking down over the old Frisco line. This bridge had Driver Rods, buggy axles, fencewire, and even some broken wheels in it. Made it tough on the crew that was tearing it down. They said it took twice as long as it should. Fred
  18. SAL Comet

    SAL Comet Member

    Rebar on a budget! :D

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