locked Re: Southern SD-45's

Robert Graham

The "box" observed in front of the fireman's side battery box on the short hood end of SOME SOU SD45's is the ATS control box. A comprehensive examination of SOU's entire SD45 roster concludes the "box" under query was ONLY present on SOU SD45 3105-3159, the 55 SD45 in the 1st order DELIVERED with ATS. SOU President W.G Claytor in June 1969 decided ALL new SOU locomotive deliveries would NOT be ordered with ATS, as an application to discontinue use of ATS had been made (and was ultimately approved) to discontinue use over the entire SR, except for lines over which passenger trains still operated. The cost of ATS equipment on new locomotives was substantial, and Mr. Claytor decided the risk of short term loss of equipment flexibility was more than offset by reduced new locomotive cost. Examination of SOU SD45's 3100-3104 (2nd), 3160-3169 delivered in 1970 shows the "box" not present. Additionally SD45 3120 (2nd), NOT equipped as a Locotrol master (a wreck replacement for SD45 3120 (1st) that WAS a Locotrol master) delivered in 1970 also did not have the box. Those SOU SD45 so equipped with the box retained said box until retired by NS, even though the ATS equipment had been removed. I will be glad to provide photographic evidence to support upon request. 

To answer the "spare knuckle" box question, SOU SD45 had no external provision for carrying spare knuckles. If they were carried, it was inside the hood or the cab. The N&W did utilize an exterior "basket" for spare knuckles, usually located on the long hood running board just ahead of the engineer's cab front. This practice carried over under NS, and some NS locomotives, including some classes of former SOU locomotives received this modification. These spare knuckle "baskets" have perforated sides and are clearly visible as such.

Bob Graham


From: "James"
To: "main@southernrailway.groups.io"
Sent: Sunday November 17 2019 3:36:08PM
Subject: Re: [SouthernRailway] Southern SD-45's

I appreciate all the answers so far and welcome more info on this item.   After looking at pictures after posting, I think the ATS equipment box is the answer.  On all SD35 and SD45’s I find this “box” on there is an ATS shoe on both sides of the truck in the short hood end.  Also I have not known Southern to carry spare knuckles was this a Southern practice?

On Nov 17, 2019, at 3:30 PM, D. Scott Chatfield <blindog@...> wrote:

>I think the extension was a box to put an extra knuckle.

Perhaps, but it seems a little narrow and way too deep to hold a knuckle.  It would be very awkward trying to lift one out.

I think it holds ATS equipment.  Notice the hinges on the outer edge and how tightly the lid seats.  No evidence of being scraped while extracting a knuckle.

Perhaps the answer is in the archives.....

My $.02

Scott Chatfield

James Wall
Rural Hall, NC

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