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7/2015: NS 7222, the last of the CSX 80MACs, has been repainted. It will be some time before it enters service.
4/24/2015: The Juniata Shops have repainted NS 7218 and 7223 in the NS scheme. Of the four repainted at Chattanooga, only 7225 and 7220 are in service at this time.
4/16/2015: NS 7226 was released from Conway into active service still in CSX colors.
3/2015: Only four of the 12 former CSX 80MACs were ready for service right away. Those four are NS 7220, 7221, 7224, and 7225. All four were repainted at Chattanooga before entering service.
3/2015: Three of the former CSX 80MACs were sent to the Juniata Shops for repairs: NS 7222, 7223, and 7227. More are likely to follow.
3/2015: CSX and NS have made a trade. NS gave up 12 SD40-2 rebuilds for CSX's 12 remaining SD80MACs. All the SD80MACs are now under one owner for the first time since 1999.
Basic 80MAC Info|
In January 1996 Conrail added a brand new locomotive breed to their roster. This new locomotive was the AC traction, 5,000 hp EMD SD80MAC and was the first model to use a 20-cylinder prime-mover since the SD45 series and Conrail's first and only independent order for AC power. In the coming months, EMD would build and the Juniata Locomotive Shop would finish 28 of these 80' 2" monsters for use on heavy trains on the Pittsburgh and Boston Lines. The SD45 series had a false reputation for being fuel hogs, however the SD80MAC's 20-710G3B has electronic fuel injection for increased efficiency and reduced emissions.
The 80MAC makes use of the self-steering HTCR radial truck with large 45" wheels and flange lubricators for high adhesion and low rail wear. By far the most important feature of the SD80MAC not found in any other Conrail locomotive until this time is alternating current (AC) traction motors which coupled with the previously mentioned features create adhesion of 35%. Among many other advances and improvements is the isolated cab, also found on the SD60I, to improve crew comfort and Integrated Cab Electronics. The SD80MACs are also equipped with distributive power but it has been rarely used.
Conrail was so impressed with EMD's versitile SD80MAC, that they purchased the two demonstrators, EMDX 8000-8001, outright. It was announced that 108 more AC-drive locomotives would be ordered, however this was scaled back to 28 more SD80MACs scheduled for delivery in early 1997. The merger with CSX and NS put an end to any additional SD80's and the order was changed to 15 SD70MACs for CSX and 24 standard cab, DC-drive SD70s for NS -- all of which would be built at Juniata. CR 4127 would be the last SD80MAC ever built and now that they have been serving their new owner longer than they served Conrail, the SD80MACs remain one of the most followed group of locomotives among railfans in the east.
Today (3/31/15), 29 of the 30 80MACs are still in around with one having been scrapped after a derailment. In March 2015 CSX's remaining SD80MACs were traded to NS. Until recently NS has restricted their 80MACs to coal service between Altoona, the South Fork Secondary, and Shire Oaks in western Pennsylvania, but with declining coal shipments in the area, many are getting out on the road. With all existing SD80MACs now under one banner, NS has plans for a future rebuild program for the famed units.
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