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Thread: What is a slug?

  1. #1
    Ferrari355 Guest

    Default What is a slug?

    I guess you would call it a slug car but what is it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Palm Harbor, Fl
    Posts
    697

    Default RE: What is a slug?

    A Slug is a switch engine that does not have a cab. It is coupled to a switch engine with a cab for added power. They are used in hump yards where the switchers have to push 100+ car trains over the hump.

  3. #3
    HKW Guest

    Default RE: What is a slug?

    Locomotives have power in excess of what it can use at low speeds. So "slugs" are employed to take advantage of this "extra" power.
    A slug is an ENGINE-LESS and (and most of the time CAB-LESS) "powered unit" that uses electricity generated by a second Locomotive to power its traction motors.
    An example of a premium slug would be the 80 built by precision national back in 1988 for CSX. They were road slugs rebuilt from GP30's & 35's. They had control cabs, dynamic brakes & were also fuel tenders for thier "mother" units.

    HKW

  4. #4
    Ferrari355 Guest

    Default RE: What is a slug?

    so are you saying that if they know the train has too much power then they need they will add the so called slug?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Where Standard Gauge is 3 feet between the rails.
    Posts
    10,170

    Default RE: What is a slug?

    Think of it this way: A locomotive such as the GP-38 has one powerplant, with four traction motors on the axles which allow it to go 60mph. But say, this loco is used in a local yard, and can only go 20 mph anyway, so the powerplant (Which consists of a diesel engine hooked to a huge generator) has lots of extra amps to spare. So, you take a second loco, an obsolete one usually, take out the powerplant, add a huge chunk of concrete for weight, and run cables to it from the mother, and the powerplant now supplies power to 8 traction motors, and has is using all of its' amps at 20 mph. Since powerplants are expensive, this saves money. The Kansas City Southern, which had horrible track used these on main line runs, since the track was so bad, you couldn't exceed 20 mph anyway. It really isn't that common, and all the examples are home-built units.

    A second combo, with two powered units, one with a cab and the other without, is called a Cow and Calf.

  6. #6
    byelen Guest

    Default RE: What is a slug?

    By the way, the physical deisel is referred to as the "prime mover".

  7. #7
    HKW Guest

    Default RE: What is a slug?


  8. #8
    byelen Guest

    Default RE: What is a slug?

    It's called a prime mover because if the diesel goes dead, the whole locomotive is dead. Since there are multiple traction engines, if one of those shorts out, it can be isolated, allowing the unit to continue, though at a reduced amount of traction power.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    .
    Posts
    943

    Default RE: What is a slug?

    Here's a couple more slugs:

    [Link Expired]

    BN ET-2 at Minneapolis, MN on 5/23/84

    [Link Expired]

    BN #6291 at Galesburg, IL on 9/17/93


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Oshawa, Ontario.
    Posts
    99

    Default RE: What is a slug?

    What you are reffering to as slugs are boosters. A slug can be any locomotive, self powered or not that is not equipped with a cab that meets FRA in service occupiable standards. Even a locomotive with a cracked windshield can be MU'd in "Trail only" as a slug.

    Richard

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