LC-1, LC-2, EL-1a, or EL-3a Sound Files

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at
Mon Dec 14 08:17:45 EST 2015

You are an impressive font of knowledge, thank you for sharing.
Fortunately the shift to 60 Hz by Metro-North on the former NH came after  
the EP-5s and "washboard" MUs were retired, as their transformers were not  
designed for the higher frequency.  All the MUs (the "M" series) bought by  
Metro-North had transformers ok for both 25 or 60 Hz, or in the later 
fleets, 60  Hz only.
Dave Phelps
In a message dated 12/14/2015 7:04:09 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
nw-modeling-list at writes:

Although  not really pertinent to N&W or VGN, the NH also went with 
11,000VAC, 25Hz  catenary.  I think all of the transmission lines ran at 22,000VAC, 
which  meant each catenary “section” had 2:1 step-down  transformers. 
The  EF-2 locos were the only NH class (I think there was also one very 
short lived  experimental) that had motor-generator sets.  The NH hated them, 
for a  rather intriguing reason.  You may know that the 4-track main line ran 
 close to the NY and CT shoreline on Long Island Sound, and thus had to 
cross a  couple dozen rivers , streams, coves, etc.  The significant navagable  
crossings were done mostly with swing bridges, bascule bridges, or lift  
bridges.  Alone of all the movable bridges, the dual two-track bascules  at 
Cos Cob NY (within stone-throwing distance of the NH’s 25Hz coal burning  
powerplant on the Mianus River had a gap in the catenary over the moveable  
Apparently,  if the controller was not shut off by the engineer, the 
split-phase  transformer on each locomotive that fed the 3-phase motor of the  
motor-generator set would pick up whatever phase sequence happened to work  
when the catenary was re-contacted after coasting across the  bridge—
occasionally throwing the locomotive into reverse, and necessitating a  tedious 
start-up resequence , and even more tedious discussions with the  trainmaster.  
Very exciting, though unwelcomed by all involved.  The  NH pretty quickly 
relegated the EF-2’s to one side or the other of Cos Cob,  leaving them with 
next to no operational value on the  system. 
The  best use of an EF-2 was at the NH’s electric loco and MU repair 
facility in  Van Nest, Bronx, NY.  They parked a dead unit that still had a good  
motor-generator set under catenary on a siding adjacent to another siding 
that  was equipped with a short 3rd rail section.  The EF-2 took  power from 
the 11000VAC catenary, and generated 660VDC, which was applied to  the 3rd 
rail.  This was used to test the DC/3rd  rail capability of the passenger 
locos and MU cars after rebuilding in the  shops.  No model of Van Nest would be 
complete without this  feature. 
I  found your point about the universal motors requiring low frequency AC  
extremely interesting—not a technology point I have come across anywhere  
else.  After McGinnis (may his soul roast forever) and Alpert got rid of  all 
the motors other than the EP-5, and no MUs older than the  ignitron-equipped 
Washboards, the NH found itself still forced to provide  passenger and 
especially commuter service, still with the necessity of using  electric 
propulsion in NYC, and with an obsolete and decrepit Cos Cob power  plant.  So the 
NH commissioned a study to determine how to convert to  60Hz commercial 
power- and ultimately did so.  The technical studies for  this still exist in 
the Dodd collection at Uconn, Storrs, CT—but key to it all  (apparently, and 
thank you for the insight!) was the fact the NH was no longer  burdened by 
any universal motors that could not live in a 60Hz  world. 
Well,  have a wonderful Holiday, and a great New Year! 
-Eric  Bott 
From: NW-Modeling-List  [mailto:nw-modeling-list-bounces at] On 
Behalf Of NW Modeling  List via NW-Modeling-List
Sent: Saturday, December 12, 2015  8:45
To: nw-modeling-list at
Cc: NW Modeling  List
Subject: Re: LC-1, LC-2, EL-1a, or EL-3a Sound  Files


Ah,  yes, the GN motor-generator locos.  Thank you for correcting me on 
that  oversight.  I didn't realize the NH had one fleet of those as well, good  
to know.

Yes,  a series commutator motor will run on ac or dc, although in the sizes 
required  for traction applications the ac had to be low frequency or the 
sparking would  destroy the motor.  In a vacuum cleaner, 60 Hz is ok, but for 
 locomotives, "not so much." Ergo, the 16 2/3 Hz in Europe and 25 Hz in the 

The  three PRRs you mentioned all had series motors.  And, of course the 
DD-1s  were dc third rail locomotives, so except for being siderod locos 
they're not  what you're after on sound cards.

No  doubt about it, the siderod locos with the three phase induction motors 
will  sound different from the axle-hung series motor  locomotives.

Again,  good luck with your sound card investigations!

Dave  Phelps

In a  message dated 12/12/2015 8:32:11 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, 
_nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org_ (mailto:nw-modeling-list at   writes:

Actually,  I was all over the map.  The NH EP-5, PRR E-3b, E-2c, and E-44, 
all had  ignitron rectifier locos like VGN EL-C, and delivered DC to the 
traction  motors.  The GN W1, Y1, and Z1 all had motor-generator set(s), and  
delivered only DC current to the traction motors, as did the NH EF-2 and VGN  
The  GG-1, and at least all of the NH passenger locos (EP-1, EP-2, EP-3,  
and EP-4) except EP-5 had universal motors, which run on either AC or  DC.  
While the GG-1 only ever fed AC to the motors, the NH fed AC to  the motors 
except from Woodlawn to Grand Central Terminal, where it fed them  DC.  MILW, 
CSS&SB, NYC, and LIRR all used  DC motors  exclusively.  I don’t know about 
the NH freight-only motors and EY-2  switchers (or EY-1 for that matter), 
or the PRR O1, P5’s, or R.  If  they used universal motors too, then so did 
the Hoosac Tunnel motors.    
But  the LC-1, LC-2, EL-3a, EL-1a, Big Liz, and the other side-rodders 
(except  PRR’s and LIRR’s early DD-1’s) that I’m aware of all had split-phase  
transformers feeding big 3-phase induction motors.  (Of course,  the first 
GN tunnel motors were also true 3-phase motors, fed from dual  catenary 
And  big 3-phase motors spinning at axle RPM with 55”drivers sound 
different from  small 1-phase or DC motors, as do lack of quill/geared  drives. 
-Eric  Bott 
From:  NW-Modeling-List [mailto:nw-modeling-list-bounces at]  On 
Behalf Of NW Modeling List via NW-Modeling-List
Sent:  Friday, December 11, 2015 15:11
To: _nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org_ (mailto:nw-modeling-list at 
Cc:  NW Modeling List
Subject: Re: LC-1, LC-2, EL-1a, or EL-3a Sound  Files

This  is admittedly beside the point of your request, but the following  
locomotives that you lumped as having "multiple small DC motors" all  had, in 
fact, AC motors:
PRR GG-1,  E2B, B, FF, L, O, PP, and R1; all NH except EP-5; all GN; and 
B&M  Hoosac Tunnel. 

Good  luck with your project.

Dave  Phelps

In  a message dated 12/11/2015 1:25:51 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, 
_nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org_ (mailto:nw-modeling-list at   writes:

I have a couple of NJCB LC-1 sets, OMI and ALCO EL-3a  sets and EL-1a 
units, a couple of Railworks DD-1 sets, and a NJCB “Big  Liz” that I would like 
to add DCC/sound to.  I have been through  every DCC manufacturer web site 
around the world that I can think of to  find factory-installed sound files 
that would reasonably represent a large  AC-motored, heavy electric 
locomotive with side-rod clank.  No joy,  except as noted below. 
If this interest seems weird to you, then I recommend  you get a copy of 
Herron Rail’s Pocahontas Glory Vol 6--  if it  still seems weird, go serenely 
back to your Mollies, confident that  you have walked on the wild side and 
know better  now. 
I’m wondering if any of the Modeling List folks out  there have already 
developed a decent sound file for LC-1 or EL-3a?   If so, for which decoder 
Does anybody out there have experience with modifying  the sound files on a 
decoder of any brand/type? 
Has anybody tried to put sound cams on the NJCB LC-1  or OMI or ALCO EL-3a’
Let me note that the GG-1 sound files readily  available out there provide 
great representations of sounds of heavy  electrics with multiple small DC 
motors and quill drives—very apt for most  of the NH electrics, MILW EP-3 and 
ES-2, B&M Hoosac Tunnel motors; not  bad for the PRR B, FF, L, O, PP, and 
R1 motors, for CUT/NYC P motors, for  MILW EF-4/CSS&SB Little Joes, GN W1, Y1 
and Z1, NYC T-motors, and PRR  E-2b, E-2c, E-3b and E-44; better than 
nothing for NYC S motors and MILW  EP-2.  But the GG-1 sound files don’t do 
justice to the large  AC-motored heavy electrics, and of course don’t have any 
siderod clank  feature. 
The closest thing I have found are the ESU sound  files for the Swiss Ce 
6/8 Krokodil motors, having 4 (unfortunately) large  AC motors, siderods, and 
a good variety of additional sound effects.   But, Oh My, the Europeans have 
no sense at all for a throaty air horn, so  using the ESU Ce 6/8 sound 
files as-is is a non-starter.    
And the d*** ESU Lokprogrammer is $164, plus a  $24 USB cable at Tony’s 
Train Exchange, compared to $71 for a Digitrax  PR3XTRA programmer, cable 
included, from Tony’s, or $90 list price for a  QSI Quantum Programmer.   
I would much rather go the QSI route, since that  would allow me to program 
some of the decoders I already have installed on  some steam locos, but 
would consider the others in  desperation. 
I would appreciate any advice or  insight! 
Thank you, 
-Eric Bott 

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