Tales From The Krug
August 5, 2000
Copyright AA Krug

SD70MAC Virtual Cab Tour
Welcome aboard the BNSF 8800. Looking in through the opened nose door. There is a small compartment just inside where some tools such as BNSF's drawbar strap are normally kept. In this view you can see the inner door.

With the inner door opened you can see the steps that lead up into the main cab. The door on the right is the toilet compartment. The vertical brown panel beside the steps is the refrigerator door.

The room everybody wants to know about.

Looking back out across the hall from the stool you see this view of the radios and Distributed Power (DP) electrical equipment.

Up in the cab looking back down the steps and out through both doors.

Above is a down-on view of some of the desktop controls. These switches are the ones you learn to hate real fast. The Horn button is divided into two sections. The top section with the word "Horn" on it is a stationary lighted lable. Only the bottom half of the switch, marked "ON", is the part that moves. You have to push it with just the tips of two fingers. After a few hundred crossing sequences your pinkies get sore. Now look at the Bell switch (above). It is divided into 3 parts. The center section is stationary and those thin top and bottom sections are the active parts of the switch. Geeze they must think engineers have fingers the size of a 2 year old child. In addition to only being able to use 2 finger tips to press them you also catch your fingernails on the stationary portion when doing so. On GE's the entire top surface of the switch is the active button and you can push it with multiple fingers, your palm, your elbow or anything else that is handy at the moment. At least on this latest version of the MAC they moved the Slow Speed "Pacesetter" control switch back out of the way so it no longer jabs into the palm of your hand like it did on the earlier models (see below).

Palm Killer
Above is a view of the same switches on an earlier SD70MAC, BN 9419. See how the Slow Speed control switch is placed exactly where your palm rests when whistling multiple crossings. It also has a different version of the Bell switch. Not only is it divided in half like the Horn button but it is further divided into an ON section and a teeny red OFF section. The same type of switch is also used for the Lead Axle Sand but since that is used far less often it is not as objectionable.

The next 4 photos show the electrical panel. I have opened the cabinet door that is directly behind the engineer to reveal the multitude of circuit breakers and switches inside.

Overview of electrical panel

Upper half

Lower half

This 4th pic is of the Engine Control Panel also mounted on the back cab wall.

The front bulkhead above the engineer's control desk showing the heater/Airconditioning controls, desk light switch & dimmer, and the radio.

The conductor's side.

Here is SD70MAC BNSF 8848 which is equipped with the NYAB electric train brakes control box. You can see it mounted here on top of the leftside of the desk surround above the headlight switches.

Close up of the NYAB electric braking control box.

There is nothing really special about the cab of an SD90. In fact I found them more cramped than our SD70MACs but that may have been due to the UP's practice of putting the refrigerator in the back left corner of the cab which forces the 3rd seat into the middle of the cab. Still, without actually measuring it, it seemed as if the SD90 cabs are a bit shorter than SD70s? I got a number of UP SD90-43s on the Portland coal trains over several months both leading and trailing.
As you can see from the two pics the desktops are pretty much run-of-the-mill. The main difference is the UP's use of WABCO electronic brake valves instead of BN/BNSF's Knorrs. Frankly I prefer the WABCOs. They seem to have better fine control (I can actually get an 8 psi set if I want it) and they seem to exhaust the brake pipe a bit faster than the Knorrs.
Look at that Horn button. Wow! An EMD with a button you can use more than two fingers on! Still has that blankety blank 3 piece Bell button though. The sand buttons are missing because those functions are built into the computer as "softkeys" on the 90s.
UP 8278 leftside of desk

UP 8220 rightside of desk showing WABCO electric airbrake


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Created 08-05-20000
Updated 10-21-2001