Empire Belt RR ALcos

Empire Belt RR ALcos
Custom Painted FA / FB Units

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

New Haven H16-44 Repair

Greetings All,

The shop personnel on the N.Y.C.T.L. worked overtime this weekend to get New Haven RR H16-44 #1605 back in service. The 1605 and 1604 had been leased by the wholly owned N.Y.C.T.L. subsidiary Empire Belt RR as power by the hour. Upon conclusion of the short team lease the NH 1605 and 1604 were returned to Power Pool A service and teamed up with a pair of NYC H16-44s to power train NH-5 (Terminal Yard to Cedar Hill Yard). The trip North went fine. The four unit F.M. lash up remained together at Cedar Hill and after inspection and refueling were assigned to Train CH-5 (Cedar Hill to Terminal Yard). On this trip the 1605 suffered a mechanical failure and had to be taken off line. The other three H16-44s had sufficient power and the 1605's consist position made it a simple matter of shutting the unit down. Let's take a look at what happened and how the N.Y.C.T.L. Shops quickly solved the problem;

New Haven H16-44s 1604 and 1605 on lease to the Empire Belt RR   

Train NH-5 Departs Terminal yard on it's way to Cedar Hill Yard
located in New Haven CT

Train CH-5 on it's way to Terminal Yard with the 1605 shut down.

That is definitely not a good sound to hear!

The remedy:
Remove the four screws attaching the shell onto the frame.
These are the screws nearest the wheels.

With the shell removed removed unscrew this Phillips screw that attaches 
the power truck assembly to the frame.

There are no wires to contend with so it's pretty simple to remove the power truck assembly. Note the  brass washer and worm gear assembly on the top of the power truck. A drop of oil here and on the washer  on the drive shaft coupling side should do the trick. In many case you will not have to remove the power truck but I did it here to give a better visual of the procedure. 

Use a good hobby oil for this application   

Test the unit

And there it is. A quick and easy fix. No special tools were required and
the whole job only takes a few minutes.

Thanks for reading! 


  1. Great work by the N.Y.C.T.L. Shops on that H16-44 repair! The "before" video showcasing the noise was alarming but its nice to know that such a quick fix was available. Thanks for the how-to. Engine maintenance isn't my strongest point so I've appreciated learning more about how to tend to sick locos from your experience in diagnosing and repairing common mechanical issues. A good looking unit like #1605 really does need to get back on the rails! Nicely done.

    1. Thanks Ralph. It's good to have the 1605 back in service. It's been a great engine since I first bought it about 20 years ago. It's being seeing some real work the past couple of months.

  2. Yes, a squeal like that comes from a dry bearing. In my experience, this is most commonly a motor bearing, but it looks like you correctly tracked this one to the truck.

    1. Hi John, My usual trouble shooting leads me first to the worm gear bearings. If a drop of oil there does not fix the issue the second spot I lube is the motor bearing. The reason I do it this way is to keep the motor from receiving too much oil which I found to be detrimental on some earlier "repairs".

  3. The N.Y.C.T.L. maintenance department should be congratulated on a job well done! Great video as well. Seems the N.Y.C.T.L. is gearing up (sorry for the pun) for some additional revenue for the railroad.

  4. Thank You Sir Neal! The shop forces have demanded and received this weekend off so we are keeping our fingers crossed that all units run well until Monday