BUDD "Turboliner" Gas Turbine test car - 1966 Archive: Bill Mangahas


LIRR GT-2 test car Photo: Richard Glueck

Turbine test target Summer 1966 February 10, 1966
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GT1 Turbine test page 1
March 24, 1966
LIRailroaderV11-N6_03-24-1966_page4-GT1-Turbine-test.jpg (135129 bytes)
GT1 Turbine test page 4 con't
March 24, 1966
February/March, 1966 Turbine Car announcements
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September 22, 1966 Turbine Car Initial run 9/12/1966 with NY State Governor Rockefeller and LIRR President Goodfellow
LIRailroaderV11N21-10201966p1-TurbineCarTrip.jpg (621362 bytes) LIRailroaderV11N21-10201966p2-TurbineCarTrip.jpg (379174 bytes)

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Turbonaut Pass 10/9/1966

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 October 20, 1966 Family Day (10/9/66)  Material above from "Long Island RAILROADER" 
Courtesy archive: Al Castellli
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Gas Turbine GT-1 at  Ronkonkoma wye 9/12/1966 
Archive: Dave Keller
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Gas Turbine GT-1 interchanged at Reading New York branch Budd's delivery siding, Red Lion PA 08/21/1966 on its way for the initial run (9/12/66) and subsequent test runs on the LIRR. Archive: Dave Keller
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GT-1 Turbine Ronkonkoma wye  1966 
Photo: Steve Hoskins
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GT-1 Turbine, LIRR C420 #214Ronkonkoma wye
1966 Archive: Art Huneke
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Gas Turbine GT-1 view from Ronkonkoma Avenue trestle 09/12/66  Archive: Dave Keller
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Gas Turbine GT-1 view W at Ronkonkoma station 
platform 9/12/66 Archive: Dave Keller
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GT-1 Ronkonkoma view NE c. 12/1966 laid up on the 
north leg of the wye prior to the sheet metal shed being 
built for the 2nd turbine Photo/Archive: Tom Harmon
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GT-1 at end of wye - Ronkonkoma - 1966 (W. J. Edwards photo, Dave Keller archive)  
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Gas turbine GT-2 Mineola Photo: Steve Hoskins c.1970 the car is on the west leg of the old Mineola wye  (The GT-2 was tested November, 1969 to December, 1970 Re: John Scala)
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GT-2 Test Project Sign - Ronkonkoma - 54/1970  (Dave Keller photo and archive)
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GT-2 at end of wye in car house specially constructed for it - Ronkonkoma - 5/1970 (Dave Keller photo and archive)
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GT-2 at end of wye in car house specially constructed for it - Ronkonkoma - 5/1970 (Dave Keller photo and archive)

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GT-2 at end of wye in car house specially constructed for it - Ronkonkoma - 5/1970 (Dave Keller photo and archive)

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Ronkonkoma Shed after the GT2 testing was over, the shed was used to store the TC80 “Moon Rover”. Info: Dave Keller 1978 Photo: Steven Lynch

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GT-1/2 Propulsion diagram Budd Co.
Archive: Bill Mangahas
GT-2 LIRR PRESS RELEASE  - June 29, 1970  Archive: Gary Doster 
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GT-2 Test Car LIRR Press Release, July 29, 1970 -  MTA Photos: Leon Hoffman  Engineers check mechanisms of the GT-2
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Mineola to Ronkonkoma Shakedown Run with LIRR and MTA, Budd, and Garrett engineers assembled to observe the GT-2 performance. 
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Leo F. Cronan, Assistant Road Foreman of LIRR Engineers 
pilots the GT-2 on a daily test run.
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Preston Stringer, Garrett Corp technician, 
checking the recorder instruments.
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Preston Stringer, Garrett Corp., monitors the vehicle performance.
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Frank Bremer, Garrett Corp., scans tape of one of the 
testing units onboard. 
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Upon return an engineer, walkie-talkie in hand, 
attends to final details.

Garrett turbine car GT-1 was formerly BUDD experimental Pioneer III coach, built in 1956, under serial number 3880.  It was equipped with twin gas turbines linked mechanically with wheels. Its period of testing on the LIRR was from September, 1966 to May, 1967.

BuddPioneerIII-lightweight-truck-BuddCompanyMaterial1958.jpg (84714 bytes)Budd Pioneer III lightweight truck as used in the original Pioneer III railcars. Note non-standard right-angle gearbox and disc brakes. Photo scanned from Budd Company promotional literature from 1958.


LIRR-GT1_truck_c.12-1966_TomHarmon.jpg (23365 bytes)LIRR turbine car truck detail c.12/1966 
Photo/Archive: Tom Harmon




Garrett turbine car GT-2 used the same car body as the GT-1, but were equipped with an advanced electrical propulsion system.  The unit was third rail compatible.  Its period of testing on the LIRR was from November, 1969 to December, 1970.  (Data courtesy of John Scala's Diesels of the Sunrise Trail)

TURBINE ELECTRIC COMMUTER RAIL CAR - (fact sheet information)

The first gas-turbine powered rail car in the US. This car was used as a test vehicle with two different
drive trains. As GT-1, it had a mechanical drive with torque converters. In 1966/67 it successfully
demonstrated the practicality of gas turbine propulsion for railcars.

For service to Manhattan it was rebuilt for the GT-2 test in 1969/70 to allow operation on third rail
power along with electric drive from the turbines. The electric drive included one of the earliest
applications of chopper control. These successful tests led to the development of the GT/E rail cars
in the middle 1970s.

Owner: Budd Company (Builder) and Garrett AiResearch
Capacity/Seated: 30; Length/Width: 85 feet long,12 feet 2 inches wide
Weight: 112,000 pounds with instrumentation and fuel; Buffing Strength: 800,000 pounds
Performance: Acceleration-1.95 MPH Per Second; Maximum Speed Capability-100 MPH;
Rate of deceleration: 1.7 MPH PS; In emergency deceleration: 2.6 MPH PS
Propulsion: 4-150 HP DC separately excited traction motors (GT-2 Garrett Prototype)
Control: Chopper voltage control from 300 HZ converter
Brakes: WABCO RT-2 control regenerative; Budd disc friction units
Power: Third rail 650 VDC; Turbo Electric 420 HZ rectified to 700 VDC
Trucks: Two Budd Pioneer 3 with air spring suspension
Wheels: 32 inch diameter class CR; Couplers: Type H tight lock
Signals: 3 aspect cab signal system; Heat/AC: 46 KW electric heat and 10 ton AC unit

Archive: NRHS Library in Philadelphia  Research: Mactraxx-Railroad.Net

The use of Budd car #3880 was interesting because this car was originally designed as a short/medium distance coach and converting it into the GT-1/GT-2 self propelled test car meant adding two cabs. This car was designed with side doors at only one end. I for one found it interesting that the cab added on the vestibule end was on the left side. I believe that this was done to allow the head door to be used for platforms on the right side of the car. The cab on the other end was placed on the right-hand side because the left hand side on that end was occupied by the car's lavatory. Just as a small detail, the height from rail/low platform to the floor of the train/doors was 50 inches. It was that way with the normal M1's, and is the height for the M3's and M7's. Research: Mactraxx-Railroad.Net

LIRailroaderV12-N14_07-13-1967_page1-GT1-Turbine-backhome.jpg (697793 bytes)GT-1 Turbine back home July 13, 1967 "Long Island RAILROADER" 
Courtesy archive: Al Castellli