GE 45-ton switcher

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GE 45-ton switcher
GE45Ton SanAntonioTX.jpg
GE 45 Tonner at the Texas Transportation Museum.
Specifications
References: [1][2]
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder GE Transportation Systems
Model 45-ton switcher
Build date 1940–1956
AAR wheel arr. B-B
UIC classification B′B′
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Minimum curve 50 ft (15.24 m)
Locomotive weight 43 to 50 short tons (38 to 45 long tons; 39 to 45 t)
Prime mover Two Cummins 6-cylinder HBI-600
Engine RPM range 1,800 rpm (max)
Aspiration Normally aspirated
Displacement 672 cubic inches (11 l)
Traction motors Two, one per truck. Chain or side rod drive to second axle on each truck
Cylinders 6 in each of two engines
Cylinder size 4 78 in × 6 in (123.825 mm × 152.400 mm)
Top speed 20 mph (32 km/h)
Power output 2 x 150 hp (112 kW)
Tractive effort 27,000 lbf (120 kN)
Locomotive brake Air
Train brakes Air
Career
GE 45-ton switcher.
MSU's GE 45-ton Switcher positions coal cars for its power plant.

The GE 45-ton switcher is a 4-axle diesel locomotive built by GE between 1940 and 1956.

Equipment[edit]

The locomotive was equipped with two 150 hp (110 kW) Cummins diesel engines, each driving a generator which, in turn, drove one of the two traction motors, one per truck. In early models, the second axle on each truck was driven with side rods. Later models had chain drives inside the trucks that served the same purpose.

A traditional train air brake was optional, but all came with two compressors (one per engine) and a straight-air independent (locomotive) brake. The cabs were spacious for the size of the locomotive, and both the engineer's seat and the fireman's seat were raised two feet on platforms (under which was the brake equipment, if applicable), so as to afford better views during switching.

Uses[edit]

The GE 45-ton was extremely versatile and many variants existed. It has a high weight to power ratio, and has excellent traction, rated to be able to pull 20 loaded freight cars on level track. They were built with a short wheelbase for use in industrial plants, yards, and other places where clearances were tight. Although intended as switchers, they sometimes served mainline duties, although nearly all had an imposed speed limit of 20 mph (32 km/h) due to the double reduction gearing of their traction motors.

Current owners and operators[edit]

The Old Colony and Newport Scenic Railway operates two of these locomotives on a regular revenue basis. The Lake Superior And Mississippi railroad of Duluth, Minnesota also owns and operates one. Nearby Lake Superior Railroad Museum also has a former Minnesota Power 45-tonner, which is now used for switching rolling stock around the museum. Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting operate two of these for slag operations in the smelter. Michigan State University's on-campus T. B. Simon Power Plant uses a 45-tonner painted in school colors to position coal hoppers under a Carhoe II unloader.

They can also be found in museums, such as the North Carolina Transportation Museum and the Fox River Trolley Museum of South Elgin, IL, which operates the Aurora, Elgin & Fox River Electric Company. The Texas Transportation Museum also owns a 45-ton, listed on their website as a 44-ton. The Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum is currently restoring #1941, a demonstrator used by GE at Lee, MA. It was donated to the museum in 1991 by Rochester Gas and Electric. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has one numbered LM-2 used as a maintenance of way (MOW) and rescue locomotive for its Broad Street Subway line. Edmonton Transit also uses one of these locomotives, numbered 2010, for MOW tasks. The South Carolina Railroad Museum has No 82, a side-rod 45-ton, built for and used at Naval Shipyard Charleston, South Carolina, prior to going to the museum. It is currently being restored to full operation. The Delta Valley and Southern 50 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its present location is unknown. The Henry Ford Greenfield Village operates the former Naval Weapons Station Charleston No. 1, previously located at the base outside of Goose Creek, South Carolina. It is used to shuttle supplies for their steam locomotives from the Canadian National tracks to the village rails. The Siouxland Historical Railroad Association owns and operates a former US Marine Corps 45-ton locomotive. The Railroad Museum of New England/Naugatuck railroad owns a side-rod equipped 45-tonner which was built in 1942 (#15807) for the Rohm & Haas Chemical Co. as #RH-1. Donated 1993 by Cold Metal Products, it was repainted orange by RMNE and numbered 42, for its year of construction. Currently the locomotive is stored out of service.[1] The Carthage, Knightstown & Shirley Railroad has two GE center cab locomotives in service, a chain-driven 45-tonner built in 1951 and primarily used at Grissom Air Force Base in northern Indiana, and a side rod-driven 44-tonner built in late 1946 for a gravel rock quarry in Richmond, Indiana.

References[edit]

  1. ^ C.B. Peck (ed.). 1950-52 Locomotive Cyclopedia of American Practice. New York: Simmons-Boardman. pp. 194, 222. 
  2. ^ Pinkepank, Jerry A. (1973). The Second Diesel Spotter's Guide. Kalmbach. pp. 138, 194.