GE 70-ton switcher

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GE 70-ton switcher
GE 64T 3090 RFFSA.jpg
RFFSA No. 3090 in Brazil in the 1980s
Type and origin
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder GE Transportation Systems
Model 70-ton switcher
Build date 1947–1955
Total produced 238[1]
AAR wheel arr. B-B (C-C in metric gauge)
UIC classification Bo′Bo′
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm),
(1600mm and 1000mm) Brazil
Locomotive weight 70 short tons (63 long tons; 64 t)
Prime mover Cooper-Bessemer FWL-6T
Cylinders 6
Performance figures
Power output 500–660 hp (373–492 kW)
Locale North America and Brazil

The GE 70-ton switcher is a 4-axle diesel locomotive built by General Electric between about 1942 and 1955. It is classified as a B-B type locomotive. The first series of "70 tonners" were a group of seven center-cab locomotives built for the New York Central Railroad in November 1942. These units differ from the later end-cab versions. Locos exported to Brazil were known as GE 64T (70 short tons equals 64 tonnes) and nicknamed "scooters".

Builder plate of a GE 70 ton (64 metric tons) switcher in 1000mm gauge. Due to the narrow gauge the locomotive has C-C trucks instead of B-B of broad and standard gauges.


The Modesto and Empire Traction Company used nine of these reliable 70-ton locomotives (MET No. 600–609) on its railroad along with two former-Southern Pacific EMD SW1500s. The company has since retired and sold all of these locomotives except number 600.[2] The GE locomotives are also used by the Santa Maria Valley Railroad.[3][unreliable source?]

The Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad still has locomotives 50, 51 and 53. 50 and 51 are original to the line, 53 was purchased second hand. 50 is currently in service (10/14) along with 53. 51 suffered a catastrophic engine failure and is permanently out of service.

DownEast Scenic Railroad's 54, ex Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad 54, originally Berlin Mills Railway 16 is also in service. (10/14)

The Oregon Pacific Railroad owns the former Southern Pacific 5100. The locomotive is painted in the historic Southern Pacific scheme and is currently out-of-service.

Ex-Southern Pacific 5100 at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, in Portland, Oregon, in 2013

Ex-Norfolk Southern Railway (1942–1982) 703, GE builder #30015, ex-Southern Railway #703; to Naporano Iron & Metal (May 1978); to Lake Ontario Steel (May 1978); now at South Simcoe Railway and now powered by a Cummins VTA1710 V12 engine. The Denton Farmpark (Denton, NC) has the High Point Thomasville & Denton Railroad 202; it has been restored and is operational.

One modified 70-ton locomotive equipped with Cummins engine and PLC control system is in Mexico in full operational conditions and was operated by Ryder a logistic contractor at GM Silao Guanajuato plant for around 16 years until January 2013 when it was substituted by an EMD SW1504 and was sold to Ferrovias Del Bajio a Rail equipment rebuilder,seller, operator and leaser of rail equipment and now its part of its lease fleet.

Two of the end-cab versions exist on display at the Whippany Railway Museum, Whippany, New Jersey, United States, originally purchased by the Rahway Valley Railroad, headquartered in Kenilworth New Jersey, as RV16 and RV17. They were placed into service in 1951 and 1954, respectively, and operated through the closing of the shortline rail business in 1990. Both are owned by the United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey. Restoration was done on site in Whippany.[4]

Three end-cab versions (#5,#6,#7 locomotives )are still known to be in operation at the WVA Manufacturing,LLC plant in Alloy,WV. The locomotives were purchased by the Union Carbide company some fifty years ago. They are still in operation with engine retrofits to accommodate modern maintenace.


Frisco (St. Louis – San Francisco Railway) 70 ton #111 B&Y scheme at Heart of the Heartlands.[5]

Baltimore & Annapolis Railroad No. 50 resides at the B&O Railroad Museum, [Baltimore, MD] USA.

Southern Pacific 5100 resides at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center in Portland, Oregon. It is currently leased to the museum by the Oregon Pacific Railroad.

Canadian National 70-ton #30 resides at the Canadian Railway Museum / Exporail, in Delson, Quebec.

GE 70 ton (64 metric tons) switcher in 1000mm gauge. Photo taken at Anhumas station, Campinas - São Paulo state - Brazil

A GE 70 Ton in metric gauge and C-C trucks is in operation at the railway museum line of Brazilian Railway Preservation Association (ABPF)[6] in Campinas - SP. It is painted in Mogiana Livery and carries ABPF Nº 03

Only one of the center-cab locomotives exists, former Ellwood Engineered Castings 6114B preserved by the Tod Engine Foundation [7] in Youngstown, Ohio.


  1. ^ Pinkepank, Jerry A. (1973). The Second Diesel Spotter's Guide. Milwaukee, WI: Kalmbach Publishing. pp. 153–158. ISBN 0-89024-026-4. 
  2. ^ "M&ET". Retrieved 2013-04-06. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "Rahway Valley Locomotives #16 and #17". Whippany Railway Museum. 2012-12-02. Retrieved 2013-04-06. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Youngstown Steel Heritage Foundation - EEC 70 Ton Diesel Locomotive". Retrieved 2013-04-06.