GE 70-ton switcher

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GE 70-ton switcher
Ex-Southern Pacific 5100, GE switcher, at ORHC in 2013.jpg
Ex-Southern Pacific No. 5100 at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, in Portland, Oregon, in 2013
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderGE Transportation Systems
Model70-ton switcher
Build dateJanuary 1947–December 1955
Total produced238[1]
 • UICBo′Bo′
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge,
(1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) and
1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) Brazil)
Trucks4 wheel
Length37 ft (11,278 mm)
Width10 ft (3,048 mm)
Height13 ft (3,962 mm)
Loco weight130,000 lb (59,000 kg)
Prime moverCooper-Bessemer FWL-6T
RPM range450-1000
Performance figures
Maximum speed60 mph (97 km/h)
Power output500–660 hp (373–492 kW)
LocaleNorth America and Brazil

The GE 70-ton switcher is a 4-axle diesel-electric 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. Locomotives exported to Brazil were known as GE 64T (70 short tons or 63 long tons or 64 metric tons) and nicknamed "scooters".


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 and 53 are currently in service (3/17). 51 suffered a catastrophic engine failure and is permanently out of service. It will be used for parts as necessary.

DownEast Scenic Railroad's 54, ex Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad 54, originally Berlin Mills Railway 16 is also in service. (11/16)

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-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. As of 7-25-2019 #202 has had a crankshaft failure and is being repaired, or repowered back to its full glory.

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 maintenance.

The Waterloo Central Railway which operates a tourist train has one of these marked engine 1556 and it runs their route from North Waterloo Ontario to Elmira Ontario a dozen times a week.


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 Saint-Constant, Quebec.

British Columbia Electric Railway 941 resides at the West Coast Railway Heritage Park in Squamish, British Columbia.

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. ^ Retrieved April 20, 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  4. ^ "Rahway Valley Locomotives #16 and #17". Whippany Railway Museum. 2012-12-02. Archived from the original on 2013-03-18. Retrieved 2013-04-06.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Youngstown Steel Heritage Foundation - EEC 70 Ton Diesel Locomotive". Retrieved 2013-04-06.