The locomotives were built at General Electric's Erie works in 1947, and were numbered 5018 and 5019. They were powered by a 5,000 horsepower (3.7 MW) W-1 motor-generator, and at that time were the largest single-unit electric locomotives used in North America.
Both locomotives were retired in 1956 when the electrification system was switched off and diesel locomotives started operating. Unit 5019 was scrapped in 1959. Unit 5018 was sold to the Union Pacific, who used its body and running gear as part of an unsuccessful experimental coal burning gas turbine-electric locomotive#80.