Brand "X" 40 to 50-Ton Locomotives

Rock Island #364 Davenport 44-Tonner (Built: May 1940) -- Owen Leander photo (R. Craig collection)


General Electric was by far the most prolific builder of small and industrial locomotives in North America. When it came to 40/50-ton critters, GE clearly dominated the market. However, there were other competing companies; the U.S. Government made sure of that by periodically awarding contracts to other locomotive builders. The exact number of 40/50-ton units built under those contracts has not been determined; but it was substantial enough to keep the doors of some manufacturers open for several years. The list of builders included such familiar names as Atlas, Davenport, Porter, Plymouth and Whitcomb, along with a couple not so familiar names -- Euclid and Midwest.

There should be no surprise that the various design put forth by many of the manufacturers took on a similar appearance, given they were often bidding based on the same plans and specifications. It is this similarity among manufactured models that makes critter identification a challenge.

Once again, the intent here is to make that challenge a easier -- Enjoy.


Spottin Features of Center Cabs from Different Builders

Warwick Railway #104
Atlas Car & Manufacturing 50-Ton 
George W. Turnbull photo (R. Craig collection)
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Atlas Car & Manufacturing 50-Ton
  1. Downward sloping hood
  2. Very boxy appearance, with square windows
  3. Headlight on top of hood
  4. Radiator screen at front and rear hoods
  5. Six louvered engine access doors on hood
  6. Radial coupler
  7. Large side-rod trucks
  8. Built: 1934-1944?

Coleman Colliers #DL10
Canadian Locomotive Co. 44-Ton D-TC* 
Doug Cummings photo (R. Craig collection)
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Canadian Locomotive Co. - 44-Ton D-TC (Diesel, Torque-converter0)
  1. Resembles a GE 44-Tonner at first glance
  2. Twin-beam headlight above radiator shutters
  3. Cab-roof overhang
  4. Single window on cab sides
  5. small "front porch"
  6. Side-rod Trucks
  7. Built: Mid-1950s

Nicholson Metals
Ecorse, Michigan 
Ray Sabo photo (R. Craig collection)

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Davenport - 44/45-Ton
  1. Closely resembles Whitcomb 44-Tonner
  2. 44-Tonner & 45-Tonner share common carbody design and frame
  3. Two-piece radiator grille w/ith "Davenport" stamped on spline sometimes.
  4. Handrail above engine access doors
  5. Horizontal row of ventilation openings above handrails (and sometimes below)
  6. Small "front porch"
  7. Outside drop-equalizer trucks (44-Tonner); side-rod trucks (45-tonner)
  8. Built: 1939-1942

Vulcan Material
Euclid Road Machinery 40/55-Ton 
Harry L. Juday photo (R. Craig collection)
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Euclid Road Machinery - 40 & 55-Ton
  1. 55-Tonner and 40-Tonner share a common carbody style
  2. Four-wheel rigid-frame switcher
  3. Twin 150-hp engines (single engine in 40-Tonner)
  4. Thinner frame on 40-Tonner
  5. Split-cab window
  6. No "front porch"
  7. Engine access doors heavily louvered
  8. Built: 1935-1939?

Marrble Cliff Quarries #25
Plymouth 50-Tonner 
Ray Sabo photo (R.Craig collection)
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Plymouth - 44/50-Ton
  1. Very thick frame
  2. Large shroud around engine exhaust
  3. Large headlight on top of hood
  4. Vertical radiator shutters
  5. Large "front porch"
  6. Chain driven with round traction motor housing on one truck
  7. Built; 1942-1953

Delaware VM #2
Porter 45-Tonner 
Alan Miller photo (R. Craig collection)
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Porter 45/50-Ton
  1. Round headlight above radiator shutter
  2. Large side window area
  3. Hood doors wih louvers
  4. Small "front porch"
  5. Side-rod trucks
  6. Small clesstory added to hood after 1945
  7. Built: 1941-1950

Massachusetts Central #401
Whitcomb  44-Tonner
George W. Turnbull photo (R. Craig collection)
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Westinghouse
Whitcomb (CLC) 45-Tonner
Joe Brockmeyer photo (R. Craig collection)
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Claredon Pittsford #11
Whitcomb 50-Tonner
George W. Turnbull photo (R. Craig collection)
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Whitcomb 44-Ton
  1. Closely resembles Davenport 44-Tonner
  2. Outside drop-equalizer trucks (44-Tonner)
  3. Two-piece radiator grille w/ith "Whitcomb" stamped on spline.
  4. Handrail above engine access doors
  5. Horizontal row of ventilation openings above handrails (and sometimes below)
  6. Small "front porch"
  7. Built: 1939-1942
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Whitcomb 45-Ton
  1. "Whitcomb" stamped on center spline of radiator grille
  2. Large headlight on top of hood
  3. Double row of louvers on engine access doors
  4. Vertical row of openings above access doors
  5. small "front porch"
  6. Side-rod trucks
  7. Some built by Canadian Locomotive Co.
  8. Built: 1941-1945 (based on military Specs)
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  • Whitcomb 50-Ton
    1. Squarish looking cab
    2. Some models with drop cabs and no windows above hood
    3. Headlight and grab iron above split-radiator shutter
    4. Small end platform
    5. Six engine access doors with louvers on hoods
    6. Outside drop-equalizer trucks (44-Tonner)


    Notes and Reference sources:
    • The Second Diesel Spotters Guide by Jerry A. Pinkepank
    • Locomotive Encyclopedia (1956) by Simons-Boardman
    Formatted by: R.Craig

    New: 1 December 2019


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