Brand "X" 40 to 50-Ton Locomotives

Rock Island #364 Davenport 44-Tonner (Built: May 1940) -- Owen Leander photo **


General Electric was possibly the most prolific builder of small and industrial locomotives (small mining locos excluded) 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 identification of critters a challenge.

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


Spotting Features for Non-GE Center Cabs

Warwick Railway #104 
George W. Turnbull photo **
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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
Doug Cummings photo **
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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 
Ray Sabo photo **

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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

AG Partners no# 
William Ford photo 

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Davenport - DE44
  1. Very boxy appearance
  2. Raised cab (3-steps) with flat-roof cab & overhangs
  3. Twin-beam headlight above radiator
  4. A pair of radiator (?) screens along hood roof.
  5. Two short air cleaners on hood roof
  6. End platform with staircase steps
  7. Outside drop-equalizer trucks
  8. 20 Built for military during Korean War

Walkersville #Southern 101  
Photo courtesy of Walkersville Southern
Electro-Motive Division - Model 40
  1. Only 11 Built
  2. Four-wheel rigid-frame switcher
  3. Standard EMD switcher cab
  4. Stubby looking hoods
  5. Single pair of engine access doors
  6. Thin or skirted frame
  7. Built: 1940-1943

General Motors Diesel Division #5921
Joe Brockmeyer photo **
Electro-Motive Division - GMDH-1
  1. Only five built (40-Tons)
  2. Two standard four-wheel trucks
  3. Twin headlight and number-board cluster in flared nose-pod
  4. Wide frame skirt with fuel filler cap centered below cab
  5. Hydraulic transmission
  6. Built: 1956-1960

Vulcan Material
Harry L. Juday photo **
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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: 1939-1949??

Marrble Cliff Quarries #25
Ray Sabo photo **
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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

Erman Corporation no#
George Menge photo **
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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

Indiana grain Co-op no# 
Chuck Zeiler photo 
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Vulcan Iron Works 50-Ton
  1. Round headlight in front of exhaust stack
  2. Radiator shutters slope down & forward
  3. Hood with four engine-access doors & louvers
  4. Thick frame with tiny end platforms
  5. Ladder steps at end of platform
  6. Side-rod trucks
  7. Built: 1944

Massachusetts Central #401
George W. Turnbull photo **)
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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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Westinghouse
Joe Brockmeyer photo **
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)

Claredon Pittsford #11
George W. Turnbull photo **
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:
  • Critters, Dinkys & Centercabs by Jay Reed
  • Flickr.com
  • The Second Diesel Spotters Guide by Jerry A. Pinkepank
  • Locomotive Encyclopedia (1956) by Simons-Boardman

** Photo from R. Craig collection

Formatted by: R.Craig

Expanded/New: 16 February 2020 / 1 December 2019


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