70 Tons of GE Pulling Power

(Southern Pacific #5100 at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center -- Dan Haneckow photo (17 February 2013)

Although built at the General Electric works in Erie, Pennsylvania, the 70-Ton model was marketed by both GE and Alco from 1946 until the two transportation giants dissolved their joint marketing agreement in 1953. Production of the mid-range horsepower locomotive continued at Erie until late 1958 with total production reaching 238 units.

The loco's ability to lug tonnage and effectively handle assignments on light-weight capacity rail made it popular among short lines and industrial users. The medium-sized GE was also utilized in a similar fashion by a few Class 1 railroads: Canadian National (18), Louisville & Nashvile (2), Missouri Kansas Texas (4), Southern Railway (5), Southern Pacific (21) and St.Louis-San Francisco (1). In 1956, GE built two 54-Ton narrow-gauge variants of the 70-ton model. Possibly the forerunners of GE's Universal series export; they were delivered to U.S. Gypsum as #1303 and 1403..

Formatted by: R.Craig New: 1 September 2018

XXXX A Photo Review

Early Pre-World War II

New York Central #X509

Collingwood (Clevelamd, Ohio) on 25 March 1964

Photographer unknown (R. Craig collection)

Fore River #16

E. Braintree, Massachusetts on 18 January 1972

George W. Turbull photo (R. Craig collection)

Spotting Features
  1. Produced 1942
  2. Tall center cab with large windows
  3. Seven built for NYC (#507-513)
  4. Driven by two Cummins Diesel engines
  5. Large one-piece radiator shutter at front of hoods
  6. Air Compressor in front of cab at footboard

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Spotting Features

  1. Produced 1941
  2. Three built for Bethlehem Steel subsidiaries
  3. Tall center cab with large windows
  4. Driven by four small engines
  5. Two one-piece radiator shutters at front of hoods

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Standard 70-Tonner (1946-1958)

Canadian National #30 (ex-CN 7804)

St. Constant, Quebec on 8 November 2014

Michael Berry photo

Ex-Southern Railway #702

Perry, Florida on 25 November 1965

Harry L. Juday photo (R. Craig collection)

Southern Pacific #5100

Eugene, Oregon on 8 Sepember 1972

Tom Chenoweth photo (R. Craig collection)

Spotting Features
  1. End-Cab locomotive
  2. 37-feet in length
  3. A single 6-cylinder 600 / 660-hp engine
  4. A single round headlight housing, front & rear ends (later production had twin beam headlights)
  5. Raditor shutters on front nose of later production units; no such radiator shutters on early production units
  6. A set of six-louvered access doors on engineer's side of hood, with five louvers on the other side

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54-Ton Variant

Georgetown Loop RR #139 and 140 (ex-U.S. Gypsum)

Georgetown, CO on 2 December 2012

Brian Carlson photo

Spotting Features
  1. End-cab locomotive
  2. Custom cab with flat roof
  3. Driven by 390-horsepower prime mover
  4. 3-foot gauge trucks
  5. Radiator shutters located low on both side of hood
Reference sources:
  • Chesapeake & Ohio Diesel Review by Carl W. Shaver
  • Canadian Trackside Guide 2005 by Bytown Railway Society
  • "Extra 2200 South" Locomotive Newsletter (May/June 1971)
  • New York Central Diesel Locomotives by William D. Edson
  • Second Diesel Spotters Guide by Jerry Pinkepank
  • The Diesel Shop (website) - GE Production Rosters

Additional contributors include: Michael Richmond

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