S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Electric Boxcabs Page keywords = boxcab EMD Electro motive ALCo GE IR American Locomotive Company General Electric Ingersoll Rand oil electric diesel engine rail road 1 11 195 401 1000 museum marine water front dock pocket

Updated:   23 Aug 2012,  11:30  ET
{Restored missing images 31 Dec 2002;
TrainShed images to be rescanned shortly}
[Page converted 22 Oct 2010; Page created 07 Jan 2001;
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
Update info on the top on ALL pages for your convenience.
URL:  http://sbiii.com/boxcabel.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/boxcabel.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) has been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I am scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

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S. Berliner, III's


Boxcabs Page


I-R 60-ton Demo

A new type of locomotive!
Ingersoll-Rand 1925 Demonstrator #9681
(later CNJ #1000)
(ALCo builders photo S-1484 - source uncertain;
possibly from 1980s AAR flyer)




Oil-Electric ("Diesel") Locomotives

(American Locomotive Company - General Electric - Ingersoll-Rand)

INDEX to Boxcabs Pages:

note-rt.gif   The primary Boxcabs Index has been moved to a separate page,
together with links and credits.

Boxcab Help - A service for boxcab afficionados,
posting reasonable questions (at my sole discretion).

There are now more than seventy-five (75) BOXCAB pages;
see the full INDEX, now on a separate page.

[A new "bugaboo" has reared its ugly head - complexity of organization -
see COMPLEXITY on my main index page.]


On this main Electric Boxcabs page:
1893 GE #1 / MfrsRR #1
Piedmont & Northern #5103
    (moved to Electric Boxcab (Survivors) Continuation Page 3 on 11 Jun 02)

On the Electric Boxcabs Continuation Page 1:   ELECTRIC BOXCABS - Part 2, with

GE #1/MfrsRR #1 History (continued),
St. Clair Tunnel Electric Boxcabs,
Mystery Canadian G.E. Electric Boxcab (no it's not!),
Chilean Boxcabs, and
Other Overseas Electric Boxcabs

On the Electric Boxcabs (Survivors) Continuation Page 2:

So. Bklyn #4.
L&PS #L1 and #L2.
Butte, Anaconda & Pacific.

On the Electric Boxcabs (Survivors) Continuation Page 3:

Piedmont & Northern #5103
NYC S-Motors
(moved there from this page 21 Aug 02).

Still on Continuation Page 5:


FLASH! - Old Number One survives!  GE #1 of 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition fame is intact in her last running condition at the Museum of Transport in St. Louis and, thanks to New Haven buff (and S gauger) Dennis Conway out L. A. way, here she is as she looked in NH service ca. 1900 and as she sits in St. Louis:

MRR #1 MRR #1 Today

Dennis followed up with a scan of a side cross-section drawing (a scan of a copy of a copy, which I made into a B&W GIF image) from "Street Railway Journal", Vol. 9, Jul 1893:

MRR #1 Side X-sect
Three images courtesy of D. Conway

Note that she had faired headlights on the roof as built and there's no provision for a pole on the drawing (could she have been a third-railer?).

Now, to the history, provided by Dennis (and edited by me).  It was purchased from GE (sn #1437) by the Manuafacturer's Railroad of New Haven, Connecticut (later an NHRR subsidiary) that same year and almost immediately put to work on River Street in New Haven hauling freight, lettered as MRR #1 (soon re-lettered as NYNH&H No. 1).

In 1901, #1 was returned to GE in Schenectady for rebulding.  It received a nearly-all-new understructure with GE-51A motors and then was rated at 15 tons.  It was given new sn #1607, and listed as type LS-209E.

It is still in its last working physical incarnation as modified by the Joe Cushing RR of Fitchburg, Massachusets, in 1905 (slots in bonnets and changed windows for improved vision, etc.)  It has been repainted approximately as GE decorated it in 1893.  The museum plans to someday restore it to it's original GE appearance specifications.

Having overloaded this page, I am continuing the history of GE #1 on the Electric Boxcabs continuation page 1.

At the Musée Ferroviare Canadien/Canadian RR Museum in St. Constant (Delson), Québec, Canada (along with 1929 CNR #77 and 1937 CP #7000 diesel boxcabs), one of the original five Montréal-Deux-Montagnes (Two Mountains) line electric boxcabs is preserved.  Originally CNoR #601, built by GE in 1914, this electric locomotive pulled the first passenger train through the Mount Royal Tunnel, Montréal on 21 Oct 18 and the last regularly scheduled train at 25Kv AC in Jun 95.  It was renumbered to CN #9101 in Nov 49 and then to CN #101 in Feb 69 {when did she become #6711?}.  #6711 and her five sister locomotives were originally designed to haul long distance and commuter trains through the mile-and-a-half long Mount Royal Tunnel for the Canadian Northern Railway; a rôle that was further expanded during the Second World War with the opening of Central Station in 1943.  #6711 was extensively modified in 1954, 1969, and 1991.&bbsp;   I was up at Montréal on 25 Jul 2002; more will follow!

CN #6711 at MFC
(photo and information from Musée Ferroviare Canadien site - all rights reserved.).

(08 Jul 2002 - #6711 was recently repainted and is just gorgeous!)

There were also apparently-similar boxcab electric locomotives pulling trains through the 1890 St. Clair (Sarnia) tunnel on the Grand Trunk between Port Huron, Michigan, and Sarnia, Ontario; for more on these, click here.

There were (and even are) jillions and zillions of other boxcab electrics; the Pennsy specialized in them and the Great Northern, Milwaukee Road, New Haven, and Virginian weren't far behind.  Nothing will ever top the Pennsy's FF1 "Big Liz" #3931 of 1917, a jack-shaft, side-rodded, 1-C+C-1 (2-6-6-2), single-unit monster weighing in at 516,000 pounds and stretching a full 76½' long!  Coverage of her has been moved to a PRR boxcab page, as has coverage of seven (7) giant Class Y1 2-C+C-2 electric boxcabs (plus a Y-1a) the Pennsy bought from GN's Cascade Mountain service, reclassifying them as FF2.

Speaking of Pennsy boxcab electrics, it all began with three experimental electrics to test out the concept for the electrification of the Main Line from Philadelphia to New York; this coverage has also been moved to the Pennsy Boxcab page.

Oregon had some big B-B+B-B electric freight motors cobbered up from two B-B interurban chassis's each; at least one was a boxcab and ended up with a hood sister in the Chicago area; I just saw pictures of it and fell in love (even if it IS a juice-jack)!

If you like electric boxcabs, Clint Chamberlin has a whole page full!  Whoa - them is boxcabs what is boxcabs!  Also, there was a great feature on the twilight of "The King of the Rails", the Milwaukee Road's huge GE E-34, E-50a, and E-74 in the July 1973 TRAINS, pp. 29-38; quite literally the "End of Wire".

NYC S-Motors - the New York Central had what I'd term an "Honorary Boxcab", their classic old S-motor, immortalized by Lionel in tinplate.  Because the info. exceeded the capacity of this page, I've moved it to Electric Boxcab Survivors page 3.

I almost overlooked the early electric box motor #4 that puttered around the Brooklyn waterfront from 1907 to at least 1957 or later on the South Brooklyn Railway (see the BEDT and Rail-Marine pages for more on this and those waterfront operations.  It was built locally by the Brooklyn Heights Railroad Company and appears to have third rail shoes as well as front and rear poles.

Now, just for a teaser, here is the gigantic Virginian 642-ton 3(1-D-1) #100 set:

VGN #100
(photo from TRAIN SHED CYCLOPEDIA #15)

and here it is in service pulling 6,000 tons up a 2% grade between:Mullens and Clark's Gap in West Virginia:   added (23 Aug 2012)

VGN #100
(photo from TRAIN SHED CYCLOPEDIA #15)

(and on a sharply-curved trestle, no less)!

Speaking of the Virginian, I thought I'd died and gone to Boxcab Heaven!  I was sent (12 Nov 2006) this e-postcard of the Virginian's Mullens (West Virginia) Motor Barn ca. 1920-40 or so (thanks, Frank!):

VGN Mullens Motor Barn

It's the western end of the Virginian's electrified district (Mullens to Roanoke), where the primary work was done on VGN's electrics -- the facility at Roanoke was much smaller.  The facility still exists, but is abandoned and dilapidated.

The French have restored some really big electric boxcabs (and other locos) down in Savoy (near the Swiss and Italian borders); take a look at APMFS (l'Association pour la Préservation du Matériel Ferroviaire Savoyard - the Association for the Preservation of Railroad Equipment of Savoy - seulement en Français); note also the immense roundhouse at Chambéry!

The National Railway Historical Society's Inland Empire Chapter in Spokane, Washington, has a boxcab electric running (where's the trolley pole and wire, folks?), their #502 (ex-Great Falls, Montana, #L-451), which turns out to be a 45 ton, 500 volt DC third-rail Baldwin-Westinghouse built in 1901{!} for the Great Falls Smelter Railway (Anaconda).

MILW #10200 - Phillip Wellman advised (12 Nov 98) that Duluth, Minnesota, is home to the Lake Superior Railroad Museum*, which houses the big Milwaukee Road 1916 GE boxcab electric E-50 #10200*.  LSMT, by the way, also displays the WILLIAM CROOKS#, one of the world's most beautifully-proportioned steam locomotives ever, and the little MINNETONKA, as well as monster DM&IR 2-8-8-4 Yellowstone #227 [not as pretty as my favo(u)red B&O EM-1, but what a brute!].

* - I was there on 22 Aug 99 and at nearby Proctor where DM&IR #225 is on display.


(Note revised name and URL - 21 Aug 02)

Here is a very bad shot of #10200; the lighting and access were impossible!

1916 GE L50 Milw. #10200 at LSMT
(Photo by and © 1999 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnail image; click on picture for larger image.]

Wow!  Milwaukee Road and boxcab electric fan(atic)s have got to see the http://millennium.fortunecity.com/rover/96/electric.html (no longer a link) Milwaukee Road Electric Locomotives photo roster, with great shots of the bi-polars and one by Dave Mewhinney of the big Westinghouse quill-drive boxcab at Deer Lodge, Montana, in 1954!  The only problem here is that the link is now (19 Nov 00) broken; so I offer you this one. instead.

David Morgan, who told me of the broken link, has offered this magnificent view of an E-25 string (I've asked for provenance and details):

MILW E-25 D. Morgan
(Large thumbnail of a huge picture; click on the picture for a much larger (220Kb) image.]

And here is an old (ca. 1940) picture of the Class EF-3 #E28 2-B-B+B-B+B-B-2 string:

Milw EF-3 #E28
(photo from TRAIN SHED CYCLOPEDIA #15)

These were originally paired 2-B-B units but were boosted by addition of a B-B unit in the middle.

Westing's "The Locomotives That Baldwin Built" (see Boxcabs Bibliography) has an incredibly tiny 3' gauge boxcab electric motor for the Whitehall Railway Co. on page 155 and an 1895 electric boxcab on page 159 later sold to the Lackawanna and Wyoming Valley (Laurel Line).

GN W1 - Of course, no juice-jack will ever match my all-time favorite electric (weeeeell, there's always "Big Liz"), the GN W1, a 1946 GE B-D+D-B (Bo-Do+Do-Bo - all axles powered) 720,000#, 5,000-hp, 119,000#TE, monster, but it wasn't a boxcab; in fact, it was fully streamlined at both ends (I have an HO model - see also the "REALLY HEAVY Electrics" write-up on my model railroads page.  One (#5019) was scrapped but other (#5018) went to the UP to be sandwiched between a UP PA-1 (ex-#607) control and shunting unit and a huge coal tender (from Challenger #3990); the unit was gutted and the only UP coal turbine installed.  The engine was unsuccessful (the coal fines eroded the turbine buckets) but what a sight and sound along the North Platte!  Yup, I saw it, probably on one of its last runs (the last was 12 May 64), blasting coal smoke hundreds of feet in the air, pulling over 200 cars (by actual count), the only time I was ever out on the North Platte!

Here's the HO KMT model (sans cab steps and a bit damaged - but whadda monster!):

Photo by SB,III
(relit and reshot, 21 Jan 01, as promised )
[Photo by and © 2000 - S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved]

Could we call it an "honorary boxcab", one with pointed projections at the ends?  Actually, it almost WAS a boxcab, after the UP rounded off the ends when it was the turbine chassis!

{This is actually a photofake; in the interim between the previous shot, Jul 98, and this one,
the whole "right" (in the photo) pilot snapped off (don't you just hate bad soldering on
expensive oriental brass, which won't pull worth a damn, anyway? - Take THAT, KMT via
NJ Custom Brass!) and I shot the picture before I remembered it, soooooo - a wee bit of
doctoring was in order, mirror imaging the "left" pilot and grafting it on to the "right" end.
I also notice that the track, which I made sure was tangent, is curved anyway!}

As the UP #80B turbine unit, the W1 ended up 97' 11¾" long and the whole rig was a walloping 215" long (214' 93/8 to be exact)!  Speaking of brass, in 2000, I saw the three-unit UP #80 turbine in O scale brass for $3,500 (no, I did NOT buy it)!

Now here's a baby brother to the W1, a 2-C+C-2 (1-Co-Co-1) "Golden Snake" from Chile, obviously photographed at a breaker's yard or at least sitting sans pans being used as a hangar queen or prior to scrapping:

BW Chilean 1-Co-Co-1 Golden Snake

(thumbnail image; click on the picture for a larger image,
cropped from one from Sr. Guillermo Borgas - see below)

She's a Baldwin-Westinghouse 1949, 4,500 hp, 209 ton monster [another "honorary boxcab", with pointed projections?].

[01 Oct 01 - in the preceding, I had erroneously termed the giant GN electric a "W2".]

Piedmont & Northern #5103

Now, before rattling off to Chile, let's consider the Piedmont & Northern classic electric boxcab #5103 noted on the Survivors page, preserved at the North Carolina Transportation Museum's historic Spencer Shops in Salisbury, North Carolina.  She's a beauty (if you like boxcabs) and appears largely original; she's a sort of southern dual-power loco, sporting both a huge pantagraph AND a trolley pole!  Here is the Museum's postcard view (the card is available from their Gift Station):

P&N #5103 Postcard

Because the Museum kindly sent more information than could fit on this page, I moved #5103 coverage to a new page.

CHILEAN BOXCAB ELECTRICS - moved 17 Jan 01 to Electric Boxcabs - Part 2.

30 Aug 00 - in came a flyer for Trains Unlimited Tours (of Portola, CA, no less!), advertising a Northern Chile Railfan Adventure tour 16-24 Jun 2001 of "the nitrate mine roads" and "the Atacama Desert, driest place in the world", where there "are areas where it has not rained for over 100 years"!  On the afternoon of Friday, 22 Jun 01, you are to see the station at Bariles "where the nitrate trains are switched from diesel to GE boxcab electrics for the steep 4% grade down the mountains to the Pacific Ocean at Tocopilla".  "The Tocopilla Al {sic} Toco Railroad will provide us with a charter train so that we can experience the spectacular 4% ride down the mountain with 1927 built GE box cabs."  {Emphases mine in preceding quotations.}  There are two color photos of the boxcabs on the flyer.  I will be posting these and more on the TRAINS UNLIMITED, TOURS, PHOTO COLLECTION page.

See Electric Boxcabs Continuation Page 1 for Other Overseas Electric Boxcabs.

Mexican boxcabs were by ALCo-GE and will appear on the Continuation Page 4 (and that's NOT overseas).

I had my grandchildren out to the Long Island Live Steamers on 31 Jul 99 and there was a battery model of a Pacific Electric steeplecab box motor; the ends are minimal and I think it, also, could be an "honorary boxcab":

PE-1591 Box Motor     PE-1591 Box Motor
(Images from Andy's Pacific Electric Page;
thumbnails - click on pictures for larger images.)

Now, I am very much into Z-scale (1:220) and while at the Amherst Show in Springfield, Mass., on 05 Feb 00, I picked up a Z boxcab electric all of 1¼" (31.75mm) long:

Electric Boxcab Ornament
Electric Boxcab Ornament
[06 Feb 00 photo by and © 2000 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved.]

Of course, it's only a fob ornament and slightly undersized even for Z (perhaps ~1:250)
but it was cute and, for a buck, I couldn't resist.

Now, here's an electric loco which, while NOT a boxcab, is so wild I had to put it up here; it's a a steam locomotive with a BIG electric heater in the boiler!

electric steamer
electric steamer,
(I deeply regret losing provenance on this but I did ask permission first and got it.)
[Thumbnail image; click on picture for larger image.]

A Swiss e-correspondent sent this info. (15 Mar 2002, sightly edited)) - "This is a transformed steam switcher from the early twenties.  Type E3/3 'Tigerli'.  After transformation, it was rostered as an E(e) 3/3 ["E" meaning switcher, "(e)" for electric, "3/3" meaning 3 powered axles out of a total of 3 axles)].  The transformation was made in 1942, due to shortages of coal and oil in Switzerland during WW2.  It was but a prototype and if I remember well there were but one or two of these to be built.  This apparently is engine No 8521 from Swiss Federal Railways.  It was assigned to Bern until 1951 and was stricken in 1953."

In my Boxcab Bibliography, I have Hollingsworth's 2000 book, "The Illustrated Directory of Trains of the World ".  There are a number of boxcab electrics (or what I have dubbed "honorary boxcabs") in the book, but two foreign (to the U.S.) electric boxcabs and one Canadian locomotive REALLY caught my eye (moved 17 Jan 01 to Other Overseas Electric Boxcabs).

Actually, there are endless foreign electrics that, strictly speaking, qualify as boxcabs, but they have vestiges of steamlining or slanted windscreens or something that turns me off and this is MY site, you know!

Another "really weird and wonderful" boxcab is the N&W's #7 electric BOXGON (or whatever they call it?):

N&W Boxcab Electric Gondola

Per Clint Chamberlin, "the NW#7 is an electric transfer car at one of N&W's Coal transfer piers in Norfolk VA.  The coal hoppers were dumped into a stock pile and the coal transferred to these cars, which would travel out onto the pier and dump into waiting ships." From John McCluskey (photo by John Testagrose).

There is a good (if ever-so-slightly erroneous) site about electic boxcabs at ToyTrains1.

Air, Steam, and Odder Boxcabs have been moved to AIR BOXCAB!, STEAM BOXCABS!, and ODDER BOXCABS.

That may well be, but this is certainly an electric boxcab and really odd:

GRRwy M4 bonder - Wayner 25
(from Railroad Work Equipment and Special Service Cars, Robert J. Wayner, NY, ca. 1989)
[Thumbnail image - click on picture for larger image.]

While this sure looks like a boxcab electric locomotive; it isn't.  It is Grand River Railway rail bonder #M4, used to weld copper connectors between rails (for electrical continuity around splice plates).  So, it really is a boxcab and it really is electric, but it is NOT a locomotive.


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.

There are now more than seventy-five (75) BOXCAB pages;
see the full INDEX, now on a separate page.


See Copyright Notice on primary home page.

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prevpage.gif subjndex.gif frstpage.gif nextpage.gif
To tour the Boxcabs pages in sequence, the arrows take you from the previous page, to the Boxcabs index, to the first Boxcabs page, and on to continuation pages 3 and up, then 100-tonner LIRR #401 and her sisters, survivor boxcabs (with map) and survivor notes, survivor CNJ #1000 (the very first), Ingersoll-Rand boxcabs (with instruction manual), other (non-ALCo/GE/I-R) boxcabs, Baldwin-Westinghouse boxcabs, odd boxcabs, and finally model boxcabs.

© Copyright S. Berliner, III - 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2012  - all rights reserved.

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