AGEIR Box Cab Diesel Locomotive Page 2

AGEIR #8835 Demonstrator

{Transferred to 13 Jun 2006;
posting revised  06 Sep 2011;  20:00 ET}

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When General Electric stopped production of internal combustion engines at their Erie Works in 1919 it was not an indication that they had lost interest in producing a Diesel-electric locomotive...  During 1920 Dr. Hermann Lemp, who had developed the Oil-Electric Control System for GE, drew up specifications for a Diesel engine that would be suitable for locomotive use.  The short-comings of the Model GM-50 Diesel which GE had produced provided some valuable lessons that were incorporated into these new specifications...

When the Ingersoll-Rand Company received an inquiry from General Electric they came to realize that the new Diesel engine being produced by the Rathbun Gas Engine Company, of Toledo Ohio, could easily be modified to meet or exceed Dr. Lemp's specifications.  At that time Ingersoll-Rand was manufacturing the fuel injection pump for the Rathbun PR (Price-Rathbun) Diesel engine... which allowed solid fuel oil instead of air to be injected into the engine.  Along with this injection system the Model PR Diesel engine had a newly designed combustion chamber which combined to make it conciderably more fuel efficient than any other Diesel-like design of that time...

During 1921 General Electric and Ingersoll-Rand reached an agreement whereby GE would produce the mechanical assembly and Ingersoll-Rand would then install a modified Model PR Diesel engine into a prototype locomotive.  In turn the Rathbun Gas Engine Company licensed Ingersoll-Rand to build the locomotive version of the PR Diesel power plant, but it is generally thought that Rathbun built the first few modified engines for Ingersoll-Rand...  GE started by rebuilding Builders #6206 (formerly Jay Street #4).  They replaced the ill-fated GM-50 Diesel with a Sterling Dolphin 200 horsepower gasoline engine direct connected to a newly designed main generator which included an auxiliary generator to accomodate the revised version of the "Lemp System of Control".  The rebuilt 55 ton unit retained GE Builders #6206, but was assigned to East Erie Commercial RR as their Road #2.  This locomotive revision was completed in 1922 and proved quite successful in yard switching, but the main generator was limited at higher speeds...

At about the same time as Builders #6206 was being rebuilt for testing purposes... General Electric took the underframe and trucks from GE #4 (Builders #3795, the first GE Diesel-electric unit which was completed in 1917) and began reworking these mechanical assemblies for the prototype unit of their joint venture with Ingersoll-Rand.  This included installation of four HM-840 traction motors on the trucks.  The unique car body from GE #4 with its half circle #1 end was also utilized... but modified.  A new GE Builders Number, #8835, was then assigned to this unit by which it was referred to throughout its demonstration period...

The #2 end of demonstrator #8835 went through some major changes which resulted in a Box Cab style appearance... Windows, a door, and grab irons were installed on this end of the Wason car body.  A side window for the engineer was also implemented to go along with the second set of operator controls.  This unit could now be operated from either end.  An additional radiator cooling system assembly was also applied... which worked together with the original one retained from its use on GE #4.  When all of the rebuilding and remodeling was completed it was hooked up to #6206 (East Erie Commercial #2, nee Jay Street #4).  Power was then supplied by #6206 for operating the traction motors of this demonstrator unit and testing was conducted on the East Erie Test Track during March of 1923.  The following month #8835 was shipped to the Ingersoll-Rand facilities at Phillipsburg New Jersey...


Web Site Notes:  John F. Campbell passed away far too soon on 23 Feb 2005; for more information, click here.  This site is now hosted in John's honor by his e-friend and fellow boxcab aficionado S. Berliner, III; more boxcab information and photographs can be found at SB,III's site,, et seq.  John's pages are not being changed or otherwise updated as to content, unless specifically so noted in {braces}.

To contact S. Berliner, III, please click here.

© 2001 by John F. Campbell; © Copyright S. Berliner, III - 2006, 2011 - All rights reserved.

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