GE 20 & 23 Ton Box Cabs Locomotives Page

{Transferred to 20 Jul 2006;
posting revised  06 Sep 2011;  20:30 ET}

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{This is a first attempt at re-creating John F. Campbell's extensive boxcab site;
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As Economies began recovering from the Great Depression of the 1930's General Electric decided to venture into the Industrial Locomotive market...  And as with the first production Diesel-electrics of the 1920's GE began this venture with a Box Cab design...  And like their first successful Internal Combustion locomotives a new engine was introduced... the Cummins Model HBI High Speed 150 HP Diesel...  The first Industrial production units were 20 Ton Box Cabs introduced during June 1938 and with customers requesting more weight for better adhesion the 23 Ton Box Cab design replaced the 20 Tonners in 1939...


General Electric produced a total of five (5) 20 Ton Box Cab Diesel-electrics which were all completed during June, 1938...  Three (3) of these Industrial Locomotives were purchased by Lehigh Portland Cement...

b/n 12445 - Wisconsin Steel (Internationa Harvester Subsidiary) - b/d 6/1938

b/n 12446 - Wisconsin Steel #16 (International Harvester Subsidiary) - b/d 6/1938

b/n 12447 - b/d 6/1938 - Delivered to Lehigh Portland Cement at Iola, Kansas during July, 1938...  Later became General Portland Industries No.1...  Currently part of the Midland Railway Historical Association collection at Baldwin City, Kansas...

b/n 12448 - Lehigh Portland Cement - b/d 6/1938 - Location?

b/n 12449 - Lehigh Portland Cement - b/d 6/1938 - Location?

General Portland Industries No. 1 was originally Lehigh Portland Cement No# - Then #1 ...  Photographed at Iola, Kansas on April 26, 1987... after almost a half Century of service...  Note: The body grab irons & corner strap steps have been removed...

Spotting Features:
The 20 Ton Box Cabs had single panel doors - fewer windows - body side grab irons only and thin 2" deckplates...

The 23 Ton Box Cabs had multi paneled doors - extra windows - body side grab irons which wrapped around the ends, grab irons on the ends and thicker 3-1/2" deckplates...


General Electric began manufacturing the 23 Ton Box Cab during 1939 and produced and delivered six (6) units that year between January and September...  And as with the 20 Ton Box Cabs there are still questions surrounding them...  The above image is of Lehigh Portland Cement No# - GE b/n 12505 - b/d 3/1939 - at Mason City, Iowa on 9/25/1974...  In this view there's a solid door replacement and the signature 3-1/2" deckplate...  Noted Industrial Locomotive authority Jay Reed has one report showing this 23 Tonner went to Royal Oak Enterprises at Lehigh, North Dakota...  And at last report sibling 23 Ton Box Cab (b/n 12504) was still being stored at the closed plant of Indiana Gas & Chemical...  While 23 Tonner (b/n 12495) is believed to have been built for Lehigh Portland Cement's Alsen, New York facilities and was photographed by David Hamley on July 4, 1972 at Lackawanna, New York... either on its way to - or being returned from the "Terminal of Commerce"...
{photo missing}


b/n 12492 Ash Grove Lime & Cement #1 - 36" Gauge - b/d 1/1939
b/n 12493 Ash Grove Lime & Cement #2 - 36" Gauge - b/d 1/1939 - (NOTE: See Following web page)
b/n 12494 Proctor & Gamble Mfg Co. #2 - b/d 6/1939
b/n 12495 Lehigh Portland Cement #? - b/d ?/1939 - Alsen New York Facilities...
b/n 12504 Originally Lehigh Portland Cement - ?/1939 - Location? - Last Reported Stored at Indiana Gas & Chemical"s Plant...
b/n 12505 Lehigh Portland Cement No.# - b/d 6/1939

A special thanks to Jay Reed for continued roster assistance with these small Box Cabs...


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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