S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Electric Railroads Page keywords = rail road way electric electrification train motor engine juice jack Great Northern GN LIRR Long Island Baltimore Ohio B&O boxcab locomotive restoration Pennsylvania Pennsy PRR Berlinerwerke

Updated:   15 Dec 2013, 18:15  ET
[Page converted 16 Aug 2011>

    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/rr-elocs.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/rr-elocs.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) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been 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.

S. Berliner, III's


Electric Railroads Page


On this Electric Railroads page:
  GE E10b Electric Switcher.

See the main Railroads page for other indexing.

On other pages:

ALCO-GE-IR Boxcabs (and others),
  see the Boxcabs Index Page for details of the many (over 55) pages on boxcabs alone!

S. Berliner, III's Pennsylvania Railroad Page, et seq.

Railroads You can Model.

Schnabel and other Giant RR Cars, et seq.

Long Island Rail Road (and LI Rail Roads).

Great Northern/Western Fruit Express (WFEX) Reefers

    plus Z-Scale (1:220) Model Railroading (and smaller!).

Juice-jackers (electric fans) {I really wrote that?} take heart, while not my favorite type of loco, they appear abundantly on my Odd Boxcabs page (of all places!) and scattered elsewhere throughout my RR and MRR pages; note also the , not only on my PRR page but also half-way down the main RR page, and the DD3 on my Berlinerwerke Apocrypha page.

note-rt.gif While electric railroading is not one of my primary interests, I have enough interest, especially about electric locomotives, and, even more so, about Boxcab Electric Locomotives, et seq., that I keep running across non-boxcab electric locomotives of such great interest to me that I decided to create this page about them.

GE E10b (Niagara Junction/Conrail/MetroNorth)

What kicked me off on this new page was a class drawing and spec sheet for Metro North Railroad's (MNR's) GE E10b 126-ton* electric switcher for use in Grand Central Terminal:

MNR GE E10b Class Drawing
(image courtesy of a RR friend)

They were numbered 401 through 403 and were built in May 1952 under builder's numbers 31136, 31138, and 31139 (wonder what was 31137?**), as shown on the spec sheet:

MNR GE E10b Data Sheet
(image courtesy of a RR friend)

    [For a boxcab version, see Berlinerwerke Apocrypha page 18, but keep your tongue firmly in your cheek!]

* - Joe Kocsis (see below) writes that they were/are 96-ton, 1,030 HP locos; perhaps MNR weighted them.   added (15 Dec 2013)

** - Well, on 12 Dec 2013 I heard from Martin Baumann, who very kindly told me just what #31137 was [edited slighty]:   added (12 Dec 2013)

  "It was also a Niagara Junction engine.  The roster was:

    NJ 14 31136 07.1952
    NJ 15 31137 07.1952
    NJ 16 31138 07.1952
    NJ 17 31139 07.1952
    NJ 18 31140 08.1952
    NJ 19 31141 08.1952
    NJ 20 31142 08.1952

  They went to Conrail as 4750 to 4756 in 1977.
    4756 did carry this number but was soon used for parts.

  MetroNorth 401, 402, and 403 were ex CR 4750, 4752, and 4753.

  4751 still exists.  It is supposedly preserved but seems to be dumped in poor condition in Lackawanna, NY."

Were they begun in May and completed or delivered in July and August (7 and 8) 1952?

Thus, if I have this aright, this is the lineage (I didn't; it's corrected now, thanks to Martin Baumann):   rev (15 Dec 2013)

    GE     NJ  CR    MNR
    31136  14  4750  401
    31137  15  4751  -
    31138  16  4752  402
    31139  17  4753  403
    31140  18  4754  -
    31141  19  4755  -
    31142  20  4756 (parted out)
Here are three of 'em, 14, 17, and 19, in Niagara Junction service, courtesy of Don Ross's fabulous Don's Depot:

NiagJnctE10b#14 NiagJnctE10b#17 NiagJnctE10b#19
(images from D. Ross Collection, J. Testagrose, and W. Volkmer Collection,
respectively, all courtesy of D. Ross,)

   [Niagara Junction is, logically enough, up in Niagara Falls.  According to Doug Kroll's RR-Road Trip site (edited):
"The Niagara Junction Railway was an 11 mile electrified shortline located in Niagara Falls, NY.  Built in 1892, the line was electrified for two reasons:
1) The major industries served were chemical plants and electric locomotives were safer to operate than the steam locomotives of that era.

2) Nearby Niagara Falls provided ample and cheap hydro-electric power.
The little line had miles of sidings running through these plants, which even in the 1970's were quite security conscious, and which made photographing the line difficult.  Owned jointly by the Penn Central, Erie-Lackawanna, and Lehigh Valley (50-25-25%), the line became part of Conrail on April 1, 1976.  Big Blue continued the electric operations for a couple of years, but eventually dieselized the line and tore down the wires.  The line continues to be an important source of traffic for CSX today whose switch crews work the line out of nearby Niagara Yard, the ex-PC yard in town."
    Doug has far more info. and many photos on his site.]

And HERE, courtesy of Wayne Koch, are all three MNR units on the dead line at Harmon sometime in 2002:   added (13 Dec 2013)

(heavily cropped from image by Jaap VanDorp, from W. Koch collection,
[click on thumbnailed picture for even larger image!]

[Note that all three units have different 3rd-rail shoe applications.]

Doesn't it figure?  #402 was repainted just before being deadlined!  How 'bout that inside-out view of #403's grillework? That's odd; it appears to be on the wrong quadrant; see the other two units and the three NJ pix above!  Swapped hood doors?

Wayne writes that they were retired around 2001, replaced by MNR 404 & 405 - Brookville BL06 switching locos and that the E10s were pure electric, 3rd rail and small pantos up on roof, whereas the BL06 is straight diesel-electric.

Clearly, now, the next question is just exactly where is #4751?  Martin Baumann linked me to Joe Kocsis' NIAGARA JUNCTION RAILROAD GENERAL ELECTRIC E-10-B #15 page, with many pix and a great history of all six units!   rev (15 Dec 2013)

Martin added that the three Metronorth E10s were scrapped in November 2004 but that it isn't clear when the NJ electrification shut down, different sources giving different dates.  For lack of anything more definitive, I'll go with Joe Kocsis: "Electric operation was discontinued in January 1978,".

Well, here she is in south Buffalo-cum-Lackawanna on 31 Jul 2013:   added (15 Dec 2013)

(31 July 2013 photo by Stephen Grekulak
of Schenectady, NY; courtesy of Martin Baumann)

Judging by the condition of the coach, we're lucky #15/4751 isn't in worse shape.

Joe writes that #15-cum-4751 is in South Buffalo, awaiting restoration.  I can't find her in the satellite view on Google Maps, but I'd bet she's at the roundhouse facility just west of Verel Avenue in Lackawanna (which is south Buffalo); stay tuned.

Many U.S. railroads were heavily electrified, using early boxcab electric locos, such as the B&O but most notably the Pennsylvania, New York Central, and New Haven (which still are - as the successor N. E. Corridor) and the Great Northern (now dieselized as part of BNSF).  To my mind, few electric locos top the PRR's FF1 Big Liz, DD1, and GG1 and the GN's gigantic GE B-D-D-B W-1.  For starters, here's the Pennsy's 1917 FF1, Big Liz, a 2-C+C-2 which was so powerfuil it yanked out drawbars all over the road:   new (16 Aug 2011)

PRR #3931 Big Liz

PRR #3931 Big Liz
(photos from TRAIN SHED CYCLOPEDIA #15)
[Thumbnail images; click on picture for even larger images!]

This was the GN Y1 2-C+C-2 electric boxcab from GN's Cascade Mountain service for

GN #5013 (PRR FF2)
(photo from TRAIN SHED CYCLOPEDIA #15)
[Thumbnail image; click on picture for an even larger image!]

The Pennsy bought seven of 'em, rebult six as class FF2, and used them for drag-speed pusher service.

And just so you see what else I'm talking about, here's the GN W-1:

GN W-1 5018-19 Skykomish GN W-1 5019 Skykomish
GN W-1 5018 and 5019 (l.) and 5019 (r.) at Skykomish, WA
(left photo by Montague Powell from the collection of Joe Shine /
right photo by Stan Kistler from Vanishing Vistas postcard

Here is an old (ca. 1940) picture of a Milwaukee (CM&StP) Class EF-3 #E28 2-B-B+B-B+B-B-2 string:

Milw EF-3 #E28
(photo from TRAIN SHED CYCLOPEDIA #15)
[Thumbnail image; click on picture for very much larger image!]

and the gigantic Virginian 642-ton 3(1-D-1) #100 set:

VGN #100
(photo from TRAIN SHED CYCLOPEDIA #15)
[Thumbnail image; click on picture for even larger image!]

[Train Shed images have to be restored]

What monsters, all!

Other very-heavy electric users included the N&W; see the boxcab electric locos page, et seq.

- - - * - - -

[Much more on electric locomotives to follow.]

Steam lovers, see my Science and Technology page!  Ah, the power of steam!

There is an incredible simulation program by Charlie Dockstadter on steam valve gear available on the Alaska Live Steamers VALVE GEAR ON THE COMPUTER page.

You may wish to visit the Railroad Continuation Page, et seq.

frstpage.gif of this series of Railroad pages.


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


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