GE Boxcabs Continuation Page
keywords = boxcab EMD Electro motive ALCo GE IR AGEIR American Locomotive Company General Electric Ingersoll Rand oil electric diesel engine rail road
Updated:  09 Sep 2003, 18:10  ET
{Missing images restored 01 Mar 03}
(Created:  28 Jan 2002)
[Ref:  This is boxcabge.html  (URL]

S. Berliner, III's


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

General Electric


There are now more than fifty (50) BOXCAB pages;
see the main Boxcabs page and the Boxcabs INDEX.

This site has now been visited times since the counter was installed.


GE 20/23-ton Boxcabs.
ALCo and GE Shovelnoses
Chiriqui Land Co. Miniboxcabs
Surviving GE Electric Boxcabs.

[First of all, I want to credit Bill Russell, Penny Bridge; we seem to be linking back and forth but he has the most compendious site about NY-area railroading,
where most boxcabs lurked, with tons of information.

Second, take a look at Mark Laundry's Yard Limit Diesel Switcher Spotter's and Reference Guide, a site about early diesel switchers, especially a 1994 paper by Benn Coifman on " The Evolution of the Diesel Locomotive in the United States", with an excellent history of the ALCo-GE-IR consortium, as well as McKeen, Westinghouse/Baldwin, Hamilton/EMC/EMD, and Pullman's efforts.]

Since Sep 00, there has been an extremely detailed and accurate site focusing exclusively on the earliest history of the ALCo-GE-IR (AGEIR) locos, John F. Campbell's "ALCO / General Electric / Ingersoll-Rand (AGEIR) Diesel-Electric Locomotives" site; I heartily recommend it to you!  John Campbell has since added a complete roster of all the ALCo-GE-IR boxcab locos built in the first production run, totalling 33 units, from 1925 to 1930, but not the later Bi- and Tri-Power or GE-IR units.

GE Electric Boxcab History:   rev.gif (06 Dec 02)

At the 1893 Chicago Columbia Exposition, General Electric exhibited a diminutive 0-B-0 steeple-cab electric locomotive built 1892-1893 by Thompson-Houston at about the same time as GE bought T-H.  The locomotive then passed to the Manufacturers RR of New London, Connecticut, which was absorbed into the NYNH&H and then to the Joe Cushing RR and was donated by that last line to the Museum of Transport in St. Louis, where she survives today!  Her story was related on the main Electric Boxcabs page and her history continued on the Electric Boxcabs continuation page 1 but she now has her own page, as is only befittin' the oldest survivor.   rev.gif (09 Sep 03)

The first serious, commercial, heavy electric locomotive in this country was commissioned by the B&O in a purely-speculative venture with GE.  The B&O needed a way to get freight through the 1.4-mile Howard Street Tunnel under Baltimore [the very one that caught fire in mid-July last year (2001)] without asphyxiating the engineers and contracted with GE in 1892 to try to build an electric locomotive for that service.  Such had never been done before but GE came through handsomely within a year (1893) with a 30-ton 0-B-0 switcher; too small for tunnel service, it nevertheless proved the concept of heavy electric traction.  Having done this, GE went on to design and build a complete system for the service - generating plant, distribution, and 98-ton locomotives on articulated chassis with four pairs of 68" drivers (0-B+B-0?) and 49,000 T.E.

GE delivered B&O #1 in Jun 1895 and it entered revenue service on 07 Jun 1895; it was followed by #2 in Nov 1895 and #3 in May 1896.  The tunnel remained electrified until diesels took over in 1940.

[Information based on article, "The Howard Street Tunnel - Moving the Freight through Baltimore" by Jeffrey Smith, National Railway Bulletin ( NRHS), Volume 66, Number 5, 2000, pp. 34-37 (which, oddly enough did not come out until the week AFTER the fire!).]

GE Boxcab

Because these pages keep overloading as more and more information dribbles (or crashes) in, I am forced to create new pages.  There were a whole slew of General Electric boxcab locomotives that did NOT fit the standard AGEIR (ALCo-GE-IR) mold and they will be covered here as I move what already exists on my site to this page and add new information.

GE 20/23-ton Boxcabs

Prior to getting into the internal-combustion-powered locomotive business ca. 190?, General Electric was a major builder of electric motive power; their earliest efforts were basically electric locos without pans, poles, or shoes, and with a motor-generator set plunked into the carbody.  It is NOT the intention for this page to cover the surviving electrics here, although I will add links to them on this page as they come to my attention (below).

General Electric built a number of tiny industrial yard switchers in both 20 and 23 ton ratings.  Information on these is scattered across my boxcab and model RR pages and will be transferred here as convenient (for me).

I lost some information Tom Lawson sent me 13 Feb 99, which I mistakenly moved here, about a 4-wheel H. K. Porter boxcab "GE" built in the 1930's of 30-ton (?) size; he'd photographed it in service and provided a copy for us  However, what showed was a "GE 23-ton Porter", which confused the dickens out of me.  Well, it turns out that it is a "Gas- Electric" not a "General Electric" and has been moved back to my Other Boxcabs page!

The question of Porter vs. GE bothered me so I asked Lee Snover (GE 23/25-ton modeler extraordinaire) what he knew and he sent this (edited and abridged):  Porters were built in May and July of 1926; they used Climax 6-cylinder distillate engines driving Westinghouse 300KW generators with two Westinghouse traction motors; so much for THAT bright idea (for more on Lee and his models, see my Other Boxcabs and Model RR pages).

There is at least one survivor, 1938 GE 23-ton Lehigh Portland Cement #1, General Electric c/n 12447, Diesel-Electric, 6-1938, at the Midland Railway Historical Association in Baldwin City, Kansas.

Here, by kind permission of Don Ross, from his fabulous RailSpot photo collection are Jim Shepard's 21 Sep 79 shot of an unnumbered LPC 20-tonner (NOT a 23-tonner) at the Midland Railroad in Baldwin City, Kansas and Mike Murray's Dec 92 shot of a 23-tonner at Mason City, Iowa:   rev.gif (01 Mar 03)

Lehigh Portland Cement #1 Lehigh Portland Cement 23t #1
(J. Sheperd 21 Dec 79 LPC #? (left) and M. Murray Dec 92 LPC #? (right) - photos courtesy of D. Ross - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnail images; click on photos for larger images]

The 23-tonner sure needs a vacuuming (in fact, it's a miracle or a tribute to good air filters that she ran at all in all that abrasive dust)  Think that's a vacuum hose in front of her?  Maybe she was rigged up as a track vacuum!  (And it's not even April First!)   rev.gif (01 Mar 03)

Rich Garich noticed the discrepancy; see the deckplate thickness and the roller bearings?  Worse, to my mind, I never noticed not only these details, but the window arrangement and their distance from the roof!  So what IS that loco at the Midland - 20 or 23-ton?   rev.gif (01 Mar/09 Sep 03)


(moved from Boxcabs Continuation Page 2 on 28 Jan 2002)
The question was raised, "Are the GE Shovelnose export engines boxcabs?"  ALCo powered versions worked in Argentina and Uruguay and other versions were the famous White Pass & Yukon units and the Philippine National Railways engines.  It's a fair question, especially since I include the Alton shovelnoses and such and even the EMD E6 boxcab versions; but this is MY site and I choose not to cover them; they are standard, late-model, diesels and belong elsewhere.  Well - - - , mostly so.  Just because they were made later on and are a cross between a boxcab and a standard cowl diesel, I can still throw a little memory their way.

Señor Marcelo Benoit in Uruguay was kind enough to dig up both data AND photos of their GE shovelnoses, as follows:

There were 20 G. E. engines numbered 1501-1520, builder's numbers 30925-30944, 1,400 HP, built between March and November 1952, and 27 G.E. engines numbered 1521-1547, builder's numbers 32150-32176, 1,400 HP, built between June and November 1954.  They were standard gauge and used as main line locomotives on all tracks that allowed 18 tons/axle.  Only nine of these locomotives now survive in service.  Are used in passenger services between Montevideo and 25 de Agosto and on freight trains with less than 800 tons.  Displaced from heavier freights in 1994 with arrival of G.E. C18-7i locomotives.

Here are Sr. Benoit's 25 Aug 93 photo of #1515 with the train marking the renewal of passenger service between Montevideo and 25 de Agosto and #1530 at Peñarol on 21 May 99, plus one from the Uruguayan state collection of #1534:

GE Uruguayan Shovelnose #1515 25 Aug 93 GE Uruguayan Shovelnose #1530 21 May 99 GE Uruguayan Shovelnose #1534
(#1515 and #1530 images courtesy of Marcelo Benoit - all rights reserved;
#1534 image from the SODRE collection - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnail images - click on the pictures for full images]

Sr. Benoit adds that the photo of #1534 shows the former shovelnose color scheme {except that it's in B&W!} and was taken on the "La Tablada" cattle branch near Montevideo.

Sr. B. again (03 Jul 01), with DOUBLE-ENDED Argentinian Shovelnoses #5769 & 5725 at Saldias station (near Retiro in Buenos Aires, on the Ferrocarril Belgrano Cargas); both were originally single-ended like the WP&Y units:

GE Uruguayan Double-Ended Shovelnoses #5769 & 5725

Speaking of GE export models, can anyone give me more information (other than that on the diagram which follows) about this 1930 3' narrow gauge unit on Chiriqui Land Company rails in Panama?  It sure looks like a twin to the Celotex Corp. #3 1929 23-ton GE/Porter Gas-Electric noted above.

Chiriqui Land Co. Miniboxcabs

1930 GE 3' Chiriqui Panama
(image from Bruce Pryor's Narrow Gauge Pictures From Off The Beaten Path site).
[Thumbnail image - click on the picture for the full image.]

Here is the Chiriqui Land Co's. "Oil Electric Locomotive" diagram, marked "Collection of Richard Yudin", also courtesy of Bruce Pryor:

1930 GE 3' Chiriqui Diagram
(image from Bruce Pryor's Narrow Gauge Pictures From Off The Beaten Path site). [Thumbnail image; click on picture for larger image]

25/27 Jan 02 - From Brian Norden, a director of both the Orange Empire Railway Museum and the Association of Railway Museums comes this information on the Chriqui units (basically unedited):

"The Chiriqui Land Company was a banana operation in Panama that later bought some of the earliest ALCO hood units."  Here is what Brian found about the double-truck 3' gauge box-cab locomotives that Chiriqui Land Company bought from GE.

"A total of five of these locomotives were built.  It appears that the Winton oil engines were sold through EMC as EMC listed the sales with its conversion order number"

No. GE Serial Date EMC No. Later Road No.
6 10837 5/29 C-26 706
7 10838 5/29 C-27 707
8 11084 1/30 C-29 708
9 11085 1/30 C-30 709
10 11085 1/30 C-31 710
"The EMC C-numbers were usually assigned to motor car conversion kits sold by EMC.  For a list see 'Interurbans Without Wires'.  The reason for these engines being handled by EMC is unknown; but, there may have had an agreement with Winton to have exclusive rights to railway sales.  Why these locomotives received Winton engines is unknown; maybe the purchaser specified the Winton engines."

29 Jan 02- Brian sent me the missing EMC conversion order number info.  Two of them were for two of the 4-wheel locomotives that PRR built at Altoona for itself; both were gas-engine equipped - order dates 5/28 and 5/29.  A photo in the 2nd Diesel Spotters Guide shows a look similar to the LI units.  The other was for a 72-ton gas-electric built by Canadian Car & Foundary for Steel Company of Canada, #24, order date 5/28.   Brian wonderds if this could this be a boxcab?

Thank you, Brian!

[Linguistically, I find it interesting that "Chiriqui" sounds so much like North American "Cherokee".]

Incidentally, speaking still of GE export models and Alaska and the Shovelnoses, the same Bruce Pryor (noted directly above) also has a White Pass & Yukon Route site.

Still speaking of GE, does anyone have a GE boxcab catalog?  An I-R boxcab catalog (and one from Westinghouse) was reproduced in Train Shed Encyclopedia #43.

John J. Blair wrote (16 Sep 98), "Hey what about the little 4-wheel boxcab diesels that GE built in the late '30's (a 3' gauge 23 tonner was used in a line relocation on the Sumpter Valley RR)".  He said he'd research them for us.  He should be well qualified; he's the OWNER of actual 12"=1' former NYO&W #7, a 23-ton endcab GE diesel (s/n 15007)!  It was built for Wickwire Brothers of Cortland, NY, by GE in November 1941.  John reminds me that Grandt Line produced an HO/HOn3 version of the Sumpter Valley boxcab a few years ago.  Thanks, John!  Yes, that's so; see my Model Boxcab page, et seq.

Surviving GE Electric Boxcabs

1893 GE #1 / MfrsRR #1 at the Museum of Transport, St. Louis, Missouri.

1916 Milwaukee Road E-50 #10200 at the Lake Superior Museum of Transportation in Duluth, Minnesota (probably the biggest survivor).

1914 Montréal-Deux-Montagnes (Two Mountains) line #6711 (originally CNoR #601, then CN #9101, then to CN #101), at the Musée Ferroviare Canadien/ Canadian RR Museum in St. Constant (Delson), Québec, Canada.

Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada's St. Clair Tunnel Co. #1308, at the Canada Science and Technology Museum - Railways > Before CN 1850s-1919 > Locomotives and Equipment.

L&PS (London & Port Stanley) #L1 and #L2, now at, respectively, the ECRM (the Elgin County Railway Museum) in St. Thomas (London area), Ontario, Canada, and (#L2) at the Halton County Radial Railway in Milton (Toronto area), Ontario, run by the OERHS (Ontario Electric Railway Historical Association).

Butte, Anaconda & Pacific #47 loco out at in Butte, Montana at the Montana Mining Museum located at Montana Tech.   rev.gif (01 Mar 03)

A 1915 Milwaukee Road E-57B boxcab on display in Harlowton, Montana.

A Little Joe on display in Deer Lodge, Montana, which is only barely an "honorary boxcab" at best!

A 1907 electric box motor, SBK #4, in East Haven, Connecticut.   rev.gif (01 Mar 03)

The Piedmont Northern Box Cab #5103 at the NC Transp. Museum.   rev.gif (01 Mar 03)

1938 GE 23-ton Lehigh Portland Cement #1, General Electric c/n 12447, Diesel-Electric, 6-1938, at the Midland Railway Historical Association in Baldwin City, Kansas.

Then there are scads of surviving GE boxcab electrics in Mexico and Central and South America and overseas:

Mexican Boxcab Electrics.

Chilean Boxcab Electrics and

    Trains Unlimited, Tours's Chilean Photos
        (with FAR more to follow from many countries in TU,T's collection).

As I state on my electric boxcabs page 1, "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!"

There are now more than fifty (50) BOXCAB pages;
see the main Boxcabs page and the Boxcabs INDEX.

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S. Berliner, III

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To tour the Boxcabs pages in sequence, the arrows take you from the main Boxcabs page, to the Boxcabs index, the first Boxcabs page, and on to continuation pages 3 and 4, 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), this GE boxcabs page, other (non-ALCo/GE/I-R) boxcabs, Baldwin-Westinghouse boxcabs, odd boxcabs, and finally model boxcabs.

© Copyright S. Berliner, III - 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003 - All rights reserved.

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