Penn Central Electric Locomotives Specifically E33 And E44

Discussion relating to the Penn Central, up until its 1976 inclusion in Conrail. Visit the Penn Central Railroad Historical Society for more information.

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Re: Penn Central Electric Locomotives Specifically E33 And E44

Postby Earle Baldwin » Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:44 pm

MTH finally released its O gauge E44 several months ago. I purchased the PRR 4407. Aside from a few minor detailing errors, the model is a nice representation of the prototype. The MTH locomotive may very well be our only opportunity to own a mass produced model of the E44.

MTH issued the E44 decorated for Pennsy, Penn Central and Conrail. The Pennsy and CR schemes are accurately reproduced but the PC herald was botched and had purchasers who pre-ordered that roadname howling when they saw it.
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Re: Penn Central Electric Locomotives Specifically E33 And E44

Postby mitch kennedy » Sat Jul 25, 2009 8:42 pm

Thought I'd throw in my own E44 reminiscing... In 76 and 77 I "interned" at Zoo at Arsenal and would spend 3rd trick "off season" staying qualified at Zoo hoping to get it on a spare job. At night a pair of E44's would lay over in the pocket on the west end of what was left of the old Mantua yard. They'd be there to push westward tonnage, notably ore, as far as Paoli or sometimes all the way to Thorn tower. An old Harrisburg div engineman, Joe Boder, held down that job, so they were known a "Boder's motors" til they ended the need for helpers a few years down the road. It was part of the "night sounds" to hear the blowers in the distance all night long. But as a previous post in this thread stated, once they dug into the tonnage, the blowers-even on two units- was a ROAR... along with the whine they made , kinda like MP54's or old Broad St subway cars when they coasted between short stops. They were cool units. Must be getting old to miss the PC!
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Re: Penn Central Electric Locomotives Specifically E33 And E44

Postby ex Budd man » Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:51 pm

My friend and (retired) coworker Nick F. tells a story about a near runaway with three E-44's leading an ore train from Harrisburg. Coming down grade from Thorn he gathered slack by taking an independant brake application, then useing full dynamic brake. He realized that the train was NOT slowing down even with a full service brake application, he went 'in the hole' and came to a stop. When the tower called to ask why the train was stopped he said a trespasser was on the tracks but he ran away! Sure beats loosing your train.
"I may not have a brain, but I have an idea!" BOB, benzoate ostylezene bicarbonate.
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Re: Penn Central Electric Locomotives Specifically E33 And E44

Postby jhdeasy » Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:22 pm

When did Penn Central end operation of their former P2 electric locomotives between GCT and Croton-Harmon and North White Plains?

I recall Penn Central P motors assigned to Amtrak service between GCT and Croton-Harmon were replaced by FL-9 locomotives circa 1973 or 1974.
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Re: Penn Central Electric Locomotives Specifically E33 And E

Postby NellieBly » Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:01 pm

Jack,

The last P motor I ever saw was the one that tied onto the eastbound overnight PC train from Chicago in December of 1970. I believe they went out of service almost immediately after Amtrak and were replaced by FL9s.

The Niagara Junction electrics lasted until just before Conrail, and then three went to work as third-rail switchers in Grand Central, replacing the S motors (which I don't think quite made it to Conrail).

When I worked at USRA at L'Enfant Plaze 1978-80, we used to see E33s (always in pairs), E44s (mostly in pairs, sometimes in threes) and GG1s (mostly in pairs, sometimes in threes) on freights very frequently. I never did see experimental EMD units 1976 and 1977 actually working on freights. On a visit to Conrail's "Blue Room", I asked where they were, and someone growled, "Look in the shop. That's where they usually are!" And indeed, the magnetic tags for both were in the box marked "Shop".

Three of the New Haven EP5s sat in the "air gap" outside Penn Station for a number of years, growing gradually more derelict before they disappeared.

The early Conrail years were a fun time for electric freight watchers.
Randy Resor, aka "NellieBly" passed away on November 1, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion to railroading at railroad.net.
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Re: Penn Central Electric Locomotives Specifically E33 And E

Postby JimBoylan » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:36 pm

NellieBly wrote:The Niagara Junction electrics lasted until just before Conrail, and then three went to work as third-rail switchers in Grand Central, replacing the S motors (which I don't think quite made it to Conrail).
The early Conrail years were a fun time for electric freight watchers.
NJct. electrics ran under ConRail into 1977. ConRail used 1 scaffold car from the Reading's Wayne Jct. wire train for some NJct. wire work or inspection before finally turning off the power. (The NJct. line car had already gone to the Warehouse Point, Conn. trolley museum after a fire.) Thus, the S motors also ran under ConRail into 1977.
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Re: Penn Central Electric Locomotives Specifically E33 And E

Postby Earle Baldwin » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:25 pm

If i recall correctly, the 4715, the last active S-motor, was not removed from service until 1981.
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Re: Penn Central Electric Locomotives Specifically E33 And E

Postby Allen Hazen » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:52 pm

I asked this question on the PRR forum a while ago, and so far haven't had any replies: I hope someone in the PC community can tell me!
The E-44 was apparently built with the ability to m.u. with diesels (though only as lead unit: they could "tell" a diesel what to do but couldn't "take orders" from it). QUESTION: did PRR, or PC, or CR, ever make use of this capability in operations?
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Re: Penn Central Electric Locomotives Specifically E33 And E

Postby Noel Weaver » Sat May 20, 2017 1:42 pm

I don't think any PC electric locomotive was equipped to or able to MU with a diesel. The controls were dirrerent in many respects. The motor would have had to had a diesel type throttle in order to effecdtively control the diesel and no electric was so equipped. The only railroad that successfully was able to MU electrics with diesels was the Milwaukee with their "Little Joe's" that had a diesel throttle linked to the electric controller, I read how this was done but I don't remember the details.
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Re: Penn Central Electric Locomotives Specifically E33 And E

Postby Allen Hazen » Sun May 21, 2017 1:30 am

Noel-- Thanks for that. I will mention your response on the GE forum, where there has been some discussion and speculation about E-44/diesel mu.
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Re: Penn Central Electric Locomotives Specifically E33 And E

Postby JimBoylan » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:45 pm

How did the ConRail test trips on the NorthEast Corridor in the early 1980s work, when the test E-44 had some Diesel locomotives with it to get the train past missing sections of the catenary? Or, did they use one of the General Motors experimental electrics?
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Re: Penn Central Electric Locomotives Specifically E33 And E

Postby Noel Weaver » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:04 pm

I believe the diesels went for the ride unless they had to use a track that was not wired.
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