Showing posts from August, 2021

Before the Cord is Snapped

  The date was Friday, November 7, 1919 and at the GE plant in Erie, PA a new electric locomotive was undergoing demonstration in front of railroad reps assembled by GE [1].  The viewers included representatives from multiple US Railroads, two Canadian lines and a variety of others.  The locomotive in question was one of the first Milwaukee Bi-Polar types, 10251.   The EP-2 Bi-Polars were monsters, with a total weight of 530,000 lbs and up to 86% of that weight atop the drivers.  That compared very favorably to steam locomotives of the time.  A Mohawk of the same vintage achieved only 68% of total weight on drivers.  10251 effectively bested one of these famous 4-8-2s plus another 4-6-2 coupled together that day.  Most of their lives were spent on the electrified Coast Division of the Milwaukee Road, running the line between Othello and Tacoma across the State of Washington.  In their charge were the passenger trains that ran across the Cascades, utilizing electrical power to advance a