GE E44

The E44 is one of the handful of electric locomotives to haul freight along the mainlines of North America. Built by the General Electric Company in the early 1960s, the E44 replaced the not-so-satisfactory P5a (which we shall discuss at a later date) for the legendary Pennsylvania Railroad. The E44 was based on the (later known as E33), which the Virginian Railway seemed to have found ample success with.

Unlike electric locomotives designed for passenger use in North America, the freight electric looked almost identical to diesel-electrics with the narrow long hood arrangement (well, except for, of course, the pantographs sticking out of the roof). The 6 traction motors of the E44 pumped out a total of 4,400 horsepower (some were upgraded to E44a and had a whopping 5,000 hp), which was remarkable at the time, when diesel-electric units in the same era, such as the General Motors SD18, only did about 1,800.

Since the E44 is a freight unit, we are interested in her weight and tractive effort and such. She still does a respectable 70 mph nonetheless. The E44 weighs 384,600 lbs., has a continuous tractive effort of 55,500 lbf., and a maximum starting tractive effort of 96,150 lbf. Not bad at all.


Eric said…
Nice units for this post. Early issues of Railfan magazine during the Conrail era even included them in Conrail blue.

Thanks for sharing,

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