70 Tons of GE Pulling Power

(Southern Pacific #5100 at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center -- Dan Haneckow photo (17 February 2013)

Although built at the General Electric works in Erie, Pennsylvania, the 70-Ton model was marketed by both GE and Alco from 1946 until the two transportation giants dissolved their joint marketing agreement in 1953. Production of the mid-range horsepower locomotive continued at Erie until late 1958 with total production reaching 238 units.

The loco's ability to lug tonnage and effectively handle assignments on light-weight capacity rail made it popular among short lines and industrial users. The medium-sized GE was also utilized in a similar fashion by a few Class 1 railroads: Canadian National (18), Louisville & Nashvile (2), Missouri Kansas Texas (4), Southern Railway (5), Southern Pacific (21) and St.Louis-San Francisco (1). In 1956, GE built two 54-Ton narrow-gauge variants of the 70-ton model. Possibly the forerunners of GE's Universal series export; they were delivered to U.S. Gypsum as #1303 and 1403..

Formatted by: R.Craig New: 1 September 2018

XXXX A Photo Review

Early Pre-World War II

New York Central #X509

Collingwood (Clevelamd, Ohio) on 25 March 1964

Photographer unknown (R. Craig collection)

Fore River #16

E. Braintree, Massachusetts on 18 January 1972

George W. Turbull photo (R. Craig collection)

Spotting Features
  1. Produced 1942
  2. Tall center cab with large windows
  3. Seven built for NYC (#507-513)
  4. Driven by two Cummins Diesel engines
  5. Large one-piece radiator shutter at front of hoods
  6. Air Compressor in front of cab at footboard

  1. blank
  2. blank
  3. blank
  4. blank
  5. blank
  6. blank
  7. blank
  8. blank
  9. blank

Spotting Features

  1. Produced 1941
  2. Three built for Bethlehem Steel subsidiaries
  3. Tall center cab with large windows
  4. Driven by four small engines
  5. Two one-piece radiator shutters at front of hoods


Standard 70-Tonner (1946-1958)

Canadian National #30 (ex-CN 7804)

St. Constant, Quebec on 8 November 2014

Michael Berry photo

Ex-Southern Railway #702

Perry, Florida on 25 November 1965

Harry L. Juday photo (R. Craig collection)

Southern Pacific #5100

Eugene, Oregon on 8 Sepember 1972

Tom Chenoweth photo (R. Craig collection)

Spotting Features
  1. End-Cab locomotive
  2. 37-feet in length
  3. A single 6-cylinder 600 / 660-hp engine
  4. A single round headlight housing, front & rear ends (later production had twin beam headlights)
  5. Raditor shutters on front nose of later production units; no such radiator shutters on early production units
  6. A set of six-louvered access doors on engineer's side of hood, with five louvers on the other side


54-Ton Variant

Georgetown Loop RR #139 and 140 (ex-U.S. Gypsum)

Georgetown, CO on 2 December 2012

Brian Carlson photo

Spotting Features
  1. End-cab locomotive
  2. Custom cab with flat roof
  3. Driven by 390-horsepower prime mover
  4. 3-foot gauge trucks
  5. Radiator shutters located low on both side of hood
Reference sources:
  • Chesapeake & Ohio Diesel Review by Carl W. Shaver
  • Canadian Trackside Guide 2005 by Bytown Railway Society
  • "Extra 2200 South" Locomotive Newsletter (May/June 1971)
  • New York Central Diesel Locomotives by William D. Edson
  • Second Diesel Spotters Guide by Jerry Pinkepank
  • The Diesel Shop (website) - GE Production Rosters

Additional contributors include: Michael Richmond

Back to Motive Power Rosters

Back to Passenger Lines