The 90,000 lb. Rule Spawned New GE Model

The railroad industry and locomotive operating unions signed an agreement in 1937 that specifically eliminated the need for a second man (fireman - in the days of steam) in the cab of a diesel locomotive that was assigned to switching duties in a yard or within a designated switching area if the weight of the loco was less than 90,000 pounds on driving axles. This measure did not apply to industrial nor military railroads. Subsequently, General Electric built the 44-Tonner to capitalize on the rule, as well as the potential new market. Nearly 350 of the small locomotives were produced between 1940 and 1956. Thirty Class 1 North American railroads purchased the 88,000 lb. center-cab switcher which delivered 380 horsepower to the rail.

(D&RGW #38 stands idle outside the Burnham Diesel Shop in Denver, Colorado on 12 May 1964. -- Ed Fulcomer photo)

XXXX A Photo Review

Class One GE 44-Tonners on Parade

click on image to enlarge

Santa Fe #465

Chuck Zeiler photo

Baltimore & Ohio #8301

Ray Sabo photo

Boston & Maine #118

George Turnbull photo

Chicago Burlington & Quincy #9103

Chuck Zeiler photo

Canadian National #2

Robert Sanduskey photo

Chesapeake & Ohio #8303

Dennis Smolinski photo

Delaware Lackawanna & Western #52

Fred Stuckmann photo

Denver & Rio Grande & Western #42

ED Fulcomer photo

Erie Lackawanna #26

Fred Stuckmann

Great Northern #50

photogrpher unknown

Illinois Central 9275

Illinois Central press photo

Lehigh Valley #60

Greg Gunshore collection

Long Island #400

Art Huneke photo

Maine Central #14

George Turnbull photo

Milwaukee Road #992

James Harper photo

Minneapolis & St. Louis #D842

Jim Sands photo

Missouri Pacific #813

xxxxxx photo

Nashville Chattnooga & St.Louis #100

R. Craig photo

New Haven #0800

Richard Goddard photo

Nickel Plate #91

Wendy Crim photo

Northern Pacific #98

Kevin Piper photo

New York Ontario & Western #104

Andrew Durden photo

Penn Central / PRR #9999

Bill Kalkman photo

St. Louis-San Francisco #7

Tom Chenoweth photo

Southern Railway #1953

Bill Folsom photo

Union Pacific 90399

Don Ross collection

Visalia Electric #502 (SP 1900)

Marty Bernard photo <

Western Maryland #75

Michael D. Harding photo

The following image(s) are needed to complete this profile:
  • Missouri Pacific #813
  • SOO Line #330 (sold prior to 1949)
If you have either a b&w or color photo that could be shared, please contact us.


Format by: R.Craig New: 1 September 2018
Reference sources:
  • Diesel Spotters Guide by Jerry Pinkepank
  • Second Diesel Spotters Guide by Jerry Pinkepank
  • "Extra 2200 South" (Jan./Feb. 1973)

    "" and "" websites were helpful here in identifying potential photographers and related images. We extend our thanks to these valuable resources. Thanks also to Michael Richmond who was very helpful in identifying and gaining permission to use some of the above photos.

  • Additional contributors include: R. Craig, P. Denny Custer, Lloyd Judd, and Ray Sabo

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