General Electric's SL144

Virginia Museum of Transportation SL144 in July 2021. (Sid Vaught photo)

General Electric introduced the "SL" locomotive series in 1974. Intended primarily as a line of industrial locomotives, they were configured into four different models. The largest of which was the SL144 which could be ballasted up to 144 tons. The other three models, which were built on slightly shorter platforms, were designated as SL110, SL85 and SL65; the model number reflected each locomotives maximum ballasting.

Production of the SL Series locomotives ran from 1974 until 1989. The first of the approximately 120 SL locomotives built to leave the Erie, PA plant was a SL110 with serial number 39001; it visited several industries and short line railroads as GE Demonstrator #1. The above production total included sixteen export units of varying size: 78, 82, 87, 88, 99 and 100-ton capacity.

Spotting Features of SL Series Center Cabs

American Energy Power #1101

SL144 (136-tons) on 23 May 2008 (Craig Walker photo)


" SL144 Series"(Produced from 1974 to 1989)
  1. Slightly angular cab with large front and read window areas
  2. Tall narrow hoods with dual headlights
  3. Recessed radiator shutter
  4. Skirted frame (optional)
  5. Large end platforms
  6. Engine exhaust pipe in front of cab
  7. Two-axle trucks (no coiled springs visible), damper shocks on each axle end

Note: This model was ballasted also at 115, 120, 125, 132 or 136 tons

Notes and Reference sources:
  • Critters, Dinkys & Center Cabs by Jay Reed
  • The Second Diesel Spotters Guide by Jerry A. Pinkepank
  • Locomotive Encyclopedia (1956) by Simons-Boardman

** R. Craig photo collection

Formatted by: R.Craig

New: 2 January 2020 / revised: 14 March 2020

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