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Locomotive profile: Gas-electric turbine locomotives

By | March 16, 2020

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A Union Pacific gas-electric turbine locomotive at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Illinois.
Jim Wrinn
Gas-electric turbines

•YEARS BUILT: 1938-1962

•MANUFACTURERS: Partnerships between General Electric & Alco; GE, Baldwin & Lima; Westinghouse & Baldwin

•OPERATED ON: Chesapeake & Ohio, Norfolk & Western, Pennsylvania, Union Pacific

•NAMES: Jawn Henry on N&W; Blue Goose for Westinghouse, Big Blow & Verandas on UP


•HORSEPOWER: 2,500-8,500

•KNOWN FOR: Heavy fuel consumption

•STATUS: All retired except for UP No. 18 at Illinois Railway Museum and Nos. 26 and 26B at Utah State Railroad Museum

3 thoughts on “Locomotive profile: Gas-electric turbine locomotives

  1. Shouldn’t the Jawn Henry on the N&W as well as the C&O engine be classified as ‘coal -electric’ turbines instead of gas-electric turbines? GE also made a pair of coal electric turbines that tested on the Union Pacific in the late 1930’s.

  2. Eric, the locomotives you mentioned were steam-turbine electric locomotives. The two built by GE in 1939 were oil fired, while the C&O and N&W locomotives were coal fired. I won’t get into the PRR class S-2…

    The Locomotive Profile should have been titled “Turbine-Electric Locomotives”

  3. The N&W (1) and C&O (3) locomotives were generally called steam-turbine-electrics in the past. This would differentiate them from the gas-turbine-electrics (UP mostly except for Westinghouse’s Blue Goose). as well as the coal-fired -gas turbine experimentals (GN and UP IIRC). However, coal-electric isn’t inaccurate.

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