New York Central No. 1528, an Alco-GE model 404-OEB-255.
GE Three-Power Boxcab Electro-Diesel Locomotive
The GE three-power boxcabs were early electro-diesel hybrid switcher locomotives. These boxcabs were termed oil battery electrics to avoid the use of the German name Diesel, unpopular after World War I.
The prototype of these locomotives was New York Central 1525 delivered in February 1928. This locomotive had a center-cab design. After successful testing a series of 40 locomotives with boxcab carbodies were built along with the line of the ALCO boxcabs by a consortium of ALCO, General Electric, Ingersoll Rand and Electric Storage Battery. ALCO built the locomotive frame, carbody and running gear, General Electric built the generator, traction motors and controls, Ingersoll Rand provided the diesel engine, and the traction batteries were made by the Electric Storage Battery Co. of Philadelphia (now Exide).
The locomotives were mainly used in city areas for switching work, where exhaust-emissions-free operation was required at spurs entering factory halls. The main batch was ordered by New York Central Railroad to be used in the New York City area operating on the West Side Line and the High Line. Some three-power boxcabs also worked Chicago, Detroit, and Boston. One locomotive was built for Rock Island, which used it for switching the LaSalle Street Station in Chicago.
The principle of operation was similar to that of modern hybrid locomotives, the diesel engine driving a main generator of 600 volts DC, which provided charging current to a bank of batteries which powered four traction motors, one per axle. In addition to being powered by the diesel engine, these locomotives were capable of operating as electric locomotives. Two of these locomotives were equipped to operate off of 3000 volt overhead lines, and 34 were capable of operating off of a 600 volt third rail. The locomotives were equipped with a six-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine of 300 hp (224 kW). The diesel motor was used to charge the batteries, which could not be charged by third rail power. The battery consisted of 240 Exide Ironclad cells with a total capacity of 301 kWh.
GE Three-power Boxcab Overview
Type and origin
Power type: Electro-diesel & battery
Designer: General Electric
Order number: S-1690
Build date: 1930
Total produced: 41
AAR wheel arrangement: B-B
UIC class: Bo'Bo'
Gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
Wheel diameter: 44 in (1,100 mm)
Wheelbase: 34 ft 1 in (10.4 m)
Locomotive weight: 255,000 lb (115.7 t)
Fuel type: Diesel
Prime mover: Ingersoll Rand
RPM range: 550 maximum
Engine type: 4-stroke Oil Battery Electric (Diesel)
Displacement: 942 cu in (15.4 l)
Generator: GE 200 kW (270 hp) 600 V
Traction motors: GE-286-B
Cylinders: 1 x 6
Cylinder size: 10 in (254.0 mm) bore
Cylinder size: 12 in (304.8 mm) stroke
Couplers: AAR knuckle
Maximum speed: 40 mph (64 km/h)
Prototype of GE three-power-boxcab delivered as NYC No. 1525.
Classic Streamliners - TRAINCYCLOPEDIA
Purchases through our Merchant Links and Store help to defray the costs of operating the non-profit Classic Streamliners website, and at no additional cost to you. All of the staff at Classic Streamliners are unpaid volunteers who have all devoted thousands of hours of their own time to bring the site into fruition. We would like to sincerely thank all those who have already helped support this worthy cause. For more information click HERE.
Text: wikipedia.org. Images: Public Domain; http://www.commons.wikimedia.org (unless otherwise specified) and 17 U.S. Code § 107 fair use. References: Lewis, Robert G. The Handbook of American Railroads. New York: Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation, 1951, 2nd Edition 1956. Site Map Contact webmaster HERE.