Classic Streamliners - TRAIN​CYCLOPEDIA

PRR FF1 side view diagram.

PRR FF1 power truck showing motors and spring drive.

The Pennsylvania Railroad's lone FF1 locomotive.
PRR FF1 power truck showing motors and spring drive.

PRR FF1 side view diagram.

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"Big Liz", the Pennsylvania Railroad's lone FF1 locomotive, was slow and powerful. - NFL Jerseys and Gear
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PRR FF1 Electric Locomotive
The Pennsylvania Railroad's class FF1 was an electric locomotive, a prototype numbered No. 3931 and nicknamed "Big Liz". It was built in 1917 to haul freight trains across the Allegheny Mountains where the PRR planned to electrify. "Big Liz" proved workable but too powerful for the freight cars of the time with its 4,600 available horsepower and astonishing 140,000 lbf (620 kN) of tractive effort. Pulling the train it regularly snapped couplers and when moved to the rear as a pusher its force was sufficient to pop cars in the middle of the train off the tracks.

It had a 1-C+C-1 wheel arrangement in two half-frames, connected in the center. Each frame had a pair of three phase AC induction motors driving a jackshaft through gearing and a spring drive; side rods then drove the wheels. Three phase power for the 4 massive motors was supplied from the single phase overhead supply via a large rotary converter housed in the body of the locomotive. Combined rated output of the motors was 7,640 hp (5,700 kW), but the converter could only supply a short term 4,600 hp (3,400 kW) or a continuous 4,000 hp (3,000 kW). With three-phase induction motors there was no way to control the speed of the motors; changing the wiring of the motor poles allowed for two speed settings, 10.3 and 20.6 mph (16.6 and 33.2 km/h), which were considered enough to drag heavy freight trains up and down steep grades.

Sadly, its intended use as an Allegheny climber was never realized and its power was too much for the rolling stock in service at the time. Big Liz was sidelined until being cut up for scrap in 1940.

PRR FF1 Overview
Type and origin
Power type: Electric
Builder: Altoona Works  with Westinghouse
Build date: 1917
Total produced: 1
AAR wheel arrangement: 1-C+C-1
UIC class: (1'C)(C1')
Imperial class: 1C+C1
Gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Leading diameter: 36 in (914 mm)
Driver diameter: 72 in (1,829 mm)
Length: 76 ft 6 in (23.32 m)
Height: 14 ft 8 in (4.47 m)
Adhesive weight: 439,500 lb (199,400 kilograms; 199.4 metric tons)
Loco weight: 516,000 lb (234,100 kilograms; 234.1 metric tons)
Electric system(s:) 11 kV  25 Hz AC Catenary
Current collection: Pantograph
Traction motors: 4 × Westinghouse model 451 1,910 hp (1,420 kW) three-phase motors
Transmission: Rotary converter supplied 25Hz three phase alternating current fed to motors able to run at one of two speeds and connected to the drivers through Jackshafts and side rods.
Performance figures
Maximum speed: 20.6 mph (33.2 km/h)
Power output: 4,600 hp (3,400 kW)
Tractive effort: Continuous: 87,200 lbf (388 kN), Starting: 140,000 lbf (620 kN)

Disposition: Scrapped 1940.

See also:

Electric locomotives

Pennsylvania Railroad

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