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History: The PRR GG1 was a class of electric locomotives built for the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) for use in the northeastern United States. Between 1934 and 1943, General Electric and the PRR's Altoona Works built 139 GG1s. The GG1 entered service with the PRR in 1935, and later operated on successor railroads Penn Central, Conrail and Amtrak. The last GG1 was retired by New Jersey Transit in 1983. Most have been scrapped, but several remain in museums.
The mechanical design of the GG1 was based largely on the New Haven EP3, which had been borrowed earlier from the New Haven Railroad by the PRR to compare it to its current standard electric locomotive, the P5a. In 1933, the PRR decided to replace its P5a locomotives and told General Electric and Westinghouse to design prototype locomotives with the following specifications: a lighter axle load and more power than the P5a, a top speed of at least 100 miles per hour (160 km/h), a streamlined body design and a single (central) control cab.
Both companies delivered their prototypes to PRR in August 1934. General Electric submitted the GG1 and Westinghouse submitted the R1. The R1 was essentially "little more than an elongated and more powerful version of the P5a" with an AAR wheel arrangement of 2-D-2. Both locomotives were tested for ten weeks in regular service between New York and Philadelphia and on a test track in Claymont, Delaware. Because the R1's rigid wheelbase prevented it from negotiating sharp curves and some railroad switches, PRR chose the GG1 and ordered 57 additional locomotives on November 10, 1934. Of the 57, 14 were to be built by General Electric in Erie and 18 at the Altoona Works. The remaining 20 locomotives were to be assembled in Altoona with electrical components from Westinghouse in East Pittsburgh and chassis from the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Eddystone. An additional 81 locomotives were then built at Altoona between 1937 and 1943.
On January 28, 1935, to mark the completion of the electric line from Washington, D.C to New York City, PRR ran a special train pulled by PRR 4800 before it opened the line for revenue service on February 10. It made a round trip from D.C. to Philadelphia and, on its return trip, set a speed record by arriving back in D.C. 1 hour and 50 minutes after its departure from Philadelphia.
In the mid-1950s, with declining demand for passenger train service, GG1s 4801?4857 were re-geared for a maximum speed of 90 miles per hour (140 km/h) and placed in freight service. They initially retained their train heating steam generator, and were recalled to passenger service for holiday season mail trains, and 'Passenger Extras' such as those run for the annual Army?Navy football game in Philadelphia.
Timetable speed limit for the GG1 was 75-80 mph until October 1967 when some were allowed 100 mph for a year or two; when Metroliner cars were being overhauled in the late 1970s, GG1s were again allowed 100 mph when pulling Amfleet cars on trains scheduled to run 224.6 miles from New York to Washington in 3 hours 20?25 minutes.
The first designer for the GG1 project was industrial designer Donald Roscoe Dohner, who produced initial scale styling models, although the completed prototype looked somewhat different. At some point, PRR hired famed industrial designer Raymond Loewy to "enhance the GG1's aesthetics."
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Item created by: gdm on 2018-01-29 21:32:47. Last edited by gdm on 2018-01-29 21:33:34
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