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History: The Plymouth Locomotive Works was founded in 1910. They specialized in small switcher locomotives for industrial use. The WDT was the 6-wheel model of their diesel switcher.
With 6-wheels, the WDT could handle a fairly heavy powerplant capable of moving small numbers of very heavy freight cars. When a railroad moves a freight car, the owner of the freight car is charged every time the car is moved. The typical floor price for such a move is $200. For an industrial complex that has to shunt 100's of cars daily, it quickly becomes economical to own your own switchers rather than contract with a railroad. Plymouth locomotive works specialized in providing purpose built engines for exactly this purpose: providing a low-cost alternative to using a railroad to move cars around your yard. Own your own low-maintenance, high-power industrial yard switcher.
Plymouth locomotives were first built in 1910 by the J. D. Fate Company, which became Fate-Root-Heath in 1919. The J.D. Fate patent application filed in 1917 shows the engine driving a clutch and a continuously variable transmission that allowed varying the speed through zero to reverse the locomotive. The output of the transmission drove a transverse jackshaft through a chain drive, with additional drive chains to the two driving axles. All early Plymouth locomotives used this drive scheme. The Fate-Root-Heath patent application filed in 1925 shows a far-more conventional 4-speed transmission and reverse gears driving the jackshaft and final chain drive to the 2 driving axles.
All early Plymouth locomotives were powered by gasoline-burning internal combustion engines, but in 1927 the first diesel was produced. The company changed its name to match its locomotive plant in the late 1950s, becoming Plymouth Locomotive Works, changing again to Plymouth Industries in the late 1970s.
Item Links: We found: 1 different collections associated with Rail - Locomotive - Diesel - Plymouth WDT
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Item created by: gdm on 2018-03-24 09:49:16. Last edited by gdm on 2018-03-24 09:53:20
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