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Railfan: 1924

Railfan: 1924

June 1924. "Largest electric locomotive and Congressman John C. Schafer." It's that train-lovin' lawmaker from Wisconsin again, this time with a new ride. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.


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Picture location

The picture may have been taken at the GE plant (Erie)or in transit to the Milwaukee electrified territory, the Milwaukee used to display their new locomotives at larger cities enroute.

[The photo was taken in Washington near Union Station. - Dave]

Locomotive to Be Shown

Washington Post, June 22, 1924.

Locomotive to Be Shown

Largest and Most Powerful Electric Engine
To Be Shown Here.

The largest and most powerful electric locomotive in the world will be displayed in Washington Wednesday and Thursday of this week, it was learned yesterday. From advance information, it was learned that the locomotive will be exhibited at New York and Florida avenues northeast. The exhibit is being conducted by the General Electric Company and the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway.

Walter C. Marshall, electrical engineer, and John T. Elliott, of the General Electric Company, will be in charge of the exhibit, pointing out to all those who wish to inspect the engine, its finer points.

One of five

The only five examples of this 1919 locomotive were built for the Chicago Milwaukee St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. At the time of this photograph the Pennsylvania Railroad had not yet installed electrification into Washington, D.C. (which began service in 1935). Perhaps this locomotive was visiting in order to stimulate interest in the future plans.


Oddly enough, the pantograph appears to be raised, but there's no sign of any overhead catenary here or nearby. As these engines were built for use on the electrified west end of the Milwaukee, is there any clue as to the location?

[This is near Union Station in Washington. - Dave]

What Railroad?

What RR owned the bipolar in the DC area?

[As noted in the "bipolar" comment, the Milwaukee Road. - Dave]

Milw Bipolar

That is correct. The 5 EP-2 General Electric locomotives continued to serve until the early 1960's. Note the pneumatic bell on the top of the carbody.

Based on the shape of the cowl

This appears to be a Milwaukee Road "Bipolar". There's one preserved, in St. Louis.

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