Railway Museum of San Angelo's 44 ton GE Switch Engine
From Fort Worth to Dallas Dart now repainted in Santa Fe Tiger Strip as 461
Builder Plate click to enlarge
Repainted and lettered in Santa Fe Tiger Stripes
If you have additional information or photos of this 44 ton engine
The GE 44-ton switcher is a 4-axle diesel locomotive built by General Electric between 1940 and 1956. It was designed for industrial and light switching duties, often replacing steam locomotives that had previously been assigned these chores. This locomotive's specific 44-short ton weight was directly related to one of the efficiencies the new diesel locomotives offered compared to their steam counterparts, reduced labor intensity. In the 1940s, the steam to diesel transition was in its infancy in North America, and railroad unions were trying to protect the locomotive fireman jobs that were redundant with diesel units. One measure taken to this end was a stipulation that locomotives weighing 90,000 pounds (41,000 kg) or more required a fireman in addition to an engineer. The 44-ton locomotive was born to skirt this requirement. Other manufacturers also built 44-ton switchers of center-cab configuration. 348 examples of this locomotive were built for North American railroads. Many remain in either in service, or in museums.
The locomotives were available with a choice of prime movers. Most were built with a pair of Caterpillar Inc.'s D17000 V8 180 horsepower (134 kW) engines, but three other engines types were used. Nine were built with a pair of Hercules DFXD engines, and were sold to Chattanooga Traction (2) and Missouri Pacific Railroad and its subsidiaries (7). Ten were built with a pair of the slightly more powerful Buda 6DH1742, rated at 200 horsepower (150 kW) each. The last four locomotives built had Caterpillar D342 engines, and were sold to Canadian National Railways (3) and the Dansville and Mount Morris Railroad (1).
This Engine Started Its Career At Carswell AFB As USAF #31879