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Hartford Electric Light Co. 1
1949 General Electric
by William E. Wood, February 2002
Referred to on General Electric's sale sheet as a "Standard size GE switching unit of 25 tons", #1 (builder's number No. 29892) was constructed in Erie, Pennsylvania in February and early March of 1949. This was the smallest of GE's switcher models, with 51,000 pounds on drivers, fully loaded. Tractive effort starting (30 per cent adhesion) of 15,000 pound; continuous rating of motor, 62,000 pounds. Maximum permissible speed 20 mph and minimum radius of curve (locomotive alone) 40 feet. It has one Cummins HBI-600 engine rated 150 HP at 1800 RPM, one DC generator direct connected to the fly wheel-single bearing, one railroad type traction motor, auxiliary generator-750 watt, a single station unit control and straight air with self lapping brake valve.
Locomotive #1 was completed, tested, and shipped on March 11, 1949 to the Hartford Electric Light Co. (HELCo) in Hartford, Connecticut for use at their South Meadows Generating Station to handle hopper cars loaded with coal, later oil cars, which was fuel for the plant. Locomotive #1 replaced HELCo's last small steam locomotive, #5.
Working at the "Meadows" for 38 years, it became surplus when the plant closed. Mrs. Grace H. Wood, long time employee of HELCo and worker at the Connecticut Trolley Museum wondered if it would be of use to the museum. She then asked the Hartford Division Manager if HELCo would donate #1 to the trolley museum and the donation was approved in 1987.
The locomotive has been very useful to the over all operation of the facility. It is used to move equipment around the museum's railway if a rail car can't move under its own power or if a railroad car needs moving.
Motors: 150 HP Cummins HBI-600
Brakes: Automatic Air SA2
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