Baldwin 58501

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  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
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Posted by wjstix on Friday, December 7, 2018 1:36 PM

Of course, the Minneapolis, St.Paul, Rochester & Dubuque had begun using "oil electric" engines on freight trains in 1913....,4684341

  • Member since
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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, December 5, 2018 5:01 AM


Interesting to know that. Baldwin's first attempt on diesel engine failed in 1926. 3 years later, The Great Depression plagued the whole world for almost 10 years. When Baldwin was working hard designing the duplex engines for a potential order of at least 300 new steam engines for Pennsy since 1937, they encountered the outbreak of World War II at 1941, Table turned by the US Government which was not in favor of Baldwin but GE and EMD.

The business transformation of Baldwin didn't go smoothly. If PRR decided to gradually dieselize his fleet as early as B&O in 1937, as the closest business partner of PRR, even though EMD refused to let PRR build the diesel them in Altoona shop, BLW might still have been benefited by reverse engineering of PRR's EMD fleets.  It would have provided BLW an extra 10 years of experience to develop the heavy mainline diesel-electric engine with the help of Altoona shop. 

The unexpected change of PRR's "pro-coal burning" policy in 1947 forced Baldwin to leave their comfort zone. Class T1's future was low-key abandoned by PRR after merely half to one year of usage, Baldwin's mechanically unreliable mainline diesel engine was hand picked by PRR base on the b to b (b for business) relationship with Balwin but not the quality of their diesel engine like the untested Baldwin Centipede. They were supposed to power all first class primer trains of Pennsy but turn out all of them except those made by EMD were relegated to secondary services within just a few years; they were 27 PRR DR-6 and 24 Centipede and 25 PF20 (PA/B) of Alco, most of them only lasted in PRR system for less than 15 years. Despite the success of its switchers and RF-16, Baldwin couldn't compete with new flagship builders like EMD and GE all along.


Baldwin demonstrator 6000(1st), it would be very cool if the idea worked.

I don't like the headlight design though.

 PRR Baldwin Centipede, capable of hitting a 95mph top speed when new. If they were attentively handled like their sisters servicing in Seaboard Air Line, their fate in the PRR system might have changed.

Tags: Baldwin
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Baldwin 58501
Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 10:12 PM

EMD with the FT demonstrators was not the first manufacturer to try to develop a diesel locomotive for road use.  Baldwin developed the 58501 in 1925.  


On October 11, 1926 a test commenced from Parkersburg, WV to E.St.Louis, IL with train having the tonnage that was normally handled by E-27 Consolidations which were the normal power of the time.  Telegraphed reports of the test were filed late in the evening -

"Test today inidcate Diesel Engine uable to handle E-27-D rating on either fast or slow schedule.  Intent to make tests with reduced tonnage to develop proper rating.   AGB"

"Diesel Engine being hauled in from Zaski with what appeared to be a cracked cylinder head.  Engine not fit for service through to St. Louis and will be used between here and Parkersburg until we can find just what she can do.  With E-27-D rating west today she hung up twice causing delay to 94 in each case.  Will wire you tomorow after shop examination when whe will be ready for service, advise VanGundy.  AGB"  (BORHS Sentinal Fourth Quarter 2018)

Not a resounding success.  Baldwin scrapped the locomotive in 1941 - picture is from 1950 as the scrapper had yet to cut it up.


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