Tuesday, July 23, 2013

EMD E5s and E6s I Have Known

I Have Known

Well "known" is really stretching the term.  I'll show you E5s and E6s where photons from the sun bounced off the locomotive and impinged the Kodachrome in my 35mm camera.  So it wasn't an intimate relationship.

I've photographed Rock Island and Seaboard Coast Line E6s and CB&Q E5s.  The main difference between an E6 and an E5 is the stainless steel body of the E5s.

Where to start.  Well, with the most recent, the years I spent in Ashland, VA (1968 to 1972) during the transition from SCL passenger trains to Amtrak passenger trains.  Then I'll bounce back to my roots in Chicagoland and present the Rock's two contributions.  And then the ones I love.  The ones with names starting with Silver.

But First a Tad of Background

E5s and E6s had two 1000hp model 567 Diesel engines each running a generator to power the traction motors.  16 F5s were built (11 As and 5 Bs) in 1941 and 42. C&S and FW&D each had an A and a B and the CB&Q had the remainder.   91 E6As and 26 E6Bs were built between November 1939 and September 1942 for 14 roads.  ACL had the most, 22As and 5Bs.

Considering that there were a total of 1,251 E7s, E8s, and E9s built.  The probability of finding an E5 or and E6 heading a train was small unless you knew where to look.

Seaboard Coast Line's E6s

This is actually a very special locomotive. She was built as an E3 in November of 1939 but wrecked in the late 1940s and rebuilt to E6 standards.  She still exists, painted in her original Atlantic Coast Line "The Champion" (modern NYC/Miami passenger train) purple motif at the North Carolina Transportation Museum.  In the above picture she is on the ready track at Broad Street Station (Richmond, VA) waiting her next assignment.  It's January 17, 1970.  Below she is be washed by volunteer Noah last spring (2013) for a special event at the Museum.

Actually she was built by EMC (Electro-Motive Corporation) before in became a division of GM, i.e., EMD (Electro-Motive Division).  One could argue she is the last remaining E3.  She ran over 6 million revenue miles before she was retired circa 1970.  Then tourist railroads put more miles on her.

This shot in Richmond clearly shows why they were called shovel nosed.  The F-units and higher numbered E-units had much flatter "bulldog" noses.

Both Seaboard Air Line and Atlantic Coast Line had E6s.  When those lines merger to form the Seaboard Coast Line only the ACL 6s remained.

And a close-up also in Richmond.

Out on the road their 2,000 hp would knock down the miles with ease.  Here E6A 514 is mated with an E7A with Train 85, The Everglades, on September 15, 1969 in Richmond, VA.

Here's 514 again this time with the northbound Glades near Ashland, VA, also in September of 1969.

On this March 1969 day, E6A #518 has charge of Train 22, the Silver Star at Richmond.  Quite a train as the next two pictures show.

518 also on the ready track at Broad Street Station.

Here E5A 519 is north of Ashland, VA the northbound Everglades in September 1968.

521 is at the Ivy City Engine Terminal north of Washington Union Terminal waiting the evening southbound parade of trains.

The Rock Island E6s

The CR&P had five EAs.  Only 630 and 631 hung around long enough for my camera to capture their photons.  I photographed 630 in Chicago/Joliet commuter service many times in three different paint schemes but she was never painted during that period in the classic "Rocket" scheme which she now wears.  The last photo I can find of her was taken at Mid-America Car in Kansas City in May 2012.

My two favorite shots of 630 were taken the same morning at Englewood Union Station on Chicago's south side. It was Easter Break 1965 on a beautiful April morning.  The first shot is an inbound commuter and the second an outbound.  WOW, in the second she sure looks good in the morning sun for a 24-year old dame.  She's crossing the Pennsylvania RR diamonds.  Behind her is a transfer of piggy-back cars to the small downtown piggy-back yard the Rock Island had near the Loop.

I caught 630 in another paint scheme in March of 1971 working a commuter train in Joliet, IL.  This surely was a plain Jane scheme.  In the first picture she is at the platform and in the second beginning her pushing toward a green signal and on to LaSalle Street Station.

Six years later 630 was caught delivering an afternoon-commute train to Blue Island.  The paint scheme has been spiffed up with a gold nose and redder flanks, al beit dirty.

I only caught E6A 631 once.  Here she has just started to hustle the Golden State (Tr. #3) toward the Golden State seen passing the 99th Street commuter stop.  The Rock Island will hand the train off to the Southern Pacific at Tucumcari, NM for the remainder of the run to Los Angeles.  631 and the two E7B units behind her will no doubt be turned to that the eastbound back home to Chicago.

 Now the Silver E5s

By far my favorite shot of the CB&Q's E5s is this one of 9912AB shooting the eastbound Morning Zephyr across northern Illinois through the sleepy town of Chadwick just after lunch with a 129 miles to Chicago on August 24, 1964.  Their names:  Silver Meteor and Silver Comet.

I worked for the CB&Q during a couple summers my college years and was the agent at Chadwick that day.  The dispatcher's line gave me the heads-up on what the Zephyr's power would be.  That gave me time to set up this shot.  Below are three more shots of 9912A. The first two are at St. Paul Union Depot on June 27, 1964.  Don't call that  Northern Pacific SW1200 switcher #155 ugly just because it's sitting next to such a beauty.  They both had their job to do.

Here is the 9912A and two E7s at Prescott, WI on June 30 1964 about to cross the St. Croix River into Minnesota.  Because the train is coming off double track for the single track bridge, the passenger cars can not be seen.


I was also fortunate to capture Silver Clipper 9915B several times.

On July 5, 1963 the Silver Clipper lead the Galesburg Local (Train #2) at 9:45 a.m. (9 minutes late) at Sandwich, Illinois -- 56 miles west of Chicago.  Her name had been blanked out and Note 5 in the "Official Guide" says "Checked baggage will not be handled."

And a profile at Sandwich that morning,

Wishing for a wider angle lens so I could get closer and get her all in (Minneapolis in June 1964).

Here she and an E7A were taking Train 21, The Morning Zephyr to the Twin Cities through Milledgeville, IL on August 20, 1964.   Note the four domes.

What 5s and 6s Survive?  Only 4 A-units!

  • Atlantic Coast Line 501, built as an E3, rebuilt as a E6 after a wreck, at the North Carolina Transportation Museum
  • Chicago Burlington & Quincy E5A 9911A at the Illinois Railway Museum
  • Louisville and Nashville E6A 770 at the Kentucky Railroad Museum
  • Chicago Rock Island & Pacific E6A 630 hopefully being rebuilt in Kansas City
Note, of the 511 E7s built, we have only saved one.  Many E8s and E9s survive.

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