GE 80-ton switcher

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GE 80-ton switcher
USAX1663 FtEustis 2010.jpg
USA 1663 is a GE 80 Tonner at Fort Eustis, Virginia
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderGE Transportation Systems
Model80-ton switcher
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Loco weight80 short tons (71 long tons; 73 t)
Prime moverCummins
Traction motorsFour
Transmissiondiesel electric
Performance figures
Power output2x470 hp (350 kW)

The GE 80-ton switcher is a diesel-electric locomotive model built by GE Transportation Systems. It is classified as a B-B type locomotive. It was designed for industrial and light switching duties around railheads and ports. The locomotive bears a great resemblance to the GE 44-ton switcher, and it is easy to confuse the two.

Military version[edit]

Inside the cab of a military 80-ton switcher.

The military purchased 80-tonners between 1952 and 1953 for use switching railheads around Continental U.S. (CONUS) military facilities. In the 1990s Rail Equipment Division at Tooele Army Depot rebuilt most 80-tonners to have Cummins turbo-charged 470 hp (350 kW) 6-cylinder engines. The rebuild included a small cosmetic change resulting in end radiator screens and dual headlights. This rebuild gave all Army and some Air Force 80-tonners a much longer lifespan. Approximately 27 Army and five Air Force 80-tonners are still in service present day. Navy 80-tonners did not undergo this rebuild. Many Navy engines were rebuilt by contracts with locomotive rehab companies.

Heritage Railways[edit]

At least five 80-tonners have been known to be in tourist service. These locomotives resided on the Virginia & Truckee Railroad. The D-1 was acquired in 2004 and was the mainstay of the fleet while the railroads 2-8-0 No. 29 and 2-6-2 No. 8 were being restored. Another 80-tonner, D-2, was only used in 2003, and its current disposition is unknown. The Valley Railroad in Essex, Connecticut owns a trio of 80-tonners, 0900, 0901, and 1606, for use on the Essex Clipper Dinner Train, as well as for yard switching and work train service. Former US Army 1654 is in regular service at the Rochester and Genesee Valley Railroad Museum as their No. 54, along with Eastman Kodak No. 6.

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