The reference for locomotives and railcars
Norfolk & Western classes LC-1 and LC-2
United States | 1914 | 16 produced
LC-1 with a freight train
LC-1 with a freight train
Railway and Locomotive Engineering, June 1915

The Norfolk & Western Railway had Westinghouse electrify 27 miles of the route over the Elkhorn Grade in the years 1913 to 1915. This had become necessary because the route had an average gradient of two percent, which is why the 3,000-ton coal trains had to be pulled by several heavy Mallet steam locomotives. In addition, the 3,100 feet long Elkhorn Tunnel was only allowed to be used by the steam locomotives at 6 mph and was therefore a major bottleneck. The Baldwin-Westinhouse cooperation supplied twelve heavy double locomotives for operation on the 11 kV and 25 hertz electrified route.

These locomotives consisted of two halves, in each of which two bogies with two driven axles each had a double motor. These motors were operated with three-phase current, which was generated by a rotating phase converter. For the first time in history on heavy freight locomotives, these motors could be used for electrical braking. Although two double locomotives were still usually required for a train, traffic could be significantly accelerated. In each case, one LC-1 was offset against three class Z-1 mallets.

When an additional 25 miles of this line was electrified in the 1920's, four more double LC-2 class locomotives were ordered. In these, the four driven axles were mounted in a common frame and the leading and trailing axles were mounted individually. While the hourly output of the LC-1 was 2,400 kW, it was 3,540 kW for the LC-2. All locomotives were retired in 1950 because after the Second World War a second, double-track Elkhorn Tunnel was built, which only had a gradient of 1.4 percent.

Manufacturermechanical part: Baldwin, electrical part: Westinghouse
Axle config(1-B+B-1)+(1-B+B-1) (1-D-1)+(1-D-1) 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length105 ft 8 1/8 in
Wheelbase83 ft 10 in
Service weight600,100 lbs828,000 lbs
Adhesive weight440,000 lbs600,000 lbs
Axle load55,000 lbs75,000 lbs
Power sourceelectric - AC
Electric system11,000 V 25 Hz
Hourly power3,200 hp (2,386 kW)4,750 hp (3,542 kW)
Top speed28 mph
Starting effort133,000 lbf195,500 lbf
Power Plant
Calculated Values
electric locomotive
three-phase AC
last changed: 04/2022

We use cookies to save the following settings:

  • selected navigation structure
  • selected language
  • preferred units
  • spelling of railway company names

If you refuse the use of cookies, the settings will only be retained for the current session and will be reset to the default values the next time you visit the site.

Display of units

Here you can set the desired unit system for the technical data.

  • Metric: Lengths in meters, weights in tonnes, and volumes in cubic meters
  • Imperial (UK): Lengths in feet/inches, weights in long tons and volumes in imperial gallons
  • Imperial (US): Lengths in feet/inches, weights in pounds, and volumes in US gallons
  • Individual: Depends on the country of origin of each locomotive
Operator names

Here you can set the display of railway company names.

  • Short: Abbreviation or short form of the name
  • Standard: commonly used name, partially translated to English
  • Complete: full name in local language