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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.

VariantLC-1LC-2
General
Built1914-19151924-1925
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
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
Boiler
Calculated Values
electric locomotive
freight
two-section
three-phase AC
last changed: 04/2022
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