The GE 44-ton switcher is a 4-axle diesel-electric locomotive built by General Electric between 1940 and 1956. It was designed for industrial and light switching duties, often replacing steam locomotives that had previously been assigned these chores. This locomotive's specific 44-short ton weight was directly related to one of the efficiencies the new diesel locomotives offered compared to their steam counterparts: reduced labor intensity. In the 1940s, the steam to diesel transition was in its infancy in North America, and railroad unions were trying to protect the locomotive fireman jobs that were redundant with diesel units. One measure taken to this end was the 1937 so-called "90,000 Pound Rule", a stipulation that locomotives weighing 90,000 pounds – 45 short tons – or more required a fireman in addition to an engineer on common carrier railroads. Industrial and military railroads had no such stipulation. The 44-ton locomotive was born to skirt this requirement. Other manufacturers also built 44-ton switchers of center-cab configuration. 276 examples of this locomotive were built for U. S. railroads and industrial concerns, four were exported to Australia in 1944, 10 were exported to Canada, 10 were exported to Cuba, one was exported to the Dominican Republic, five were exported to France, three were exported to India, six were exported to Mexico, five were exported to Saudi Arabia, one was exported to Sweden, two were exported to Trinidad, 10 were exported to Uruguay, and 57 were built for the U. S. Military.
Union Switch & Signal (US&S) was a primary supplier of control systems to the Pennsylvania Railroad. Their compact, desktop series of CTC machines were labeled the 500 series. What follows is a discussion of what is seen on these machines and how they differed from location to location.
Track charts are linear records of segments of the railroad. They are "to scale". Although the schematic is linear, at the bottom of the chart is a depiction of the degree of curvature of the line, as well as grades.
Signal charts are very similar, but show where signal heads are located and what aspects they are capable of showing.
Between 1924 and 1934, the Pennsylvania Railroad purchased or built over 30,000 of the X29 class of box cars and an additional 5,000 of the auto car variant, the X28. The X29 -- a 40' 50-ton all-steel car -- became the most ubiquitous freight car of the late steam/transition era. These cars appeared in every corner of the US and Canada.
The G24 were 41'-6" gondolas designed by the United States Railroad Administration (USRA) and plans provided to the PRR in April 1919. They were composite cars with wood in the sides, end and floor. They featured straight sides with drop doors in the floor and rode on USRA 2D-F3 trucks. They had Carmer cut levers.
Starting in 1929, the Pennsy replaced the composite sides with drop bottoms to steel sides with solid bottoms. Some cars received steel ends. Though most cars were converted in this manner, the program was halted in 1930.
In later years it appears the Pennsy may have replaced many with 2D-F8 trucks.