New England 2-footers.
Mike Mueller Collection, from Bobs Photos.........
In 1949, three 2-foot gauge
diesel locomotives were built by GE in Schenectady, NY.
found an on-line reference that said they were built at
Erie..but that is incorrect, the builders plates say
The three locomotives were built for the Whitin Machine Works, were built new as 2-foot gauge locomotives, and are the only 3 locomotives of this specific design ever built.
Today they are
84" wide (7 feet) due to the side walkways on #1 and #2
that were added
scheme of the three locmotives while at Whitin is
currently unknown, but we can see by the above photo
that one of them was given the number 5.
The three units toiled in relative obscurity inside the Whitin Machine Works until 1967, when Whitin closed its doors for good. The three units were then put up for sale. They all quickly found new careers!
(the current #1) was brought to Edaville in 1967.
Locomotive #3 (the current #3) took a more adventurous path than her two sisters..She was used by "Steam Village Railroad" in Gilford, NH for a time in the 1970's. Number 3 also once belonged to "Koppers"..a railroad tie manufacturer. Im not sure of the exact dates for #3's Koppers and "Steam Villiage Railroad" careers, but its clear she must have worked for "Steam Village Railroad" first, then Koppers, because today her cab side is still lettered for Koppers.
Finally, in 1980, number 3 was ready to settle down and join her two sisters at Edaville, but sadly, she was severely damaged by a low bridge during the move by truck to Edaville in 1980, she was not repaired and never operated again.
Today, all three locomotives still exist!
# 2 remains at Edaville to this day, and is still operating.
# 1 was moved
to the Maine Narrow Gauge Museum in Portland Maine on
September 19, 1993
The damaged #
3 was also moved to Portland, where she continues to be
used as a parts source for her two operating sisters.
article about these engines, with "as built" drawings,
appeared in the November 1974 issue of Railroad Model
Craftsman. A second article appeared in the April 1983
issue of RMC:
I visited the
MNGRR in Portland on August 14, 2004, and took many
detail shots of Diesel 1 as an
were shot on film, and it was an overcast, cloudy day,
as a result, shadow detail was lacking...so I had to
mess with the contrast and lightness to bring out
details...as a result, many of these photos appear a bit
murky..but I did that purpose so the detail can be seen
On to the pictures! :)
The sad remains of diesel 3. But she donates parts so that her sisters may live.
thats it! :)
If anyone knows more details about the history of these
engines, please let me know!
For lots more info on the Maine 2-footers. the real thing, and modeling them:
The museums and historical societies, 2-foot related.
oh yeah..and why did I refer to these three locomotives as "Big"? as in: The "Big" diesels of the modern New England 2-footers?
even though they are very
SMALL locomotives, as
locomotives go, they are the LARGEST diesels ever used
on American 2-foot railroads! There are many very small
"critters" in use by the various 2-foot museums and
historical societies, small 4-wheel gas Whitcombs and
the like, but these three GE's represent the only real
"mainline" diesel power of the American 2-footers..the
type of locomotives that might have been used by
the real 2-footers as mainline power if any had survived
beyond WWII and into the diesel era..that makes them the
BIG diesels of the Modern New England 2-footers! :)
I said at the top of this page:
(I found an on-line reference that said they were built at Erie..but that is incorrect, the builders plates say Schenectady.)
I assumed that if the plate says Schenectady, the unit was built at Schenectady, and not Erie.
I later recieved an email stating that is incorrect..even though the plate says Schenectady, the units were actually built at Erie...hmm..I dont know.
Were all GE
switchers built at Erie? even though the plates say
switchers actually built at Schenectady..(and those
plates say Schenectady on them)
1. all units built at Erie, but all plates say Schenectady anyway. (because GE was based in Schenectady)
2. some built in Schenectady, some in Erie, but all plates say Schenectady anyway.
3. some built
in Erie, some in Schenectady, and plates reflect the
place unit was built.
number 3 seems
the most logical to me,
I dont know
So I posted a question on the GE forum at railroad.net
I recieved a reply stating:
The Second Diesel Spotters Guide has a brief sentence on page GE-137 which says "Heavy Locomotives have always been produced at the GE plant at Erie, Pa. Light locomotives were produced for a period at GE's Schenectady plant."
Not definitive for this locomotive but makes it plausible.
From this locomotive:
Built in 1956, only 7 years after the three 2-footer GE's.
Based on the
builders plate evidence, and the book that states "Light
locomotives were produced for a period at GE's
In my opinion it is very logical to conclude that the
three 2-foot GE's were
So there it
is..im going to presume "built at Schenectady"..since
that seems the most logical based on all the
evidence...unless proven otherwise.