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Detailed Information

B&A No. 50

Name: B&A No. 50

Railroad of Record: Baltimore & Annapolis Railroad

Type of Locomotive: GE 70-Tonner 600hp yard switcher/industrial locomotive

Builder Number: 30437

Manufactured by: General Electric

Date Built: 1950

Locomotive Weight: 70 tons

Prime Mover: Cooper-Bessemer 6 cylinder in-line 600 hp

Starting Tractive Effort: 41,500 lbs

In the early years of diesel-electric power, General Electric was engaged in producing electrical components for other locomotive companies. They later began producing their own line of locomotives. In 1940, in an attempt to address the market of light switching, General Electric introduced the "44-tonner." This locomotive caught on with the short line carriers. In 1946, General Electric created a new 70-ton model of the locomotive for the same type of service.

The Baltimore & Annapolis Railroad (B&A) purchased the No. 50 70-tonner in 1950. Opened in 1887, the B&A was a small line that ran between Baltimore and Annapolis. In 1906, the railroad was electrified and became a popular commuter line which helped develop many towns in between the two destinations. During its existence in the 20th century, the B&A faced many challenges such as automobile highways, competing railroads and changes in ownership.

In 1950, the B&A discontinued its unprofitable rail passenger service and instead concentrated on using buses for passenger travel. The No. 50 was purchased as the sole engine to handle all of its local freight business. Over the years, the B&A freight service shrank to just six miles, but the No. 50 regularly worked as the company's sole locomotive until 1986. The No. 50 was eventually forced into retirement due to engine problems and now resides at the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum. 

 

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