Wednesday, January 26, 2011

1955 EMD G8



Now we're back from Cuba, and our first entry for 2011 is a bit off-topic, but we think it qualifies as a Cuban Classic because it has wheels, and because it comes from Detroit. Meet the General Motors EMD G8. 382 examples of this 900-horsepower diesel-electric locomotive were built by GMs Electro-Motive Division between 1954 and 1965.

Ferrocarriles Consolidados de Cuba ordered a batch of 51 machines between 1954 and 1955. Most of them are still in service. And because the "new" Ferrocarriles de Cuba kept the locomotive's original numbers after Fidel Castro's revolution, and just added a 50, it is possible to determine their exact production date: No. 50912 in front, Serial Number 19830, was built in February 1955, while No. 50931, Serial Number 19849, was built in April of the same year.

On the hook is "El Trompo", a regional train which operates since the mid-50s on the 30km long stretch between Moron and Ciego de Avila. Three coaches, once being self-propelled Budd Rail Diesel Cars, accomodate the passengers. When they were new, they didn't need a locomotive. Powered by two GM 6-cylinder engines, these light corrugated stainless steel cars could reach a maximum speed of 137 km/h, while the passengers enjoyed amenities such as reclining seats and air conditioning. The big cusps on the roof once housed the air conditioning units. Today, engines and air conditioning are gone, but because of their stainless steel construction the cars still seem to be in a pretty good shape.

1 Kommentare:

CubanRailways Yahoo Group said...

Hello,

This is a great shot indeed, amazing locomotives!

When was this one photographed? 50912 is looking sharp being recently ex-Works!

There is a yahoo group specifically dedicated to cuban railways at link below and I have sent post there with link to the blog.

http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/cubanrailways/

Thanks!