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Reply to "The new FlyerChief EP-5"

I've always wondered about the interest in (and sometimes confusion about) the EP-5.  While innovative in its use of rectifiers to convert the AC on the overhead to DC for the traction motors, only 10 of the "jets" were built for the New Haven and they had about ten years of service with NH (who was in financial trouble even by the time they were introduced in ~1955).  They were slowly beginning to be phased out by NH in favor of the cheaper FL-9s, which were both diesel electric and fully electric (via a third rail pickup for going into NYC), before NH bit the dust as part of the Penn Central merger.  Apparently six of the ten EP-5s survived into PC paint and, I believe, saw some service hauling freight.  One caught fire in the Park Ave. tunnel in 1973, at which point NYC banned them (apparently the overheating of the ignitron rectifiers was a well-known problem).  Conrail picked up whatever remained of them, but I don't think any of the EP-5s saw Conrail service or even Conrail paint.

Several posts 'up' shows a picture of a Milwaukee road EP-2 bipolar (built about 40 years before the EP-5).  Occasionally someone will conflate a Little Joe (EP-4) with an EP-5.  I've always wondered about why Lionel issued EP-5s in both Milwaukee Rd and Great Northern colors - neither real RR owned EP-5s.  Full disclosure, I do have a Flyonel version of the EP-5, I think from around early 2000's.

Last edited by richs09
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