I've been looking at photos of E8's in their later years of service and from time to time I come across a photo in which I can't see any portholes. Did some railroads fill them in?, paint over them?



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Yes, some railroads filled in the portholes (plated them over) or replaced them with louvers. Some E-series units were re-purposed into fuel tenders or steam generators (especially in the early Amtrak era) and their portholes may have been removed at that time. 

If I were in charge of locomotive portholes, it would never have happened.  (Oh, well . . .)  There are light bulbs inside the engine room, and, if all the lights were in working order, I guess they would have sufficed.  For cash-short railroads like Rock Island, PRR, Milwaukee Road, B&O, Erie-Lackawanna, it was a way to eliminate 8 maintenance items per E-unit.

With earlier E-units (which were built with rectangular engine room windows) the cooling system was inferior to the electric fan driven radiators of E8's, and most E3/E6/E7 units had some panel louvers added, which replaced some or all glass side windows.  That was a performance issue primarily, and secondarily financial for some roads.  Some -- not all, as it was optional -- E8B units had hostler controls in the engine room, to enable moving the unit independently within maintenance facilities.  On those units, the hostler controls were on the wall adjacent to one of the hinged portholes. The hostler had to open the porthole and put his head outside to receive hand or lantern signals for movement.

You may notice that solvent railroads normally left the portholes, and the daylight they brought into the engine room, alone.



Superintendent, High Plains Division (O Gauge) 

The Panhandle & Santa Fe Railway Co.

Lone Star Hi-Railers

Santa Fe, All the Way

Porte originally not port.  French for door.  Large cannons on sailing ships had to kept lower on the center of balance and a sealed door was needed. 

Starboard had something to do with steering (maybe the star-like wheel shape?) which was the right side of a ship.  Port side was the side for boarding a ship. You docked at a port left side to land.

Still admiral-y funny there me swabby

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"


"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.


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