Over on the S-gauge forum there's been an ongoing discussion about the new Lionel offerings, including a reissue of the EP-5, leading to some of us "purists" (I'm only a modest purist...) decrying the release of any EP-5 models in anything other than New Haven paint.  There's also been the 'deliberate' confusion sown by Lionel and others by calling some of the releases "Little Joe's" (not even close).  Having flogged these topics on that forum, I wanted to start a post about the EP-5s post New Haven's demise - and in particular, how many of them survived into the Penn Central era and beyond.  And yes, to be correct, there were some EP-5's (PC called them E40's) that did appear in PC paint (so my earlier whining about only New Haven paint (the McGinnis scheme) being the correct livery isn't quite true...).

GE produced 10 of the EP-5 'jets' for New Haven in 1954/5 and by 1977 all were scrapped.  When New Haven 'merged' into Penn Central in 1969 (PC created in 1968 as the merger of NYC and PRR) it had already been in bankruptcy for 6 or 7 years and apparently New Haven's enthusiasm for the EP-5 had begun to wane - so much so that only six were still running.  PC inherited six of the ten - all of which were repainted into PC black with white lettering.  I managed to find pictures of five of the six -- the sixth one, #4971 (nee NH #371) was the one involved in the Park Avenue tunnel fire (resulting in the banishment of the E40's from Grand Central Terminal).  I think one of the deadline pictures I saw showed that loco, but the fire damage to the paint made the numbers hard to read.

By 1974, PC was bankrupt - leading to Conrail in 1976.  Apparently two of the E40's made it on to the Conrail roster (the other four might have also technically been inherited by Conrail but never made it out of the deadline), #4973 and #4977.  Neither was repainted into Conrail colors - nor even patched.  They both were converted to freight service (which I think involved removing one pantograph and the steam generator used for passenger operation) - but didn't survive beyond 1977.

Most of this post is based on wikipedia and other secondary sources, including an interesting thread here:  http://www.railroad.net/viewto...=71021&hilit=ep5 from about 8 or 9 years ago.  This link is mid-thread, but there are folks posting on it who were apparently former "jet" jockeys (pun intended).  Lots of stories about the jets, including this one from Classic Trains: http://ctr.trains.com/~/media/...landpredecessors.pdf

Original Post

A good reference for the EP-5 (if you can find it) was published in 1991 by N.J. International:

EP-5 Jets 071619 001r

It covers the EP-5 from beginning to end, along with technical information.

Also there's "New Haven Power" published by Alan Staufer.  I also recall the New Haven Historical Society covered the EP-5 in an issue of their publication, The Shoreliner.

Rusty

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The initial paint scheme proposed by General Electric for the EP-5 was the traditional New Haven green and gold but with silver trucks. GE later proposed another green/gold color scheme with black trucks and a third scheme unlike anything the New Haven had used previously. Lucille McGinnis, the wife of New Haven Railroad president Patrick McGinnis, then suggested that something more stylish should be developed including the new NH logo. She, in conjunction with Florence Knoll and Herbert Matter, a graphic designer and instructor of photography at Yale University in New Haven, developed the red/black/white scheme eventually selected for the EP-5s. She had also suggested a similar yellow/black/white scheme which was painted onto one of the first EP-5s but she eventually chose the red/black/white scheme for production. Thus, there were five paint schemes designed for the EP-5 before it went into service. They are the ones that I would like to see on a model. I believe that MTH previously made the green/gold and yellow/black/white schemes in its O gauge Premier line.

MELGAR

Just my own opinion, but these locomotives were built with 1954 technology, and, during their service life, great advances were made in electric profile locomotives in Europe, where they were abundant.  That technology came to North America and made the EP-5 so obsolete that capital rebuilding was pointless.  Otherwise, these -- and the Virginian units -- might have been able to continue running for decades like some old diesel-electrics which have been rebuilt with more modern on-board technology.  I always wanted to see one, but never did.

Anyone else have thoughts on this?

Tom

 

Superintendent, High Plains Division (O Gauge) 

The Panhandle & Santa Fe Railway Co.

Lone Star Hi-Railers

Santa Fe, All the Way

You're right Tom, GE used outdated technology even before they were finished. The EP-5's used Mercury Arc ignatron rectifier tubes that were high maintenance, and from what I read, fragile and unreliable. Same with the Virginian E-33 rectifiers. In 1960 when the big Pennsy E-44's were built, they had solid state rectifier diodes. I read that the NH tried to convert one EP-5 to solid state that was a failure.

MELGAR posted:

 I believe that MTH previously made the green/gold and yellow/black/white schemes in its O gauge Premier line.

MELGAR

You are correct that MTH did the green/gold.  I have one.  MTH cataloged the yellow/black EP-5.  I have never seen one and I don't know if it was produced.  

Rapido is currently making very accurate HO EP-5 models.  They are advertising one with the yellow/black paint.  

I have never liked the various Lionel EP-5s with B-B trucks instead of the correct C-C trucks.  

NH Joe

 

Chuck Sartor posted:

You're right Tom, GE used outdated technology even before they were finished. The EP-5's used Mercury Arc ignatron rectifier tubes that were high maintenance, and from what I read, fragile and unreliable. Same with the Virginian E-33 rectifiers. In 1960 when the big Pennsy E-44's were built, they had solid state rectifier diodes. I read that the NH tried to convert one EP-5 to solid state that was a failure.

The first 60 E44s had Ignitron rectifiers. The last 6 were built with silicon rectifiers and produced 600 additional HP for a total of 5000. They were classed E44a. GE subsequently upgraded 22 of the original 60 to E44a standards. (4438-4459). The PC bankruptcy halted the upgrade program. Conrail replaced the Ignitron rectifiers with silicon components on the remaining (4400-4437) units but without the horsepower upgrade.

I saw the "Bricks" many times. Regrettably, I never trained my camera on one. I thought they were utilitarian looking and quite uninspiring to look at.

They could never draw my attention away from the magnificently styled GG1s, any more than a geep could compete with an F-unit, or any diesel with a live steam locomotive.

Note: There is no hyphen. PRR never used hyphens. (K4s, M1a, T1 GG1 etc.)

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