20th Century Turbine Locomotives
Union Pacific Steam Turbine Locomotives
In April 1939, the Union Pacific took delivery of two General Electric built
condensing steam locomotives (steam-turbine-electric locomotives). The wheel
arrangement of these two locomotives was 2-C+C-2.
The locomotives were General Electric’s attempt to compete with General
Motors passenger diesels locomotives. The locomotives were returned to
General Electric in June of 1939, following unsatisfactory results. They saw
extensive service on the Great Northern Railway during a motive power
shortage in 1943. They were returned to General Electric and retired late that
same year.
Steam conditions: 1500 lb per sq. in, @ 920º
Boiler: Water-tube with forced circulation
Fuel: Bunker C fuel oil
Turbine: Two-stage cross-compound, 12,500 rpm
Generators: Two DC 12-pole variable-voltage, 1200rpm
Traction motors: Six, air-cooled
Norfolk & Western took delivery of a steam- turbine-electric in 1954. Built
by Baldwin-Lima- Hamilton with a Babcock & Wilcox water tube flash boiler,
the locomotive (No. 2300) was named “Jawn Henry.” General Electric supplied
the traction motors, and rode on four three-axle trucks. With all axles powered,
the Jawn Henry was a C-C-C-C locomotive. Jawn Henry lasted only three
years. While the locomotive had a number of problems in its short life span,
most were remedied. Coal dust contaminated the electrical equipment, feed-
water heater and semi-automatic boiler controls were troublesome and the
turbine blades suffered when the loco backed heavily onto a train. The
locomotive was mainly used as a “pusher” and was retired in late 1958 and
The Jawn Henry
Norfolk & Western steam-turbine-electric, No. 2300

Site Coordinator: Lori Niemuth Last updated: December 27, 2007