GE 44 ton

Although many people think of the GE 44-ton as an industrial engine, it was actually designed for common-carrier service. The 1937 diesel agreement ruled that any engine weighing over 90,000 lbs required a fireman. The 44-tonner weighed in at 88,000 lbs, just under the limit. Industrial roads had no such restrictions and could run as big a locomotive as they wished without a fireman.

385 of these locomotives were built starting in 1940, with 9 going to Canada and 5 to Mexico. Of interest are 7 units that went to Uruguay, 3 wide gauge units that went to India for a dam project, 2 units that went to Trinidad, 9 that went to various sugar plantations in Cuba and 5 that went to the Arabian-American Oil Company in Saudi Arabia. 239 of these locomotives went to Class I railroads.

They were built in 11 phases with slight changes being made with each phase. A little over 90% of these engines were built with two Model D17000 Caterpillar V8 power plants. Other prime movers included the Hercules DFXD 6 cylinder; the Buda 6DH1742 and the Caterpillar 342 6-cylinder. The first GE 44-tonner was delivered on 4 September 1940, carried s/n #12908, and went to the CB&Q as their 9103. The last was delivered to the Dansville & Mt. Morris in Dansville, NY as their 1 on 19 October 1956 and carried s/n #32664.

….Dave Muma


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The Museum supports the efforts of Canada’s railways to promote safety. We highly recommend that our guests also visit the Operation Lifesaver website. There you’ll find more information about rail safety, including in-person presentations, videos, and other resources.


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