GG1 Electrics

To replace their aging fleet of P5a electrics in 1933, PRR commissioned the design of a more powerful, lighter axle load, streamlined body, 100mph electric locomotive.  The Westinghouse R-1 and GE GG-1 prototype electric locomotives were built and tested by the PRR in 1934. Famed designer Raymond Loewy, who would later design the iconic 1939 S-1 Passenger steam locomotive, was hired by the PRR to add an aesthetic carbody to the winning GG-1 design.  The result was the classic, welded body with five gold pinstripes and a Brunswick green paint scheme. 

PRR ordered an initial production run of 57 locomotives that were completed in 1934. PRR built an additional 81 locomotives at their Altoona works from 1937-1943.  In the years following, the GG-1 proved to be the most rugged, reliable, and versatile electric locomotive ever produced. 

Following a successful career on the PRR, Penn Central sold 30 GG-1’s, and leased another 10 units, all taken from series 4890-4938, to Amtrak in 1971.  Upon Conrail’s inception in 1976, CR inherited all other remaining GG-1’s, assigning them their ex-PRR series 4800-4937. 

Conrail ran the GG-1’s in both emergency commuter service, as during the SEPTA strike of April 1977, and in freight service from 1976-1979.  The last freight service run for the GG1's was on November 21, 1979 when 4859 and 4887 pulled Train ENWI-1 with 113 cars out of Enola, headed for Wilmington.

 

1
Still showing her ex-PC 4921 number series instead of Amtrak 921, the one-of-a-kind GG-1 lettered for US Savings Bonds roars through on track 1 at Morrisville in March, 1980.
3

On the first day of the 44-day Septa TWU strike in 1977, numerous CR equipment was mixed in with Amtrak units at 30th Street Station.

OCS 3 rested on the tracks behind Amtrak GG-1 4939 (ex-PC 4939, nee-PRR 4927).

The former PRR GG-1 4927 was not scrapped after retirement by Amtrak in 1980. The unit was repainted in 1999 and preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, IL.

4

On the first day of the 44-day Septa TWU strike in 1977, numerous CR equipment was mixed in with Amtrak units at 30th Street Station.

Former PC 9140 baggage car rested on the tracks behind Amtrak GG-1 4939 (ex-PC 4939, nee-PRR 4927).

The former PRR GG-1 4927 was not scrapped after retirement by Amtrak in 1980. The unit was repainted in 1999 and preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, IL.

5

With a mixed freight pulled by boxcab electrics on the highline, a pair of Amtrak GG-1's led by the Savings Bond 921 pull commuters into Philadelphia's 30th Streeet Station.

Though unpleasant for commuters, the 44-day Septa TWU strike from March 25 to May 8, 1977 brought an interesting mix of CR and Amtrak power to 30th Street station.

6

With a mixed freight pulled by boxcab electrics on the highline, and ex-PC SW9 9140 on the engine service tracks, a pair of Amtrak GG-1's led by the Savings Bond 921 pull commuters into Philadelphia's 30th Streeet Station.

Though unpleasant for commuters, the 44-day Septa TWU strike from March 25 to May 8, 1977 brought an interesting mix of CR and Amtrak power to 30th Street station.

The crews' AMC Javelin and Oldsmobile Ninety-eight add a nice touch to the first year of Conrail's operations.

7

With a mixed freight pulled by boxcab electrics on the highline, and ex-PC SW9 9140 on the engine service tracks, a pair of Amtrak GG-1's led by the Savings Bond 921 pull commuters into Philadelphia's 30th Streeet Station.

Though unpleasant for commuters, the 44-day Septa TWU strike from March 25 to May 8, 1977 brought an interesting mix of CR and Amtrak power to 30th Street station.

 

8
On the first day of the 44-day Septa TWU strike in 1977, numerous CR equipment was mixed in with Amtrak units at 30th Street Station. Former PC 9140 baggage car rested on tracks beside an Amtrak E-8A, a quartet of GG-1's led by 926 (ex-PC 4933), and E-60's 970 and 973.
9

With a CR mixed freight on the highline, Amtrak GG-1 929 pulls commuters into Philadelphia's 30th Streeet Station in April, 1977.

Though unpleasant for commuters, the Septa TWU strike from March 25 to May 8, 1977 brought an interesting mix of CR and Amtrak power at the 30th Street engine terminal.

10

With a CR mixed freight on the highline, Amtrak GG-1 929 pulls commuters into Philadelphia's 30th Streeet Station in April, 1977.

Though unpleasant for commuters, the 44-day Septa TWU strike from March 25 to May 8, 1977 brought an interesting mix of CR and Amtrak power to the 30th Street engine terminal.

11
Alongside some elder GG-1s, CR 4022 E-8A sits at the 30th Street Station engine service area in Philadelphia.
12
During the 44-day Septa strike in 1977, Conrail units lined up alongside the Amtrak GG1's, E60's, and E-8s at 30th Street. On Day 2 of the strike, CR 4022 E-8A rests beside an elder CR GG1 at the 30th Street Station engine service area.
13

The highline above Philadelphia's 30th Street Station was busy with a pair of boxcab electrics pulling a mixed freight in April, 1977.

A pair of Amtrak GG-1's led by the Savings Bond 921 pull into 30th Street, below. In March 1980, GG-1 921 was seen relettered as 4921.

14
Conrail E44 4430 passes by GG1 4921 at Harrisburg, PA in 1979. In the background is E33 4610.
15
Two high school railfans came across a prize during our first trip to Enola in May, 1977. Late in the day, my friend zoomed in on CR GG-1 4800 as it sat in it's wild Bicentennial paint scheme.
16

Returning from our first trip to Altoona where hundreds of railfans gathered to see Reading 4-8-4 #2101 round Horseshoe Curve, my friend and I came across a gem resting at the Harrisburg engine terminal.

CR GG-1 4800 was resting with sister GG-1's and other former PC electrics in her wild Bicentennial paint scheme! 

Kodachrome 64 film, a guess at exposure time, and station lights for lighting made for an interesting image of "Old Rivets."

Just over a month before, on April 12, 1976, the Harrisburg paint shop had added the colorful scheme.  Sadly, 4800 was the only GG-1 Conrail deemed worthwhile to repaint into full Conrail colors.  All of the other almost ageless CR GG-1's remained in grimy black until their retirement in 1979.

 

17
A closer view of "Old rivets" with it's wild Bicentennial paint scheme at Harrisburg on the night of May 22, 1977. The Harrisburg shops had applied the paint scheme on April 12, 1977.
18

CR GG-1 4800 waits at the tail end of a trio of GG-1's at the Morrisville yard in February, 1979.

The prototype for the great GG-1 fleet went through many paint schemes in it's storied career. A simple CR blue with the large "can opener" replaced the wild red, white and blue Bicentennial scheme that lasted from 1976 through the summer of 1977.

19
CR GG-1 4800, "Old Rivets," pulls at the rear of a trio of G's at Morrisville yard in February, 1979
20
Conrail GG1 4800 is seen at Strasburg, PA in 1981 before she was restored into PRR Brunswick Green with the 5-stripe trim by the Railroad Museum of PA.
21
grab shot of 4800 shortly after delivery to Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, from car while stopped at red light on PA route 741 on June 6, 1981
22

"Old Rivets", the only Conrail GG-1 to wear blue paint is dead in tow, heading west at Frankford Junction, Philadelphia, Pa.

23
CR 4801 pulling 2nd with 4868 on front pulling southbound freight on manor siding in Columbia Pa
24
A pair of GG-1's are seen leading CC-7 at Newak NJ in Oct of 1977.
25
An unidentified E40 behind two GG-1's on the Trenton cutoff at Willow Grove, PA in November, 1976. Sadly, the G's were taking the E40 to join other reclassed EP-5's at Harrisburg's deadline.
26
An unidentified E40 behind two GG-1's on the Trenton cutoff at Willow Grove, PA in November, 1976. Sadly, the G's were taking the E40 to join other reclassed EP-5's at Harrisburg's deadline.
27
CR GG-1’s 4861 and 4802 taking a signal break on the Trenton cutoff at Willow Grove, PA before pulling off toward Morrisville.
28
A pair of G's power CRWA-7 (Croxton/Secaucus-Washington/Pot Yard) @ Colonia, NJ
29
Cr 4808 lead engine with CR 4869 pull a eastbound freight across the front st (rt 441) rail crossing onto the columbia branch headed to lancaster dillerville yard.
30
GP-9 7110 tows GG1's 4870 and 4808 and autoracks through Harrisburg in August, 1977. With permission.
31
This may have been the last freight run on Conrail for both GG1's 4864 and 4809.  The pair was rolling freight through Morrisville on the Northeast Corridor on November 17, 1979.  Less than a week later on November 21, the day before Thanksgiving, GG1 4859 and 4887 led ENWI-1 out of Enola headed for Wilmington.  This was the last freight run by GG1's on Conrail.  Information on the last run by GG1's provided in Dan Cupper's dedication of GG1 4859 for the Harrisburg NRHS on November 15, 1986.
32
CR GG-1 4809 leads 4854 as they blast through Morrisville on a snow-covered day in March, 1978.
33
CR GG1 4809 leads 4854 as they speed through Morrisville on the Northeast corridor in March 1978.
34
CR GG-1 4809 leads 4854 as they blast through Morrisville on a snow-covered day in March, 1978.
35
Former PRR 4822 in storage at Edgemoor, DE on 12/9/79.
36
CR GG-1 4824 and 4850 wait between assignments at Enola in May, 1977.
37

The GG-1 engineer of 4824 looks over ex-EL Bicentennial SDP-45 6669 resting just outside the Enola shops following a crew change.

38
CR GG-1 4824 lines up with other GG-1's and E-44s at the Enola electric service facility in May, 1977.
39
Got Pantographs? CR GG1's sitting whitelined at the Wilmington Shops awaiting their fate by the scrappers torch.
40
CR GG-1 4825 runs second behind 4889 in a quartet of G's on the NE Corridor at Morrisville in March, 1977.
41
CR GG-1 4825 runs second behind 4889 in a quartet of G's on the NE Corridor at Morrisville in March, 1977.
42
CR GG-1 4825 runs second behind 4889 in a quartet of G's on the NE Corridor at Morrisville in March, 1977.
43
CR GG-1's 4825 and 4856 pull freight through Morrisville in March, 1977.
44

The face of GG-1 4825 shows the signs of over 43 years of continuous service since the electric's build date of June, 1935.

CR GG-1 4825 rests at Morrisville, PA in August, 1978.

The powerful electric would see retirement in February, 1979.

45

CR GG-1 4825 shows the signs of over 43 years of continuous service since the electric's build date of June, 1935.

The powerful electric rests at Morrisville, PA in August, 1978, and would see retirement in February, 1979.

46
With the front end freshly repainted black, CR GG-1 4828 follows lead-unit 4849 through Morrisville yard in April, 1977.
47
CR GG-1 4835 waits for assignment by the sanding tower at Morrisville yard in June, 1979.
48
CR GG-1 4835 leads 4850 as they roll through Morrisville in June, 1979.
49
Conrail GG1 4835 is seen at Wilmington, DE as a Amtrak Toaster passes on the Northeast Corridor on 2/15/1981
50
Conrail 4835 is sitting at the head of a line of GG1s awaiting the scrapper's torch at Wilmington, DE on 3/15/1981

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