Penn Central 4715

Dave's Electric Railroads

Built in:1906 by Alco/General Electric (ord#29950)
Type of car:locomotive (dual-role locomotive) (Type S-2)
Current Owner:Illinois Railway Museum(Union, Illinois)

Car History by Frank Hicks

Penn Central 4715
One of the most famous electric locomotives of all time was the New York Central's S-motor. These were some of the earliest successful mainline electrics, built for the electrification of the New York Central's suburban operations in 1906. The S-motors, of which 4715 was part of the first production order, were 600-volt locomotives with bi-polar motors in which the driving axle formed the center of the motor armature. This turned out to be an extremely successful design, and a few of the S-motors - 4715 included - ended up running for an incredible 75 years in regular service. The duties of these workhorses included powering commuter trains out to Croton-Harmon Yard, where they were exchanged for steam engines, and switching cars in and out of Grand Central Station. By the end of its life, 4715 was among the oldest locomotives operating anywhere in North America. Originally bought in 1981 by the Branford Electric Railway Association, it was discovered that the locomotive was too heavy to be transported to the BERA site; so IRM took 4715 instead, moving it to Illinois. It was even operated occasionally for a time at IRM using an inauthentic South Shore pantograph until motor problems grounded it - the only operation of an S-motor ever outside the state of New York.

Ownership History:New York Central #3415 1906-1908 / New York Central #3215 1908-1917 / New York Central #1115 1917-1936 / New York Central #115 1936-1969 / Penn Central #4715 1969-1976 / Illinois Railway Museum(Union, Illinois) 1981-present

Facts and Figures

Status:displayed inoperableGauge:4'8.5"
Construction:steelRoof type:AREnded:DE
#Seats:n/a#Wheels/Conf.:16 (2-D-2)Total HP:2200
Trucks:1-piece castBrakes:14ELCompressor:Gardner-Denver
Motors:GE 84A (4)Voltage (if not 600DC)


Former Conrail #4715 (1976-1981)