The GE 44-ton switcher is a 4-axle diesel-electric locomotive built by General Electric between 1940 and 1956. 386 were built for industrial and light switching duties, often replacing steam locomotives as diesel power.
The GE 44-ton switcher is a 4-axle diesel locomotive built by General Electric between 1940 and 1956. It was designed for industrial and light switching duties, often replacing steam locomotives that had previously been assigned these chores. This locomotive’s specific 44-short ton weight was directly related to one of the efficiencies the new diesel locomotives offered compared to their steam counterparts: reduced labour intensity.
In the 1940s, the steam to diesel transition was in its infancy in North America, and railroad unions were trying to protect the locomotive fireman jobs that were redundant with diesel units. One measure taken to this end was a stipulation that locomotives weighing 90,000 pounds (41,000 kg) or more required a fireman in addition to an engineer. The 44-ton locomotive was born to skirt this requirement. Other manufacturers also built 44-ton switchers of center-cab configuration. 348 examples of this locomotive were built for North American railroads. Many remain, in service and in museums.
The exact livery modelled for Train Simulator is the Southern Pacific livery. SP owned a total of 14 GE 44s.
For Train Simulator, two add-ons are available: GE 44 in Southern Pacific livery and a Boston & Maine add-on. The GE 44 was developed by DigitalTrainModel and published by RailSimulator.com through Steam with scenarios for the Donner Pass route for the SP livery and Portland Terminal for the B& M livery. The locomotive is also Quick Drive compatible. It can also boast opening cab doors and windows, and full cab and dial lighting.