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Prototype Description: The E7 was a 2,000-horsepower (1,500 kW), A1A-A1A passenger train locomotive built by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division of La Grange, Illinois. 428 cab versions, or E7As, were built from February 1945 to April 1949; 82 booster E7Bs were built from March 1945 to July 1948. (Circa 1953 one more E7A was built by the Los Angeles General Shops of the Southern Pacific by rebuilding an E2A.) The 2,000 hp came from two 12 cylinder model 567A engines. Each engine drove its own electrical generator to power the two traction motors on one truck. The E7 was the eighth model in a line of passenger diesels of similar design known as EMD E-units.
In profile the front of the nose of an E7A was less slanted than on earlier EMD passenger locomotives, and the E7, E8, and E9 units have been nicknamed 'bulldog nose' units. Some earlier units were called 'shovel nose' units or 'slant nose' units.
A Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad E7A, #103-A, appears at the start and end of the 1967 film In The Heat Of The Night.
A Southern Pacific E7A, #6001, is on the point of a train that figures prominently in The Hitch-Hiker, a popular 1960 episode of the anthology television series, The Twilight Zone, starring Inger Stevens. (According to the narration, Steven's character is said to encounter the train somewhere between Pennsylvania and Tennessee, yet the locomotive's number board shows that the train, #99, is the Coast Daylight, which travelled between Los Angeles and San Francisco.)
The only E7 that survives today is owned by the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, in Strasburg, Pennsylvania and is ex-Pennsylvania Railroad E7A #5901. This locomotive has been cosmetically restored, and is on indoor display.
Most of the premier passenger trains including the AT&SF "Super Chief," various CB&Q "Zephyrs," Great Northern's "Empire Builder," New York Central's "Twentieth Century" and Pennsylvania Railroad's "Broadway Limited" were pulled by EMD "E" unit diesel locomotives from the 1940's to the 1970's.
Road Name History:
The Boston and Maine Railroad was chartered in New Hampshire on June 27, 1835, and the Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts Railroad was incorporated March 12, 1839, in Maine, both companies continuing the proposed line to South Berwick, Maine. The railroad opened in 1840 to Exeter, New Hampshire, and on January 1, 1842, the two companies merged with the Boston and Portland to form a new Boston and Maine Railroad.
The B&M flourished with the growth of New England's mill towns in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but still faced financial struggles. It came under the control of J. P. Morgan and his New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad around 1910, but anti-trust forces wrested control back. Later it faced heavy debt problems from track construction and from the cost of acquiring the Fitchburg Railroad, causing a reorganization in 1919.
By 1980, though still a sick company, the B&M started turning around thanks to aggressive marketing and its purchase of a cluster of branch lines in Connecticut. The addition of coal traffic and piggyback service also helped. In 1983 the B&M emerged from bankruptcy when it was purchased by Timothy Mellon's Guilford Transportation Industries for $24 million. This was the beginning of the end of the Boston & Maine corporate image, and the start of major changes, such as the labor issues which caused the strikes of 1986 and 1987, and drastic cost cutting such as the 1990 closure of B&M's Mechanicville, New York, site, the largest rail yard and shop facilities on the B&M system.
Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Technically, Boston & Maine Corporation still exists today but only as a non-operating ward of PAR. Boston & Maine owns the property (and also employs its own railroad police), while Springfield Terminal Railway, a B&M subsidiary, operates the trains and performs maintenance. This complicated operation is mainly due to more favorable labor agreements under Springfield Terminal's rules.
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It was founded in the 1950s by a company that pioneered extruded foam ice chests under the Lifoam trademark. Because ice chests are a summer seasonal item, the company needed a way to keep the factory operating year round. As model railroading was becoming popular in the post-war years, they saw this as an opportunity and so manufactured extruded foam tunnels for model trains. Over the years, Life-Like expanded into other scenery items, finally manufacturing rolling stock beginning in the late 1960s. At some point in the early 1970s, Life-Like purchased Varney Inc. and began to produce the former Varney line as its own.
The Canadian distributor for Life-Like products, Canadian Hobbycraft, saw a missing segment in market for Canadian model prototypes, and started producing a few Canadian models that were later, with a few modifications, offered in the US market with US roadnames.
In 2005, the company, now known as Lifoam Industries, LLC, decided to concentrate on their core products of extruded foam and sold their model railroad operations to Wm. K. Walthers.
Read more on Wikipedia and The Train Collectors Association.
Item created by: gdm on 2016-03-28 11:29:59
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