The Chesapeake & Ohio Turbine-Electric Locomotives.
Left: The Chesapeake and Ohio Steam-Turbine Electric.
This locomotive is another steam-turbine/electric; three were built. They had conventional coal-fired fire-tube boilers mounted backwards behind the cab and stretching back towards the tender. Steam was generated at the high pressure of 310 psi and fed to the turbine-generator. Power output was 6000hp, transmitted through eight traction motors. There were five bogies in a 2-C1-2-C1-B arrangement. Only the first three axles on the eight-wheel bogies were powered. The trailing bogie was powered, (hence that B) but the leading bogie and the one in the middle were not; the middle four-wheel bogie simply supported the large firebox. Coal was stored in a large hopper at the front of the loco, covered by a very ugly "streamlined" cowl. Water was carried in the trailing tender.
Number 500 was built in association with Baldwin and Westinghouse in 1947. Numbers 501 and 502 followed in early 1948. One of them appears to have also been called M-1, but quite what that's about I have yet to discover.
Left: Inside the cab of the C&O Steam-Turbine Electric.
These impressive but complicated locomotives were introduced with considerable fanfare, inluding an appearance at the Chicago Railroad Fair. The intention was that they would pull a planned Washington DC-Cincinnati streamliner passenger service called The Chessie, but this was cancelled before it ever ran. The Baltimore & Ohio railway got there first, with a service starting in February 1948, and the results of this convinced the C&O that the passenger market they were hoping to exploit just did not exist.
This left three enormous locomotives that were too big for general use on the C&O system. However, the show-stopping problem was the sheer unreliability of this complex design. The locos spent much more time being repaired than working, and had far too many service failures. The C&O never once managed to get 500, 501 or 502 to go all the way from Washington to Cinncinatti; they always broke down.
Particular problems were coal dust getting into the forward traction motors, and leaking water short-circuiting the motors on the other two power bogies. These problems might have been soluble with further development of the design, but it was all too clear that the locomotives were always going to be expensive and difficult to maintain.
By 1949 all three locomotives were out of use, and they were quietly scrapped in 1950.