Pennsylvania Railroad E-2b No. 4944 and No. 4943.

(PRR, W. Lenheim Collection)



Pennsylvania Railroad class E2b comprised six experimental B-B electric locomotives built for the railroad by General Electric.

In 1952 the Pennsylvania Railroad took delivery of eight experimental locomotives:

  • 4 locomotives of the class E2b with the road numbers 4939–4942 built by General Electric.
  • 2 locomotives of the class E2c with the road numbers 4995 and 4996 built by Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton & Westinghouse.
  • 2 locomotives of the class E3b the road numbers 4997 and 4998 built by Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton & Westinghouse.
  • GE built two demonstrators to show the Great Northern Railway. These two were sold to the PRR in March 1953 and numbered 4943–4944.

The class E2b locomotives were commonly used in three pairs. Like most previous PRR electric locomotives, they were straight AC-powered, and did not use rectifiers. Because of this, they could work in multiple with existing PRR locomotives, and generally did so with class P5a.

The locomotives were scrapped in 1964.


Pennsylvania Railroad class E2b built by General Electric in 1951.

(Pennsy Power by Alvin F. Staufer, Bert Pennypacker, Public domain, Wikimedia Commons)


Pennsylvania Railroad E2b Overview

Type and origin
Power type: Electric
Builder: General Electric
Build date: 1952
Total produced: 6
​• AAR B-B
• UIC Bo'Bo'
Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electric system: 11 kV, 25 Hz AC
Current pickup: Pantograph
Transmission: AC current fed via transformer tap changers to AC traction motors.
Performance figures
Maximum speed: 65 MPH
Power output: 2,500 hp (1,900 kW)
Tractive effort: 35,400 lbf (157 kN)
Operators: Pennsylvania Railroad
Class: E2b
Numbers: 4939–4944
Scrapped: 1964