TS21: Turbine Triple Treat!
Written by: Gary Dolzall.
Now available, DTM’s Union Pacific General Electricgas-turbine-electric locomotive pack delivers three versions of UP’s classic 4,500-horsepower GTELs!
Now available for Train Simulator and masterfully created by developer DTM (Digital Train Model), the new Union Pacific 4,500-horsepower GTEL pack includes three versions of UP’s classic gas-turbine-electric locomotives: The unique double-cab General Electric prototype demonstrator of 1948; Union Pacific’s initial order of “standard” 4,500-horsepower GE turbines of 1952-53; and the railroad’s distinctive “veranda” GE turbines of 1954.
Turbine power had long been an intriguing option as main line railroad motive power. Union Pacific and General Electric had teamed up in 1938-39 to test a two-unit, 5,000-horsepower steam-turbine, which proved unsuccessful. A decade later, Chesapeake & Ohio with its Baldwin-built M-1 class turbines of 1947 and Norfolk & Western with its massive “Jawn Henry” were notable explorations of steam-turbine locomotives.
In 1946, General Electric announced an intention to again explore turbine locomotives, this time employing a gas-turbine as the prime mover. Swiss company Brown Boveri had in 1941 created the first gas-turbine locomotive, a 2,200-horsepower locomotive for the Swiss Federal Railway, and at the close of the decade would build famed British Railways 18000. In November 1948, General Electric rolled out GTEL demonstrator No. 101, a 4,500-horsepower locomotive with a streamlined carbody, cabs at each end, and riding a B+B-B+B truck configuration. Clad in a green-and-yellow livery, the 530,000-pound behemoth operated on the Pennsylvania Railroad and Nickel Plate until June 1949, then made its way to the Union Pacific.
Throughout the twentieth century, the Union Pacific had an insatiable hunger for super power, an appetite that gave form to the “Big Boy” in the steam era, 5,000-horsepower double diesels in the 1960s, and thus Union Pacific was a nature customer for the GE turbine. On the UP, the prototype was outfitted in Union Pacific livery (although still owned by GE) and given UP road number 50. On the Union Pacific, the prototype turbine rolled up 101,000 miles of testing until it left the railroad in April 1951. Thereafter, it briefly tested on the Southern Pacific, then returned to GE where it was scrapped in 1953.
While the life of the prototype 4,500-horsepower turbine proved short, it left its mark and Union Pacific ordered an initial group of ten GTELs which were similar to the prototype with the exception that the production units would be equipped with a single operating cab. These ten units entered UP service in 1952-53 wearing Union Pacific road numbers 51-60. At the heart of the 4,500-horsepower GTELs was a 2-stage gas-turbine with a 15-stage axial flow compressor.
Turbine operations on the UP showed favorable results, with the 4,500-horsepower units averaging 8,000 miles and 400 hours of service per month and with up to an 80 percent availability rating. The turbines consumed twice the fuel per ton mile than diesels of the period, but this was offset by the GTEL’s use of Bunker C oil, which at the time sold for as little as $1.40 per barrel. Union Pacific soon returned to GE with another order, this for fifteen locomotives. Union Pacific Nos. 61-75 arrived in 1954 and while mechanically similar to their predecessors, the new units differed visually, employing a “veranda” carbody which allowed improved access to the locomotive’s mechanical components.
Built to haul heavy tonnage at speed over long distances, the 4,500-horsepower turbines primarily worked Union Pacific’s main line between Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Ogden, Utah, including regular appearances on UP’s legendary Sherman Hill. Although equipped with their own fuel tanks, the turbines’ robust appetite for fuel resulted in Union Pacific adding fuel tenders, most of which were rebuilt from Class 18-C tenders from retired 9000-series UP 4-12-2 steam locomotives.
Union Pacific’s 4,500-horsepower turbines operated for the better part of a decade with final retirements in 1964, by which time the veteran locomotives were replaced by the railroad’s 8,500-horsepower GE “Big Blow” turbines and the railroad’s double diesels such as the GE U50 (which in fact rode on the B+B-B+B trucks of retired turbine locomotives).
The new Train Simulator Union Pacific GTEL pack is truly remarkable in scope! The locomotives feature authentic detail, controls, and sounds, the carbody details of the standard turbine can be customized, and the turbines are provided in weathered and snow-dressed versions. Along with the trio of GTELs, the pack includes the turbine’s fuel tender and a selection of period-appropriate freight rolling stock including a 46-foot gondola, 40-boxcar in multiple liveries, 4,000-gallon tank car, R-30-6 refrigerator car, and Union Pacific CA-5 caboose. And the pack includes four scenarios for the Train Simulator Sherman Hill route (route available separately).
Take the throttle of three variations of Union Pacific’s unique and memorable 4,500-horsepower General Electric gas-turbine-electric locomotives and enjoy a truly extraordinary high-horsepower Train Simulator experience -- with the new Union Pacific 4,500-horsepower GTEL pack, now available at the Steam and Dovetail Games stores! – Gary Dolzall
Through the talents of noted developer DTM, Union Pacific’s first-generation of gas-turbine-electric locomotives – in three authentic versions – now take to the rails of Train Simulator! This new pack includes (left to right) the unique double-cab General Electric prototype demonstrator of 1948; Union Pacific’s initial order of standard 4,500-horsepower GE turbines of 1952-53; and the railroad’s distinctive “veranda” GE turbines of 1954. Screenshots by Gary Dolzall.
In November 1948, General Electric debuted GTEL demonstrator No. 101, a 4,500-horsepower locomotive with a streamlined carbody, operating cabs at each end, and riding a B+B-B+B truck configuration. The unique prototype spent 21 months and rolled up more than 100,000 miles on the Union Pacific dressed in UP livery and wearing road number 50 (above and below). Note: Screenshots depict content in development.
Based on the testing success of the protype, Union Pacific purchased ten GTELs in 1952-53 which were similar to No. 50, but with a single operating cab. These 530,000-pound behemoths (above and below) were powered by a 2-stage gas-turbine with a 15-stage axial flow compressor. The turbines’ robust appetite for fuel resulted in Union Pacific adding fuel tenders, most of which were rebuilt tenders from retired 9000-series UP 4-12-2 steam locomotives.
Union Pacific purchased an additional fifteen 4,500-horsepower GTELs (UP 61-75) in 1954. Captivating in appearance, these gas-turbine-electric locomotives featured an unusual “veranda” style carbody (above and below) which provided greater ease of access to the locomotive’s internal mechanical components.
The new Train Simulator Union Pacific GTEL pack is truly remarkable in scope and includes all three 4,500-horsepower turbine variants with realistic cab and controls (above). The units are provided in weathered and snow-dressed versions and the standard turbine can be customized to reflect carbody changes that occurred through the years.
In addition to the Union Pacific 4,500-horsepower GTELs, this new DLC pack from DTM features a superb selection of period-appropriate freight rolling stock including a 46-foot gondola, 40-boxcar in multiple liveries, 4,000-gallon tank car, R-30-6 refrigerator car, and Union Pacific CA-5 caboose, plus scenarios for the Sherman Hill route.
Take the throttle of three variations of Union Pacific’s unique and memorable 4,500-horsepower General Electric gas-turbine-electric locomotives and enjoy a truly extraordinary high-horsepower Train Simulator experience -- with the new Union Pacific 4,500-horsepower GTEL pack, now available at the Steam and Dovetail Games stores!
Screenshots and images displayed in this article may depict content that is still in development. The licensed brands may not have been approved by their respective owner and some artwork may still be pending approval.
TS21: Turbine Triple Treat!