Electric Locomotives

General Electric 1949 Chicago South Shore & South Bend 803
General Electric 1949
Chicago South Shore & South Bend 803
Description:Streamlined main line freight locomotive

Equipment Information

South Shore Line 803 is the largest operating electric locomotive in North America. It was built for export to Russia but due to the advent of the Cold War the sale was cancelled and the locomotive was instead sold to the South Shore for fast freight service. It was retired in 1981, by which time it and sister locomotive 802 were the last electric locomotives in mainline freight service on a U.S. common carrier railroad. It came to IRM that year in operating condition.

FUN FACT: A dozen electric locomotives identical to 803 were sold to the Milwaukee Road and operated in the Pacific Northwest. They were nicknamed “Little Joes” because they’d been built for the Soviet Union, led by Josef Stalin.

Chicago South Shore & South Bend 803 Details

Builder: General Electric
Year Built: 1949
Length: 88ft 10in
Width: 10ft 7in
Height: 15ft
Weight: 545600 lbs
Brakes: 8EL
Motors: 8 GE 750
Control: P Electro-Pneumatic
Compressor: 2 CP-39
Trucks: General Steel Casting
Description: Double End / 2-D+D-2
Arrived: 1981
Condition: Complete / restored / operational

Photo gallery

South Shore 803 Ownership History

1949-1981 – Chicago South Shore & South Bend
1981-present – Illinois Railway Museum, Union, IL

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