The diesel-electric Switcher General Electric 4032

Le GE4032 au port de Colmar avant déchargement

Our switcher GE4032 hasn't been unloaded and is still sitting on the heavy load trailer. The picture has been taken on the site of the Rhine Port of Colmar on october the 30th., 2019. (Picture: Sébastien Kieffer)

General characteristics of the switcher:

Builder: General Electric Compagny, Schenectady, New York (siège)
Werke in Erie, Pennsylvanie
Model/Type: GE 75tons/ Serial Number: 27532
Date of delivery: 1944
Road Number: GE4032
Diesel Engine Output [kW]: Original: 2 * 186kW
now: 2 * 211kW
Locomotive Output [kW]: Original: 262kW @ 42km/h
Max. starting effort [kN]: 200
Max. safe speed [km/h]: 50
Weight in working order [t]: 67,5
Total length [m]: 12,09
On Board Voltage [V]: 60

General characteristics of the 2 prime movers:

Builder: Baudouin Moteurs, Marseille
Model/Typ: DNP V type 922
Cycle: 4 stroke
Air supply Naturally Aspirated
Max. Power Ouput [kW] @ rpm: 211 @ 1800
Spec. Fuel consumption [g/kWh]: 237
Fuel consumption @ Max.Power Output [l/h] 67
Max. Torque [Nm]: 1120
Max. BMEP [bar]: 6,6
Max. Piston Speed [m/s]: 9
Number of cylinders [-]: V8, 90°
Bore * Stroke [mm*mm]: 150*150
Cylinder Displacement / Total Displacement [l]: 2,65 / 21,2
Weight [kg]: ?
Cooling: Liquid
Cranking: electric using the generator
Injection System: 1 Sigma Pump + 1 Bosch Injector per Cylinder

Diesel Prime Mover Builder Plate:

General View:


Builder Plate:


Short presentation:

This locomotive GE 4036 is one of the 10 copies of type GE75tons which were ordered in 1944 by the US Army Transportation Corps for troop transport during WW2.

They were equipped with two identical power generators that produce direct current. Originally each power generator consisted of a Cummins in line 6 cylinder diesel engine type L1 600, with natural aspiration, 38 liters displacement (Bore: 178mm, Stroke: 254mm) which was able of 186kW at 1000rpm and a generator of type GE 549-F1. This one was able to deliver a maximum current of 800A or a maximum voltage of 500V (of course not simultaneously).

After that (and this is the case for the 4032), the Cummins engines have been replaced by Baudouin V8 diesel engines of type DNP8 with 21,2 liters displacement (bore=stroke=150mm) with natural aspiration which developed each 211kW at 1800 rpm (or 176kW at 1500 rpm). Because changing the generators would have been by far too expensive, a gear reducer has been added.

Each power generator provides electric current for the both nose-suspended traction motors of the nearest bogie. These electric motors are of type GHM833-L1 and connected in series or parallel.

To start the diesel engines, the power generators are fed by 5 classical lead acid batteries which are connected in series. Each power generator is equiped with an auxiliary generator of type GY-10A1 which can charge the batteries and feed the excitation winding of the generator. For each power generator, there is also one air compressor from Type Westinghouse 4YC.

The benefit of having two complete independent power generators is evident: it is very unlikely that both will faile at the same time and the locomotive has a greater availability and reliability, even if the locomotive has only the half of the nominal power. Perhaps only one regret: in the case of a failure on one power generator, the 4 electric motors are not fed but only 2. The advantage would have been that the speed tractive effort curve would have stayed the same, only the speed would have been divided by two. With only 2 traction motors used, the maximum starting tractive effort is only the half of the original value.  

The locomotive has been used by the "Chemin de Fer Touristique Pontarlier-Vallorbe (CFTPV)" until 2019. The management kindly asked the webmaster if he would be interested in collect some spare parts on it for its own locomotive, the 4036 because if was planed to scrap it very soon. It would have been unimaginable to scrap a piece of history in this way knowing well that it is capable of running. Everything was tried to save it and our association bought it afterwards. (The webmaster would like to thank especially Ludovic, Philippe and Guillaume for their essential support!)

Life at CFTR:

Last Owner before salvage: CFTPV
Retirement date: 2019
Acquisition date: 2019
Current owner: CFTR
Restauration: on-going
Expected operation: Run the train from depot to the station + switching at Sans-Soucis
Retirement at CFTR: -

Not only the 4032 has been preserved. Following liste shows what has happend to the other locomotives:

4028: Chemin de Fer Touristique de Sabres-Marquèzes, not in use anymore.

4029 & 4030: scrapped in St-Symphorien, in the Département of Gironde

4031: scrapped in Bordeaux

4033: In use on the train touristique Guîtres-Marcenais.

4034: scrapped in Bordeaux

4035: scrapped but no other information

4036: Property of the webmaster and in restauration @the CFTR

4037:  no information.

Pictures (CFTR):


GE Wassy

In the small community of Touillon-et-Loutelet the CFTPV use to load and unload its locomotives and wagons when it is needed to send them away by truck. The 66400 is not impressed from this action and shunt without difficuly the 4032 on the heavy load trailer. (Picture: Ludovic Wirth)

GE Wassy

All the time in use: our Baldwin DRS 6-4-660 shows the 4032 its new home and accompanies it to the depot on October the 30th., 2019 (Picture: Noémie Kieffer)

Bibliography and external links: 


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