Pacific Electric 1653 General Electric 44-Ton Diesel Locomotive

By Steve Crise

This never-before-published photograph by the late E. Rod Crosley documents the usage of smaller diesel electric locomotives by the Pacific Electric Railway.

Here PE 1653 is handling a AT&SF / SFRD ice refrigerator car at an unrecorded location, perhaps Butte Street or 8th Street yards in Los Angeles, California.

PE’s 1653 diesel electric locomotive was manufactured by General Electric and was part of a five-unit order. It is a 44-ton diesel electric locomotive that produced 380 horsepower powered by a pair of Caterpillar D-17000 diesel engines. Its maximum speed was only 35 MPH.

PE 1653 was part of a second order of 44-ton locomotives from GE that arrived in 1944 from the General Electric plant in Erie, Pennsylvania. Note the trolley pole is not in use because it is not needed with in the yard limits to activate signals and crossing devices.

Reference: Interurban Specials #37, page 656.

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Showing 3 comments
  • Brian Aunger

    Two pairs? Four engines total?

    • Pacific Electric

      Typo – fixed! 2 Cats in total. Thanks for the find!

  • Al Donnelly

    Those two lanterns hanging up front were a nice touch!

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Pacific Electric Magazine for December 10, 1927E. Rod Crossley photo of Taylor Yard