Skip to main content
THS HISTORY AlTD METHODS Of ELEGTRU'ICATIOir
Of THE E&irirSYLVAHIA HA.ILHOAD
BETWEEN BALTIMORE AHD WASHINGTON, D. C,
Charles Herbert J-udwig
INIATION REQUIHEMSNT OP MHYLAND BETA CHAPTiSR
TAU BETA PI
DECEMfiEH 1>, 1934
The author haa attempted in this thesis to present
a blrdseye viejr of the PennsylTania Hailroad'a electrif-
ioation program from Baltimore to Washington D. C. All
phages of the work are discussed in general, with just
enough detail to bring out the engineering technique in-
The entire New York to Washington electrification
was discussed in dealing with the historical and flnanoial
sides of the project because of the information obtainable,
and also in order to give a clearer presentation. The
figures appearing in the financial section are only approx-
imated or estimated values as they represent overall costs
which are not readily obtainable at this early date.
To make the thesis more interesting, pictures and
illustrations were inserted wherever possible, and an ap-
pendix was added at the end to include Interesting material
not presented in the main body of the thesis.
- -2 -
HISiX)iiY AiljD JJJiViDi^PMjJJi
Changes Neoesaary at Washington. D. C.
Changes Heoessary at Baltimore.
Headway Changes Along the Line.
Changes In Signaling System.
The Erection of Catenary Supporting Sturotures.
The Ereotion of the Catenary.
The Type How In Use.
New Calculating luaohine»;
HlilOitY MD DEVELOPMENT
One of the outstanding faotore in the unification and
development of the United States into a great Industrial, oommer-
clal, and agricultural state ia the erolution of the railroad. It
has been possible, through the medium of the railroad with Its
intricate maze of rails that spread throughout the entire United
States, to unite the interest of the great mass of people by
drawing them into closer relationship.
The Pennsylvania liallroad represents one of the large
•astern systems which has always endeavored to keep abreaat the
demands made upon it by the growth of the industries it serves.
The latest step taken by this railroad Is the electrification
and improvement of its lines so that when finished there will be
a completely equipped electrified service beginning at Hell Gate
Bridge, New York City, where connection is made with the New
England electrified railroads, to Washington, D. C. At this
writing 80^ of the work has been completed, and work is being
concetrated on the section between Baltimore and Washington, D. C,
and it is the construction of this section that will be presented
in this treatise.
i'irat, however it will be well to briefly review the
electrification program in its entirety.
In 1910 the Pennsylvania iJallroad electrified its line
from Sunny side Yard, Long Island, through the New York Terminal
in New York City to a point near Newark, New Jersey. Suburban
Transportation by means of multiple -unit cars was initiated be-
tween Philadelphia and Paoli in 1915' '^his waa extended to
Wilmington in 1928.
The present electrification program^ including both
passenger and freight aerviee, hetveen Sew York and Washington,
D. C. was authorized in 1928 hy the Board of Directors, who
stated that the chief advantages of electrification are that it
makes possible the handling of a denser traffic over the same
tracks, much larger trains can be operated and with greater flex-
ibility in speed, and the 003 t of operation and maintenance will
be reduoed. It will require approximately 816,000,000 kilowatt
hours per year (1,094,000,000 hp. per year J to operate the total
Pennsylvania a. c. traction territory^ when the eleotrif loatlon
is complete ; this represents an average load of 125,000 hp. it
will include 1,519 miles of track, 21 step-down aubatationa, and
seven supply stations. Ihe total substation capacity of the JJew
York-Washington section Trill be 1,196,500 Kva. The program also
includes new locomotives, cars, and new terminal facilities in
Hewark, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. The entire program re-
presents a cost of over ^265,000,000.
The Pennsylvania iiallroad first began work on the New
York to Washington Electrification and Improvement program in
1929. Jhe original construction schedule, formulated in I928,
called for financing the work largely out of earnings. Under that
schedule the work was to have been spread out over a period of
- 5 -
6-8 years. However, adverse traffic oonditiona in 1930 re-
atrioted earnings, and in 1931 the P.fi.S. borrowed )77,000,000,
The work was pushed vigorously in 1931f in antloipation of com-
pleting by 1933 • Iii January 1932 work: was stopped through laok
of funds. Ihia waa brought about due to the inability of the
Ballroad to market reasonable amounts of securities at fair or
real values, or to secure relief through loans from banks. In
Other' words old man depression was at work. Ihere was only one
other source to obtain money and that was through the He con-
struction Finance Corporation. Consequently, in Haroh 1932 the
Pennsylvania iiailroad applied for a loan of ^55,000,000 for s
period of three years. In the meantime, however, the -dailroad
was able to sell some of its securities, and as a result the
amount aaked for was reduced to ^27, 500,000. The application was
approved iiay I6, 1932.
The status of the electrif ioation and improvement pro-
gram in January 1952 was as follows:
Jan.l Proposed Additional
1932 19^2 to complete
Electrification, Hew York to
Washington. ^26,257.327 14.7.000,000 ^37,185,924
Hewarlt imiDrovements 1,497, 076 2,000,000 16,502,124
Philadelphia improvements 74,302,046 9,822,000 24,168,605
Baltimore improvements 5,403,838 1,500,000 19,095,162
Miscellaneous IJJ 7,054,000 400,000
'^°^^^ - 68,176,000 97,552,813
(1) Sot ascertained
With new financial support the work was continued.
On Beoember 29, 1933 the itailroad borrowed $77, 000, 000
from the ^tolio Works Administration of which 145,000,000 will go
- 6 -
to the completion of t.-ie electrif loation between New York
and //asliington, and 152,000,000 for the nev? freight cars,
looOfflOtiTes, and rails.
The projeot is particularly adopted to the P. W, A.
employment program in that the federal money will go pract-
ically 100;^ for wages and materials, and it will he of direct
widespread oeneflt in aiding heavy industries and capital goods
production. This is verified by the fact that the entire pro-
gram requires approximately 45,000,000 man hours of direct
labor, and the total cost will be over ^255,000,000, At the
present time 11,200 peoTle are employed on the project, and their
monthly payroll runs over |l, 000, 000.
The substitution of electric for steam power required
numerous changes throughout the entire railroad system. Xhe
moat imyortant which include rearrangements in terminal, road-
way, and signaling sy interns are discussed in the following para-
Changes llecessary at Washington, D.C.
Approximately 1^5.500,000 ia being spent in the District
of Columbia and vicinity on the electrification program. The pro-
ject Inoludea the electrification of 19 tracks in Union Station,
several engine terminals, the Virginia Avenue lunnel, a part of
the Pirst street Tunnel, portions of the Potomac Freight Yard
Union Station IVashington-Terminal
Pennsylvania Station-Baltimore Terminal
- 7 -
near Alexandria, Va,, and the oonstruotion of several sub-
The eleotrlf icatlon work In the District alone in-
volves 80-iDile8 of track. Ihe railroad's two main line traoka
entering Washington from the north will be electrified as far as
New York Aveniie. From there 5 traoks will be electrified to the
tower juat outside the Union Station. In the station itself,
tracks 12 to 20, inclusive, on the upper level, and 20 to 29, In-
olusive, on the lower level, will be prepared for electric oper-
ations. Altogether approximately 59 miles of track will be eleo-
trlf led on the railroad's main passenger lines to and through the
Union 3a talon, and 40 miles of track on the Anacostia freight
iTwo substations are being erected to regulate the flow
of power to the trains, One, named "Capital", la located on
3outh Capital at G Street, and the other named "Union," is just
outside Union Station.
Other features of the work will include the lowering of
tracks on the Anacostia freight line at 10-11-12 th Streets, and
on the passenger line under the B. & 0. Bridge at the Ivy City
^glne Yard. About 48 feet of track in the i'irst Street i'unnel
also will be lowered to provide greater clearance for the over-
head feed wired.
The signal and oommunioation system, including telephone,
telegraph, and signal lines Is being completely rearranged.
Ihe poles erected in the District will be J5 feet high
and designed to conform to the recommendations of the National
Capital Park and Planning Commission.
Union Substation located just outside Union Station
Washington, D.C. Power is received by underground
cables from Capitol Substation at 11,000 volts.
Close up view of circuit breakers at Union Substation,
Close up view o^ ;— r circuit breaker with sides removed.
Placing a bushing in one of the i+TOO Kva, 132/l2Kv, 68 ton
transformers at Capitol Substation.
Another view of the Capitol Substation showing the high voltage
bus on top of the tower.
Capitol Substation located at South Capitol and G streets V^'ashington, D.C.
Note the motor operated, 152Kv., horngap switches mounted on the tops of
Mr. Charles Bogan who is inspector and electrical engineer at the Capitol
Substation graduated from U. of M, in the class of 1952.
- 8 -
When the work la oompleted, Pennsylvania offioiala
olalm Washington will have the advantage of a terminal location
on the most important and extensive atretch of electrified rail-
road trackage in the world.
Changes In Baltimore.
The Pennsylvania la spending around 19,000,000 in and
around Baltimore on the improvement program including road and
tunnel electrification, tunnel construction and the building of
a new pier at Canton.
I>uring 1954 a total of approximately 14,500,000 will ba
spent on the electrification of the main passenger and freight
tracks through Baltimore, Including the old and new Union tunnels,
the Baltimore and Potomac tunnel, and tracks at the Bay View yard.
The right-of-way from Gwynor'a falls to ffllkens Avenue
was widened from two to six tracks, and other tracks In that
vicinity were lowered about 8 feet.
Together with the city, the railroad is taking over four
grade -'crossing elimination projects. Bridge railings are being
screened to a height of Gt feet above the sidewalks.*
i?he two tracks in the Old Union tunnel, which was built
in 1875, will, be torn up and replaced with one track in the center
30 that ample clearance for electric operation will be obtained.
In order to eliminate a bottle -neck which long had hamp-
ered the flow of trains thru the city, a new double track Union
or -off man street tunnel is being constructed parallel to the
the old Union tunnel. The difficulty results from the narrowing
Preparing to construct a curtain wall on a bridge
- 9 -
df the four track main line to tTO tracka through the olty, mak-
ing it neoessary to hold up freight trains while passenger trains
are aped through. She tunnel heads underground at Sreenmount
Avenue and emerges 3»400 feet eastward at Bond 3 tree t. Ihirty-
three feet wide, the tunnel will provide a clearance of eighteen
feet over the tracks. The oonstruotion is being carried out in
two atage3--an open out section of approximately 1,4^0 ft., and
the remaining 2,000 feet built by underground boring or shield
construction. When rooks are not encountered the tunnel progress-
es about twelve feet per day; through rooky ground about seven
feet per day. The use of large shields which are pushed forward
into the earth by powerful hydraulic jacks is an unusual feature
of the underground work. And advantage of this method lies In
the fact that the tunnel structure is practically complete as soon
as excavation is finished and no interval is necessary for the walla
or roof to set or dry. The tunnel will be the largest of its kind
in this aeotlon, 36 cubic yards of earth and rock being displaced
by every lineal foot of tunnel as compared with 25 oubio yards by
the Holland vehicular tunnels under the Hudson Hiver.
The 8,000 foot Baltimore and Potomac tunnel is considered
adequate for present requirements, although the railroad made
plans several years ago for constructing a ne-v tunnel in that
direction. The electrification of this tunnel will be carried on
chiefly at night when the traffic is lightest. One of the first
tasks in this tunnel will be the lowering of traoK.a to provide pro-
- 10 -
Hoad'vay Changes Along the Line.
One of the difficult road'vay prohlems of the eleotri-
fioatioa was that of obtaining adequate overhead olearanoe for
pantograioh operation^ for movement of high freight loads, and for
the catenary and high tension line supporting structures, Ihia
inTolTed the removal of existing pole lines oaiTying oommunioatlon
signal control, and secondary power lines, and the placing of
these circuits in underground duct systems or in aerial cables
carried on separate poles.
The duets were laid along the shoulder of the roadway.
Most of the trenching was done by hand because of the character
of the ground and the limited olearanoe a. All the duota were
laid below the frost line and were pitched for drainage. The
duct sections under traces were encased in. six inches of reen-
foreed ooncreta. V?hen crossing street and waterway bridges the
wires were encased in specially designed composite steel and
concrete duct boxes, which were made to rest on the bridge abut-
ments or piers.
In some instances it was necessary to raise overhead
bridges, lower traces, and build curtain walla on the bridge
railings to shield the overhead wires by minimizing the tempt-
ation to throw things over onto the railroad which might cause
damage if it should come in contact with the trolley wire.
The above operations were made more difficult by the
fact that they had to be carried on while the railroad and other
traffic was present. At the points where ohanges in fridges,
roadway, etc., to provide clearance were necessary, the situation
- 11 -
presented was studied jointly by the operating, motive power,
transportation, eleotrif ication, and maintenance of way depart-
ments, and the clearance finally agreed upon was determined as
the result of balancing the clearance requirements for eleotr-
ioal and transportation purposes against the cost of obtaining
Changes in Signaling System.
-i-Tha change-over from steam to electric propulsion
necessitated a complete reconstruction of the signaling system.
The ways id e signals of the semaphore type on signal bridges were
replaced with position-light signals * which are mounted on new
bridges whioh form a part of the "H" catenary structure. At inter-
lockings the signals are mounted on heavy anchor -type bridges
which act as anchors for the trolley system. The signals were
relocated to afford proper spacing for train speeds of 75 miles
per hour with three-block indication.
Continuous ooded cab-signaling was installed, and loco-
motives were equipped with cab signaling indications which are,
caution-slow speed, approach, approach-restricting, and clear.
As tae propulsion current is 2 5-oycle, it was necessary
to use a different frequency for the signal track oireuits to
prevent any interference. Inerefore, luO-oycle current was
adopted which necessitated an entirely new 100-oyole power system.
An important feature of the signaling was the install-
ation of Impedance bonds, the function of whioh is to terminate
the 100 cycle track circuit at each signal location, but to con-
tinue on to the next block the rail circuit for the 25-eycle
f See Picture;
One of the new type position-iignt signals.
- 12 -
T be power supply for the signals ia a 6,600-volt line
oonaieting of two Uo, 0, seven-strand bare copper conduotora
strung on pin- type insulators mounted on single orosaarms and
bolted to the catenary poles 10-feet below the 152 ,00O~volt,
25-oyole power transmission line. The signal line is transposed
every 3"5 miles.
The 100 cycle current la generated at 44O volts from 72-
Icva. motor-generator sets located along the line. The 440~^olts
are transformed to llO-volts at the sigaaal locations by a J- or
5 -leva., 6,600/lOO-volt transformer.
Power for the newly electrified Sefi York- Washing ton Line
will be obtained chiefly from the hydro-electric plant at iafe
Harbor Maryland, where the largest singlephaae, 25 cycle, hydro-
electric generator in the world ia being installed. This machine
is rated at 35,OOOkva., 13,000 volts at 100 revolutions per min-
The voltage will be stepped up from 13,000 to 132,000
volts by 20,000 kva. transformers. The power will then be trans-
mitted at 132,000 volts to the high-tenalon linea of the Pennsyl-
vania Ballroad at Perryville, Md.
From the high-tension lines power is distributed to out-
door type substations located along the right-of-way. The same
H-colujnn section poles which support the catenary system also
support the transmission lines by use of auapenaion insulators
UPPER right is one of twelve
27-ft., IS-ton, half-sections
of generator rim being rolled
for Kanawha's six new units. Just
above, stator frame sections are
being bolted together into a 40- ft.,
2,000,000-lb., 82,500-kva., generator
for Boulder Dam. At left is a
32S,00O-Ib., 31,2S0-kva, generator
rotor on its way to Safe Harbor.
And below is the main shaft of the
world's largest 25-cycle single-
phase generator, rated at 35,000
kva., also destined for Safe Har-
bor, The two latter units will sup-
ply power to the newly electrified
New York-Washington line of the
World's Largest Single- Phase Walerwheel Generator
TiiP larepst ^ine-le-iihase. 2;--fvcle, hydro-electric generator ever built ^s now
It 1^ flnn kviT liodn volts at lOO rp.xn. Power generated w U be trans-
mit!ed at utooo voits ?o thi hiKh-tension. lines of '!«; P.Sl^^'jVv'i^^S.s^'*''-
road at Perryvllle. Md., for use on their newly electrltted divisions
- 15 -
aiade up of 11 units, each unit having a dry flaahover voltage
of 75»00O» Both hollow-core copper stranded and steel-oore
aluminum stranded cable are uaed for the tranamisaion line.
The steel-oore of the aluminuEi cable serves to give Inoreased
tensile strength and the hollow-core of the oocper stranded
serves to Increase the outside diameter of the cable, thereby
reducing the poaalbility of radio interference. The diameter of
the copper cable is »7'}1 in* and there are I4 strands malcing a
total of 250,000 oir. mils. The steel core aluminum strand is
.85 inch in diameter and ia equivalent of 500,000 oir. mils,
copper. To offset the effects of self induction the lines are
Ih« 152,000 volt transmission lines are fed into the
primaries of the step-down transformers at aub3tation3*through
motor-operated, remotely controlled air-break disconnecting
switches. The 11,000 volt secondary of each transformer is con-
nected through an oil circuit breaker and a disconnecting switch
to an 11,000 volt bus. The parts of the bus fed by the trans-
formers may be separated by a bus-tie oil circuit breaker. Power
from the bus is fed through the requisite number of high-speed
trolley breakers *to the catenary system.
.aubatations of two general types are uaed. Where apace
permits, tihe steel work which supports the buses, t^ 152,000
volt transmission lines, and the air-brake disconnecting switches
are at one aide and not directly over any of the 11,000-volt cir-
cuits or apparatus in the subs tfit ion. Where spaoe Is at a pre-
Tracks running into Penn. Station at Baltimore
Substation near Penn. Station at Baltimore,
Pictures showing the development of Capitol Substation
Pouring concrete foundations froni a concrete train
Placing the Transformers
- 14 -
mlum, a more compact type of substation is used, in which the
transmission lines are above other substation equipment.
In locating the substations, some of the more important
consiaeratlong include the voltage regulation desired, the dis-
tribution of loading, possible inductive effects, the proximity
to sec tlonali zing points, and the availability of real estate.
Ihe substations are spaced from eight to ten miles apart and
there are 9 substations on the line from Baltimore to Washington.
All structural footings and electrical equipment foiind-
ations are made of concrete. The wire and electrical equipment
supporting the steelwork is of the lattice truss type; this type
of construction being particularly adapted for such use because
of the high towers and long spans required, which carry relative-
ly light loads. Also, by this type of construction, the weight
ia reduced, wind resistance Is cut down, and visibility In follow-
ing circuits is improved. All of the steelwork Is galvanized as
a protection against corrosion.
Each substation has a service trabk, which is used in
delivering equipment and materials for construction.
The control building is a one -story structure, of cement
block construction, with concrete roofs and floors. This build-
ing houses the switch control equipment; most of these buildings
also Include signal control and the motor generator set for supply-
ing signal power. Power switches may be controlled from this
building as well as from the nearby interlocking tower. Power
for the operation of switches is obtained from a amall motor-gener-
ator charging set operating in conjunction with a storage battery.
All control circuits are carried underground in parkway cable.
- 15 -
Kost of the aubstationa have facilities for filtering and chang-
ing the oil used In the transf ornwra and switches, The ao company -
ing pictures show some of the aubstationa.
All switches in step-down substations, along the right-
of-way and In yards and terminals, are controlled from interlock-
ing towers or stations. Xhe operation of all switches in the rail-
road power system between Washington and Jsaltlmore is super? ised
by telephone from the power director's office located In Balti-
more. In the power director's office is a large circuit and
switch -indicating board, ihe main power circuits are shown in
the diagram on these boards. The open or closed position of each
switch is indicated by small lights at the switch locations.
These lights are controlled by a small bench board, and '/Then a
power switch Is opened or closed the director records the position
of the switch by turning the light on or off.
Orders for opening or closing any of the power switohea
are given by the power director over the telephone to the operat-
ors in the interlocking towera. After the order for switch oper-
ation la given, it is performed and the interlocking operator re-
ports back to the power director who then marks the new position
of the switch on the Indicating board.
The trolley supply line between substations Is divided
into sections, and each section is separately energized through
a high speed trolley breaker. Section breaks * between aub-
stationa reduce the amount of track held out of aervice for re-
Typical Power Director's Office
- 16 -
purposes to that
two section breaks; they also
facilitate locating troubles
to small sections. At the section
i wires from c
direct ions are carried past each
without touching, the end of eaoh being lifted at a slight
a passing pantograph slides off of
and onto the
sontaotlug i/7ith both for a distance
In case of a
short oiroult or ground fault on any one of
the catenary lines over the tracks, the section bet"veen sub-
stations is automatically disconnected by the high-speed trolley
breakers feeding that section at eaoh substation. Many times the
cause of such a short circuit is momentary, and one of the high-
speed trolley breakers may bo reoloeed to attempt to energize
that section of catenary. If the fault persists, the breakers
are allowed to remain open and the tower operator places a card
on the control switch to show that it is to remain in this pos-
ition. Steps are then taken to clear the fault, and the power
director reports to the train dispatcher who keeps trains off
this section of track and a^ray from section breaks so that a
pantograph may not span the section break and energize the dead
In yards and at terminals vhere it is necessary to feed
contact wires over a number of tracks, a type of switch control
has been devised which automatically isolates and indicates the
location of a fault. The arrangement as applied to nine tracks
is shown in the diagram "Switching Control for Yard or station
Tracks."* Power is supplies from "A" through a single high-
Remot e- c ont r o Ifed
Switching Control for Yard or Station Tracks
><3 ^^S^ Speed Tr<a.ey Breaker
Oil Cirouifc Breaker
Disconnecting p p PP P P P P P
^ 3 4
- 17 -
speed trolley breaker to three low-oapaolty oil circuit break-
era. The three oil circuit breakers in turn each feed the con-
tact wire over three tracks through air break disconnecting
switches, dhould a short, ground or overload, occur on tract
Ho. 1, the high speed trolley breaker would open, this operation
requiring one twenty-fifth of a second. During this period of
time a relay functions to determine the location of the fault.
After the high-speed trolley breaker has opened, the low capacity
breaker, feeding tracks iTo. 1, 2, and $, opens and the high-speed
trolley breaker recloses. A light indication on the control
board shows that the fault lies on track Uo. 1. The operator may
then open disconnecting switch No. 1 and reclose the low capacity
breaker to re -energize tracks 2 and 5»
liiE CATMAHY 3Y3IEM.
The catenary system of overhead transmission derives its
nsme from the fact that the cable from which the contact wire is
suspended takes the form of a catenary. Xho term catenary is de-
fined as the curve formed by a flexible cord suspended by its
The erection of the overhead trolley was carried out in
two main steps. The supporting structures were erected first,
then the catenary was put in place. iSaeh step will be discussed
The iSrection of Catenary Supporting structures,
following carefully prepared working schedules, the
Project . .
Four Industrial Brownhoist special
short-clearance cranes, equipped
with 80 foot booms, were used by
the Pennsylvania Railroad to set the
poles on their great electrification
These cranes rotate in a radius of
only 5 feet 2 inches fronn the center
of the car. The rear cab, inclosing
the boiler, is fixed to the car body.
This design is of great value in
railroad service, particularly where
work must be handled in close quar-
ters. The short rear overhang per-
mits the operation of passing trains
on adjoining track without interfer-
ing with crane operation.
- 18 -
roadway work progresses In oo-ordlnation with the other phases
of the electrification work. One of the first and most import-
ant 3tepa in the roadway ''ork was to secure accurate information
oonoerning the track layout within the section to be electrified.
Ihis was done by an engineering field party, which made a con-
tinuous track survey over the section involved, establishing 100
foot stations on the rail. A special set of levels was run to
obtain the elevation of the top of the rail of the measured track.
A set of track plans were then drawn up and turned over to the de-
signing department for preliminary location of the catenary
bridges or poles. She bridge spacing was established so there
was an equal half span of catenary construction on eaoh aide of
each bridge. Ihia put balanced loads on the poles and simplified
the design of the catenary construction. jJhe normal bridge spac-
ing for tangent track waa figured at 2'JO feet, Ihe span decreased
with an Increase in the degree of curves. Variations of the bridge
spacing were made In increments of fifteen feet in order to stand-
ardize catenary hanger lengths.
The proposed locations were carefully checked in the
field, which resulted in the relocation of many bridges, //here
the sites originally proposed could not be adopted, the field
force recommended substitute sites and, taking there recommend-
ations Into consideration, the span lengths were again balanced
and the new locations were checked in the field.
With the bridge sites finally decided upon, cross levels
of the right of way were taken at each bridge location, and, at
the same time, an accurate chord survey was made, using the center
lines of th6 bridge sites as chord points. A cross section draw-
- 19 -
- ing was then prepared for eaoh bridge location to ahow the
type of bridge to be erected, the apeoific type of foundation,
and the position of all gtiya and guy anchor at* After a field
check, the bridge foundation plans were iaaued and construction
For the construct ion of the pole footings and guy anchor^
the Pennsylvania developed a concrete train * equipped for 100^
mechanical handling and mixing of materials. These trains con-
sist of 2 or 5 bin oars for carrying the concrete aggregates; a
miler car, where the concrete is prepared; an old engine tank for
water supply; and a cement oar, which carries in bulk, the supply
of cement. To secure positive control of the quality of the con-
crete, a two -compartment batcher, equipped with scales, ia used
to proportion the stone, sand, and cement, which are then dis-
charged into the elevating skip of the mixer. VVith a crew of 12
men and material storage capacity sufficient to make from IO5 to
120 cu. yds. of concrete, each train waa moved over the road,
pouring pole foundations and guy anchors by the use of metal
chutes* J!'loodllghta and a team pipes for warming the aggregates
and water allows operations to be carried on at night and in the
The pole footings ^onaiat of a alab mat with a center
pedestal, the mats ranging in size from ^-K.'jT.Zii ft. thick to 12x
12x3 ft. thick, and the pedestals ranging in size from 3 ft. 6 in.
square to 4 ft square and ^ ft. or more in height. Both mat and
pedestal are made of reenforoed concrete, iiiaoh of the footings
-is poured with a vertical center well extending through the
** See Blueprints in Appendix
dement mixer on one of the concrete trains
Pole footing mold used to form the pole footings — note
can in center which forms the well after the concrete is
poured. Reinforcing rods are also shown.
- 20 -
pedestal Into the base mat.
Vim gruy anchors are of the slab type placed horizontally
and 10 ft. below the surface of the ground. Jhe guy rod la
housed in a steel tube filled with cement grout to prevent cor-
rosion through contact with the ground.
The pole footing described above is known as the grav-
ity or "box" type. The resistance to turning over ia furnished
by the force exerted by the earth on the under and upper sides
of the mat.
Another and more economical type footing is the "can"
type. A hollow metal cylinder is driven into the ground by a
specially designed steam hammer which is put in place by a steam
orane. The "cans" range from 24 to 56 inches in diameter and
around eleven feet long. After it has been driven, the earth with-
in the cylinder Is removed, ihe bottom is flared out by removing
earth underneath the "can". Concrete ia then poured in the cylind-
er to the level at which the bottom of the pole is to rest. A
steel plate is then placed upon the concrete.
The can type depends upon the resistance of the earth
packed around its sides to keep it in place; therefore it must
be placed deeper into the ground.
Two general types of supporting structures for the long-
itudinal system are used. Where aide guya and anchors can be
placed, a crosa catenary support is uaed, but on restricted right-
of-way where there is no place for guys, a braced cross beaiD*must
be used. The cross catenary type of bridge is used wherever poss-
ible because df better visibility and lower cost.
- 21 -
The poles of the bridge oonstruotion, which alao oarry
the high tension transmlaaion lines, are of the Carnegie and
Bethlehem steel H-section type. They weight from 84 to I03 lbs.
per foot and range from 70 to 110 feet in height.
Ereotion of the poles is aooomplished by the use of
specially designed steam oranes with extension booms, a pole is
set upright with Its lower end in the well of the footing, and
stone spacers are dropped to the bottom of the well to oenter the
base of the pole; then oak wedges are driven around the top open-
ing to support the pole temporarily while it is being plumbed by
the use of transits. The base is then concreted in up to the
wedges which are removed after the oonoz'ete hardens, after which
the concrete work is finished. In subsequent operations, the
transmission line orossarms are bolted in place, the cross caten-
ary or beam bridge is erected, and the poles are given two field
ooata of aluminum paint iJor protection against corrosion.
The supporting structures are then ready to "take wire."
The Erection of the Catenary*
The cross catenary proper or supporting cable consists
of a 19-strand, bronze o"ble, 5/8"» 5/4". or 1", in diameter, de-
pending upon the loading. It Is connected to the two H-section
poles by U-bolta and Is fitted with a turnbuokle for adjustment.
A horizontal cross wire, known as the body span, similar-
ly connected to the poles. Is supported from the cross catenary
by dropper rods and clamps.
Immediately below the droppers from the cross catenary
- 22 -
are hung the s-uspension type Inaulatora which support the main
or longitudinal catenary or messenger. Xhis oonaiata of 5/S"»
19 3 trend, bronze oahle, having a oooper equivalent conduct ivity
of 15^. The next wire below that is the auxiliary messenger.
It is a 4/0 grooved solid copper wire and is supported from the
main messenger by bronze hanger rods. The hangers are spaced 30
feet apart on tftngent trnok and I5 ft. apart on curved track.
The contact wire is a 4/0 grooved solid bronze wire with
approximately 40,^ copper equivalent conductivity. It is supported
from the auxiliary messenger by oast bronze clips spaced I5 ft.
from each other.
With the above arrangement it is possible to replace worn
contact wire without disturbing the catenary. The contact wire
oan be made stronger and tougher even if the conductivity is in-
creased for the auxiliary messenger carries practically all of the
current to the nearest point of contact (clips) of the messenger
and contact wire where the load Is located.
Jour general types of catenary are used: tangent cstenary,*
catenary for curves up to 2deg. JO mln.,* catenary for curves from
2 deg. 50 min. to 4 deg., and catenary for curves greater than 4
The erection of the catenary is carried out as follows;
While the guys end cross catenary are being put up, a
separate crew applies cross arms and insulators preparatory to
the stringing of the transmission line wires, ihe structures are
then "ready to take wire".
The transmission line wires and longitudinal catenary
are strung simultf^neously by separate crews. The first wire of
gt-R.r T£flfM WLTH TOuDETi Cft«^ IA563> TO C^ecT "^^ eflT^/^£.Y
r*IMtll •* •* * ■» *^ ■» " ■» J '■> '^ r- .. ' - '
^oiLmm Pu^c'^^ riftHSses ^*£^ -^^ suPf^er
-^e ctjt^ I'Wrr
Tangent Catenary with Cross Catenary Support
Inclined Catenary for Curves from 2 Deg. 30 Min., to 4 Deg.
- ^3 -
the tranamiaaion aaaembly is the ground wire, following which
the four tranamiaslon line wires are strung in sequence, iho
wires are pulled from a stationary reel on the ground over sheaves
hung on the poles. Saoh reel contains about a mile of wire, and
after this is strung out it is tensioned with bloclc and taoicle
and a tension dynamoine ter. The sheaves are then removed and tht
Insulator olampa applied.
The stringing of the messenger wire for the main or long-
itudinal catenary requires traok occupation. The work is done with
a wire train* consisting of a tool and material car, a reel oar,
tower oar or cars,* locomotive and caboose. The tower cars have
platforms of adjustable height.
One end of the messenger cable is taken from the reel,
connected to a permanent attachment, and strung loosely over
sheaves, which are hung from the insulators on the cross catenary.
When the end of the wire is reached, the elaok la pulled, the wire
given preliminary tension and snubbed to the nearest availabl*
structure. The wire on another reel is then spliced to the first
and the process continued for three or four reels. All the wire
is then pulled to a greater tension and intermediate snubs at the
wire Joints are removed. The tension is then increased to some-
thing greater than specified unloaded tension, and the cable la
left under this tension for two or three days to allow for equal-
ization of tension in spans. The tension is then tested at inter-
vals along the wire by a shunt dynamometer. This measurement
serves to determine whether or not the tension Is correct. The
adjustment of the tension is given much attention, as uniform
Beam type supporting structure used when there is no space
available to place guys necessary in the cross-catenary
type of bridge.
' - i. ,■
Method used to support catenary
over tracks at Union Station.
tension of the main messenger ia pre-requiaite to a aatis-
faotory catenary system. To equalize the tension, the wire is
pulled at several points , and every effort is made to see that
slack is carried through each support.
The next operation is the application of the hangers to
the main messenger.* These are made up in the shop to different
lengths from computed tabulations and are applied by wiremen
riding the messenger in boats^vain*s chairs. Position of the
hangers is determined by measurements made along the rail.
The auxiliary messenger and the contact wire are strung
out simultaneously and supported temporarily by wire hangers while
they are pulled to approximate tension, temporary splices are
made bet'veen the wire ends and ss much wire as possible is snubbed
to a preliminary tension. Then the tension is pulled at each
temporary splice with block and tackle and a tension dynamometer,
and the permanent joints are made. Both wires are pulled at the
same t ime .
The final operation of catenary erection Is the attach-
ment of steadies and pull-off 3, testing the alignment of the
trolley with that of the track, and making final adjustments.
There are four types of electric locomotives now In use
on the Pennsylvania lines. The class P5 locomotive for heavy
Locomotives Ncnv In Use
Cl'^'SS LG LocDTnotive for Henv^- Duty Freight
Class P5 Locoinot.ivs for He^vy Duty Passenger Service
Glnss 01 Locomotive for Light Duty Passenger S^arvice
- 25 -
duty paaaenger aervioet having a 2-C-2 or 4-6-4~whe9l arrange-
ment; the class 01 looomotive for light duty passenger aerriot*
with a 2-B-2, or 4-4-4 wheel arrangement; the olses L6 locomotlTe
for freight 8ervice*haTing a 1-D-l or 2-8-2 wheel arrangement,
and the olass B-1 awitohing locomotive with an 0-C-O or 0-6-0
lo facilitate and simplify maintenanoe , special attention
has been given to interohangeability of parts. Any unit or part,
armature, motor, brush holder, transformer or oontrol unit on
any P5 looomotive will fit into and function properly in any
other ^5 locomotive assembly, regardless of the manufacture of
other parts in that assembly. The passenger locomotives and the
freight locomotives are so designed that the maximum number of
parts are interchangeable.
^oh complete locomotive assembly consists of three units:
A chassis unit, a deck unit, and a oab unit, iiach of these units
may be assembled Independently of the others and the complete units
may then be assembled into a locomotive.
Every effort was made to insure that each piece of appar-
atus Is readily access ible for inspection and readily removable
for repair, so that a looomotive may have a defective piece of
apparatus replaced and be returned to service in the minimum amount
of time, i'or this purpose hatches are provided in the roof of all
three classes of locomotives. These are readily removable and are
80 arranged that any piece of apparatus inside the cab may be
taken out through one of the hatches for repair or replacement. A
complete driving wheel assembly, including the motors, may be drop-
ped from the frame in the repair shop, thus making all electrical
- 26 -
parts of the locomotive readily aoceaaible either from above
The following desoription of the oonstruotion of the
P5 heavy-duty passenger locomotive applies general to all of the
The P5 locomotive with its 2-G-2 wheel arrangement has
a rigid frame bet-veen couplers. The cab ia mounted directly on
the main frame. There is a four-wheel truck at each end and
three pairs of driving wheels in the rigid wheel base. Water and
fuel tanie and main air reservoirs are embodied in, and oast with,
the main frame. The engine truck frames, as well as the main
frame, are of the integral cast steel type.
T he weight of the locomotive is distributed to the wheels
by an equalizing system consisting of main springs and equalizers
providing a stable system in lateral as well as longitudinal planes.
The bra^e system consists of practically three seta of brakes,
each engine truck having its own set and the drivers the third.
The wheel centers are of cast steel, having eight spokes
provided with pads for receiving the torque of the motors as trans-
mitted through the gears and quills to the driving wheels. Th«
tires, which are four inches thick, are held on by shrinkage and
retaining rings. The outside drivers are flanged and the middle
driver ia plain.
There are three twin armature traction motors *on the
locomotive, supported rigidly from three points on the crosaties
of the main frame. S,&oh motor is rated at 625 tp. continuous at
the driver rim, thus providing 1250 hp. per axle. The performance
- 2? -
character iatio of the two types of passenger locomotives are the
same ao that they may be operated separately or in any desired
csomb inatlon. The voltage for the motors varies from 224 to 96O.
Ihe motors are connected in two groups of three in series.
The traction motors transmit power to the drivers
through the quill type cup drivef the driving memtier being on one
end of the quill only. The quill consists of a hollow cylindrical
forging 15 inches in diameter at the quill bearings, with the
gear mounted on one end. The driving axle is inside the quill;
there is l| inches radial clearance between the axle and the In-
side of the quill to permit freedom of movement between the axle
and the motor frame whil» maintaining accurate mesh of the gears
and pinions. The quills are secured to the main motors by bear-
ing caps on the main motor frames, iill the movement between the
driving 'vheels and the quill is talcen up b;; sliding contact be-
tween the quill spring caiDS and the driver spokes. The quill arms
with their spring sockets are attached to the gear center and
make contact between the driver spokes. Each armature has a pin-
ion on the quill, and the power is thus transmitted from the motor
to the drivers.
The cabs are built up of sheet plates and structural
shapes. A separate deck*for mounting the electrical equipment is
30 designed that it can be handled as a unit and placed in posi-
tion on the main frame by a crane. The apparatus deck*oarries
the main control groups, air compressor, miscellaneous items, main
wiring and moet of the control wiring. The foundation for this
unit is a structural framework upon which the electrical equipment
1250-hp. G-E traction
motor (3 on each loco-
motive) with ipring-cup
Elechric Motor Showing Quill Typ's Cup Drive
Close Up of One o-" ':,h<j ivrxn ^ottn's Sho^'fing Control
- 28 -
is assembled and wired up; the completed unit ia then ready for
mounting on the chasais.
The oab* forma a weatherproof housing for the loaomotive
orew and apparatus. It is suffioiently wider than the apparatus
deck to permit and aisle on either side and enough longer to fur-
nish space for the heating boiler at one end, the main transform-
er at the other, and an operating compartment at either end. Ihe
cab structure, also contains the master controllers, and engineer-
's brake valve ^ the lighting and its wiring, some of the control
wiring, the bells, whistles, headlights, sanders, and pantographs,
as well as the louvre structure for admitting ventilating air to
the motor and transformer blowers. It is assembled as a unit,
wired and equipped with apparatus and mounted on the chassis unit
after the deck unit has been installed.
J?he pantograph or current collectors are mounted on the
roof, one near each end. In operation, current la collected from
the trolley wire by one of two pantographs and la thence conducted
through the high voltage or primary winding of the main transform-
er to the rail or ground. The two pantographs are connected by
a high-voltage bus and, in case of damage to either pantograph,
the bus can be divided at the center so that the damaged panto-
graph can be disconnected and the transformer supplied by the re-
maining one .
Current is taken from the low-voltage or secondary wind-
ing of the main transformer to the traction motors. There are
a number of taps on the secondary of the tranaformer and the volt-
age to the motors can be controlled by changing the taps to which
pEuitograph used to collect
Current from troley
M«in Frame t'j Motors
Locomotives Heady for the Finishing Details
the motor leads are eonneoted. Thia is acaompllahed by air-
operated switohea oontrolled eleotrically from the operating
cab. When the looomotive la moving slowly the voltage applied
to the mo tor a Is low. Ihe counter -electromotive force generated
by the motors is also low and the amount of current la relntlvely
high. AS the locomotive apeed increases the amount of current
flowing through the winding decreases and the voltage is again
increased by the operator to provide the necessary power.
Only low-voltage battery current is used In the control-
lers in the englneman'a oab and all high-voltage equipment and
circuits in the locomotive are enclosed. Dhe equipment compart-
ment contains the high-voltage apparatus whioh la protected on
each aisle side by screens an^i covers.
Mo tor -driven blowers for oooling the motors and the
transformers are operated from the main transformer on a 584
volt tap. Single -phase motors for this purpose are equipped
with a starting winding which ia cut out by a relay that func-
tions when air pressiire on the blower discharge has risen to a
pre -determined value.
The compressor motor, the cab heaters, and the blower
motor for the oil-fired train-heating boiler are operated from a
224-volt motor tap. The operation of the compressor motor ia
controlled by the air pressure in the main reservoir; the eleotri-
oal cab heaters are manually operated, and the air pressure to
the boiler burner ia controlled by the steam pressure through a
damper in the air duct. Air pressure at 'JOtt per square inch for
for the operation of electro-pneumatic switches is supplied from
- 5o -
an auxiliary reservoir w'niah is fed from the main reservoir
through a reducing valve.
Direct ourrent power at 32-volt3 for the operation of
oontrol clrouita and emergency lighting is supplied by a gener-
ator operated by the same motor as the transformer blower and
operating in oonjunotion with a storage battery. When the panto-
graph is up the lights are supplied by a small transformer, the
primary of whioh ia connected to a 144-volt tap on the main trans-
fornier. When the pantographs are do'vn, a relay disconnects the
lighting oirouits from the lighting transformer and oonneota them
to the storage battery.
Faults or grounds in the seoondary wiring to the unit
switches and in the transformer windings are detected by a relay
whioh selects the defective olroult and opens the controlling
switches, or if this does not olear the trouble, or if the fault
is in the transformer itself, closes a switch which grounds the
pantograph, causing the adjacent substation breakers to open.
After the line is de-energized, the relay lowers the pantograph.
Overload of a motor circuit causes that circuit to be
opened; this ia indicated to the enginetaan by the lighting of a
signal lamp and by the operation of an alarm buzaer in the cab.
Differential voltage relays check the relative values
of voltages across the motors on different wheels, and should the
speed of one wheel rise as compared with either of the others due
to wheel slippage, the relays will serve to disconnect the motors
and prevent overapeeding. The englnenmn is also apprised of this
aotion in advance by a lamp and buzzer, ao that he can normally
anticipate the operation of the slip relay by shutting the power
- ^1 -
part way off until the wheels oease slipping.
The oil-fired train-heating boilers are of the vert-
loal tubular type and hare an evaporating oapaoity of 4t500 i^»
of water per hoiir at 200 lb. pressure, Water level and a team
pressure are maintained automatically. Adequate safeguards are
provided to out off the oil supply in case of low water or other
emergencies. Air for combustion is furnished under pressure by
a separate motor-driven fan. Control is entirely automatic
after the boiler has been fired up.
New lype Loeomotives.
I'he Pennsylvania xiailroad recently placed an order for
57 Jiew eleotric locomotives, described as the moat powerful elec-
tric passenger locomotives ever built in the world. They will
be capable of raaJtlng a regular operating speed of 90 miles an
hour and will cost around |25O,OO0 each. Ihey will be 80 ft. in
length, weigh 460,000 pounds, and develop a maximum starting
tractive effort of 72,600 pounds. i?ovTer will be furnished by six
pairs of t'vin traction motors somewhat similar to those used in
the present entrines. Xhe main changes include the articulation
of the main frame with three sets of driving wheels per section,
streamlining of the oab to give a more pleasing dhape, placing
the crew in the center, and mounting the headlight in the doora
at either end of the locomotive.
The Fust of \J New Etectric Passengef Lcccmctivei 'vVhicli Are Fa;! cf the Pennsylvania ElectrificatiL;i; i'';u]ect
Pennsylvania .iiailroad officials olaim that electric motive
power provides the moat eoomomlGal means of railroad transporta-
tion when the traffic density justifies its Installation.
Ihe Electrification Program of the Pennsylvania --tailroad
represents a great forward stride in the development of the rail-
road system, and although the initial investment will be high, the
ultimate savings and benefits to the railroad, industry, and the
public will more than justify this great engineering achievement.
Mr. fl. i'. £9rry - Blectr5oal iinrlrf pring- L^rartrpnt, P.xL-t.
Mr. Wm. B. Kraft- Aaslstant Comptroller, P.fJi-J,
Mr. Chaa. iiogan'$2 - Inspector, Capitol oulastation^ Wash.^D.C.
Ur. Klauter - InsToectdr, Union Substation, 'A'agh., D.C.
Mr. Foltz - Eleotrioal Engineer, Washington terminal
Mr. Bounds - General superintendent^ Union Station, Wash., D.C.
Mr. E. A, Freeman - Gataloger, Bureau of Hallway Economies, Wash.
Foremen, Inspectors, and Employees P.iiH,
Interstate Commerce CommiSKion -finance Uoc^et r9245
> <■ Gommeroial and Jj'inanoial Chronical - Jan. b, 19^4
Hallway Age - ij'eb. 25, 1955, ^'^^* 17. 1934, ^^o^. 24, 19$4
Railway Electrical Engineer - Uov. I928
Electrical Engineer - /eb. 1954
The Evening Star
The Baltimore Sun
l*ennsylTanla Railroad Company Annual rCetiorts
Lightning protect ion for the l>2,00-rolt line ia in-
aured by a 4/0"3 branded copper ground wire run above the trana-
miasion line along the tops of the poles. The ground wire sup-
port on each pole make a an electrical oonneotion and the poles
are gromided at oertain points to the Impedance bonds at the
track joints. This ground wire is in parallel with an inductive
neutralizing and lightning protective underground wire which is
also connected to the rails. At the substations the transmission
line ia protected by spark gaps, and by reducing one strain in-
sulator string to 7 instead of IJ units and placing arcing rings
around the end units.
Lightning poles are used for protecting the substations.
They extend above the structure high enough to protect all appar-
All lipOO-volt circuits are protected at the substation
by lightning arresters* One arrester is connected to each feed-
er between the high-speed trolley breaker and the catenary.
five types of insulators meet praotioally all of the
requirements of the electrification.
The Bl insulator has a diameter of 10- inches and a
spacing bet'veen units of 5* inches. It is a clevise type sus-
pension insulator and is used both for catennry and transmission
line. It has an ultimate mechanical strength of 12,000 lb., and
ia used with a maximiuD working load of 4,000 lb. I'hree units in
• 34 -
a string are used in the 11,000-TOlt oatenary and 11 units for
auapenaion insulators in the tranamiasion line.
The 11 insulator has the same dimensions as the Bl, but
has an ultimate tensile strength of 20,000 l"bs. It is used only
for the oatenary.
The A2 insulator was designed for oatenary dead-end; it
is 12 Inches in diameter, and the spacing bet'veen units la 5i in.
It is of the suspension devise type and has an ultimate mechan-
ioal strength of 30»000 lbs. It is used for loads up to 10,000
The type 3 , insulator is a two-part, pin type xmit,
haying a ft in. minimum overall dimension and a 95.0'^0~'"olt dry
flashover, and serves to carry the signal b,600-volt power supply
The type L Insulator was designed eapecially for tunnel
and under bridge oatenary support. i?he insulator has a height
of four inches per unit, and the assembly is made up of three
units. Each unit has a dry flashover voltage of 70,000 and an
ultimate tensile strength of 15,000 lbs. In order to resist
the aide pull from the oatenary at the bottom, the insulator
assembly was designed to stand an ultimate load of 2100 lbs.
applied horizontally at the catenary support.
Hew Calculating Machine,
One of the interesting pieces of equipment is an alter-
nating current calculating board purchased by the railroad to
eliminHte tedious calculations of complicated circuits involving
transmiasion, distribution, and moving electrical loads. On this
tooard» the values of reaiatanoe, inductance, and capacity
to be found in practice are set up in miniature and corres-
ponding minature values of voltage or current with suitable
frequency and phaae relationships are applied to the circuits
Set up. With conditions thus established on the main switch-
board, meters on a control board can be inserted in or connected
to any desired part of the circuit to show what the value of
current^ voltage or phaae angle is at any point in the circsuit.