Wednesday, May 26, 2010


The PRR S1 class steam locomotive (nicknamed "The Big Engine") was an experimental locomotive that was the largest rigid frame passenger locomotive ever built. The streamlined Art Deco styled shell of the locomotive was designed by Raymond Loewy.

The S1 was the only locomotive ever built to use a 6-4-4-6 wheel arrangement. Also, the S1 class was a duplex locomotive, meaning that it had two pairs of cylinders, each driving two pairs of driving wheels. Unlike similar-looking articulated locomotive designs, the driven wheelbase of the S1 was rigid. The S1 was completed January 31, 1939 and was assigned locomotive number 6100.

The S1s extreme length, (140 feet 2½ inches/42.74 metres), made it incapable of negotiating curves on most of the PRR track system. This problem, combined with a wheel slippage problem limited the S1s usefulness. No further S1 models were built as focus was shifted to the T1 class. The last run for the S1 was in December 1945 and the engine was scrapped in 1949.

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