locked Re: Heater Car 50 at TVRM?

Jason Greene

I was thinking the same thing about the 38-2. Seems like anything out of the norm for Southern passenger trains didn’t fit through that tunnel. 

Jason Greene 

On Mar 11, 2021, at 11:36 AM, Rob Wingo <robertawingo@...> wrote:

Too bad, was a great idea!


That seems really odd a GP-38 wouldn’t fit through the 1st street tunnel.  It was tight but why a GP38?  How could they be bigger than the Amtrak SDP40Fs?

Length  72 ft 4 in (22.0 m)

Width    10 ft 4 in (3.1 m)

But mysteriously no height?


Well I had to research some and a GP-38-2 is

Length  59 ft 2 in (18.03 m)

Width    10 ft 4.5 in (3.16 m)

Height   15 ft 4 in (4.67 m) –


I guess it is too tall….


You know though after looking at the pictures, the SDP40F has a curvature to the roofline and the Washington tunnel is very rounded at the top, so maybe that’s the reason.


Wikipedia says the tunnel height is 17’ and width 16’.  I have seen pictures where an E8 filled it up.


E8 dimensions:

Length  70 ft 3 in (21.41 m)

Width    10 ft 7 1⁄2 in (3.24 m)

Height   14 ft 7 in (4.45 m)






From: main@SouthernRailway.groups.io <main@SouthernRailway.groups.io> On Behalf Of Felix Freeman
Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2021 10:49 AM
To: main@southernrailway.groups.io
Subject: Re: [SouthernRailway] Heater Car 50 at TVRM?


Back in the 70s Southern ran "School Boy Patrols" out of Atlanta to Washington DC.  These were week end events in which various school systems in the Atlanta area would send middle schoolers to DC by train.  These were enormous undertakings.  A typical train would be 20+ cars with 4 units.  Needless to say this put a strain on equipment supply.  Equipment on regular trains was cut back.  Most spare equipment was put in service.  Pegram Shop was responsible to supply motive power.  One year someone at Pegram came up with the brilliant idea to run GP38s with a heater car.  We did this and it worked quite well.  We were very proud of what we had done. However the next day after the train got back we were advised that GP38 would not fit thru the DC tunnel and we were never to do it again.  This heater car was one made from the FT B units.  I don't remember the number.  I do have a photo of the train somewhere.       


On Thu, Mar 11, 2021 at 10:13 AM Rob Wingo <robertawingo@...> wrote:

That solves it!





From: main@SouthernRailway.groups.io <main@SouthernRailway.groups.io> On Behalf Of Charles Powell
Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2021 10:09 AM
To: main@SouthernRailway.groups.io
Subject: Re: [SouthernRailway] Heater Car 50 at TVRM?


If my memory is correct, when the heater car first showed up in Chattanooga and was loaned to TVRM for supplying steam to the cars that were stored at Terminal Station it was HC-50. At some point  it went to the Chattanooga Diesel shop and renumbered into a 900000 number. 960600 maybe? There was one diesel powered trip to Huntsville that the car was used on in the 70s.

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