Great Northern Railway Electrification Westinghouse Electric 1929 Sept Reprint

Great Northern Railway Electrification Westinghouse Electric 1929 Sept Reprint

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Great Northern Railway Electrification Westinghouse Electric 1929 Sept Reprint
The Great Northern Railway Electrification Westinghouse Electric 1929 Sept  Special Publication 1857.  Reprinted by GN Ry Historical Society 1985.  24 pages.   

JAMES J. HILL, founder of the Great Northern Railway, in his annual report of  1890, said.
"When the Pacific extension has been completed, your company will have a continuous rail line from Lake Superior, St. Paul and Minneapolis to the Pacific Coast, shorter than any existing transcontinental railway and with lower grades and less curvature. . . . The policy of improving the property, which has given such good results in the past, is still being followed."
Through the efforts of his followers, the ideals and plans of James J. Hill, the Empire Builder, are being carried forward constantly and the Great Northern has continued to be the shortest and easiest line from the Great Lakes to Puget Sound. Leveling the towering Cascades was a part of such a program.
Safety, economy, and efficiency of operation over the mountain grades could best be promoted by being able to handle large trains at increased average speed. A long tunnel was found necessary in order to bring about the physical improvements in the line which were necessary and an essential feature of the operation of the long tunnel was electrification of the line.
On January 12, 1929, a Baldwin-Westinghouse locomotive pulled the first train through the new eight-mile Cascade Tunnel, the longest tunnel in the Western Hemisphere. This event also inaugurated all-electric operation between Skykomish and Wenatchee, a distance of 73 miles.
In connection with the tunnel, other improvements were made in the Cascade Mountain crossing which, together with the tunnel, shortened the route R.9 miles, eliminated 7-1/2 miles of snow sheds and $674 degrees of curvature, and reduced the height of the summit 502 feel.
As a result of electrification there has been developed the most powerful motor-generator type electric locomotives in the world, and an ideal unit of motive power for this operation. Passenger trains consisting of from nine to twelve cars are hauled over the mountain grades at twenty-five miles per hour,. freight trains of over .5000 tons are hauled over these sane grades at ten to fifteen miles per hour.
Improvements such as these have set up new standards of performance, resulting in benefits to all who are affected by the advancement of transcontinental transportation.

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