Great Northern W-1 class GE electric 5019

Great Northern W-1 Class electric 5019 in a General Electric builder photo taken at Erie, Pennsylvania, June 26, 1947.
GN W-1 class electric 5019 in a GE builder photo at Erie, Pennsylvania, June 26, 1947.

GN W-1 Class 5019

  • Group: Great Northern 5018-5019
  • Railroad class: W-1
  • Builder number: General Electric 28449
  • Builder date: June, 1947

GN 5018 and 5019 were 5,000 h.p. B-D+D-B  electrics built by General Electric at their Erie, Pennsylvania, plant in June, 1947. At 735,000 lbs., they were the largest electric locomotives ever built in North America.

They were used on the electrified portion of the railroad between Wenatchee and Skykomish, Washington, through the Cascade Tunnel.

Both were retired when the electrification ended in August, 1956. GN 5019 was scrapped in Seattle in 1959, but GN 5018 remained until it was sold to the Union Pacific in 1960.

In 1962, Union Pacific built their experimental coal turbine using a retired Alco PA1 as the cab unit and the chassis of GN 5018 as the B-unit, housing a modified salvaged turbine. The project was a failure and retirement came in March, 1968.

About This Image

Scanned from an 8×10 photographic print owned by Digital Rail Artist.


  • The Railway & Locomotive Historical Society, Railroad History 143, Autumn 1980, pg 117