#662 (HM2G3W)

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N 38° 34.304', W 90° 27.793'

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Panama Canal

—1914 —

General Electric built this lock-towing locomotive as part of the original equipment for the Panama Canal, the first of a fleet that grew to over 100. Three locks at each end of the canal raised and lowered the ships 85 feet as they passed through it. The cable drum between the locomotive cabs holds 800 feet of one-inch steel hawser, used to control the movement of the ships, which does not use their own power. At first four of these "mules" were used per ship, one per side at each end. As ships grew larger up to 10 were needed. Pulling and braking power came from a toothed cog wheel and rack rail under the locomotive, similar to what was used on railroads climbing mountains like Colorado's Pikes Peak. The rack rail also allowed it to climb the 44-degree inclines between the lock chambers. No. 662 has dual electrical and mechanical controls, permitting operation from either end. The gearing for its two 75-horsepower traction motors gave it a top speed of 5 miles per hours, used for moving between towing jobs. A manual gear shift changed its speed to 2 miles per hour for rack-and-pinion operation while towing ships. Two 20-horsepower motors control the cable. One, producing 25,000 pounds of pull, is used to adjust the position of ships. The second runs at a faster speed to take up slack or to pay out or reel in the cable. Three-phase 220-volt/25-Hertz

alternating current electric power, later changed to 440 volts/60 Hertz, was taken from a set of underground contact rails. It weighs 86,300 pounds, is 32' 2¼" long, and cost $13,092. Its track uses rails five feet apart, compared to the 4' 8½" standard gauge. #662 was used on the Pacific side of the canal at the Pedro Miguel locks until July 1964, when it was replaced by a newer model. It was donated by the U.S. Government on August 15, 1964, the 50th anniversary of the opening of the canal.
HM NumberHM2G3W
Placed ByMuseum of Transportation
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, April 27th, 2019 at 8:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 720998 N 4272304
Decimal Degrees38.57173333, -90.46321667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 34.304', W 90° 27.793'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 34' 18.24" N, 90° 27' 47.58" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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