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PC: E Units

One of the ex-MBTA PRR E units is in Nashville. It was formerly owned by
the Broadway Dinner Train, but is now owned by the Tennessee Central
Railway Museum. This change did not move the locomotive since both
organizations operate on the Nashville and Eastern Railroad. A second
ex-MBTA was there, but I believe it was one of the two units that toured
Tennessee with the Tennessee 200 Train, painted in Louisville and
Nashville based colors; I heard the Tennessee 200 units went for movie
work. (By the way, a few months back there were six E units in Nashville
with a seventh out of town for service and a possible eighth to be

On another topic, I've also wondered why more E7 and E6 units weren't
saved. The hypothesis I came up with was that when passenger service
started slipping the railroads started scrapping excess locomotives that
had little use outside of passenger service. Since E8 and E9 models
greatly outnumbered earlier models, they were more likely to survive just
based on numbers. Another more important factor was unit age. The E6 was
pre-war and the E7 was pre 1950. Some of the newer E9's were a generation
younger than their older sisters. From the railroad's view, it didn't
make sense to overhaul an E6 when you had an excess of E8's. The E6 and
E7 (like the Alco PA) fell in that dark era when older passenger power
was scapped, but preservationists were still trying to save steam

An example of what happened to the E6 was at the Louisville and
Nsahville. L&N operated the largest E6 fleet. The L&N E6 at Kentucky
Railway Museum is one of only two E6 survivors, both hulks. (I think the
other was Rock Island.) L&N eventually scrapped older E's to repower Alco
switchers; one E unit yields a pair of 567 V-12 prime movers. L&N was so
happy with this program that they even bought E units from other roads
(Frisco and C&O to name a few) to use to repower its larger S1/S2/S4

The shop crew that saved the E7 deserves the thanks of all E fanatics.
They essentially risked their jobs to save the last of a breed.

Bryan Turner

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