From Great Northern to Pennsy

In the late 1920s, the Great Northern received eight Alco-GE boxcab electric locomotives, classed Y1. They were used over the heavily tunneled and steeply graded Cascade Mountains in Washington, where heavy freight had to be muscled to the coast. The line had been electrified to keep crews and passengers from being suffocated by steam locomotive exhaust in the many long tunnels.  Two motor generators in each unit converted 11,000v AC to 550v DC for the six axle-hung GE motors. GN ended electric operations in 1956, and the Pennsylvania Railroad bought all eight Y1's a year later. The Pennsy reclassified the engines as FF2's after shopping them for operations on the Pennsy lines. Used mainly in helper service between Philadelphia and Paoli and Thorndale and Columbia PA, these eight electrics did the work of 15 diesels, which were transferred elsewhere.  In the spring of 2003, MTH brought out an excellent Premier-line model of the FF2.  It's another in their line of die-cast Pennsy electric locomotives and is deceptively heavy and powerful.  As you can see in this True HD 1080p video, it is a very powerful model, easily hauling a 27 car all-Pennsy freight, the longest such that I've ever run.  It is a well detailed, great sounding, and great running model, and is one that I've used for hours at a time at train shows.

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