Thursday, June 20, 2013

GE Built 3,000 Volt Locomotives

Old Time Erie GE publicity still contributed by Jack Sheehan.
The train pictured above packed a lot of power when it was completed on November 3, 1927. This 3,000 volt electric locomotive was made at the General Electric plant in Lawrence Park. This workhorse was made for the Paulista Railway Company in Brazil. There are more than two dozen men pictured with the final product, each one playing a part in its design and assembly. It would have taken a mighty crane to set the parts of this 150 ton behemoth up on blocks, and then to roll it off onto the railroad tracks.

Tom Sheehan is on top of the cab, the fifth man from the right. Tom lived at 1052 Rankine Avenue in Lawrence Park with his family. He rose to the rank of foreman and died in 1947 following an illness. GE made quality products in Erie County, Pennsylvania that were sold to customers all over the world. There was a time when two or three generations from the same family worked at GE. This photo may have been taken in Building 10. GE Transportation Systems is on Eastlake Road between Water Street and Franklin Avenue. Its one of the largest employers in Northwestern Pennsylvania.

Enjoy more facts and photos of Erie History at: Old Time Erie


  1. Terri Sheehan PerryJune 21, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    Tom Sheehan was my grandfather. My uncle, his son, Jack, says that Tom was actually the fifth from the right. My dad also worked there, as well as my mom, and her mom, my stepdad, and later my two brothers, one briefly and one until he retired, my brother-in-law, and my husband until he was laid off in 1986. GE was a big part of my family history.

    1. Hi Terri. Thanks for the correction. Watching too many old movies on Turner Classic Movies and I guess I had "The Third Man" stuck in my head. It's amazing that people had so many relatives working at GE. I hear that quite often. My grandfather moved to the Erie area to work at GE. I used to go the the employee picnic with him. After all of his co-workers died, he stopped going because he didn't know any of the younger people.