Facebook Page
Electric Railway Freight Equipment
Museum Information Museum Events Our Collection Museum Store Become A Member Get Directions

Electric Railway Freight Equipment

In addition to providing a dependable means of transportation for country and city dwellers alike, the interurban lines also served as a vital link to the outside world for shippers that had not been reached by the steam railroads. Freight became an important source of additional revenue for most lines. Freight motors hauling strings of trailers were common on night runs when passenger usage was low. Some of the larger freight motors were equipped with 'knuckle' couplers compatible with those used on the steam lines and the exchange of freight cars with them allowed many small businesses along the lines to grow and prosper. Electric locomotives were even used in special applications where moving heavy railroad freight cars was all in a day's work.

The Museum is fortunate to have examples of electric freight equipment in its collection. Use the quick links below to learn more about each piece.

Quick Links:

Lake Shore Electric Railway Freight Motor # 42

Lake Shore Electric 42 is a freight motor that was built by the line from retired Niles Coach 141 in 1929, 141 was originally built in 1907. The LSE removed the seats, sheathed the sides with wood and installed large loading doors in the center of the car. Re-purposing retired equipment in this way was a common practice on many lines. The car was retired from service in 1937. Stripped of its running gear, the body was sold to a private owner and moved to a residence east of Sandusky, Ohio.

The Owner took very good care of the car over the years and in early 1998 NORM acquired it and move to our Museum site.

LSE 42 Specifications:

Type:    Electric Freight Equipment

Description:    Single End, Double Truck, Railroad Roof, Wood Motor

Builder:    Lake Shore Electric Railway*

Year Built:    1929*

Retired:    1937

Aquired by NORM:    1999

Dimensions:    Length: 50ft. 11in., Width: 8ft. 7in., Height: 12ft. 11in.

Weight:    73,600 lbs.


Lines Served On:    Lake Shore Electric Railway

*Built by Niles Car & Manufacturing Company in 1907 as Coach 141, rebuilt as Motor 42 by LSE in 1929

Click an image to enlarge it

Freight Motor 42 and a trailer operate on an unusual daylight run, White flags flags flying to indicate it's an extra. The photo was taken two stops west of Clague Road on the double track portion of the line to Lorain. (Museum Collection)

Here is another Photo of 42 in service. (Museum Collection)

This photo shows 42 at a residence east of Sandusky after the demise of the Lake Shore. (Museum Collection)

Lake Shore Electric Freight Motor 42 and Steel Coach 181 are together again at NORM in this May of 2012 photo. Shaker Heights PCC 78 is on track 5 to the left. (B. C. Gage)

Back to Our Collection    Back to Top

Toledo Edison Company Steeple Cab Locomotive # 2

When Community Traction took over streetcar operations in Toledo in 1921, Toledo Traction Light & Power retained the Acme Power Plant on the banks of the Maumee River which it built in 1918. Selling electricity to the growing city and having shed itself of money-losing transit operations, it would become the Toledo Edison Company. The Acme plant had been using a steeple cab locomotive built by the General Electric Company to shift hopper cars of ash and coal and in 1924 found itself in need of addional motive power. Turning to the Differential Steel Car Company, a manufacturer of electric railway work equipment in nearby Findlay, a locomotive of similar design was requested.

The locomotive was constructed using the frame and other parts from a work car Differential had originally constructed for the Toledo Railway & Light Company. The body style was copied from the steeple cab locomotive already in service at the plant and incorporated brake components from Westinghouse and electrical components from General Electric. In later years part of the locomotive's motor control circuit burned out, causing it to leap forward when accelerating and earning it the nick-name “Leapin’ Lena.”

Differential tried to enter the locomotive market with the new model, but the electric railway industry was in decline and no additional orders were recieved, making Toledo Edison Company Steeple Cab Locomotive #2 both the prototype and the only production unit built. The Museum acquired the locomotive in 2005.

TEC 2 Specifications:

Type:    Electric Locomotive

Description:    50 Ton Steeple Cab

Builder:    Differential Steel Car Company, Findlay, Ohio

Year Built:    1924


Aquired by NORM:    2005

Dimensions:    Length: 36ft., Width: 9ft. 5in., Height: 11ft. 4in.

Weight:    107,000 lbs.


Controls:    GE K64BR

Trucks:    Differential Arch Bar

Motors:    4 GE-57

Brakes:    WH SA2

Compressor:    WH D3

Lines Served On:    Acme Power Plant, Toledo, Ohio

Click an image to enlarge it

This photo shows Toledo Edison Company 2 in service at the Acme plant. (Museum Collection)

Here is another photo of the locomotive at the plant. Note the offset mounting of the two trolley poles. (Museum Collection)

This photo shows the body of the locomotive arriving at the Museum by truck in the fall of 2005. (S. Heister)

Spring of 2015 finds TEC 2 on display in front of the McCarthy Carhouse. (B. C. Gage)

Differential Car Company advertisement. (Museum Collection)

Toledo Edison Locomotive #2 arrives at the NortherOhio Railway Museum.

Back to Our Collection    Back to Top

Cleveland, Southwestern & Columbus Railway Box Trailer # 512

Cleveland, Southwestern & Columbus Railway Box Trailer 512 is typical of the many freight trailers that carried milk and other farm products to big cities like Cleveland from outlying areas. The cars also supplied farmers with everything from seed and farming implements to small machinery. It is likely that 512 passed over the roadbed where our main line will be constructed many times. It is the only surviving Southwestern car in our collection.

CS&C 512 Specifications:

Type:    Electric Freight Equipment

Description:    Double End, Double Truck, Arch Roof, Wood Box Trailer

Acquired by NORM:    1988

Dimensions:    Length: 53ft. 1in., Width: 8ft. 8in., Height: 12ft. 5in.

Trucks:    Shop

Lines Served On:    Cleveland, Southwestern & Columbus Railway

Click an image to enlarge it

Here the trailer is seen on track 1 outside the Bennett Carhouse mounted on shop trucks. (Museum Collection)

This photo from August of 2002 shows a side view of the car. (B. C. Gage)

Back to Our Collection    Back to Top

Lake Shore Electric Railway Box Trailer # 464

Box Trailer 464 was part of a set of five cars of this type built by the Lake Shore Electric at their Sandusky, Ohio shop facility. In addition to the usual side doors these cars were equipped with large doors at one end for the loading of automobiles. Frequent visitors to both Akron and Detroit the cars carried tires from the former to the latter and automobiles to various points along the route on the return trip, contributing to the line's eventual demise. Ironically the nascent automobile industry had found the interurban freight service faster and more reliable than the parallel steam railroads.

LSE 464 Specifications:

Type:    Electric Freight Equipment

Description:    Double End, Double Truck, Arch Roof, Wood Trailer

Builder:    Lake Shore Electric Railway, Sandusky, Ohio

Year Built:    1919


Acquired by NORM:    1979

Dimensions:    Length: 54ft., Width: 8ft. 6in.

Weight:    38,500 lbs.


Lines Served On:    Lake Shore Electric Railway

Click an image to enlarge it

Trailer 469, another car of the same series, heads up a line of cars at one of the LSE's yards. The cars were run in trains. This photo shows the closed end. (Museum Collection)

This May 2009 photo shows car 464 at NORM with its end doors open. The car is in remarkable shape after spending most of the last 80 years outside. (B. C. Gage)

Here is the reverse view showing the closed end. (B. C. Gage)

Back to Our Collection    Back to Top

*   *   *

Museum Information Museum Events Our Collection Museum Store Become A Member Get Directions

For questions or comments about N.O.R.M. please contact:
Walt Stoner
For questions or comments about this website please contact:
Brian Gage

Web space provided as a courtesy by Trainweb

Last updated 06/15/2015