How long could a US Class I railroad have survived if it never dieselized?
Apparently about 1960. The Virginian was the last Class 1 to stop running steam and it did so in 1957. Since it hauled coal, the fuel costs were low and it was able to hang on longer. They even tried to come up with some other designs for steam, most notable the Jawn Henry steam turbine, which was a bit of a flop.How long could a US Class I railroad have survived if it never dieselized?
I did a lot of research on that in my younger years. As far as I can tell Lima Superpower was pretty much the state of the art and about as good as it got. They did try some other options, steam turbine driving the wheels (PRR T-1, really poor traction at low speed, very "slippery") and the steam turbine electric (N&W Jawn Henry, just too complicated.)That would depend on how much steam locomotive technology might have improved.
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