The Baldwin DR-6-4-1500
The Baldwin DR-6-4-1500 was the six-axle version of its DR-4-4-1500 cab
unit, meant to compete with EMD's extremely successful E and F series.
Even less successful than its predecessor, the DR-6-4-1500 sold to only
two railroads both of whom were fairly loyal customers of the Baldwin Locomotive Works. Basically, this model
was a variant design although the very unattractive "Baby Face" carbody
it featured was a significant reason that few sold. Had the locomotive
been offered with the much more attractive "Sharknose" carbody it
likely would have sold better. In any event, after the original ten
total units constructed over a two year period no more were built. The
DR-6-4-1500 model was also essentially the last passenger design Baldwin
ever offered, instead focusing its efforts on cab freight locomotives
like the RF16. Today, there are no examples of the DR-6-4-1500 known to
The Baldwin DR-6-4-1500 began production in November, 1947 and featured
an A1A-A1A truck setup (i.e., the two outside axles were powered while
the inside axle was not), perhaps the only difference from the earlier model which included simply a B-B truck setup. Just like the DR-4-4-1500 model the design was equipped with 1,500 horsepower using Baldwin's new 608 SC prime mover. It was the first engine built exclusively by the iconic manufacturer as its early VO660 and VO1000 models came equipped with prime movers from subsidiary I.P. Morris & De La Vergne which Baldwin had purchased in 1931.
With a continuous tractive effort rating of 55,700 pounds starting 43,500 continuous the model was quite similar to EMD's E7 and E8 passenger models being offered at the same time. However, Baldwin did not offer its model with dynamic braking, sometime EMD's units all were equipped with (it is rather strange that this was the case considering Baldwin's competitors both offered the feature in most of their early first generation models). The Baldwin DR-6-4-1500 never made it to the redesigned Raymond Loewy carbody, utilizing only the "Baby Face" setup. Perhaps this was the for the best anyway as the DR-6-4-1500 sold very poorly. Only 10 were built by the time production had ended by the spring of 1948; 4 A units and 2 B units by New York Central and 3 A units by Seaboard Air Line (there was also one demonstrator built).
Baldwin's first classification system for its diesels did have purpose
although sometimes it's hard to fathom considering the difficulty in
trying to decipher it. At the time the company began producing diesel
locomotives it was still manufacturing
steam locomotives. As a means of differentiating the two Baldwin came
up with a steam locomotive-like designation system, similar to the Whyte
Notation. For instance, in regards to the DR-6-4-1500 the DR referred
to Diesel Road unit; the first 6 designated 6 overall
axles; the second number, 4, denoted four powered traction motors; and
1,500, of course, classified the horsepower rating.
To simplify many times the model was regarded merely as a DR-6-4-15. Given the problematic nature of the DR-6-4-15, and all early
main line diesels produced by Baldwin, both the NYC and Seaboard did not
retain their units long before trade in or outright scrapping them.
Virtually all were off both companies' roster by the 1960s. For more information about the DR-6-4-1500s please check out the chart below for a complete production roster.
Baldwin DR-6-4-1500 Production Roster
|New York Central||3200-3203 (As)||4||1947-1948|
|New York Central||3300-3301 (Bs)||2||1947-1948|
|Seaboard Air Line||2700-2702||3||1947-1948|
For more information on Baldwin locomotives the book by the same name, a Brian Solomon title, provides an in-depth history of the company from its earliest days beginning in the 1930s to its final years constructing diesels during the mid-20th century. It 160 pages in length and, as with every Solomon book, offers a rich collection of large, sharp photos to enjoy. Another title of interest, also written by Mr. Solomon, is Vintage Diesel Power, which generally highlights several classic models from many of the noted builders of first-generation power such as Electro-Motive, Baldwin, and the American Locomotive Company.