The Pennsylvania Railroad began using electric locomotives for passenger service.
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Seventy-eight years ago today, on February 10, 1935, the Pennsylvania Railroad began using electric locomotives for their passenger service. Designed and labeled GG1 by General Electric, most of these engines were built at a train shop in Altoona, PA from 1934 to 1943. In all, 139 GG1s were constructed, and they remained a mainstay of rail service for over 50 years.
On the locomotive's trial run -- a round trip from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. -- it set a speed record of 1 hour 50 minutes for travel between the two cities. The GG1s could travel at up to 100 mph and pull as many as 18 cars at a time.
In spite of the locomotive's long and iconic record of service, the GG1 pulled the funeral car of only one American president (who also had a long and iconic record of service): FDR.