Electric freight in North America


Now T:ANE I can get into
How many railroads (excluding interurbans/radial railways) have hauled electric freight in the U.S. and Canada?

Off the top of my head, I can think of...

BC Rail
Great Northern
Norfolk & Western
Black Mesa & Lake Powell
New Haven

(Both Penn Central and later Conrail inherited operations from some of these railroads)
I think the New York Central did as well. And don't forget the Iowa Terminal Railroad in Mason City, IA, which still hauls freight using 1920s vintage boxcab electric motors.
In the early 1920s, the Virginian Railway electrified 213 miles of track between Mullens, West Virgnia and Roanoke, Virginia. The Virginian was moving about 7-million tons of coal yearly along this route at that time, but that figure continued to go even higher following electrification. Following the merger with N&W Railway (1959), the Virginian's electrified section was shutdown on June 30, 1962.
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Ohio interurban railroads hauled LOTS of freight:

Ohio Electric Railway
Cincinnati and Lake Erie
Lake Shore Electric Ry
Lima-Toledo Ry
Indiana Railroad
Northern Ohio Traction and Light
Eastern Michigan Ry
Dayton and Western Ry
Eastern Ohio Traction Company

And many other interurban lines. On the west coast, the Pacific Electric, the Oregon Electric Railway, the Sacramento Northern, Tidewater Southern, and the Southern Pacific electric operations in San Francisco, to name a few.

Chicago was another home for dual service interurbans: the CA&E, CNS&M, CSS&SB, and IT all hauled freight, among others.

EDIT: Oops, didn't read the part that said "excluding interurbans."
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How about Piedmont & Northern? There is a boxcab preserved at NCTM in Spencer, NC. I have actually seen it in person before; an interesting piece in NCTM's collection for sure.

EDIT: It was an interurban railroad, but was also a Class I railroad; so could it be counted?
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The Boston and Maine. Their western mainline between Hoosac and North Adams was electrified between 1910 and 1946. They ran box motors similar to, well actually based on, the same model built by the New Haven.

The electrics would latch up on the front and haul through to just past the North Adams station, uncouple and return to Hoosac for another run.

I believe Sacramento Northern had electric freight.

Like the MILW electric? Freight trains with SD's would drive up, electrics would couple, and decouple at the end letting the SD's drive again.

Also, traction in a nutshell. Picture is HUGE so I will just link it in. https://ceramembersblog.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/cera368.jpg

And a railroad that hasn't been mentioned before? Downtown Traction Company. It is definitely a real railroad!:hehe:

just like that, but only better. :)


The area looks pretty much the same except the track is all single track, and the yards are but a memory.