Baldwin DR-6-4-1500 photos : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

Can anyone direct me to a photo/photos of the cab interior or rear end of the S.A.L. Baldwin 'Baby Face' passenger diesels. These carried road numbers 2700,2701 and 2702. I am planning to build a model of one and would like to detail the cab interior.

-- Andrius Kairatis (, March 16, 2001


The level of response on this subject indicates that there is some interest out there. While I doubt it would be enough to get a manufacturer (brass or otherwise) excited, Perhaps there is enough to warrant a thorough search of the various photographic collections, and publication of a comprehensive article about these unusual Baldwins in Lines South. -Anyone in the postion to do this?

-- Andrius Kairaitis (, March 24, 2001.

Have read with interest some of the comments. One thing I feel needs to be pointed out about these three units. They were not assigned strictly to Florida service initially. During their early years, several were based out of Hamlet, NC running on numerous secondary passenger trains, including the rather hilly Hamlet-Rutherfordton line. It was not until later in their service years that all three were moved to Tampa and Florida service. Once they entered service in Florida, they seldom ventured north of Wildwood.

When built, SAL 2700 was assigned to Tampa in November 1947 and 2701- 2702 were assigned to Hamlet in January 1948. All three appear to have been reassigned to Tampa area by the mid 1950s. All three were retired in 1964 and traded-in to EMD on SAL's SDP35 order. I saw them dead in two through Raleigh, stripped on horns and other conponents in August of 1964. In Flordia service the Boca Grande, Venice and Wildwood areas were their normal stomping ground. Last time I saw them in servise was on a Tampa-Wildwood train with 2700-2702 running back to back in September of 1963.

I have to also disagree that photo coverage of them is lacking, as I have about 20-25 photographs of them over their service years. Biggest problem was in the fact that previous rail photographers, my self included, just did a poor job as far as taking the necessary detail views needed to scratch build a model from.

Today, locomotives are photographed much more from all angles that they were in the 1950s and 1960s. I phothgraphed thes units my self on at least 3-4 different occasions, and on all was satisfied with broad side and standard 3/4 roster views.

Where is my time machine!!

-- Warren Calloway (, March 23, 2001.

Whoops-the train was the connection to Port Boca Grande-not Sarasota Venice! It was train 321, one express car, one coach and one sleeper. The train's conductor and the express messenger were killed. The coach was destroyed by fire the express car was damaged as was the sleeper. The Sarasota/Venice line had its share of grade crossing collisions. Baby face 2701 was damaged by fire.

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak, March 23, 2001.

OK lets try 20. Unit 2701 was involved in a serious grade crossing accident at Fort Green Springs Florida on April 11, 1956. The train- the Sarasota/Venice connection, hit a gasoline truck, the heavyweight coach was burned up and the sleeper was damaged by fire. Anyone out there have photos or newspaper articles. I have the ICC report.

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak, March 23, 2001.

Lets make it nineteen! For all of the units "interesting" looks, we should not forget that the units were generally hated by the crews that had to operate them! They were rough riding-NYC crews referred them as "gravel Gerties", unreliable-they had electrical wiring performed by residents of an insane asylum, could not MU with other power-a pneumatic throttle took care of that, leaked oil like crazy, and required more care than similar locomotives, which translated to a greater operating cost.

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak, March 23, 2001.

Wow! This Baby Face Baldwin item has been on the web-site less than a week and had generated seventeen (now eighteen) responses. Someone ought to tell this to the folks at Overland. I once thought of the Baby Face as ugly and cluttered also, but its unique nose shape (pre-modification of course) really grew on me. Dressed in grey NYC lightning pinstripes, the unit looks positively menacing! But if it will make anyone feel better, the DL-109, Baldwin Shark, and BL-2 are also personal favorites.

-- Bob Venditti (, March 22, 2001.

I agree with you totally, Andrius. This website forum is probably the best one out there, when it comes to historical societies. I belong to a few, and none of them have been more informative and helpful as the ACL/SAL Society's. Keep up the great work, guys!

-- John V. Pasquariello (GRIZZLETOAD@AOL.COM), March 21, 2001.

Certainly I do not take offence at these locomotives being called ugly - they sure are! I find that their ugly/cluttered looks give them character and make them appealing (to me). The responses to my questions have been very informative particularly on the subject of how things were done, and why, when these locomotives were built and then operated. I have read each response with great interest and will continue to do so.

-- Andrius Kairaitis (, March 21, 2001.

Contact me off list.I think I can find a rear view.

-- Joseph Oates (, March 20, 2001.


I don't think quality had anything to do with it. There were only 3 of these units on the line and they probably just didn't get the coverage the other units did. This may have been because they were used on secondary lines and on secondary trains. Also, no offense, but the darn things are ugly! The Shark Nose diesels probably would have captured more photos. Now those were good lookers, but poor runners. Baldwin quality was not very good in their diesels, and they seemed to place their components in different locations depending on what day (or what time of day it seemed!) the units were manufactured. It's deffinitly the quality thing that put Baldwin out of the locomotive business in 1954, quite early in the game.

-- John V. Pasquariello (GRIZZLETOAD@AOL.COM), March 20, 2001.

Well-so much for baldwins. You would think that the company's executives would have wanted to be seen to be running a successful business and the engineers/other employees would have wanted long term employment? Is the baldwins poor quality the reason there seems to be only sporadic photographic coverage? I've been sifting through all the books I have hoping to at least spot a rear view of one of these engines in the background of a photo of something else - so far, no luck...

-- Andrius Kairaitis (, March 20, 2001.

The more I think about Baldwins, the more they remind me of my first car-a 1964 Jaguar 3.8 Litre MK II sedan. I would drive the car one weekend, only to spend the next weekend fixing various problems which came up. The car was a good looker and definately a "chick" magnet- but it was a PIA in terms of reliability. As for the electrical-it had a LUCAS electrical system, which probably served as a model for Baldwin's engineers. The reason they serve warm beer in England is that the beer refrigerators are all made by LUCAS!

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak, March 20, 2001.

Norfolk Southern Rwy. had 26 Baldwin road switchers. Twenty- four had Westinghouse components and two, the 1617 and the 1616 now on display at Spencer, NC, had GE components. Shops, engineers, dispatchers, etc. made every attempt to keep 1616-1617 together because they absolutely refused to give 100% when MU'ed to their Westinghouse cousins.

-- Harry Bundy (, March 20, 2001.


If the New York Central's experience is a guide, the SAL had problems with oil leaks from the prime mover, electrical problems as each engine seemed to be wired differently from the others, ride quality and a myriad of small annoying problems. Since SAL was rather parsimonious(i.e. ever watchful of $$$), I am sure that the engines were modified as much as possible by the shop forces, and then SAL used them on non demanding runs until the lease ran out-then it got rid of them. Other roads tried to re-engine the units, but the unique electrical systems always made such a rebuilding more of a problem than a solution.

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak, March 20, 2001.

Michael, I have to admit that I was thinking only in terms of standardization when I threw in the E7 comment. The argument you present makes good sense and is certainly consistent with material I have read about the locomotive building industry of the time. It's a great shame that a little more thought didn't go into the engineering of the Baldwin road diesels (for those railfans who find them appealing).I know the shop forces on Central Railroad of New Jersey made some attempts at fixing these problems on their 'Baby face' units. I wonder if there are any ex SAL people out there who remember how these engines performed in Florida and if any 'fixes' were attempted (or even required)?

-- Andrius Kairaitis (, March 20, 2001.

Or would they? Remember, at the time these units were ordered, EMD was quoting very long delivery times for all of its products, and minority builders such as Baldwin were able to win orders on the basis of a speedier delivery and lower cost than EMD. Most roads which tasted Baldwin road power never went back. The switchers were another thing. Besides, SAL needed units for Florida service-where there were no grades to speak of and where they felt that 1500 hp was more than sufficient. I doubt whether they would have sprung for E-7 units where the full 2000 hp wasnt needed. Most railroads still based their motive power purchasing plans on the basis of their steam experience. SAL ran their steam era trains behind light Pacific units in FLorida and they felt that a Baldwin babyface was just that.

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak, March 19, 2001.

I don't doubt the Alco passenger units would have looked good. Due to the requirement for a light(single engine,light axle loading) passenger diesel, I would imagine that the only competition Baldwin would have faced, would be from steam generator equiped RSC2/3 or SD7 units. Had light weight/low cost not been factors, several more E7's would probably been ordered.

-- Andrius Kairaitis (, March 19, 2001.

It's really a shame that the Seaboard went with the Baldwins instead of purchasing the far more eye pleasing ALCO PA/PB's or, dare I say, the infamous DL109/110. Boy, wouldn't they've made a grand site in Citrus! (They'd look great in the later Mint color too!!)

-- John V. Pasquariello (GRIZZLETOAD@AOL.COM), March 18, 2001.

I liked the old ugly things myself,but mainly before the "facelift". What a shame that we could not convince Overland to them or ones that are close.Both NYC and MP had these units (more or less)altho on different trucks.If the Overland CofNJ car bodies had been close to SAL,I would have bought one and swapped trucks with a Stewart DRS 4-4- 1500 if I could get it to work.I hope there is an easier and less costly way.

-- J Oates (, March 18, 2001.

Bob, your correct that this will be a scratch building project. I'm really only collecting information at this time, but have some ideas on how various parts will be built. An Australian company has released a model of a EMD export locomotive which has a very similar (1" difference) wheelbase to its trucks - This will be the source for the mechanism with scratch built sideframes. I plan to build the body shell from styrene, but may take a page from the aircraft modellers book and vacuum-form the roof and nose contours (I dont know if this will work, but I'll give it a try). These are my favourite locomotive and I think that the Seaboard passenger paint scheme and the various modifications really give them great character.

-- Andrius Kairaitis (, March 17, 2001.

Since the DR 6-4-2500 Baby Face Baldwin is probably my all-time favorite locomotive, I'm curious about this model you're building. I'm assuming this will be mostly scratch-built(??), or are you doing some serious surgery on a HO brass Centipede? I'm anxious to hear more details. It's a shame the Seaboard's three units only stayed on the roster until 1964. Even though their MU modifications made them look homely, no doubt this helped extend their service life.

-- Bob Venditti (, March 17, 2001.

Many thanks Michael, I've ordered the catalogue from the RR museum of Pennsylvania and look forward to seeing what photos are available. I would imagine these are builders photos however, so I would still be very interested in interior and rear end shots taken during 1963/64 if such pictures can be found.

-- Andrius Kairaitis (, March 17, 2001.

The largest collection of Baldwin photos was held by HL Broadbelt, who passed away on January 14, 2001. This collection was donated to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. They have a catalog and will sell you prints. I suggest that you contact the museum directly. I think that their print quality is better than what I could provide you. I do have a book called "Diesel Builders Part 3" which has some photos, but I do not remember if the interiors are featured. Try the museum!

-- Michael W. Savchak (Savchak, March 16, 2001.

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