September 20, 2002 -
Sullivan Indiana.
Photo courtesy of
Larry E. Gilbert.

Wig-Wag, LLC
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General Electric 44-Ton Switchers

All releases are included below. 
If you are looking for something specific, not shown below, please use the
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and let us know what item you could not locate.
First Release:
Announced: 07-18-08
Orders Due: ASAP
Second Release:
Announced: 03-26-10
Orders Due: ASAP
ETA: Aug/Sept
Item Description
Not all items can be in stock at all times.
Due to minimum order requirements and shipping charges we "bunch" up re-orders to save you money.

(We reserve the right to correct errors and change prices without prior notice.)
Note: Not all of the items below may be in stock or available but the information is provided for reference purposes.
Please copy & paste the entire description TEXT ONLY (no pictures please) from the item you are ordering into your e-mail.
It will save time and reduce possible confusion in determining what you
really are ordering.
With the quantity of lines we carry it's not possible to memorize all of them.

Be sure you review our terms pages before placing your order:

First: Terms Page One   Then: Terms Page Two  Finally: Terms Page Three

If you place an order, you have agreed to our terms.

Please remember to give your first and last name and the city and state where you live in all your e-mails.

Non-USA customers please include the country.

GE 44-ton Switcher

GE 44-ton switcher
GE 44-ton switcher
General Electric 44-ton switcher -- Duluth, Georgia.
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder GE Transportation Systems
Model 44-ton switcher
Build date 1940 – 1956
Total production 348
AAR wheel arr. B-B
Gauge 4 ft 8˝ in (1,435 mm)
Locomotive weight 44 short tons (40 metric tons)
Prime mover Caterpillar D17000 (2 off) except:
Hercules DFXD (2 off) 9 locomotives;
Buda 6DH1742 (2 off) 10 locomotives;
Caterpillar D342 (2 off) 4 locomotives.
Cylinders 2 × V8
Power output 360–400 hp (270–300 kW)
Locale North America, Australia

The GE 44-ton switcher is a 4-axle diesel locomotive built by General Electric between 1940 and 1956. It was designed for industrial and light switching duties, often replacing steam locomotives that had previously been assigned these chores. This locomotive's specific 44-short ton weight was directly related to one of the efficiencies the new diesel locomotives offered compared to their steam counterparts, reduced labour intensity. In the 1940s, the steam to diesel transition was in its infancy in North America, and railroad unions were trying to protect the locomotive fireman jobs that were redundant with diesel units. One measure taken to this end was a stipulation that locomotives weighing 90,000 pounds (41,000 kg) or more required a fireman in addition to an engineer. The 44-ton locomotive was born to skirt this requirement. Other manufacturers also built 44-ton switchers of center-cab configuration. 348 examples of this locomotive were built for North American railroads. Many remain in either in service, or in museums.


Prime mover options

The locomotives were available with a choice of prime movers. Most were built with a pair of Caterpillar Inc.'s D17000 V8 180 horsepower (134 kW) engines, but three other engines types were used. Nine were built with a pair of Hercules DFXD engines, and were sold to Chattanooga Traction (2) and Missouri Pacific Railroad and its subsidiaries (7). Ten were built with a pair of the slightly more powerful Buda 6DH1742, rated at 200 horsepower (150 kW) each. The last four locomotives built had Caterpillar D342 engines, and were sold to Canadian National Railways (3) and the Danville and Mount Morris Railroad (1).


Forty-seven locomotives were bought by the US Military, and four of them were exported to Australia. All saw service on the New South Wales Government Railways as the 79 class, before two of them were sold to Commonwealth Railways, becoming the DE class.

Preserved Examples

United States

  • The Western Pacific Railroad Museum at Portola, California is the home of Quincy Railroad 3. This 44 ton engine replaced steam power on this shortline railroad. The WPRM is also home to Quincy 4, an Alco S1 switcher that replaced QRR 3.
  • The Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad in Duluth, MN uses a loco formally used at the Lac de Flambeau paper mill.
  • The California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento runs the Sacramento Southern Railroad Number 1240, formerly the U.S. Air Force Number 1240 out of McLellan Air Force Base.

The model features include DCC On Board™ .  Here are photos we took for you from the roll out of this announcement at the NMRA-NTS in Anaheim, CA on July 17 & 18, 2008

Click on any photo for large view

This photo provided
by Bachmann Industries
HO Models shown below

Product Information
First built in 1940, nearly 400 of these sturdy diesel locomotives were produced by General Electric for sale around the world. At 88,000 pounds, the 44 Ton Switcher was designed specifically as the heaviest allowable locomotive for one-man operation. Used primarily for light branchline and industrial work, the 44 Ton Switcher was equipped with caterpillar engines that generated approximately 400 horsepower. Last produced in 1956, many are still in operation today. A perennial favorite in the Spectrum® line, the new N-Scale 44 Ton Switcher includes DCC On Board™.

Item Description

Second Release

Part #: Bac-81857 Boston & Maine - Spectrum General Electric 44-Ton Switcher w/ DCC On Board™
Click photo to see large view
Part #: Bac-81858 Denver & Rio Grande Western (D&RGW) - Spectrum General Electric 44-Ton Switcher w/ DCC On Board™
Click photo to see large view

Part #: Bac-81859 U.S. Army - Spectrum General Electric 44-Ton Switcher w/ DCC On Board™
Click photo to see large view
First Release
Part #: Bac-81851 Painted, Unlettered (Yellow) - Spectrum General Electric 44-Ton Switcher w/ DCC On Board™
Click photo to see large view
Part #: Bac-81852 Painted, Unlettered (Red and Yellow) - Spectrum General Electric 44-Ton Switcher w/ DCC On Board™
Part #: Bac-81853 Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) - Spectrum General Electric 44-Ton Switcher w/ DCC On Board™
Click photo to see large view
Part #: Bac-81854 Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) - Spectrum General Electric 44-Ton Switcher w/ DCC On Board™
Click photo to see large view
Part #: Bac-81855 New Haven (NH) - Spectrum General Electric 44-Ton Switcher w/ DCC On Board™
Click photo to see large view
Item Description    

Stock Checks:

Inventory is a fluid commodity.  It changes by the hour (sometimes by the minute). To retain our pricing structure we maintain stock levels designed to turnover 6 times each year. We cannot guarantee stock status till we have an order in hand. All product is subject to prior sale. If we confirm that we have it, and, while we are waiting for the order it sells, you would be upset that we did not hold it.
We used to hold items but learned a VERY EXPENSIVE lesson. When we held items for customers’ orders, the order never materialized 80%+ of the time.  We lost out on the orders placed while the item was on hold.  Also we wasted staff time that could have been used to pull actual orders.
Since we are well known for finding older stock the fact that it may not be on our shelves at this minute does not mean we can’t get it. So, as we spell out on our terms pages, we don’t do it anymore.
You may, however, call in and we will tell you if the items are available and if possible attempt to locate what we don’t have while you are on the phone.

Last Update by:  GJC
Saturday, July 6, 2013 2:16 PM