Steeplecab Switchers 1 & 2

Industrial Switcher #1 working the coke ovens at the Empire Coke Plant
Industrial Switcher #1 working the coke ovens at the Empire Coke Plant, Holt Road, Holt, Tuscaloosa County, AL

Built by General Electric sometime between 1903 and 1912, for the Semet Solvay's battery coke ovens. When built they came with 2 General Electric 57 traction motors and 1 K-6-A Master Controller. They were built for use at the Central Iron and Foundry Company's Empire Coke Plant, in Holt, Alabama. They were alternately known as trolley locomotives based on their usage of a catenary and trolleywire for power.

Two of Ten

General Electric built ten of these trolley locomotives for various Semet Solvay installations, which included the ones that were also shipped to Empire Coke site. Unfortunately, the General Electric builders list does not show the exact location each unit was delivered to, but since Empire Coke site opened in 1903, one can assume that the first six General Electric trolley locomotives that were built for Semet Solvay, with GE 57 motors, went to them.

Built With Boxcabs

A Boxcab Electric Trolley locomotive
A boxcab electric trolley locomotive of a similar configuration as HOD's GE Electric Steeplecab Industrial Switchers 1 & 2

While they now have Steeplecabs, the two at the Museum were built with boxcabs. Sometime during the 1940s or 1950s, the cabs were changed. This was apparently done to accommodate the air compressors and reservoirs that were added to boast the braking power of the locomotives. As built, they did not have air brakes, but rather regenerative brakes.