🇺🇸 PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES - The Pennsylvania Railroad’s T1 duplex steam locomotive is perhaps the most eye-catching, and the most controversial ever created. Engineers at the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) and at Baldwin Locomotive Works created a quite complex solution to building a reciprocating steam locomotive with enormous power and the ability to cruise at 100mph. What was produced was a steam locomotive that not only looked like a missile on wheels, but that performed like one.
The Pennsylvania Railroad's 52 T1 class duplex-drive 4-4-4-4 steam locomotives were introduced in 1942 (2 prototypes) and 1945-1946 (50 production). They were ambitious, technologically sophisticated, however, they were also prone to wheelslip both when starting and at speed, complicated to maintain and expensive to run. The PRR vowed in 1948 to place diesel locomotives on all express passenger trains, leaving unanswered questions as to whether the T1's flaws were solvable, especially taking into account that the two prototypes did not have the problems inherent to the production unit. An article appearing in a 2008 issue of the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society Magazine showed that inadequate training for engineers transitioning to the T1 may have led to excessive throttle applications, resulting in driver slippage.
All T1 locomotives were sold for scrap between 1951 and late 1955. The last engines were towed westward for scrapping in early 1956. However, an exact scale live steam replica in 1 inch/foot scale (1:12) has been built by Ed Woodings, using the original T1 plans. In addition, the T1 has proven a fairly popular subject to be reproduced in model form.