Tests Begin on 1st Gas Turbine-Electric
As the need for more powerful — and more energy-efficient — locomotives grew, Union Pacific looked to alternative forms of energy. It found a way to use waste oil to power gas turbines that generated electricity, which in turn powered traction motors. UP worked with General Electric and the American Locomotive Company to test a prototype: UP 50. It had more than twice the power of the diesel-electric locomotives of the time. The railroad operated dozens more GTELs before retiring the last of the fleet in 1970.