Written by: Gary Dolzall
The New Haven’s remarkable EF-4 ignitron rectifier electric freight locomotive comes to Train Simulator!
Reppo and its master craftsman Ricardo Rivera now bring the remarkable New Haven General Electric EF-4 (GE E-33) freight electric to Train Simulator! Created in exacting detail, the NYNH&H EF-4 for Train Simulator faithfully recaptures the features and operating characteristics of this distinctive and notable electric freight locomotive.
Reppo’s edition of the New Haven EF-4 electric is provided in both ready-to-roll “running” and “cold and dark” variations, the latter offering an authentic, multi-step start-up procedure. That process begins with raising the pantograph to access the power in NYNH&H’s overhead catenary by using a manual air pump located in the unit’s nose, then setting up the locomotive for duty. And once you’re ready to move, you’ll take the handles of the EF-4’s 17-position master controller and 24RL air brake systems. A fine and comprehensive replica of the locomotive’s original operating’s manual is provided to help guide you.
Constructed by General Electric in 1956-57 for the Virginian Railroad, these locomotives were purchased second-hand by the New Haven in the summer of 1963. The 3,300-horsepower EF-4 was an ignitron rectifier electric and employed 12 water-cooled ignitron rectifiers. NYNH&H’s 11,000-volt alternating current (A. C.) catenary power was reduced by a main transformer before being routed through the rectifiers for conversation to direct current (D.C.)., then used in the locomotive’s six General Electric 752 tractor motors. Stretching nearly 70-feet in length, the husky EF-4 electrics weighed 394,000 pounds, exerted 98,500 pounds of traction effort, and were geared for a 65-mph maximum speed.
Although few in number (12 of this type were built), the six-axle (C-C) road-switcher-style GE electrics were capable and successful. After serving the Virginian (and successor Norfolk & Western), the locomotives worked on the NYNH&H between New York City and New Haven, Connecticut until the railroad was merged into the Penn Central in 1968. But even then, the EF-4s careers were far from over, and the electrics worked for Penn Central and successor Conrail into 1981. Two of the distinctive rectifier electrics have been preserved: Ex-VGN 131 at the Illinois Railway Museum, and appropriately, ex-Virginian 135 at the Virginia Museum of Transport in Roanoke. The latter is beautifully restored to its original black-and-yellow Virginian livery.
One of the Train Simulator community’s finest artists, Ricardo Rivera of Reppo has outdone himself in creating the New Haven EF-4, which includes interactive cab and control features, a remarkable fidelity to details, and a magnificent visual representation of the EF-4, right down to its weathered but striking New Haven vermillion (red-orange), white, and black livery. Accompanying the EF-4 in the DLC pack are a 40-foot New Haven steel boxcar in “McGinnis” era livery, and a superb NYNH&H NE-5 class steel cupola caboose. New Haven operated more than 100 of the NE-5 class, which had been built in the early 1940s and, like the EF-4, enduring into the Penn Central and Conrail eras. And for AI-train use a New Haven Electro-Motive GP9 is included.
The New Haven EF-4 is also accompanied by four career scenarios for the Train Simulator NEC: New York-New Haven route (route available separately), which of course in the New Haven era was the primary stomping grounds of these big electrics. There’s no doubt, too, the EF-4 will be popular with Steam Workshop scenario creators, putting the electric to work not only on the NEC: New York-New Haven route, but on the electrified portions of the popular VNHRR Springfield – New Haven route (which includes catenary in portions of massive Cedar Hill Yard and the New Haven area).
A truly “electric” experience awaits you with the New Haven EF-4 (GE E-33) locomotive, available now at the Dovetail Games and Steam Stores! – Gary Dolzall ■