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Alco: HH900

Written by Conductor

Alco HH900 #41, one of two such locomotives in service on the Reading.

In December 1937/January 1938, the Reading received two HH900 switching locomotives from the American Locomotive Company (Alco).  Classified OE-4 and numbered #40-41, these units were unique among the Reading's Alco switchers (and in fact among ALL of the Reading's switching power) due to ther cab-level hoods.  Most switchers had the top of the hood lower than the cab roof.  This design was a result of mounting the prime mover on top of, rather than within, the locomotive frame.  Later switchers discontinued this practice.  The two OE-4 locomotives spent their careers working out of Erie Avenue and Port Richmond until their retirement and scrapping in 1962.

MODELING NOTES:  Atlas released an HO model of an HH600/660, which would be your best starting point for modeling one of these locomotives in HO scale, though it will still require some modification to more closely resemble the Reading's OE-4s.  Operationally, these units did not stray from the Philadelphia industrial trackage, and were off the roster by 1962.

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Did You Know?

October 8, 1958
The diesel facilities and shop at Newberry Junction are destroyed by fire, and are rebuilt the following year.


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