The EL-C was an electric locomotive built solely for the Virginian Railway by the General Electric Company. In total, 12 EL-C locomotives were built in 1956 & 1957 and were the first successful production locomotive to use ignitron rectifier technology. Ironically, this was the same technology used on the less-than-optimal EP-5 locomotive, but worked flawlessly on the EL-C’s due to the much larger ventilation area available in the EL-C. Although the EL-C proved to be a very successful design, no additional units were ever built due to the small number of railroads having electrification plus the advent of improved electric locomotive technology was right around the corner.
The Virginian Railway eventually sold the EL-C’s to the New Haven railroad in the 1960s and when merged into the Penn Central railroad in 1969 the EL-C’s were reclassified as E33 locomotives. Finally, Conrail repainted 10 E33s – all of which were retired in March 1981 when Conrail shut down its electric freight operations.
Lionel's version of the Virginain EL-C is an excellent model and captures the overall look-n-feel of the of its real life counterpart.
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