|The PARSONS VALE Line
The PV&T electrified from Parsons Vale to Springfield, VT in 1912 by purchasing a fleet of 12 electric locomotives from ALCO/GE. These locomotives went into service hauling freight, allowing the retirement of classes 144 and 160, and freeing the class 172 to haul the money-making Montréal passenger and express trains. The success of these locomotives resulted in the decision to electrify the rest of the railway in 1920.
The class A (800 hp/unit as delivered) were delivered as 2400VDC engines, but were rebuilt in 1919 to run under 3000VDC, for the PV&T decided to follow the lead of the CMStP&P with higher-voltage DC when the wires were run all the way from Portland to Montréal. After the great depression started dying down in the late 1930s, the PV&T rebuilt the class A's to 1200hp (1940) to help handle increases in traffic. Finally, in 1960, the remaining 4 class As were rebuilt to 1600hp as prototypes for the similar upgrading of the fleet of class B locomotives.
Over the years, the class As have had quite a few cosmetic changes. As delivered, they were equipped with functional cargo doors and 36" diameter wheels. In 1940, they were all given AAR type B trucks as part of that rebuilding. During this time, many were converted to class A2 by plating over the cargo doors and increasing internal ventilation. After the second world war, 3 were further upgraded to class A3 by adding smaller pantographs and improved controllers. To further confuse matters, 206,207, and 211 were equipped with footboards and placed into class A4; since they are mechanically equivalent to the unaltered class A2 and A3's, nobody refers to them as class A4.
The surviving members of class A are assigned to the LW&C and PVRT subdivisions. They are liked by the crews and, after the 1961 rebuilding, are very good performers. The railway intends to keep them in service for as long as traffic lasts on the LW&C subdivision.
|204||A1||assigned to the LW&C.|
|207||A2/A4||assigned to the PVRT.|
|210||A3||assigned to the LW&C|
|211||A3/A4||assigned to the LW&C.|