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Number 5019 at idle

The Great Northern W-1 was the largest electric locomotive to run in North America, their wheel arrangement being (at first glance) a 4-8-8-4; the only locomotive to share this arrangement were the Union Pacific's 4000 Class "Big Boys". Only two were built by the General Electric Corporation's Erie workshops in 1947, numbered 5018 and 5019. The W-1's had a short career, however, as the operation of electric locomotives became a costly burden, so they were withdrawn in 1956 along with all electric-hauled services. As the wires were taken down, the mammoth electrics were sold for scrap three years later. 5019 was cut up, but 5018 was sold to the Union Pacific Railroad and modified into an experimental coal-burning gas turbine electric locomotive, number 80. This was a failure, and the locomotive was cut up for scrap. Neither of the W1's, nor any of the GN's electric locomotives, survived into preservation.