UP #57, the only propane turbine the railroad ever ran, was one of an order for ten 4500 hp turbines UP ordered from General Electric in 1951. The railroad was pleased with the performance of the turbines, which tested well in head-to-head competition with similar horsepowered diesels. However, UP was concerned that the fuel used was too heavy and difficult to heat and handle. When #57 was delivered they decided to adapt it for an experiment with propane gas as a power source. The engine was equipped with a pressurized tank car for a tender and assigned a Los Angeles-Las Vegas run.
The propane turbine made its first revenue run on May 31, 1953. Since propane burns clean and leaves no carbon deposit residue, the engine's turbine blades wore well. The high cost of the safety precautions and operating procedures (to cut the high rate of fuel consumption, the railroad stopped and restarted the engines on each run) outweighed the engine's advantages, however, and the UP decided against adding any more propane turbines to the roster.
- O-Gauge, O-Scale
- Directionally controlled headlights
- Metal wheels, gears & axles
- Die-cast truck sides, pilots & fuel tank
- (2) Remotely controlled ProtoCouplers
- Authentic paint scheme
- Metal chassis
- Metal handrails & decorative horn
- (4) Precision flywheel equipped motors for smooth operation and fantastic pulling power
- Lighted cab interior
- (2) Engineer cab figures
- Die-cast metal propane tank car
- (2) Operating smoke units
- Operating MARS light
- Equipped with ProtoSound 2.0 with digital Command System featuring speed & light control, diagnostic memory, remotely controlled ProtoCouplers and Freight Yard Proto-Effects sounds.
- Length: 33-3/8"
- Minimum curve: O-72