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(erielack) S.J. Groves Construction Co. U33Cs

Reviewing some old photos of the S.J. Groves & Sons Construction Co. U33Cs which were purchased 
for the railroad that was utilized in building I-280 in Essex and Morris counties in New Jersey, 
I became curious as to whether their 2 U33Cs were built to EL specs or not.  

Groves, a Minnesota-based contractor who is still in business today, utilized the same Cleveland, OH
based consultant group, McDowell-Wellman Company, who also was responsible for designing the railroad
used by Oro Dam Constructors in building the Oroville Dam in northern California.  The consultant
essentially was the entity responsible for procurement of the railroad equipment in both projects, and
apparently the consultant had a good relationship with (nearby) GE in Erie to provide the power.  

In 1964, when Oroville Dam began its earthmoving construction phase, U25Cs were the largest 6-axle 
power that GE had in the catalog.  When the I-280 project reached a similar phase in 1969, again,
the consultant went to GE and acquired the largest 6-axle power GE had in the catalog, the U33C.

Unlike the Oro Dam effort which utilized 2 U25Cs on each train (oriented back-to-back, with cabs on
each end of the power set), the Groves' operation only required a single U33C on each train.  The 
Groves' operation utilized 2 trains operating on a single track, with one passing siding at the 
midway point.  Since only 2 U33Cs were procured, this would have resulted in the need for each U33C 
to have bidirectional controls.  Was anyone ever inside these units to confirm dual controls?

Up until that point, the only domestic 6-motor GE's built with dual controls beyond the EL's 
N&W-financed U33Cs were 5 hi-nose U30Cs for the Southern and the 3 orphan U30Cs for the N&W.  The 
10 hi-nose Southern U33C's would not be built until a year after the Groves' units.

Looking at photos of the Groves' U33Cs, the horn placement and lack of pilot plows make them look
like EL's design. The Groves' U33Cs were physically produced in 10-69, after both batches of EL
U33Cs were already built.  The Groves' U33Cs had GE serials of 37366 and 37367, while the newest
EL U33C (3315) had a serial of 37062 and build date of 9-69.  Did GE just dust off their EL design
and produce 2 more for Groves?

Im curious if the contractor had hoped that since the EL (via the M&E) was the only outside rail
connection for the construction railroad, that perhaps the EL might eventually pick these units up 
when their earthmoving activities were finished.

While the units became unemployed in late July 1971, it wasn't until January 15, 1973 when they
were finally sold to Burlington Northern.  This contrasts to the fact that 4 days after completion
of the Oro Dam efforts, the U25Cs used there were enroute to their new owner, the L&N (resold ahead of
time).  This time lag of their sale to BN would have been after the EL ordered and received their 
own U36Cs.  I wonder if the EL had expressed any interest in these units, but later backed out of the 
deal when the need for the SD45-2s and U36Cs surfaced, leaving the construction company and their 
consultant to search again for a new home for these units?