Romania: Class 81

Also known as: LDH125

Railway companies: CFR - Romanian State Railways



In 1974, unit LDH125-107 is shipped for testing to the United States.

During the unloading procedures of the locomotives from the ship, one of the 4 cables supporting it gave way. An inspired reaction of the crane operator prevented the locomotive from crashing down to the ground. Overturned at 180 degrees and twisting between the 3 remaining cables, the locomotive survived the shock and is successfully placed on the ground. Despite some serious damage, the locomotive is repaired in a timely manner and reaches Chicago as scheduled.

The locomotive is successfully tested in Atlanta, Chicago, Grand City and Chatanoga, and the Santa Fé railway company declared it competitive and equivalent to General Electric's 1,500 hp diesel-electric locomotive. Thus the Americans propose to acquire a lease for a number of 25x units with no time limit, the Romanian authorities do not approve the deal and are trying to conclude a standard contract to sell the locomotives. Unfortunately, due to the inflexibility of the Romanian authorities, in addition to the turmoil of the American political life after the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon (August 1974), the deal never materialised.

After testing ended, unit LDH125-107 is purchased by the North American Car Corporation (Chicago, Illinois) for the Washington depot, and is later sold to a company that operated the former Lehigh Valley Railroad yard in Sayre, Pennsylvania.

The locomotive is retired from service in the late 1980s.


Latest update on the 16th of April 2020 at 22:06

Contributor(s): Tudor C.

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