Illinois Central Dynamometer Car #30
Illinois Central Railroad
Dynamometer Car
Built by the Illinois Central Railroad at its' Burnside shops in Chicago with the instruments provided by the University of Illinois (the car jointly owned).  The dynamometer car is a rolling laboratory that tests the pulling power of locomotives.  The front coupler is attached to the frame by a hydraulic cylinder.  The pull of a locomotive moves a piston in the cylinder and measuring instruments in the car record the data.  The system is so sensitive it can detect the force of a person pulling on the coupler and so strong that it tested an engine pulling a 213 car coal train.  Number 30, a steel car,  is 60' long, weights 125,000 pounds. Test trips on the car could last for several days, and as a result, the car contains facilities to house and feed the test crew and a dining car cook: two staterooms for four people each; lockers, toilet, shower, and kitchen.  It also contains an operating compartment with recording table, instruments and tool bench. This car was last used behind a steam locomotive in 1952 and was only used once behind a diesel-electric in 1955.  It was donated in 1969 by the Illinois Central Railroad and the University of Illinois.