A Turbocharged Failure – The Story of the Cleveland 498, Part III

Part III of A Turbocharged Failure will be fairly straightforward – a listing of ALL 498 engines built.

Be sure to view the previous two parts:
A Turbocharged Failure, Part I – Engine History
A Turbocharged Failure, Part II – Engine Specifications

Production of the Cleveland 498 commenced with the first engine shipped in May of 1956. Most production would take place in the fall of 1956 (16 engines built), and the summer of 1957 (17 engines built). 1958 saw only a pair of engines, a trio in 1959, and the last 4 were built in 1960. A total of 29 8-cylinder, 9 12-cylinder, 17 16-cylinder and 3 test engines (one 8, and two unknown) were built over the course of production, for a grand total of 58 engines.

A brochure for the engine issued not long after being announced at Powerama. Click for larger.


1) Tug Montana – Great Lakes Towing Company, Cleveland, Ohio
Engine 46001, Shipped 5/2/1956, Order #1640, 8-498, 1400HP/850RPM

2) Tug Idaho – Great Lakes Towing Company, Cleveland, Ohio
Engine 46001, Shipped 12/13/1956, Order #1640, 8-498, 1400HP/850RPM

Great Lakes Towing Company needs no introduction here, they are the largest tug company performing shipdocking on the Great Lakes, using “G Tugs”.   We will do a more detailed feature on these down the road.   Great Lakes put in the very first order for 498 engines, with the first one going into the tug Montana.   Montana was built in 1929, with a single cylinder steam engine.   Idaho followed a few months later.  Idaho was the last “new” tug built, in 1931.   Both tugs were identical and built-in house, receiving electric drive propulsion packages using surplus Destroyer-Escort generators and propulsion motors***.   The Montana was retired and scrapped in 2006, and the Idaho was scrapped in 2019.  The 4th and final part will be dedicated to the Idaho

Tug Idaho shortly after being converted to Diesel power. VDD Collection.

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3) Tug Hoboken – Delaware Lackawanna & Western Railroad – NY, NY
Engine 46003, Shipped 10/31/1956, Order #1807, 8-498, 1400HP/850RPM

4) Tug Buffalo – Delaware Lackawanna & Western Railroad – NY, NY
Engine 46004, Shipped 11/30/1956, Order #1807, 8-498, 1400HP/850RPM

5) Tug Syracuse – Delaware Lackawanna & Western Railroad – NY, NY
Engine 46005, Shipped 12/28/1956, Order #1807, 8-498, 1400HP/850RPM

6) Tug Utica – Delaware Lackawanna & Western Railroad – NY, NY
Engine 46006, Shipped 1/14/1957, Order #1807, 8-498, 1400HP/850RPM

7) Tug Nazareth – Delaware Lackawanna & Western Railroad – NY, NY
Engine 46007, Shipped 1/21/1956, Order #1807, 8-498, 1400HP/850RPM

Delaware Lackawanna & Western placed an order for 5 Diesel-Electric tugs with Bethlehem Steel of NY, built to General Managers Association (GMA) design for moving carfloats in NY Harbor.   Erie Lackawanna started to sell off the tugs in the early 1970’s, these were the first to go, and every one of them was repowered not long after being sold (all being repowered by the early 1980’s).  Two would go on to get GE engines, two would get Alcos, and the last an EMD.  The Utica, the last survivor, is now working in Panama.   These tugs will be covered extensively in my upcoming book on Railroad Tugs, coming out later this year.  

Diesel Times/J. Boggess Collection

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8/9) Towboat Lelia C. Shearer – O.F. Shearer & Sons, – Winchester, KY
Engines 46008, 46009, Shipped 10/19/1956, Order # 1883/1884, 8-498, 1230HP/750RPM

Hillman Barge & Construction both designed and built this 2700HP diesel-clutch twin screw towboat for the O.F. Shearer & Sons company.   She was repowered in 1964 with a pair of EMD 16-567C engines.  The towboat kept her name through several companies and was finally scrapped in 2014.    This was the first 498 powered towboat. 

Diesel Times/J. Boggess Collection

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10/11) Tug M.P. Anderson – Brown & Root, Inc.
Engines 46010, 46011, Shipped 7/30/1956, 731/1956, Order # 1974, 8-498, 1400HP/850RPM

M.P. Anderson was designed by Brown & Root and built by Gulfport Shipbuilding.  This 123-foot, twin screw, Diesel-Electric tug worked in the Gulf for most of her life and was also repowered with a pair of EMD 16-567C engines, with reverse-reduction gears in place of the electric drive.  She is now working in Baltimore as the Austin Krause (and has one of the largest tug engine rooms I have ever been in).

The M.P. Anderson was covered in the June 1959 issue of Diesel Times. J. Boggess Collection

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12) Tug William C. Gaynor – Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co.
Engine 46012, Shipped 9/11/1956, Order # 1956, 8-498, 1400HP/850RPM

This 94’ tug was designed by Joe Hack under Cleveland Diesel for Great Lakes Dredge & Dock.  The tug was built by DeFoe shipbuilding and spent her entire life in the Great Lakes doing dredge work.   Today she is working (under her original name) for Sarter Marine in Sturgeon Bay, WI.   The tug was repowered with an EMD 12-567C in 1990.

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13) Test Engine
Engine 46013, 8-498

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14/15) Towboat Gulf Inlander – Gulf Oil Corp.
Engines 46014, 46015, Shipped 10/26/1956, 11/30/1956, Order 1923/1924, 8-498, 1400HP/850RPM

Gulf Inlander was a twin-screw towboat built by St. Louis Shipbuilding for Gulf Oil.   Now known as the Mary Lynn, she was repowered and now has a pair of EMD 16-645 engines. 

Diesel Times/J. Boggess Collection

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16-26) All engines 8-498 Non-Magnetic, 1400HP/850RPM

MSO-521 Assurance, Engine 46016, Shipped 10/28/1957, Order # 62562
MSO-519 Ability, Engine 46017, Shipped 7/29/1957, Order # 62562
MSO-520 Alacrity, Engine 46018, Shipped 8/5/1957, Order 62562
MSO-519 Ability, Engine 46019, Shipped 6/22/1957, Order 62563
MSO-520 Alacrity, Engine 46020, Shipped 8/7/1957, Order 62563
MSO-521 Assurance, Engine 46021, Shipped 9/10/1957, Order 62563
Naval Supply Depot (spare engine?), Engine 46022, Shipped 11/30/1960, Order 62672
MSO-519 Ability, Engine 46023, Shipped 7/31/1957, Order 62572
MSO-520 Alacrity, Engine 46024, Shipped 8/27/1957, Order 62572
MSO-521 Assurance, Engine 46025, Shipped 11/6/1957, Order 62572
Naval Supply Depot (spare engine?), Engine 46026, Shipped 11/30/1960, Order 62675

USS Ability MSO 519 stricken 1971
http://www.navsource.org/archives/11/02519.htm
USS Alacrity MSO 520 sold for scrap Dec 1979
http://www.navsource.org/archives/11/02520.htm
USS Assurance MSO 521 scrapped in Dec 1979
http://www.navsource.org/archives/11/02521.htm

All we know about these three minesweepers with non-magnetic 498s is what we can find in Wikipedia & Navsource. We have no idea how long the 498s lasted or how well they did – it is likely the reason these ships were retired was because of the 498’s.  Since these three ships were scrapped over 40 years ago, we suspect that information is lost to the ages.  BUT, if there are any ex-Navy sailors out there, drop us a line.    

Diesel Times/J. Boggess Collection

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27/28) Towboat Eleanor Gordon – Two engine order, shipped 4/24/1957, Order 2039/2040, 8-948, 1400HP/850RPM. 

Designed and built by Nashville Bridge Co. for Mid America Transportation Company.   This 149’ towboat was powered by the pair of 498 engines with Falk reverse reduction gears.  Apparently Mid-America was so displeased with these engines that the towboat was repowered within 18 months. 

Diesel Times/J. Boggess Collection

The engines were sent back to Cleveland, who rebuilt them and reshipped them under a new order to Great Lakes Towing Company, who installed them into a pair of tugs, the Pennsylvania and Tennessee

 Pennsylvania would be one of the tugs assigned to work all the way down in Florida on a Navy contract in the 1990’s.   Tennessee was scrapped in 2012, with the Pennsylvania being scrapped in 2019.  The Pennsylvania was repowered with an EMD 12-645, however the repower was never completed before GLT decided to scrap her (?). 

Tennessee was an identical sister to the Pennsylvania, and also worked in Florida.  Both of these tugs were the only “G” tugs to have fixed Kort nozzles, with 102” wheels. 

Tug Pennsylvania
Engine 46027, Shipped 11/30/1959, Order 3936

Tug Tennessee
Engine 46028, Shipped 11/30/1959, Order 3937

The Pennsylvania and Tennessee on the job in the early 1970’s. VDD Collection.

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29) Tug Alexander Wiley Robinson Bay, St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp.
Engine 46029, Shipped 11/15/1957, Order 2573, 8-498, 1400HP/850RPM

Robinson Bay is a 103’ Diesel-Electric ice breaking tug designed by Merritt Demarest for use in the St. Laurence Seaway.   The tug was repowered by Great Lakes Towing in 1991, who kept the engine as a spare parts source.  The tug is now powered by a Cat 3606 with a 1750HP GE 581 propulsion motor. 

The Robinson Bay at work in Northern New York. Will Van Dorp Photo.

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30) Development Engine
Engine 51001. 12-498S

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31/32) Towboat Cypress, Chotin Transportation
Engines 51002, 51003, Shipped 8/31/1956, 12-498, Order 1653/1654, 2100HP/850RPM

Cypress was a 140’ towboat for the Chotin Transportation Company designed and built by J&S Shipbuilding.   The towboat has been out of documentation for some time and repowering/disposition is unknown.

Diesel Times/J. Boggess Collection

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33) Tug Ralph E. Matton, John E. Matton & Sons, Cohoes, NY
Engine 51004, Shipped 7/31/1957, 12-498, Order 1726, 2100HP/850RPM

Ralph E. Matton was a New York Canal tug, designed and built by Matton.  The tug was repowered with an EMD 16-567C, and later became the Mary Turecamo, and Albany.  It was scrapped about 15 years ago. 

Courtesy of Dave Boone

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34) Tug Spartan, James McWilliams Blue Line, NY, NY
Engine 51005, Shipped 9/14/1956, 12-498, Order 1893, 2100HP/850RPM

Spartan was a NY Canal tug, designed by Cleveland Diesel (Joe Hack) and built by Calumet Shipyard.   The tug became part of the Ira Bushey & Hess family of companies and was reefed in 1986. 

VDD Collection

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35) Tug Matton #25, John E. Matton & Sons, Cohoes, NY
Engine 51006, Shipped 10/20/1956, 12-498, Order 1939, 2100HP/850RPM

Matton 25 was a New York Canal tug, designed and built by Matton.  The tug was repowered with an EMD 16-645, and later became the Joan Turecamo, and Everglades of Seabulk Towing.  It was reefed in 2017.

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36) Tug Matton, John E. Matton & Sons, Cohoes, NY
Engine 51007, Shipped 4/29/1957, 12-498, Order 2210, 2100HP/850RPM

Matton was a New York Canal tug, designed and built by Matton.  The tug was repowered and later became the Kathleen Turecamo, and Troy.  It was reefed in 1990.

Courtesy of Dave Boone

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37) Test Engine
Engine 51008, Order 3133

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38) Gen-Set, Bell Telephone Co., Philadelphia, PA
Engine # 51009, Shipped 7/17/1957, Order 2118, 12-498, 1840HP/720RPM

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39/40) Towboat Oliver C. Shearer, O.F. Shearer & Sons, Cedar Grove, WV
Engines 51010, 51011, Shipped 7/14/1960, Order 5058/5059, 7/21/1960, 12-948, 2100HP/800RPM

Shearer returned for another set of engines for a second towboat, the Oliver C. Shearer.  She was designed by Friede & Goldman Inc. and built by Marietta Manufacturing.   The towboat was repowered in 1965 with EMD 16-567C’s and has since been repowered several times with EMDs.  The towboat is still in service under her original name. 

Diesel Times/J. Boggess Collection

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41) Development Engine
Engine 57001, Order 4150, 16-498S

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42/43) Towboat Mark Eastin, West Kentucky Coal Co., Madisonville, KY
Engines 57002/57003, Order 1775/1776, Shipped 12/14/1956, 11/30/1956, 16-498, 2800HP/850RPM

The 177’ Towboat was at the time, the most powerful twin screw towboat on Inland Rivers.  Repowered in 1969 with EMD 16-645 engines.   In service today as the Kevin Michael

Diesel Times/J. Boggess Collection

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44-53) Gen-Sets, Cia Cubana de Electricidad, Havana, Cuba
All engines are 16-498, 2850HP/720RPM, Order 2361

Engine 57004, Shipped 7/13/1957
Engine 57005, Shipped 7/19/1957
Engine 57006, Shipped 7/31/1957
Engine 57007, Shipped 8/6/1957
Engine 57008, Shipped 8/30/1957
Engine 57009, Shipped 8/31/1957
Engine 57010, Shipped 9/14/1957
Engine 57011, Shipped 9/21/1957
Engine 57012, Shipped 9/26/1957
Engine 57013, Shipped 9/30/1957

The largest order of 498 engines were these stationary 2000kW engines for a Cuban powerplant.   It is unknown how long, or if they still exist.   Anybody in Cuba want to go exploring for us? 

Diesel Times/S. Zelinka Collection

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54/55) Gen-Sets, Saudi-National, LTD, PEX-583007
Engines 57014, 57015, Shipped 12/3/1958, 12/12/1958, Order 2982, 16-498, 2800HP/720RPM

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56-58) Dredge Alaska, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock

Pump Engines
Engines 57016, 57017, Shipped 9/24/1959, Order 3756, 3757, 16-498, 2770HP/800RPM

Gen-Set
Engine 57018, Shipped 12/28/1959, Order 3760, 16-498, 2800HP/800RPM

Hydraulic Dredge Alaska used a trio of 498 engines.  Two engines drove the main pump drive unit, with the 3rd driving three generators, a 1250kW, 500kW and a 200kW, all on a common frame.   The Alaska is still in service, but of course was repowered, and currently has EMD 710 engines. 

Diesel Times/J. Boggess Collection


While most of the above users of the 498 were featured in a dedicated issue of Cleveland Diesel’s newsletter Diesel Times, the 9/1957 issue showcased the current maritime users of the engine. Click for larger.

Coming up in the final part of A Turbocharged Failure will be a post dedicated to the Great Lakes Towing tugboat Idaho, the last known 498 engine to be in use.

Thanks to my Cleveland Research Partner J. Boggess for proofing and sharing the above issues of Diesel Times.

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