Posts Tagged ‘Electro-Motive Diesel’

EMD Marks 100th Anniversary

September 4, 2022

EMD marked its 100th anniversary on Aug. 31. That history began in 1922 in Cleveland when Harold L. Hamilton and Paul Turner founded the Electro-Motive Engineering Corporation, which developed gasoline-electric railcars.

The company soon was renamed Electro-Motive Company.

General Motors acquired EMC in 1930 and renamed it Electro-Motive Corporation. Under GM ownership EMC developed diesel engines that had a better power to weight ratio.

These engines were used in Burlington’s Zephyrs and Union Pacific’s M-10000 streamliners.

A merger with another division of GM gave EMC its EMD moniker, which at the time denoted Electro-Motive Division.

In 1939, EMD introduced the FT, a 1,350-hp diesel-electric locomotive. The “F” stood for fourteen hundred (1,400) horsepower (rounded up from 1,350) and the “T” stood for twin, as it came standard in a two-unit set.

The FT was the first of the F series line of 1,096 F units of which 555 had cabs and 541 were cab-less booster or ”B” units.

As railroads widely switched from steam to diesel power following World War II, numerous other EMD locomotive models followed including the iconic E series which like the F series featured the venerable bulldog nose that defined and for many still defines what a passenger locomotive should look like.

EMD has since built and delivered more than 75,000 locomotives used by railroads around the world. It also built engines for the marine, drilling and power generation industries.

GM sold EMD to Greenbriar Equity and Berkshire Partners in 2005 and in 2010 it was sold to Progress Rail, a division of Caterpillar Incorporated.

EMD has since officially been renamed Electro-Motive Diesel and it continues to build railroad locomotives.

In recent years Progress Rail has focused on building locomotives that have fewer emissions that pollute the air. Last year it signed a memorandum of understanding with BNSF and Chevron to work toward developing a locomotive operating on hydrogen fuel cells.

Testing is underway on locomotives that operate with 100 percent biodiesel capability.

Fabled EMD LaGrange Plant Facing Closure

February 6, 2018

Another Midwest locomotive factory may be about to build its last unit.

Progress Rail Services is considering closing the famed Electro Motive Diesel plant in LaGrange, Illinois, and shifting its work to a factory in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Some production of engine and locomotive components could be switched to outside suppliers.

“Progress Rail routinely reviews its strategic footprint and, as a result, is evaluating how to use its existing manufacturing space as efficiently as possible to remain a competitive supplier to the rail industry,” said Progress Rail owner Caterpillar in a statement.

Caterpillar has been undertaking a global restructuring that has reduced employment at its many factories.

EMD has a locomotive assembly plant in Muncie, Indiana, and facilities in Brazil and Mexico.

The EMD business traces its history to the 1922 founding in Cleveland by Harold Hamilton and Paul Turner of Electro-Motive Engineering Corporation

It was later renamed Electro-Motive Company and opened a plant in McCook, Illinois.

However, the factory’s mailing address was LaGrange and for decades the facility has been known as “LaGrange.”

It was there that bulldog-nose F series locomotives were created along with other notable locomotive models.

General Motors bought EMC in 1941 and renamed it the Electro-Motive Division of GM.

It was sold to Greenbriar Equity and Berkshire Partners in 2005 and acquired by Progress Rail in 2010.

Last year  General Electric announced plans to shift locomotive assembling from its plant in Lawrence Park, Pennsylvania, near Erie to a newer facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

GE has since said it is seeking to sell its transportation division.

Caterpillar has not said when the LaGrange plant might be closed.

Progress Rail to Change Names of Subsidiaries

September 1, 2016

Progress Rail plans to cease using the Electro-Motive Diesel name for all of its divisions.

Progress RailHowever, the change does not affect affect locomotive and engine branding which will continue to be described as EMD products and the EMD logo will continue to be placed on locomotives and diesel engines that Progress Rail manufactures and sells.

Progress Rail will apply its name to three subsidiaries that it owns, including Electro-Motive Diesel Inc., Electro-Motive Canada Company and Electro-Motive Diesel International Corporation.

There will be no changes in the management structure of the three subsidiaries affected by the name changes.

A letter that Progress sent to constituencies said the purpose of the name changes is to create a one company and one team strategy.

The changes are effective  on Sept. 1

CSX Testing EMD SD70ACe Demonstrators

June 23, 2016

CSX is testing Electro-Motive Division SD70ACe Tier 4 demonstrator locomotives on its Cincinnati to Nashville, Tennessee, route.

CSX logo 1Nos. 1609 and 1610 have been spotted on CSX trains Q573/Q574. The units have Union Pacific colors, but EMD logos and decals.

Trains magazine said the demonstrators are expected to remain in service for a few weeks and said it is the first time that CSX has tested EMD locomotives since giving a try out to EMDX SD70ACe demonstrators in 2013.

EMD to Display Tier 4 Locomotive at Show

October 1, 2015

Electro-Motive Diesel is displaying its first new Tier 4 emissions compliant freight locomotives at a trade show this weekend in Minneapolis.

The new SD70ACe-T4 was constructed by Progress Rail in Muncie, Indiana. The locomotive is one of five that EMD plans to build and test this year.

EMD has fallen behind GE Transportation in the market for heavy-hauling locomotives that meet U.S. environmental standards. GE Tier 4 locomotives are already in regular service.

EMDX 1501 will be shown at the BNSF Northtown Yard during the four-day Railway Interchange trade show, which features the latest railroad industry technology.