Posts Tagged ‘EMD locomotives’

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.

EL Monday: Alco, EMD and GE in Kent

January 31, 2022

You can’t see all of the locomotives on this westbound Erie Lackawanna train in Kent. But the photographer’s notes show the train is powered by the 1052, an Alco RS3. Also in the consist are an EMD F3B, EMD F3A and a GE U25B. The image was made in the late 1960s. In the cut below are the Baltimore & Ohio tracks that today are the CSX New Castle Subdivision.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

EL Monday: What You Could Find in Marion

December 27, 2021

A railfan visiting the Erie Lackawanna in Marion in mid 1973 might find this scene in front of the diesel shop. The SD45 is No. 3635, and the first E8A is No. 810. The top image shows the full scene while the bottom image is a crop of that scene.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

EL Monday: Quite a Lashup in Akron

December 20, 2021

There are four motors in this motive power consist on the Erie Lackawanna heading west over Voris Street in Akron. We have here the 2506 (GE U25B), 2462 (Alco C425), 2458 (Alco C425), and 3622 (EMD SD45). The mage was made on Sept. 4, 1972.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Alco, EMD and GE Motive Power in Alliance

October 22, 2021

How is this for a motive power consist? There are Alco, GE and EMD units pulling this Penn Central westbound train in Alliance in August 1972. The lead unit, PC 6300 is an Alco C628. A  GE U33B is also in the motive power lineup. Of note in the background is a transfer caboose and a Burlington boxcar.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Critters and Switchers

April 10, 2020

They seldom got out to run on the mainline, but switch engines are among some of the more interesting locomotives built.

Koppers tie plant in Orrville had this GE critter (top photograph) on the property on July 17, 1981. A few years later the plant closed and the critter was gone.

In the bottom image, Maryland & Pennsylvania SW9 No. 82 is shown at York, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 22, 1979. This unit was built for the Ma & Pa in November 1951.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Checking Out the B&LE in Conneaut in 1968

March 23, 2020

Bessemer &Lake Erie 406, a Baldwin DRS6-6-1500, is working the yard in Conneaut in 1968.

It is Sept. 8, 1968, in Conneaut. Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 Berkshire type No. 759 has just left on its first trip after being restored and John Woodworth and I have gone to photograph the Bessemer & Lake Erie.

Here is some of what we saw and photographs that day.

B&LE 830 is outside the engine house.

B&LE 830 as seen from the other side.

We were given permission to get in the cab. I’m looking down the long hood at the engine house.

I’m on the walkway of the short hood looking the opposite way from the photo above.

B&LE 406, a Baldwin DRS6-6-1500, is working a string of hoppers.

B&LE 881 and 883 are working on a coal train.

Working beneath the Nickel Plate Road trestle over Conneaut Creek in a timeless scene.

B&LE 405, a Baldwin DRS6-6-1500,) is in the engine house.

A Penn Central freight is on the ex-New York Central bridge over the B&LE. Note the mixed motive consist of the PC train. The view is looking southward.

Waiting Their Turn

March 21, 2020

It is early in the Penn Central era and we’re standing outside the former New York Central diesel shops in Cleveland. Lines of locomotives await their turn in the shop to be repaired, repainted or whatever. Do you wonder how many of these locomotives still exist today let alone are still pulling trains?

Photograph by Robert Farkas


January 7, 2020

It’s an all CSX motive power consist on this westbound manifest freight except for the Electro Motive lease use following the lead engine, CSX GP40-2 No. 6145.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Indiana Northeastern Buys 6-Axle Power

September 24, 2016

The Indiana Northeastern Railroad has acquired a pair of six axle locomotives, its first.

indiana-northeasternUntil now the short line railroad that serves Indiana, Ohio and Michigan had relied on four-axle EMD diesels.

Now Indiana Northeastern has purchased a pair of SD40-2s from Motive Power Resources in Minooka, Illinois.

The units formerly worked for Canadian Pacific and Southern Pacific with the ex-SP unit still having its flared SD45 car-body.

Indiana Northeastern president Gale Shultz said two factors prompted his railroad to seek larger locomotives.

“In the next year, we have to equip for positive train control to get in and out of the Norfolk Southern yards at Montpelier, Ohio,” Shultz said. “We are running 85-car unit trains and I can’t see spending money on one of the old girls.”

Shultz said both SD40-2s have been rebuilt from the frame-up by Alstom Canada and were last used in a CSX Transportation lease fleet.

“’These are sixteen cylinders, new controls and wiring, we hope to have the first one here in a week,” he says.

Indiana Northeastern General Manager Troy Strane told Trains magazine that one six-axle unit will be paired with a four-axle unit to move unit grain trains.

“I think one of these can easily do the work equal to two or three of our four-axles. We have a lot of small hills and curves, its real railroading and moving these unit trains is rough on the power,” Strane said.

The SD40-2s are unlikely to be repainted into Indiana Northeastern colors until next spring because they are needed immediately to help with the grain harvest that is getting underway.