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Southern Pacific Diesel Power during 1940-50

Last upd. Feb-2012

General Motors Electro-Motive-Division
F3- F7
F7A #6258 - F7B # 8158 (Key Imports)
F7A #6242 - F7B # 8291 (Bachmann)


Years Produced: November 1939
November 1945
Engine Type: EMD 567 series mechanically aspirated two-stroke Diesel engine,
Horse Power: 2,700 hp
(2,000 kW) for AB set


Years Produced: July 1945
February 1949
Engine Type: EMD 567
Horse Power: 1,500 hp (1,100 kW)


Years Produced: February 1949
December 1953
Engine Type: EMD 16-567B
Horse Power: 1,500 hp (1,100 kW)


The EMD FT was a 1,350-horsepower (1,010 kW) diesel-electric locomotive produced between November 1939, and November 1945, by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division (the "F" stood for "freight" and the "T" for 2,700 horsepower (2,000 kW) with a two-unit set).
It was the first model in EMD's very successful F-unit series of cab unit freight diesels, and was the locomotive that convinced many U.S. railroads that the diesel-electric freight locomotive was the future. Many rail historians consider the FT one of the most important locomotive models of all time.

After much negotiation with the War Production Board, Cotton Belt was the first on the SP system to sample the venerable 'covered wagon' in the form of three 4 unit ABBA FT sets delivered in June and July of 1944. The FTs were put to work between Pine Bluff and Texarkana or Shreveport on the busiest part of the Cotton Belt during the war. An additional two 4 unit ABBA FT sets were delivered in July 1945. Cotton Belt for some time kept their own Class system, and these were delivered as Class Z13.5 B-B. Richard.A.Percy

The F3 was the third model in GM-EMD's highly successful F-unit series of cab unit diesel locomotives, and it was the second most produced of the series. The F3 essentially differed from the EMD F2 in that it used the “new” D12 generator to produce more power, and from the later EMD F7 in electrical equipment.

SP proper received its first 'covered wagons' in May of 1947, (SSW got FT's earlier). Richard.A.Percy

The F7 was a 1,500 horsepower (1,100 kW) Diesel-electric locomotive produced between February 1949 and December 1953 by the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors (EMD) and General Motors Diesel (GMD). It succeeded the F3 model in GM-EMD's F-unit sequence, and was replaced in turn by the F9. Final assembly was at GM-EMD's La Grange, Illinois plant or GMD's London, Ontario facility. Although originally promoted as a freight-hauling unit by EMD, the F7 was also used in passenger service

Cotton Belt was the first to receive EMD F units, in the form of five 4 unit FT ABBA sets delivered in June and July of 1944.
Southern Pacific then received 20 F3 four unit ABBA sets from May 1947 thru January 1948 numbered #6100A,B,C,D - 6119A,B,C,D. and another 20 F3 four unit ABBA sets from December 1948 thru February 1949 numbered #6120A,B,C,D - 6139A,B,C,D
These were transferred to a power short Texas and New Orleans becoming their F3A's #300 - 337 and F3B's #500 - 537.
Some of these were later rebuilt into T&NO F9Am's #600 - 637 and F9Bm's #700 - 725.
Beginning in 1949, SP began to receive 120 of the new EMD F7 model, from June 1949 thru October 1949, delivered in ABBA sets and numbered 6140A,B,C,D - 6169A,B,C,D.
In December of 1949 SP decided the alpha suffixes had to go, and so a general renumbering of all system F units took place. The F A or cab units were given 61** numbers and the F B units or boosters were placed in the 8*** series.
More F7 units arrived starting in December 1949 and continuing thru to July 1953. These were numbered in the new singular unit series, and delivered to SP, SSW and T&NO


On Line References :

OFF Line References ( sometimes called "Books" ) :

    Compiled by Peter J. McClosky :

  • SP Historic Diesels Vol.10 by Joe Strapac - EMD Freight F Locomotives

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Pictures on these pages are N scale models of the Southern Pacific Diesel Locomotives I have.
Prototype basic historic informations are desumed from sources listed above.
If some of you found errors or have additional informations,
please contact me via e-mail, and I will provide page update and credits.



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Last update :
February 2012

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