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EMC's and D's - The Diesel That "Did It"

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  • EMC's and D's - The Diesel That "Did It"

    Yes, there were diesels before...and, yes, there have been diesels that have come later...but no one can doubt the critical role the Electro-Motive Co. played in the upstart of the diesel phenomenon with the late 1939 debut of EMC 103, the renowned FT demonstrator ABBA unit set.

    The Electro-Motive Division (EMD) was formed a couple of years later in 1941 when General Motors merged EM with the Winston Engine Co. Since that time we have witnessed those ubiquitous Geeps replace aging F-units and have seen a myriad other diesel offerings hit the scene from this successful company.

    I'll invite you to post any EMC or EMD offerings found on your layout, but the true challenge will be for our avid railfans to post shots of prototype EMD diesels.

    Good luck, and I know that any images of F-units from "outside your layout room" will end up being the real "diamonds in the rough" here!

    I'll start it off the easy way...with some model shots from the layout with my Boston and Maine version...FT #4217.

    The B&M saw the advantage these units offered over steam as they improved transport time carrying wartime supplies through the great tunnel on their east-west mainline to Boston.

    This shot is for my buddy, Chris, who likes those "looking up" angles. FT #4217 has exited Haney Gorge and is traversing the New England River Bridge inbound to North Dover.

    A slow order restriction is in effect as the train exits Marshall Cut and will soon pass the Conley Lumber & Coal facility at Milepost 39.

    It's another day and we spot the 4217 outbound from Boston at the approach signal to the New England River Bridge.

    A fellow railfan caught the same picture while standing far below in the river gorge.

    So, there you have it. My version of the FT on the layout. Hmmm, I wonder if anyone has a real life image they can post of one of these beautiful beasts from the past...or the later Geeps and others?
    Mike Hamer

    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

  • #2
    Nice shots Mike. Sure would like to see the RSs on the Alco blog
    Chris Lyon


    • #3
      Hi ya Chris. I just posted an Alco over on the other thread. Now it's your turn to post an EMD here! Ha!

      I'm pretty certain you've got some GP40-2's or SD70MAC's hiding somewhere in your photo archive. Don't be shy!

      Ahhh, but does anybody have some E's or F's or early Geeps hiding away? Better still, any shots of the earthworm M10000 or shots of the Budd Company's Zephyr! Just a little challenge to everyone out there!
      Mike Hamer

      Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


      • #4
        I'll kick in a photograph of two GP9's from my layout painted up in the McGinnis "Bluebird" scheme with the interlaced B&M on the flanks. This new livery (as was the New Haven's)was designed by Mrs. McGinnis and looked rather splashy on the B&M units.

        The 1746 teams up with a Bluebird brother 1701 to haul this very short train into town. Judging by the power today, there will certainly be many lifts in North Dover!
        Mike Hamer

        Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


        • #5
          Finally I have completed enough of my layout where I can post a picture.

          You can still see the coffee containers in the background which hold my ground foam in the second picture. :erm:

          This is EMD GP7u which was built in 1951 for the U.S. Army, #1837. The Alaska Railroad acquired it in 1977 and numbered it 1837 (later #1809). It was sold to General Metals (Anchorage, AK) in 1998, to BDLX in 1999, to Midwest Locomotive in 1999 and finally to the Missouri Central.

          Since I model 1986 it was still running around Alaska at that time.

          The very clean engine is a Walthers Train Line product which like most of the offerings from the major manufacturers for the Alaska Railroad is only somewhat representative of the real locomotive.

          Approaching the town of Nenana Alaska

          Proceeding through Nenana

          <img src="" alt="" /><br /><br>John Bagley<br /><br>Modeling the Alaska Railroad in HO in Wildwood Georgia.


          • #6
            The real deal from my visit to Alaska in 2003.

            While on vacation we spent one day at The Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry (MATI) for short in Wasilla.

            This museum has exhibits of aircraft, trains, boats, cars, trucks, snow machines, construction equipment, and farm tractors.

            While we looked at all of the exhibits I spent most of my time looking at trains.

            The indoor exhibits are housed here.

            An EMD F7 ARR #1500. This locomotive starred in the movie "Runaway Train"

            <img src="" alt="" /><br /><br>John Bagley<br /><br>Modeling the Alaska Railroad in HO in Wildwood Georgia.


            • #7
              Hi John,

              Wow! A model "and" a prototype posting! F7 to boot! Amazing! That Alaska paint scheme is very classy on both the Geep and the F-unit.

              John, your layout is progressing beautifully and both pictures are fabulous. Your mountain adds a dramatic backdrop for the diesel unit as the train makes its way down grade...or is that the camera angle?

              I see that the F7 1500 is on display at the museum. Does the train run there or is it a static display? Also, is this the same unit I saw trackside a number of years ago in Palmer, Mass. while travelling to the great train show in Springfield?

              Thanks for the sharing, John. Indeed, you uncovered a "diamond in the rough" with the 1500! [:-star][:-star][:-star]
              Mike Hamer

              Ottawa, Ontario, Canada





              • #8
                Thanks Mike,

                Yes the locomotive descends into the village.

                The F7 was being restored when I was there and I think it has run since then.

                Everything except the electrical system was in pretty good shape at that time.

                Number 1500 has always been in Alaska since when it was retired it was immediately donated to the museum.

                The Alaska Railroad bought quite a few F7's in 1952 and 53 and they all stayed working on the railroad until 1985 or 86.

                Number 1500 at the end of her career starred in the movie Runaway Train with Jon Voight.

                The Alaska Railroad would not allow the color or the name to show so they just painted it a black color for the movie which had all its locomotive scenes shot in Alaska.

                F7 number 1508 was for a while in Massachusetts and is now owned and used by the Adirondack Scenic Railroad which is in New York I think.

                This must be the one you saw since all the others were scrapped or sold to railroads in the west.
                <img src="" alt="" /><br /><br>John Bagley<br /><br>Modeling the Alaska Railroad in HO in Wildwood Georgia.


                • #9
                  While its true the early cab units "did it",it was the GP7 that nailed the coffin shut.


                  • #10
                    Neat thread, guys, and a great idea, Mike! :up: :up: I hope to see more photos and info here, especially because I know so little about Diesels myself. [:-dunce] I've always been a "feedwater" kind of guy.


                    • #11
                      Hi Mike. Had to dig Deep, but her is an FA hauling the Polar Bear Express returning from Moosanee to Toronto. It is at the Gravenhurst Station in Ontario.

                      Chris Lyon



                      • #12
                        Hee's one that has seen better days:


                        • #13
                          Here ya go guy's.


                          Great Idea for a thread Mike!!

                          Lets see what I can contribute.

                          EMD SD70Mac's

                          EMD F7's A's and B's:

                          They need repairs and servicing.

                          Well that's enough for now.

                          Mike C mentioned the prototype information for diesels well I have the prototype info for the various types of locomotives I run on my web site.



                          Mike J


                          • #14
                            Via really liked the F Units on the Toronto Windsor run. One is a back to back at Union Station in 1985 and the next is same time frame in Guelph

                            Chris Lyon



                            • #15
                              Thanks, John, for the info on the Alaskan F-unit I spotted in Massachusetts, the 1508! Larry, those were fabulous "vintage" shots of the F's. Indeed, the Geeps finished the job. Mike, I'm glad you're enjoying the thread although you're a steam kinda guy! It's funny, whenever Trevor Marshall brought his B&M steam power over to my layout, I'd get a strong urge. Man those moguls looked handsome plying my pike's rails. Bob, I've always loved that model of yours in its everlasting state of disrepair! Mike(Dreamweaver), that renowned shot of the Santa Fe F-unit just "hanging around" remains remains forever etched in my railroad memory banks! Thanks for all the great shots from the layout too. Chris, great shots of the Northlander and those blue VIA units certainly were "eye candy" to the ardent railfan!

                              I've always liked this shot of Maine Central's F2 #672 crossing the Salmon River and entering the state of New Hampshire on my Boston and Maine layout.

                              And, Mike(Dreamweaver) is a similar style roster shot of an E's and F's in North Dover!
                              Mike Hamer

                              Ottawa, Ontario, Canada