#78 Electro-Motive FT Freight-service Diesel-Electric Locomotive


Prototype of the first mass-produced diesel-electric locomotives used for US freight service.

This lead unit of the four-unit EMD-103 demonstrator locomotive became the prototype of the first mass-produced diesel-electric locomotives used for freight service in the United States. They rapidly replaced the steam locomotive. Called "the train that did it" in a February 1960 edition of Trains magazine, it was a revolutionary step for the rail industry. The design team was led by Richard M. Dilworth, chief engineer of the Electro-Motive Division of the General Motors Corporation. After its eleven-month testing phase running hauls in thirty-five states between November 1939 and October 1940, the locomotive was reconditioned, painted Southern Railway's black and white livery, and worked two decades on the CNO&TP line. It was in regular service as Southern Railway Locomotive #6100 from 1941 to 1960.

Diesel-Electric Locomotive

Download pdf


Landmark Location

National Museum of Transportation
3015 Barrett Station Road
St. Louis, MO 63122
Phone: 314.965.6885

Visiting Info

Regular hours

Ceremony Notes

June 26, 1982

You are now leaving ASME.org