The E9 is a 2,400-horsepower (1,790 kW), A1A-A1A passenger train-hauling diesel locomotive built by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division of La Grange, Illinois between April 1954 and January 1964. 100 cab-equipped A units were produced and 44 cabless booster B units, all for service in the United States. The E9 was the tenth and last model of EMD E-unit and differed from the earlier E8 as built only by the newer engines and a different, flusher-fitting mounting for the headlight glass, the latter being the only visible difference. Since some E8s were fitted with this, it is not a reliable way to distinguish the two.

UP #949 leads an excursion through Clinton, Iowa in August 1995.
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel
BuilderGeneral Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD)
Build dateApril 1954 – January 1964
Total produced100 A units, 44 B units
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Wheel diameter36 in (914 mm)
Minimum curve57° (?) 104.79 ft or 31.94 m
27° (?) 214.18 ft or 65.28 m
Length70 ft 3 in (21.41 m)
Width10 ft 7 12 in (3.239 m)
Height14 ft 7 in (4.45 m)
Loco weightA unit: 315,000 lb (143,000 kg),
B unit: 290,000 lb (130,000 kg)
Fuel typeDiesel
Prime mover(2) EMD 567C
Engine typeV12 Two-stroke diesel
Traction motors(4) GM D37
Performance figures
Maximum speed117 mph (188 km/h)
Power output2,400 hp (1,790 kW)
Tractive effort56,500 lb (25,600 kg) starting,
31,000 lb (14,000 kg) continuous
LocaleUnited States
Dispositionmost scrapped, several preserved, none in revenue service though some used on special trains

The E9 has two 1,200 hp (895 kW), V12 model 567C engines, each engine driving one generator to power two traction motors.

Engine and powertrain

The E9 uses twin 12 cylinder 567C engines developing a total of 2,400 hp (1,800 kW) at 800 rpm. Designed specifically for railroad locomotives, this Roots-blown, mechanically-aspirated 2-stroke 45-degree V-type, with an 8 12 by 10 in (216 by 254 mm), bore by stroke, giving 567 cubic inches (9.29 L) displacement per cylinder, remained in production until 1966. Two D.C. generators, one per engine, provide power to four motors, two on each truck, in an A1A-A1A arrangement. This truck design was used on all E units and on MP 7100 and CB&Q 9908 power cars. EMD has built all of its major components since 1939.[1][2]


The E9 powered American passenger and mail trains from the 1950s into the late 1970s. Many of America's finest trains such as Union Pacific Railroad's "City" fleet, Burlington's "Zephyr" fleet and Southern Pacific Railroad's Coast Daylight and Sunset Limited had E9s pulling them. E9s and their E7 and E8 kin ran throughout the country on lesser-known passenger trains, Chicago's network of commuter trains and many mail and express trains. As America's passenger train network shrank due to unprofitibility, Union Pacific, Rock Island and Illinois Central Railroad began using E9s on freight trains.

Amtrak, founded in 1971, bought 36 E9As and 23 E9Bs from the Union Pacific, Milwaukee Road, B&O and SCL. Amtrak used the E9s until 1979 and converted some E9B units to steam generator and head end power cars.[3][4]

Original owners

A units
B units
Road numbers
A units
Road numbers
B units
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
34, 36, 38, 40
all bought by Amtrak
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad
Renumbered into 9900-9924 series (with 9 E8As).
Rebuilt with 645 power assemblies and HEP.[5]
Used in Chicago suburban service into the 1990s.
Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad
E9m rebuilt from wrecked EMD E7A (same number).
to Missouri Pacific Railroad.[6]
Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad
Built to Union Pacific specifications for City train service. Renumbered 30ABC–35ABC
Built with Head end power for commuter service
Florida East Coast Railway
to Illinois Central 2036-2040 in 1969 via Precision National
Illinois Central Railroad
Kansas City Southern Railway
Model E9m
Seaboard Air Line Railroad
bought by Amtrak
Southern Pacific Railroad
Union Pacific Railroad
900B-904B, 910B–913B,
Units 949, 951 and 963B are part of UP's heritage fleet

Surviving examples

Forty-two E9 locomotives survive today. Five E9s are owned by the Illinois Railway Museum, in Union, Illinois. A number of railroads keep a small number in service for hauling inspection specials, charter passenger trains, investor tours, and other special trains. The Union Pacific Railroad rosters three E9s (951 and 949), and a B unit, 963B (built as UP E9B 970B).

See also



  1. Pinkepank 1973, pp. 13, 26, 106, 124.
  2. Ross 2003, pp. 273–274.
  3. "The E8B, E-9B including heater cars, HEP cars made from E-9Bs". Amtrak Photo Archive: an unofficial Amtrak site. Archived from the original on March 26, 2016.
  4. Pinkepank & Marre 1979, pp. 143–145.
  5. Pinkepank & Marre 1979, p. 132.
  6. "Missouri Pacific Locomotives". www.thedieselshop.us. Retrieved 2019-06-17.


  • Lamb, J. Parker (2007). Evolution of the American Diesel Locomotive. Railroads Past and Present. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-34863-0.
  • Marre, Louis A. (1995). Diesel Locomotives: The First 50 Years: A Guide to Diesels Built Before 1972. Railroad Reference Series. Waukesha, Wisconsin: Kalmbach Publishing. ISBN 978-0-89024-258-2.
  • Pinkepank, Jerry A. (1973). The Second Diesel Spotter's Guide. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Kalmbach Publishing. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-89024-026-7.
  • Pinkepank, Jerry A.; Marre, Louis A. (1979). Diesel Spotters Guide Update. Kalmbach Books. ISBN 0-89024-029-9.
  • Reich, Sy (1973). Diesel Locomotive Rosters – The Railroad Magazine Series. Wayner Publications. No Library of Congress or ISBN.
  • Ross, David, ed. (2003). The Encyclopedia of Trains and Locomotives. Barnes and Noble. ISBN 9780760796795.
  • Schafer, Mike (1998). Vintage Diesel Locomotives. Enthusiast Color Series. Osceola, Wisconsin: MBI Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7603-0507-2.
  • Solomon, Brian (2000). The American Diesel Locomotive. Osceola, Wisconsin: MBI Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-7603-0666-6.
  • Solomon, Brian (2006). EMD Locomotives. St. Paul, Minnesota: Voyageur Press. ISBN 978-0-7603-2396-0.
  • Solomon, Brian (2010). Vintage Diesel Power. Minneapolis, Minnesota: MBI Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7603-3795-0.
  • Solomon, Brian (2011). Electro-Motive E-Units and F-Units: The Illustrated History of North America's Favorite Locomotives. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Voyageur Press. ISBN 978-0-7603-4007-3.
  • Solomon, Brian (2012). North American Locomotives: A Railroad-by-Railroad Photohistory. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Voyageur Press. ISBN 978-0-7603-4370-8.
  • Wilson, Jeff (2002). E Units: Electro-Motive's Classic Streamliners. Classic Trains / Golden Years of Railroading series. Waukesha, WI, USA: Kalmbach Publishing. ISBN 0890246068.
  • Extra 2200 South #43 November December 1973 Amtrak Roster by Dick Will p. 13
  • Extra 2200 South #43 November December 1973 E8/E9 Roster and article by Dan Dover and Win Cuisinier (Preston Cook) pp. 14–24
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