The EMD GP38 is a 4-axle road switcher diesel-electric locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division between January 1966 and December 1971. The locomotive's prime mover was an EMD 645 16-cylinder engine that generated 2,000 horsepower (1.49 MW).

EMD GP38 of the Gateway Western Railway
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderGeneral Motors Electro-Motive Division (GM-EMD)
General Motors Diesel (GMD)
Build dateJanuary 1966 – December 1971
Total produced706
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Fuel capacity2,600 US gal (9,800 l; 2,200 imp gal)
Prime moverEMD 16-645
AspirationRoots type supercharger
Performance figures
Power output2,000 hp (1.49 MW)
LocaleNorth America

The company built 706 GP38s for North American railroads.

In 1972, EMD began making an updated model, the GP38-2.


A number of GP38s have been rebuilt into the equivalent of a GP38-2.

Conversely, a number of higher horsepower 40 Series locomotives have been rebuilt into the equivalent of a GP38-2 (GP38AC), by the removal of the turbocharger and the substitution of twin Roots blowers.

In 2007, Norfolk Southern rebuilt a 1969 GP38 into an experimental electric locomotive dubbed the Altoona Works BP4.

See also


  • Marre, Louis A. & Pinkepank, Jerry A. (1989). The Contemporary Diesel Spotter's Guide. Waukesha, WI: Kalmbach Books. ISBN 0-89024-088-4. LCCN 88083625. OCLC 19959644.
  • Pinkepank, Jerry A. (1973). The Second Diesel Spotter's Guide. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Kalmbach Publishing. ISBN 978-0-89024-026-7.
  • Sarberenyi, Robert. EMD GP38 and GP38AC Original Owners
  • Norfolk Southern 2014 Sustainability Report

Media related to EMD GP38 locomotives at Wikimedia Commons

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