FM Erie-built

The Erie-built was the first streamlined, cab-equipped dual service diesel locomotive built by Fairbanks-Morse, introduced as direct competition to such models as the ALCO PA and EMD E-unit. As F-M lacked the space to manufacture the units in their own plant, the work was subcontracted out to General Electric, which produced the locomotives at its Erie, Pennsylvania, facility, thereby giving rise to the name "Erie-built."

FM Erie-built
The lone A-B-A set of Erie-builts ordered by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, built in May 1947, hauled a number of its named passenger trains, among them the Super Chief and San Diegan.
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel
BuilderFairbanks-Morse, at General Electric's Erie, Pennsylvania plant
Build dateDecember 1945 to April 1949
Total produced82 cab units,
29 boosters
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Wheel diameter40 in (1,016 mm)
Minimum curve210 (273 ft (83.21 m) radius
Wheelbase51 ft 11 in (15.82 m)
Length64 ft 10 in (19.76 m)
Width10 ft 6 in (3.20 m)
Height15 ft 7 in (4.75 m)
Prime moverFM 38D-8 1/8
RPM range850 r.p.m. max
Engine typeOpposed piston diesel
Displacement10,369 cu in (169.92 l)
GeneratorFM GT-567
Traction motors(4) GE 746
Cylinder size8.125 in × 10 in (206 mm × 254 mm)
Train heatingSteam generator
Train brakesAir
Performance figures
Power output2,000 hp (1.49 MW)
Tractive effort54,850 lbf (244.0 kN))
DispositionAll scrapped

The unit's 2,000 hp (1,500 kW), ten-cylinder opposed piston engine prime mover provided ample power to its A1A-A1A wheel set. F-M retained the services of renowned industrial designer Raymond Loewy to create a visually impressive car body for the Erie-built. The initial windshield configuration utilized rectangular glass panes, whereas those units manufactured after March, 1947 received windshields with a curved upper contour. Most units rode on conventional General Steel Castings trucks, but many were fitted with specialized, fabricated, assemblies. Eight of nine KCS Erie-builts were later repowered with an EMD 567 series diesel engine rated at 1750 horsepower.

82 cab-equipped lead A units and 29 cabless booster B units were built for American railroads between December 1945 and April 1949. Afterward, F-M continued to market dual service streamlined units under its Consolidated line of locomotives, more commonly referred to as "C-liners".

No FM Erie-Built units are known to survive today.

CP Rail use

After their retirement, four former Pennsylvania Railroad Erie-built B unit hulks were sent to the Canadian Pacific Railway where they were incorporated into a quasi-portable CWR rail welding plant located at Smiths Falls, Ontario. These units were painted in a unique paint scheme almost identical to the Erie Lackawanna Railway's but with Canadian Pacific lettering; these units having been acquired immediately prior to the CPR adopting the red and white CP Rail multi-mark paint scheme. Around 1990, the CWR plant with the Erie-Built hulks were moved from Smiths Falls to a CP yard in the Transcona neighbourhood of Winnipeg, Manitoba in preparation for scrapping. Three sets of trucks from the Erie-Built hulks were salvaged and sent to Oregon, with two being placed under two truckless ex-D&H/ATSF Alco-GE PA-1s that were returned from Mexico, while an unused spare set was stored and eventually scrapped. One Erie-built CWR car did avoid the initial scrapping of the plant in 1994 but was later scrapped separately in 2010.[1]

Units produced

A units (cabs)

RailroadQuantityRoad numbersNotes
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway 2 90, 90B
Chicago and North Western Railway subsidiary
Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway
4 6001A, 6001B, 6002A, 6002B
Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad 14 5A–9A, 5C–9C, 21A, 21B, 22A, 22B Renumbered 5A–14A, 11B–14B
Kansas City Southern Railway 6 60A, 60C, 61A, 61C, 62A, 62C 62A, 62C owned by subsidiary Louisiana and Arkansas Railway.
All except 62C repowered by EMD.
New York Central Railroad 12 4400–4405, 5000–5005
Pennsylvania Railroad 36 9456A–9491A
Union Pacific Railroad 8 700–707 Renumbered 650–657 in 1955

B units (cabless boosters)

RailroadQuantityRoad numbersNotes
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway 1 90A
Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad 6 5B–9B, 21C 21C renumbered 10B
Kansas City Southern Railway 3 60B, 61B, 62B 62B owned by subsidiary Louisiana and Arkansas Railway.
All repowered by EMD.
New York Central Railroad 2 5100–5101
Pennsylvania Railroad 12 9456B–9478B (even numbers only)
Union Pacific Railroad 5 700B, 702B–704B, 706B Renumbered 650B, 652B–654B, 656B in 1955

  *Note: Union Pacific cab/booster/cab set 700 / 700B / 701 was originally Fairbanks-Morse demonstrator set 50-M-1A / 50-M-3B / 50-M-2A; became 981A / 983B / 982A in 1947, then 700 / 700B / 701 in 1948. Cab/booster sets 702 / 702B and 703 / 703B delivered as 984A / 986B and 985A / 987B.

See also

  • ALCO PA and FA, styling of which was inspired by the Erie-built


  • "Fairbanks-Morse 38D8 Diesel Engine". PSRM Diesel Locomotives. Archived from the original on May 26, 2006. Retrieved January 1, 2006.
  • Dorin, Patrick C. (1972). Chicago and North Western Power. Burbank, California: Superior Publishing. p. 157. ISBN 0-87564-715-4.
  • Pinkepank, Jerry A. (1973). The Second Diesel Spotter's Guide. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Kalmbach Publishing. ISBN 978-0-89024-026-7.
  • Kirkland, John F. (November 1985). The Diesel Builders Volume 1: Fairbanks-Morse and Lima-Hamilton. Interurban Press. ISBN 0-916374-69-6.

Dates and roadnumbers of EMD repowered Erie builts

  1. "CPR Smiths Falls Rail Welding Plant". Ottawa Railway History Circle. April 24, 2018.

Further reading

  • Sweetland, David R. (1999). Erie-builts and H20-44s: Fairbanks-Morse's 2,000-Horsepower Pioneers. Withers Publishing, Halifax, PA. ISBN 1-881411-22-2.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.