FM H-16-44

The FM H-16-44 was a road-switcher produced by Fairbanks-Morse from April 1950 February 1963. The locomotive shared an identical platform and carbody with the predecessor Model FM H-15-44 (but not the FM H-20-44 end cab road switcher which used a different carbody and frame and a larger prime mover), and were equipped with the same eight-cylinder opposed piston engine that had been uprated to 1,600 horsepower (1,200 kW). The H-16-44 was configured in a B-B wheel arrangement, mounted atop a pair of two-axle AAR Type-B road trucks with all axles powered. In late 1950, the AAR trucks were almost exclusively replaced with the same units found on the company's "C-liner" locomotives.[1]

FM H-16-44
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
Build dateApril 1950 February 1963
Total produced299
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Length51 ft 0 in (15.54 m)
Loco weight250,000 lb (113.4 tonnes)
Prime moverFM 38D-8 1/8
Engine typeTwo-stroke diesel
AspirationRoots blower
Displacement8,295 cu in (135,930 cm3)
Cylinders8 (Opposed piston)
Cylinder size8.125 in × 10 in (206 mm × 254 mm)
TransmissionDC generator,
DC traction motors
Loco brakeStraight air
Train brakesAir
Performance figures
Maximum speed65 mph (105 km/h)
Power output1,600 hp (1.19 MW)
Tractive effort42,125 lbf (187.4 kN)
LocaleNorth America

As with many of their FM contemporaries, the H-16-44s produced through 1954 (ATSF #3010 for example) featured numerous Raymond Loewy design touches, in this case largely manifested in the form of sloping body lines and a noticeable protrusion in the long hood around the radiator shutters. Cab side window units include inoperable "half moon"-shaped panes, resulting in an oblong-shaped assembly. To reduce manufacturing costs, the curved window panes were eliminated from later models, and from 1953 onward the raised, elongated headlight mounting was omitted. Units built in the "Spartanized" fashion can be spotted by their straight ends, coupled with the lack of superfluous trim. Ventilation slots were added at the battery box to reduce the possibility of explosions. The final production phase, which commenced in March 1955, turned out units that most closely resembled the FairbanksMorse "Train Master" series.

209 were built for American railroads, 58 were manufactured from March 1955 June 1957 by the Canadian Locomotive Company for use in Canada, and 32 units were exported to Mexico. Only three intact examples of the H-16-44 are known to survive today; one is the property of a Canadian railroad historical society, while the others are owned by Chihuahua al Pacífico and displayed in front of two of their depots in Mexico (at least one has also been put to use by the motion picture industry, and was seen dressed out as "SCOP #101" in the town of Nuevo Casa Grande in May, 1988).

Units produced by Fairbanks-Morse (19501963)

Railroad Quantity Road numbers
Akron, Canton and Youngstown Railroad 8 201208
Alabama Great Southern Railroad 6 65456550
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway 20 28002819
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 10 906, 907, 925927, 67056709
Bosque de Chihuahua 2 501, 1000
Central Railroad of New Jersey 4 15141517
Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad   37 24502516
Chihuahua al Pacífico 30 501525, 600605
Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad 6 930935
Long Island Rail Road 8 15011509
Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad 5 1591, 17311734
New York Central Railroad 13 70007012
New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad 25 560569, 16001619
Pennsylvania Railroad 10 88078816
Pittsburgh and West Virginia Railroad 4 9093
Southern Railway 10 21462155
Union Pacific 3 DS1340DS1342
Virginian Railway 40 1049

Units produced by the Canadian Locomotive Company (19551957)

Railroad Quantity Road numbers
Canadian National Railway 18 18411858
Canadian Pacific Railway 40 85478556, 86018610, 87098728


  1. Pinkepank, p. FM-333/FM-334


  • "Fairbanks-Morse 38D8 Diesel Engine". PSRM Diesel Locomotives. Archived from the original on May 26, 2006. Retrieved January 1, 2006.
  • 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.

Further reading

  • Sweetland, David R. (2004). H15-44 and H16-44: Fairbank-Morse's Distinctive Road Switchers. Withers Publishing, Halifax, PA. ISBN 1-881411-41-9.
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