The FM H-20-44 was a multiple unit-capable end cab road switcher manufactured by Fairbanks-Morse from June 1947 – March 1954, and represented the company's first foray into the road switcher market. The 2,000 hp (1,490 kW), ten-cylinder opposed piston engine locomotive was referred to by F-M's engineering department as the "Heavy Duty" unit. It was configured in a B-B wheel arrangement mounted atop a pair of two-axle AAR Type-B road trucks with all axles powered. H-20-44s shared the same platform and much of the same carbody as the lighter-duty FM H-15-44, which began its production run three months later.
An FM H-20-44 road switcher, retired Union Pacific #1369
In the same manner as other F-M switcher models, the H-20-44 started out displaying a variety of Raymond Loewy-inspired contours, only to have the majority of these superfluous trim features stripped from the last few units built as a cost-cutting measure. Only 96 units were built for American railroads, as few firms saw sufficient value in moving freight in greater quantities or at a higher speeds than was possible with the typical 1,500- and 1,600 horsepower (1,200 kW) four-axle road switchers of the era. Also limiting the model's utility as a true road unit was its lack of a short hood, which the (ironically) lighter-duty H-15-44 did have. Three intact examples of the H-20-44 are known to survive today; all are the property of railroad museums.
|Akron, Canton and Youngstown Railroad||6||500–505|
|Fairbanks-Morse (demonstrator units)||1||2000||(Builder's #L1032; sold to the UP and assigned #DS1366)|
|New York Central Railroad||19||7100–7118|
|Pennsylvania Railroad||38||8917–8942, 9300–9311|
|Pittsburgh and West Virginia||22||50–71|
- "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.
- 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.
- Fairbanks-Morse H20-44 Roster
- Preserved Fairbanks Morse Four-Axle Road Switchers
- Union Pacific #1366 — photo and short history of the second unit built, one of the three surviving FM H-20-44s.