GE Universal Series

The GE Universal Series locomotives were diesel locomotives originally launched by GE in early 1956. The latest variant in the Universal Series was built in 2005. Initially, there were nine U-series models: U4B, U6B, U9B, U9C, U12B, U12C, U18B, U18C and UD18B. They were designed to be readily adaptable to different track gauges for export markets and very reliable. The U5B and U8B appeared later, being first built for RFFSA, Brazil in 1961.[1]


The Universal Series has at its heart the Cooper Bessemer engine. General Electric built four demonstrators in 1954 with Cooper Bessemer engines for road testing. This demonstrator set was numbered the 750ABCD. The demonstrators were made up of two cab units and two booster units. The demonstrators spent considerable time testing on the Erie Railroad. The 750AB were UM12s built with eight cylinder, FVBL-8 engines rated at 1200 horsepower. The 750DC were UM18s built with 12 cylinder, FVBL-12 engines rated at 1800 horsepower. After testing the units were rebuilt in October 1959 at GE-Erie with 16 cylinder engines rated at 2000 horsepower. The former demonstrators were sold to the Union Pacific as UM20s in April 1960 and numbered UP 620AB-621AB. The UM20s were retired in October 1963.


While the GE 750 demonstrator was still testing GE built two XP24 demonstrators, numbers 751 and 752 in 1959. These units became the first U25Bs. The GE U25B became the first widely sold domestic market GE Universal Series locomotive. North American Universal Series locomotives are often called "U-Boats" by railfans and model railroaders.

Other Universal Series locomotives

See also



  1. Palmano, Steve. "GE Export U-Series Model Evolution". GE Export Page.
  2. Middleton, John N. (2002). Railways of Southern Africa Locomotive Guide - 2002 (as amended by Combined Amendment List 4, January 2009) (2nd, Dec 2002 ed.). Herts, England: Beyer-Garratt Publications. pp. 38, 41–42.


  • 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.
  • McDonnell, Greg (1994). U-Boats: General Electric's Diesel Locomotives. Toronto: Boston Mills Press. ISBN 1550461125.
  • 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 (2003). GE Locomotives: 110 Years of General Electric Motive Power. St. Paul, MN, USA: MBI Publishing. ISBN 9780760313619.
  • Solomon, Brian (2010). Modern Locomotives: High Horsepower Diesels 1966–2000. New York: Crestline. ISBN 978-0785826811.
  • Solomon, Brian (2010). Vintage Diesel Power. Minneapolis, Minnesota: MBI Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7603-3795-0.
  • Solomon, Brian (2012). North American Locomotives: A Railroad-by-Railroad Photohistory. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Voyageur Press. ISBN 978-0-7603-4370-8.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.