EMD NW5

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EMD NW5
GN 192 Duluth.JPG
GN 192 is preserved at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum
Type and origin
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder General Motors
Electro-Motive Division
Model NW5
Build date December 1946 - February 1947
Total produced 13
Specifications
Configuration:
 • AAR B-B
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Trucks Blomberg B
Prime mover EMD 12-567A
Engine type V12 diesel
Cylinders 12
Loco brake Straight air
Train brakes Air
Performance figures
Power output 1,000 hp (750 kW)

The EMD NW5 was a 1,000 hp (750 kW) road switcher diesel-electric locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division of La Grange, Illinois between December 1946 and February 1947.

A total of 13 were produced, of which the majority (ten locomotives) went to the Great Northern Railway. A further two were delivered to the Union Belt of Detroit (though lettered "Fort Street Union Depot") as their #1 and #2, one of which is still in existence today at the Florida Gulf Coast Railroad Museum. The final locomotive was sold to the Southern Railway where it became #2100.

Description[edit]

The NW5, like the NW3 that preceded it, was basically an EMD NW2 switcher hood, prime mover (a V12 EMD 567 diesel engine) and main generator on a stretched frame and riding on road trucks (the standard EMD Blomberg B design).

Large, road-sized fuel and water tanks were fitted between the trucks under the frame. The NW5 design was also fitted with a steam generator to heat passenger cars. The NW3 had this fitted in an extended cab and extended hood section, and the NW5 had a standard EMD switcher cab about three-quarters of the way down the frame, above the inboard axle of the rear truck, and a fairly high short hood on the other side to house the steam generator.

Similarity to Alco design[edit]

This was fundamentally identical to what ALCO had done to create the successful RS-1 design—fitting a switcher long hood and cab on a stretched frame and road trucks, with a short hood on the other side for the steam generator—and the NW5 can be seen as EMD's answer to the RS-1.

However, EMD were seemingly not very keen on producing road switchers at the time; Hayden speculates that the small profit and small numbers were not appealing, and that only when the prospects of high sales became more obvious did they place much interest in the concept.

Original buyers[edit]

Railroad Quantity Road numbers Notes
Great Northern Railway
10
186–195
to Burlington Northern 986–995
Southern Railway
1
2100
to Mass Central 2100
Union Belt of Detroit (“Fort Street Union Depot”)
2
1–2
FSUD #2 on display at Florida Railroad Museum, out of service.
Total 13

Subsequent history[edit]

Historically, railroads had not realized much profit on local and branchline service, and therefore were unwilling to spend much on equipment for them; most were handed down from more prestigious service.

All ten Great Northern units survived to the Burlington Northern Railroad merger. In BN service, the initial '1' of their numbers was replaced by a '9', and they were repainted into the railroad's green and black scheme. #989 burned in 1978 and was retired, but all other locomotives survived till withdrawal from BN service in 1982; this was a service life of 35 years for their first owners. Most were scrapped at this point.

See also[edit]

References[edit]