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Seaboard Air Line EMD SDP35 1114.jpg
Seaboard Air Line 1114, an EMD SDP35
Type and origin
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder General Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD)
Model SDP35
Build date July 1964 – September 1965
Total produced 35
 • AAR C-C
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Prime mover EMD 567D3A
Engine type V16 diesel
Cylinders 16
Performance figures
Power output 2,500 hp (1.9 MW)

An EMD SDP35 is a 6-axle diesel-electric locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division between July 1964 and September 1965. Power was provided by an EMD 567D3A 16-cylinder engine which generated 2,500 horsepower (1.9 MW). Essentially this locomotive was an EMD SD35 equipped with a steam generator, located in the extended long hood end, for passenger use. 35 examples of this locomotive model were built for American railroads.

The SD35 and SDP35 were so similar that EMD published a single operator's manual to cover both.

With its older E-units reaching the end of their serviceable lives, Seaboard Air Line asked EMD for a passenger version of the SD35 that could double as a freight unit, especially if passenger trains continued to be discontinued. EMD came up with the SDP35, and SAL placed an order, trading in E4 and E6 units. The first of SAL's new SDP35s was delivered in summer 1964.

The SDP35 wound up going to four railroads: SAL (20, numbered 1100–1119), Atlantic Coast Line (1, numbered 550), Louisville and Nashville (4, numbered 1700–1703) and Union Pacific (10, numbered 1400–1409).

Although SAL successfully used the SDP35 in high-speed passenger service as well as on expedited freight and piggyback trains, Union Pacific found it unsuitable and relegated its entire fleet to freight service while its famous yellow E-units continued to handle passengers. With the July 1, 1967 Seaboard Coast Line merger, SAL units received passenger numbers 601-620 and also served SCL in both high-speed freight service and on passenger trains. With the arrival of Amtrak, SCL renumbered them into the freight series and numbers 1951–1970. Later in their SCL years, they were renumbered again and assigned into the heavy yard duty and assigned 4500-series numbers. ACL's lone unit was renumbered 1099 when the line acquired former MKT E8s. At the SCL merger, it was assigned number 600 and then later received SCL number 1950. Louisville & Nashvilles four SDP35s, (1700–1703) ordered in spring 1964 to replace ageing E and F units in passenger service were completed and delivered without steam generation equipment installed, after approval of several passenger train cancellations from Government regulatory Agencies were approved during the locomotives assembly, leaving L&N with a surplus of passenger locomotives. After delivery L&N assigned the SDP35s to general freight service, installing radio control locomotive equipment in the steam generator compartment, and using the engines in locotrol service until 1969. In 1966, when the EMD 645 prime mover superseded the EMD 567, the SDP35 was replaced in EMD's catalog by the EMD SDP40.

Original owners[edit]

Railroad Quantity Road numbers Notes
Seaboard Air Line Railroad
1100–1119 to Seaboard Coast Line Railroad 601-620, 1951-1970. 1114 preserved (static display) in Hamlet, NC.
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad
550 renumbered 1099, to Seaboard Coast Line Railroad 600,1950, Later L&N 7035.
Louisville and Nashville Railroad
1700–1703 renumbered 1221-1224
Union Pacific Railroad
Total 35


Seaboard Air Line Railroad 1104, rebuilt, serves as Squaw Creek Southern Railroad 11.


Seaboard Air Line Railroad 1114 is displayed by the depot in Hamlet, North Carolina. It is owned by the National Railroad Museum and Hall of Fame.

Former SAL 1111 is the last operating SDP-35 in its original carbody, as Southwest Portland Cement 411, now CEMEX, in Victorville, California.


  • Louisville & Nashville Diesel Locomotives. Charles B. Castner, Ronald Flanery, Lee Gorden

ISBN 1-883089-31-X, 1997 TLC Publishing.