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The Erie-built was the first streamlined, cab-equipped dual service diesel locomotive built by Fairbanks-Morse, introduced as direct competition to such models as the ALCO PA and EMD E-unit. As F-M lacked the space to manufacture the units in their own plant, the work was subcontracted out to General Electric, which produced the locomotives at its Erie, Pennsylvania, facility, thereby giving rise to the name "Erie-built."
The unit's 2,000 hp (1,500 kW), ten-cylinder opposed piston engine prime mover provided ample power to its A1A-A1A wheel set. F-M retained the services of renowned industrial designer Raymond Loewy to create a visually impressive car body for the Erie-built. The initial windshield configuration utilized rectangular glass panes, whereas those units manufactured after March, 1947 received curved glass. Most units rode on conventional General Steel Castings trucks, but many were fitted with specialized, fabricated, assemblies. Eight of nine KCS Erie-builts were later repowered with an EMD 567 series diesel engine rated at 1750 horsepower.
82 cab-equipped lead A units and 29 cabless booster B units were built for American railroads between December 1945 and April 1949. Afterward, F-M continued to market dual service streamlined units under its Consolidated line of locomotives, more commonly referred to as "C-liners".
After their retirement, several Erie-built "B" unit hulks were sent to the Canadian Pacific for their incorporation in a quasi-portable CWR rail welding plant then located at Smiths Falls, Ontario. These units were painted in a reverse "Erie-Lackawannaish" CP Paint Scheme, as this was just before CP Adopted the CP Rail multi-mark paint. Around 1990, the CP CWR plant with the Erie-Built units was moved to CP Transcona near Winnipeg. When-to-be-scrapped, four Erie-built trucks were salvaged from the CP welding plant units and these trucks were sent to Oregon to be placed under two truckless ex-D&H/ATSF Alco-GE PAs returned from Mexico.
No intact Erie-built units are known to survive today.
A units (cabs)
|Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway||2||90, 90B|
|Chicago and North Western Railway subsidiary
Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway
|4||6001A, 6001B, 6002A, 6002B|
|Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad||14||5A–9A, 5C–9C, 21A, 21B, 22A, 22B||Renumbered 5A–14A, 11B–14B|
|Kansas City Southern Railway||6||60A, 60C, 61A, 61C, 62A, 62C||62A, 62C owned by subsidiary Louisiana and Arkansas Railway.
All except 62C repowered by EMD.
|New York Central Railroad||12||4400–4405, 5000–5005|
|Union Pacific Railroad||8||700–707||Renumbered 650–657 in 1955|
B units (cabless boosters)
|Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway||1||90A|
|Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad||6||5B–9B, 21C||21C renumbered 10B|
|Kansas City Southern Railway||3||60B, 61B, 62B||62B owned by subsidiary Louisiana and Arkansas Railway.
All repowered by EMD.
|New York Central Railroad||2||5100–5101|
|Pennsylvania Railroad||12||9456B–9478B (even numbers only)|
|Union Pacific Railroad||5||700B, 702B–704B, 706B||Renumbered 650B, 652B–654B, 656B in 1955|
*Note: Union Pacific cab/booster/cab set 700 / 700B / 701 was originally Fairbanks-Morse demonstrator set 50-M-1A / 50-M-3B / 50-M-2A; became 981A / 983B / 982A in 1947, then 700 / 700B / 701 in 1948. Cab/booster sets 702 / 702B and 703 / 703B delivered as 984A / 986B and 985A / 987B.
- "Fairbanks-Morse 38D8 Diesel Engine". PSRM Diesel Locomotives. Archived from the original on May 26, 2006. Retrieved January 1, 2006.
- Dorin, Patrick C. (1972). Chicago and North Western Power. Burbank, California: Superior Publishing. p. 157. ISBN 0-87564-715-4.
- Pinkepank, Jerry A. (1973). The Second Diesel Spotter’s Guide. Milwaukee, WI: Kalmbach Publishing Company. ISBN 0-89024-026-4.
- Kirkland, John F. (November 1985). The Diesel Builders Volume 1: Fairbanks-Morse and Lima-Hamilton. Interurban Press. ISBN 0-916374-69-6.
Dates and roadnumbers of EMD repowered Erie builts http://www.utahrails.net/ajkristopans/REPOWEREDLOCOMOTIVES.php
- 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.