FM Erie-built

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FM Erie-built
FM Erie-built AT&SF90.jpg
The lone A-B-A set of Erie-builts ordered by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, built in May 1947, hauled a number of its named passenger trains, among them the Super Chief and San Diegan.
Type and origin
Power type Diesel
Builder Fairbanks-Morse, at General Electric's Erie, Pennsylvania plant
Model Erie-built
Build date December 1945 to April 1949
Total produced 82 cab units,
29 boosters
 • AAR A1A-A1A
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Wheel diameter 40 in (1,016 mm)
Minimum curve 210 (273 ft (83.21 m) radius
Wheelbase 51 ft 11 in (15.82 m)
Length 64 ft 10 in (19.76 m)
Width 10 ft 6 in (3.20 m)
Height 15 ft 7 in (4.75 m)
Prime mover FM 38D-10
RPM range 850 r.p.m. max
Engine type Opposed piston diesel
Displacement 10,369 cu in (169.92 l)
Generator FM GT-567
Traction motors (4) GE 746
Cylinders 10
Cylinder size 8.125 in × 10 in (206 mm × 254 mm)
Train heating Steam generator
Train brakes Air
Performance figures
Power output 2,000 hp (1.49 MW)
Tractive effort 54,850 lbf (244.0 kN))
Disposition All scrapped

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.

Units produced[edit]

A units (cabs)[edit]

Railroad Quantity Road numbers Notes
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
Pennsylvania Railroad 36 9456A–9491A
Union Pacific Railroad 8 700–707 Renumbered 650–657 in 1955
Total 82

B units (cabless boosters)[edit]

Railroad Quantity Road numbers Notes
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
Total 29

  *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.

See also[edit]

  • ALCO PA and FA, styling of which was inspired by the Erie-built


Dates and roadnumbers of EMD repowered Erie builts

Further reading[edit]

  • 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. 

External links[edit]