FM H-12-44

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FM H-12-44
SP 2380 switching Del Monte at SJ 4-71 (17120050020).jpg
SP #2380 backs the Del Monte into San Jose in April 1971, a week before the Amtrak takeover.
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
Build dateMay 1950 – March 1961
Total produced336
Gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm)
TrucksAAR type A
Wheel diameter40 in (1,016 mm)
Minimum curve29.50 (194 ft (59.13 m) radius)
Wheelbase33 ft 6 in (10.21 m)
Length48 ft 10 in (14.88 m)
Width10 ft 4 in (3.15 m)
Height14 ft 6+58 in (4.44 m)
Loco weight240,000 lb (108.9 t)
Prime moverFM 38D-8 1/8
Engine typeOpposed piston Two-stroke diesel
AspirationRoots blower
Displacement6,222 cu in (101.96 l)
GeneratorFM DGZJ
Traction motors(4) FM DRZH
Cylinders6 (Opposed piston)
Cylinder size8.125 in × 10 in (206 mm × 254 mm)
Loco brakeStraight air
Train brakesAir
Performance figures
Maximum speed60 mph (97 km/h)
Power output1,200 hp (895 kW)
Tractive effort40,440 lbf (179.9 kN))
LocaleNorth America
DispositionMost scrapped, sixteen examples preserved

The FM H-12-44 was a yard switcher produced by Fairbanks-Morse from May 1950 until March 1961. The units had a 1,200-horsepower (890 kW), six-cylinder opposed piston engine prime mover, and were configured in a B-B wheel arrangement mounted atop a pair of two-axle AAR Type-A switcher trucks, with all axles powered and geared for a top speed of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h).

Of the 336 H-12-44 locomotives produced, 303 were for American railroads, 30 were made between August 1951 to June 1956 by the Canadian Locomotive Company for use in Canada, and one was exported to Mexico.

H-12-44s were visually indistinguishable from the predecessor FM H-10-44 until September 1952, when the Raymond Loewy design elements were removed to reduce production costs. Cab lines were squared-off, the slanted-nose styling was discontinued, and the roof visor was eliminated. The following year, the fairing over the battery box was removed and louvers added to reduce the chance of battery explosions. Production paused from May to October 1956, after which the carbodies were shortened by some three feet and outfitted with a deeper side skirt.

Sixteen intact examples of the H-12-44 are known to survive, all of which are owned by railroad museums or historical societies.

One FM H-12-44TS, Santa Fe 543, now resides at the Illinois Railway Museum.

Units produced by Fairbanks-Morse (1950–1961)[edit]

Railroad Quantity Road numbers Notes
Fairbanks-Morse (demonstrator) 1 76 to Yankeetown Dock Corporation 1
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway 59 503–540, 544–564 3 custom-built H12-44TS locomotives 541-543. 543 survives today
Ayrshire Collieries Corporation 1 1 to Thunderbird Collieries 1;
to Yankeetown Dock 3
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 17 196–197, 310–319, 9722–9726 310–319 renumbered 9710–9719,
196–197 renumbered 9720–9721
Canadian National Railway 30 1630–1659 built by Canadian Locomotive Company
Central of Georgia Railway 4 315–318
Chicago and North Western Railway 9 1071–1072, 1110–1116
Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad ("Milwaukee Road") 48 1826–1847, 2309–2325 Renumbered 700–710, 715–744, 750–756 (not in order)
Columbia and Cowlitz Railway 1 D-2 Renumbered #700)
Ferrocarril de Chihuahua al Pacífico 1 70
Indianapolis Union Railway 3 19–21
Kentucky and Indiana Terminal Railroad 7 60–66
Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad ("Soo Line") 5 315–319
Minnesota Western Railway 1 10 to Minneapolis, Northfield and Southern Railway 10
New York Central Railroad 27 9111–9137 To Penn Central 8300-8326
New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad ("Nickel Plate Road") 22 134–155 to Norfolk and Western Railway 2134–2155
Pennsylvania Railroad 16 8708–8723 to Penn Central 8327–8342
Sandersville Railroad 1 100 Renumbered 10
St. Louis-San Francisco Railway ("Frisco") 4 282–285
Southern Pacific Company 43 1486–1491, 1529–1574, 1577–1596
Southern Pacific (Texas and New Orleans Railroad) 2 119–120 to Southern Pacific 1575–1576; renumbered 2373–2374
Tennessee Valley Authority 1 22
United States Army 20 1843–1862
U.S. Steel, Morrisville, Pennsylvania 8 GE9–GE16
Wabash Railroad 3 384–386 to Norfolk and Western 3384–3386
White River Lumber Company (Weyerhaeuser Timber Company)   1 WTC 1
to Pacific Transportation Services 121 then transferred to Northwest Railway Museum where it is preserved in running condition
Yankeetown Dock Corporation 1 2
Total 336


Several examples of the H-12-44 model have been preserved around the U.S. and Canada.


  • "Fairbanks-Morse 38D8 Diesel Locomotive". PSRM Diesel Locomotives. Archived from the original on October 25, 2014. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  • "A Fairbanks-Morse locomotive is being saved". Archived from the original on August 30, 2006. Retrieved June 18, 2006.
  • Dorin, Patrick C. (1972). Chicago and North Western Power. Burbank, California: Superior Publishing. p. 154. ISBN 0-87564-715-4.
  • Pinkepank, Jerry A. (1973). The Second Diesel Spotter's Guide. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Kalmbach Publishing. ISBN 978-0-89024-026-7.
  • Kirkland, John F. (November 1985). The Diesel Builders Volume 1: Fairbanks-Morse and Lima-Hamilton. Interurban Press. ISBN 0-916374-69-6.

External links[edit]