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General Motors Diesel GMD-1
CN 1405 helping a local Winnipeg freight train (August 6th, 2018)
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderGeneral Motors Diesel
Build dateAugust 1958 – April 1960
Total produced101
 • AARA1A-A1A (83);
B-B (18)
Prime moverEMD 567C
AspirationRoots type supercharger
Performance figures
Power output1,200 hp (890 kW)

The GMD GMD-1 is a diesel locomotive originally produced by General Motors Diesel (GMD), the Canadian subsidiary of General Motors Electro-Motive Division, between August 1958 and April 1960. This Road switcher locomotive is powered by a 12-cylinder EMD 567C diesel engine, capable of producing 1,200 horsepower (890 kW). The GMD-1 was built on either Flexicoil A1A-A1A (for light rail prairie branchlines) or Flexicoil B-B trucks. 101 examples of this locomotive were built for Canadian railways. 96 went to Canadian National Railway and the remaining 5 went to Northern Alberta Railways (that later became part of CN's fleet when they acquired majority interest in NAR).

According to original blueprints of the locomotive from GMD, CN's own equipment diagram books, and the original GMD manual for this locomotive, it is consistently referred to as a GMD-1 rather than a GMD1. "GMD1" has been a common misnomer since the 1970s.

As of December 2017, CN still operates a few GMD-1's, though most of them are either in storage or retired. A GMD-1 known to still be operating is CN 1405 as of April 18, 2018. Oregon Pacific Railroad, a short-line railroad based in Portland, Oregon, has operated an ex-CN GMD-1 (1413) as its prime mover since 2009.

Original Owners[edit]

Road Quantity Road numbers Notes
Canadian National Railway
1000–1077 A1A-A1A trucks
Canadian National Railways
1900–1917 B-B trucks; fitted with steam generators
Northern Alberta Railways
300–305 A1A-A1A trucks (to CN 1078-1082)


CN 1408, a rebuilt GMD-1, formerly numbered CN 1075, leads a local freight.

CN upgraded a number of their GMD-1's in the 1980s, as 1400-series units (B-B) and 1600-series (A-1-A). A number of 1600s were later retrucked with B-Bs and renumbered as 1400s.

1100 series units are 1000s retrofitted with Flexicoil B-B trucks in place of their original A-1-A's.

Second Hand Users[edit]

A number of GMD-1 units have been sold off in the 1990s and 2000s to rebuilders, leasers, regional and shortline railways. A few were acquired by Ferrocarriles de Cuba. Oregon Pacific Railroad acquired Canadian National #1045, and is now numbered OPR #1413.[1]


See also[edit]