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This article is about EMD GP series locomotives rebuilt by the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad. For ALCO RS3 locomotives rebuilt by the Missouri Pacific Railroad, see RS3m.
Buckingham Branch Railroad GP16 rebuild.JPG
Buckingham Branch Railroad #2, a GP16 rebuild, rests at Dillwyn, Virginia
Type and origin
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder General Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD);
rebuilt by the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad
Model GP16
Build date June 1979 —
November 1982
Total produced 155
AAR wheel arr. B-B
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Length 56 ft 0 in (17.07 m)
Loco weight 258,000 lb (117,000 kg)
Prime mover EMD 645
Engine type 2-stroke diesel
Traction motors 4 DC
Transmission Diesel-electric
Loco brake straight air
Train brakes 26L air
Performance figures
Maximum speed 65 mph (105 km/h)
Power output 1,600 hp (1,200 kW)
Tractive effort 64,500 lbf (287 kN)
Locale North America

The Uceta GP16 was a series of rebuilt diesel-electric locomotives, a result of a remanufacturing program initiated by the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad in an effort to spare the cost of purchasing new motive power in the late 1970s. This involved the rebuilding of their aging fleet of 155 EMD GP7, GP9, and GP18 road switchers (many of which were over twenty years old).

The program[edit]

The required modifications took nine weeks per unit on average to complete. The program resulted in a cost savings of almost 50% over buying new locomotives.

Included in the program:

  • Rebuilding the underframe assembly;
  • Remanufacturing the Blomberg B two-axle trucks, generators, and traction motors (all GP16s were configured with a B-B wheel arrangement);
  • Replacing the existing 567 prime mover with a new EMD 645 series diesel engine, which boosted the horsepower rating to 1,600 in the case of the former GP7 locomotives. This gave rise to the 16 designation.
  • Removal of the dynamic brakes, and installation of a new type 26L air brake system.
  • Installation of a new high-voltage cabinet.
  • Lowering the front nose of the carbody to improve visibility, and retrofitting with a new cab and standard AAR control stand.

Ancillary benefits included a lowered engine idling speed and increased fuel efficiency. SCL committed over 100 of its personnel to the conversion program. The first GP16 emerged from SCL's Uceta (Tampa) shop in June 1979 while the last was placed into service during November 1982.

In service[edit]

The rebuilt locomotives saw service throughout the system, engaging in a variety of duties from local switching to main-line freight hauling. Though SCL became part of the CSX Transportation system in the 1980s, the majority of the units remained active until 1992, when the bulk of the roster was retired and sold-off. Many GP16s remain in active service today on short line railroads around the country, far exceeding their 15-year projected lifespan.

In 1993 the U.S. Army bought a small number of GP16s from CSX, which led some people to think the Army built it. The locomotives were sent to Conrail's Juniata Locomotive shops to be 'remanufactured' under contract with the Army. When they were completed, Conrail put a GP9M plate on them.

These locomotives are controlled by Woodward PGR type diesel engine governors.

Other units called GP16[edit]

  • In the late 1960s through the early 1970s, the Missouri Pacific Railroad repowered their entire roster of high-hood ALCO RS-11s with EMD 567 series diesel engines. These converted units were designated by the MP as "RS3m#GP12" and "GP16s" presumably to reflect their new horsepower rating.
  • Clinchfield Railroad had six GP7s rebuilt by ICG Paducah and they were called GP16s, but built to the same standard as ICG GP11s. When the CSX merger occurred these engines were grouped as GP16s. Two notable features was the angled cab and air intake filters.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]