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Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad EMC AB6 diesel locomotive No. 750 at Limon, Colorado, July 7, 1940.

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EMC AB6 Diesel Locomotive
The EMC AB6 was a type of diesel locomotive built exclusively for the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad (the "Rock Island Line") by General Motors' Electro-Motive Corporation and delivered in June 1940. Two examples were built, numbered No. 750 and No. 751. They were built for the Rocky Mountain Rocket passenger train, which travelled as a unified train from Chicago, Illinois, to Limon, Colorado, but then divided; with one segment going to Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the other to Denver, Colorado. The Rock Island desired a locomotive that could look like an integrated part of the train during the Chicago-Limon portion of the route, but could then be operated independently to take three cars to Colorado Springs. A regular, cab-equipped A-unit could have been purchased, but that would have ruined the streamlined look of the train, so the RI had EMC build a flat-fronted locomotive based on an E-series E6B (B unit) but with an operating cab, headlight, pilot, and other features to enable it to operate as an independent locomotive.

Since the small three- and four-car trains the units would have to haul independently were very light, the AB6 pair were built with only one 1,000 hp EMC 567 V12 engine, and a baggage compartment where the second engine would have been. Later, with increasing trainloads, the baggage compartment was replaced with a second engine.

In 1965, the units had their steam generators replaced with head-end power and were reassigned to push-pull suburban service in the Chicago area. In this form, they lasted until the mid-1970s.

EMC AB6 Overview

Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: Electro-Motive Corporation (EMC)
Build date: 1940
Total produced: 2
AAR wheel arrangement:          
    New: A1A-3
    Later: A1A-A1A
Gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in standard gauge
Prime mover: EMD 567, 1 x, later 2 x
Engine type: V12 Two-stroke diesel
Performance figures
Power output new: 1,000 hp
Power output later: 2,000 hp
Operators: Rock Island
Numbers: 750 and 751
Delivered: June 1940
Retired: mid-1970s
Disposition: Both scrapped 1973–74

See also:


EMC-EMD Diesel-Electric Locomotives

EMD 567 Prime Mover

Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad

Rocky Mountain Rocket Passenger Train

Diesel-Electric Locomotives