Classic Streamliners - TRAIN​CYCLOPEDIA

Indiana Northeastern Railroad locomotive No. 2230, an EMD GP30. Ex-Pennsylvania Railroad. Built April 1963.

GM-EMD GP30 Builders Portrait.

Wisconsin Central number 715, a GP30 built in 1963 on display at the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay.

By The original uploader was Slambo at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Oxyman using CommonsHelper., CC BY-SA 2.0,

Wisconsin Central number 715, a GP30 built in 1963 on display at the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay.
A trio of Santa Fe Railroad EMD GP units — a GP30 (in the lead), a GP35 and a GP20 — run light up Cajon Pass in California in the late 1980s.

A GP-30 Slideshow.  Color photos by Roger Puta.

New Hope and Ivyland Railroad 2198.
GM-EMD logo

EMD GP30u (ATSF rebuild of GP30 with 645 engine) BNSF 2472, at Commerce, California, USA.

By Morven - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Shop for Trains and Railroad Collectibles on eBay

New Hope and Ivyland Railroad 2198.

By O484 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

A trio of Santa Fe Railroad EMD GP units — a GP30 (in the lead), a GP35 and a GP20 — run light up Cajon Pass in California in the late 1980s.

By The original uploader was Slambo at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by IngerAlHaosului using CommonsHelper., CC BY-SA 2.0,

Indiana Northeastern Railroad locomotive No. 2230, an EMD GP30. Ex-Pennsylvania Railroad. Built April 1963.

By Rick M ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

EMD GP30u (ATSF rebuild of GP30 with 645 engine) BNSF 2472, at Commerce, California, USA.
GM-EMD GP30 Builders Portrait. - NFL Jerseys and Gear
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EMD GP30 General Purpose Diesel-Electric Locomotive
The EMD GP30 is a 2,250 hp (1,680 kW) four-axle B-B diesel-electric locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division of La Grange, Illinois between July 1961 and November 1963. A total of 948 units were built for railroads in the United States and Canada (2 only), including 40 cabless B units for the Union Pacific Railroad.

It was the first so-called "second generation" EMD diesel locomotive, and was produced in response to increased competition by a new entrant, General Electric's U25B, which was released roughly at the same time as the GP30. The GP30 is easily recognizable due to its high profile and stepped cab roof, unique among American locomotives. A number are still in service today in original or rebuilt form.

The GP30 was conceived out of the necessity of matching new competitor GE's U25B. The U25B offered 2,500 hp (1,860 kW) while EMD's GP20 and its 567D2 prime mover was only rated at 2,000 hp (1,490 kW). The U25B also featured a sealed, airtight long hood with a single inertial air intake for electrical cooling, with a pressurized cooling system which kept dust out of the engine and equipment area. Finally, the entire GE design was optimized for ease of access and maintenance. The U25B demonstrators were receiving much praise—and orders—from the railroads that tested them. Meanwhile, ALCO had been producing the 2,400 hp (1,800 kW) RS-27 since 1959, though it had not sold well.

EMD's engineering department pushed their DC traction system for an extra 250 hp (186 kW). The 2,250 hp (1,680 kW) wasn't quite equivalent to the GE and ALCO offerings, but EMD hoped the railroads' familiarity with EMD equipment would improve their chances. The locomotive in which the 16 cylinder, 567D3 would be fitted, was improved along the lines of the U25B; sealed long hood, central air intake, and engineered for easier maintenance access. The frame and trucks of the GP20 were carried across; the extra equipment for the centralized air system required more space behind the cab, and since the locomotive was not going to be lengthened, extra space was achieved vertically by raising the height of the locomotive, giving room for the central air system, turbocharger and electrical cabinet all behind the cab. This extra height behind the cab meant that the body style used for previous GP units was not suitable.

Since EMD needed the new locomotive to be visibly modern and updated, they turned to the GM Automotive Styling Center at Troy, Michigan for help. The automobile stylists created the GP30's trademark "hump" and cab roof profile. The hump-like bulge started at the front of the cab and enveloped the air intakes for the central air system and the dynamic brake blister. Units ordered without dynamic brakes were the same shape, but lacked the intakes to cool the dynamic brake resistor grids.

A high short hood could be ordered, but only holdouts Norfolk and Western Railway and Southern Railway received such units. EMD originally planned to name the locomotive the GP22, but EMD's marketing department decided to leapfrog GE's numbering to make the new locomotive seem more advanced. Marketing literature claimed 30 distinct improvements from the GP20 and that this was the reason for the number.

Sales and in service
The GP30 successfully countered the GE threat and kept EMD in the dominant position in the North American diesel market. While losing a little power to the GE and ALCO competition, the solidity and reliability of the GP30—and the familiarity of railroad mechanical departments with EMD products—ultimately won many more orders for EMD. 948 were sold, in comparison to 476 U25Bs. In addition, the GP30 was only sold until the end of 1963, while the U25B was available until 1966.

Most major railroads ordered GP30s, and many smaller ones did too. The largest orders were from the SOU (120), UP (111), ATSF (85), and the B&O (77).

The sole purchaser of B units (by the mid 1960s generally an outdated concept) was the UP, who kept the practice of running its locomotives in matched sets much longer than others. Eight of those GP30B units were fitted with steam generators for heating passenger trains, the only GP30s to receive them. Prior to Amtrak, UP would use a GP30 and two boiler equipped GP30Bs on passenger trains when no E8s or E9s were available.

Some units for the GM&O, MILW and SOO were built with from ALCO trade-ins and ride on ARR type B trucks instead of the standard Blomberg Bs. An indisputable tribute to the quality of the GP30 design is the fact that a good number are still in service as of 2015, which is a service lifespan of nearly 50 years and well in excess of the design life of 25–30 years for the average diesel locomotive. Furthermore, when life-expired, some railroads chose to give them major rebuilds instead of scrapping them.

Specifically, the Burlington Northern rebuilt GP30 (and GP35) units to the specifications of the later GP39. These rebuilds (known as GP39Es, GP39Ms and GP39Vs) came not only from the ranks of the units the BN inherited from its own merger, but from the Union Pacific, Southern Pacific, SAL, and others.

The Chessie System rebuilt its GP30 units into GP30Ms, and they lasted with CSX into the mid-to-late 1990s, long after Seaboard System GP30s had been sold, retired and scrapped, or turned into road slugs.

Original buyers
Cab-equipped 'A' units

Electro Motive Division (demonstrator)
Quantity:  2
Road number:  5629

Notes:  to Union Pacific Railroad 875
Road number:  5639
Notes:  to Seaboard Air Line Railroad 534, to Seaboard Coast Line Railroad 1343

Alaska Railroad
Quantity:  1
Road number:  2000

Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
Quantity:  85
Road numbers:  1200–1284

Notes:  rebuilt versions called GP30u, upgraded at Cleburne, Texas shops.

Atlantic Coast Line Railroad
Quantity:  9
Road numbers:  900–908

Notes:  to Seaboard Coast Line Railroad 1300–1308

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
Quantity:  77
Road numbers:  6900–6976

Chesapeake and Ohio Railway
Quantity:  48
Road numbers:  3000–3047

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad
Quantity:  38
Road numbers:  940–977

Notes:  to Burlington Northern Railroad 2217–2254

Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad
Quantity:  3
Road numbers:  239–241

Chicago Great Western Railway
Quantity:  8
Road numbers:  201–208

Notes:  to Chicago & North Western Railway 802–809

Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad
Quantity:  16
Road numbers:  340–355

Notes:  AAR type B trucks. Renumbered 1000–1015

Chicago and North Western Railway
Quantity:  14
Road numbers:  810–832

Canadian Pacific Railway
Quantity:  2
Road numbers:  8200–8201

Notes:  Built by General Motors Diesel (GMD) in London, Ontario. Renumbered 5000–5001.

Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad
Quantity:  28
Road numbers:  3001–3028

Great Northern Railway
Quantity:  17
Road numbers:  3000–3016

Notes:  to Burlington Northern Railroad 2200–2216.

Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad
Quantity:  31
Road numbers:  500–530

Notes:  AAR type B trucks

Kansas City Southern Railway
Quantity:  20
Road numbers:  100–119

Louisville and Nashville Railroad
Quantity:  58
Road numbers:  1000–1057

New York Central Railroad
Quantity:  10
Road numbers:  6115–6124

Notes:  to Penn Central 2188-2197, to Conrail same numbers.

New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad
Quantity:  10
Road numbers:  900–909

Notes:  to Norfolk and Western 2900-2909

Norfolk and Western Railway
Quantity:  44
Road numbers:  522–565

Notes:  High short hood, operated long hood-forward.

Pennsylvania Railroad
Quantity:  52
Road numbers:  2200–2251

Notes:  to Penn Central 2200-2249, 2198, 2199; to Conrail same numbers.

Phelps Dodge Corporation
Quantity:  9
Road numbers:  24–32

Notes:  New Cornelia Branch mine.

Reading Railroad
Quantity:  20
Road numbers:  5501–5520

Notes:  renumbered 3600-3619; to Conrail 2168-2187.

Seaboard Air Line Railroad
Quantity:  34
Road numbers:  500–533

Notes:  to Seaboard Coast Line Railroad 1309–1342.

Soo Line Railroad
Quantity:  22
Road numbers:  700–721

Notes:  AAR type B trucks. Eighteen to Wisconsin Central Limited, same numbers.

Southern Pacific Railroad
Quantity:  8

Southern Railway
Quantity:  120
Road numbers:  2525–2644

Notes:  High short hood.

St. Louis Southwestern Railway
Quantity:  10
Road numbers:  750–759

Toledo, Peoria and Western Railway
Quantity:  1
Road number:  700

Union Pacific Railroad
Quantity:  111
Road numbers:  700–735, 800–874

Cabless booster 'B' units

Union Pacific Railroad

Quantity:  40
Road numbers:  700B–739B
Notes:  Eight fitted with steam generators.

The Burlington Northern Railroad was the most extensive user of rebuilt of GP30s. Finding a need for modernized units of lower power, it sent GP30s—-both its own and units purchased from other railroads-—to be rebuilt. Seventy units were sent to EMD, 65 to Morrison Knudsen (now Washington Group International) and 25 to VMV for rebuilding, and the rebuilds are known as GP39E, GP39M, and GP39V respectively. The changes included new generators, Dash-2 modular electronic control systems and 567D3 engines upgraded with EMD 645-series power assemblies, rated at 2,300 hp (1,720 kW) and designated 16-645D3. These units are still in service on local and smaller lines throughout the BNSF Railway system.

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (ATSF) had previously, performed a similar upgrade in its own Cleburne, Texas shops, stripping the locomotives down to bare metal and rebuilding with new equipment. The 567D3 engines were upgraded to a 2500-horsepower rating by the use of 645-series power assemblies. The generators and traction motors were upgraded and control and electrical equipment was replaced. The trucks received Hyatt roller bearings and single-clasp brake systems. Rooftop air conditioners and new horns were added. The locomotives were repainted in the blue and yellow Yellowbonnet scheme, and designated GP30u (for upgraded). 78 of these survived until the BNSF merger, and most if not all have been sold since.

The Soo Line Railroad rebuilt three GP30s with CAT 3515 engines rated at 2,000 horsepower (1.49 MW). These were designated GP30C.

Preserved units
According to John Komanesky's Preserved Diesels site, 17 GP30s have been preserved by a variety of museums, societies and tourist railways. A number of these preserved locomotives are in operational condition. The following is a list of preserved GP-30s in North America.

Baltimore & Ohio No. 6944 is preserved an operable at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.
Branson Scenic No. 99 currently in operation on the Branson Scenic Railway as the south end locomotive.
Canadian Pacific No. 5000 (one of only two GP30s built in Canada) is preserved in its as-retired condition at the Alberta Railway Museum in Edmonton, Alberta.
Conrail No. 2233, a former PRR engine, is at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. It is believed to be serviceable.
Cotton Belt No. 5006 is preserved at the Arkansas Railroad Museum in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
Denver & Rio Grande Western No. 3011 is preserved at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, Colorado.
New Hope & Ivyland No. 2198, another former Pennsylvania Railroad locomotive is currently running in daily service hauling tourist trains in New Hope, Pennsylvania
Nickel Plate Road No. 900 is preserved at the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum in Bellevue, Ohio.
Nickel Plate Road No. 901 & Great Miami Railway #30 (ex-Nickel Plate 902) are preserved, and operating for the Cincinnati Railway Company, Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad, and the Cincinnati Dinner Train.
Norfolk & Western No. 522 is preserved in operating condition by the Roanoke Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.
Reading No. 5513, the first production GP30, is preserved by the Reading Company Technical & Historical Society in Hamburg, Pennsylvania. Operational in the 1980s and 1990s, it is currently awaiting repair.
Soo Line No. 700 is preserved at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum in Duluth, Minnesota, restored for use on their North Shore Scenic Railroad.
Soo Line No. 703 is preserved at the Colfax Railroad Museum in Colfax, Wisconsin.
Southern No. 2594 is preserved at the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth, Georgia and is operational. (currently leased to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum)
Southern No. 2601 is preserved and operational at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, North Carolina.
Union Pacific No. 844, the engine that necessitated the renumbering of UP steam engine No. 844 to No. 8444 for a time, is preserved and in use at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Boulder City, Nevada, also known as the Nevada Southern Railway.
Union Pacific No. 849 is in the collection of the Western Pacific Railroad Museum in Portola, California and is operational.
Western Maryland Nos. 501 and 502 (ex-Pennsylvania Railroad and ex-Reading Company respectively) are preserved with both in active service on the Western Maryland Scenic.
Wisconsin Central No. 715 is preserved at the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

EMD GP30 Overview
Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builders: GM Electro-Motive Division (EMD), General Motors Diesel (GMD)
Model: GP30
Build date: July 1961 – November 1963
Total produced: 948
​ • AAR B-B
 • UIC Bo′Bo′
Length: 56 ft 2 in (17.12 m)
Locomotive weight: 253,000 lb (115,000 kg)
Fuel capacity: Standard: 1,700 US gal (6,400 l; 1,400 imp gal),
Optional: 2,600 US gallons (9,800 l; 2,200 imp gal)
Lubricant capacity: 200 US gal (760 l; 170 imp gal)
Coolant capacity: 240 US gal (910 l; 200 imp gal)
Sandbox capacity: 18 cu ft (0.51 m3)
Prime mover: EMD 567D3
Engine type: Two-stroke V16 diesel
Aspiration: Turbocharger
Displacement: 9,072 cu in (148.66 l)
Generator: EMD D-32
Traction motors: EMD D67B (4)
Cylinders: 16
Cylinder size: 8 1⁄2 in × 10 in (216 mm × 254 mm)
Transmission: Diesel electric
Locomotive brake: Schedule 26L Straight air, optional: dynamic
Performance figures
Maximum speed: 83 mph (134 km/h) (dependent on gearing)
Power output: 2,250 hp (1,680 kW)
Tractive effort: 63,375 lbf (281.9 kN)
Locale: North America

See also:

EMD Locomotives


Diesel Locomotives