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USAF EMD SW8 No. 201, retired from the Titan missile program.

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EMD SW8 retired from the USAF Titan missile program.
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Strasburg ex-New York Central EMD SW8 No.8616.
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Strasburg ex-New York Central EMD SW8 No.8616. 

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EMD SW8 Diesel-Electric Locomotive
The EMD SW8 is a diesel-electric switching locomotive manufactured by General Motors Electro-Motive Division and General Motors Diesel between September 1950 and February 1954. Power is supplied by an EMD 567B 8-cylinder engine, for a total of 800 hp (600 kW). A total of 309 of this model were built for United States railroads and 65 for Canadian  railroads. Starting in October 1953 a number of SW8s were built with either the 567BC or 567C engine, they are noted in the roster below.

US Army SW8s
The US Army ordered 41 SW8s, numbered 2000–2040, for service in Korea during the Korean War. These were shipped in the spring of 1951.

After the Korean War, many US Army-owned SW8s were turned over to the South Korean government while others were retained by the Army and assigned to various Army posts, depots and ammunition plants. Most were retired around 1990 and replaced in service by rebuilt geeps, such as GP10s from VMV in Paducah, KY, and other rebuilders.

Of all of the locomotives turned over to the Korean National Railroad, only one, KNR No. 2001, believed to be ex-USAX No. 2011, still exists. As of May 2011 it was stored in the back of a locomotive shed in the Korea Railroad Busan Rolling Stock Workshop, 125 Sincheon-ro, Busanjin-gu, Busan, Korea 614-765. Diesel Locomotive Team Leader Kim Hyun-Sik stated KORAIL is in talks with the city of Pusan to put the locomotive on display in the city as a part of Korea's heritage, as it is the oldest diesel locomotive in the country.

Two examples of these locomotives, ex-USAX No. 2019 and No. 2022, are preserved at the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum in Alabama. After serving in Korea, #2019 was sent back to the manufacturer for reconditioning in 1953. No. 2022  was rebuilt in 1955. Both served in military bases in the United States until the early 1990s, finishing their careers at Fort Campbell, Ky. The Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum acquired them in 1995.

Other models

In addition, 12 TR6 cow-calf paired sets were produced.

In May 1953, a single example of the SW8 was built with a hydraulic transmission as model DH2. This locomotive was displayed at a trade show in 1955, but no sales of the DH2 followed. The locomotive was rebuilt with a standard electrical transmission, and served EMD as plant switcher No. 105 until 1968.

The first TR6A, Southern Pacific 4600, later numbered 1100, is preserved at the Western Pacific Railroad Museum at Portola, California.

Original buyers

SW8 - Locomotives built by Electro-Motive Division, USA
Owner: Electro-Motive Division (plant switcher)
Quantity: 1
Road number: 105
Notes: Built as model DH-2.

Owner: Electro-Motive Division (demonstrators)
Quantity: 1
Road number: 800
Notes: to Illinois Terminal Railroad 725.
Quantity: 1
Road number: 801
Notes: to Georgia Northern Railway 801.
Quantity: 1
Road number: 500
Notes: to Cuyahoga Valley Railway 855.

Owner: Aliquippa and Southern Railroad
Quantity: 3
Road numbers: 800–802
Notes: Built with 567BC engines.

Owner: Atlantic Coast Line Railroad
Quantity: 10
Road numbers: 50–59

Owner: Bamberger Railroad
Quantity: 2
Road numbers: 601–602

Owner: Boston and Maine Railroad
Quantity: 8
Road numbers: 800–807

Owner: Canton Railroad
Quantity: 4
Road numbers: 40–43
Notes: 42-43 were built with 567C engines.

Owner: Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway ("Crandic")
Quantity: 3
Road numbers: 91–93
Notes: Built with 567BC engines.

Owner: Chicago and North Western Railway
Quantity: 1
Road number: 801

Owner: Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway ("Omaha Road")
Quantity: 4
Road numbers: 126–129

Owner: Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad
Quantity: 28
Road numbers: 811–838
Notes: 836-838 were built with 567BC engines.

Owner: Chicago, West Pullman and Southern Railroad
Quantity: 5
Road numbers: 42–46

Owner: Cincinnati Union Terminal
Quantity: 8
Road numbers: 30–37

Owner: Colorado and Wyoming Railway
Quantity: 12
Road numbers: 201–212

Owner: Columbia Iron and Steel
Quantity: 1
Road number: 1

Owner: Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad
Quantity: 11
Road numbers: 501–511

Owner: De Queen and Eastern Railroad
Quantity: 1
Road number: D-3

Owner: Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad
Quantity: 2
Road numbers: 900-901

Owner: Donora Southern Railroad
Quantity: 10

Owner: Great Northern Railway
Quantity: 3
Road numbers: 98–99, 101
Notes: 98-99 to Burlington Northern. 101 was rebuilt from an NW1.

Owner: Lake Terminal Railroad
Quantity: 4
Road numbers: 821–824

Owner: Lakeside and Marblehead Railroad
Quantity: 2
Road numbers: 13–14

Owner: Lehigh Valley Railroad
Quantity: 29
Road numbers: 128-129, 250–276
Notes: 256-273 built with dynamic brakes.

Owner: Louisiana and North West Railroad
Quantity: 2
Road numbers: 40–41

Owner: Ludington and Northern Railroad
Quantity: 1
Road number: 16

Owner: Merchants Despatch Transportation
Quantity: 1
Road number: 15

Owner: Monessen Southwestern Railway
Quantity: 2
Road numbers: 22, 26

Owner: New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal
Quantity: 3
Road numbers: 1–3
Notes: Built with 567BC engines.

Owner: New York Central Railroad
Quantity: 26
Road numbers: 9602–9627

Owner: New York Central (Chicago River and Indiana Railroad)
Quantity: 2
Road numbers: 9600–9601

Owner: New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad ("Nickel Plate Road")
Quantity: 8
Road numbers: 107–114

Owner: North Louisiana and Gulf Railroad
Quantity: 2
Road numbers: 37–38
Notes: Built with 567BC engines.

Owner: Pittsburgh Coke and Chemical Company
Quantity: 1
Road number: 4

Owner: Poplar Ridge Coal
Quantity: 1
Road number: 801

Owner: Reserve Mining Company
Quantity: 2
Road numbers: 1200–1201

Owner: Roscoe, Snyder and Pacific Railway
Quantity: 1
Road number: 200

Owner: South Shore Railway
Quantity: 1
Road number: 12
Notes: to Illinois Central Railroad 802.

Owner: Southern Pacific Company
Quantity: 20
Road numbers: 4604–4623
Notes: All built with dynamic brakes; 4622-4623 built with 567BC engines.

Owner: Southern Pacific (Texas and New Orleans Railroad)
Quantity: 5
Road numbers: 12–16

Owner: Steelton and Highspire Railroad
Quantity: 1
Road number: 26

Owner: Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company
Quantity: 6
Road numbers: 750–754, 770

Owner: Texas and Pacific Railway
Quantity: 8
Road numbers: 811–818

Owner: Tremont and Gulf Railway
Quantity: 2
Road numbers: 75, 77
Notes: to Illinois Central Railroad 800 and 801.

Owner: Unity Railways
Quantity: 1
Road number: 53

Owner: United States Army
Quantity: 41
Road numbers: 2000–2040
Notes: All 41 served in the Korean War, including the 2019 and 2022 now at the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum. 2002 is on display at the Museum of Transportation in Kirkwood, Missouri.

Owner: United States Steel
Quantity: 1
Road number: 109

Owner: Wabash Railroad
Quantity: 9
Road numbers: 120–121, 125–126, 128-132

Owner: Wheeling Steel
Quantity: 2
Road numbers: 1152–1153

Owner: Wichita Falls and Southern Railroad
Quantity: 2
Notes: to Rock Island 839–840.

Owner: Woodward Iron Company
Quantity: 2
Road numbers: 60–61

Total Units: 309

SW-8 Locomotives built by General Motors Diesel, Canada
Owner: Algoma Central Railway
Quantity: 2
Road numbers: 140–141

Owner: Algoma Steel
Quantity: 1
Road number: 50

Owner: Canada and Gulf Terminal Railway
Quantity: 1
Road number: 356

Owner: Canadian National Railways
Quantity: 34
Road numbers: 8500–8533

Owner: Canadian Pacific Railway
Quantity: 10
Road numbers: 6700–6709

Owner: Dominion Foundries and Steel Company ("Dofasco")
Quantity: 2
Road numbers: 11–12

Owner: Dominion Iron and Steel
Quantity: 2
Road numbers: 11–12

Owner: Essex Terminal Railway
Quantity: 2
Road numbers: 102, 104
Notes: Essex Terminal 104 last SW8 built 2/54.

Owner: Steel Company of Canada
Quantity: 7
Road numbers: 71–77

Owner: Wabash Railroad
Quantity: 4
Road numbers: 122–124, 127
Notes: Bought for use in Canada.

Total Units: 65

TR6 Cow-Calf Units
Owner: Electro-Motive Division (demonstrators)
Quantity A units: 1
Quantity B units: 1
Road numbers A units: 1600
Road numbers B units: 1600B
Notes: to Southern Pacific 4600 (A), 4700 (B).

Owner: Oliver Iron Mining Company
Quantity A units: 8
Quantity B units: 8
Road numbers A units: 1207A–1213A, 1216A
Road numbers B units: 1207B–1213B, 1216B

Owner: Southern Pacific Company
Quantity A units: 3
Quantity B units: 3
Road numbers A units: 4601–4603
Road numbers B units: 4701–4703

Total Quantity A units: 12

Total Quantity B units: 12

EMD SW8 Overview
Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builders: General Motors Electro-Motive Division, General Motors Diesel (GMD, Canada)
Models: SW8, TR6
Build date: September 1950 – February 1954
Total produced SW8: 309 (EMD), plus 65 (GMD)
Total produced TR6A: 12
Total produced TR6B: 12
Gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Prime mover: EMD 567B
Engine type: Two-stroke diesel
Aspiration: Roots-type supercharger
Cylinders: 8
Performance figures
Power output: 800 hp (600 kW)
Locale: North America, South Korea

See also:

Electro-Motive Diesel

General Motors Diesel (Canada)

EMD Diesel-Electric Locomotives

GMD Diesel-Electric Locomotives

Diesel-Electric Locomotives