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Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) is an American manufacturer of diesel-electric locomotives, locomotive products and diesel engines for the rail industry. The company is owned by Caterpillar through its subsidiary Progress Rail Services.

Electro-Motive Diesel traces its roots to the Electro-Motive Engineering Corporation, a designer and marketer of gasoline-electric self-propelled rail cars founded in 1922 and later renamed Electro-Motive Company (EMC). In 1930, General Motors purchased Electro-Motive Company and the Winton Engine Co. and in 1941 expanded EMC's realm to locomotive engine manufacturing as Electro-Motive Division (EMD).

In 2005, GM sold EMD to Greenbriar Equity Group and Berkshire Partners, which formed Electro-Motive Diesel to facilitate the purchase. In 2010, Progress Rail Services completed the purchase of Electro-Motive Diesel from Greenbriar, Berkshire, and others.

EMD's headquarters, engineering facilities and parts manufacturing operations are based in McCook, Illinois, while its final locomotive assembly line is located in Muncie, Indiana. EMD also operates a traction motor maintenance, rebuild and overhaul facility in San Luis Potosí, Mexico.

As of 2008, EMD employed approximately 3,260 people, and in 2010 it held approximately 30 percent of the market for diesel-electric locomotives in North America.

About EMD
Founded in 1922, Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc. is a leading U.S. original equipment manufacturer of diesel electric locomotives. Headquartered in LaGrange, Illinois, with additional facilities and associates around the world, EMD designs, manufactures and sells diesel-electric locomotives for all commercial railroad applications and has sold its products in more than 70 countries worldwide. The Company is the only diesel electric locomotive manufacturer to have produced more than 70,000 engines and has the largest installed base of diesel-electric locomotives in both North America and internationally. In addition to its locomotive manufacturing activities, EMD has an extensive aftermarket business offering customer’s replacement parts and a range of value-added services for its locomotives. The Company is also a global provider of diesel engines for marine propulsion, offshore and land-based oil well drilling rigs, and stationary power generation.

Early years
Harold L. Hamilton and Paul Turner founded the Electro-Motive Engineering Corporation in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1922, soon renaming it to Electro-Motive Company (EMC). In 1923, EMC sold two gasoline-powered rail motor cars, one to the Chicago Great Western and the other to the Northern Pacific. EMC subcontracted the body construction to St. Louis Car Company and the prime mover to Winton Engine Company. The motorcars were delivered in 1924 and worked well, fortunate for the fledgling company, because the sales were conditional on satisfactory performance. In 1925, EMC entered full-scale production, selling 27 railcars.

Harold L. Hamilton was one of the original pioneers of the internal-combustion locomotive industry. Starting his railroading career as a fireman on the Southern Pacific Railroad, he became a locomotive engineer on passenger and freight trains. He eventually became a manager with the Florida East Coast Railway. On leaving railroading for an automotive marketing position in Denver, Hamilton, aware of early electric propulsion experiments, the needs of railroads, and his most recent exposure to heavy vehicles, recognized and integrated the idea of more efficient (over steam) internal combustion power with railroading. Financing himself, he quit his truck sales position, set up shop in a hotel with his partner and a designer, and created a product in 1923 that eventually became the successful version of diesel-electric railway propulsion.

In 1930 General Motors (GM), seeing the opportunity to develop the diesel engine, purchased the Winton Engine Company, and after checking the Winton Engine Company's books, decided to purchase its primary customer, EMC, which GM soon renamed to Electro-Motive Corporation (EMC). Advancing from railcars, EMC began building multi-car diesel streamliners for the Union Pacific Railroad, among others. By 1935, GM felt confident enough to invest in a new factory on 55th Street in McCook, Illinois, west of Chicago, which remains the corporate headquarters. By the end of the 1930s, EMC had a diesel engine powerful and reliable enough for locomotive use.

The 567, named for its displacement-per-cylinder of 567 in³ (bore 8½ inches, stroke 10 inches), was a two-cycle (or two-stroke) Roots-blown, Uniflow-scavenged, Unit-injected engine with overhead camshafts and four exhaust valves per cylinder. It was built as a V-6, V-8, V-12 and V-16. Charles F. Kettering and the General Motors Research Corporation were in charge of its development. The technology was first used in passenger locomotives, but EMC's eye was on freight service. Passenger trains made little money for the railroads, but replacement of steam engines with reliable diesel units could help railroads save money in a money-losing service. It also gave EMC experience and future contacts for capturing the ultimate prize: freight service.

The company built a four-unit freight locomotive demonstrator, the EMD FT, and began a tour of the continent's railroads. The tour was a success. Western railroads, in particular, saw that the diesels could free them from dependence on scarce water supplies for steam locomotives. By 1940 EMC was producing a locomotive a day, with 600 in service.

General Motors merged EMC and part of Winton Engine to create the Electro-Motive Division (EMD) on January 1, 1941. All GM locomotives built prior to 1941 were built by EMC Winton's non-locomotive products (large submarine, marine, and stationary diesel engines) continued under the title of the Cleveland Diesel Engine Division for another twenty years.

World War II temporarily slowed EMD locomotive production; the diesel engines were instead required in Navy ships, but in 1943, locomotive production regained momentum. More locomotives were needed to haul wartime supplies. The war was, in the end, a godsend for EMD. It was allowed to continue to develop and sell the diesel freight locomotive. Its competitors, principally the American Locomotive Company (Alco) and the Baldwin Locomotive Works, were allowed minimal developmental work with diesel road locomotives. They were ordered to produce mainly diesel switchers and steam locomotives to pre-existing designs as fast as possible. This delayed EMD's competition and dealt them a fatal blow. By the end of the war, EMD's diesel production was in full swing, with new passenger EMD E-units and the new improved freight locomotive the EMD F3 following in late 1946. Baldwin Locomotive was crippled by its incorrect belief that people desired travel on trains pulled by steam locomotives. To meet post-war demands, EMD opened another locomotive production facility in 1948 at Cleveland, Ohio.

By the early 1950s, the majority of American railroads had decided to transition from steam to diesel power, known as dieselization. While other builders had entered the diesel locomotive field, whether old steam builders like Baldwin, Alco and Lima, or newer competitors like Fairbanks-Morse (also a producer of Navy diesels in the war), EMD's extra years of experience told. Most railroads ordered a few units from several builders in their first, trial purchase, but the second, volume order usually went to EMD. Most of these were sales of its freight F-Unit platform. The economic arguments for diesel passenger power over steam were a bit shakier than those for freight service, but it hardly mattered— passenger service was more a matter of rolling advertisements and publicity machines than actual profit by this late date.

In 1949, EMD opened a new plant in London, Ontario, Canada, which was operated by subsidiary General Motors Diesel (GMD), producing existing EMD as well as unique GMD designs for the Canadian domestic and export markets. That same year, EMD introduced a new, revolutionary locomotive, the EMD GP7. Called a road switcher type, its design was that of an expanded diesel switcher, with the diesel engine, main generator and other equipment in a covered, but easily removed, hood (thus the other name for these locomotives, hood units). This hood being narrower than the locomotive, the crew had visibility in both directions from a cab placed near one end. The structural strength in the road-switcher was in the frame, rather than in a carbody as in earlier locomotives. The maintenance ease of this new type of locomotive won over the railroads quickly. Nearly all locomotives produced in the United States for domestic use since the 1960s have been hood units.

EMD's competition was unable to keep pace. Lima failed first, merging with Baldwin and engine builder Hamilton in Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton, but the Baldwin-led company did not endure. Fairbanks-Morse, after producing a series of innovative locomotives that sold poorly, left the locomotive field (the company remains in business, in its original markets). Then, only Alco remained, aided by the industrial might of General Electric, which manufactured the electrical gear used in Alco diesel-electric locomotives. GE entered the locomotive market in the early 1950s with the introduction of gas turbine-electric locomotives. By 1956 GE was marketing its own line of diesel-electrics in its Universal series as export locomotives. The U25B started GE's domestic line of diesel-electric road locomotives.

The 567 engine was continuously improved and upgraded. The original six-cylinder 567 produced 600 hp, the V-12 1,000 hp, and the V-16 1,350 hp. EMD began turbocharging the 567 around 1958; the final version, the 567D3A (built from October, 1963, to about January, 1966) produced 2,500 hp in its V-16 form.

In late 1965, EMD introduced the enlarged 645 engine. Power ratings were 1,500 hp V-12 non-turbocharged, 1,500 hp V-8 turbocharged, 2,300 hp V-12 turbocharged, 2,000 hp V-16 non-turbocharged, and 3,000 hp  V-16 turbocharged. In late 1965 EMD built their first twenty cylinder engine, a turbocharged 3,600 hp V20 for the EMD SD45. The final variant of the sixteen cylinder 645 (the 16-645F) produced 3,500 hp.

In 1972, EMD introduced modular control systems with the Dash-2 line; the EMD SD40-2 became one of the most successful diesel locomotive designs in history. A total of 3,945 SD40-2 units were built; if the earlier SD40 class locomotives are included, the total increases to 5,752 units.

EMD introduced their new 710 engine in 1984 with the 60 Series locomotives (EMD SD60 and EMD GP60), the EMD 645 engine continued to be offered in certain models (such as the 50 Series) until 1988. The 710 is produced as an eight-, twelve-, sixteen-, and twenty-cylinder engine for locomotive, marine and stationary applications. Concurrently with the introduction of the 710, EMD's control systems on locomotives changed to microprocessors, with computer-controlled wheel slip prevention, among other systems.


After the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement came into effect in 1989, EMD decided to consolidate all locomotive production at the GMD plant in London, Ontario, a development which ended locomotive production at the La Grange, Illinois plant in 1991, although the Illinois facility continued to produce engines and generators. EMD's North American market share dropped below that of its main competitor General Electric in the 1980s.

In the late 1980s and 1990s EMD introduced AC induction motor drive in EMD locomotives using Siemens technology. In the early 1990s, EMD introduced the radial steering truck, which reduced wheel and track wear. In the 1990s, locomotive power increased to 6,000 hp from a single, sixteen-cylinder 265H prime mover in the EMD SD90MAC-H locomotive.

In 1998, EMD introduced the four-stroke 265H-Engine. Instead of completely replacing the 710 series engine, the H-engine continues to be concurrently produced alongside EMD's two stroke engines, although mainly for export. Post-1995 710 engines have electronically controlled unit injectors (EUIs) in the same position and space as the former (1938–1995) unit injectors (UIs).

In 1999, Union Pacific placed the largest single order for diesel locomotives in North American railroad history when they ordered 1,000 units of the EMD SD70M. Union Pacific's fleet of SD70Ms has since been expanded by more than 450 additional units. In addition, Union Pacific also owns nearly 500 EMD SD70ACe's, a number of which have been painted in "Fallen Flags" (acquired or merged railroads) commemorative liveries. All of these locomotives are 710G-powered.

The year 2004 saw CSX Transportation take order of the first SD70ACe locomotives, which were advertised to be more reliable, fuel efficient, and maintainable than its predecessor AC locomotive, the SD70MAC. The model also met the EPA Tier 2 emission requirements using the two-stroke 710 diesel engine.

In 2005, Norfolk Southern took the first delivery of the new SD70M-2, the successor of the older SD70M locomotive. Like its sister locomotive, the SD70ACe, the SD70M-2 meets the EPA Tier 2 requirements and uses the same engine. EMD is certified to be in conformance with ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001:2004.

In June 2004, The Wall Street Journal published an article indicating EMD was being put up for sale. On January 11, 2005, Reuters published a story indicating a sale to "two private U.S. equity groups" was likely to be announced "this week". Confirmation came the following day, with a press release issued by General Motors, stating it had agreed to sell EMD to a partnership led by Greenbriar Equity Group LLC and Berkshire Partners LLC. The newly spun-off company was called Electro-Motive Diesel, Incorporated, retaining the EMD name. The sale closed on April 4, 2005.

On June 1, 2010, Caterpillar Inc. announced it had agreed to buy Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc. from Greenbriar, Berkshire et al. for $820 million. Caterpillar's wholly owned subsidiary, Progress Rail Services Corporation, completed the transaction on August 2, 2010, making Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of Progress Rail Services Corporation. Although Caterpillar announced that John S. Hamilton would continue in his roles of president and CEO of EMD after the close of the transaction, Mr. Hamilton left EMD for unspecified reasons in late August 2010.

Manufacturing and assembly facilities
EMD currently maintains major facilities in McCook, Illinois, and Muncie, Indiana in the United States, Sete Lagoas, Brazil and San Luis Potosí, Mexico. The company operated a manufacturing facility in London, Ontario, Canada until its closure in 2012.

Since its ground breaking in 1935, the La Grange facility has been the headquarters for EMD. In addition to the corporation's administrative offices, La Grange houses design engineering, emissions testing, rebuild operations, and manufacturing of major components, including prime mover engines, traction alternators, electrical cabinets, and turbochargers. The La Grange facility includes three main buildings, with over 1,200,000 square feet of office and manufacturing space. Ancillary buildings are used to provide maintenance and testing capabilities. EMD La Grange is ISO 9001:2008 Certified for Quality and ISO 14001 Certified for Environmental Management.

EMD London
The EMD London plant opened in 1950 as part of General Motors Diesel Division (GMDD) to produce locomotives. The facility was at times used to produce a variety of products in the General Motors family, including transit buses, and military vehicles. Situated on a 100-acre site, the EMD London facility included two main buildings and multiple ancillary buildings with over 500,000 square feet of office and manufacturing space, as well as a locomotive test track. London was the primary site for the assembly, painting and testing of EMD locomotives. The facility also manufactured components, such as locomotive underframes, traction motors, truck assemblies, and locomotive equipment racks. EMD London was ISO 9001:2000 Certified for Quality and ISO 14001 Certified for Environmental Management. EMD London's Canadian location was useful for General Motors' when attempting to procure Canadian federal contracts.

In January 2012, 450 Canadian Auto Workers union workers were locked out of the EMD London facility, after refusing to ratify EMD's proposed new contract which included a pay cut of 50% for some workers - labour costs at the Canadian plant were much greater than in some of the company's US plants. In February 2012 Progress Rail announced the closure of the plant; Caterpillar's actions were criticized in Canada; the company stated it would relocate production to other sites in North and South America, including the non-union plant in Muncie. At the time of closure the plant employed approximately 775 people directly.

EMD San Luis Potosí
On April 14, 2010, Electro-Motive opened a facility in San Luis Potosí, Mexico for the maintenance, rebuild, and overhaul of traction motors and other electrical equipment.

EMD Muncie
In October 2010, Caterpillar Inc. announced it is investing $50 million to acquire and to renovate an existing 740,000-square-foot building for assembly of EMD branded locomotives and to build a locomotive test track on a 75-acre site located in Muncie, Indiana. The Muncie facility allows EMD to supply locomotives to publicly funded passenger rail agencies that require their rail equipment to be assembled in the United States.

Subcontractors and licensees
The company also entered into subcontracting and licensing arrangements, both for whole locomotives, and diesel and electrical drivetrains (genset plus traction motors and control electronics).

In Europe licensees included Henschel (Germany), 1950s-80s which manufactured locomotives for export to African, South Asian, and Scandinavian countries as well as Austria; NOHAB (Sweden), 1950s-70s,[44][46] and after NOHAB's closure Kalmar Verkstad (KVAB) (Sweden), 1980s. When the KVAB and Henschel factories were acquired by ABB Group in 1990 EMD-license manufacture ended.

In Belgium EMD-engined locomotives were manufactured by Société Anglo-Franco-Belge, and then by La Brugeoise et Nivelles in the 1950s and 60s.

In Spain MACOSA and its successors assembled and manufactured EMD locomotives including standard EMD export designs as well as variants for the domestic market, as of 2011 EMD-engined diesels are still manufactured in Spain as the Vossloh Euro series.

Đuro Đaković of Croatia (Yugoslavia) also held a license from EMD and manufactured locomotives for the Yugoslav Railways.

By 2000 EMD had produced with its collaborators around 300 locomotives using EMD technology in Scandinavia, 500 in western Europe, and 400 in eastern Europe.Approximately 75% of EMD's European locomotives sold by 2000 were license built in Europe. The company also entered into a collaboration (early 2000s) with Lyudinovsky Locomotive Plant (Russia) (Людиновский тепловозостроительный завод), (now part of Sinara Group) creating a single-body, eight-axle 3MW (Bo'Bo')'(Bo'Bo')' diesel locomotive ТЭРА1, powered by an EMD 710 16-cylinder engine. In the early 2010s the company began a collaboration with Croatian rolling stock company TŽV Gredelj.

Locomotives were also assembled by General Motors Industria Argentina, General Motors South African (Pty) Ltd, and under license by Delta Motor Corporation (South Africa), Equipamentos Villares S.A.(Brazil), and Hyundi (Korea). Bombardier Transportation has also acted as subcontractor, manufacturing units at its plant in Sahagun, Mexico since 1998; with over one-thousand locomotives completed by 2007. The manufacturing agreement continued under Progress Rail ownership.

In Australia Clyde Engineering used EMD components in locally manufactured locomotives beginning in the 1950s. That company was absorbed into what is now Downer Rail (EDI rail division).

In India the Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW) has manufactured EMD designs since the late 1990s. In 2010 EMD announced its intention to establish its own manufacturing facility in India, potentially in Biharthrough a PPP project with the state government, or in Uttar Pradesh. As of 2011 EMD's cooperative development association with Indian Railways is ongoing.

In China CNR Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock Company has manufactured the EMD-designed units China Railways HXN3 (JT56ACe) since 2008.

In 2012 the EMD formed a joint venture with Barloworld, Electro-Motive Diesel Africa (Proprietary) Limited, to supply locomotive and rail related products to the sub-saharan African market. In September 2012, EMD also signed a deal with Bombardier Transportation; Bombardier's factory in Savli, in India, would assemble EMD products for Asian customers.

Maintenance and support facilities
EMD also provides maintenance services, technical support, parts inventory, and sales and marketing services from many other locations spread throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, China, India, Pakistan, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Brazil, Egypt, and South Africa.​

EMD has produced the following series of engines:

    EMD 567 — no longer in production; 567AC, 567BC, 567C, 567D and "567E" engines may be retrofitted with 645 Power assemblies and other major components, mainly for so-called "life-extension" programs; 567E engines are actually 645E blocks which were originally manufactured with 567 power assemblies

    EMD 645 — "E- and F-Engines"; currently in production by request; most 645 major assemblies remain in new production for replacement purposes

    EMD 710 — "G-Engine"; currently in production; unit injectors on pre-1995 engines, electronically-controlled unit injectors on post-1995 engines

    EMD 265 — "H-Engine"; currently in production, but there have been very few domestic orders in recent years, and most existing 265-powered locomotives in North America have been removed from service and have been scrapped after removing all reusable subsystems and components, possibly for resale overseas

    EMD 1010 — "J-Engine"; Currently in production. First introduced at the Railway Interchange Expo 2015 at BNSF North Town Yard, Minneapolis, Minnesota, from October 4 to October 7, 2015. This new engine is first used on SD70ACe-T4, the new Tier 4 freight locomotive from EMD. This engine features a two-stage turbocharging system consisting of three turbochargers: one turbo (the primary/high pressure turbo) for low-mid RPM range and two turbos (the secondary/low pressure turbos) for mid-high RPM range. The results are bigger power throughout a broader RPM range, better fuel efficiency, and lower emission.

Reporting marks
The following reporting marks are listed for rolling stock:
    EMDX — Electro-Motive Division Leasing
    EMLX — Electro-Motive Division Leasing
    GMCX — General Motors Corporation
    GMDX — General Motors Diesel Canada

See also:

List of GM-EMD locomotives

Locomotive Builders