FM H-12-44 Diesel-Electric Locomotive
The FM H-12-44 was a yard switcher produced by Fairbanks-Morse from May, 1950–March, 1961. The units featured a 1,200-horsepower (890 kW), six-cylinder opposed piston engine prime mover, and were configured in a B-B wheel arrangement mounted atop a pair of two-axle AAR Type-A switcher trucks, with all axles powered and geared for a top speed of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h).

A total of 303 units were built for American railroads, 30 were manufactured (between August 1951 to June 1956) by the Canadian Locomotive Companyfor use in Canada, and 1 unit was exported to Mexico. Initially, H-12-44s were visually indistinguishable from their predecessor model, the FM H-10-44. However, beginning in September, 1952 the Raymond Loewy design elements were removed as a cost-saving measure: cab lines were squared-off, the slanted-nose styling was discontinued, and the roof visor was eliminated. The following year, the fairing over the battery box was removed and louvers added to reduce the possibility of battery explosions. None of the units were produced between May and October 1956, after which time the carbodies were shortened by some three feet and outfitted with a deeper side skirt.

Sixteen intact examples of the H-12-44 are known to survive today, all of which are owned by railroad museums or historical societies.

One H-12-44TS, Santa Fe 543, now resides at the Illinois Railway Museum.

Original Owners Units produced by Fairbanks-Morse (1950–1961)

Owner: Fairbanks-Morse (demonstrator)
Quantity: 1
Road numbers: 76
Remarks: to Yankeetown Dock Corporation 1

Owner: Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
Quantity: 59
Road numbers: 503–540, 544–564
Remarks: 3 custom built H12-44TS locomotives 541-543. 543 survives today

Owner: Ayrshire Collieries Corporation
Quantity: 1
Road numbers: 1
Remarks: to Thunderbird Collieries 1; to Yankeetown Dock 3

Owner: Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
Quantity: 17
Road numbers: 196–197, 310–319, 9722–9726
Remarks: 310–319 renumbered 9710–9719, 196–197 renumbered 9720–9721.

Owner: Canadian National Railway
Quantity: 30
Road numbers: 1630–1659
Remarks: built by Canadian Locomotive Company

Owner: Central of Georgia Railway
Quantity: 4
Road numbers: 315–318

Owner: Chicago and North Western Railway
Quantity: 9
Road numbers: 1071–1072, 1110–1116

Owner: Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad ("Milwaukee Road")
Quantity: 48
Road numbers: 1826–1847, 2309–2325
Remarks: Renumbered 700–710, 715–744, 750–756 (not in order).

Owner: Columbia and Cowlitz Railway
Quantity: 1
Road numbers: D-2
Remarks: Renumbered No. 700.

Owner: Ferrocarril de Chihuahua al Pacífico (Mexico)
Quantity: 1
Road numbers: 70

Owner: Indianapolis Union Railway
Quantity: 3
Road numbers: 19–21

Owner: Kentucky and Indiana Terminal Railroad
Quantity: 7
Road numbers: 60–66

Owner: Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad ("Soo Line")
Quantity: 5
Road numbers: 315–319

Owner: Minnesota Western Railway
Quantity: 1
Road numbers: 10
Remarks: to Minneapolis, Northfield and Southern Railway 10.

Owner: New York Central Railroad
Quantity: 27
Road numbers: 9111–9137

Owner: New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad ("Nickel Plate Road")
Quantity: 22
Road numbers: 134–155
Remarks: to Norfolk and Western Railway 2134–2155.

Owner: Pennsylvania Railroad
Quantity: 16
Road numbers: 8708–8723
Remarks: to Penn Central 8327–8342.

Owner: Sandersville Railroad
Quantity: 1
Road numbers: 100
Remarks: Renumbered 10.

Owner: St. Louis-San Francisco Railway ("Frisco")
Quantity: 4
Road numbers: 282–285

Owner: Southern Pacific Company
Quantity: 43
Road numbers: 1486–1491, 1529–1574, 1577–1596

Owner: Southern Pacific (Texas and New Orleans Railroad)
Quantity: 2
Road numbers: 119–120
Remarks: to Southern Pacific 1575–1576; renumbered 2373–2374.

Owner: Tennessee Valley Authority
Quantity: 1
Road numbers: 22

Owner: United States Army
Quantity: 20
Road numbers: 1843–1862

Owner: U.S. Steel, Morrisville, Pennsylvania
Quantity: 8
Road numbers: GE9–GE16

Owner: Wabash Railroad
Quantity: 3
Road numbers: 384–386
Remarks: to Norfolk and Western 3384–3386.

Owner: White River Lumber Company (Weyerhaeuser Timber Company)  
Quantity: 1
Road numbers: WTC 1
Remarks: to Pacific Transportation Services 121 then transferred to Northwest Railway Museum where it is preserved in running condition.

Owner: Yankeetown Dock Corporation
Quantity: 1
Road numbers: 2

Total Units: 336

Several examples of the H-12-44 model have been preserved around the US and Canada.

  Weyerhaeuser Timber Company No. 1 is preserved at the Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie, Washington. While still being occasionally run after undergoing a full rebuild and engine overhaul. The locomotive is now ran for special events with its partner caboose White River Logging Company number 001 but is not run for regular service.
  Former US Army No.1843 is a part of the collection at the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum in Rush, NY (south of Rochester, NY). It is in operable condition and is a key locomotive at the RGVRRM.
  Former US Army later US Steel #1845 is currently stored at Fairless Hills, Penn. undergoing restoration. It is privately owned.
  Former US Army No. 1847 is preserved at the Golden Gate Railroad Museum in Sunol, CA. It is currently operational and has been painted in "Tiger Stripe" scheme to represent Southern Pacific No. 1487.
  Former US Army No. 1849 is preserved for static display at the Bluegrass Railroad Museum in Versailles, Kentucky.
  Former US Army No. 1850, No. 1853 and No. 1861 are stored out of service at the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum in Calera, Alabama.
  Former US Army No. 1855 owned and operated (on excursion train) by Nevada State RR Museum, Boulder City, Nevada.
  Former US Army No. 1857 is preserved at the Western Pacific Railroad Museum at Portola, California. It was used at the Sierra Army Depot at Herlong, California, located along the former Western Pacific Railroad. It is used in the museum's famous "Rent-A-Locomotive" program.
  Former US Army unit No. 1860, worked at Sunny Point Military Ocean Terminal. It later went to Beaufort & Morehead Railroad in North Carolina as No. 1860, based at the Morehead City State Ports. The North Carolina Transportation Museum acquired the locomotive in 2004 after disposition from the State Ports.
  Former US Steel No. 9121 is preserved by the United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey. Restoration is underway at SMS Railroad in Bridgeport, New Jersey.
  Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe No. 608 (formerly No. 508) is (as of November 12, 2016) parked across the Union Pacific mainline from the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, California. Its disposition is unknown, as it is not listed on their roster of preserved equipment (published July 19, 2016).

FM H-12-44 Overview
Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: Fairbanks-Morse
Model: H-12-44
Build date: May 1950 – March 1961
Total produced: 336
​ • AAR B-B
Gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
Trucks: AAR type A
Wheel diameter: 40 in (1,016 mm)
Minimum curve: 29.50 (194 ft (59.13 m) radius)
Wheelbase: 33 ft 6 in (10.21 m)
Length: 48 ft 10 in (14.88 m)
Width: 10 ft 4 in (3.15 m)
Height: 14 ft 6 5⁄8 in (4.44 m)
Locomotive weight: 240,000 lb (108.9 t)
Prime mover: FM 38D-8 1/8
Engine type: Opposed piston Two-stroke diesel
Aspiration: Roots blower
Displacement: 6,222 cu in (101.96 l)
Generator: FM DGZJ
Traction motors: (4) FM DRZH
Cylinders: 6 (Opposed piston)
Cylinder size: 8.125 in × 10 in (206 mm × 254 mm)
Locomotive brake: Straight air
Train brakes: Air
Performance figures
Maximum speed: 60 mph (97 km/h)
Power output: 1,200 hp (895 kW)
Tractive effort: 40,440 lbf (179.9 kN))
Locale: North America

See also:


FM Diesel-Electric Locomotives

Diesel-Electric Locomotives


SP FM H-12-44 No. 1487, Niles Canyon.

Classic Streamliners - TRAIN​CYCLOPEDIA

Weyerhaeuser Timber Company FM H 12-44.

Southern Pacific FM H-12-44 No. 2380 backs the Del Monte into San Jose in April 1971, a week before the Amtrak takeover.  Photo by Drew Jacksich.

By Drew Jacksich from San Jose, CA, The Republic of California - Del Monte San Jose, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Southern Pacific Railroad Fairbanks-Morse H-12-44, Niles Canyon, California.

By Nate Beal - originally posted to Flickr as SP FM, CC BY 2.0,

Weyerhaeuser Timber Company FM H 12-44.

​By Bradley24hi - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Southern Pacific FM H-12-44 No. 2380 backs the Del Monte into San Jose in April 1971, a week before the Amtrak takeover. Photo by Drew Jacksich.
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