FM H-20-44 Diesl-Electric Locomotive
The FM H-20-44 was a multiple unit-capable end cab road switcher manufactured by Fairbanks-Morse from June 1947 – March 1954, and represented the company's first entry into the road switcher market. The 2,000 hp (1,490 kW), ten-cylinder opposed piston engine locomotive was referred to by F-M's engineering department as the "Heavy Duty" unit. It was configured in a B-B wheel arrangement mounted atop a pair of two-axle AAR Type-B road truckswith all axles powered. H-20-44s shared the same platform and much of the same carbody as the lighter-duty FM H-15-44, which began its production run three months later.

In the same manner as other F-M switcher models, the H-20-44 started out displaying a variety of Raymond Loewy-inspired contours, only to have the majority of these superfluous trim features stripped from the last few units built as a cost-cutting measure. Only 96 units were built for American railroads, as few firms saw sufficient value in moving freight in greater quantities or at a higher speeds than was possible with the typical 1,500- and 1,600 horsepower (1,200 kW) four-axle road switchers of the era. Also limiting the model's utility as a true road unit was its lack of a short hood, which the (ironically) lighter-duty H-15-44 did have. Three intact examples of the H-20-44 are known to survive today; all are the property of railroad museums.

Units produced

Original Owner: Akron, Canton and Youngstown Railroad

Quantity: 6
Road numbers: 500–505

Original Owner: Fairbanks-Morse (demonstrator units)

Quantity: 1
Road number: 2000
Remarks: (Builder's No. L1032; sold to the UP and assigned No. DS1366)

Original Owner: New York Central Railroad

Quantity: 19
Road numbers: 7100–7118

Original Owner: Pennsylvania Railroad

Quantity: 38
Road numbers: 8917–8942, 9300–9311

Original Owner: Pittsburgh and West Virginia

Quantity: 22
Road numbers: 50–71

Original Owner: Union Pacific

Quantity: 10
Road numbers: DS1360–DS1365, DS1367–DS1370

Total Units: 96

FM H-20-44 Overview
Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: Fairbanks-Morse
Model: H-20-44
Build date: June 1947 — March 1954
Total produced: 96
​ • AAR B-B
 • UIC B′B′
Gauge: 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)
Length: 51 ft 0 in (15.54 m)
Locomotive weight: 254,000 lb (115.2 tonnes)
Prime mover: FM 38D-8 1/8
Engine type: Two-stroke diesel
Aspiration: Roots blower
Displacement: 10,369 cu in (169,920 cm3)
Cylinders: 10 (Opposed piston)
Cylinder size: 8.125 in × 10 in (206 mm × 254 mm)
Transmission: DC generator, DC traction motors
Locomotive brake: Straight air
Train brakes: Air
Performance figures
Maximum speed: 70 mph (113 km/h)
Power output: 2,000 hp (1.49 MW)
Tractive effort: 42,125 lbf (187.38 kN)
Locale: North America
Disposition: Three preserved, remainder scrapped

See also:


F-M Diesel-Electric Locomotives

Diesel-Electric Locomotives


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An FM H-20-44 road switcher, retired Union Pacific No. 1369.
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An FM H-20-44 road switcher, retired Union Pacific No. 1369.

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