Fairbanks-Morse H-24-66 Train Master Diesel Locomotive
The H-24-66 was a diesel-electric railway locomotive model produced by Fairbanks-Morse and its Canadian licensee, the Canadian Locomotive Company. These six-axle hood unit road switchers, known as Train Masters were deployed in the United States and Canada during the 1950s. Each locomotive produced 2,400 horsepower. They were the successor to the ultimately unsuccessful Consolidated line of cab units produced by F-M and CLC in the 1950s. In common with other F-M locomotives, the Train Master units employed an opposed piston-design prime mover. The official model designation was H-24-66 and rode on a pair of drop equalized three-axle "Trimount" trucks giving it an C-C wheel arrangement.

Touted by Fairbanks-Morse as "...the most useful locomotive ever built..." upon its introduction in 1953, the 2,400 horsepower H-24-66 Train Master was the most powerful single-engine diesel locomotive available, legendary for its pulling power and rapid acceleration. While some railroads saw advantages in the Train Master's greater power, the perception on the part of others that the unit had too much horsepower (coupled with the difficulties inherent in maintaining the opposed-piston engine, inadequacies in the electrical system, and a higher-than-normal consumption of cooling water) contributed to poor marketplace acceptance of the Train Masters. Perhaps it was simply ahead of its time, as no competitor offered a locomotive with an equal horsepower rating until the ALCO RSD-7 entered production in January, 1954 (As an aside, the EMD SD24 did not arrive on the scene until July, 1958, and GE did not introduce their U25C until September, 1963). Both F-M and CLC ultimately left the locomotive business.

Three different carbody variants were produced, and were differentiated as follows: Phase 1a units had their air intake louvers located in a continuous line along the top of the long hood, and a wide separating strip between the radiator fans; Phase 1b modifications were minor, consisting only of a "dip" in the long hood handrails that allowed them to better follow the profile of the side walkways; Phase 2 units boasted fewer air intake louvers, with large gaps separating them (the radiators themselves were divided by only a tiny metal strip).

Units manufactured by Fairbanks-Morse (1953–1957)
Fairbanks-Morse (demonstrator units)

Quantity: 4
Road numbers: TM-1 – TM-4
Notes: TM-1 & TM-2 to Wabash Railroad 550–551; TM-3 & TM-4 to Southern Pacific 4800–4801/3020–3021.

Canadian National Railway

Quantity: 1
Road numbers: 3000
Notes: Later renumbered 2900.

Canadian Pacific Railway

Quantity: 1
Road numbers: 8900
Notes: Only CPR Trainmaster built by FM (not CLC). Delivered with a single steam generator. Remaining (twenty) CPR Trainmasters (8901-8920) built by CLC (see below).

Central Railroad of New Jersey

Quantity: 13
Road numbers: 2401–2413

Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad

Quantity: 12
Road numbers: 850–861
Notes: All to Erie Lackawanna Railroad 1850–1861.

Pennsylvania Railroad

Quantity: 9
Road numbers: 8699–8707
Notes: All to Penn Central 6700–6708.

Reading Company

Quantity: 17
Road numbers: 800–808, 860–867

Southern Pacific

Quantity: 14
Road numbers: 4802–4815, 4800-4815
Notes: Renumbered 3022–3035 in 1965.

Southern Railway (CNO&TP)

Quantity: 5
Road numbers: 6300–6304

Virginian Railway

Quantity: 25
Road numbers: 50–74
Notes: All to Norfolk and Western Railway 150–174.

Wabash Railroad

Quantity: 6
Road numbers: 552–554, 552A–554A
Notes:Renumbered 552–557

Total units: 107

Units manufactured by the Canadian Locomotive Company (1956)
Canadian Pacific Railway

Quantity: 20
Road numbers: 8901–8920
Notes: CP 8905 is the only H-24-66 preserved. It can be seen at the Canadian Railway Museum in Saint-Constant, Quebec, Canada. 8901-8904 originally delivered with unique wide short hoods housing dual steam generators, converted to normal hood width when SG's removed.

Only one Train Master locomotive has survived intact — former Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) H-24-66 #8905 is now owned by the Canadian Railroad Historical Association, which operates the Canadian Railway Museum in Saint-Constant, Quebec.

Former Norfolk and Western Railway Train Master slugs survived well into Norfolk Southern service with one currently preserved at the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum.

Train Master Overview
Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: Fairbanks-Morse
Build date: April 1953–June 1957
Total produced: 127
AAR wheel arrangement: C-C
Gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in
Trucks: Baldwin-style Commonwealth
Length: 66 ft 0 in
Locomotive weight: 375,000 lb
Prime mover 38D-12
Engine type: 12-cylinders, Opposed piston two-stroke diesel
Aspiration: Roots blower
Displacement: 12,443 cu in
Generator: DC
Traction motors: DC
Cylinders: 12
Cylinder size: 8.125 in × 10 in
Transmission: Diesel-electric
Performance figures
Maximum speed: 65 mph / 80 mph
Power output: 2,400 hp
Tractive effort: 112,000 lbf
Locomotive brake: 24RL air, Dynamic
Train brakes: Air
Locale: North America

See also:


Diesel-Electric Locomotives   

F-M Diesel-Electric Locomotives

Peninsula Commute

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Canadian Pacific Railway No. 8909, a Canadian Locomotive Company H-24-66 Train Master. Photo from the collection of Paul Charland.

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Canadian Pacific Railway #8909, a Canadian Locomotive Company H-24-66 Train Master. Photo from the collection of Paul Charland.

A Train Master Slideshow.

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