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GE U18B Diesel Electric Locomotive
The GE U18B diesel-electric locomotive was introduced by GE Transportation as a branch line road switcher in 1973. Easy to spot due to its relatively short length — 54 ft 8 in (16.66 m) — it was the only North American locomotive powered by the 8-cylinder 7FDL engine.

The Seaboard Coast Line Railroad (SCL) bought 105 U18Bs, far more than the second-best U.S. customer, the Maine Central Railroad (MEC), which ordered 10. Most of the SCL and MEC U18Bs rode on refurbished Blomberg trucks, recycled from old  EMD locomotives, making the U18B even more visually distinct from other GE locomotives.

Many railfans refer to the GE Universal Series locomotives as "U-Boats." Due to its smaller size, the U18B received the nickname "Baby Boat."

Not many U18Bs still exist, but some short line railroads, such as the Pickens Railway, still have several U18Bs in everyday service.

GE included information about a B18-7 locomotive (which would have followed the U18B) in its 1978 "Series-7 Road Locomotives" service manual, but none of these updated units were ordered, sold, or built.

Original Owners

Railroad: Maine Central Railroad (MEC)

Quantity: 10
Road Numbers: 400–409
Notes: Bloomberg trucks

Railroad: Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México (NdeM)

Quantity: 45
Road Numbers: 9000–9044
Notes: AAR type-B trucks

Railroad: Providence and Worcester Railroad

Quantity: 1
Road Number: 1801
Notes: FB-2 trucks

Railroad: Seaboard Coast Line Railroad (SCL)

Quantity: 105
Road Numbers: 250–261, 300–392
Notes: 325-392 with Bloomberg trucks, all others FB-2.

Railroad: Texas Utilities

Quantity: 2
Road Numbers: 101–102
Notes: AAR type-B trucks

GE U18B Overview
Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: General Electric
Model: U18B
Build date: March 1973 – October 1976
Total produced: 163
Specifications
Configuration:
​ • AAR: B-B
 • UIC: Bo′Bo′
Gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length: 54 ft 8 in (16.66 m)
Prime mover: GE 7FDL
Engine type: V8 4-stroke diesel
Aspiration: Turbocharger
Displacement: 5,344 cu in (87.57 L)
Cylinders: 8
Cylinder size: 9 in × 10.5 in (228.6 mm × 266.7 mm)
Transmission: DC generator, DC traction motors
Locomotive brake: Straight air, Dynamic
Train brakes: 26-L Air
Performance figures
Power output: 1,800 hp (1.34 MW)

Career
Locale: North America

See also:

GE Diesel-Electric Locomotives

GE Transportation

GE U18B NIAX 407 on lease to the Niagara & Western New York Railroad, July 2002.
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A Maine Central Railroad U18B, on lease to the short-lived Niagara and Western New York Railroad, July 2002

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