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MEC 280, originally built as DH 301, was the first U23B built by GE in 1968. It is seen here working in Ayer, MA, in February 1993.

CC BY-SA 2.5, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7037158

MEC 280, originally built as DH 301, was the first U23B built by GE in 1968. It is seen here working in Ayer, MA, in February 1993.
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CR 2798 was the last U23B built by GE in 1977.

GE U23B Diesel-Electric Locomotive
The GE U23B Diesel-electric locomotive was introduced by GE Transportation in 1968 as a medium horsepower roadswitcher, featuring a 2,250 hp 12 cylinder FDL engine. It was one of the most successful models of the Universal Series, with railroads ordering it from 1968 until 1977 when it was replaced by the B23-7. 481 units were built, including 16 exported to Peru.

Not many U23Bs still exist, but a few shortline and regional railroads still use them in everyday service. The Georgia Central Railway was one of the last U23B holdouts, rostering almost all of the remaining ex Southern Railway (U.S.) high short hood U23Bs. The Georgia Central as of July 2015 has all of its U23Bs off of the roster with the 3965 going to the Southern Appalachia Railway Museum in Oak Ridge, TN.

The Huntsville and Madison County Railroad Authority in Huntsville, AL, operates perhaps one of the last U23B's used in daily freight service, as of October 2015. HMCR 9554 was originally built in late 1974 as L&N 2800. The last U23B built, originally Conrail 2798, and more recently Providence and Worcester 2203, is in regular excursion service at the Naugatuck Railroad, operated by the Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston, Connecticut.

CR 2798 was the last U23B built by GE in 1977, and the last Universal Series locomotive built for North American use. In this photo, it is leading a westbound train through Middlefield, Massachusetts, in June 1979.

Original owners

Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway

Quantity:  49
Road Numbers:  6300-6348

Chesapeake and Ohio Railway

Quantity:  30
Road Numbers:  2300–2329

Conrail

Quantity:  10
Road Numbers:  2789–2798

Delaware and Hudson Railway

Quantity:  16
Road Numbers:  301-316

Ferrocarril del Pacífico

Quantity:  10
Road Numbers:  537-546

Lehigh Valley Railroad

Quantity:  12
Road Numbers:  501-512

Louisville and Nashville Railroad

Quantity:  90
Road Numbers:  2708–2772, 2800–2824

Milwaukee Road

Quantity:  5
Road Numbers:  4800-4804

Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad

Quantity:  3
Road Numbers:  350-352

Missouri Pacific Railroad

Quantity:  39
Road Numbers:  668-674, 2257–2288

Monon Railroad

Quantity:  8
Road Numbers:  601-608

Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México (NdeM)

Quantity:  30
Road Numbers:  9100-9129

Penn Central Transportation

Quantity:  77
Road Numbers:  2700–2776

Southern Peru Copper

Quantity:  16
Road Numbers:  40-45, 50-59

Southern Railway

Quantity:  70
Road Numbers:  3900-3969

Texas Utilities

Quantity:  1
Road Number:  103

Western Pacific Railroad

Quantity:  15
Road Numbers:  2251–2265

GE U23B Overview
Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: GE Transportation Systems
Model: U23B
Build date: August 1968 – June 1977
Total produced: 481
Specifications
Configuration:
​ • AAR B-B
Gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
Length: 60 ft 2 in (18.34 m)
Prime mover: GE 7FDL-12
Cylinders: 12
Performance figures
Power output: 2,250 hp (1,680 kW)

See also:

GE Diesel Locomotives

Diesel Locomotives

CR 2798 was the last U23B built by GE in 1977, and the last Universal Series locomotive built for North American use. In this photo, it is leading a westbound train through Middlefield, Massachusetts, in June 1979.   CC BY-SA 2.5, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7038565

Georgia Central Railway U23Bs wait for their next run in the old Seaboard Air Line yard in Macon, Georgia, April 2004.

By Civilengtiger (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Georgia Central Railway U23Bs wait for their next run in the old Seaboard Air Line yard in Macon, Georgia, April 2004.
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