• EMD F3 demonstrator units

  • Discussion of Electro-Motive locomotive products and technology, past and present. Official web site can be found here: http://www.emdiesels.com/.
Discussion of Electro-Motive locomotive products and technology, past and present. Official web site can be found here: http://www.emdiesels.com/.

Moderator: GOLDEN-ARM

  by Slobo
I am interested in the history of #291 (A-B-B-A) and #754 F3 (A-B-A) demonstrator sets. How long did these sets do their thing before being sold off? Which railroads tested them (by unit # preferably) and did 291 aver get split into A-B, A-B-A or A-B-B sets before sell-off?

Many thanks

  by mxdata
They broke them up in various combinations regularly, including use of single "A" units in passenger service demonstrations.

I have never seen any listings of all the individual operations, but probably some of the demonstrations were the subject of magazine articles and EMD advertising in that time period. The demonstration runs may also have been mentioned in some of the mid-1940s sales brochures.

  by SSW9389
There is a twist to the story of these six units. Yes only six units, not seven. F3A demonstrator 291A1 was sold as TP&W 100A, F3A demonstrator 291A2 was destroyed in a wreck, F3B demonstrator 291B1 was sold as TP&W 100B, and F3B demonstrator 291B2 was renumbered to 754B1 before being sold to Monon as the 65C.

F3A demonstrator 754A1 was sold to Monon 85A and F3A demonstrator 754A2 was sold as Monon 85B.

There was another F3A demonstrator the 951 which was sold as KCS 59A.

All diesel data by A J Kristopans. Thanks Andre.

I will post acquisition dates in a few tics. :wink:

  by SSW9389
TP&W acquired its F3AB demo pair on December 10, 1946. From Extra 2200 South issue #46 TP&W roster.

Still looking for the Monon data, suspect sometime in 1947 that the demonstrators were acquired, but it could have been a bit later. Any Monon fans out there please chime in. :wink:

  by mxdata
If I remember correctly there was a story on the wreck of demonstrator 291A2 in the EMD "Field Service News" (an internal Service Department publication) shortly after it happened. I recall it mentioning that one of the Field Instructors was riding the units at the time.

  by wolfeden
Here is a Monon list from the society website.

1A F3A 1500 101 EMD 12/46 Re# 64A (II) only f/'47-48.
51B F3A 1500 110 EMD 12/46 Re# 64B in '47.
52A F3A 1500 111 EMD 12/46 Re# 65A in '47. Scrapped before '71
52B F3A 1500 112 EMD 12/46 Re# 65B in '47. Scrapped before '71
61A F3A 1500 103 EMD 12/46 Traded to ALCO in '66.
61B F3A 1500 104 EMD 12/46
62A F3A 1500 105 EMD 12/46
62B(I) F3A 1500 EMD 1/47 Wrecked @ Ash Grove 6/3/47.
62B(III)F3A 1500 106 EMD 3/48
63A F3A 1500 107 EMD 1/47
63B F3A 1500 108 EMD 1/47
64A(I) F3A 1500 EMD 1/47 Wrecked @ Ash Grove 6/3/47.
64A(III)F3A 1500 109 EMD 3/48 Traded to Alco in '66
64B(I) F3A 1500 102 EMD 1/47 Re# 62B '46; 51B '48.
81A F3A 1500 201 EMD 5/47
81B F3A 1500 202 EMD 5/47
82A F3A 1500 203 EMD 5/47 Traded in by LN.
82B F3A 1500 204 EMD 5/47 Re# 85 for 1947 only. Traded by LN.
83A F3A 1500 205 EMD 5/47
83B F3A 1500 206 EMD 5/47
84A F3A 1500 207 EMD 5/47 Traded in by LN.
84B F3A 1500 208 EMD 5/47 Traded to Alco '66. Sold to LN 805!
61C F3B 1500 301 EMD 12/46
62C F3B 1500 302 EMD 12/46
63C F3B 1500 303 EMD 1/47
64C(I) F3B 1500 EMD 1/47 Wrecked @ Ash Grove 6/3/47.
64C(II) F3B 1500 304 EMD 10/47
85A F2A 1500 209 EMD 9/46 EX-EMD 754A1
85B F2A 1500 210 EMD 9/46 EX-EMD 754A2 traded to ALCO in '66
65C F2B 1500 305 EMD 7/45 EX-EMD 754B1
51A&B EMD F3A Blt 1946 (later #101-2)
65A&B EMD F3A Blt 1946-47 (later #103-112)
61C-64C EMD F3B Blt 1946-47 (later #301-304)
65C EMD F3B Blt 1945 for EMD (later #305)
84A&B EMD F3A Blt 1947 (steam generators, later 201-8)
85A&B EMD F3A Blt 1946 for EMD (steam gen, later 209-10)

Hope this sheds some lite. I learned a few things here myself.

Take Care
  by Eric.B
The 291 was in fact, in a head on collision with a Chicago Great Western 2-10-2. The
EMD sales Rep. On board at the time, was my grandfather. I have a few B & W photos of the wreck.
Knowing Grandpa, I'm sure that the story has been somewhat glamorized, but Grandpa saw the
oncomming loco, and instructed the engine crew to get behind the F-3's main generator, figuring
that to be the safest place. I understand that no one was seriously injured. This is quite suprising,
After looking at the photos. I have the 291's Bell, slightly bent up. Please let me know if anyone has
a copy of the EMD news that mentions the wreck. I would be very interested in purchasing.
Grandpa had many interesting EMD stories, like the time he met Frank Sinatra and Pat O'Brian in
the Zephyr club car, while demo-ing new E units.
In memory of James Macko 1983
  by SSW9389
The 291 was demonstrating on the GM&O in mid February 1946. It was directly in competition with the Alco-GE FA-1 FB-1 FA-1 set that was also on GM&O.
  by SSW9389
Does anyone have additional information on the when and where the F3 demonstrators tested for EMD? The is some information in the Preston Cook F unit issue of Classic Trains.
  by SSW921
There is a two page article in the December 1946 Trains magazine. It's titled "Electro-Motives F-3". The article states that the F3 demonstrators rolled up more than 125,000 miles on 26 different railroads. And that some 746 units are on order for 30 different railroads. Does anyone have additional information on the when and where the F3 demonstrators tested for EMD? Were any of these later F2/F3 units on the floor at LaGrange when the steel strike of January 1946 started? Was there another A unit demonstrator fielded by EMD that we don't know about? It seems very strange to this researcher that after the EMDX 291A2 was destroyed on Christmas Day 1945, that another A unit demonstrator was not produced until September 1946. An A unit with two B units is not very flexible. There is a February 1946 GM&O letter from the Superintendent to the Chief Dispatcher that suggests two A-B EMD demonstrators were working on that railroad. How would that be possible if there was only one A unit?

Ed in Kentucky
  by SSW921
There was a UAW strike against GM from November 21, 1945 to March 13, 1946. I think EMD was included in that. There are no EMD production locomotives listed for December 1945 and January, February, and March of 1946. The same steel strike that hit Alco production must have also hit EMD toward the end of the UAW strike as there are no EMD production locomotives until about mid April 1946.

Ed in Kentucky
  by SSW921
Does anyone have EMD Product Data that shows the original 16-567B block number installed in A&EC #400 outshopped as an F2A in July 1946? The data I have shows a block that relates to those being produced in mid 1948 which is obviously a transplant.

Ed in Kentucky
  by SSW921
There's going to be a treatise on EMD "Blockology" here in this thread in the next few days. And what we think we know about F2/F3 demonstrators may be tested.

Ed in Kentucky
  by SSW921
I posted this over on Trains.com about this subject:

Another question that dovetails with Northwest's original question is how many FTs were cancelled because of the UAW strike against EMD. UAW workers walked off the job on Wednesday November 21, 1945. The UAW strike ended Wednesday March 13, 1946; but the EMD plant remained closed because of the lingering effects of the steel strike which started January 21, 1946. Richard Steinbrenner gives two different dates for the end of the steel strike at Alco, either March 25th or April 10th of 1946. I don't have an accurate date for EMD, but builder's dates stop in late November 1945 and recommence in Mid April 1946. I've found cancellations for 60 FT units here: http://www.trainweb.org/emdloco/index.html ; there may be others. I've never seen this written up the correlation between the strike and EMD production of FTs, F2s , and F3s.
Ed in Kentucky

The EMD F3 was built from 7/45 to 2/49, while the F2 was built from 7/46 to 11/46. So, why was F2 production a year later? Almost everything I've read states the F2 as a transition model from the FT to the F3. Was it to clear out remaining parts from FT production (D8 generator)? If so, were F2s cheaper?
  by Allen Hazen
I may very well be wrong, but my suspicion is that UAW organized all (unionized) GM employees, so that there wouldn't have been members of the steelworkers' union at EMD. My ***GUESS*** then is that the "lingering effects of the steel strike" that delayed new-locomotive production at EMD after the end of the UAW strike would have been a matter of unavailability of material from subcontractors organized by the Steelworkers.
(The AFL side of the AFL-CIO was primarily made up of "trade" unions, organizing workers who did certain kinds of things wherever they worked, and the CIO of "industrial" unions, that tried to organize whole enterprises. And I think the UAW was an "industrial" union. Also, in the steam era, was primarily a metal-working (casting, riveting, welding...) and so would naturally have been organized by the Steelworkers on either strategy.)
My history is hazy, so if anyone knows more, please correct me!


Supposedly the F2 was built because EMD couldn't, immediately, produce (enough?) of the more robust generator needed for the more powerful engine used in the F3. So an F2 was basically the F3 design, downgraded by using the old-style generator from the FT. I can't remember ever having been told whether the original, 1945, F3 was built with hand-made prototypes of the new generator, or equipped with a generator which, on testing, turned out to be inadequate, or...