• 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 SSW921
Thank you Allen for the labor clarification. I knew it had to have something to do with the strike as no new EMD units have a March 1946 builder's date.

This is from a similar discussion on the F3 demonstrators on Trains dot com this morning, "t's hard to say with clarity what EMD intended for the end of FT production. The three railroads listed as cancelling FT orders were CB&Q 42 units, D&RGW 12 units and M&SL six units. All three of those roads followed up with new F unit orders. There may have been other undocumented cancellations. If any of those orders were in development could the 16-567As been used to another purpose? There is engine block data which suggests that 16-567Bs were in production when EMD shut down in November 1946. And I'm suggesting that a few new build F2/F3s were on the floor when EMD was struck. There was a clear need for passenger equipped A units in demonstration service. Some new build Fs may have been complete or near complete when the production line shut down.
The whole F2/F3 demonstration time is murky. The Christmas Day 1945 wreck of two of the demonstrators 291A2 and 291B2 adds to the confusion. There are some details but not a clear picture of what was going on with the demonstrators as to where and when they were.
Ed in Kentucky"
  by SSW921
A few edits on my last post. EMD shut down production in November 1945. The Randolph, Minnesota wreck was on Christmas Day 1946. The wreck occurred at 440 AM when the three unit demonstrator running A-B-A struck a Chicago Great Western southbound 2-10-4 head-on. The lead unit 291A2 suffered a broken underframe behind the cab. Three men riding in the lead diesel were injured and evacuated for medical treatment. The trailing B unit remained upright. The trailing A unit derailed and ended up on its side. Some 20 freight cars derailed.

Ed in Kentucky
  by SSW921
Just as every EMD unit has an order number and a serial number, each diesel engine block installed in a unit has a number. These block numbers are recorded in the EMD Product Data, presumably for maintenance purposes.
EMD began manufacturing 16-567B blocks in 1945. The F2 demonstrators were completed in May of that year and released for test on July 31, 1945. There would have been a 16-567B installed in each of the four #291 demonstrators, plus another block or two for test purposes. Continued 16-567B production may have occurred later in 1945 up to the point where a strike shut down EMD in November. There is a bit of information that backs this up.
At the very end of FT production there were orders for 12 Great Northern and 12 Rock Island units. No other F units, that we know of, were produced until July 1946.
Now about those pesky block numbers. When EMD started F2 production, presumably in July 1946, there were nine maybe ten block numbers that point to a 1945 manufacture date. Three are within the number range of the Rock Island 16-567A blocks installed in FTs and six are just after. One block of a July 1946 produced F2A is not known at this time because a mid-1948 production 16-567B was installed at a later date. There were 43 F2As built with a July 1946 production date. In numerical sequence from oldest 16-567B block installed in nine F2As is: Rock Island 39, Rock Island 49, Burlington 152A, New York Central 1604, Alabama Great Southern (Southern) 6700, Burlington 150A, Atlantic & East Coast 401, Rock Island 38, and Rock Island 46. The July 1946 F2A with the unknown block installed is Atlantic & East Coast 400 which shows a block built in the Summer of 1948, which would obviously be a transplant. The remaining F2A production for July 1946 have 16-567Bs that fall within numbers that mirror other 1946 engine production. You can draw your own conclusions if these block numbers mean anything.

Ed in Kentucky
  by SSW921
This was written about the F3 in the late 1940s by a fellow Kentuckian.

“Motive Power historians may well look back at our times, terming them “The Age of the F-3.” The pacemaking performance of Electro-Motive’s fabulous 1500-horsepower road diesel unit last year only accented the unparalleled sales success that the F-3 has been enjoying ever since its birth in October of 1946. Since then EMD has mass-produced it to a staggering 2.3 million horsepower represented by over 1500 cab and booster units, now hauling freight and holding down passenger schedules in three countries: the United States, Canada and Mexico. In all of locomotive history there is not even a close runner-up to that batting average; no other basic unit of motive power has gone so far and done so much in so short a time. Last year the F-3 introduced road after road to dieselized freight service, including potato carrying Bangor & Aroostook and orange hauling Florida East Coast; this year it will carry the banner to such new customer as the Clinchfield Atlanta & West Point, Texas & Pacific and Georgia.”

Ed in Kentucky
  by Allen Hazen
Let me guess. The prose style is distinctive!
(To give others the pleasure of working it out, I won't name the fellow Kentuckian in question yet. That he was a Kentuckian I knew: in another place he reminisced about watching the L&N's first two diesel switchers (an SW-1 and a High Hood Also) in Louisville.)