EMC E1 was an early passenger-train diesel locomotive developing
1,800 hp, with an A1A-A1A wheel arrangement, and manufactured by
Electro-Motive Corporation of
They were built during 1937
for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa
for a new generation of diesel
-powered streamlined trains. 8
cab-equipped lead A units
and three cabless
booster B units
were built. The initial three
locomotives were AB pairs built to haul the Santa Fe's Super Chief
diesel streamliners, while the
others were built as single A units to haul shorter trains. The
locomotives were diesel-electric
900 hp Winton 201-A engines each, with each engine driving its
to power the
. The E1 was the
second model in a long line of passenger diesels of similar design
known as EMD E-units
. All Winton
201A-engined Santa Fe passenger units, including the E1's, were
extensively rebuilt into the 80-class E8M engines in 1952-53. These
were similar to production E8
derated to 2000 hp so as not to burn out the early traction (axle)
motors (which were reused).
Significance and influence
The E1—along with the more-or-less simultaneous EA/EB
for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
for the Union Pacific Railroad
, Chicago and North Western
—represented an important step in the evolution
of the passenger diesel locomotive. While the EA, E1 and E2 were
each built for a specific railroad, they were largely identical
mechanically and were a step further away from the custom-built,
mass-produced passenger locomotives—a step achieved with the
, and E6
, EMD's next models.
These locomotives are definitely related in an evolutionary manner
with all EMD's future passenger models.
The EA/EB and E1 featured largely identical and innovative styling
showing the influence of the Electro-Motive Corporation's new buyer
mechanically they had much in common with previous, experimental
EMC locomotives, GM understood the importance of looking new and
exciting, not merely being technically innovative. This basic
"slant nose" style was continued in the subsequent E3, E4, E5 and
E6 models, while a more "bulldog nose" style was tried in the E2
and a style somewhere in between was used for the E7
, as well as the freight diesel cab units
. It could fairly be said that the overall
styling influenced passenger locomotives around the world.The
"shovelnose" styling was modified on later models because the
streamlined headlight was found less satisfactory than more common
types with vertical lenses, and the elegantly sloped nose had a bad
habit of deflecting vehicles up toward the cab in a grade crossing
collision. More enduring was the paint scheme--E1 number two and
her booster #2A were the first locomotives to wear the world-famous
Santa Fe "Warbonnet" red and silver colors. In fact, these units
used stainless steel sides on the carbody to better match the
road's new stainless passenger cars. Interestingly, this decor was
not developed by the Santa Fe, but by EMC--or rather, by GM's Art
and Color section.
Numbers and assignments
Each E1 was initially ordered for and assigned to a particular
train. The ATSF practice was to give all locomotive units in a set
the same number, distinguished by letter. The lead unit was
designated 'L', but this was not carried on its numberboards. The
second unit was 'A'; subsequent units were 'B', 'C', if present.
This numbering was part of the railroads' ultimately successful
campaign to convince the railroad unions that a multiple-unit
diesel locomotive should be considered one locomotive of several
parts (and thus needing only one crew) rather than multiple
locomotives requiring multiple crews under union agreements.
- 2 and 2A - for the original
streamlined Super Chief.
- 3 and 3A - for the second
streamlined Super Chief trainset.
- 4 and 4A - backup power for
the Super Chief.
- 5 - for the El Capitan.
- 6 - for the El Capitan.
- 7 - for the San
- 8 - for the Golden Gate.
- 9 - for the Golden Gate.