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The EMD F7 was a Diesel-electric locomotive produced between February 1949 and December 1953 by the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors and General Motors Diesel . It succeeded the F3 model in GM-EMD's F-unit sequence, and was replaced in turn by the F9. Final assembly was at GM-EMD's La Grange, Illinoismarker plant or GMD's London, Ontariomarker facility. Although originally promoted as a freight-hauling unit by EMD, the F7 was also used in passenger service hauling such trains as the Santa Fe's El Capitan.

A total of 2,366 cab-equipped lead A-unit and 1,483 cabless booster or B-unit were built. The F7 was the fourth model in GM-EMD's successful line of F-unit locomotives, and by far the highest-selling cab unit of all time.

Many F7s remained in service for decades, as railroads found them economical to operate and maintain. However the locomotive was not very popular with the yard crews who operated them in switching service because they were difficult to mount and dismount, and it was also nearly impossible for the engineer to see hand signals from his ground crew without leaning way outside the window. As most of these engines were bought and operated before two-way radio became standard on most American railroads, this was a major point of contention. In later years, with the advent of the “GP” type “road switchers”, Fs were primarily used in “through freight” and “unit train” service where there was very little or no switching to be done on line of road.

The F7 can be considered the zenith of the cab unit freight Diesel, as it was ubiquitous on North American railroads until the 1970s (longer in Canadamarker). The F7 design has become entrenched in the popular imagination due to it having been the motive power of some of the most famous trains in North American railroad history.

The F7 replaced the F3, differing primarily in internal equipment (mostly electrical) and some external features. The F7 was eventually succeeded by the more powerful but mechanically similar F9.

Identification

There are no easily identifiable differences between late F3 production and early F7 production; the major differences were all internal electrical system changes. However, no F7 had the “chicken wire” grilles of most F3s, and no F3s had the later F7 changes described below under Phases.

The EMD F9 is distinguishable from the late F7 by having five, rather than four, carbody center louver groups covering the carbody filters. The additional one is placed ahead of the first porthole, where F7s have no openings. The F9s greater power output, of course, cannot be seen from the outside.

Phases

The identification of locomotive “phases” is a creation of railfans. EMD used no such identification, and instead kept track of the marketing name (F7) and individual locomotives’ build numbers. During the production cycle of a model, EMD would often make detail changes that were not readily apparent to the casual observer. To keep better track of the variations of locomotives identified the same by the manufacturer, railfans began referring to phases (critical changes to a locomotive line).

Despite not being official designations, the phase description is useful. However, many of the changes described are cosmetic, easily changed features of a locomotive: e.g., roof fans, body panels, grilles and the like could be and sometimes were updated or swapped. Most of the phase differences on the F7 were concerned only with A units; B units varied far less. The following are normally identified as F7 phases:

Phase I (early)

Built from February 1949. Upper grille with horizontal openings. Four horizontal louvred openings on center body panel. 36-inch dynamic brake fan, if dynamic brakes fitted. Flush windshield gasket changed to raised in July 1949. Square cab door corners with kick plates on the steps beneath. Wing window short with square corners. Single drip strip over cab windows and door. Square end door window. Round sand filler cover. Rear overhang.

Phase I (late)

Built from March 1950. Upper grille started out horizontal, as in early Phase I; from March 1951, some locomotives were built with vertical-slotted "Farr-Air" grilles, and by October 1951, all had them. Cab doors became round-cornered, and the kick plates were deleted. The wing windows became larger, with round corners. Two drip strips; one over cab windows, second over door. The end door window became round after November 1950.

Phase II

Built from February 1952. All upper grilles vertical "Farr-Air" type. Center car body louvres became vertical-slotted. Sand filler now with a horizontal, rectangular pull handle. From June 1952, 48-inch dynamic brake fans began to be introduced; from October 1952, all dynamic-brake equipped locomotives had them. At that latter date, locomotives no longer had a rear overhang.

Image:WabF71189.jpg|The famous paint scheme of the Wabash Railroad, as seen on restored F7A #1189, a Phase II built in 1953. It is located at the Monticello Railway Museummarker in Illinois.Image:Locomotive Great Northern Railway (US).JPG|A Great Northern Railway F7A locomotive in near-pristine condition.Image:CO F7 7086.jpg|Chesapeake and Ohio Railway F7A #7086, in 1953. This is a late Phase II locomotive built in October, 1952 and is representative of the final year of F7 production.Image:SOO 213Bt Neenah WI 7-1966 Ted Ellis.jpg|Soo Line F7A #213B leads a train out of Neenah, Wisconsinmarker in July, 1966.Image:Cnw411.jpg|A 1970's Chicago & Northwestern commuter train powered by F7 411 at the Illinois Railway Museummarker in 2006

Original buyers

Locomotives built by Electro-Motive Division, USA

Railroad Quantity
A units
Quantity
B units
Road numbers
A units
Road numbers
B units
Notes
Electro-Motive Division (demonstrators)
2
801–802
to Great Northern 272A,B
Electro-Motive Division (demonstrator)
1
930
to Boston & Maine 4268
Electro-Motive Division (demonstrators)
2
1950A,B
to Louisville & Nashville 857–858
Electro-Motive Division (demonstrators)
2
2
459A,D
459B,C
to Union Pacific 1481–1482 (A units), 1496B,C (B units)
Electro-Motive Division (demonstrators)
1
5040
to Union Pacific 1483
Electro-Motive Division (demonstrators)
2
7002–7003
FP7-F7B-F7B demonstrators; to Soo Line (Wisconsin Central) 2500B–2501B
Electro-Motive Division (demonstrators)
2
9052–9053
FP7-F7B-F7B demonstrators; to Soo Line 500B–501B
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad
77
12
317, 348–423
392B–403B
Alaska Railroad
5
4
1500–1508 (even)
1501–1507 (odd)
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
215
247
37,C–47,C, 202,C–280,C, 300–316, 306–314 (second), 336–344
37A,B–47A,B, 48A, 202A,B–280A,B, 300A,B–316A,B, 306A,B–314A,B (second), 336A,B–340A,B, 341A–344A
37–47 passenger, 202-280 freight, 300-344 dual service
Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad
28
26
701A–728A
701B–726B
Boston and Maine Railroad
3
4
4265–4267
4265B–4268B
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
157
100
180,A–192,A (even), 231–237 (odd), 239,A–297,A (odd), 361,A–365,A (odd), 367–374, 929,A–973,A (odd), 975, 977,A–993,A (odd)
180X,AX–192A,AX (even), 153X–171Z (odd), 231X–237X (odd), 249X–297X (odd), 361X, 363X,AX, 365X,AX, 367X,AX–374X,AX (odd & even), 929X–961X (odd), 977X–993X (odd)
Charleston and Western Carolina Railroad
6
-
900-905
to ACL 424A-429A
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad
10
3
163A–166A, 167A,C–169A,C
167B–169B
Chicago Great Western Railway
4
20
153–156
104B, 105D–112D, 113B,D–116B,D, 116E,F,G
Chicago and North Western Railway
72
22
4067A,C–4102A,C
4067B–4084B, 4091B–4094B
Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway (“Omaha Road”)
12
6500A,C–6505A,C
Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad
31
17
100–127, 675–677
100B–109B, 120B–123B, 675B–677B
675–677 passenger
Chesapeake and Ohio Railway
94
54
7000–7093
7515–7546, 8500–8506
8500s passenger (with FP7)
Clinchfield Railroad
15
11
806–820
853–863
Colorado and Southern Railway
6
6
700A,D–702A,D
700B,C–702B,C
Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad
9
6
611A,C, 631A,C, 632A–636A
611B, 632B–636B
Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad
43
40
5481, 5551/4, 5571/4–5761/4
5552/3, 5572/3–5742/3, 5752, 5762
Erie Railroad
6
6
711A,D–712A,D, 807A,D
711B,C–712B,C, 713C, 807B
Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México
22
16
6310–6318, 6319A–6327A, 6335–6338
6319B–6334B
Fort Worth and Denver City Railroad
6
6
750A,D–752A,D
750B,C–752B,C
Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad
4
10
811B, 812A,B, 813A
B65–B74
Great Northern Railway
63
49
268A–270A, 271A,B, 273A,B–275A,B, 280A–281A, 307A,C–309A,C, 311A,C–317A,C, 350A, 360A, 364A,C–365A,C, 444A,D–456A,D (even), 460A,D, 462A,D–468A,D (even)
268B–270B, 280B–281B, 307B–309B, 311B–317B, 350B, 360B, 364B–365B, 444B,C–456B,C (even), 458C, 460B,C, 462B,C–468B,C (even), 500B–504B
350–365, 500s passenger
Kansas, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway
4
2
751–754
755B–756B
Kansas City Southern Railway
11
14
59D (twice), 70A,C–71A,C, 72A,D–73A,D, 74A
33B, 59B,C, 70B–71B, 72B,C–75B,C, 78C (second)
Kansas City Southern (Louisiana and Arkansas Railway)
7
8
32A–33A, 74D, 75A,D–76A,D
32B, 76B,C–78B,C, 79B
Louisville and Nashville Railroad
67
17
800–856, 844–849, 900–903
703–716, 900–902
Lehigh Valley Railroad
8
6
560–574 (even)
561–571 (odd)
Mexican Ministry of Communications and Public Works (“SCOP”)
2
23037–23038
Milwaukee Road
68
50
48A,C–50A,C, 68A,C–79A,C, 84A,D–85A,D, 86A, 87A,C–89A,C, 106A–108A, 109A,C–111A,C, 113A,C–121A,C
48B–50B, 68B–79B, 84B,C–85B,C, 87B–105B, 109B–111B, 113B–121B
90B–105B passenger (with FP7)
Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad
16
8
208A,C–211A,C, 226A,C–229A,C
208B–211B, 121B–124B
Missouri Pacific Railroad
26
10
577–594, 619–626
587B–594B, 629B–630B
Missouri Pacific Railroad (International-Great Northern Railroad)
14
2
595–606, 617–618
595B–596B
Missouri Pacific Railroad (St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway)
10
607–616
Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway
8
150A,C, 250A,C, 350A,C, 151A,C
Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway
23
8
809–831
912–919
Northern Pacific Railway
45
34
6007A,D–6020A,D, 6500C -6502C, 6507A,C–6513A,C
6007B,C–6020B,C, 6050B, 6510B–6513B, 6550
6000s freight, 6500s passenger
New York Central Railroad
238
56
1636–1873
2420–2474, 2446 (second)
Pennsylvania Railroad
123
76
9640A–9676A, 9690A–9699A, 9764A–9831A, 9872A–9879A
9547B–9555B (odd), 9640B–9647B, 9648B–9660B (even), 9667B–9676B, 9764B–9818B (even), 9832B–9858B (even), 9872B–9878B (even)
Reading Company
18
6
266–283
266B–271B
Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad
10
10
1101–1110
1151–1160
St. Louis-San Francisco Railway
22
22
5018–5039
5118–5139
Soo Line
6
2
212A,B–214A,B
502B, 503B
500s passenger (with FP7)
Soo Line (Wisconsin Central Railway
20
4
2201A,B–2203A,B, 2224A,B–2230A,B
2201C–2204C
Southern Railway
63
44
4207–4269
4385–4428
Southern Railway (Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway)
7
24
6114–6120
6160–6183
Southern Railway (Alabama Great Southern Railroad)
6
3
6714–6719
6756–6758
Southern Pacific Company
250
220
6140A,D–6169A,D, 6240–6423, 6440–6445
6140B,C–6169B,C, 8140–8285, 8290–8303
Southern Pacific (Texas and New Orleans Railroad)
44
16
338–381
538–553
Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway
4
803–806
to BN 9754,9756,9758,9760
St. Louis Southwestern Railway (“Cotton Belt”)
26
17
925–975 (odd)
926–958 (even)
Texas-Mexican Railway
2
800A,B
Texas and Pacific Railway
83
35
1500–1582
1500B–1534B
Union Pacific Railroad
18
36
1464–1465, 1466 (twice), 1467–1480
1464B,C, 1466B,C (twice), 1468B,C–1494B,C (even), 910B,C
910B,C with FP7
Wabash Railroad
96
9
1100,A–1108,A, 1140,A–1154,A, 1165,A–1188,A
1100B–1108B
Western Maryland Railway
26
14
53–66
53B–65B (odd), 231B–243B (odd)
Western Pacific Railroad
24
26
913A,D–924A,D
804B–805B, 913B,C–924B,C
800s passenger (with FP7)
Totals 2285 1432


Locomotives built by General Motors Diesel, Canada

Railroad Quantity
A units
Quantity
B units
Road numbers
A units
Road numbers
B units
Notes
Canadian National Railways
58
18
9028–9142 (even)
9029–9063 (odd)
Canadian Pacific Railway
29
4424–4448, 4459–4462
Ordered with FP7
Wabash Railroad
22
1155,A–1164,A, 1189,A
Ordered for service in Canada
Totals 80 47


Preservation



References

  • Fuhrman, Jim. EMD F7 & F9 phases. Retrieved on January 2, 2005.
  • The Western Pacific Surviving Locomotive List [105165].
  • PRESERVED DIESEL AND ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVES, John Cleverdon [105166].


External links

See also




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