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Compiled by Andre Kristopans.
This page was last updated on September 10, 2014.
Prior to 1954, EMD built locomotives strictly for the US market. A very few standard models were exported, such as two orders of F2's for the National Railways of Mexico. However, in 1954, a new line of locomotives was announced, to tap the burgeoning export market for diesels that had heretofore been tapped by Alco, Baldwin, and mainly General Electric.
Two basic models were initially offered:
The G-8 (950 hp-875 hp generator input) 43'0" length, 12'4 height, 9'3" width. standard on 2-axle Flexicoil trucks, A1A trucks also available.
The G-12 (1425 hp-1310 hp generator input, identical body to the G-8.
Both were available with either "broad gauge" traction motors for 4'8" to 5'6" gauge, or "universal" traction motors, which were smaller and lighter, and could be used with any gauge from meter to 5'6".
In the late 1950's-early 1960's, several more "standard" models appeared. These included:
G-16 (1950 hp/1800 hp generator input) 56'8" length, 13'0" height, 9'3" width, standard on 3-motor "C" Flexicoil trucks, with 2-axle trucks also available as an option. First built in 1958.
GT-16 (2600 hp/2400 hp generator input) 56'8" length, 13'2" height, 10'2" with, available on C trucks only. This was the turbocharged version of the G-16, approximately 15 tons heavier, at about 122 tons. Oversize for most third-world railroads, the only customer turned out to be India, for 72 units in 1962.
GR-12 Same as G-12, but lengthened to 47'4" and very slightly higher at 12'8", designed to use 3-motor C trucks, which a G-12 could not. First built in 1961.
GL-8 A much shorter (36'2" length, 9'6" width, 12'7" height) version of a G-8, equipped with an end cab, designed for light rail use. Also available with A1A trucks. First produced 1960, effectively replaced the G-8, which only saw one unit built after 1960.
GA-8 A G-8 variation for extremely light axle loadings (total weight down to 53 tons), even smaller (32'6 length, 12'2" height, 9'7" width), equipped with two frame-mounted D49MA traction motors each driving two axles via a driveshaft and gearbox arrangement. Trucks were a modified freight car type. Also first produced in 1960.
Two batches of similar lightweight G-12 versions were also built for meter-gauge service in India. The first, 30 in 1961-62, designated GA-12, had a 1-B-B-1 wheel arrangement, while the second, 25 in 1964, were GA-12C with C-C running gear. Both had the frame-mounted traction motor arrangement.
GM-6 (650hp/600 hp generator input) A truly tiny loco (31'0" length, 9'8" width, 12'10" height, can be reduced to 11'9"), this type had a single D47 traction motor and three axles. Drive was thru a gearbox arrangement again. Only six built, a prototype that spent its entire career as a works shunter at LaGrange, plus four for Lebanon, and one for a gold mine in South Africa, all in 1959-61.
Circa 1960, suffixes were added to the model designations to denote number and type of traction motors, "U" designated the small "narrow gauge" traction motors, while "W" the standard ones. A suffix number "4" or "6" designated how many motors. An A1A trucked unit was labeled "4". This appears not to have been officially applied retroactively, though sometimes older units were so labeled.
With the advent of the 645 engine in export models in 1967, model numbers changed basically by adding "10".
GA-8 replaced by G-18
G-12 replaced by G-22, GL-22
GR-12 replaced by G-22C, GL-22C
GT-22C - new turbocharged model
G-16 replaced by G-26C, GL-26C
GT-16 replaced by GT-26CW.
GT-26CU-2 and GT-26CW-2 - new models with "Dash-2" electronics
The basic designation pattern is type, "G" for road switcher body or "J" for full-width body, then "T" for turbocharged or "L" for lightweight underframe (option on non-turbo G-22, G-22C, G-26C initially, alter on other models also), then number of cylinders +10, then "C" if six-motor (no designation for 4-motor, B-B or A1A-A1A), then traction motor type ("U" for narrow gauge (small), "W" for standard gauge (large)). Turbocharged lightweight models have the "L" after the number, and no traction motor designation. Some batches, primarily for South Africa, have an "M" instead of an "L" to designate lightweight frame, forreasons not fully understood.
Especially in the 80's and 90's, many variations were built, with model numbers adjusted to fit. A few batches were produced with alternators instead of generators, getting a "-AC" suffix. When "-2" electronics became available, a few export orders were fitted with them. Others got the "Super Series" package, and a "-SS" suffix. HEP equipped units have an added "H" suffix. "-MP" designated microprocessor equipped. Recent radial-truck equipped units have an additional suffix "R".
Licensees built bodies in many cases to suit local conditions, and as long as the electrical and mechanical gear was unaltered, GM did not care. Clyde, in Australia, built many odd variations, such as G-6's, a 6-cylinder switcher-type loco, but using a normal traction motor arrangement, GR-8's, a Co-Co version of a G-8, and cab-unit versions such as A-12's, AA-12C's, AA-16C's, and AJ-16C's, the latter having one F-unit nosed end and one flat-cabbed end!
With the 645-F3 motor's introduction, G-26 became G-36, but only one order was actually built, 15 GT-36CU-MP's for Zambia. With the 710 motor, became the G-46. A 12-cylinder 710 version also has been built, as a G-42.
Currently, export production is being carried out by GM at London, Ontario, with active licensees being Hyundai in South Korea and Alstom in Spain and Germany. Brush in England has only produced one order, and Kalmar in Sweden is no longer a licensee since acquisition by Alstom. GMIC in Argentina has been inactive for years, and Delta Electric in South Africa is permanently shut down for lack of business. Tulomsac built two batches in Turkey for local use, but has also been inactive since 1988.
Interestingly, GM has recently cracked several markets it was never able to enter before, most noticeably Great Britain, where a 250-unit order for JT-42CWR's for the English Welsh & Scottish Ry (Britain's freight train operator) was by far the largest export order ever built and spawned a large number of repeat orders for "Type 66's" as they became known, for not just Great Britain but Germany, Netherlands, and Poland.