C&NW Diesel Roster Sources

This page was last updated on August 11, 2014.

(Return to C&NW Index Page)

This roster covers the locomotives and booster units of the Chicago & North Western Railway from 1926 to April 1995, when C&NW was merged with Union Pacific Railroad.

All of the renumber and retirement dates came from Mike Iden in August 1991, who was with C&NW at the time. He provided copies of several hundred sheets of C&NW equipment records from 1973 through 1991. The project got its start when Mr. Iden sent the copies to George Cockle in August 1991, with the most recent record sheet being dated July 1991. Mr. Cockle was originally working on a C&NW motive power book with Paul Withers, and I became involved as the person that would do the actual data entry and compiling work. At that time, George sent everything he had to me. In early 1992, George Cockle and Paul Withers decided to no longer collaborate, and Paul took the C&NW project as his own. I stayed on to compile the roster. At that time it was only to be an "annual" type of book, updating an earlier effort by Bob Baker.

Paul Withers and I decided that to make better use of the data from Mike Iden, we should expand the book to include C&NW's employee-owned era that began in 1973. As I continued to compile the roster throughout 1993 and 1994, and with the pending UP/C&NW merger, I realized that it would not be very difficult to complete an all-time C&NW roster book, so Paul started looking for older photos. I spent hundreds of hours going over all the published reports I could find, and digging up every previous C&NW roster I could find. I contacted a lot of people, and most very graciously helped out.

Much of the earlier pre-1973 data came from "Max Marmon", a C&NW employee in Chicago. Additional early information came from Bill Kuba, Ron Plazzota, and Fred Zwiebe. The C&NW roster in the April-May 1970 issue of Extra 2200 South was used, as was Sy Reich's roster in Railroad magazine. Also used was Bob Baker's book, published in 1987.

Roster information from January 1, 1973 to April 24, 1995 is based on information furnished by the Office of the Assistant Vice President, Motive Power.

Beginning in June 2014, numerous corrections and updates have been furnished by Steve Timko.


The Contemporary Diesel Spotter's Guide, by Louis A. Marre and Jerry A. Pinkepank, Kalmbach, 1989;

Dawn Of The Diesel Age, by John F. Kirkland, Interurban Press, 1983;

Diesel Spotter's Guide, by Jerry A. Pinkepank, Kalmbach, 1967;

Diesel Spotter's Guide Update, by Jerry A. Pinkepank and Louis A. Marre, Kalmbach, 1979;

Diesel Locomotive Rosters: United States, Canada, Mexico, by Charles W. MacDonald, Kalmbach, 1982

Diesel Locomotive Rosters: U.S., Canada, Mexico, Second Edition, by Charles W. McDonald, Kalmbach, 1986;

Diesel Locomotive Rosters, The Railroad Magazine Series, Wayner, no date [1973];

EMD Reference Data Books for 1950, 1972, 1973, and 1986;

The Historical Guide to North American Railroads, by George M. Drury, Kalmbach, 1985;

North Western Motive Power, by Bob Baker, C&NW Historical Society, November 1987;

The Second Diesel Spotter's Guide, by Jerry A. Pinkepank, Kalmbach, 1973;

Rock Island Diesel Locomotives, 1930-1980, by Louis A. Marre, Railfax Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio, 1982;

The Train Watchers Guide to North American Railroads, by George M. Drury, Kalmbach, 1984


CTC Board magazine

Extra 2200 South, including April-May 1970 [C&NW roster], and Issue 61 [July-August-September 1977, C&NW summary];

Pacific Rail News magazine

The Mixed Train, newsletter of the Camerail Club.

Other Sources

Chicago & North Western Railway Co., by Tom Lundeen, Lundeen Railroad Rosters, no date [1991 and 2004];