A Focus on EMD SD7s
A pair of Fort Woth & Denver SD7Rs put a hack at the end of their train prior to departing Fort Worth, Texas in May 1969. (K.R. King photographer /Deane Motis collection)
|New: 1 September 2022|
There are those who would argue that Electro-Motive Division had simply been slow to recognize
the market potential and value of the six-motor freight locomotive. They would point out that
Alco had the RSD1 in 1945 and RSD4 by 1951, Baldwin built DRS 66-1500s in 1947, and late-comer
Fairbanks Morse had produced several H16-66s by 1951. It would be further suggested that
those builders understood early on the avantages of the six-motor locomotive, and they foresaw
its ability to handle heavy drags and mixed trains, make transfer runs, provide helper power,
work hump yards, and generally meet the needs of main and short line railroads equally.
There were however other railroads that actively sought the advantages of the six-motor freight unit but in tandem with the reliability of the EMD V16-567 power-plant. Consequently, the LaGrange builder responded in 1952 with the 1500-hp, six-motor SD7. The elongated model spanned 60'-8" between coupler faces and featured a pair of Flexicoil trucks that could handle 23 degree curves and 85 mph speeds. Initially, many of the 188 SD7s that were built had only a 1200-gallon fuel tank which left an empty space between the trucks.
None-the-less EMD had built a winner, and it became the grand-daddy of a long line of six-axle workhorses, including today's highly sophisticated and technologically advanced SD70ACe.
Most of the EMD six-motor images presented were from the camera of photographers Deane Motis and Ralph Back or from their substantial collections. We'll see lots more next month when they present a very comprehensive photo compilation of SD9s.
|Baltimore & Ohio|
B&O #1827 wears the railroad's economy attire at Cumberland, Maryland.
Bob Wilt photo on 9 August 1970
|Bessemer & Lake Erie|
B&LE #451 works the yard at Greenville, PA in October 1970.
Jim Jeffery photo / Ralph Back collection
|Chicago Burlington & Quincy|
Six-axle CB&Q #407 takes on sand at Denver, Colorado.
Deane Motis photo 15 March 1970
|Colorado & Southern|
C&S SD7 #857 waits at North Yard in Denver.
Deane Motis photo 28 October 1971
|Colorado & Southern|
C&S SD7 #815 (sans script slogans) idles at HB&T's Milby Street Locomotive Facility in Houston, TX. C&S 815 never received the CB&Q Chinese-red scheme before repainting into BN Cascade-green.
Ralph Back photo 25 September 1971
|Colorado & Southern|
C&S SD7 #813 poised at HB&T's Milby Street Locomotive Facility in Houston, TX. (Only C&S or FW&D SD7 to receive Cascade-green, chopped nose and "bug eye" class lights)
Ralph Back photo 7 October 1972
|Denver & Rio Grande Western|
Rio Grande #5304 stands outside the diesel shop at Salt Lake City, Utah.
Deane Motis photo December 1974
| Great Northern|
GN #569 was set-up to run long-end first, as were many SD7s.
Deane Motis photo
KCC #903 at Magma, Utah was only SD7 purchased by a heavy industrial user.
Keith Ardinger photo in January 1971
Milw #522 waits near the engine house at Aberdeen, WI.
Deane Motis photo 15 April 1973
The #401 basks in the sun outside the East Ely, NV shops.
Joe Brockmeyer photo on 31 March 1972
PRR #6951 works the yard at Indianapolis, Indiana in November 1969.
SP #1506 works the yard at City of Industry, California.
Deane Motis photo May 1983
UP #457 (ex-UP 782) which was built in 1953 waits in Denver, CO.
Deane Motis photo October 1974
|Minneapolis & St. Louis|
As result of 1960 merger, M&StL 952 became C&NW #301(1st).
Photographer and location unknown
|New: 1 October 2022|
* * * EMD's SD7 Production Roster * * *
|Railroad||Road No.||Bldr Nmbr||Bldr Date||Notes|
|Baltimore & Ohio||760||17410||3/52||Re-#d 1826 < nee EMD Demonstrator 991|
|761-764||18682-18686||11/53||Re-#d to 1827-1830 < ex-7401-7404|
|Bessemer & Lake Erie||451-455||17904-17908||4/53||--|
|Central of Georgia||201||18310||5/53||--|
|Chicago Burlington & Quincy||300-324||18320-18344||5-10/53||--|
|CB&Q / Colorado & Southern||810-817||17129-17136||1-2/53||--|
|818 & 819||17260 & 17261||2/53||--|
|CB&Q / Fort Worth & Denver||850-857||17121-17128||3/53||--|
|Chicago & North Western||1660||18227||5/53||--|
|EMD||990||15624||5/51||Demonstrator; sold to SP 5308 in October 1962|
|991||17410||3/52||Demonstrator; sold to B&O 760|
|Kennecott Copper Co.||903||17411||12/52||--|
|Milwaukee Road||2200||15612||4/52||Re-#d to 530|
|2201-2208||15613-15620||4-6/52||Re-#d to 501-508|
|2209-2211||15621-15623||8/52||Re-#d to 509-511|
|2212-2214||16941-16943||6/52||Re-#d to 512-514|
|2215-2219||18301-18305||10/53||Re-#d to 515-519|
|2220-2223||18306-18309||10/53||Re-#d to 520-523|
|Minneapolis & St.Louis||852 & 952||17408,17409||12/52||--|
|Pennsylvania||8588 & 8589||18669, 18670||10/53||Re-#d to 6950 & 6951|
|5314 & 5315||18406 & 18407||7/53||--|
|783 & 784||18291 & 18292||6/53||--|
|Prepared by: R. Craig
New: 1 October 2022
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