The EMC E3 began production in March, 1939 as the builder's third passenger diesel model. As mentioned above it was Electro-Motive's first to feature a GM prime mover, in this case the model 567, featuring two engines.
With each 567 able to produce 1,000 horsepower, the E3 was rated at
2,000 horsepower. As with the EA, E1, and E2 the E3
featured an A1A-A1A truck setup (three axles per truck whereby the
center axle was unpowered) and using GM's original model D7 traction motor it
could produce around 31,000 pounds of continuous tractive effort (and 56,500
pounds of starting effort). Not exactly an impressive number for a main
line locomotive but then again it was powering only
passenger service and not heavy freight trains up steep grades.
Once again, the E3 was very long (much longer its freight counterpart, the FT) at 71-feet, weighing 157.5 tons (the accompanying B unit weighed in at 145 tons). However, Electro-Motived updated the carbody from earlier models. The E3 featured more straightforward streamlining with a long, sloped, "slant nose" (which included a slightly protruded center headlight mount) that became closer to the classic trademark of later models it built under the EMD banner, beginning with the FT and used on every subsequent freight and passenger model. This slant nose replaced the original "shovel nose" EA model, termed such as its front nose featured a slightly more raked design without the addition of a protruding, center headlight.
Unfortunately, the E3 was a rather unsuccessful model, partly
because railroads were not yet sold on diesels as a main
line locomotive (that would come with the aforementioned FT, which began demonstrations in 1939). While just seventeen E3s were built, eight
Class I railroads did purchase at least one with the Chicago & North
Western owning the most (four). The Santa Fe and Union
Pacific also purchasing one cabless, booster (B) unit each. Other lines
to purchase the locomotive included UP (an A-B set), ACL (2), Santa Fe (an
A-B set), Rock Island (2), Florida East Coast (2),
Kansas City Southern (2), and Missouri Pacific (2). Additionally, EMC's one
demonstrator, #822 was eventually sold to the KCS and listed as #1 by the railroad.
Electro-Motive E3 Production Roster
|Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe||11||1||1939|
|Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe||11A (E3B)||1||1939|
|Atlantic Coast Line||500-501||2||1939|
|Electro-Motive (Demo)||822 (To KCS, #1)||1||1938|
|Florida East Coast Railway||1001-1002||2||1939|
|Chicago & North Western||5001A-5002A, 5001B-5002B||4||1939|
|Kansas City Southern||1-3||3||1938-1940|
|Union Pacific||LA6 (E3B)||1||1939|
For the companies that did purchase the E3 they remained in
use for a number of years before finally be bumped from service, most of
the time due to EMD's newer models like the E7, E8, and E9 (the last ever offered). After
the E3 was cataloged EMD continued to struggle with its passenger models, both the E4 and
E5 also sold poorly. However, beginning with the E6, which was offered just before the
start of World War II, the builder finally found success thanks in no small part to successful marketing campaign of FT. As a result designs like the aforementioned E7, E8, and E9 proved
very successful selling more than 1,000 examples combined.
Related Reading You May Enjoy