The EMD SW1000 was the first model the builder produced originally designed to use its new model 645 prime mover. Built during the mid-1960s it was essentially a second-generation unit. The model featured classic SW series styling (although slight changes were made to the overall carbody) and size with reasonable power. Unfortunately, EMD found it tough to sell the SW1000, as railroads found the more powerful SW1500 (built during the same time as SW1000) more to their liking (additionally, sales for switchers began to decline in the 1960s as lines found that their older first generation units could be reassigned to secondary and yard duty). Interestingly, despite only a little more than 100 SW1000s built a number of them remain in operation on shortlines and in industrial services, and even Class I BNSF Railway operates a few of the switchers. To date, there are none known to yet be preserved at either a museum or in operation with a tourist railroad.
The EMD SW1000 began production in the summer of 1966 offering a new prime mover and slightly updated carbody. The builder stuck with the typical overall length found in other SW models at just over 44-feet (although the locomotive was about four inches longer than previous designs). However, while the taper near the cab remained, the hood featured harder lines with less beveling and a wider, boxier cab that no longer included an arched roof. The design also went back to a single, conical stack, as had been used on the earlier SW8 model. The SW1000 featured EMD's new model 645 prime mover (the 645E) that was an eight-cylinder engine cable of producing 1,000 horsepower. Once again EMD kept the model light at 115 tons and using General Motors' new model D77 traction motors the unit could produce a respectable continuous tractive effort of 36,000 pounds continuous and 57,500 pounds starting (the same as the SW900).
Of note, beginning with the SW900, EMD began using the number designation of the model to refer to its horsepower rating instead of simply using it to list its sequential order in the series. This dated back to the days of the Electro-Motive Corporation, which had debuted the switcher series in the latter half of the 1930s. Sales for the EMD SW1000 never came around and while it had a relatively long production period, by the time the last unit rolled out of LaGrange, Illinois in October, 1972 just 114 had been built with another 5 constructed for foreign companies. Surprisingly, despite the unit's poor sales performance its reliability and versatility had not diminished as you can still find the SW1000 operating in numerous settings all across the country.
Interestingly, the company's Ontario plant, General Motors Diesel, did not take any orders for the SW1000. However, five units were sold to foreign companies in Jamaica and Mexico. Two years after the release of the SW1000, EMD cataloged the SW1001, which remained in production for nearly twenty years. This model was a bit more successful but nothing all that spectacular (especially for their standards of the time). The final model that proved truly successful for the company was the aforementioned SW1500, which sold nearly 1,000 examples. Additionally, EMD found quite a bit of interest with its MP15 series, the final switcher model it has ever cataloged do date, which ended production in 1987.
In any event, aside from the fleet still operated by BNSF Railway, today you can find SW1000s in operation with Terrace Bay Pulp, Cloquet Terminal Railroad, National Railway Equipment, GATX Locomotive Group, Webb Asset Management, Coors Brewery (these units are being sold but the buyer is unknown), Tennessee Valley Authority, Railserve, Inc., East Tennessee Railway, United States Steel, Algoma Steel. So, as you can see, there are several units still out there to see in operation and given the longevity of all of EMD's switchers many SW1000s will likely remain in service for decades to come. For technical data regarding the EMD SW1000 please click here. Also, for information about EMD's various switchers please refer to the chart below.
Electro-Motive Division Switchers
|Model Type||Units Built||Date Built||Horsepower||NW2||1,145||1939-1949||1,000||NW3||7||1939-1942||1,000||NW5||13||1946-1947||1,000|
For more reading about EMD SW1000s and related diesel locomotives built by General Motors consider Mike Schafer’s Vintage Diesel Locomotives which looks at virtually all of the classic builders and models from Alco PAs to early EMD Geeps. If you’re interested in classic EMDs, or diesels in general, this book gives an excellent general history of both. You might want to also consider the book EMD Locomotives from author Brian Solomon. Solomon's book highlights the history of EMD from its earliest beginnings in the 1920s, to its phenomenal successes in the mid-20th century, and finally its decline into second spot behind General Electric in the late 20th century and eventual sale by General Motors in 2005. The book features 176 pages of EMD history and is filled with excellent photography and illustrations. If you're interested in perhaps purchasing either (or both) of these books please visit the links below which will take you to ordering information through Amazon.com, the trusted online shopping network.