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 many 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 line.
A rusty and aging SW1000 soldiers on at BNSF, as #3625 awaits further instructions in Pasco, Washington on June 14, 2011. The switcher started its career as Burlington Northern #432 in 1971.
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).
Birmingham Southern SW1000 #212 and SW1001 #222 stop for a moment while switching the yard in Wylam, Alabama during early April of 1992. Both switchers were purchased new by the shortline.
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.
Houston Belt & Terminal SW1000 #53 lays over between assignments with an SW1500 and other power on March 12, 1995.
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.
Duluth & Northeastern SW1000 #35 performs its daily work assignments near Cloquet, Minnesota on August 26, 1978.
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