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EMD "SW1001" Locomotives


Last revised: May 9, 2023

By: Adam Burns

The SW1001 was an updated variant of the SW1000 and cataloged in 1968, two years following its counterpart.  The earlier design was EMD's first 8-cylinder model featuring its new 645 prime mover and followed the SW900, the 8-cylinder variant equipped with the previous 567C power plant.

The SW1001 was cataloged only to remedy a design flaw, specifically the cab roof which proved too tall in industrial settings where clearances were low and tight. 

Interestingly, the switcher did see higher sales over the SW1000 although not enough for EMD to continue cataloging an 8-cylinder locomotive.  It was the final model in the series as the builder focused exclusively on more powerful 12-cylinder variants. 

By contrast, the SW1500 saw nearly 1,000 examples roll out of EMD.  Today, numerous examples of the SW1001 can still be found in service, particularly in industrial/private operations.


Elgin, Joliet & Eastern SW1001 #445 was a few years old when this photo was taken in Joliet, Illinois on July 28, 1974. Author's collection.


Following numerous complaints that its SW1000 suffered from a clearance issue, EMD went back to the drawing board.

The SW1000, along with featuring an updated prime mover (645E), also boasted a slightly redesigned carbody featuring a higher cab with less tapering (for improved visibility), two additional windows on each side of the cab, horizontal tapering along the pilot end of the hood featuring inset headlights, and a radiator hood grill which wrapped slightly over each side of the carbody.

The SW1001 was identical to its predecessor except for the cab roof, which was lowered from 15 feet on the SW1000, to 14 feet, 3 inches.

Newburgh & South Shore Railway SW1001 #1020 in Cleveland, Ohio; July, 1975. S. Wertans photo. American-Rails.com collection.

Internally, the model was an SW1000 through and through. It used the same, new 8-cylinder, model 654E prime mover featured in the earlier design.

This engine could produce 1,000 horsepower, a slight increase over the earlier SW8 and SW900 which offered 800 and 900 horsepower, respectively.

The SW1001 featured General Motors' latest model D77 traction motors, which also provided the same tractive effort as the predecessor (noted in the below table).  In addition, weight remained the same at 115 tons.

The differences were solely with the carbody, specifically the roof as previously mentioned. Many industries and private companies which had been loyal EMD customers were decades had tailored their private trackage to fit the builder's standard switcher configuration.  

Data Sheet

Entered Production9/1968 (Detroit Edison #217)
Years Produced9/1968 - 6/1986
EMD ClassSW1001
Engine645E (8 Cylinder)
Engine BuilderEMD/GM
Length44' 8"
Height (Top Of Rail To Top Of Cab)14' 3"
Width10' 3"
Weight230,000 Lbs
Fuel Capacity600 Gallons
Air CompressorWXO (Gardner-Denver)
Air Brake Schedule24L (Westinghouse)
Truck TypeGRS Rigid Bolster, Drop-Side Equalizer (AAR Type-A)
Truck Wheelbase8' 0"
Wheel Size40"
Traction MotorsD77 (4), EMD/GM
Traction GeneratorD36, EMD/GM
Auxiliary GeneratorEMD/GM
MU (Multiple-Unit)Optional
Dynamic BrakesNo
Gear Ratio62:15
Tractive Effort/Starting57,500 Lbs
Tractive Effort/Continuous36,000 Lbs at 11.0 mph
Top Speed65 mph

Production Rosters


(Total Built = 142)

Owner Road Number Serial Number Order Number Completion Date Quantity
Detroit Edison2173380345329/19681
Lake Terminal Railroad102134097454110/19681
River Terminal Railway101-10234109-3411045429/1968-10/19682
Ford Motor Company10014-1001834262-34266455010/19685
U.S. Steel, Gary Works88-8935992-3599372493/19702
Monongahela Connecting Railroad4203616045752/19701
Newburgh & South Shore10183616145762/19701
U.S. Steel, Gary Works903687872491/19711
Elgin, Joliet & Eastern444-44537079-3708045958/19712
Alabama By-Products Corporation10003738745998/19711
Newburgh & South Shore10193753446028/19711
General Motors, Central Foundry Division19713753546038/19711
Newburgh & South Shore10203884046114/19721
General Motors, Chevrolet Motor Division964623-146235/19721
Birmingham Southern18-1972666-1 thru 72666-2726665/1973-6/19732
Aliquippa & Southern1000-100172678-1 thru 72678-2726782/19732
Cuyahoga Valley105172679-1726792/19731
Ford Motor Company10019-1002072695-1 thru 72695-27269510/19732
Public Service Company of Colorado15-173620-17362011/19731
Reading2601-261573623-1 thru 73623-257362311/1973-12/197315
Corinth & Counce Railroad100373650-17365010/19741
Birmingham Southern220-22473680-1 thru 73680-5736801/19745
Monongahela Connecting421-42273688-1 thru 73688-2736884/19742
Chicago Short Line28-2974616-1 thru 74616-2746169/19742
St Joseph Minerals Company100474624-1746248/19741
Interlake Steel17-1874627-1 thru 74627-27462710/1974-11/19742
Armco SteelE15074638-17463810/19741
Birmingham Southern22574642-17464210/19741
River Terminal103-10474657-1 thru 74657-2746579/19752
Newburgh & South Shore1021-102274669-1 thru 74669-2746694/19752
South Carolina Public Railways100174670-1746704/19752
Monongahela Connecting42374672-1746724/19751
Armco SteelE151-E15275631-1 thru 75631-2756319/19752
Ford Motor Company10021-1002375632-1 thru 75632-37563212/19753
Aliquippa & Southern1002756054-17560543/19751
Armco SteelE153-E155756059-1 thru 756059-375605910/19753
Monongahela Connecting424-425756061-1 thru 756061-27560613/19762
Inland Steel126-127756066-1 thru 756066-27560613/19762
Union Railroad101-103756071-1 thru 756071-37560713/19763
Texas Company24756079-17560791/19761
Galveston Wharves301-302756080-1 thru 756080-275608010/19752
New Haven Trap Rock7357756135-17561357/19761
Armco SteelE156-E158756148-1 thru 756148-37561488/19763
River Terminal105-106766009-1 thru 766009-276600912/19762
Long Island Rail Road100-107766042-1 thru 766042-87660423/19778
Armco SteelE159-E161776004-1 thru 776004-377600410/19773
East Cooper & Berkeley2001-2002776017-1 thru 776017-277601712/19772
Galveston Wharves303776052-177605212/19771
River Terminal107776072-17760724/19781
Savannah State Docks1001-1002776103-1 thru 776103-27761034/19782
Armco SteelE162-E163786141-1 thru 786141-278614112/19782
River Terminal108786155-178615512/19781
Amoco OilSE3786198-178619812/19781
Champion International06056786212-17862127/19791
Armco SteelE164-E165786229-1 thru 786229-278622912/19792
Corinth & Counce Railroad1004786254-17862541/19801
American Steel Foundries9G9-9G10786279-1 thru 786279-27862796/1979-7/19792
Galveston Wharves304-305796304-1 thru 796304-27963047/19802
Armco SteelE166-E167796330-1 thru 796330-279633012/19802
Electro-Motive (Demonstrator)117*797355-179735512/19791
Dow Chemical1001-1003796375-1 thru 796375-379637512/19803
Armco Steel1-18-38806007-180600711/19801
Coors BrewingC998806036-180603612/19801
Dow Chemical1008-1009806039-1 thru 806039-280603912/19802
Armco Steel1215806056-18060564/19811
Armco SteelE168-E169806060-1 thru 806060-28060604/19812
Northwestern Steel & Wire2-4806061-1 thru 806061-38060615/19813
Corinth & Counce Railroad1005806062-18060625/19811
Armco Steel1-18-39806067-18060676/19811
Indianapolis Power & LightNo Number816014-18160143/19821
Armco Steel1-18-40816039-18160396/19821
Olin Chemical1816058-18160586/19821
Intermountain Power1847004-18470044/19851

* Became General Motors Diesel shop switcher #1 at the London, Ontario plant.


(Total Built = 4)

Owner Road Number Serial Number Order Number Completion Date Quantity
National Harbours Board7601-7602758024-1 thru 758024-2C3997/19762
Saskatchewan Power1001-1002788054-1 thru 788054-2C41411/19782


(Total Built = 70)

Owner Road Number Serial Number Order Number Completion Date Quantity
Korean National Railroad (Korea)2101-212034440-34459711121-7111403/196920
Korean National Railroad (Korea)2121-212837050-37057711810-7118171/19718
Boke Project (Guinea)201-20437900-37903712083-7120863/1972-4/19724
Altos Hornos (Mexico)1427132897132898/19741
Boke Project (Guinea)20571340871340810/19741
Lazaro Cardenas Steel (Mexico)No Number756104-1 thru 756104-37561041/19761
Altos Hornos (Mexico)151-153778027-1 thru 778027-37780275/19783
Altos Hornos (Mexico)154-156788063-1 thru 788063-378806311/19783
Mexican Petroleum (Mexico)24-25798046-1 thru 798046-27980468/19802
Foster Yeoman (Great Britain)44798083-179808312/19801
Altos Hornos (Mexico)164-165808003-1 thru 808003-280800312/19802
Saudi Government Railway (Saudi Arabia)1022-1026818000-1 thru 818000-581800011/19815
Moroccan Railways (Morocco)DI501-DI513818038-1 thru 818038-1381803810/198213
Moroccan Railways (Morocco)DI514-DI518838061-1 thru 838061-58380618/1984-9/19845
Mexican Petroleum (Mexico)5858096-18580966/19861


  • Foster, Gerald. A Field Guide To Trains. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1996.
  • Hayden, Bob. Diesel Locomotives: Cyclopedia, Volume 2 (Model Railroader). Milwaukee: Kalmbach Publishing Company, 1980.
  • Marre, Louis A. Diesel Locomotives: The First 50 Years, A Guide To Diesels Built Before 1972.  Milwaukee: Kalmbach Publishing Company, 1995.
  • Marre, Louis A. and Pinkepank, Jerry A. Contemporary Diesel Spotter's Guide, The: A Comprehensive Reference Manual To Locomotives Since 1972.  Milwaukee: Kalmbach Publishing Company, 1989.
  • Solomon, Brian.  EMD Locomotives.  Minneapolis: MBI Publishing Company, 2006.

Since the 1930s this had been roughly a length of 44.5 feet, 14.5 feet tall, and about 10 feet wide.

To alleviate the clearance issues, EMD went back to the drawing board by utilizing the cab and underframe of the SW1200.  The new switcher retained the SW1000 hood assembly and named the SW1001.

The updated switcher allowed industries to continue using EMD products without the need of changing their track and property layouts. Interestingly, the SW1001 sold better than its counterpart. 

The switcher remained in production until 1985 in the United States (foreign sales continued until 1986). The SW1001 ultimately sold some 142 units in the U.S., Canada purchasing another 4, and 70 others sold to foreign operations.  In total, 216 were produced.


Wes Barris's SteamLocomotive.com is simply the best web resource on the study of steam locomotives. 

It is difficult to truly articulate just how much material can be found at this website. 

It is quite staggering and a must visit!