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EMD "F2" Locomotives

Last revised:  June 24, 2023

By: Adam Burns

The F2 enjoyed the shortest domestic production run in Electro-Motive's F series catalog, built only from July to November, 1947.  However, it was never meant to be a long-running model, only a temporary measure until the builder had worked out the problems with its latest generator. 

The F2's brief catalog saw sales reach only slightly more than 100 units (A's and B's), among a handful of railroads. 

These companies included Atlantic Coast Line; Atlantic & East Carolina; Alabama Great Southern (Southern Railway); Boston & Maine; Chicago, Burlington & Quincy; Minneapolis & St. Louis; Rock Island; New York Central; and Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México.

The Rock Island, ACL, and Boston & Maine were particularly big buyers, acquiring at least a dozen units each until production switched to the F3.   Unfortunately, due to the locomotive's rarity, in addition to its status as a transition model, no examples were preserved.




Electro-Motive's FT changed railroading forever by radically improving operations; the diesel could operate further between refueling stops, required less maintenance, and pull greater tonnage between major overhauls.

EMD ultimately sold 1.096 units between 1939 and 1945, and would have enjoyed even higher sales if not for wartime restrictions.  With strong demand after World War II, the builder intended to release its latest model offering greater horsepower.

However, as Brian Solomon notes in his book, "Electro-Motive: E Units and F Units," production problems with EMD's latest D12 generator pushed back mass production on the model.

As a result, the builder released a stop gap model, the F2; it featured the latest prime mover (567B) and an updated carbody but featured a variant of the FT's D8 generator.  Because of this, it was limited to 1,350 horsepower.

Externally, the F2 continued to carry the classic "bulldog" nose and streamlined carbody (although it slightly changed the steel sheathing around the front truck).

However, Electro-Motive did make some minor, visual changes in this area such as the port holes' spacing with only three incorporated into the carbody instead of the closely spaced four on the FT.

The builder also employed four exhaust fan housings on the roof and made the fuel tank more streamlined with the rest of the carbody.  

Aside from these differences the F2 varied little from the FT sporting the same frame and remained at around 50-feet in length.  Finally, its weight of 115 tons remained the same as the former model.

Data Sheet and Specifications

Entered Production7/1946 (Rock Island #49)
Years Produced7/1946 - 11/1946
Engine BuilderGM
Length, Over Couplers (A Unit)50' 8"
Length, Over Couplers (B Unit)50' 0"
Height (Top Of Rail To Top Of Roof)14' ½"
Height (Top Of Rail To Top Of Horn)15' 0"
Width10' 7"
Weight (A Unit)230,000 Lbs
Weight (B Unit)228,000 Lbs
Fuel Capacity1,200 Gallons
Air CompressorGardner-Denver
Air Compressor ModelWBO
Air Brake ManufacturerWestinghouse
Air Brake Schedule24RL
Truck TypeBlomberg
Truck Wheelbase9'
Wheel Size40"
Traction MotorsD7b (4), GM
Primary GeneratorD8, GM
Auxiliary GeneratorDelco (A8102)
MU (Multiple-Unit)Yes
Dynamic BrakesYes
Gear Ratio Options65:12, 62:15, 61:16, 60:17, 59:18, 58:19, 57:20, 56:21
Tractive Effort (Continuous)52,400 Lbs (65:12); 40,000 Lbs (62:15); 37,000 Lbs (61:16); 34,000 Lbs (60:17); 32,000 Lbs (59:18); 29,500 Lbs (58:19); 27,500 Lbs (57:20); 25,500 Lbs (56:21)
Top Speed55 mph, 65 mph, 71 mph, 77 mph, 83 mph, 95 mph, 102 mph

Production Roster


Total Built = 60

Owner Road Number Serial Number Order Number Completion Date
Rock Island 49-38 (Reversed) 2637-2648 E617 7/1946
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 150A, 155C, 151A, 156C, 152A, 157C, 153A, 158C, 154A, 159C 3018-3027 E648 7/1946
Boston & Maine 4250-4264 3070-3084 E649 7/1946 - 8/1946
Boston & Maine 4224A-4226A 3085-3087 E725 10/1946
Southern (Alabama Great Southern) 6700-6701 3376-3377 E675 7/1946
Atlantic & East Carolina 400-401 3419-3420 E681 7/1946
Atlantic Coast Line 324-335 3437-3448 E684 8/1946 - 10/1946
Minneapolis & St Louis 147A, 147C 3660-3661 E702 11/1946
New York Central 1604-1605 3771-3772 E721 7/1946


Total Built = 16

Owner Road Number Serial Number Order Number Completion Date
Boston & Maine 4224B-4226B 3088-3090 E725 10/1946
Atlantic Coast Line 324B-335B 3449-3460 E684 8/1946 - 10/1946
Minneapolis & St Louis 147B 3662 E702 11/1946



Total Built = 14

Owner Road Number Serial Number Order Number Completion Date
National Railways of Mexico ( Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México) 6200A-6206A 3528-3534 E691 8/1946 - 10/1946
National Railways of Mexico ( Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México) 6207A-6213A 3690-3696 E707 10/1946


Total Built = 14

Owner Road Number Serial Number Order Number Completion Date
National Railways of Mexico ( Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México) 6200B-6206B 3535-3541 E691 8/1946 - 10/1946
National Railways of Mexico ( Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México) 6207B-6213B 3697-3703 E707 10/1946

680201333221023209402.jpgA rare Rock Island F2A (#46), an FB-1 (Alco), and a trio of other first-generation EMD products lead a long freight train westbound past the station at Ottawa, Illinois on a July afternoon in 1963. Roger Puta photo.

During the F2's production, Electro-Motive had not yet established its Canadian division, General Motors Diesel.  The subsidiary was established in 1950 with the first locomotive rolling out of its London, Ontario plant in August (Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo GP7 #71).

This changed, however, during the F7's production when Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, and even the Wabash purchased the model (for its southern Ontario line).

The first F7's began rolling out of the London plant in December, 1950 (Wabash).  Many F2s remained in service for many years but today, as mentioned above, all were scrapped before any could be saved for posterity. 


  • Marre, Louis A. Diesel Locomotives: The First 50 Years, A Guide To Diesels Built Before 1972.  Milwaukee: Kalmbach Publishing Company, 1995.
  • Pinkepank, Jerry A. Diesel Spotter's Guide.  Milwaukee: Kalmbach Publishing Company, 1967.
  • Schafer, Mike. Vintage Diesel Locomotives. Osceola: MBI Publishing, 1998.
  • Solomon, Brian.  EMD Locomotives.  Minneapolis: MBI Publishing Company, 2006.
  • Solomon, Brian.  Electro-Motive E-Units and F-Units: The Illustrated History of North America's Favorite Locomotives.  Minneapolis:  Voyageur Press, 2011.