EMD "F2" Locomotives

Last revised:  April 14, 2023

By: Adam Burns

The F2 was built directly after production was completed on the FT model, soon after World War II had ended. The locomotive appeared similar, externally to the FT although the carbody did receive a slight upgrade (most notably the overall number of portholes).

Internally, the F2 was virtually identical to the FT although there were some changes primarily with how EMD designed the engine compartment (which became standard among all future F models). 


The model's very short cataloging saw its 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; Southern Railway; Boston & Maine; Chicago, Burlington & Quincy; Minneapolis & St. Louis; and the Rock Island.  

The Rock and ACL were particularly big buyers, acquiring between a dozen and two dozen units before production switched to the later F3. 

Unfortunately, the rarity of the locomotive's rarity, in addition to it being a transition model between the FT and F3, resulted in no examples being preserved.


A 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.


The EMD F2 was essentially an extension of the FT.  It still featured GM's 16-cylinder model 567B prime mover, which could produce 1,350 horsepower.

The design did offer an upgraded traction motor, the model D27 although its continuous tractive effort rating remained at 40,000 pounds (55,000 pounds starting).

The locomotive's gearing was also changed to allow for a higher top speed of 70 mph. Again, the most noticeable internal difference, for crews anyway, was how EMD designed the layout of its engine compartment.

Overall, it is interesting that the company even elected to release an F2 model when it had already cataloged the F3 directly after the war in 1945, which was selling in the thousands.

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 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.

Since Electro-Motive's popular F3 was already in production (and was one of the most successful in the series with upwards of 2,000 built), few railroads purchased the F2.  When the company ended the line just (74 A units and 30 B units had been manufactured. 

Seven Class Is did end up purchasing the F2 including the small Atlantic & East Carolina Railway (2), Atlantic Coast Line (24 A/B units), Boston & Maine (21 A/B units), Burlington (10), Rock Island (12), Minneapolis & St. Louis (2 As, 1 B), New York Central (2), and Southern (2). Additionally, Mexican carrier Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México also purchased 14 A and B units, the only foreign railroad to purchase the model.

Data Sheet

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 GeneratorD12, 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 07/46 (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

Keep in mind that because the Electro-Motive Division did not establish its General Motors Diesel division, located in London, Ontario until 1949 Canadian lines never had the opportunity to purchase early F models.

This changed, however, when the F7 was released, which gave Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, and others the opportunity to purchase Electro-Motive's cab models.  

The first began rolling out of the London plant in 1951.  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.
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