Last revised: September 6, 2023
By: Adam Burns
The RS1325 was an interesting light road-switcher design offered by Electro-Motive in late 1960. It was intended for light-duty chores, and specifically designed to switch cars within passenger terminals although could also be utilized in freight assignments.
As such it was to utilize a high, short hood for a steam generator. Interestingly, the design never drew much interest and the only two ever built, ordered by the Chicago & Illinois Midland (C&IM), an Illinois coal hauler, for freight service.
Today, both locomotives are preserved. In 1996, the C&IM was sold to the Genesee & Wyoming, which renamed the property as the Illinois & Midland. They remained in service on the I&M for many years before beginning to roam to other G&W short lines.
Incredibly, both locomotives were eventually acquire for preservation; in 2020 #31 was acquired by the Monticello Railway Museum while #30 was donated to the Illinois Railway Museum in 2023.
By 1960, Electro-Motive was the established diesel locomotive manufacturer. After an entire line of F models sold thousands from 1939 through the mid-1950s, the builder released its successful road-switcher line in 1949.
At first, EMD stumbled with its initial BL2 in 1948, but rebounded strongly with the GP7 a year later, and then again with the GP9 of 1954. Between both models, the manufacturer sold nearly 7,000 examples.
The "General Purpose" (GP) series' success was largely due to EMD's attention to reliability and redundancy; its locomotives were rugged, easy to maintain, and EMD designed its differing models to accept interchangeable parts.
The 1960s spelled the end of railroad's romantic era of travel. Most had purchased their final large orders of equipment the previous decade in a last ditch attempt to lure the public back to the rails.
Unfortunately, these efforts were unsuccessful. Nevertheless, EMD continued to offer its passenger model E9, the final featuring the traditional streamlined carbody, until 1964. In addition, it offered dual service variants, like the SDP35 and SDP40 throughout the 1960s.
The RS1325 was marketed in late 1960 as a light road-switcher, intended to switch passenger equipment around terminals. It was essentially a lengthened switcher, with an off-set cab and high, short hood that would have held steam generator equipment.
In his book, "Diesel Locomotives: The First 50 Years," author Louis Marre notes the locomotive featured an SW1200 style hood on a lengthened frame with a short hood.
The "RS" stood for Road-Switcher and "1325" donated its horsepower rating (1,325). Brian Solomon notes in "EMD Locomotives," the model was powered by a 12-cylinder version of its model 567D1 prime mover.
The locomotive was 52 feet, 2 inches in length and was equipped with Flexicoil trucks. Interestingly, while Alco offered an entire line of "RS" road-switchers the RS1325 was the only of its type within Electro-Motive's catalog.
For a brief period between the late 1950s and early 1960s, EMD began listing models by their horsepower ratings.
The builder's system, however, was never universally applied to either switchers or road-switchers making it difficult to use this trait in identifying various types. Interestingly, by the GP30's release in 1961, EMD had dropped the horsepower.
Outwardly, the RS1325 was not unlike the earlier NW5, a design that harkened back to the mid-1940s. This model ultimately sold only a few examples and at the time EMD expressed no interest in pursuing it further.
In the end, just one railroad found any interest in this unique EMD design, the Chicago & Illinois Midland located in central Illinois.
The C&IM intended to use two, #30-31, in coal service (the road's primary source of traffic) as well as normal switching assignments.
However, since steam generators would obviously not be needed the railroad ditched the higher short hood for a low variant with a one-piece, full length front windshield for improved visibility
In his book, "Vintage Diesel Locomotives," author Mike Schafer notes this low, short hood was similar to that found on the GP20.
During the next 36 years the two RS1325s remained in regular freight service on the C&IM wearing the road's common green livery with red trim.
In 1996 the railroad was acquired by the Genesee & Wyoming (a large short line conglomerate) where it was renamed as the Illinois & Midland. The locomotive's then changed their green and red for G&W's corporate orange and black.
|Height (Top Of Rail To Top Of Cab)||14' 11 13/16"|
|Width||10' 6 7/8"|
|Fuel Capacity||600 Gallons|
|Air Compressor Model||WBO|
|Air Brake Manufacturer||Westinghouse|
|Air Brake Schedule||6SL|
|Traction Motors||D37 (4), GM|
|Primary Generator||D25G, GM|
|Tractive Effort (Starting)||60,000 Lbs at 25%|
|Tractive Effort (Continuous)||30,000 Lbs at 9.3 mph|
|Top Speed||65 mph|
|Owner||Road Number||Serial Number||Order Number||Completion Date||Quantity|
|Chicago & Illinois Midland||30||25773||4438||9/1960||1|
|Chicago & Illinois Midland||31||25774||4438||9/1960||1|
The locomotive's spent 40 years in freight service, spending their final years wearing G&W's orange and black paint scheme. Thankfully, both were eventually acquired for preservation.
The G&W had sold #31 to the rebuilder/reseller for an upgraded GP15-1.