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Wabash Diesel Roster (All-Time)

Published: May 2, 2024

By: Adam Burns

The Wabash Railroad, once a vital player in America's transportation network, offered significant contributions to the expansion and economic development of the Midwest.

Its story intertwines with key episodes of American railroading, embodying pioneering breakthroughs, economic battles, and a continual adaptation to the shifting landscapes of American commerce.

During the diesel era the railroad operated examples from all of the major builders but was particularly fond of EMD and Alco products.  Interestingly, the company even tried out a few of Lima's rare examples.  The information covered further below highlights its all-time diesel roster.

2835723587236806893987904899.jpgWabash GP9 #485 was photographed here at the road's engine terminal in Melvindale, Michigan on March 15, 1964. Photographer unknown. American-Rails.com collection.

The Wabash's origins trace back to 1837, when the Northern Cross Railroad was chartered in Illinois. It was one of the earliest railroads in the region, eventually forming part of the great system known as the Wabash after several acquisitions and reorganizations.

The pivotal year was 1877, when the Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific Railway Company formally came into existence after the consolidation of several smaller lines. This network extended through the states of Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa, and later into Indiana and Michigan, establishing a robust framework for trade and passenger movement.

Growth came through both construction and mergers. One significant merger was with the Detroit and Chicago Railroad in 1889, which allowed the Wabash to extend its reach into Michigan and into the lucrative markets of Detroit and Chicago.

Around the turn of the 20th century, the railroad fell into financial distress, reshaping through receiverships and reorganizations. It was in 1915 when the modern entity known as the Wabash Railway emerged after yet another reorganization phase.

During its prime, the Wabash benefitted from the booming agricultural sector, transporting grain, livestock, and other goods across the heartland. Moreover, the rail network was pivotal during both World Wars, transporting troops and materials, which solidified its importance in American transportation history.

Its most celebrated passenger service, the Blue Bird and its counterpart the Banner Blue, provided luxurious mid-20th-century travel between St. Louis and Chicago, featuring innovative amenities and styling.

However, the post-war era signaled change as competition from road and air transportation began to undermine traditional rail service. The Wabash confronted financial challenges, like many railroads during that era.

In a strategic response to this industry-wide crisis, it entered into a merger with the Norfolk and Western Railway in 1964, effectively marking the end of the Wabash as an independent entity. This merger was part of a broader consolidation trend in the industry aimed at reducing competition and streamlining operations amid declining rail traffic.

The legacy of the Wabash endures, particularly through its impact on the regions it served. The Wabash's innovative practices, such as the development of piggyback freight service (transporting truck trailers on flatcars), set industry standards.

Today, the former routes of the Wabash form key parts of major national railway systems, continuing to facilitate commerce and connectivity in the American Midwest.

The story of the Wabash Railroad is thus one of innovation, adaptation, and integration, reflective of the broader narrative of American railroads. Its rich history offers invaluable insights into the transformation of transportation logistics and the economic development of the United States from the 19th century onward.

Alco

Builder Model Original Number(s) Class Norfolk & Western Number Serial Number Completion Date Disposition
Alco HH600 100, 150 D-6 - 69083, 69254 4/1939, 3/1940 Scrapped: 4/1966, 12/1966
Alco S1 1 (Acquired 1/1962) D-6 - 69190 5/1940 Ex-Des Moines Union #1, scrapped 10/1962.
Alco S1 2 (Acquired 1961) D-6 - 69196 6/1940 Ex-New Jersey, Indiana & Illinois Railroad #1, scrapped 12/1966.
Alco S1 151-152 D-6 - 69495, 69607 7/1941, 1/1942 Retired, 11/1966-12/1966.
Alco S1 153 D-6 - 72695 9/1944 Sold to Precision Engine Company in 1966.
Alco S1 154 D-6 - 72696 9/1944 Retired, 9/1966.
Alco S1 155 D-6 - 72839 9/1944 Retired, 5/1966.
Alco S1 156 D-6 - 75127 2/1947 Sold, 3/1962, to Birmingham Rail & Locomotive Company.
Alco S1 157 D-6 - 75128 2/1947 Retired, 9/1966.
Alco S1 158 D-6 - 75646 3/1948 Sold, 3/1962, to Birmingham Rail & Locomotive Company.
Alco S1 159 D-6 - 75647 3/1948 Sold, 3/1962, to Birmingham Rail & Locomotive Company.
Alco S2 310 D-10 - 69910 8/1942 Retired, 7/1966.
Alco S2 311 D-10 - 69911 8/1942 Retired, 12/1966.
Alco S2 312 D-10 - 70226 11/1943 Retired, 1966.
Alco S2 313 D-10 - 70245 4/1944 Retired, 11/1966.
Alco S2 314 D-10 - 70201 4/1944 Retired, 4/1967.
Alco S2 315 D-10 - 70202 3/1944 Retired, 9/1968.
Alco S2 316 D-10 - 72063 6/1944 Retired, 11/1966.
Alco S2 317 D-10 - 72064 (Alco's 1000th diesel completed.) 6/1944 Retired, 7/1966.
Alco S2 318 D-10 - 74491 7/1946 Retired, 12/1966.
Alco S2 319 D-10 - 74492 7/1946 -
Alco S2 320 D-10 3320 76762 5/1949 -
Alco S2 321 D-10 3321 76763 5/1949 -
Alco S4 322 D-10 3322 80610 6/1953 -
Alco S4 323 D-10 3323 80611 6/1953 -
Alco S4 324 D-10 3324 80612 6/1953 -
Alco S2 325 D-10 - 69928 7/1942 Former Nickel Plate Road #5 acquired in 5/1964. Retired 3/1966.
Alco FB-1 1200B-1204B D-15 800-804: Renumbered 1961 76712, 76724-76726, 76866 2/1949-3/1949 Traded to GE between 3/1962-4/1962. Trucks reused on new U25Bs.
Alco FA-1 1200-1204 D-15 805-813 (Odds): Renumbered 1961 76664, 76696, 76698, 76700, 76702 1/1949-3/1949 Traded to GE between 3/1962-4/1962. Trucks reused on new U25Bs.
Alco FA-1 1200A-1204A D-15 806-814 (Evens): Renumbered 1961 76665, 76697, 76699, 76701, 76703 1/1949-3/1949 Traded to GE between 3/1962-4/1962. Trucks reused on new U25Bs.
Alco FA-2 820-823 D-16 - 78384, 78480, 78380, 78479 12/1950 Ex-Ann Arbor #52A, #55A, #50A, and #55. Acquired in 1963 and traded to Alco in 7/1965.
Alco PA-2 1020, 1020A, 1021, 1021A D-20 1050-1053 (1961 renumbering) 77081-77084 5/1949 -
Alco C424 B900-B906 D-24 3900/421-3901/422, 3903/423-3906/426 3372-01 thru 3372-07 3/1964 B902 wrecked in 10/1964, scrapped.

* Wabash ordered C425s as #582-589 but these units were completed as Norfolk & Western 1000-1007.

Baldwin Locomotive Works

Builder Model Original Number(s) Class Norfolk & Western Number Serial Number Completion Date Disposition
Baldwin VO660 200 D-6 - 62497 7/1941 Leased to the Lake Erie & Fort Wayne Railroad (#1) in 1965. Retired 5/1968.
Baldwin DS-4-4-660 201 D-6 - 73363 2/1947 Retired 3/1964.
Baldwin DS-4-4-660 202 D-6 - 73364 3/1947 Retired 3/1964.
Baldwin VO-1000 300 D-10 - 64425 9/1942 Retired 3/1964.
Baldwin VO-1000 301 D-10 - 70151 2/1944 Retired 3/1964.
Baldwin VO-1000 302 D-10 - 70152 2/1944 Retired 9/1966.
Baldwin VO-1000 303 D-10 - 72229 6/1946 Retired 11/1966.
Baldwin DS-4-4-1000 304 D-10 - 73955 1/1949 Wrecked and rebuilt into cabless booster. Retired 3/1964.

EMD

Builder Model Original Number(s) Class Norfolk & Western Number Serial Number Completion Date Disposition
EMC SW1 101 D-6 - 880 4/1939 Sold to Peabody Coal Company (#101) in 1960.
EMC SW1 102 D-6 - 881 6/1939 Sold to Bonhomie & Hattiesburg Southern (#2) in 10/1961.
EMC SW1 103 D-6 - 882 6/1939 Sold to Bonhomie & Hattiesburg Southern (#1) in 10/1961.
EMD SW1 104 D-6 - 1024 2/1940 Sold to Peabody Coal Company (#104) in 7/1960.
EMD SW1 105 D-6 - 1075 5/1940 Sold to Tulsa-Sapulpa Union Railway (#105) in 3/1960.
EMD SW1 106 D-6 - 1197 11/1940 Sold to Granite City Steel (#106) in 7/1961.
EMD SW1 107 D-6 - 1388 11/1945 Sold to Granite City Steel (#602) in 8/1961.
EMD SW1 108 D-6 - 4730 4/1947 Sold to Tulsa-Sapulpa Union Railway (#108) in 4/1964.
EMD SW1 109 D-6 3109 7533 6/1949 -
EMD SW1 110 D-6 3110 7741 6/1949 Sold to the Anderson Corporation (Bayport, Minnesota).
EMD SW1 111 D-6 - 7742 6/1949 Sold to Granite City Steel (#111) in July, 1964.
EMD SW8 120 D-8 3120 9045 10/1950 -
EMD SW8 121 D-8 3121 9046 10/1950 -
GMD SW8 122 D-8 3122 A-145 12/1950 -
GMD SW8 123 D-8 3123 A-146 12/1950 -
GMD SW8 124 D-8 3124 A-147 1/1951 -
EMD SW8 125 D-8 3125 14418 9/1951 -
EMD SW8 126 D-8 3126 14419 9/1951 -
GMD SW8 127 D-8 3127 A-278 1/1951 -
EMD SW8 128 D-8 3128 17589 2/1953 -
EMD SW8 129 D-8 3129 17590 2/1953 -
EMD SW8 130 D-8 3130 17591 2/1953 -
EMD SW8 131 D-8 3131 17592 2/1953 -
EMD SW8 132 D-8 3132 17593 2/1953 -
EMD NW2 346 D-10 - 1423 8/1941 Ex-Nickel Plate Road #98, nee-Wheeling & Lake Erie #D-4
EMD NW2 347 D-10 - 998 4/1940 Ex-Nickel Plate Road #95, nee-Wheeling & Lake Erie #D-1
EMD NW2 348 D-10 3348 1089 7/1940 Ex-Nickel Plate Road #96, nee-Wheeling & Lake Erie #D-2. Sold to Island Creek Coal in 3/1968.
EMD NW2 349 D-10 3349 1422 6/1941 Ex-Nickel Plate Road #97, nee-Wheeling & Lake Erie #D-3. Sold to the Celanese Company in 10/1966.
EMD NW2 350 D-10 3350 4159 12/1946 Transferred to Des Moines Union (#7) in 10/1966.
EMD NW2 351 D-10 3351 7531 7/1949 -
EMD NW2 352 D-10 3352 7532 7/1949 -
EMD NW2 353 D-10 - 7531 5/1948 Built as Indiana Northern #100; sold to New Jersey, Indiana & Illinois Railroad (#2) in 1961.
EMD SW7 355-362 D-12 3355-3362 9037-9044 7/1950 -
EMD SW9 363-374 D-12 3363-3374 12622-12625, 15058-15062, 17580-17582 4/1951-3/1953 -
EMD SW1200 375-379 D-12 3375-3379 18877-18880, 23297 1/1957 -
EMD GP7 450-452 D-15 3450-3452 11993-11995 8/1950-9/1950 -
GMD GP7 453 D-15 3453 A-148 1/1951 -
EMD GP7 454 D-15 - 14408 7/1951 Wrecked 8/1959. Scrapped 6/1960.
EMD GP7 455-483 D-15 3455-3483 14409-14417, 15048-15057, 17080, 17076, 17077-17079, 17571-17575 7/1951-1/1953 -
EMD GP9 484-495 D-17 - 3484-3495 1/1954-4/1956 -
EMD GP35 540-547 D-25 3540/2911-3547/2918 29468-29469, 29471-29476 4/1964 -
EMD GP35 (548-554) D-25 1302-1308 29658-29664 11/1964 Ordered as Wabash 548-554 and completed as N&W 1302-1308.
EMD E7A 1000, 1001A, 1001-1002 D-20 - 3226, 4085, 4084, 6499 8/1946-3/1949 #1000 renumbered 1002A then as #1017 in 1961. #1001A renumbered 1016 in 1961.
EMD E8A 1000, 1003-1015 D-20 3800, 3803-3812, 3815 15063, 7812-7817, 14420-14424, 17565-17566 11/1949-1/1953 #1013-1014 wrecked in 8/1961.
EMD F7B 1100B-1108B D-15 600-608: Renumbered 1961 7616-7618, 7621, 7615, 7628-7630, 11295 8/1949-6/1950 -
EMD F7A 1100-1108 D-15 609-625 (Odds): Renumbered 1961 7609, 7611, 7613, 7619, 7607, 7622, 7624, 7626, 9061 8/1949-6/1950 #1101B sold to Ann Arbor in 10/1963.
EMD F7A 1100A-1108A D-15 610-626 (Evens): Renumbered 1961 7610, 7612, 7614, 7620, 7608, 7623, 7625, 7627, 9062 8/1949-6/1950 #1102A and #1105A sold to Ann Arbor in 10/1963.
EMD F7A 1140-1154 D-15 627-655 (Odds): Renumbered 1961 9047-9073 (Odds), 11293, 12305 6/1950-7/1950 -
EMD F7A 1140A-1154A D-15 628-656 (Evens): Renumbered 1961 9048-9074 (Evens), 11294, 12306 6/1950-7/1950 -
GMD F7A 1155-1158 D-15 657-663 (Odds): Renumbered 1961 A125-A131 (Odds) 12/1950-1/1951 -
GMD F7A 1155A-1157A D-15 658-662 (Evens): Renumbered 1961 A126-A130 (Evens) 12/1950 -
GMD F7A 1159-1164 D-15 665-675 (Odds): Renumbered 1961 A133-A143 (Odds) 1/1951 -
GMD F7A 1158A-1164A D-15 664-676 (Evens): Renumbered 1961 A132-A144 (Evens) 1/1951 -
EMD F7A 1165-1188 D-15 677-723 (Odds): Renumbered 1961 9020-9036 (Evens), 12613-12617 (Odds), 15036-15046 (Evens), 17068-17074 (Evens), 17576-17578 (Evens) 6/1951-1/1953 See Note A.
EMD F7A 1165A-1188A D-15 678-724 (Evens): Renumbered 1961 9021-9035 (Odds), 12612-12618 (Evens), 15037-15047 (Odds), 17069-17075 (Odds), 17577-17579 (Odds) 6/1951-1/1953 See Note A.
GMD F7A 1189-1189A D-15 725-726: Renumbered 1961 A-487, A-488 4/1953 -
EMC Doodlebug 4000-4001 - - 140, 139 2/1926, 1/1926 4000 rebuilt into MOW car 4297 in 1937. 4001 sold to Consolidated Railway Equipment in 1956.

Note A:

  • #1168, #1170, and #1180A wrecked in 4/1965.
  • #1172A wrecked, and then scrapped in 11/1959. This unit would have became #692.
  • #1183 sold to Ann Arbor in 11/1963.
  • #689-690, #697, #703, #705, #712, #714-#715, and #717-718 leased to CNJ.

Fairbanks-Morse

Builder Model Original Number(s) Class Norfolk & Western Number Serial Number Completion Date Disposition
FM H10-44 380 D-10 3380 L1021 11/1946 Retired 3/1966.
FM H10-44 381 D-10 3381 L1022 11/1946 Retired 6/1966.
FM H10-44 382 D-10 3382 10L101 3/1949 Retired 1970.
FM H10-44 383 D-10 3383 10L102 3/1949 Retired 6/1966.
FM H12-44 384-386 D-12 3384-3386 12L744-12L746 3/1953 Retired 1970-1971.
FM H24-66 (Train Master) 550-551 (ex-Demonstrators TM-1 and TM-2) D-24 3598-3599 24L730-24L731 4/1953 Renumbered 598-599 in 1964.
FM H24-66 (Train Master) 552/552A, 553/553A, 554/554A D-24 3592-3597 24L891-24L896 4/1956-5/1956 Renumbered 592, 595, 593, 596, 594, 597 between 1961-1964.

General Electric

Builder Model Original Number(s) Class Norfolk & Western Number Serial Number Completion Date Disposition
GE 44-Ton 51 D-3 - 12496 7/1939 Sold to Merrilees Equipment Company in 1961.
GE U25B 500-503 D-25 3529/8152, 3522/8145, 3520/8143, 3518/8141 34254, 34522, 34256-34257 5/1962-8/1962 -
GE U25B 504-514 D-25 3517/8140, 3524/8147, 3526/8149, 3523/8146, 3521/8144, 3516/8139, 3525/8148, 3528/8151, 3519/8142, 3527/8150 34258-34259, 34519-34521, 34524, 34523, 34525-34527, 34255 5/1962-8/1962 512 wrecked in 10/1964, scrapped.
GE U25B 512 (2nd) D-25 3515/8138 35581 2/1965 Replaced original 512.

Lima-Hamilton

Builder Model Original Number(s) Class Norfolk & Western Number Serial Number Completion Date Disposition
LH 1000 HP Switcher 400 (ex-Demonstrator #1002, rebuilt to 1,200 horsepower) D-10 - 9395 3/1950 -
LH 1200 HP Switcher 401 D-12 - 9417 4/1950 Rebuilt 1,200 horsepower Alco engine. Retired 10/1965.
LH 1200 HP Switcher 402 D-12 - 9418 4/1950 Rebuilt 1,200 horsepower Alco engine. Retired 5/1965.
LH 1200 HP Switcher 403 D-12 - 9419 4/1950 Rebuilt 1,200 horsepower Alco engine. Retired 2/1966.
LH 1200 HP Switcher 404 D-12 - 9420 5/1950 Rebuilt 1,200 horsepower Alco engine. Retired 2/1966.
LH 1200 HP Switcher 405 D-12 - 9421 5/1950 Rebuilt 1,200 horsepower Alco engine. Retired 2/1966.
LH 1200 HP Switcher 406 D-12 - 9422 5/1950 Rebuilt 1,200 horsepower Alco engine. Retired 2/1966.
LH 1200 HP Switcher 407 (Ex-Demonstrator #1003) D-12 - 9397 8/1950 Rebuilt 1,200 horsepower Alco engine. Retired 2/1966.
LH 1200 HP Switcher 408 D-12 - 9508 11/1950 Rebuilt 1,200 horsepower Alco engine. Retired 9/1965.
LH 1200 HP Switcher 409 D-12 - 9509 11/1950 Rebuilt 1,200 horsepower Alco engine. Retired 7/1965.
LH 1200 HP Switcher 410 D-12 - 9510 11/1950 Rebuilt 1,200 horsepower Alco engine. Retired 7/1965.
LH 1200 HP Switcher 411 D-12 - 9511 11/1950 Rebuilt 1,200 horsepower Alco engine. Retired 2/1966.

Sources

  • Grant, Roger H. "Follow The Flag": A History Of The Wabash Railroad Company. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2004.
  • Heimburger, Donald J. Wabash. River Forest: Heimburger House Publishing Company, 1984.
  • Kirkland, John F. Diesel Builders, The:  Volume One, Fairbanks-Morse And Lima-Hamilton. Glendale: Interurban Press, 1985.
  • Kirkland, John F. Diesel Builders, The:  Volume Three, Baldwin Locomotive Works. Pasadena: Interurban Press, 1994.

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