British freight hauled by locomotives built in the USA

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Waterloo50

New Member
I don’t know if it’s common knowledge in the U.S but a great deal of freight on British railroads is being hauled by locomotives built in the USA, General Motors (EMD) had originally supplied the British rail network with four SD40-2 designs, they were reconfigured to suit the Brit loading gauge and as the years rolled by, those SD40s proved far superior to anything we had. The American design provec popular and an upgraded but slightly less powerful locomotive was ordered, the British freight companies ordered 250 JT42CWR’s, these new locomotives were assembled in the London, Ontario plant in Canada. When the new locomotives arrived, all they required was the batteries to be connected up and refuelling and they were ready to go, that was something the British rail network had never experienced before, on top of the excellent service, EMD guaranteed that the new locos could run for 18 years before requiring a rebuild, again, something unheard of in the UK. The USA really do know their business when it comes to building excellent freight locomotives, sadly, we in the UK haven’t built a single freight locomotive for over 20 years, the truth is, the USA were head and shoulders above the Brits when it came to Diesel engine development.

In case your wondering what the SD40 looked like on the British rail network, here it is along side the (Class66)..the SD40 was known to the Brits as the (Class 59)
6E677047-008F-491A-90D5-935F3AB2BAE4.jpeg
 

UP Scott

Active Member
WOW! What a face lift! Starting at the running gear on up! :eek: I suspect the drive and under the hood stuff is somewhat the same but that's about it... Nice pictures and thanks for posting them, I had no idea that EMD built those, well, most of those loco's. That said, I have always wondered why the curved tops on a lot of European locomotives and some cars too, is it for the tunnels or what?
Later...
 
Loading gauge in some countries like Britan can be much smaller than the U.S., even if the track gauge is the same. Tunnels can be particularly tight hence the very rounded roofs.
 

bnsf971

Roadmaster
Nohab and Clyde also built EMD locomotives under license to GM, though I think both of those companies have ceased production.
Nohab is on the continent in Europe, and Clyde is Australian.
 

Waterloo50

New Member
Nohab and Clyde also built EMD locomotives under license to GM, though I think both of those companies have ceased production.
Nohab is on the continent in Europe, and Clyde is Australian.
I think Nohab was based in Sweden, they built locomotives for everyone and anyone, Denmark, Russia and Brazil all had locomotives built by Nohab, they were an impressive company back in the day.
 

Waterloo50

New Member
WOW! What a face lift! Starting at the running gear on up! :eek: I suspect the drive and under the hood stuff is somewhat the same but that's about it... Nice pictures and thanks for posting them, I had no idea that EMD built those, well, most of those loco's. That said, I have always wondered why the curved tops on a lot of European locomotives and some cars too, is it for the tunnels or what?
Later...
I really don’t know the answer to your curved tops question, I’d never really given it any thought. I guess that I’ve grown up around the British railway and the curved top is just normal here, it would make sense to have curved tops given that our tunnels are pretty narrow, come to think of it, even our steam locos had curved roofs which is a bit odd considering that the chimney normally sat higher than the cab roof...this requires further investigation.
 




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