top of page
EMDs SW8: Americas Medium-Horsepower Switcher Choice 
By Diesel Era

EMDs SW8: Americas Medium-Horsepower Switcher Choi

  • To fill the gap between the 600-horsepower SW1 and the 1,000-horsepower SW7, EMD introduced its 800-horsepower SW8 model in 1950. Over the next four years, General Motors built a total of 366 SW8s for 49 U.S. and nine Canadian customers at both its Electro-Motive Division plant and La Grange, IL and General Motors Diesel Division facility at London, Ontario. Class 1 carriers received 217 units, short lines and terminal railroads, 97 units, and industrial operators, 52 units.

    Powered by the same basic 567-series prime mover as that first introduced in 1939, the SW8 carried an eight-cylinder version of the 567B engine. The carbody and equipment layout nearly duplicated its predecessors, but options ordered by customers, and in some cases, added after their delivery, helped to customize the SW8's look. From the optional dynamic brake equipment specified by Lehigh Valley and Southern Pacific, to the distinctive handrail cages by Nickel Plate Road, each owner gave its SW8s a distinctive look.

    With a major model railroad manufacturer about to release an HO-scale model of this interesting switcher model, the book should provide modelers with a wealth of photos and information about their favorite prototype SW8.

    Softcover, 8.5" x 11", 72 pages (4 color pages), 250 photos (20 color photos)
bottom of page