Locomotives / Train Sets


Diesel-Electric Locomotive

Series: "General Purpose (GP)"

"Despite its introduction in the 1950s, the EMD GP9 series of American diesel-electric locomotives continues to soldier on in rebuilt form today."

Entry Last Edited: 01/17/2024 | Content ©www.RailRoadJunction.net | The following text is exclusive to this site.
Specifications [+]
The EMD GP9 "General Purpose" line of high-hood, diesel-electric-powered locomotives was produced by the Electro-Motive Division (EMD) of General Motors (GM) and General Motors Diesel (GMD - Canada) from 1954 to 1963 to the tune of 4,092 units. The system went on to serve various customers across both North and South America. The GP9 series was developed to directly succeed an aging line of GP7 units and, at least externally, largely followed the design form of the preceding GP7 though, internally, it offered much improved hauling power by way of a switch to a new engine.

As built, the locomotives measured 56.1 feet in length, 10.3 feet wide, and 15 feet high. Overall weight reached 269,500lb.

The locomotive was powered by the in-house EMD 567C V16 two-stroke, 1,750 horsepower series large, medium-speed diesel engine with generator power handled from an EMD D-12-B. Traction motors involved in the drive configuration were comprised of 4 x EMD D-37-B units with a B-B (AAR) wheel arrangement. All told, the locomotive could make headway, unladen speeds of 65 miles-per-hour (105 kmh) with the initial tractive effort being 64,750lb.

For EMD's part in production of the GP9, the company completed 3,626 locos in the original GP9 form of which 165 of these were GP9B models (these lacking control cabs). GMD of Canada followed with 646 GP9 model units of their own to bring the total unit output to 4,092 locomotives; 3,441 of these built specifically for American operators and railways.

The GP15C was used to mark rebuilt GP9s with a switch to the CAT 3512 diesel engine of 1,500 horsepower. Other rebuilds by EMD resulted in the GP20C-ECO variant which has introduced a more modern end-product - power now being generated from an EMD 8-710-G3A engine. Some of the GP9 line were also completed with shorter "short hood" assemblies for enhanced operator visibility from the cab. Illinois Central rebuilds were known under the GP10 designation.

GP9 models were succeeded on EMD production lines themselves by EMD's more powerful GP18 series.

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Specifications [ EMD GP9 ]

Canada; United States

National flag of Canada National flag of the United States
Operating Countries
BNSF; B&O Railroad; Canadian National; Canadian Pacific; MBTA; Northern Pacific; Red River Valley and Western Railroad; Seminole Gulf Railway; Southern Pacific
Customers / Operators
Electro-Motive Division - General Motors (EMD); General Motors Diesel (GMD); Illinois Central Railroad (rebuilds) - USA

United States
1954 - 1963
Production Run

4,092 units
Production Total
Train driver seating position graphic

Driver Position
17.2 meters
(56.3 feet)

117,700 kilograms
(259,529 lb | 130 US Tons)
Locomotive power source graphical icon
Power Source


Service Roles
1 x EMD 567C diesel engine of 1,750 horsepower (GP9); 1 x CAT 3512 diesel engine of 1,500 horsepower (GP15C); 1 x EMD 8-710-G3A diesel engine (GP20C-ECO).
Engine / Drive Source
4 x EMD D-37-B units.
Traction Motor / Sets
1,750 hp
Rated Output Power
105.0 kph
(65.3 mph)
Max Speed
Wheel Arrangement (Loco Facing Left)
Series Variants
GP9- Base Series Designation.
GP9B - Sans control cabs.
GP10 - Illinois Central Railroad rebuilds with reduced-height short hoods.
GP15C - Rebuilds with Caterpillar CAT 3512 series engines of 1,500 horsepower output.
GP20C-ECO - EMD rebuilds with EMD 8-710-G3A engines.

Image of the EMD GP9

Image of the EMD GP9
Side profile illustration view of the EMD GP9 diesel-electric locomotive engine.
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