Locomotives / Train Sets


Diesel-Electric Locomotive

Entry Last Edited: 01/17/2024 | Content ©www.RailRoadJunction.net | The following text is exclusive to this site.
Specifications [+]
The EMD SD70 has found a home across many rail lines of the world - though its use is primarily centered on North America.
Railway industry powerhouse Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) introduced its SD70 diesel-electric locomotive in 1992 to compete directly against the General Electric Transportation Systems GE "Dash" 9-44CW mark. This opposing GE entry was built from the period spanning 1993 until 2004 to the tune of some 3,668 total units making it a popular selection for general and heavy freight-hauling duties across North America (BNSF and Norfolk Southern being two of its biggest customers). EMD surpassed this total with 5,700 units of their own through the SD70 series and serial manufacture of the design has been ongoing since introduction resulting in a myriad of variants that include the original SD70 and subsequent SD70I, SD70M, and SD70Ace marks.

Design-wide, the locos are of conventional from and function despite their 1990s roots. The driving compartment sits behind a short hood and access stairs are positioned at all four corners of the frame. Along the right side is a long-running (front-to-rear) walking path that conveniently wraps around to the other side. The middle-rear section of the frame houses the pertinent working components of the loco. The driver is positioned at front-right in the usual way.

Drive power is through a diesel-electric arrangement involving either an EMD 16-710-G2 2-stroke V16 diesel engine or an EMD 12-1010J 4-stroke 12-cylinder diesel engine (the latter seen in the SD70Ace-T4 mark). Under the UIC configuration standard, the locomotive carries a Co'Co' wheel arrangement. Maximum rated speed reaches 70 miles-per-hour (110kmh) - though the SD70ZCe-T4 increases slightly to 75mph (121kmh).

The SD70 was produced from 1992 until 1994 followed by the SD70M from 1992 until 2004. Norfolk Southern became the largest operator of the SD70 mark with 80 units procured. Union Pacific built a fleet of 1,452 SD70M models.

The SD70I became a short-lived entry of 1995 - purchased solely by Canadian National across 26 examples.

SD70MAC production spanned from 1993 until 2004. BNSF collected 786 units to CSX's 220 as the two top operators of this mark.

The SD70Ace began in 2004 and continues to be manufactured today (2023) and includes a number of notable sub-variants in the series line. Notable operators became Union Pacific with 799 units followed by BNSF with 640 units of their own.

The SD70M-2 appeared in production from 2004 until 2011, purchased in bulk by Canadian National (190) and Norfolk Southern (130) with other players (six) procuring fewer than ten units.

The SD70Ace-T4 arrived in 2015 (still being produced in 2023) under sub-variants with purchases made by Union Pacific (100), CSX and PRLX (10 apiece), and EMD Leasing (1).

Other on-going models include the SD70Ace/LCi (2005) operated by BHP (184) and Fortescue Metals Group (21) of Australia.

The SD70ACS (2009) has seen purchase globally by entities in the UAE, Guinea, Mauritania, and Saudi Arabia. Similarly, the SD70Ace-BB (2015) and SD70Ace/45 (2004) have seen use in Brazil.

Norfolk Southern built a fleet of 50 SD70IAC (2019) units. The SD70Ace/LW originated in 2007 and reentered the fold in 2021.

Rebuilds have resulted in the SD70ACU for Canadian Pacific and Norfolk Southern, the SD70ACC for Norfolk Southern, and SD70MACH mark for Metra of Chicago, Illinois.

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Specifications [ EMD SD70 ]

Electro-Motive Diesel - USA

United States
1992 - Ongoing
Production Run

5,700 units
Production Total
Train driver seating position graphic

Driver Position
Locomotive power source graphical icon
Power Source
1 x EMD 16-710-G3 2-stroke 16-cylinder diesel engine OR EMD 12-1010J 4-stroke 12-cylinder diesel engine (SD70ACe-T4).
Engine / Drive Source
4,352 hp
Rated Output Power
110.0 kph
(68.4 mph)
Max Speed
Wheel Arrangement
(Loco Facing Left)

Series Variants
SD70 - Base Series Designation; original series model form; 'spartan cab' styling.
SD70M - 'Comfort Cab' introduction; revised nose assembly for crew comfort; 710G3B engine; D90TR DC traction motor; flared radiators.
SD70I - Rubber gasket isolated cab construction for cabin noise reduction.
SD70MAC - Model of 1993; EMD 710 engines of 4,000 horsepower; three-phase traction motors; total production reached 1,109 into 2004.
SD70ACe - Replacement for EPA-unfriendly SD70MAC variant; EMD 16-710-G3C-T2 engines of 4,300 horsepower (up to 4,500 horsepower).
SD70ACe/LCi - Australian mining market locos reclaimed for stateside use.
SD70ACS - Export market models.
SD70ACe-BB - Brazil market models.
SD70ACe/45 - Brazil market models.
SD70IAC - SD70ACe and SD70IAC locos for Norfolk Southern.
SD70ACU - Canadian Pacific SD9043MAC locos rebuilt for Canadian Pacific; Union Pacific/CIT SD90MAC locos rebuilt for Norfolk Southern.
SD70ACC - Rebuilt Norfolk Southern SD70 locos for Norfolk Southern.
SD70MACH - Entry of 2022; SD70MAC locos rebuilt by Progress Rail Services for Chicago-based Metra services.
SD70AC - Wide gauge (1,600mm).
Operating Countries
Australia; Brazil; Canada; Guinea; Luxembourg; Mauritania; Mexico; Saudi Arabia; United Arab Emirates; United States

National flag of Australia National flag of Brazil National flag of Canada National flag of Guinea National flag of Luxembourg National flag of Mexico National flag of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia National flag of the United Arab Emirates National flag of the United States
Customers / Operators:
Alaska Railroad; America Latina Logistica (Rumo Logistica); ArcelorMittal; Arkansas and Missouri Railroad; BHP; BNSF; Canadian National; Canadian Pacific; Carajas Railroad; CIT Group; Companhia Vale do Rio Doce; Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee; CSX; Electro-Motive Diesel Leasing; Etihad Railway; Ferromex; Ferrominera Orinoco; Florida East Coast Railway; Fortescue Metals Group; Illinois Central; Indiana Railroad; Kansas City Southern; Kansas City Southern de Mexico; Lake State Railway; Luminant; Mauritania Railway; METRA; Montana Rail Link; New Brunswick Southern Railway; New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway; Norfolk Southern; Northshore Mining; PRLX (Progress Rail Leasing); Providence and Worcester Railroad; Quebec North Shore and Labrador; RJ Corman; Saudi Railway Company; Southern Peru Copper Corporation; Tacoma Rail; Texas Utilities Generating Company (TUGX); Union Pacific; Valor da Logistica Integrada; Vermont Railway
NOTE: Includes both past and present

Image of the EMD SD70

Image of the EMD SD70
Side profile illustration of an EMD SD70 diesel-electric locomotive in Union Pacific livery.
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