Baldwin 4-8+8-4-750/8-DE

The Baldwin 4-8+8-4 750/8 DE1 was the Baldwin Locomotive Works' first attempt at road diesel locomotive. The trucks were configured in a 2-D+D-2 wheel arrangement. Only a single test unit was built.

Baldwin 4-8+8-4 750/8 DE
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderBaldwin Locomotive Works
Serial numberBLW 64639, also 4-8+8-4 750/8 DE 1
Model4-8+8-4 750/8 DE
Build date1943
Total produced1
 • AAR2-D+D-2
 • UIC(2′Do)+(Do2′)
Gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm)
Length91 ft 6 in (27.89 m)
Loco weight685,000 pounds (311,000 kg)
Fuel capacity2,850 US gal (10,800 l; 2,370 imp gal)]
Prime moverEight 408 (but only four installed)
Engine typeFour-stroke diesel
GeneratorDC generator
Traction motorsDC traction motors
CylindersV8 (×8 planned)
Loco brakeStraight air
Train brakesAir
Performance figures
Maximum speed120 mph (190 km/h)
Power output6,000 hp (4.47 MW) (with all 8 engines installed)
Tractive effort45,000 lbf (200.17 kN) at 39 mph (63 km/h)
LocaleNorth America

In 1943 Baldwin built an experimental "Centipede" as a demonstrator unit, which was assigned road #6000. The uniquely styled unit, with its upright, aggressive prow, was to be powered with eight model 408 V8 diesel engines (which would have produced 6,000 horsepower (4,500 kW)), though only four were actually installed. The locomotive's running gear design reflected Baldwin steam and electric locomotive practice. The carbody rode on two massive articulated cast steel half-frames cast by General Steel Castings, linked at the middle with a hinged joint. Unpowered four-wheel trucks at each end guided the locomotive through curves for stability at speed.

The locomotive utilized unique "power packages", each consisting of an engine, generator, radiator, electrical cabinet, and other auxiliaries. These power packages could be changed out in as little as 20 minutes. While the locomotive was designed to carry 8 of these power packages, only 4 were ever installed. Each engine powered a single axle of the locomotive.

The lone unit was dismantled soon after production, and its running gear was used for the one of a kind prototype #4500 Seaboard Air Line 3,000 horsepower (2,200 kW) "Centipede".


  • Kirkland, John F. (1994). The Diesel Builders (Volume 3, Baldwin Locomotive Works). Interurban Press. ISBN 0-916374-93-9.
  • Pinkepank, Jerry A. (1973). The Second Diesel Spotter's Guide. Kalmbach Publishing Co. ISBN 0-89024-026-4.
  • Dolzall, Gary W. & Dolzall, Stephen F. (1984). Diesels From Eddystone: The Story of Baldwin Diesel Locomotives. Kalmbach Publishing Co. ISBN 0-89024-052-3.