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The E8 was a 2,250-horsepower (1,678 kW), A1A-A1A passenger-train locomotive built by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division (EMD) of La Grange, Illinois. A total of 450 cab versions, or E8As, were built from August 1949 to January 1954, 447 for the U.S. and 3 for Canada. And 46 E8Bs were built from December 1949 to January 1954, all for the U.S. The 2,250 hp came from two 12 cylinder model 567B engines, each driving a generator to power the two traction motors on one truck. The E8 was the ninth model in the line of passenger diesels of similar design known as EMD E-units. Starting in September 1953, a total of 21 E8As were built which used either the 567BC or 567C engines.
In profile the front of the nose of E7, E8, and E9 units is less slanted than earlier EMD units, and E7/8/9s (and their four axle cousins, the F-unit series) have been nicknamed "bulldog nose" units. Earlier E-unit locomotives were nicknamed "slant nose" units. After passenger trains were canceled on the Erie Lackawanna in 1970, the E8s were re-geared for freight and were very reliable for the EL. These units were on freight trains until the early years of Consolidated Railroad Corporation ("Conrail"). Amtrak used E8's until the late 70's.
Units noted with the designation E8m were rebuilt using components from earlier EMC/EMD locomotives. Externally the units look just like E8s. The difference in horsepower produced in these E8m units is because the older generators are reused.
|Electro-Motive Division (demonstrator)||to Southern Pacific 6018|
|Electro-motive Division (demonstrator)||to Rock Island 643 1st E8A built|
|Electro-motive Division (demonstrator)||to Delaware Lackawanna & Western 810-811|
|Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway||Model E8m, rebuilt from ATSF 1 & 1A|
|Model E8m, rebuilt from E1A and E1B|
|Atlantic Coast Line Railroad||532 rebuilt from E7|
|Model E8m, rebuilt from E3A|
|Boston and Maine Railroad||to Missouri Pacific 42 in 1962|
|Baltimore and Ohio Railroad||Even numbers only; 26,A-32,A were built with 567BC engines.|
|Model E8m, rebuilt from EA and EB|
|Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad|
|Central of Georgia Railway|
|Chicago and North Western Railway||5019B rebuilt from E7||Several B units rebuilt and fitted with "Crandall Cabs"|
|Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad||656 is Model E8m (Rebuilt from an E6A by EMD)|
|Chesapeake and Ohio Railway|
|Canadian Pacific Railway||Bought for joint Boston and Maine service in New England; only E-units purchased new by a Canadian railway. 1800 and 1802 to VIA Rail.|
|Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad||EMD Demonstrators 810-811 became DL&W 810-811|
|Fort Worth and Denver Railway|
|Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad,||Model E8m, rebuilt from an ex-B&O EA|
|Illinois Central Railroad||4031 and 4109 destroyed in the 1971 Salem, Illinois derailment and retired or scrapped.|
|Kansas City Southern Railway|
|Model E8m, rebuilt from E3A|
|Louisville and Nashville Railroad|
|Missouri Pacific Railroad||renumbered 38–41|
|New York Central Railroad|
|Pennsylvania Railroad||5762 to New York Central 4097|
|Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad||1013-1015 were built with 567BC engines|
|Seaboard Air Line Railroad||to Seaboard Coast Line 588-598|
|St. Louis-San Francisco Railway||All named after a Kentucky Derby winner, hence the name of their paint scheme|
|Southern Railway||renumbered 6900-6905, 6916|
|Southern Railway (New Orleans and North Eastern)||6906-6909 were built with 567BC engines; 6910-6915 were built with 567C engines.|
|Texas and Pacific Railway||renumbered 30–37|
|Union Pacific Railroad|
|rebuilt from E2B|
It is estimated that 58 E8s have survived. The former NYC 4085, preserved at the New York Central Railroad Museum, was the lead locomotive on the final eastbound 20th Century Limited. Another surviving E8 was operated by the Midland Railway, in Baldwin City, Kansas. Privately owned, this unit is ex-Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad E8A #652 and was used for special events. It and its companion, E6A #630, have been sold to a new museum in Iowa, which will be centered around the Rock Island. NYC 4096, recently restored, is also on display. New York Central 4097, privately owned, is on display at Merli Manufacturing Company in Duanesburg, New York.
The Monticello Railway Museum owns a former Pennsylvania Railroad E8A. It is currently undergoing restoration, and Monticello plans to paint it up as an Illinois Central E8 to match their collection of former Illinois Central passenger cars.
There are four Southern Railway E8A‘s preserved. Unit #6900 is operational at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, North Carolina, while the railway's #6901 is preserved at the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth, Ga, and recently underwent an operational restoration by Norfolk Southern. These engines have pulled the Southern Crescent and both bear this train's distinct logo. A Southern Railway E8, #6913, is being restored at the Southern Appalachia Railway Museum in Oak Ridge, TN for their Southern excursion train. Yet another, Southern #6914, is nearing the completion of a nearly two decade long restoration at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, having been cosmetically unveiled at the railroad's 2018 "Railfest", resplendent in green and gold complete with "NO&NE" sublettering.
The St Louis, Iron Mountain, & Southern Railway owns former Pennsylvania Railroad E8A #5898. It was previously owned by the Blue Mountain & Reading. It is the main engine used on their tourist train, and it was repainted in 2015.
Union Pacific E8AM #942 is owned by the Orange Empire Railway Museum, and is occasionally used on their tourist train, usually pulling the museum's small collection of former Union Pacific passenger cars. It carries the designation E8AM from its time in Chicago-area commuter service. After its time on the Union Pacific, #942 was sold to the Chicago and Northwestern, which used it in commuter service. After serving with CNW, the 942 moved on to serve Chicago's RTA. Upon retirement, it was donated to the museum, and subsequently restored to UP colors in 2012. It was rebuilt with a HEP generator which is what gives it the designation E8AM. However, unlike many E units rebuilt for commuter service, it retained its twin EMD 12-567B prime movers.
Baltimore & Ohio E8A #92 is on static display at the Baltimore & Ohio Railway Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.
Of the units owned by Conrail, three were saved after their freight-service retirement and went on to be refurbished by the Juniata Locomotive Shops in Altoona, PA for use as Conrail's Office Car Special (OCS) until the merger of 1999. One unit went to CSX, and two were sold off to Bennett Levin, CEO of the Juniata Terminal Company, where they have been overhauled and painted as twin Pennsylvania Railroad E8's. They are currently out of service as of 2019. Another, the former EL 833, was purchased by the New York and Greenwood Lake Railroad. The unit was repainted in its original livery as Erie 833, and was on display for a while on the turntable at Port Jervis, NY. In June 2008, two authentic New York Central E8's units (4080 & 4068) were brought to the Medina Railroad Museum in Western New York.
- "Surviving E Units List". Andrew Toppan. Retrieved August 5, 2007.
- "National New York Central Railroad Museum - Tour". nycrrmuseum.org. Archived from the original on August 11, 2007. Retrieved August 5, 2007.
- "New York Central System Historical Society". Nick Wilson.
- Dorin, Patrick C. (1972). Chicago and North Western Power. Burbank, California: Superior Publishing. p. 132. ISBN 0-87564-715-4.
- Lamb, J. Parker (2007). Evolution of the American Diesel Locomotive. Railroads Past and Present. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-34863-0.
- Marre, Louis A. (1982). Rock Island Diesel Locomotives - 1930-1980. Railfax, Inc. ISBN 0-942192-00-1.
- Marre, Louis A. (1995). Diesel Locomotives: The First 50 Years: A Guide to Diesels Built Before 1972. Railroad Reference Series. Waukesha, Wisconsin: Kalmbach Publishing. ISBN 978-0-89024-258-2.
- Pinkepank, Jerry A. (1973). The Second Diesel Spotter's Guide. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Kalmbach Publishing. pp. EMD–124. ISBN 978-0-89024-026-7.
- Reich, Sy (1973). Diesel Locomotive Rosters – The Railroad Magazine Series. Wayner Publications. No Library of Congress or ISBN.
- Schafer, Mike (1998). Vintage Diesel Locomotives. Enthusiast Color Series. Osceola, Wisconsin: MBI Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7603-0507-2.
- Solomon, Brian (2000). The American Diesel Locomotive. Osceola, Wisconsin: MBI Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-7603-0666-6.
- Solomon, Brian (2006). EMD Locomotives. St. Paul, Minnesota: Voyageur Press. ISBN 978-0-7603-2396-0.
- Solomon, Brian (2010). Vintage Diesel Power. Minneapolis, Minnesota: MBI Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7603-3795-0.
- Solomon, Brian (2011). Electro-Motive E-Units and F-Units: The Illustrated History of North America's Favorite Locomotives. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Voyageur Press. ISBN 978-0-7603-4007-3.
- Solomon, Brian (2012). North American Locomotives: A Railroad-by-Railroad Photohistory. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Voyageur Press. ISBN 978-0-7603-4370-8.
- Wilson, Jeff (2002). E Units: Electro-Motive's Classic Streamliners. Classic Trains / Golden Years of Railroading series. Waukesha, WI, USA: Kalmbach Publishing. ISBN 0890246068.
- EMD Product Reference Data Card dated January 1, 1959 has the 567BC and 567C engine data used in the as-built roster.