Missouri Pacific 9153 and 1084 (BLW VO1000) at EMD, LaGrange, IL on October 6, 1962.

(Roger Puta, courtesy Marty Bernard, railfan 44, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



The Baldwin VO-1000 is a diesel-electric switcher locomotive built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works between January 1939 and December 1946. These units were powered by a naturally aspirated eight-cylinder diesel engine rated at 1,000 horsepower (746 kW), and rode on a pair of two-axle trucks in a B-B wheel arrangement. These were either the AAR Type-A switcher trucks, or the Batz truck originally developed by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway as a leading truck for steam locomotives. 548 examples of this model were built for American railroads, including examples for the Army and Navy.

Between June and August 1945 Baldwin supplied 30 Co-Co road locomotives with 8-cylinder VO engines for export to the Soviet Union as their Дб20 (Db20) class.

There are at least eight intact examples of the VO-1000 that are known to survive today, most of which are owned by museums or historical societies. However, a VO-1000m is owned by the Northwestern Pacific Railroad, a local freight carrier based in Schellville, California.


"Beep" at the Western America Railroad Museum in 2012.

(Klaus Nahr, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)



In the early 1960s the Reading Company sent 14 of their VO-1000s to General Motors Electro-Motive Division to have them rebuilt to SW900 specifications. These locomotives retained most of their original carbodies, and were subsequently given the designation VO-1000m.

Around the same time, the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway repowered its VO1000s with turbocharged 606SC Baldwin engines taken from its EMD-repowered fleet of Baldwin DT-6-6-2000 locomotives. The work was performed at EJ&E's Joliet, Illinois workshops, and produced a finished unit that featured an offset exhaust stack and left-side turbocharger bulge, the latter being much like that found on Baldwin road switchers. The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad had eight of their VO1000s repowered with EMD 567 series engines, which produced 1,200 hp (890 kW). The Great Northern Railway converted four VO-1000s into transfer cabooses in 1964. The units were stripped to their bare frames (the original trucks and distinctive cast steps were left in place) and fitted with 15-foot (4.6 m)-long steel cabins.

The St. Louis – San Francisco Railway repowered theirs with EMD 567C prime movers in the late 50's and early 60's. The conversion lead to extended use into the late 70's. Most units were retired in 1979, though some were sold off.

In December 1970 the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (soon after its successful CF7 capital rebuilding program) produced a unique switcher locomotive, known to railfans as the "Beep", at its Cleburne, Texas service facility. The company hoped to determine whether or not remanufacturing its aging, non-EMD end cab switchers by fitting them with new EMD prime movers was economically prudent. The conversion proved too costly, and only the one unit was modified.

Editor's note: The "Beep" (pictured above) can be seen at the Western America Railroad Museum in Barstow, California. This is a very nice museum jam-packed with interesting items, several locomotives and railcars, and one of the largest date nail collections in the U.S. It's well worth a visit to Barstow and sits directly behind the historic Santa Fe station and (now) BNSF yards. There's also a Route 66 museum nearby.


A VO-1000 Gallery


Southern Pacific Baldwin VO1000 1322 at Eddystone, Pennsylvania, June, 1941, in a builder photo. (Craig Garver, Public domain, https://www.flickr.com/photos/digitalrailartist/50437561231/)

St Louis Southwestern Baldwin VO1000 1017 at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, August, 1957. Photographer unknown.

(Craig Garver, Public domain,  https://www.flickr.com/photos/digitalrailartist/50329478228/)

ATSF Baldwin VO1000 2202, date, location, and photographer unknown. Note the Batz trucks. (Craig Garver, Public domain,


Spokane Portland & Seattle Baldwin VO1000 31 at Portland, Oregon, December 25, 1963. Photographer: Larry Russell. (Craig Garver, Public domain, https://www.flickr.com/photos/digitalrailartist/50354290441/)

Original owners

Railroad Quantity Road numbers Notes
Baldwin Locomotive Works (demonstrators) 2 307, 332 to Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway 30–31
Baldwin Locomotive Works (demonstrators) 1 333 to Central of Georgia Railway 22
Baldwin Locomotive Works (demonstrators) 1 334 to Minneapolis and St. Louis D-340
American Steel and Wire Company 1 12
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway 59 2201–2259
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad 9 606–609, 616, 617, 619, 621, 623 Renumbered 10–18
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 25 413–437 Renumbered 9200–9224 at random
Belt Railway of Chicago 2 401–402
Canton Railroad 2 30–31 to Patapsco & Back Rivers 331–332
Central of Georgia Railway 2 26, 27
Central Railroad of New Jersey 5 1062–1066
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad 30 9350–9379
Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (“Milwaukee Road”) 12 1680–1691 Renumbered 928–939
Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad 5 760–764
Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway (“Omaha Road”) 3 87–89 Re-engined by EMD in 1958
Chicago and North Western Railway 12 1024, 1037–1047
Colorado and Wyoming Railway 3 1107–1109
Chicago Short Line Railway 3 100–102
Defense Plant Corporation (Carbon County Railway) 2 262-1, 262-2 to Columbia-Geneva Steel Division, US Steel #36–37
Detroit Terminal Railroad 2 101–102
Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway 10 475–484
Escanaba and Lake Superior Railroad 1 100
Great Northern Railway 10 5332–5335, 139–144 5332–5335 Renumbered 132–138
Iowa Ordnance Plant 1 1-120 to US War Department 7275
Kennecott Copper Corporation (Bingham and Garfield Railway) 2 801, 803
Kentucky and Indiana Terminal 4 44–47
Lehigh Valley Railroad 5 135–139
Litchfield and Madison Railway 1 100 to C&NW #86; rebuilt by EMD
Louisville and Nashville Railroad 9 2202–2210
Macon, Dublin and Savannah Railroad 1 1000 to SAL 1492; to SCL 84
Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway 1 D-145 Renumbered 103
Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad 1 310
Missouri Pacific Railroad 6 9103, 9117–9119, 9198, 919
Missouri Pacific Railroad (International-Great Northern Railroad) 3 9150–9152
Missouri Pacific Railroad (St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway) 5 9153–9155, 9160, 9161
Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway 6 15, 30–34
New York Central Railroad 8 8600–8607 renumbered 9300–9307
Northern Pacific Railway 28 108–109, 111–112, 119–124, 153–154, 159–174 Renumbered 400–427 (not in order)
Oliver Iron Mining Company 15 907–915, 918, 919, 922
Patapsco and Back Rivers Railroad 4 70–73 Renumbered 326–329
Pennsylvania Railroad 8 5913–5920
Phelps Dodge Corporation 2 9, 10
Philadelphia, Bethlehem and New England Railroad 2 251, 252 to Patapsco & Back Rivers 328, 330
Pittsburgh and West Virginia Railway 1 30 to Patapsco & Back Rivers 355
Reading Company 24 55–59, 71–89
St. Louis-San Francisco Railway (“Frisco”) 38 200–237 Repowered with EMD 567 prime mover
St. Louis Southwestern Railway (“Cotton Belt”) 23 1000–1022 1007 to Texas South-Eastern
Seaboard Air Line Railroad 7 1400–1402, 1413–1416 to Seaboard Coast Line 28–30; 37–40
Southern Pacific Company 25 1320–1329, 1371–1385
Southern Railway 1 DS-2205 later renumbered 2205, with no "DS" prefix
Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway 5 30-34
Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company 4 800–803
Tennessee Eastman Corporation 1 4
Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis 11 591–601
Union Pacific Railroad 6 1055–1060
Union Railroad 6 500–505 500,501,505 to Patapsco & Back Rivers Railway; 502 to Universal Iron & Steel; 505 to URR Tack & Maintenance 504; 503=?
United States Navy 40 varied by location
United States Department of War 26 7126–7130, 7137–7140, 7143, 7225–7227, 7453–7457, 7461–7464,V-1800, V-1801
Wabash Railroad 4 300–303
Western Maryland Railway 5 128–132
Western Pacific Railroad 5 581–585
Western Railway of Alabama 4 621–624
Total 548

Preserved examples

Please note this list is incomplete. (November 2012)

  • B&O No. 412 is operational in Bridgeport, NJ. (ex-USN No. 19)
  • BOMX No. 32 is preserved at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, MD. (ex-Canton Railroad Company No. 32, exx-Patapsco and Back Rivers Railroad No. 331)
  • Colorado and Wyoming Railway No. 1107 is preserved at the Museum of the American Railroad in Dallas, TX.
  • NC&StL No. 36 is preserved at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga, TN. However this engine never served "The Dixie Line", this one served the United States Navy
  • NKP No. 99 is preserved at the Indiana Transportation Museum in Noblesville, IN. (ex-USN No. 9) According to unconfirmed reports this locomotive was to be sold to the city of Kokomo, Indiana for static display but the deal was never finalized.
  • NNRM (Kennecott Copper) No. 801 is operational at Nevada Northern Ry Ely, NV.
  • OERM No. 8 is preserved at the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, CA.
  • WMRY No. 132 is preserved at the Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum in Hagerstown, MD.
  • BLW No. 1200 is preserved at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg, PA.
  • SLSF No. 200 (repowered with an EMD 567C engine and equipped with an EMD SW1200 hood) is preserved at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga.



Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: Baldwin Locomotive Works
Model: VO-1000
Build date: January 1939 – December 1946
Total produced: 548
​• AAR B-B
• UIC Bo′Bo′
Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length: 48 ft 0 in (14.63 m)
Locomotive weight: 236,260–242,200 lb (107,165.7–109,860.1 kg)
Prime mover: De La Vergne 8-VO
Engine type: Straight-8 Four-stroke diesel
Aspiration: Naturally aspirated, solid injection
Displacement: 1,979 cu in (32.43 L) per cylinder; 15,831 cu in (259.42 L) total
Generator: DC generator
Traction motors: DC traction motors
Cylinders: 8
Cylinder size: 12+3⁄4 in × 15+1⁄2 in (324 mm × 394 mm)
Transmission: Electric
Locomotive brake: Straight air
Train brakes: Air
Performance figures
Power output: 1,000 hp (746 kW)
Tractive effort: 59,065–60,550 lbf (262.7–269.3 kN)
Locale: North America
Disposition: 10 Preserved, remainder scrapped