EMC E4 No. 3002, power for the Silver Meteor.

(Photographer Unknown, via W. Lenheim Collection)


EMC logo.


The EMC E4 was a 2,000 horsepower (1,500 kW), A1A-A1A passenger train-hauling diesel locomotive built by the Electro-Motive Corporation of La Grange, Illinois. All were built for the Seaboard Air Line Railway. The E4 was the fifth model in a long line of passenger diesels of similar design known as EMD E-units.

The 2,000 hp (1,500 kW) was achieved with two EMC model 567 V12 engines developing 1,000 hp (750 kW), each engine driving its own electrical generator to power the traction motors.

The front noses of the EA, E1A, E3A, E4A, E5A, and E6A cab units had a pronounced slant when viewed from the side. Therefore, these six models have been nicknamed "slant nose" units. Later E-unit models received the same blunted "bulldog nose" as the F-units.

Ironically, the E4 was produced before the E3. Both models were identical, save for the E4 having a pneumatically-operated nose door passageway in order to facilitate crew movement between units in a locomotive consist.

All the E4s were retired and scrapped by 1964.


SAL No. 3003 leads the Orange Blossom Special into Plant City, Florida,

in December 1938,  inaugurating diesel service in the Southeast. (State Archives of Florida)


Seaboard Air Line EMC E4 3000, Raleigh, North Carolina, August 15, 1964. Photographer: Warren Calloway. (Craig Garver, CC0, https://www.flickr.com/photos/digitalrailartist/50248538307/in/album-72157715562629628/#)

Original owners

Railroad Quantity A units Quantity B units Road numbers Notes
Electro-Motive Corporation (demonstrator) 1 1939 to SAL 3013
Electro-Motive Corporation (demonstrator) 1 1939B renumbered EMC 1940B, to SAL 3104
Seaboard Air Line Railway 13 3000–3012
Seaboard Air Line Railway 4 3100–3103

SAL No. 3004 leads an A-B-A set of EMC E4 Diesel-electric locomotives at La Grange, Illinois, 1938.

(Electro-Motive Corporation, via W. Lenheim Collection, cropped)



Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: Electro-Motive Corporation (EMC)
Model: E4
Build date: 1938 – 1940
Total produced: 14 A units, 5 B units
​• AAR A1A-A1A
Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
Prime mover: EMD 567, 2 off
Engine type: V12 Two stroke diesel × 2
Cylinders: 12 × 2
Performance figures
Power output: 2,000 hp (1,500 kW)
Operators: Seaboard Air Line
Disposition: All scrapped


An EMC builder's painting showing SAL E4 A-B-A Nos. 3000, 3100, and 3001.

(Electro-Motive Corporation, W. Lenheim Collection)