Postcard photo of the AT&SF Chicagoan at Dallas Union Station in April 1966 with E6 No. 14 in the lead.

(D.A. Woodworth, Jr., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



The EMD E6 was a 2,000-horsepower (1,500 kW), A1A-A1A, streamlined passenger train locomotive manufactured by Electro-Motive Corporation, and its corporate successor, General Motors Electro-Motive Division, of La Grange, Illinois. The cab version, E6A, was manufactured from November 1939 to September 1942; 91 were produced. The booster version, E6B, was manufactured from April 1940 to February 1942; 26 were produced. The 2,000-horsepower (1,500 kW) was achieved by putting two 1,000-horsepower (750 kW), 12-cylinder, model 567 engines in the engine compartment. Each engine drove its own electrical generator to power the traction motors. The E6 was the seventh model in a long line of passenger diesels of similar design known as EMD E-units.

Compared with passenger locomotives made later by EMD, the noses of the E3, E4, E5, and E6 cab units had pronounced slants when viewed from the side. Therefore, these four models have been nicknamed "slant nose" units. Later E models had the "bulldog nose" of the F series.

One interesting E6 variant custom-produced for the Missouri Pacific was the model EMC AA. This was a motorcar-style unit which had only one prime mover and 1,000 horsepower (750 kW), and substituted a baggage compartment where the other diesel V-12 would have been. The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific owned an equally interesting pair of similar power cars known as the EMC AB6, which were mechanically identical but had boxcabs in blunt noses. These acted as boosters behind conventional E6A models on the Rocky Mountain Rocket train between Chicago and Limon, Colorado, from where the E6A would take the Denver cars north and the AB6 would take the Colorado Springs section of the train south.


The Golden State at 99th Street in Washington Heights on the Rock Island mainline in April 1965, led by EMD E6 No. 631.

(Photo by Roger Puta, courtesy Marty Bernard, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Original owners

Railroad Quantity A units Quantity B units Road numbers A units Road numbers B units Notes
Electro-Motive Corporation (demonstrator) 1 1940 to Seaboard Air Line 3014
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad 22 5 502–523 750–754 ACL 501 was built as an E3A, wrecked before delivery and rebuilt as an E6A
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway 4 3 12–15 12A, 13A, 15A
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 8 7 52, 57–63 57x–63x
Chicago and North Western Railway 4 5005A,B, 5006A,B
Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad 5 627–631
Florida East Coast Railway 3 1 1003–1005 1051
Illinois Central Railroad 5 4000–4004
Kansas City Southern Railway 2 4, 5
Louisville and Nashville Railroad 16 450A,B–457A,B
Milwaukee Road 2 15A,B
Missouri Pacific Railroad 2 2 7002–7003 7002B–7003B
Seaboard Air Line Railroad 2 3015–3016 EMD Demonstrator 1940 became SAL 3014
Southern Railway 7 4 2800–2802 2900–2903 2900B–2903B
Union Pacific Railroad 6 7M1A, 7M2A, 8M1A, 8M2A, 9M1A, 9M2A
UP-C&NW joint City of Los Angeles 1 2 LA-4 LA-5, LA-6
UP-SP-C&NW joint City of San Francisco 1 2 SF-4 SF-5, SF-6
Total 91 26

Postcard photo of Union Pacific Railroad's City of Portland with an EMD E6A leading.

(Audio-Visual Designs, Earlton, NY, Photo courtesy Union Pacific Railroad., Public domain, via W. Lenheim Collection)


Surviving units

Three E6 locomotives survive today:

Atlantic Coast Line E3A 501 was wrecked before delivery, returned to EMC and rebuilt as an E6A. It has been preserved and now resides at the North Carolina Transportation Museum/Spencer Shops. ACL 501 has been at or near operational status for much of its life. After retirement from regular service, the unit was restored to purple & silver colors and run on Midwest fan trips by owner Glenn Monhart. After Mr. Monhart's death, the unit found a home in Spencer, North Carolina, at the North Carolina Transportation Museum.

Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad E6A No. 630, was operated by the Midland Railway, in Baldwin City, Kansas. RI 630 has since been sold and will become part of a future museum in Manly, Iowa, along with Rock Island E8A 652. Both units have been cosmetically restored but currently are under a mechanical restoration at Mid-America Car in Kansas City, MO as of March 2017.

Louisville and Nashville E6A No. 770, built as L&N 450B, is located at the Kentucky Railway Museum, in New Haven, Kentucky. This unit is for display only, as it came to the museum without most of its internal parts.


Louisville and Nashville Railroad E6A 751 with Train 4, The Georgian, ready to depart Union Station, Atlanta, GA on November 25, 1967.

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



Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: General Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD)
Model: E6
Build date: November 1939 – September 1942
Total produced: 91 A units, 26 B units
​• AAR A1A-A1A
Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
Trucks: EMD Blomberg A-1-A passenger
Wheel diameter: 36 in (914 mm)
Minimum curve: 23° (250.79 ft or 76.44 m radius)
Wheelbase: 57 ft 1 in (17.40 m)
Length: 70 ft 4 in (21.44 m) over coupler pulling faces
Width: 10 ft 7 in (3.23 m)
Height: 14 ft 10 in (4.52 m)
Locomotive weight A unit: 311,300 lb (141,203 kg)
Locomotive weight B unit: 290,000 lb (131,542 kg)
Prime mover: (2) EMD 567
RPM range: 800
Engine type: V12 Two-stroke diesel
Aspiration: Roots-type supercharger
Displacement: 6,804 cu in (111.50 L) each
Generator: (2) EMD D-4
Traction motors: (4) EMD D-7
Cylinders: (2) 12
Performance figures
Maximum speed: 116 mph (187 km/h)
Power output: 2,000 hp (1,500 kW) total
Tractive effort: Starting: 56,500 lbf (25,628 kgf) @25%; Continuous: 31,000 lbf (14,061 kgf) @11 mph (18 km/h)
Disposition: Three preserved, remainder scrapped


 B&O No. 1412, an E6A with C&O train No. 2, the eastbound George Washington, leaving St. Louis between April and October 1967.

(Photo by Roger Puta, courtesy Marty Bernard, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)