Pennsylvania Railroad EMD E7 5901 at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

(Photo by and (c)2015 Derek Ramsey (Ram-Man), CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)



The E7 was a 2,000-horsepower (1,500 kW), A1A-A1A passenger train locomotive built by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division of La Grange, Illinois. 428 cab versions, or E7As, were built from February 1945 to April 1949; 82 booster E7Bs were built from March 1945 to July 1948. (Circa 1953 one more E7A was built by the Los Angeles General Shops of the Southern Pacific by rebuilding an E2A.) The 2,000 hp came from two 12 cylinder model 567A engines. Each engine drove its own electrical generator to power the two traction motors on one truck. The E7 was the eighth model in a line of passenger diesels of similar design known as EMD E-units, and it became the best selling E model upon its introduction.

In profile the front of the nose of an E7A was less slanted than on earlier EMD passenger locomotives, and the E7, E8, and E9 units have been nicknamed “bulldog nose” units. Some earlier units were called “shovel nose” units or “slant nose” units.


Illustration of General Motors' Electro-Motive Division EMD E-7 A and B locomotive units in New York Central livery.

(JAGRAFXWIK, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


Original owners

Railroad Quantity A units Quantity B units Road numbers A units Road numbers B units Notes
Electro-Motive Division (demonstrator) 1 765 Former GM Train of Tomorrow demonstrator, sold to Union Pacific 988
Alton Railroad 7 101,A–103,A, 100 to GM&O in 1947
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad 20 10 524–543 755–764
Bangor and Aroostook Railroad 2 700–701 renumbered 10–11, Both Re-geared for freight in 1962
Boston and Maine Railroad 21 3800–3820
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 18 64,A–80,A Even numbers only
Central of Georgia Railway 10 801–810
Chesapeake and Ohio Railway 4 95–98
Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad 3 1100–1102
Chicago and North Western Railway 26 5007B, 5008A,B–5019A,B, 5020A
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad 44 9916A,B–9936A,B, 9937A, 9949
Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad 11 9 632–642 632B–634B, 637B–642B
Florida East Coast Railway 17 3 1006–1022 1052–1054
Great Northern Railway 13 500A,B–504A,B, 510A–512A 500A,B–504A,B renumbered 500A–509A
Illinois Central Railroad 14 4 4005–4017, 4000 4100–4103
Louisville and Nashville Railroad 12 458A,B–461A,B, 790–793
Maine Central Railroad 7 705–711
Milwaukee Road 10 16A,B–20A,B
Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad 2 101A,B
Missouri Pacific Railroad 9 7 7004–7006, 7010–7011, 7014–7017 7004B, 7010B–7011B, 7014B–7017B renumbered 13–15, 19–20, 23–26, 13B–15B, 17B–20B
Missouri Pacific Railroad (International-Great Northern Railroad) 3 1 7007, 7012–7013 7012B renumbered 16, 21–22, 16B
Missouri Pacific Railroad (St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway) 2 7008–7009 renumbered 17–18
New York Central Railroad 36 14 4000–4035 4100–4113 E7B renumbered 4200-4213 by Penn Central in 1968
Pere Marquette Railway 8 101–108
Pennsylvania Railroad 46 14 5900A–5901A, 5840A–5883A 5840B–5864B (even only), 5900B 5900-5901A renumbered to 4200-4201, 5840-5841 to 4240-4241, 5842-5879 to 4202-4239, 5880-5883 to 4242-4245, all to Penn Central same numbers. E7B renumbered 4214-4227 in 1968
Seaboard Air Line Railroad 32 3 3017–3048 3105–3107
St. Louis–San Francisco Railway 6 2000–2005 Later rebuilt to look like E8's, but retained the same E7 innards
Southern Railway 18 2905–2922
Southern Pacific Company 5 10 6000A–6004A 6000B,C–6004B,C
Southern Pacific Company 1 6017 Model E7m, rebuilt from an E2A at Los Angeles Shops.
Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway 1 750 to Burlington Northern 9900
Texas and Pacific Railway 10 2000–2009 renumbered 1–10
Union Pacific Railroad 4 3 959A–960A, 930A–931A 961B–963B
Joint UP-C&NW 1 2 927A 928B–929B
Joint UP-SP-C&NW 1 2 907A 908B–909B
Wabash Railroad 4 1000, 1001, 1001A, 1002 1001 renumbered 1002A, then 1017; 1001A renumbered 1016
Total 429 82

An E7 leads the Milwaukee Road's afternoon Twin Cities Hiawatha in 1956. Photo courtesy Milwaukee Road. (Audio-Visual designs, Earlton, NY, Public domain, via W. Lenheim Collection)

Photo postcard of the Southern Pacific Shasta Daylight led by an EMD E7. (Photo: Southern Pacific Railroad; Card: Lyman Cox, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

GM&O E7A No 100 in Chicago at 35th and California on January 3, 1964. (Photo by Roger Puta, courtesy Marty Bernard, railfan 44, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


NYC 4077 (E8A) with Train 56, the Fifth Avenue - Cleveland Limited, in Hammond, Ind. on November 26, 1965. (Photo by Roger Puta, courtesy Marty Bernard, railfan 44, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Illinois Central's City of New Orleans at Kankakee, Illinois. The train is led by EMD E7 No. 4017, August, 1964.  (Lawrence and David Barera, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


Central of Georgia 801 (E7A) stored on side track at Terminal Station in Atlanta, GA on April 12 1963. (Photo by Roger Puta, courtesy Marty Bernard, railfan 44, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Surviving example

Ex-Pennsylvania Railroad E7A No. 5901 is preserved as the only surviving example of the E7. This locomotive has been cosmetically restored, and is currently on indoor display at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, in Strasburg, Pennsylvania.


In film

A Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad E7A, No. 103-A, appears at the start and end of the 1967 film In The Heat of the Night.

A Southern Pacific E7A, No. 6001, is on the point of a train that figures prominently in "The Hitch-Hiker", a popular 1960 episode of the anthology television series, The Twilight Zone, starring Inger Stevens. (According to the narration, Steven's character is said to encounter the train somewhere between Pennsylvania and Tennessee, yet the locomotive's number board shows that the train, No. 99, is the Coast Daylight, which traveled between Los Angeles and San Francisco.)


Photo of the Alton Railroad's new EMD E-7 locomotives, 1945.

(Minneapolis Trubine, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


EMD E7 Type and origin

Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: General Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD)
Model: E7
Build date: February 1945 – April 1949
Total produced: 428 A units, 82 B units
​• AAR A1A-A1A
Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
Wheel diameter: 36 in (914 mm)
Minimum curve: 21° (274.37 ft or 83.63 m radius)
Length: 71 ft (22 m)
Width: 10 ft 6+1⁄2 in (3.213 m)
Height: 14 ft 11 in (4.55 m)
Locomotive weight A unit: 315,000 lb (143,000 kg), Locomotive weight B unit: 290,000 lb (130,000 kg)
Fuel type: Diesel
Prime mover: EMD 567A (x 2)
RPM range: 800
Engine type: V12 Two-stroke diesel
Aspiration: Mechanical via Roots blower
Displacement: 6,804 cu in (111.50 L) each
Generator: EMD D-4 (x 2)
Traction motors: GM D7 or D17 or D27 (x 4)
Cylinders: 12 (x 2)
Performance figures
Maximum speed: 85–117 mph (137–188 km/h)
Power output: 2,000 hp (1,491 kW) total
Tractive effort: 56,500 lb (25,600 kg) starting, 31,000 lb (14,000 kg) continuous
Locale: United States
Disposition: One preserved on static display, remainder scrapped.