UP No. 949 leads an excursion through Clinton, Iowa in August 1995.

(davidwilson1949, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)



The E9 is a 2,400-horsepower (1,790 kW), A1A-A1A passenger train-hauling diesel locomotive built by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division of La Grange, Illinois, between April 1954 and January 1964. 100 cab-equipped A units were produced and 44 cabless booster B units, all for service in the United States. The E9 was the tenth and last model of EMD E-unit and differed from the earlier E8 as built only by the newer engines and a different, flusher-fitting mounting for the headlight glass, the latter being the only visible difference. Since some E8s were fitted with this, it is not a reliable way to distinguish the two. The E9 has two 1,200 hp (895 kW), V12 model 567C engines, each engine driving one generator to power two traction motors.


 B&O No. 1455 (E9A) with train No. 5, the westbound Capitol Limited at Shenandoah Junction, West Virginia on October 4, 1970.

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


Engine and powertrain

The E9 uses twin 12 cylinder 567C engines developing a total of 2,400 hp (1,800 kW) at 800 rpm. Designed specifically for railroad locomotives, this Roots-blown, mechanically-aspirated 2-stroke 45-degree V-type, with an 8+1⁄2 by 10 in (216 by 254 mm), bore by stroke, giving 567 cubic inches (9.29 L) displacement per cylinder, remained in production until 1966. Two D.C. generators, one per engine, provide power to four motors, two on each truck, in an A1A-A1A arrangement. This truck design was used on all E units and on MP 7100 and CB&Q 9908 power cars. EMD has built all of its major components since 1939.


Missouri Pacific E9Am 43 (ex-C&EI 43) with Train 17, the Missouri Eagle,

and Louisville & Nashville E7A 791 with Train 5, the Georgian, on December 15, 1970.

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



The E9 powered American passenger and mail trains from the 1950s into the late 1970s. Many of America's finest trains — such as Union Pacific Railroad's "City" fleet, Burlington's "Zephyr" fleet and Southern Pacific Railroad's Coast Daylight and Sunset Limited — had E9s pulling them. E9s and their E7 and E8 kin ran throughout the country on lesser-known passenger trains, Chicago's network of commuter trains and many mail and express trains. As America's passenger train network shrank due to unprofitability, Union Pacific, Rock Island and Illinois Central began using E9s on freight trains while Burlington Northern and Chicago and North Western began upgrading their fleets of E9's with Head-end power and EMD 645 power assemblies for commuter operations in the Chicago metropolitan area into the early 1990's.

Amtrak, founded in 1971, bought 36 E9As and 23 E9Bs from the Union Pacific, Milwaukee Road, B&O and SCL. Amtrak used the E9s until 1979 and converted some E9B units to steam generator and head end power cars.


FEC E9A 1031 at Cocoa Rockledge, FL in February, 1968.

(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
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 4 34, 36, 38, 40 all bought by Amtrak
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad 16 9985A,B–9989A,B 9990–9995 Renumbered into 9900–9924 series (with 9 E8As). Rebuilt by Morrison-Knudsen with 645 power assemblies and HEP around the mid 1970's. Used in Chicago suburban service by Burlington Northern into the 1990s.
Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad 1 1102 E9m rebuilt from wrecked EMD E7A (same number). To Missouri Pacific Railroad.
Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad 12 6 200A,C–205A,C 200B–205B Built to Union Pacific specifications for City train service. Renumbered 30ABC–35ABC
Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad 6 36A,C–38A,C Built with Head end power for commuter service
Florida East Coast Railway 5 1031–1035 to Illinois Central 2036–2040 in 1969 via Precision National
Illinois Central Railroad 10 4 4034–4043 4106–4109 4109 destroyed in 1971 Salem, IL derailment
Kansas City Southern Railway 1 25 Model E9m
Seaboard Air Line Railroad 1 3060 bought by Amtrak
Southern Pacific Railroad 9 6046–6054
Union Pacific Railroad 35 34 900–914, 943–962 900B-904B, 910B–913B, 950B–974B Units 949, 951 and 963B are part of the Union Pacific Heritage Fleet.
Totals 100 44

Postcard photo of the Kansas City Southern Railway's "Southern Belle" led by EMD E9 No. 25.

(Photo by Roy Gabriel; card published by Lyman Cox., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Surviving examples

As of 1997, 42 E9 locomotives survived. Many of these have been donated to several museums and tourist railroads. A number of railroads keep a small number in service for hauling inspection specials, charter passenger trains, investor tours and other special trains.

Five E9s are owned by the Illinois Railway Museum, in Union, Illinois. The operating units are often used pulling trains within museum grounds.
The Union Pacific Railroad rosters three E9s: two A units, 951 and 949 (shown above), and a B unit, 963B (built as UP E9B 970B), in their heritage fleet. They were rebuilt in 1993 with a single 2000 hp EMD 16-645E engine and upgraded electrical and control equipment for compatibility with more modern locomotives.
Southern Pacific 6051, the last surviving SP E9, is preserved at the California State Railroad Museum and operates excursions hosted by the museum.
CN owns and operates ex-Chicago, Burlington & Quincy E9A 9986A for its business train, painted in CN's heritage livery and numbered 103.
Milwaukee Road 32A is owned and operated by the Friends of the 261, who acquired it in 2019. This unit was previously used on the Wisconsin and Southern Railroad as their 101.
The Cape Cod Central owns 2 of these No. 2400, ex-Chicago, Burlington & Quincy E9A 9991A and No. 2402, ex-Chicago, Burlington & Quincy E9A 9985A. No. 2402 is being used to fix No. 2400.


Southern Pacific E9A No. 6051.

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


EMD E9 Overview

Type and origin
Power type: Diesel
Builder: General Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD)
Model: E9
Build date: April 1954 – January 1964
Total produced: 100 A units, 44 B units
​• AAR A1A-A1A
Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
Wheel diameter: 36 in (914 mm)
Minimum curve: 27° - 214.18 ft (65.28 m)
Length: 70 ft 3 in (21.41 m)
Width: 10 ft 7+1⁄2 in (3.239 m)
Height: 14 ft 7 in (4.45 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: (2) EMD 567C
Engine RPM:
• Maximum RPM 900
Engine type: V12 Two-stroke diesel
Aspiration: Roots-blower
Traction motors: (4) GM D37
Cylinders: 12
Performance figures
Maximum speed: 117 mph (188 km/h)
Power output: 2,400 hp (1,790 kW)
Tractive effort: 56,500 lb (25,600 kg) starting, 31,000 lb (14,000 kg) continuous
Locale: United States
Disposition: 42 preserved, none in revenue service though some used on special trains, remainder scrapped