Rock Island F2A at Ottawa, IL in July 1963.

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



The EMD F2 was a freight-hauling diesel locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division between July 1946 and November 1946. It succeeded the FT model in GM-EMD's F-unit sequence, and was replaced in turn by the F3. The F2 was in many respects a transitional type between those two; it kept the 1,350 hp (1,010 kW) rated D8 generator from the FT due to late development of the new D12 generator intended for the F3, but in a revised carbody design and internal layout that would be continued through the rest of the F-unit series. 74 cab-equipped lead A units and 30 cabless booster B units were produced.

There are no reliable recognition features for an F2. They were built with what has become known as 'Type 1' side panels, with three portholes and no filter grilles, but this was carried over into early F3 production and in any case, could be changed later by the customer. Like some early F3s, they were built with small side numberboards on the nose. They, and all subsequent F-units, are readily distinguished from the FT by having two exhaust stacks instead of four, and by having no large overhang on the end of the B units, while the trucks were a little further away from the other ends.

They also had four radiator fans at the center of the unit next to each other in line on the roof instead of two at each end. This external feature was the result of a major change in internal arrangement, the replacement of all mechanical and belt-drives for radiator fans and traction motor blowers with electric motors. Power for these accessories was produced by a new D14 three phase alternator built into the main DC generator, called a “companion alternator”. This device has been used in all later EMD road locomotives to the present.

All F2's were scrapped, making them the only EMD F-unit model with no extant examples.


A Rock Island EMD F2 diesel-electric locomotive No. 43 and a contemporary B unit heading a freight at Joliet Union Station, Illinois.

(Lawrence and David Barera, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


Original owners

Railroad Quantity A units Quantity B units Road numbers A units Road numbers B units Notes
Atlantic and East Carolina Railway 2 400–401
Atlantic Coast Line 12 12 324–335 324B–335B All units built with steam generators
Boston and Maine Railroad 18 3 4224A–4226A, 4250–4264 4224B–4226B
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad 10 150A–154A, 155C–159C
Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad 12 38–49
Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway 2 1 147A,C 147B All rebuilt to 1500hp GP9M in 1957
New York Central Railroad 2 1604–1605
Southern Railway (Alabama Great Southern Railroad) 2 6700,6701 -- Both units equipped with steam generators
Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México 14 14 6200A–6213A 6200B–6213B 6210AB-6213AB built with steam generators
Totals 74 30

Photo of a new EMD F2 locomotive for the Atlantic and East Carolina Railroad in 1946. (EMD, Charlestown Courier, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Illustration of the EMD F2 in Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad livery. Located in the frontispiece of the operating manual prepared by the Electro-Motive Division, 1946. (Electro-Motive Division, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Type and origin

Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: General Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD)
Model: F2
Build date: July 1946 – November 1946
Total produced: 74 A units, 30 B units
​• AAR B-B
Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
Prime mover: EMD 567B
Generator: EMD D8
Performance figures
Maximum speed: 65–102 mph (105–164 km/h)
Power output: 1,350 hp (1000 kW)
Disposition: All scrapped


N de M freight led by a rare F2 6205 in Valle De, Mexico yard, Tlanepantla, Mexico on September 9, 1966. Rebuilt with F9 inner-workings.

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