Chicago and Illinois Midland Railway 60, an SD18, coupled to two SD9 locomotives at Springfield, Illinois, 7 May 1966.

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



The EMD SD18 is a 6-axle diesel locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division between April 1960 and March 1963. Power was provided by an EMD 567D1 16-cylinder engine which generated 1,800 hp (1.3 MW).

54 examples of this locomotive model were built for American railroads, and 60 for export, including fifteen for Korail (order numbers 700735–700749, serial numbers 28373–28387).


DMIR SD18 No. 193 at Palmers, MN, May 12, 2013.

(Keon McGarvey, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


Design and Production

The SD18 was the third model in EMD's SD (special duty) line of locomotives. It was designed as a modified GP18 which had six axles instead of four. The additional axles allowed for more tractive effort and a more even distribution of weight compared to the GP18.


Brazilian Ferrovia Transnordestina Logística EMD SD18 No. 5038.

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


Original Owners

Owner Quantity Numbers
Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad 7 851–857
Chesapeake and Ohio Railway 19 1800–1818
Chicago and Illinois Midland Railway 2 60–61
Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway 19 175–193
Reserve Mining Co. 7 1226–1232
RFFSA (export to Brazil) 45 3401–3445
Korea National Railroad 15 6001–6015
Totals 114

MRS 5022, a GM-EMD SD18 at Joaquim Murtinho Station, Congonhas do Campo, MG, Brazil.

(Flávio Rodrigo de Miranda Alves, CC BY-SA 2.5 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)



At least four SD18s have been preserved.

Chop-nosed Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range 193 is now an operating member of the Lake Superior Railroad Museum collection. They also previously had DM&IR 316 in their collection, which is an "SDM"; an EMD SD18 given EMD 645 power assemblies by the Missabe, though still labeled as an SD18. In 2019 No. 316 was traded for Northern Pacific No. 245 and left the museum for the Dakota Quality Grain Corporation in Parshall, N.D.

As of March 2022, grain terminal operator AgRail LLC of Bloomington, Illinois has acquired Western Rail Inc. SD18M No. 1229 through a lease-to-purchase agreement. The unit began service with Minnesota's Reserve Mining in May 1961 and was last used by the Western Milling plant in Goshen, CA. It was rewired in the 1980s.


The Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad held a night photo shoot during its annual Romney Railroad Days. South Branch Valley 182 strikes a pose for the photographers.

The SD18 was originally BL&E 853 and is an active unit on the roster of the South Branch Valley Railroad, September 17, 2011.

(jpmueller99 from Shenandoah Valley of VA, USA, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)



Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: General Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD)
Model: SD18
Build date: April 1960 – March 1963
Total produced: 114
​• AAR C-C
Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge; 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm), Brazil
Prime mover: EMD 567
Engine type: V16 diesel
Cylinders: 16
Performance figures
Power output: 1,800 hp (1.3 MW)