Ex-SOO SD60 No. 6014, now owned by CIT (CEFX), at Lincoln, Nebraska in October 2014.

(Augy8400, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)


GM-EMD logo.


The EMD SD60 is a 3,800 horsepower (2,800 kW), six-axle diesel-electric locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division, intended for heavy-duty drag freight or medium-speed freight service. It was introduced in 1984, and production ran until 1995.


History and development

The SD60 is essentially identical to the SD50 externally, but has a different prime mover, the new 16-cylinder EMD 710G3A, and a computer-controlled electrical system. Chicago & North Western's railroad manual estimated that the SD60 is 3% more fuel efficient than one SD50, while a pair of SD60s was up to 16% more efficient than three SD40s pulling a standard coal train.

Norfolk Southern has been modernizing their old SD60s since 2010 into SD60Es, a model specific to NS.



Several variants of the SD60 were built, including:

This was the original model, and had a conventional hood unit configuration with the 40 Series (spartan) cab first employed on the SD40-2.



The SD60F was ordered and was operated by Canadian National and has a full-width cowl body and crashworthy "safety cab" with a four-piece windshield. CN retired the SD60F in 2017, however a handful were sold off and are still working on two shortlines in North Dakota. Dakota, Missouri Valley and Western Railroad has six, and the Northern Plains Railroad has five. 14 units are currently on the Aberdeen, Carolina & Western Railway in North Carolina.


The SD60I model has a full-width short hood and features the so-called "WhisperCab" that was insulated from sound and vibration using a system of rubber gaskets. The same cab was later used on EMD's SD70I, SD75I, SD80MAC and SD90MAC locomotives. Only Conrail ordered this model, and after 1999 all were split between the Norfolk Southern and CSX. All SD60i locomotives have either have been scrapped, sold to new owners or retired.


The SD60M features a "North American safety cab" design and has a full-width short hood. Early models until 1990 featured a three-piece windshield with vertical windows (nicknamed "triclops"), identical to the windshields found on EMD's SD40-2F and F59PH models. Later production from 1991 used two windshield panes that were sloped back, and had a somewhat shorter nose tapered on the sides. Purchasers of this model included Conrail, Union Pacific, Burlington Northern and the Soo Line Railroad. Conrail orders were split between the Norfolk Southern and CSX back in 1999. All Norfolk Southern and CSX SD60M locomotives have either been scrapped, sold to new owners, or retired.


The SD60MAC is similar to the SD60M but is equipped with alternating current traction motors. Although four demonstrator SD60MAC units tested on the Burlington Northern proved the viability of EMD's AC traction system, all subsequent orders were for the SD70MAC locomotive.


A Norfolk Southern EMD SD60E locomotive in Ayer, Massachusetts.

(4300streetcar, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)


The SD60E is a custom rebuild of standard cab SD60 for Norfolk Southern created at the Juniata Shops with the prototype being delivered in 2010 and the majority of the production taking place between 2013 and 2017. The SD60E utilizes a new NS-designed wide nose cab with increased crash protection, new electronics and up-rating the engine to the 4000 hp 710G3B standard. Norfolk Southern bought additional SD60s from Helm Leasing specifically for the SD60E program with the aim to eventually rebuild 240 SD60s, however the project was terminated after 135 had been completed and Norfolk Southern's remaining inventory of non-rebuilt SD60, SD60M and SD60I locomotives were subsequently sold or scrapped in 2019. In May 2021, Norfolk Southern regeared SD60E numbers 7034 and 7035 to go 79mph and assigned the locomotives to the railroad's Office Car Special train.


Current and original owners


Railroad Qty. Road numbers
Burlington Northern 3 8300-8302
Chicago & North Western 55 8001-8055
Conrail 25 6843-6867 (to NS 6701-6716)
CSX 26 8700-8721, 8787-8790
EMDX 4 1-4
Kansas City Southern 46 714-759
Norfolk Southern 151 6550-6700
Oakway, Inc., subsidiary of Connell Finance Company, Inc. 100 9000-9099
Soo Line 58 6000-6057
Union Pacific 85 6000-6084 (renumbered 2100–2239)
Canadian National 90 5400-5489


Railroad Qty. Road numbers
Canadian National 64 5500-5563
Aberdeen Carolina Western 13 5520-5521, 5526-5527, 5534, 5536, 5539, 5545, 5548-5549, 5558-5560
Dakota, Missouri Valley and Western Railroad 6 5500-5501, 5504, 5523, 5544, 5557
Northern Plains Railroad 5 5513, 5517-5518, 5525, 5535


Railroad Qty. Road numbers
Conrail 80 5575-5654
Norfolk Southern 46 6717-6762
CSX 35 8722-8774
Terminal Railroad Association of St Louis 2 4001-4002
Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad 6 3880-3885


Railroad Qty. Road numbers
Burlington Northern 100 1991, 9200-9298
Conrail 75 5500-5574
Soo Line 5 6058-6062
Union Pacific 281 6085-6365 (renumbered 2158, 2169, 2240–2520)
Norfolk Southern 44 6763-68066807-6815
CSX 30 8756-8786
Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad 7 3886-3892
Carajás Railroad (Vale) 2 601-602
Wisconsin & Southern 8 6165, 6092, 6125, 6141, 6183, 6224, 6240, 6238 (Renumbered 6022-6029)
Yadkin Valley Railroad 6 8769, 8771–8772, 8781, 8783, 8786
Totals 1,144

SOO Line EMD SD60 No. 6032.

(Ham549, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


GMD SD60F, CN 5536.

(Railfan Jack at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)


EMD SD60I, CSX 8747, Plymouth, Michigan.

(Dave Parker, CC BY-SA 2.5 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5>, via Wikimedia Commons)


EMD SD60M (Early model, "Triclops"), UP 2317.

(terry cantrell, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)


EMD SD60M (Late model, 2-Piece windshield), BNSF 1461.

(Gerald McGinley, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)



In October 2019, Norfolk Southern donated SD60I No. 6721 to Penn State University Altoona, marking one of the first Conrail road locomotives to survive into preservation. It has moved to the Railroaders Memorial Museum as of 2023.



Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builders: Electro-Motive Division (EMD) and General Motors Diesel (GMD)
Model: SD60
Build date: 1984–1995
Total produced: 1,144
Configuration: AAR C-C
Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge; 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm), Brazil
Wheel diameter: 40 in (1,000 mm)
Wheelbase: 13 ft 7 in (4.14 m)
Length: 71 ft 2 in (21.69 m)
Width: 10 ft 3 in (3.12 m)
Height: 15 ft 7.5 in (4.76 m)
Locomotive weight: 368,000 lb (166,922 kg)
Prime mover: EMD 16-710G3A
Engine type: V16 diesel
Alternator: AR-11
Traction motors: D-87
Cylinders: 16
Performance figures
Maximum speed: 70 mph (113 km/h)
Power output: 3,800 hp (2.8 MW) at 900 rpm
Tractive effort Starting: 114,000 lbf (52,000 kgf) @ 25%
Tractive effort Continuous: 100,000 lbf (45,359 kgf) @9.8 mph (15.8 km/h)
Operators: See original owners
Locale: North America, Brazil
Disposition: Most still in service as of 2016, 1 preserved.