BN 440, an SW1000, works in Eola Yard at Aurora, Illinois.

(The original uploader was Slambo at English Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


EMD SW1000

The EMD SW1000 is a model of 4-axle diesel switcher locomotives built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division between June 1966 and October 1972. Power was provided by an EMD 645E 8-cylinder engine which generated 1,000 horsepower (750 kW). This locomotive was built on the same common frame as the EMD SW1500, giving it an overall length of 44 feet 8 inches (13.61 m). Over one-third of SW1000 production went to the Burlington Northern Railroad.



The SW1000 was taller than previous EMD switchers, which posed a problem for industrial customers: at many facilities, tight clearances existed, and the SW1000 exceeded them. As a result, most production went to railroads, not industries. EMD corrected this problem with the SW1001, which was an SW1000 with its height and walkways lowered for better clearance.

A total of 114 EMD SW1000s were built for railroads and industrial operations in the United States. One was exported to Jamaica for a mining operation and four were exported to industrial operators in Mexico.

As at January 2014, two EMD SW1000s are operated by Via Rail at its Montreal Maintenance Centre.


 Quebec-Gatineau Railway No. 1500 in 2009.

(Félix Mathieu-Bégin, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)



Around August 2022, the Oregon Rail Heritage Center acquired former BNSF SW1000 No. 3613 (former BN No. 388).


SW1000 Locomotives as built by EMD

Railroad Quantity Road numbers Notes
Altos Hornos de Mexico 2 132, 137
Cementos Anahuac (Mexico) 1 No Number Transferred to Cemex acquired Anahuac in 1987
Appalachian Power 1 1 Now owned by Roanoke Chapter NRHS.
Armco Steel 1 B81
Birmingham Southern Railroad 8 10-17 15 to 17 scrapped 1973; 13 became 213 and sold to Watco, Inc.
Burlington Northern 43 375-394, 427-449 No. 442 rebuilt without cab; transferred to BNSF with one sold to GATX Rail Locomotive Group
Chicago Burlington and Quincy 12 9310-9321 to Burlington Northern 574-585
Ferrocarril Chihuahua Cellulose (Mexico) 1 1811 to Ferromex
Corn Products International 2 68–69
Cuyahoga Valley Railroad 1 1050
Denver and Rio Grande 10 140-149
Detroit Edison 1 216
Duluth and Northeastern 1 35 to Cloquet Terminal Railroad
Eastman Kodak 1 8
E I DuPont Nemours and Company 2 106-107
General Motors-Central Foundry Division 1 No Number
Great Lakes Steel Corporation 1 58
Hampton and Branchville 1 120
Houston Belt and Terminal 3 40-42
Inland Steel 4 115-118 All sold to Via Rail
Jones and Laughlin Steel 2 102–103
Kaiser Bauxite (Jamaica) 1 5109
Mobil Chemical 1 2
New Orleans Public Belt 6 101-106
Public Service Company of Indiana 1 1
Wisconsin Electric Power 1 No Number
Youngstown Sheet and Tube 10 905-914
Total 119


Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: General Motors Electro-Motive Division
Model: SW1000
Build date: June 1966 – October 1972
Total produced: 119
Configuration: AAR B-B
Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
Length: 44 ft 8 in (13.61 m)
Prime mover: EMD 8-645E
Engine type: V8 Diesel engine
Cylinders: 8
Performance figures
Power output: 1,000 hp (750 kW)
Locale: United States, Jamaica, Mexico, South Korea, Canada