Southern Pacific Fairbanks Morse H24-66 Train Master 3031 with commuter Train 122, San Francisco, CA on February 5, 1971.

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



The H-24-66, or Train Master, was a diesel-electric railroad locomotive produced by Fairbanks-Morse and its licensee, Canadian Locomotive Company. These six-axle hood unit road switchers were deployed in the United States and Canada during the 1950s.

They were the successor to the ultimately unsuccessful Consolidated line of cab units produced by F-M and CLC in the 1950s. Each locomotive produced 2,400 horsepower (1.8 MW). In common with other F-M locomotives, the Train Master units employed an opposed piston prime mover. The model rode on a pair of drop equalized three-axle "Trimount" trucks giving it a C-C wheel arrangement.


Wabash No. 554, an FM H24-66 Train Master way freight switching at Saunemin, IL on Nov 24, 1962.

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



Touted by Fairbanks-Morse as "...the most useful locomotive ever built..." upon its introduction in 1953, the 2,400 horsepower (1.8 MW) H-24-66 Train Master was the most powerful single-engine diesel locomotive available at the time, legendary for its pulling power and rapid acceleration. No competitor offered a locomotive with an equal horsepower rating until the ALCO RSD-7 entered production in January 1954 (EMD followed suit later in July 1958 with the SD24, and GE introduced their U25C in September 1963).

While some railroads saw advantages in the Train Master's greater power, the perception on the part of others that the unit had too much horsepower (coupled with the difficulties inherent in maintaining the opposed-piston engine, inadequacies in the electrical system, and a higher-than-normal consumption of cooling water) contributed to poor marketplace acceptance of the Train Masters. Because of this, both F-M and CLC ultimately left the locomotive business with both parties eventually ceasing to exist altogether.



Three different carbody variants were produced, and were differentiated as follows: Phase 1a units had their air intake louvers located in a continuous line along the top of the long hood, and a wide separating strip between the radiator fans; Phase 1b modifications were minor, consisting only of a "dip" in the long hood handrails that allowed them to better follow the profile of the side walkways; Phase 2 units boasted fewer air intake louvers, with large gaps separating them (the radiators themselves were divided by only a tiny metal strip).


Units manufactured by Fairbanks-Morse (1953–1957)

Railroad Quantity Road numbers Notes
Fairbanks-Morse (demonstrator units) 4 TM-1 – TM-4 TM-1 & TM-2 to Wabash Railroad 550–551; TM-3 & TM-4 to Southern Pacific 4800–4801/3020–3021
Canadian National Railway 1 3000 Later renumbered 2900.
Canadian Pacific Railway 1 8900 Only CPR Train Master built by FM (not CLC). Delivered with a single steam generator. Remaining (twenty) CPR Train Masters (8901-8920) built by CLC (see below).
Central Railroad of New Jersey 13 2401–2413
Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad 12 850–861 to Erie Lackawanna Railroad 1850–1861
Pennsylvania Railroad 9 8699–8707 to Penn Central 6700–6708
Reading Company 17 800–808, 860–867
Southern Pacific 14 4802–4815, 4800-4815 Renumbered 3020–3035 in 1965
Southern Railway (CNO&TP) 5 6300–6304
Virginian Railway 25 50–74 to Norfolk and Western Railway 150–174
Wabash Railroad 6 552–554, 552A–554A   Renumbered 552–557
Total 107

Units manufactured by the Canadian Locomotive Company (1956)

Railroad Quantity Road numbers Notes
Canadian Pacific Railway 20 8901–8920   CP 8905 is the only H-24-66 preserved. It can be seen at the Canadian Railway Museum in Saint-Constant, Quebec, Canada. 8901-8904 originally delivered with unique wide short hoods housing dual steam generators, converted to normal hood width when SG's removed.

CPR 8909, a Canadian Locomotive Company H-24-66 Train Master.

(Fawcett5 at English Wikipedia, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



Only one Train Master locomotive has survived intact — former Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) H-24-66 No. 8905 is now owned by the Canadian Railroad Historical Association, which operates the Canadian Railway Museum in Saint-Constant, Quebec.

Former Virginian Railway Train Masters rebuilt into slugs by the Norfolk and Western Railway survived well into Norfolk Southern service with one currently preserved at the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum in Hamburg, Pennsylvania.


An FM H-24-66 Gallery


SP No. 3020, a Fairbanks-Morse 2400 H.P. Model H-24-66 "Trainmaster," rests in San Francisco between runs in 1966. Built in 1953, and numbered 4800 until 1966, No. 3020 is one of the sixteen H-24-66 units which are the primary power in SP's San Francisco commuter service. Photo by Harold Elmore.  (Lyman E. Cox, Sacramento, CA, Public domain, W. Lenheim Collection)

Reading FM H-24-66 800, date and location unknown, probably Rutherford, Pennsylvania, in October, 1953, in a company photograph. (Craig Garver, Public domain, Flickr)

Delaware Lackawanna & Western H-24-66 850 at Beloit, Wisconsin, June, 1953, in a builder photo. (Craig Garver, Public domain, Flickr)

SP 3029 (FM H-24-66 Trainmaster) with Train 129 at the SP's Old 4th Street Tower, San Francisco, CA on August 25, 1967. (Roger Puta, courtesy Marty Bernard, Public domain,


Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: Fairbanks-Morse
Build date: April 1953–June 1957
Total produced: 127
​• AAR C-C
Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
Trucks: Baldwin-style Commonwealth
Length: 66 ft 0 in (20.12 m)
Locomotive weight: 375,000 lb (170,000 kg; 170 t)
Prime mover: FM 38D-8 1/8
Engine type: 12-cylinders, Opposed piston two-stroke diesel
Aspiration: Roots blower
Displacement: 12,443 cu in (203.90 L)
Generator: DC
Traction motors: 6x WE 370DE2 DC traction motors (standard); 6x GE 752 DC traction motors
Cylinders: 12
Cylinder size: 8.125 in × 10 in (206 mm × 254 mm)
Transmission: Diesel-electric
Locomotive brake: 24RL air, Dynamic
Train brakes: Air
Performance figures
Maximum speed: 65 mph (105 km/h) / 80 mph (130 km/h)
Power output: 2,400 hp (1.79 MW)
Tractive effort: 112,000 lbf (498.2 kN)
Locale: North America