St Louis Southwestern GE B30-7 7782 at PFE Yard in Tucson, Arizona, January, 1983. Photographer: Craig Garver.

(Craig Garver, Public domain,



The GE B30-7 is a diesel-electric locomotive model produced by GE from 1977 to 1983 as part of their Dash 7 Series, featuring a 16 cylinder engine producing 3,000 horsepower. A total of 399 units were produced, including 120 cabless B30-7A units. The B30-7AB/A(B) is an unofficial model. The B30-7 was GE's successor to the U30B.


Southern Railway 3507, a B30-7A1, in Potomac Yard in Alexandria, VA on August 15, 1987.

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


Design and production history

The B30-7 was designed from the B23-7, and was nearly identical in appearance. However, the B30-7 featured 3,000 horsepower, compared to the B23-7's 2,300 horsepower. Almost all were built with FB2 trucks.

GE produced several variants of the B30-7. These were developed from an experimental modification of the B23-7's 12-cylinder engine in June 1980 to uprate it to 3,000 horsepower. By using the 12 cylinder prime mover instead of the 16 cylinder version, railroads saved money on fuel and maintenance, and most subsequent B30-7s incorporated a 12-cylinder engine. Variants using this engine were the B30-7A, B30-7A1 and the cabless B30-7A. The B30-7A without a cab is unofficially known as the B30-7A(B) to distinguish it from the version with a cab.

B30-7As were built only for the Missouri Pacific Railroad and are externally identical to the 16-cylinder version B30-7. B30-7A1s, which featured a high short hood, were built only for the Southern Railway.

Cabless B30-7A(B)s were built only for the Burlington Northern Railroad.


SSW 7784 Rosenberg, Texas Jan 5, 2001.

(KLWhitehead, CC BY 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


Operational history

Shortline railroad Providence and Worcester Railroad acquired five ex-BN B30-7A(B) cabless units, reclassified as B30-7AB units, numbered Nos. 3004-3008, in 2001. National Railway Equipment acquired these locomotives in 2015. Most of the remaining B30-7A(B)s were retired in 1999.

In early 2017, Chesapeake and Ohio unit 8272 was repainted by CSX into its original Chessie System livery and donated to the Lake Shore Railway Museum.


Missouri Pacific 4834 and 4642 in Clearing Yard, Chicago, IL in January 1985.

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


Original owners

Product Quantity Road Numbers Notes
Burlington Northern Railroad 120 4000-4119 model B30-7A(B) cabless units
Chesapeake and Ohio Railway 64 8235-8298 Chessie System Paint
Missouri Pacific Railroad 58 4800-4854 model B30-7A. The first three were an experimental modification of the B23-7.
St. Louis - San Francisco Railway 8 863-870 rode on Alco trade in trucks
St. Louis Southwestern Railway 26 7774-7799
Seaboard Coast Line Railroad 17 5500-5516 Family Lines Paint
Southern Pacific Railroad 84 7800-7883
Southern Railway 22 3500-3521 model B30-7A1

Burlington Northern Railroad number 4010, a GE B30-7AB, in Aurora, Illinois, in 1993.

(Sean Lamb (User:Slambo), CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


Chessie System Chesapeake & Ohio CSXT 5520.

(Gary Todd from Xinzheng, China, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)


Southern Pacific SP 7874 (B30-7).

(Gary Todd from Xinzheng, China, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)



Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: GE Transportation Systems
Build date: December 1977 – October 1983
Total produced: 399
​• AAR B-B
Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length: 61 ft 2 in (18.64 m)
Prime mover: GE FDL-16
Engine type: V16 diesel
Engine type: V12 diesel for B30-7A variants
Cylinders: 16
Cylinders: 12 for B30-7A variants
Performance figures
Power output: 3,000 hp (2,200 kW)
Operators: See above table for Original owners
Locale: North America


CSX 5508 ready to put office car on the Silver Meteor at Jacksonville, FL November 18, 1986.

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