Canadian National 1002 in Port Mann in September 1987.

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



The GMD GMD1 is a diesel locomotive originally produced by General Motors Diesel (GMD), the Canadian subsidiary of General Motors Electro-Motive Division, between August 1958 and April 1960. This road switcher locomotive is powered by a 12-cylinder EMD 567C diesel engine, capable of producing 1,200 horsepower (890 kW). The GMD1 was built on either Flexicoil A1A-A1A (for light-rail prairie branchlines) or Flexicoil B-B trucks. One hundred and one were built, Canadian National (CN) purchased 96 and Northern Alberta Railways (NAR) the remaining five, which later became part of CN's fleet when they acquired majority interest in NAR.

As the light branches were abandoned or rehabilitated, the bulk were upgraded with new fuel tanks and Flexicoil B-B trucks and assigned to yard and transfer service. In 1988/89, 39 GMD1s were remanufactured by CN as GMD 1Us, 12 emerged with B-B trucks and continued to run long-hood-forward, while the others retained their A1A trucks and were converted to shorthood-forward operation. On April 19, 2021, CN's last GMD-1 was retired from revenue service.


Original owners

Road Quantity Road numbers Notes
Canadian National 78 1000–1077 A1A-A1A trucks
Canadian National 18 1900–1917 B-B trucks; fitted with steam generators
Northern Alberta Railways 5 300–305 A1A-A1A trucks (to CN 1078–1082)

Cando Rail Services 1010 operating at the North Transcona Yard in Winnipeg.

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


Second-hand users

A number of GMD1 units were sold off in the 1990s and 2000s to rebuilders, leasers, regional and shortline railways. Twenty were acquired by Ferrocarriles de Cuba. Oregon Pacific Railroad acquired CN No. 1413, and is now numbered OPR No. 1413. Cando Rail Services acquired CN 1401, 1434 and 1435 in late 2018. CN 1401 is now CCGX 1009, CN 1435 is CCGX 1010. Waterloo Central Railway took donation of and restored a GMD1 in 2021.


Northern Alberta Railway Train 1 at at Dawson Creek in November 1971.

(Roger Puta, courtesy Marty Bernard from U.S.A., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: General Motors Diesel
Build date: August 1958 – April 1960
Total produced: 101
Configuration: AAR A1A-A1A (83); B-B (18)
Configuration: UIC (A1A)(A1A); Bo′Bo′
Prime mover: EMD 12-567C
Engine type: V12 diesel
Aspiration: Roots type supercharger
Cylinders: 12
Performance figures
Power output: 1,200 hp (890 kW)