SCL Motor Car No. 4900 at Lakeland, FL on December 31, 1969.

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


St. Louis Car Co. logo.
Electro-Motive Corporation logo.


The St. Louis Car Company "Doodlebug" was a model of lightweight, streamlined Diesel-electric railcars built by the St. Louis Car Company in 1936 for the Seaboard Air Line Railroad. Electro-Motive Corporation supplied the 600 hp (450 kW), eight-cylinder Winton Diesel 201-A he prime mover and electric transmission components. The units had a B-2 wheel arrangement, mounted atop a pair of road trucks. The aft section was divided into two separate compartments: one was used to transport baggage and the other served as a small railway post office, or RPO (the forward door, located just behind the radiator louvers, was equipped with a mail hook).

Two units were manufactured for the Seaboard Air Line Railroad (SAL) and were numbered 2027 and 2028. Unit 2027 was destroyed in a collision with a gas tanker truck at Arcadia, Florida in 1956. Unit 2028 remained in service, and was primarily used on the Silver Meteor between Tampa, Florida and Venice, Florida through the 1950s and 60s. Unit 2028 was renumbered to 4900 after the Seaboard Coast Line merger in 1967 between the SAL and the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad (ACL). Unit 2028, now numbered 4900, was reassigned to operate the Champion between Lakeland, Florida and Naples, Florida. Unit 2028 was removed from service and scrapped after Amtrak took over national passenger service in 1971.


SCL Motor Car 4900 (formerly No. 2028), Train 98, The Champion, at Naples, FL on March 14, 1971. Click to enlarge.

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



Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: St. Louis Car Company, EMC
Build date: 1936
Total produced: 2
โ€‹• AAR B-2
Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
Prime mover: Winton 201-A
Engine type: 2-stroke diesel
Generator: DC generator
Traction motors: DC traction motors
Cylinders: 8
Cylinder size: 8 in × 10 in (203 mm × 254 mm)
Locomotive brake: Straight air
Train brakes: Air
Performance figures
Power output: 600 hp (450 kW)
Operators: Seaboard Air Line, Seaboard Coast Line
Locale: North America
Disposition: All scrapped


SAL 2028 at Venice, FL. Photo Courtesy Richard R. Wallin. Click to enlarge. (© Maryjayne's Railroad Specialties, Inc., Fair Use, via W. Lenheim Collection)

A lateral view of SAL 2028 showing the rear entrance and open baggage door. Click to enlarge. (© www., Alameda, CA., Fair Use, via W. Lenheim Collection)