In 1939 General Motors Electro - Motive Division issued a challenge to the supremacy of steam traction with the introduction of the FT class.
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Although proven as capable traction for passenger traffic, many were sceptical of the ability of diesels to haul freight. GM launched an 11 month tour of 35 states and 20 Class 1 railroads demonstrating the advantages of such a locomotive.
The FT class (F for freight T for 2700 hp with b-unit) proved a force to be reckoned with, hauling more freight, for less fuel and with less maintenance than any steam locomotive. Several units could be used on a train to meet horsepower requirements; this ability to 'lash' several units together, meant that a single crew could operate them via multiple unit controls. World of final fantasy ost download.
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- (There was an F5 model - late F3's in F7 carbodies and with new D27 traction motors, but the builder did not publicly apply the designation.) The F7 sold 3,849 units (2,366 A's, 1,483 B's) in North America during 1949-1953, the height of the dieselization of American railroads.
In all, over 7600 F units (both A units and boosters) were built between 1939-1960. The FT was followed by the F2, F3, F7, FP7, F9, FP9, and production ended in 1960 with the FL9.
The F was easily the top selling cab unit of all time, and ushered in a more colourful era in the history of railroads, with several operators adourning the art decco style carbodies with flamboyant liveries, such as the world famous Santa Fe 'warbonnet' scheme. The f7 was the most numerous.
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Although designed for freight, f-units were widely used on passenger services, many being fitted with boilers for passenger car heating systems. These units carried up to 100 gallons of water for this purpose.
There are only two models to have outsold the f7, both are also EMD units - the GP9 and SD40-2 hood units, though none have imparted such an impression as the world famous f7.
F7 Gallery - Northeast Railfan.Net - EMD diesel trains
F Units - by Barry Silverthorn
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