The only surviving set of an EMD FT, which only two out of the four locomotives are coupled.

The Electro-Motive Division (EMD) F Series was a series of streamlined or "cab" (often referred to as "cowl" as a result of having a protective "shell" covering the entire locomotive) 1,350 to 1,800hp four-axle diesel locomotives built from 1937 to 1960, which were used for freight and passenger service.


The first locomotive built in the series, was the FT; which was actually a set of two or three locomotives semi-permanently coupled in A-B or A-B-A sets ("A" units having cabs, with "B's" being cabless). But, railroads eventually wanted to have a completely independent set of locomotives able to operate individually, or uncouple as needed. Hence, the introduction of the F2, F3, F7, F9, and other counter-parts (most of the FT's were later modified to run as independent units.)

The FT was the first type of mass-produced diesel road locomotive ever produced for American and North American railroads (although the GE "boxcab" was the first commercially successful type of diesel locomotive built for such.

Types And/Or Models/VariantsEdit

There are (and have been) many versions of the EMD F Series:

Amtrak FP9

An Amtrak FP9 leading two SDP40F units during the early years of the railroad (before the introduction of the EMD F40PH).

  • FT (first version built)
  • F2
  • F3
  • F7
  • FP7 (Modified version of an F7 that is 4 feet longer, and feature a steam generator)
  • F9
  • FP9 (A modified version of the EMD F9. See page for more details.)
  • FL9 (One of the only B-A1A type locomotives built with third rail shoes for dual-mode service into Grand Central Terminal.)


The EMD E Series is similar to the F Series, but the E Series of locomotives have six-axles (A1A - A1A)  and two prime movers.

The ATSF (Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe; or Santa Fe) railroad rebuilt most of their F7 locomotives into their own unique CF7 switching locomotives.

The FL9 was only purchased by the New York, New Haven and Hartford railroad, which is now part of the Metro North commuter railroad .

Chicago and North Western was one of the last users of the F7's (and F9's) running the "Push-Pull" commuter runs, (with the Double Decker cars) in and out of the Chicago Loop on the "Racetrack" line during the 1970's.

Most modern railroads from the 1970's onwards had fleets of restored, rebuilt, and/or refurbished vintage F and E series units which are used for hauling the respective railroad owner's executive trains or other specials. Such railroads as Norfolk Southern, use their units rebuilt and refurbished A-B-B-A F-unit carbodies covering GP38-2 mechanics (primarily the A units; B units are reburbished F9B units) to haul their OCS and/or executive trains and other specials.

CSX once had a fleet of executive F units, but replaced them with former Amtrak F40PH units from around 1997 to 2006 (with #9992 and #9993 purchased and received from 1997 to 1999, while #9998 and #9999 were purchased and received in 2006).