CNW Rebuilt E Unit

A rebuilt CNW E9B; a cabless unit rebuilt with an unusual cab, known as a "Crandall Cab".

Rebuilt diesel locomotives are diesel locomotives which are rebuilt or modified from older or scrapped diesel locomotives.

Some are converted to become cabless, while most become a completely new type of locomotive (such as the GP15-1 for example).


Rebuilt diesel locomotives were first created in the 1960s, when railroads and railways throughout the United States, North America, and the United Kingdom (including other parts of Europe as a result of the Cold War Era and the industrialization movements revolving around during the time) had a brief shortage of locomotives after scrapping and retiring all (or almost all; with the exception of the Union Pacific and the Norfolk And Western American US Class 1 railroads) of their steam locomotives in favor brand new diesel locomotives which were guaranteed to be the "next generation" of motive power. Although such railroads and railways owned some of the earliest known types of diesels ever built and manufactured (before World War 2), they were in desire need of replacement. Thus, the "rebuild movement" was born.

One of the very first known (and largest built) types of rebuilt diesel locomotives was the ATSF CF7; which was a type of multi-purpose switcher or shunter rebuilt from an EMD F7 (as well as other F units) by the Santa Fe (ATSF; Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe) railroad which was a huge success and operated on the railroad from the early-1970s to the mid-1980s. Another known major type of rebuilt diesel locomotive is the BR Class 10; which is rebuilt from a BR Class 08 and/or the upgraded Class 09. As well as the EMD GP15 Series; such as the GP15-1 from EMD; being the only other type of locomotive rebuilt specially from the company as opposed to having numerous companies receiving permission to rebuilt former EMD-built diesels.

Rebuilt locomotives became more popular in the 1990s and into the early 2000s with some of the first high-powered, low-emission, energy-efficient hybrid diesel locomotives; which run on clean diesel fuel and ethanol oil (or biodiesel).

There are many railroads, locomotive builders, and leasing companies which are still in the process of rebuilding diesel locomotives as of today; primarily as a result of the European Financial Crisis throughout Europe, and The Great Recession in the United States, thus the economy severely affecting the fuel economies which were (obviously) main priorities for railroads and locomotive builders.

Known TypesEdit

  • EMD SD59 (or SD32ECO)
  • EMD GP15 Series
  • MK Rail MK5000C
  • RailPower Series switchers
  • BR Class 11
  • BR Class 10
  • Motive Power "MP" Series Passenger Locomotives and Switchers (such as the MP36C)
  • NS SD60E
  • NS "Admiral Cab" SD40-2 units
  • NS MP15E (NS' version of the MP15AC/MP15DC)
  • MRL SD19-1
  • NS SD40E (derated and updated SD50)
  • ATSF SD26
  • NS GP59E (admiral cab)
  • CIÉ 001(A) Class
  • CIÉ 201(C) Class



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