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RR76.37 No. 5901 Front Side.jpg
Pennsylvania Railroad E7A #5901 on display at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in 2015.
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderGeneral Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD)
Build dateFebruary 1945 – April 1949
Total produced428 A units, 82 B units
Gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm)
Wheel diameter36 in (914 mm)
Minimum curve21° (274.37 ft or 83.63 m radius)
Length71 ft (22 m)
Width10 ft 6+12 in (3.213 m)
Height14 ft 11 in (4.55 m)
Loco weightA unit: 315,000 lb (143,000 kg), B unit: 290,000 lb (130,000 kg)
Fuel typeDiesel
Prime mover(2) EMD 567A
RPM range800
Engine typeV12 Two-stroke diesel
AspirationRoots-type supercharger
Displacement6,804 cu in (111.50 L) each
Generator(2) EMD D-4
Traction motors(4) GM D7 or D17 or D27
Cylinders(2) 12
Performance figures
Maximum speed85–117 mph (137–188 km/h)
Power output2,000 hp (1,491 kW) total
Tractive effort56,500 lb (25,600 kg) starting, 31,000 lb (14,000 kg) continuous
LocaleUnited States
DispositionOne preserved on static display, remainder scrapped.

The E7 was a 2,000-horsepower (1,500 kW), A1A-A1A passenger train locomotive built by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division of La Grange, Illinois. 428 cab versions, or E7As, were built from February 1945 to April 1949; 82 booster E7Bs were built from March 1945 to July 1948. (Circa 1953 one more E7A was built by the Los Angeles General Shops of the Southern Pacific by rebuilding an E2A.) The 2,000 hp came from two 12 cylinder model 567A engines. Each engine drove its own electrical generator to power the two traction motors on one truck. The E7 was the eighth model in a line of passenger diesels of similar design known as EMD E-units, and it became the best selling E model upon its introduction.[1]

In profile the front of the nose of an E7A was less slanted than on earlier EMD passenger locomotives, and the E7, E8, and E9 units have been nicknamed “bulldog nose” units. Some earlier units were called “shovel nose” units or “slant nose” units.

In film

A Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad E7A, #103-A, appears at the start and end of the 1967 film In The Heat of the Night.

A Southern Pacific E7A, #6001, is on the point of a train that figures prominently in "The Hitch-Hiker", a popular 1960 episode of the anthology television series, The Twilight Zone, starring Inger Stevens. (According to the narration, Steven's character is said to encounter the train somewhere between Pennsylvania and Tennessee, yet the locomotive's number board shows that the train, #99, is the Coast Daylight, which travelled between Los Angeles and San Francisco.)

Surviving example

Ex-Pennsylvania Railroad E7A #5901 is preserved as the only surviving example of the E7. This locomotive has been cosmetically restored, and is currently on indoor display at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, in Strasburg, Pennsylvania.

Original owners

Railroad Quantity
A units
B units
Road numbers
A units
Road numbers
B units
Electro-Motive Division (demonstrator) 1 765 Former GM Train of Tomorrow demonstrator, sold to Union Pacific 988
Alton Railroad 7 101,A–103,A, 100 to GM&O in 1947
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad 20 10 524–543 755–764
Bangor and Aroostook Railroad 2 700–701 renumbered 10–11, Both Re-geared for freight in 1962
Boston and Maine Railroad 21 3800–3820
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 18 64,A–80,A Even numbers only
Central of Georgia Railway 10 801–810
Chesapeake and Ohio Railway 4 95–98
Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad 3 1100–1102
Chicago and North Western Railway 26 5007B, 5008A,B–5019A,B, 5020A
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad 44 9916A,B–9936A,B, 9937A, 9949
Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad 11 9 632–642 632B–634B, 637B–642B
Florida East Coast Railway 17 3 1006–1022 1052–1054
Great Northern Railway 13 500A,B–504A,B, 510A–512A 500A,B–504A,B renumbered 500A–509A
Illinois Central Railroad 14 4 4005–4017, 4000 4100–4103
Louisville and Nashville Railroad 12 458A,B–461A,B, 790–793
Maine Central Railroad 7 705–711
Milwaukee Road 10 16A,B–20A,B
Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad 2 101A,B
Missouri Pacific Railroad 9 7 7004–7006, 7010–7011, 7014–7017 7004B, 7010B–7011B, 7014B–7017B renumbered 13–15, 19–20, 23–26, 13B–15B, 17B–20B
Missouri Pacific Railroad (International-Great Northern Railroad) 3 1 7007, 7012–7013 7012B renumbered 16, 21–22, 16B
Missouri Pacific Railroad (St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway) 2 7008–7009 renumbered 17–18
New York Central Railroad 36 14 4000–4035 4100–4113 E7B renumbered 4200-4213 by Penn Central in 1968
Pere Marquette Railway 8 101–108
Pennsylvania Railroad 46 14 5900A–5901A, 5840A–5883A 5840B–5864B (even only), 5900B 5900-5901A renumbered to 4200-4201, 5840-5841 to 4240-4241, 5842-5879 to 4202-4239, 5880-5883 to 4242-4245, all to Penn Central same numbers. E7B renumbered 4214-4227 in 1968
Seaboard Air Line Railroad 32 3 3017–3048 3105–3107
St. Louis–San Francisco Railway 6 2000–2005 Later rebuilt to look like E8's, but retained the same E7 innards
Southern Railway 18 2905–2922
Southern Pacific Company 5 10 6000A–6004A 6000B,C–6004B,C
1 6017 Model E7m, rebuilt from an E2A at Los Angeles Shops.
Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway 1 750 to Burlington Northern 9900
Texas and Pacific Railway 10 2000–2009 renumbered 1–10
Union Pacific Railroad 4 3 959A–960A, 930A–931A 961B–963B
Joint UP-C&NW 1 2 927A 928B–929B
Joint UP-SP-C&NW 1 2 907A 908B–909B
Wabash Railroad 4 1000, 1001, 1001A, 1002 1001 renumbered 1002A, then 1017; 1001A renumbered 1016
Total 429 82

See also


  1. ^ Foster, Gerald L. (1996). A field guide to trains of North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. p. 100. ISBN 0-395-70112-0.