General Motors Diesel Division

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General Motors Diesel Division
Type Subsidiary
IndustryMarketing, Customer Service
Defunct1965;57 years ago (1965)
FateMerged with GM Detroit Diesel Engine Division
Products Diesel engines
Parent General Motors

General Motors Diesel Division (GMDD) was a marketing and customer service unit of General Motors founded in 1938. It sought customers for GM's diesel engines, which had undergone major development during the 1930s. [1] [2] It was most active in association with GM's Detroit Diesel Engine Division, which produced lines of lightweight diesel engines that could be adapted to many uses including road vehicles, small boats, military equipment, construction and farm equipment, pumping, and auxiliary power generation. [3] In 1939, Detroit Diesel Series 71 engines were installed in buses produced by Yellow Coach, [4] who would be acquired by GM in 1943 to launch the GMC Truck and Coach Division. Uses for Detroit Diesel engines would proliferate during World War II and the postwar economic boom. The GM Cleveland Diesel Engine Division's products were sold to relatively few customers for mostly marine uses. GMDD developed a widespread international marketing, service, and parts distribution infrastructure for GM diesel engines in the postwar years.


In 1962 GM's Electro-Motive Division (EMD), which had its own marketing and service infrastructure from its years in the locomotive business, took over the production and marketing of large diesel engines formerly produced by the Cleveland Diesel Engine Division. [2]

In 1965 GMDD was absorbed by the General Motors Detroit Diesel Engine Division. [3]

General Motors Diesel Division is not to be confused with General Motors Diesel, Ltd., the Canadian subsidiary of EMD formed in 1949, or the Diesel Division of General Motors of Canada, the entity for General Motors of Canada's diesel equipment manufacturing operations formed in 1969.


Diesel engines produced by the General Motors Cleveland Diesel and Detroit Diesel Engine Divisions

See also

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Detroit Diesel Corporation(DDC) is an American diesel engine manufacturer headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, United States. It is a subsidiary of Daimler Truck North America, which is itself a wholly owned subsidiary of the German Daimler Truck AG. The company manufactures heavy-duty engines and chassis components for the on-highway and vocational commercial truck markets. Detroit Diesel has built more than 5 million engines since 1938, more than 1 million of which are still in operation worldwide. Detroit Diesel's product line includes engines, axles, transmissions, and a Virtual Technician service.

General Motors Diesel was a railway diesel locomotive manufacturer located in London, Ontario, Canada. It was established in 1949 as the Canadian subsidiary of the Electro Motive Division of General Motors (EMD). In 1969 it was re-organized as the Diesel Division of General Motors of Canada, Ltd. The plant was re-purposed to include manufacture of other diesel-powered General Motors vehicles such as buses. Following the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement in 1989, all of EMD's locomotives were built at the London facility. In 2005 new owners of EMD renamed the Canadian subsidiary Electro-Motive Canada. The plant was closed by EMD's new owner Progress Rail in 2012, with EMD's production remaining in LaGrange, Illinois and Muncie, Indiana.

EMD FT American cab locomotive

The EMD FT is a 1,350-horsepower (1,010 kW) diesel-electric locomotive that was produced between March 1939 and November 1945, by General Motors' Electro-Motive Corporation (EMC), later known as GM Electro-Motive Division (EMD). The "F" stood for Fourteen Hundred (1400) horsepower and the "T" for Twin, as it came standard in a two-unit set. The design was developed from the TA model built for the C,RI&P in 1937, and was similar in cylinder count, axle count, length and layout. All told 555 cab-equipped ”A” units were built, along with 541 cabless booster or ”B” units, for a grand total of 1,096 units. The locomotives were all sold to customers in the United States. It was the first model in EMD's very successful F-unit series of cab unit freight diesels, and was the locomotive that convinced many U.S. railroads that the diesel-electric freight locomotive was the future. Many rail historians consider the FT one of the most important locomotive models of all time.

EMD F7 Model of 1500 hp North American cab diesel locomotive

The EMD F7 is a 1,500 horsepower (1,100 kW) Diesel-electric locomotive produced between February 1949 and December 1953 by the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors (EMD) and General Motors Diesel (GMD).

EMD F9 Model of 1750 hp North American diesel cab locomotive

The EMD F9 is a 1,750 horsepower (1,300 kW) Diesel-electric locomotive produced between February 1953 and May 1960 by the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors (EMD) and General Motors Diesel (GMD). It succeeded the F7 model in GM-EMD's F-unit sequence. Final assembly was at GM-EMD's La Grange, Illinois plant. The F9 was also built in Canada by General Motors Diesel at their London, Ontario plant. A total of 101 cab-equipped lead A units and 156 cabless booster B units were built. The F9 was the fifth model in GM-EMD's highly successful "F" series of cab unit diesel locomotives.


The EMD SD50 is a 3,500-horsepower (2,610 kW) diesel-electric locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division. It was introduced in May 1981 as part of EMD's "50 Series", but prototype SD50S locomotives were built from 1980; production ceased in January 1986. The SD50 was in many respects a transitional model between EMD's Dash 2 series which was produced throughout the 1970s and the microprocessor-equipped SD60 and SD70 locomotives.

Progress Rail Locomotives, doing business as Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD), is an American manufacturer of diesel-electric locomotives, locomotive products and diesel engines for the rail industry. The company is owned by Caterpillar through its subsidiary Progress Rail.


The EMD SW7 was a diesel switcher locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division between October 1949 and January 1951. It was powered by a 1,200 horsepower (895 kW)12-567A engine. The SW7 replaced the earlier 1,000 horsepower NW2 switcher in EMD's catalog. A total of 489 SW7 locomotives were produced. The majority of the SW7s were built by EMD Plant #3 in Cleveland, Ohio. In addition, 15 TR4 cow-calf paired sets were produced.

EMD SW9 Model of 1200 hp North American diesel switcher

An EMD SW9 is a diesel switcher locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division between November 1950 and December 1953. Additional SW9s were built by General Motors Diesel in Ontario Canada from December 1950 to March 1953. Power was provided by an EMD 567B 12-cylinder engine, producing 1,200 horsepower (895 kW).

EMD SW1200 Model of 1200 hp American diesel switcher

An EMD SW1200 is a 4 axle diesel switcher locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division between January 1954 and May 1966. Power is provided by an EMD 567C 12-cylinder engine which generates 1,200 horsepower (890 kW). Additional SW1200 production was completed by General Motors Diesel in Ontario, Canada, between September 1955 and June 1964.


The EMD MP15AC is a 1,120 kW (1,502 hp) diesel switcher locomotive built by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division between August 1975 and August 1984. A variant of the EMD MP15DC with an AC transmission, 246 examples were built, including 25 for export to Mexico, and four built in Canada.

EMD Model 40

The EMD Model 40 was a two-axle diesel-electric locomotive built by Electro-Motive Corporation (EMC), and its corporate successor, General Motors' Electro-Motive Division (EMD) between August 1940 and April 1943. Nicknamed "critters", eleven examples of this locomotive were built. Powered by twin General Motors Detroit Diesel 6-71 diesel engines, which produce a combined 300 horsepower (224 kW). Original buyers included the Electro-Motive Corporation/EMD Plant #2 switcher, Defense Plant Corporation-4 units, the United States Army 3 units, and the United States Navy 2 units, General Motors Cleveland Diesel Division 1 unit.

EMD LWT12 Streamlined diesel locomotive

The EMD LWT12 was a diesel–electric power car that was built in 1955 by General Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD), to pull a lightweight passenger trainset. The General Motors Company developed both components under the project name, Train Y, but later marketed them as the Aerotrain. Diesel power was provided by an EMD 567C 12-cylinder engine, which produced 1,200 hp (890 kW). Two other GM Diesel engines provided current for train-heating, lighting and air-conditioning.

Indian locomotive class WDP-4

The EMD GT46PAC or WDP4 is a passenger-hauling diesel-electric locomotive with AC electric transmission designed by General Motors Electro-Motive Division and built by both GM-EMD and under license by Banaras Locomotive Works (BLW) of Varanasi, India for Indian Railways as the classes WDP4, WDP4B and WDP4D. The GT46PAC is a passenger version of the previous Indian Railways EMD GT46MAC freight locomotive. The locomotive has a 16-cylinder 710G3B diesel engine and is one of the fastest diesel-electric locomotives in service in Indian Railways.


The GMD GMDH-1 was an experimental diesel-hydraulic, center-cab, switching locomotive built by General Motors Diesel of Canada. Four examples were built. The first two locomotives were each fitted with a pair of 6-cylinder Detroit Diesel series 110 engines giving 600 horsepower (450 kW), while the second pair had two series 71 engines developing 800 hp (600 kW).

EMD G22 Series Locomotive

The EMD G22 Locomotive Series made their debut in 1967 after the rise in popularity of the export EMD G12. Designed to meet most First World, Second World and Third World countries, the G22 Series were now equipped with a naturally aspirated EMD 645 Series engine as well as four axle Flexicoil Type-B trucks which carry a low per-axle weight. Based on customer input, the G22 Series would be defined by various designations that suit the customer's railway operations.

South African Class 37-000

The South African Railways Class 37-000 of 1981 is a mainline diesel-electric locomotive.

The Cleveland Diesel Engine Division of General Motors (GM) was a leading research, design and production facility of diesel engines from the 1930s to the 1960s that was based in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cleveland Diesel Engine Division designed several 2 stroke diesel engines for submarines, tugboats, destroyer escorts, Patapsco-class gasoline tankers and other marine applications. Emergency generator sets were also built around the Cleveland Diesel and were installed in many US warships. The division was created in 1938 from the GM-owned Winton Engine Corporation and was folded into the GM Electro-Motive Division in 1962. The engines continue in use today on older tugs.


  1. Kettering, E.W. (November 29, 1951). History and Development of the 567 Series General Motors Locomotive Engine. ASME 1951 Annual Meeting. Atlantic City, New Jersey: Electro-Motive Division, General Motors Corporation via Google Books.
  2. 1 2 "CLEVELAND DIESEL ENGINE DIVISION OF GENERAL MOTORS CORP". Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Case Western Reserve University.
  3. 1 2 Bowman, Bill, "Detroit Diesel Division", GM Heritage Center, archived from the original on February 16, 2012
  4. Theobald, Mark (2004). "Yellow Coach". Coachbuilt.

Coordinates: 43°1′0.06″N81°10′19.02″W / 43.0166833°N 81.1719500°W / 43.0166833; -81.1719500