DRGW5373-5376

DRGW Motive Power

The Rio Grande was an early adopter of diesel power, starting in 1941 with purchases of switchers and in 1942 with FT four-unit road diesels.  From the mid-1940s the railroad acquired hundreds more diesels, displacing its steam fleet from nearly all service by the early 1950s and completely replacing them by 1956. While the Rio Grande experimented with a few models from smaller builders such as Baldwin, Alco, and Krauss-Maffei, ultimately it became an all-EMD shop.

Photos on this site cover the last years of operations dominated by second-generation diesels, with a smattering of holdovers from the initial generation.

The tables below list all D&RGW standard-gauge diesel units, by date of acquisition and model type.

Geeps and Other 4-Axle Models SD40T-2 Tunnel Motors Other 6-Axle Models
Early Diesel Orders (First Generation, through 1957)
Number Range Mfg / Type Qty (Qty of units) Date Purchased
100 EMC NW-2 1 1941
66 – 74 Baldwin VO-660 9 1941
101 – 104 Alco S-2 4 1941
38 – 43 GE 44-Ton 6 1941 – 1942
540 – 545 EMD FT 6 (24) 1942
105 – 114 Alco S-2 10 1943
552 – 554 EMD F3 3 (12) 1946
600 – 601 Alco PA1/PB1 2 (6) 1947
120 – 123 FM H-10-44 4 1948
150-152 FM H-15-44 3 1948
556 EMD F7 * 1 (4) 1948
555, 557 – 564 EMD F7 * 9 (36) 1949
5651 – 5694 EMD F7 20 1950
5100 – 5103 EMD GP7 4 1950
5200 – 5204 Alco RS3 5 1951
5701 – 5764 EMD F7 26 1952
5104 – 5113 EMD GP7 10 1952
5300 – 5304 EMD SD7 5 1953
5901 – 5924 EMD GP9 12 1955
5762 – 5763 EMD F9 2 1955
5771 – 5774 EMD F9 4 1955
5931 – 5954 EMD GP9 12 1956
5305 – 5314 EMD SD9 10 1957
* F7’s 555 – 557 classified by some as F5’s. They were an interim model with some features of late F3’s and some of early F7’s. There is no EMD official documentation designating them as F5’s, and the D&RGW showed them as F7’s. The 556 set had F3-style slot radiators.
A note about D&RGW F units: all were purchased in 4-unit sets of two cab units and two cabless boosters between. At first these were considered a single locomotive for numbering and accounting purposes (e.g. No. 548), but by the late 1940s each “unit” was given its own number by appending a digit to the end of the locomotive number (hence, 548 a-b-c-d became 5481, 5482, 5483, 5484). So, there are no F unit numbers ending in the digits 0 or 5 through 9. Keep that in mind when counting up the roster; as shown below there were NOT 100 units between 5661 and 5771; only 40. (The GP9’s were similarly numbered when delivered.)
Second Generation Diesels and Other Innovations (1961-1980)
4001 – 4003 Krauss-Maffei ML-4000 3 1961
3001 – 3013 EMD GP30 13 Apr-May 1962
3014 – 3028 EMD GP30 15 Jan-Feb 1963
130 – 131 EMD SW-1200 2 1964
3029 – 3047 EMD GP35 13 1964
132 – 139 EMD SW-1200 8 1965
3048 – 3050 EMD GP35 3 1965
140-146 EMD SW-1000 7 1966
3051 – 3068 EMD GP40 18 Jan, Sep 1966
3069 – 3080 EMD GP40 12 Jan – Feb 1967
5315 – 5324 SD45 10 1967
147 – 149 EMD SW-1000 3 1968
5325- 5340 EMD SD45 16 1968
3081- 3085 EMD GP40 5 1969
3086- 3093 EMD GP40 8 1971
3094 – 3115 EMD GP40-2 22 1972
3116 – 3128 EMD GP40-2 13 1974
5341 – 5355 EMD SD40T-2 15 1974
5356 – 5373 EMD SD40T-2 18 1975
5374 – 5385 EMD SD40T-2 12 1977
5386 – 5397 EMD SD40T-2 12 1978
5398 – 5413 EMD SD40T-2 16 1980
Final Diesel Acquisitions
3131 – 3153 EMD GP40 23 1983
3129 – 3130 EMD GP40-2 2 1983
5501- 5517 EMD SD50 1974
3154- 3156 EMD GP60 1974
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