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The Elegant Electro-Motive E

Written by: Gary Dolzall.

Electro-Motive’s classic E8 passenger diesel is coming to Train Simulator in two Amtrak liveries!

The Electro-Motive “E-unit.” For a generation, it was “the” motive power for America’s passenger trains – and now the “elegant E,” in the form of the EMD E8 in two iconic Amtrak liveries, is coming soon to Train Simulator!

The Electro-Motive E-unit made its debut, in the form of shovel-nosed Baltimore & Ohio EA No. 51, in May 1937. Between 1937 and 1963, and across models EA and E1 through E9, Electro-Motive would produce more than 1,300 of the stylish diesels that were destined to power a hall-of-fame assemblage of American passenger trains, from B&O’s Royal Blue and Santa Fe’s Super Chief to the New York Central’s 20th Century Limited, Pennsy’s Broadway Limited, Burlington’s California Zephyr, Illinois Central’s Panama Limited, and Union Pacific’s City of Los Angeles.

Over its quarter-century of production, the styling and the horsepower ratings of the Electro-Motive E-unit changed, from the long stylish prows of the early units (through the E6, except for the bulb-nosed E2) to the “bulldog” nose borrowed from the EMD F-unit (E7 through E9), and from 1,800-horsepower to 2,400-horsepower per unit. But throughout its construction, the building blocks of the E-unit remained largely unchanged: Twin 12-cylinder powerplants nestled in a truss-frame carbody of approximately 70-feet in length and riding atop an A1A-A1A wheel arrangement designed for smooth tracking at speed (E-units were geared for speeds up to 117-mph).

Prior to World War II, the E-unit was often as not a customized model and built in modest numbers. But following the war – and with the move to dieselize American passenger services in full swing – the E-unit, in the form of the E7, became a mass-production locomotive and between 1945 and 1949, EMD produced 510 of the 2,000-horsepower E7s. In the summer of 1949, Electro-Motive boosted the horsepower of the E-unit to 2,250 horsepower (derived from a pair of 12-cylinder 567B-series power plants) and introduced the E8.

The new E8 took up right where its predecessor had left off, ringing up 496 sales (450 cab-equipped “A” units and 46 booster “B” units) before it was in turn replaced in the EMD catalog by the 2,400-horsepower E9 in 1954. The E8 was purchased by 29 railroads, with the Pennsylvania Railroad (74 units); New York Central (62 units) and Burlington Route (38 units) being the three most prolific buyers. Also among the owners of the E8 was Canadian Pacific, which purchased three cab units (the only E-units purchased by a Canadian railroad).

In May 1971, Amtrak was formed to assume the majority of U. S. intercity passenger services and the fledgling new national passenger railroad acquired nearly 200 EMD E-units (E8s and E9s) from 13 railroads as its primary motive power. Amtrak sent many of its E-units through rebuilding programs and until the arrival of the ill-fated EMD SDP40Fs in 1973 (and the successful F40PHs in 1975), the EMD E-units remained a staple of the Amtrak diesel motive power fleet. Amtrak’s last E-units were not retired from service until the early 1980s, and even today many classic EMD E-units remain extant in museums and in tourist and excursion service.

The landmark EMD E8 is soon coming to Train Simulator in two Amtrak liveries and in multiple variants. The Train Simulator E8 will be featured in both cab and booster configurations and will be provided in Amtrak’s original red-nosed “Phase I” livery and the stylish striped “Phase II” scheme. The Amtrak E8 will also be included in one- and two-headlight versions and with and without side portholes (representing the locomotive’s “as built” and rebuilt appearances).

And there’s even more great news: Accompanying the Amtrak E8 will be a set of era-appropriate Amtrak passenger equipment ideal to re-create the long- and short-haul Amtrak trains of the 1970s and early 1980s! Included with the E8 will be an Amtrak baggage car, 48-seat coach, dome-coach, 10-6 sleeper, and diner, all in classic Amtrak “Phase I” passenger car liveries. The Amtrak E8 pack will include career scenarios on the Miami-West Palm Beach route (route available separately) and even include Train Simulator’s popular Seaboard Coast Line General Electric U36B to provide era-authentic freight traffic.

Electro-Motive’s “elegant E” is coming soon to Train Simulator! – Gary Dolzall

E-02 Electro-Motive’s elegant EMD E8 is coming soon to Train Simulator in two Amtrak liveries! The Train Simulator E8 will be featured in both cab and booster configurations and will be provided in Amtrak’s original red-nosed “Phase I” livery (above) and the stylish striped “Phase II” scheme (below). The Amtrak E8 will also be included in one- and two-headlight versions and with and without side portholes (representing the locomotive’s “as built” and rebuilt appearances). Screenshots by Gary Dolzall. E-03 E-04 With the famed Silver Meteor in tow, Amtrak E8 253 and a sister in Phase I livery are headed north out of Miami on Train Simulator’s Miami-West Palm Beach route at speed (above) and flashing across one of the route’s many inland waterways (below). Constructed by Electro-Motive between 1949 and 1954, the E8 was purchased by 29 railroads and became the diesel workhorse of the fledgling Amtrak system in 1971. Note: Screenshots depict content in development. E-05 E-06 Powering the southbound Silver Star, an A-B-A trio of Amtrak E8s in Phase II livery hustle through south Florida on the Train Simulator Miami – West Palm Beach route (above and below). Electro-Motive’s E8 generated 2,250-horsepower per unit from a pair of EMD 567-series V-12 power plants. The E8 served Amtrak into the early 1980s. E-07 E-08 Accompanying the Amtrak E8 will be a set of era-appropriate Amtrak passenger equipment ideal to re-create the long- and short-haul Amtrak trains of the 1970s and early 1980s. Included with the E8 will be a classic 10-6 sleeper and 48-seat coach (above), and a dome-coach and diner (below), as well as a baggage car, all in Amtrak’s distinctive “Phase I” passenger car livery. E-09 E-10 The upcoming Train Simulator Amtrak E8 DLC will also include the popular Seaboard Coast Line General Electric U36B diesel and SCL rolling stock to provide period-authentic freight traffic. As seen from trackside (above) and from the E8’s classic cab (below), Amtrak and SCL trains meet on the move. The Amtrak E8 pack will include career scenarios on the Miami-West Palm Beach route (route available separately). E-11 E-12 Electro-Motive’s elegant E8 passenger locomotive – in iconic Amtrak Phase I and Phase II liveries – will be coming soon to Train Simulator!

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