S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com EMD FL-9 Page keywords = FL-9 EMD EMC Electro Motive Division Corporation General Motors Locomotive Group model rail road train Z HO scale

Updated:   11 Sep 2017; 13:45 ET
[Page created 20 Dec 2008; converted 10 Jun 2015
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]

URL:  http://sbiii.com/emd-fl-9.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/emd-fl-9.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's


EMD FL-9 Page
Railroad Continuation Page

EMD - Electro-Motive Division
of General Motors Corporation

FL-9 Dual-Power Locomotive

NOTE:  I regret that some of my internal links refuse to work; if they don't, please click "Back" and scroll.

NOTE also:  I seem to have overlooked this page in my conversions;
it is not fully updated but I'm posting it anyway (10 Jun 2015).

Also on this page - Odd A1A-B+B SDP45.

EMD was originally EMC; for other coverage of EMD/EMC, see my EMD page.

For other pages on railroading see my railroad and my ALCo pages.

For model railroading, start with my Model Railroading page.


FL9s at Harmon
(11 Oct 2008 photo by and © 2008 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved.)

While I'm more of an ALCo fan (AGEIR boxcabs DL-109, PA/FA, etc.), a few EMC/EMD locos really grab me.  Among these are the first passenger diesels, the little Model 40, the F/FP-45 series, the DD-35 and DDA-40X, and the SD-90MAC.  But probably no EMD product beats the dual-powered FL-9 in its ability to hold my attention.

As you can see above, FL-9s have been decorated (and re-decorated) in almost every conceivable northeasten livery (some legit. and some phoney as all get-out!)

The EMD FL-9 was a dual-power diesel-electric locomotive capable of normal diesel-electric operation and of operation as an electric locomotive powered from a third rail.  A total of 60 units were built between October 1956 and November 1960 as a custom order for the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (the "New Haven") as NH Class EDER-5.

What distinguished the FL-9 from the "regular" EMD FP-9s was its bigger steam heat generator (inside) and the very-visible A-1-A three-axle Flexicoil rear truck to carry the extra weight, as well as the also-very-visible third-rail pickup shoes, beams (often painted bright red), and ancillary electrical equipment (boxes, cables, placards, etc.).

I've been meaning to feature the FL-9, and especially old and contemporary photos by, or from the collection of, Wayne Koch, Equipment Engineer at Metro-North Railroad's MofE Dept. at the Croton-Harmon shops in Croton-on-Hudson, New York; here we go (20 Dec 2008).

It started snowing on Friday, 19 Dec 2008, continuing into Saturday morning, 20 Dec 2008, and Wayne sent along these shots of FL-9s in the snow outside the Harmon shops, which he shot late Friday afternoon:

(cropped from 19 Dec 2008 photos by and courtesy of W. Koch - all rights reserved.
right image artificially lightened to show detail)
[click on thumbnailed pictures for larger images]

Left - MN (NH McGinnis) #2026 || Right - MN (NYC lightning) #2112

MNR411CH MN/NH2014
(cropped from 19 Dec 2008 photos by and courtesy of W. Koch - all rights reserved.) [click on left thumbnailed picture for larger image]
Left - MN #411 || Right - MN (NH McGinnis) #2014

Something has to clear that snow and it's NOT a Jordan or a Leslie!  It is, in fact, a lowly tractor-mounted snow thrower; such ignominy for a major metropolitan railroad shop:

(cropped from 19 Dec 2008 photo by and courtesy of W. Koch - all rights reserved.)

That's MN's NYC lightning-striped #2112 in the background.

Here are a few other schemes; Amtrak #488 and MTA #5033 (more will follow if I can get permission):

MNR411CH MN/NH2014
(right cropped from photo courtesy of W. Koch - all rights reserved.)
[click on thumbnailed pictures for larger images]

Left - Amtrak #488 || Right - MTA #5033

A very-short-lived version was that of three MTA FL-9A rebuilds used briefly on the Long Island Rail Road.  They were numbers 300, 301, and 302, and they were, respectively, ex-NH 2003/PC-CR 5003/MNR 2001/502, ex-NH 2000/PC-CR 5000/MNR 2025, and ex-NH 2047/PC-CR 5047/MNR 5047.  All three were rebuilt by ABB Republic in 1991 for 660VAC service and retired in 1999 when replaced by DE30ACs and last at Croton-Harmon Shops.  301's fuel tank and electrical components and truck parts went missing after it fell into the turntable pit at the LIRR {presumably at Morris Park}.

    [from Alan Schenkel.]

Here is #301 (from Joe Polidora's site:

LIRR301 LIRR301lt
(from J. Polidora - all rights reserved.)
[click on thumbnailed pictures for larger images]

Left - unretouched || Right - lightened for detail

There just don't seem to be many photos around of these three units (HINT - please).

One of my fascinations with these long-lived beauties is the third-rail pickup equipment.  I have an HO model which I will have decorated for Long Island Rail Road #301 in a mythical Goodfellow version and I wanted to know how the actual LIRR units were equipped.  The New Haven uses under-running third rail while the LIRR uses over-running shoes.  Here, from Wayne Koch's collection, is a fabulous builder's photo of the rear truck:

(cropped from builder's photo courtesy of W. Koch - all rights reserved.)

Well, I still don't have the final answer and I will probably just cut off the shoes from the model and invert them, but here are one set of truck details, from this PC #5033 right-side photo courtesy of MNCR engineer Wayne Koch, rail photo source par excellence, an old postcard view of Penn Central FL-9 #5033 at Harmon, replete with full pick-up gear:

{Postcard from W. Koch collection - all rights reserved)
[Click on thumbnailed image for larger picture.]

Wayne would dearly love to know who those guys might be.

Some time after this was posted in 2008, he heard from Jennfier Gordineer that they are her grandfather, Henry E. Christopher (right, in window), and Craig Mayer's father Kenny Mayer (in the doorway) in this 1976-77 post card taken at Harmon.   added (11 Sep 2017)

PC5033FrtTrk PC5033RearTrk
(cropped from PC #5033 photo courtesy of W. Koch - all rights reserved.)
[click on thumbnailed pictures for smaller, but sharper, images]

Left - rear truck || Right - front truck

Mike Roqué posted some great old FL-9 shots by Arthur Deeks in an article by Otto Vondrak on Railroad.NET; unfortunately, I have not been able to obtain permission to post those photos nor truck details from PC FL-9 #5059 (ex-NH #2059, the last production FL9, and the last production cab unit built by EMD) BUT - - -

Wayne Koch sent me these, which will serve to show the missing FL-9 liveries  [CR yellow and blue on #5042 and #5653{?} and Amtrak broad red, white, and blue stripes (Ph. I?) on #489{?}] (27 Dec 2008):

CR-FL9#5042 CR-FL9#5653? Amtrak-FL9#489?
(FL-9 photos courtesy of W. Koch - all rights reserved.)
[click on thumbnailed pictures for larger images]

So, FL-9s were originally decorated for the NH, then for the MTA, MNR, LIRR, Amtrak, Conrail, and what others?  One thing is for sure, though; the NYC never had any but I sure am happy to see MN's #2112 in lightning stripes today!

Nothing whatsoever to do with Dual Power but another way of holding up the weight of a steam genny was tried by EMD on a single, experimenmtal SDP45, BN's #6599, which rode on an odd-ball B+B rear truck arrangement, with the two stubby rear trucks, which EMD termed HT-BB, under a short span bolster:   new (10 Jun 2015)

(Wikipedia photo captioned by S. Berliner, III.)

I'd sure love to learn more about this one-off A1A-B+B oddity.  Well, according to Clint Chamberlin's fabulous Footnotes for Rail Photos on his equally-fabulous North East Rails site:

"This HT-BB articulated truck is a modification of a standard arrangement of two conventional* B trucks connected through a span bolster.  It's unique, patented, feature is that it incorporates a link between the two B trucks to make them yaw in opposition to each other, but it is not a radial truck" (per Dave Goding).  While the unit had 7 axles under it, only 6 had traction motors.  The front truck had no motor on the center axle.  This locomotive was scrapped after testing was completed."

So now I (and perhaps you) know.  I dio take exception to Clint's (or Dave's) use of the term "conventional - there's almost NOTHING conventional about those two HT-BB trucks!  They have very short wheelbases and are quite assymetrical, as if they had been designed by Ira Ersatz of apocryphal BerlinerWerke fame.

MUCH MORE to follow!

You may wish to visit the main Railroad Page, et seq.

of these EMD railroad pages.


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


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