The Electromotive Division SD39 is a 6 axle, 2,300 HP diesel-electric locomotive built by EMD from 1968 to 1970. Like the GP39, it uses a turbocharged 12 cylinder 645 engine rated at 2,300 HP.
The SD39 was more powerful than the SD38 but less powerful than the SD40. EMD marketed it as a middle of the road locomotive. It was more fuel efficient than the SD40 and the SD38, but it wasn't very popular. Just 54 units were built in the short 3 year production run. Railroads were buying SD40's and SD45's en mass, and didn't give much thought to the 12 cylinder SD39. A few SD39's remain in service today for BNSF and on shortlines.
EMD marketed, but never actually built, an SD39-2.
Roster of SD39's
The SDL39 is a variant of the SD39 built by EMD for the Milwaukee Road from 1969 to 1972. Like the SD39 and GP39, it uses a turbocharged 12 cylinder 645 engine rated at 2,300 HP.
In the late 1960's, Milwaukee Road was looking for a light road locomotive to replace it's aging fleeting of Alco RSC-2's. EMD built Milwaukee an essentially mini SD39. It used a 55 foot frame and special small 6 axle trucks. Weighing just barely 250,000 pounds, they were the ideal branchline locomotive. Milwaukee ordered 10 units, numbers 581-590. 9 were transferred to SOO Line (1 unit had been wrecked) when SOO assumed operations after the Milwaukee Road went bankrupt. When SOO sold off most of the Milwaukee Road trackage to Wisconsin Central, the 9 SDL39's were also sold to WC. After serving WC for a number of years, the units were sold and exported to Chile in South America when Canadian National bought the WC in 2001.
Continue on to the SD40 Series
Back to the SD38 Series
Back to EMD Freight Locomotives