EMD SD38-2

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EMD SD38-2
LLPX 2808 in February 2005
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
Build date1972–1979
Total produced90
 • UICCo′Co′
Gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge[a]
Wheel diameter3 ft 4 in (1.016 m)
 • Truck13 ft 7 in (4.14 m)
Pivot centres43 ft 3.5 in (13.195 m) between bolsters;
Width10 ft 3+18 in (3.13 m) over handrail supports
Height15 ft 7+14 in (4.76 m) over cooling fan guard
Loco weight368,000 lb (167,000 kg)
Fuel capacity3,200 or 4,000 US gal (12,000 or 15,000 L; 2,700 or 3,300 imp gal)
Prime moverEMD 16-645E
Engine typeTwo-stroke diesel
AlternatorAR10E1-D14 generator-alternator
GeneratorAR10E1-D14 generator-alternator
Traction motors6 × D77/78 DC
Gear ratio62:15
Performance figures
Power output2,000 hp (1,500 kW)
LocaleNorth America, South America

The EMD SD38-2 is a model of six-axle diesel-electric locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD) from 1972 to 1979. EMD built 90 of these medium road-switchers, which were used in both yard and mainline roles. Part of the EMD Dash 2 line, the SD38-2 was an upgraded SD38 with modular electronic control systems, HT-C trucks, and many other detail improvements. The locomotive's power was provided by an EMD 16-645E 16-cylinder engine, which could generate 2,000 horsepower (1,500 kilowatts). These units were constructed with either 3,200 or 4,000 US gal (12,000 or 15,000 L; 2,700 or 3,300 imp gal) fuel tanks and were available with or without dynamic brakes. It shared the same 64-foot-8-inch (19.71 m) frame as the SD40-2 and SD45-2, which gives it a length over couplers of 68 feet 10 inches (20.98 m).

Original owners[edit]

Railroad Quantity Road numbers Notes
BC Hydro 3 382-384
Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad 13 870-879, 890-892
Chicago and Illinois Midland Railway 6 70-75
Chicago and North Western Transportation Company 10 6650-6659
Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway 5 209-213
Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway 13 656-668
Jari Railway [pt] 2 10-11 Export to Brazil, 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm) gauge
Louisville and Nashville Railroad 5 4500-4504
McCloud River Railroad 1 39
Northern Alberta Railway 4 401-404 Built by GMDD
Orinoco Mining Company 5 1028–1032 Export, Venezuela
Reserve Mining 9 1237–1245
St. Louis–San Francisco Railway 4 296-299
Southern Pacific Transportation Company 6 2971–2976
United States Steel 1 1
Yankeetown Dock 3 20-22
Totals 90


  1. ^ Except for two units built for the Jari Railway [pt] in Brazil, which were built to a 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm) gauge

See also[edit]


  • Pinkepank, Jerry A. (1973). The Second Diesel Spotter's Guide. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Kalmbach Publishing. ISBN 978-0-89024-026-7.
  • GATX Rail Locomotive Group. SD38-2 specification page. Retrieved on June 23, 2005.
  • Sarberenyi, Robert. EMD SD38-2 Original Owners
  • EMD SD38-2 general arrangement drawing (Spec. 8086 07/75) and clearance diagram (04/72), Robb Fisher, RFDI.

External links[edit]