Railway Preservation News

INSIDE EMD Full Color Plant Tour Article Series - R&LHS
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Author:  PCook [ Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:21 pm ]
Post subject:  INSIDE EMD Full Color Plant Tour Article Series - R&LHS

The R&LHS has published a series of articles presenting the INSIDE EMD full color plant tour lecture program in a presentation similar to the slide show that was shown around the US to many railroad historical groups over a span of many years. The articles are being published as follows:

Part One - covering the building of the EMD La Grange Plant and the construction of EMD diesel engines - was published in the R&LHS RAILROAD HISTORY Issue #218 - Spring 2018.

Part Two - covering the building of DC and AC main generators, traction motors, electrical components, and electrical cabinets - was published in RAILROAD HISTORY Issue #219 - Fall 2018.

Part Three - covering the assembly of locomotives, painting and testing, and the demolition of EMD Plant One in La Grange - will be published in RAILROAD HISTORY Issue #220 in Spring 2019.

The original tour program was over 400 slides. Due to space considerations, the series of articles will show about 200 of the images.

RAILROAD HISTORY is the membership journal of R&LHS. Copies are available by joining R&LHS. Information on membership and RAILROAD HISTORY are available at their website:


R&LHS does sell extra copies of RAILROAD HISTORY but supply is limited, and when they are gone, they are gone. Persons joining for 2019 will receive Issue #220 as part of their membership, and can then purchase issues #218 and #219 at member rates while the supply of those issues lasts.


Author:  PCook [ Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: INSIDE EMD Full Color Plant Tour Article Series - R&LHS

Part Three of INSIDE EMD will appear in the R&LHS journal RAILROAD HISTORY Issue #220 which will be distributed in May 2019. This third section of the series covers the construction and fitting out of underframes, piping and cabling, decking operations, final assembly and the demolition of the original EMD Plant One complex. This portion of the article is 22 pages, all in color. The time period of the locomotive assembly photos is 1970's and 1980's, spanning the F40PH, SD40-2, GP38-2 to GP50 and SD50 era.

Part Two of INSIDE EMD, covering the construction of main generators, traction motors and electrical cabinets, was published in RAILROAD HISTORY Issue #219 in Fall 2018. This portion of the article is 26 pages, all in color.

Part One of INSIDE EMD, covering the construction of the La Grange Plant and the building of EMD diesel engines, was published in RAILROAD HISTORY Issue #218 in Spring 2018. This portion of the article is 26 pages, starting with plant construction in black & white and the titles and plant tour portion in color.

The issues containing the 74-page article series are available from R&LHS through their website, while the supply lasts:


My thanks to the many folks on RYPN who joined R&LHS to obtain this series of plant tour articles.


Author:  PCook [ Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: INSIDE EMD Full Color Plant Tour Article Series - R&LHS

R&LHS advises me that the governing factor in how many complete sets of these three articles can still be assembled will likely be Issue #218, covering the construction of the engines. This article was very popular with EMD engine owners, and quite a few copies were requested. Right now they are available but no telling for how long.

Several questions came up during the series, here are a few answers:

Q: Has or will this presentation be available on the internet.

A: Not likely. That is as big a project as publishing it as a book, and given the choice, I would much rather put the time and effort into a book. But keep in mind that the market for railroad books is very limited now, due to declining size of the hobby, and younger people not being so interested in this type of history.

Q: Has this program been shown since 2007?

A: Yes. It has been shown several times since 2007 at special events at railroad museums and railroad history/preservation related nonprofit organizations held on weekends. I no longer travel for showings at monthly meetings of railroad historical groups, since they are usually held midweek in large cities and it is no longer practical to do that for what is usually a very time-limited event.

Q: Where will the slide collection end up at?

A: Preliminary discussions have been done with an appropriate organization that could preserve the EMD plant history images, the manufacturing tour, new product, and plant demolition photo collections.

Not related to INSIDE EMD but the subject of occasional inquiries: I no longer provide onsite EMD 567 engine or heritage locomotive electrical classes. These services may still be available from some others in the industry.


Author:  PCook [ Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: INSIDE EMD Full Color Plant Tour Article Series - R&LHS

The 74 page EMD plant tour series has now been in print for several months and R&LHS advises the supply of issue #218 of RAILROAD HISTORY is running short. This is the issue covering building of the plant, and the manufacturing process for 645 diesel engines. Once this issue runs out it will no longer be possible to order a complete set directly from them.

At this time the issues (#218, #219, #220) are available from RLHS.ORG website, then tab on "publications".

Please note that these issues are NOT available from me.


Author:  Howard P. [ Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: INSIDE EMD Full Color Plant Tour Article Series - R&LHS

For anyone interested in diesel locomotives and their history, this series is a "must-have" item. Having seen the original side presentation, I'm glad it is available in print form (even distilled down).

Howard P.

Author:  Rick Rowlands [ Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: INSIDE EMD Full Color Plant Tour Article Series - R&LHS

Thanks for the tip. I just ordered those back issues!

Author:  PCook [ Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: INSIDE EMD Full Color Plant Tour Article Series - R&LHS

Approaching SELLOUT on Issue #218. I have been advised by R&LHS that RAILROAD HISTORY issue #218 (construction of the La Grange plant and building EMD engines), with part one of INSIDE EMD, is down to just a couple of copies remaining. There are still a few copies of issue #219 (building generators, traction motors, and electrical cabinets) and issue #220 (assembling the locomotives, demolition of the La Grange Plant) is still available at the moment.

I would like to thank R&LHS for the considerable efforts they put into getting this enormous article into print. For over 15 years the program was circulated to the commercial hobby publishers who were unwilling to take a chance on such a large and complex story. It finally took the efforts of a dedicated group of students of railroad history in the R&LHS to take it to publication. It is particularly significant because EMD was the only builder of diesel-electric locomotives where you could see the engines, electrical equipment and the locomotive all being assembled in the same plant. The program and the article series both showed the manufacturing process right from cutting the steel through to painting and shipping the completed products. EMD Plant One was an amazing place to work, and a memorable tour in slides and print. It provided a unique opportunity to illustrate the step-by-step manufacturing and assembly of a diesel-electric locomotive while touring the plant.

I received a lot of comments about this article series, I have been gradually digging my way through them, and will try to get back to those who asked questions. There were many requests to show the original program again. Since the program has been published (in shortened version), additional showings of this 15+ year old program are not too likely now except if there is some kind of special event (like the EMD 100th Anniversary in 2022) that warrants bringing it out again.

A new walk around plant photo tour covering the EMD Plant One at La Grange in the 1940s and 1950s has been developed, featuring the manufacture of 567 engines, and the assembly of F-units, E-units, GP and SD locomotives. It has been scheduled to be shown at Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania Members Day in 2020. Following that event it will be published as an article or a book. There are no plans to "tour" this program to monthly chapter meetings of historical groups like was done with INSIDE EMD. Most of those meetings are at night on weekdays, and I am not presently able to support evening events that require travel in the middle of the week.

A series of books covering the individual EMD diesel engine types, the plant and facilities, EMD demonstrators and open house displays, and other specific topics of EMD history is being developed. They will be published during the EMD 100th Anniversary year in 2022. They will be self-published because the very small print runs offered by the railroad hobby publication industry no longer justify the added complexity of dealing with a publisher, when you can do the project independently.


Author:  PCook [ Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: INSIDE EMD Full Color Plant Tour Article Series - R&LHS

SELLOUT on Issue #218. I have been advised by R&LHS that RAILROAD HISTORY issue #218 (construction of the La Grange plant and building EMD engines), with part one of INSIDE EMD, is sold out.

Issue #219 (building electrical equipment and electrical cabinets) is also in short supply. There is still availability of Issue #220 (assembling and completing the locomotives).

Thanks to all the RYPN participants who supported the project and joined R&LHS.

(Note Added 9/2/2020):

With the unfortunate and early passing of Peter Hansen, the editor of R&LHS RAILROAD HISTORY, the future of this project is suddenly uncertain. Peter was an enthusiastic proponent of publishing INSIDE EMD, and provided almost 75 pages of space in RAILROAD HISTORY to do it, after the manuscript had circulated around tha railroad hobby publishing industry for a dozen years. Peter had hoped to follow the article series with a book project to make use of the extensive additional photo archive that had not been used in the original series. Now it is unclear whether there will ever be a book version of INSIDE EMD. The years are passing quickly and there may not be time now to develop a new project. So take good care of issues 218, 219 and 220, they may be all that ever got into print documenting this project.


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