Guide to Electro-Motive E and F Units

Jeff Wilson
Item #01316

Get all the details behind the Electro-Motive E and F units that revolutionized the railroading industry during the steam-to-diesel transition era.

has been added to your cart.
An unexpected error has occurred and we are unable to process your request at this time.

Guide to Electro-Motive E and F Units showcases how streamlined locomotives revolutionized the railroading industry during the steam-to-diesel transition era from 1935 to 1960. Written by well-known author Jeff Wilson, this all-new book details the development of diesel locomotives, how they were first accepted as passenger locomotives, and then how they took over heavy freight service. Featuring over 200 photos, including many full-color images, and line drawings of most E and F unit models, this 192-page book guides you through the evolution of these iconic locomotives.

You’ll learn about:

  • How they came to be
  • Introduction to freight
  • Post-war passenger boom
  • Freight dieselization
  • Demise of E and F units
  • And more!

This must-have book is perfect for both railfans and model railroaders! Whether you want to learn about the dieselization of railroads, re-create E and F units on your model railroad, or just like streamlined diesels, you’ll get all the details behind Electro-Motive E and F units. 

Author: Jeff Wilson
Size: 8.25 x 10.75
Pages: 192
Author Bio
Jeff Wilson has written more than 25 books on railroads and model railroading. He spent 10 years as an associate editor at Model Railroader magazine, and he currently works as a freelance writer, editor, and photographer, contributing articles to MR and other magazines. He enjoys many facets of the hobby, especially building structures and detailing locomotives, as well as photographing both real and model railroads.
Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Early Electro-Motive diesel development

Chapter 2: Dawn of the E unit

Chapter 3: F means freight

Chapter 4: Post-war passenger boom

Chapter 5: Freight dieselization

Chapter 6: The final freight cabs

Chapter 7: Demise of E and F units



This 192-page softcover just released is chocked full of history, background details and numerous photos of some of the most celebrated diesels ever to take the rails: E and F units. Author Jeff Wilson has masterfully weaved together an intriguing compilation of facts, figures and documentation with seven first-rate chapters that highlight two of the most beloved diesel locomotives. 

In Chapter 2 Wilson describes in detail the dawn of the famous E units (with a great photo leading the chapter of an early Baltimore & Ohio EA No. 56 at St. Louis), followed in Chapter 3 by the popular F units. Early development of Electro-Motive diesels and especially Electro-Motive's FT, helped dieselize American railroads within a short, six year span. Pages 56-57 show the route of a nation-wide 11-month tour in 1939-1940 of a four-unit #103 FT sponsored by Electro-Motive which ran over 20 different railroads to help demonstrate how the new units could out-perform steam locomotives.

Charts showing various diesel production figures, scale drawings of E and F units, and an explanation follows of those colorful EMD-produced diesel postcards all railfans seem to collect. The post-war passenger boom is detailed in Chapter 4 highlighting E7, E8 and E9 diselized passenger trains (with the E7 the most popular diesel, having been first built in 1945 and ending in 1949, with more than 500 of the units running on the rails.) In a short history, Wilson details the successful 1947 launch of the Train of Tomorrow which logged 65,000 miles, visited 182 cities and was viewed by more than 5.7 million people. 

The book wraps up with chapters on freight dieselization, a view into the history of the final freight cab units, and the demise of the E and F units. This is an impressive, colorful salute to the diesel era, and worthy of a place in your railroad library.

—Don Heimburger, Heimburger House Publishing Co.

Classic Toy Trains Classic Trains Finescale Modeler Garden Railways Model Railroader Trains Magazine Kalmbach Books