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EMD E9 - Chicago Burlington & Quincy (CB&Q) No. 9913


No. 9913 at the museum in 2010. Photo courtesy

Interesting facts

The red triangles on either side of the main headlight were intended to mimic the vents on the CB&Q's original streamlined Zephyr locomotives, numbers

No. 9913 was originally delivered to the Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad as CB&Q No. 9988B with black "whiskers" (the four bands across the front of the nose). Some time during the 1950s, these were repainted red.

No. 9913 and EMD E8 - Florida East Coast No. 1594, also in our collection, pulled the Tennessee Bi-Centennial Train, a traveling exhibit focusing on Tennessee's historic achievements in commerce and industry. The train made thirty-five stops across the state of Tennessee in 1996.




No. 9988B eastbound on Train #32, the Empire Builder, at Rochelle,
Illinois on June 26, 1965, Kodachrome by Chuck Zeiler.

The E9 was the last of General Motors Electro Motive Division's series of E units, a highly successful line of diesel-electric passenger locomotives, which started with five EA units built for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in 1937. Unfortunately, by the 1950s passenger numbers on U.S. railroads were in decline, and only one hundred E9A units and forty-four cabless E9B units were produced between 1954 and 1964 (compare this with the four hundred and twenty-one EMD E8A and thirty-nine E8B units built from 1949 to 1953). The E9 was the most powerful E unit built, equipped with two Winton 567C 12 cylinder 1200 hp engines.

The CB&Q bought its first six E9s from EMD in 1954, numbers 9990-9995.
No. 9913 was one of ten more ordered in 1955, numbers 9985A-9989A & 9985B-9989B. They were the last E9s purchased by the CB&Q, bringing the total to sixteen. Although it was a cab unit, when delivered in January 1956, No. 9913 was numbered 9988B. Like the other E9s, it ran on a number of the CB&Q's Zephyr routes as the original streamliners were retired from the mid-1950s, hauled trains like the Great Northern's Empire Builder on the leg between Chicago and Minneapolis, as well as working on some freight and suburban commuter services.

After the Burlington Northern was formed in 1970 from the merger of the CB&Q, Great Northern Railway, Northern Pacific Railway, and the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway, 9988B was renumbered BN 9983. In 1972, the BN's Chicago suburban commuter service was turned over to the West Suburban Mass Transit District, with all the equipment leased back to the BN, who would be paid by the WSMTD to maintain the locomotives and provide the service. The fourteen E8 and sixteen E9 units included in the transfer were anything from fifteen to twenty years old, and would soon be in need of replacement or rebuilding. After considering the options, the WSMTD decided to rebuild nine of the E8s and all of the E9s, including No. 9983, extending their life by another fifteen to twenty years. The $6 million contact was awarded to Morrison-Knudsen, who carried out the rebuilds in partnership with MLW-US Inc., a subsidiary of the Canadian locomotive builder MLW-Worthington Ltd., at a purpose built facility in Boise, Idaho.


Burlington Northern E9AM 9913 westbound at Naperville, Illinois on an
unknown day in June, 1981, Kodachrome by Chuck Zeiler.

The first five E8s and all the E9s were outshopped between March 1973 and February 1974, the last four rebuilt E8s in May and June 1978. No. 9983 was completed in October 1973 and renumbered 9913.

The main change was upgrading the two 567C engines to 645E assemblies, with fire-ring pistons, low-sac injectors, and spark arresting manifolds, which would result in much cleaner emissions. A New York Air Brake Co., PS-68 air brake replaced the original Westinghouse 24RL, and a 500 kw auxiliary power plant was also installed to provide lighting, heating, and air-conditioning, replacing two steam boilers. Fuel capacity doubled from 1,200 gallons to 2,400 gallons with removal of the boilers. In addition, wiring, traction motors, generators and air reservoirs were all overhauled.

The most noticeable changes were to the exterior: the nose door headlight was removed, a small red "marker" light was mounted just below the remaining headlight, and the new metal side panels no longer had portholes.

PPCX 5794 FEC1594s

No. 9913 and No. 1594 pull the Tennessee
Bi-Centennial Train past Union Station, Nashville,
TN, in this June 1996 photo by Ed Hopson.

Unofficially, the rebuilt E units were designated E8-AK and E9-AK, the "K" standing for Knudson, but they are also known as E8M and E9M units. The locomotives were named: some for communities served by the BN, some for commuters who had submitted names in a contest. Later, the names of WSMTD trustees were added to those named for communities. No. 9913 was named "Village Of La Grange, Glenn W. McGee, Trustee WSMTD."

For nearly twenty years No. 9913 plied the commuter routes of Greater Chicago in its distinctive Burlington Northern Green color scheme, and silver Scotchlite and Da-Glo orange, high-visibility striped nose. Retired on October 6, 1992, the unit was then sold to the Indiana Transportation Museum in Noblesville, Indiana, in September 1994. Two years later, it was bought by Tennessee 200 Ltd., as PPCX 9913. Repainted in the old Louisville & Nashville blue and cream, lettered "Spirit of Tennessee," and numbered 1996, it criss-crossed the state of Tennessee commemorating the 200th anniversary of the state's founding in 1796. The other locomotive in the train-set, No. 1796, was ex-Pennsylvania Railroad E8 No. 5794. It is also in our collection, repainted as Florida East Coast No. 1594.

No. 9913 was next bought by the Santa Clarita Railroad, a movie prop company based in Saugus, CA, and was finally purchased by the Gold Coast Railroad Museum in 2002. It arrived on site in December 2002, and has been repainted as CB&Q No. 9913.


Status: On Display, Restored, Operational.
Acquisition Date: December 2002.
Built: EMD 1956 / Rebuilt: Morrison-Knudsen 1973.
Serial: 20540.
Weight: 315,000 pounds.
Length: 70 feet 3 inches.
Height to Top of Engine Hood: 13 feet 11 inches.
Height to Top of Cab: 14 feet 7 inches.
Horsepower: 2400.
Engine as Built: Two Winton 567C 12 Cylinder / Rebuilt: Two EMD 546E V-12 Cylinder.
Generator: Two GM-D27.
Traction Motors: Four GM-D37.
Trucks: Two 6-Wheel.
Truck Wheelbase: 14 feet 1 inch.
Wheel Diameter: 36 inches.
Configuration: A1A-A1A.
Air Brake as Built: Westinghouse 24RL / Rebuilt: New York Air Brake PS-68.
Compressor: Gardner-Denver WXO.
Starting Tractive Effort: 56,500 lbs @ 25%.
Continuous Tractive Effort: 31,000 lbs @ 11 mph.
Top Speed: 85 mph.

Below: No. 9913 (front) and 1594 (rear), at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum during our "Experience the E-Units day in 2008". Photo taken by Kevin Andrusia.

Those new brakes...

We received this information via email from Karl Rethwisch, a former CB&Q and BN locomotive engineer, who most likely operated No. 9913 in service on both railroads:

Yep, PS68 was the brake schedule chosen to replace the BEST brake valve in the world, the 24RL. The PS68 had one admirable quality that was negated by one VERY dysfunctional quality. Placing the handle in HOLD, after making a 10 or 15# reduction, held the brake application in effect while allowing the brake pipe to be recharged (GOOD). The DOWNside of the design lay in the fact that, if a greater brake pipe reduction was desired after placing the handle in HOLD, the amount of the reduction of the first application needed to be made again BEFORE additional braking effort could be applied to the train (NOT GOOD). In the fast-paced world of Dinkey's this took ENTIRELY too much time so my "work-around" consisted of going straight to a 32# reduction and making small, graduated releases as the train was slowing and stopping. After a 32# reduction all a guy had left was EMERGENCY so when I put the handle in HOLD there simply WAS no more brake pipe reduction left to be made. SIMPLE !!! Rougher-n-hell on the equipment but still - simple.


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