Demonstrators and Proto-types

It is generally acknowledged that the diesel era began in 1947. Alco and Baldwin, two of the three major steam locomotive builders of the time, had pretty much exited the business with the other builder Lima to shortly follow suit. Additionally, Electro-Motive Division and its revolutionary FT #103 A-B-B-A set of 1939 demonstrated clearly that the diesel locomotive was ready to play a much more important role in everyday railroading than just handling local switching duties.

As World War II was drawing to a close, old-line steam engine builders were focused intently on the development of new diesel locomotives, reconfiguration of manufacturing processes, and promotion strategies to capture a share of the burgeoning diesel market. The diesel demonstrator was foremost among those strategies.

This section contains a summary of known diesel demonstrators. Corrections and additions are solicited.

R. Craig photo at Spencer, North Carolina

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