FM's H16-66 "Baby Trainmaster"

Three H16-66s head for the Iron Mountain (MI) engine facility after cutting free of their train in May 1970 (Photographer unknown)

Fairbanks Morse & Company introduced a six-axle, 1600-horsepower road switcher in 1950; the trucks were Commonwealth type similar to those used on Baldwin locomotives because of large Westinghouse traction motors. Except for the six-wheel trucks, the 54-foot, phase one H16-66 employed the same car-body as the builder's four-axle 1500/1600-hp version first introduced in 1947. It should be noted that FM's longer, massive and more powerful "Train Master" was still on the drawing board, thus it would be a misnomer to refer to the phase one H16-66s as "Baby Train Masters."

The first Train Masters emerged from FM's Beloit, Wisconsin assembly hall in April 1953; the H24-66s were 66-foot-long brutes with a 2400-hp opposed-piston prime mover. The builder's locomotive catalog was expanded further in August of the same year, with the release of the shorter and less powerful H16-66 (phase 2), or "Baby Train Master." Production of the junior six-axle model ended in 1958, with a total count of 32 units. Two single-unit orders for Alcoa and Tennessee Valley Authority punctuated the locomotive's final production. The following table provides a list of original owners:

  • Alcoa / Squaw Creek Coal -- #721001
  • Chicago & North Western -- #1674 to 1683, 1691-1700 and 1901-1906
  • Milwaukee Road -- #2125 to 2130 (re-numbered 550-555)
  • Tennessee Valley Authority -- #24 (renumbered F3060)

Photo Gallery

Chicago & North Western #1671 at Escanaba, MI on 19 September 1967 (R. Craig photo)

This not very good photo of C&NW 1671 depicts a phase 1 H16--66. The shorter overall length and Commonwealth trucks are reasons why it is not a "Baby Train Master."

Chicago & North Western #1678 at Ishpeming, MI in June 1973 (Robert C. Anderson photo)

C&NW #1678 characterizes the typical phase 2 H16-66 "Baby Train Master." With 26 of the six-wheel, phase 2 FMs on the roster, C&NW was the largest operator of the model which was built between 1953 and 1958.

Milwaukee Road #552 at Escanaba, MI on 19 September 1967 (R. Craig photo)

Milwaukee Road's motive power stable included six of the 1600-hp junior train masters. For several years, they could be found working in a joint C&NW/Milw power pool on Upper Peninsula Michigan ore trains.

Squaw Valley Coal #721001 at Lynville, IN in October 1970 (Joe Brockmeyer photo)

Prior to working for the the Squaw Creek Coal Company, the #721001 was the property of Alcoa, and it worked company's large Liberty Mine complex near Boonville, IN

Tennessee Valley Authority #24 at Gallatin, TN on 4 August 1992 (R. Craig photo)

The Gallatin Power Plant in Central Tennessee had been the singular home of this phase 2 H16-66 for 34 years. Still wearing, its original attire, the opposed-piston locomotive appeared rusty and maybe even a little worn-out. Nothing that a new coat of paint would change.

Tennessee Valley Authority #F3060 at Gallatin, TN on 4 August 1992 (R. Craig photo)

And speaking of paint here is the same locomotive in a new two-tone attire and sporting a different number. According to operating personnel, the old timer still pulled occasional coal loads between the CSX interchange and the plant.

Canadian Pacific #7009 at Nelson, BC in August 2013 (Creative Commons photo)

After working many years for Squaw Creek Coal as #721001, and later for Peabody Coal, the 1600-hp Fairbanks unit was retired and sold to a private party in Western Canada. There, the loco took on the identity of Canadian Pacific #7009 (a number series previously reserved for demonstrators.)

Notes and Reference sources:
  • Chicago & North Western System by Paul K. Withers and roster by Don Strack
  • The Diesel Builders: Fairbanks Morse by John F. Kirkland
  • The Second diesel Spotters Guide by Jerry A. Pinkepank
  • Fairbank Morse & Company Diesel construction list on TDS
  • H16-66 Specs & Roster: X2200 South (April / May /June 1976)
Compiled by: R.Craig

New: 1 March 2020 / Revised on 1 June 2022

* * * Production Roster * * *
Original Buyer Road Serial Number Date Notes
Aluminum Co. of America (Alcoa) 721001 16L1159 1/58 --
Chicago & North Western 1674-1683 16L872-16L881 8, 7/54 --
1691-1693 16L983-16L985 9-10/55 --
1694, 1695 16L981, 16L982 11, 9/55 --
1696-1698 16L972-16L974 8-9/55 --
1699, 1700 16L987, 16L986 9/55 --
1901-1903 16L1003-16L1005 6/56 --
1904-1906 16L1029-16L1031 6/56 --
Chicago Milwaukee St. Paul & Pacific 2125-2127 16L757-16L759 8/53 Re-#d 553-555
2128-2130 16L693-16L695 9/53 Re-#d 550-552
Tennessee Valley Authority 24 16L1157 10/58 Re-#d F3060; donated to the Tennessee Railroad Museum in 2021

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