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Chicago Northwestern 576 & 578

EMD F7 Locomotives 576 & 578: Pioneers of the Diesel Era

The 576 and 578 are iconic EMD F7 locomotives, masterfully crafted in 1949 for the Chicago Northwestern Railroad. Originally christened as 4073C and 4087C, these powerhouses were engineered to deliver a staggering 1,500 horsepower each. In a landmark move in 2021, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (TVRM) welcomed these locomotives, acquiring them from the United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey.

The EMD F7, a jewel in the crown of the F-unit series, was birthed by the General Motors Electro-Motive Division. Launched in 1949, it rapidly ascended to become one of the era’s most sought-after locomotive models, with a production count exceeding 2,300 units. Its versatility made it apt for both freight and passenger operations, a testament to its power-efficiency synergy.

Sporting the iconic ‘bulldog nose’ carbody design, the F7 was a visual and functional marvel of its time, offering enhanced aerodynamics and visibility.

The F7’s advent signaled a transformative phase in North American railroading, catalyzing the transition from steam to diesel. It revolutionized the industry with benefits like reduced maintenance expenses, superior fuel efficiency, and unparalleled reliability.

Many F7s, having served for decades, now find themselves preserved and rejuvenated by esteemed institutions like TVRM, ensuring their legacy endures for posterity.


Locomotive: Chicago Northwestern 576 & 578

Locomotive Type: Diesel-Electric

Operators: Chicago Northwestern Railroad, United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey, Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

Model: F7A

Builder: General Motors Electro-Motive Division

Date Built: 1949

Locomotive Weight: 247,300 lb

Prime Mover: EMD 16-567B

Fuel: Diesel

Horsepower: 1,500 hp

Status: Stored Out of Service