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Locomotive Descriptions and Phases - EMD GP30

The first prototype GP30 was built in 1961. It retained the turbocharged 16-cylinder 567-series engine of the GP20 (uprated from 2000 to 2250 horsepower) and was initially known as a "GP22", following EMD's short-lived tradition of linking the model name to horsepower. After a number of design changes from this initial demonstrator, including the addition of several features that would be carried through to subsequent models, the name was changed to "GP30" and it entered regular production in 1962. The name change was partly a marketing response to competition from the 2400-hp ALCO RS27 and 2500-hp GE U25B, both of which had a horsepower (and model name) advantage.

The GP30 marked the first significant departure from the utilitarian carbody design introduced by the GP7 and carried through to the GP20. The addition of an inertial air intake system behind the cab—along with an renewed emphasis on appearance—resulted in a restyled carbody with a raised fairing extending from the cab roof to the middle of the long hood. With the inertial air intake occupying the front of the hood, the radiators were combined into a single section at the rear of the hood, with two 48" fans flanking a single 36" fan. In combination with EMD's signature swing-hanger ("Blomberg") trucks, the carbody of the GP30 makes it unlikely to be confused with anything else.


These phases are based on those listed in the GP30 roster compiled by Robert Sarberenyi. Although a few GP30 orders appear to be of a slightly different phase than indicated by Sarberenyi, I've found only a few detail additions in terms of the phases themselves.

Numbers correspond to the illustrations shown below.

Phase 1a 1b1 1b2 1c1 1c2 1d 1e 2a 2b
Dates 1962-03 -
1962-06 -
1962-07 -
1962-10 -
1962-11 -
1963-01 -
1963-01 -
1963-04 -
1963-08 -
Cab heater intakes 1 Fabricated 5 stamped louvres
Radiator fans 2 Wider at the base than the top, with tall bolt brackets in between Equal diameter at the top and bottom, with small bolt brackets in between
Left cab side 3 Short Extended Short Extended
Inertial air intakes 4 Wire mesh screen Moved rearward slightly, larger rooftop panel above intakes Stamped sheets with two vertical strips (un-stamped sections of the same sheet)
Panels under inertial air intakes 5 Separate bolted panels (2 on left side, 3 on right side) Single, larger bolted panel
Radiator intakes 6 Flush with the hood Extend from the hood slightly; added lip along the bottom and additional bolts on top and bottom edges
Sand fillers 7 Square front sand hatch; flush rear hatch in the right-side hood end Square rear hatch on top of the hood Circular
Phase 1a 1b1 1b2 1c1 1c2 1d 1e 2a 2b


GP30, Phase 1a

GP30 Phase 1a illustration

GP30, Phase 2b

GP30 Phase 2b illustration


Sarberenyi, R. EMD's GP30 - Original Owners. Retrieved October 2012 from

Unofficial EMD Homepage. (2001). GP30 Order Numbers. Retrieved January 2015 from