Top header photo
 Trainiax logo

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, 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 used from the GP7 to the GP20. Both side walkways were raised along most of their length, with the right side (unlike later EMD models) used for the traction motor air duct. A new (taller) electrical cabinet and an inertial air intake system behind the cab—along with a 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. The front of the cab was slightly pointed, with rounded eaves and a short "brow" with the headlight and numberboards. As the inertial air intake occupied the area previously taken by the front radiators, 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 (or trade-in Type B trucks on a few units) the carbody of the GP30 makes it unlikely to be confused with anything else.

More than 900 GP30's were built in less than two years before the model was replaced by the mechanically similar (but aesthetically simpler) GP35. Neither a Roots-blown (non-turbocharged) nor a six-axle version was built; the earlier GP18 and SD24 continued in those roles until the end of 1963. Only two GP30's were built by GMD in Canada, purchased by CP and numbered 8200-8201.


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,
tall bolt brackets in between
Equal diameter at the top and bottom, 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;
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


These drawings illustrate typical early (Phase 1a) and late (Phase 2b) GP30's built to ATSF and CO specs. The horn placement, cab mirrors/sunshade and exhaust stack height are railroad variations. The Phase 1a drawing also illustrates the earlier box-shaped roller bearings on the trucks, which were sometimes retained on trucks from traded-in F units.

Phase 1a -  Phase 2b


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

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