Diesel Era Started 1946 – End For Steam Engines Begins

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Diesel Era Started 1946 – End For Steam Engines Begins

M-K-T Early Diesel Engines

The Katy began phasing out the steam engine when General Motors / EMD A-B-B-A demonstrator set No. 291 made testing runs from Houston to St. Louis in 1946. After 10 days of rigorous testing the Katy placed their first diesel order for 6 Baldwin DS4-4-1000 switch engines. These would replace an aging steam switcher fleet in the Dallas yard. These units were numbered 1000 – 1005 and delivered in a solid gray paint scheme with an MKT herald on each side of the cab. The following year two more orders were placed, five GM / EMD NW2 switchers and five more Baldwin DS4-4-1000’s. These 1000 horsepower switchers would be used to further dieselize yard operations throuhout the system. All would have black and white stripes added to the front hood and rear of the cab in an effort to make them more visible at grade crossings.

The first passenger units ordered would be the EMD E-7 units for the streamlined Texas Special train in March of 1947. More passenger units were ordered from Alco in 1949, these were the 2000 hp Alco PA1 numbered 151A and 151C. These were painted with striping to simulate the stainless steel corrugated sides on the streamlined Texas Special passenger cars. The Katy would eventually order engines from all the major locomotive manufacturers, this created a nightmare for the Katy shop forces. All but a few engines would be rebuilt and re-engined from the frame up with EMD hoods and engines. Photos of later engines and also from different time periods of the Katy can be seen on a new page being developed called the Modelers Info page.

This page was compiled from the Diesels of the M-K-T series by John Merman in the KRHS Katy Flyer. The issues are September and December in 1994; March, June and December in 1995 and March 1996. A complete diesel roster is available from the society, Diesel Locomotives of the M-K-T 1946 – 1983: A Roster. Most pictures were scanned from back issues of the K.R.H.S calanders. All are available by printing out an order form at the Katy Flyer Back Issues Page.

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