US history of the GM EMD MRS-1

Some technical specifications

You'll find a more complete fiche with technical drawing here.

Produced power    : 1178 kW (1600hp)
Maximum speed     : 124 km/h
Full lenght       : 17526 mm
Transmission      : Diesel-electrical
Weigth            : 109 ton
Axle load         : 18,2 ton (low enough for service under European standards)
Gauge             : adjustable from 1435 mm to 1676 mm

Lot's of detail photographs, provided by Randy Houk

Some detail photographs of these units

Brief whereabouts of the units

Most units stayed with the military, either with the Army or transferred to the Navy in the 65-00570 series (units 1814-1818 renumbered to 570-574) in september 1970.

The Navy units, at that moment stationned at the Hawthorne (NV) Naval Ammo Depot, were transferred to the Alaska RR (originally operated by the US Government) in december 1977. The units kept their original Navy numbering (570-574) and paintingscheme (yellow).
Unit 1809 already went to the Alaska RR in november 1952, as it was leased from the Army for a 3 year trial period. In november 1955, it went back to Vandenberg Air Force Base (CA). In 1981, it went to the Pacific SW Railroad Museum ( San Diego Railroad Museum) toghether with #1820.

In the years 1978/1979 the first USArmy units were scraped or sold.

On november 1, 1983, units #1715-#1717 retired official duty at the Alaska RR. The two other units got an ARR numbering (1714 and 1718) in 1983 and were painted in the ARR paintingscheme (Blue/yellow). Unit #1714 was retired and sold/scraped in august 1985. Unit #1718 is still active. It was used for the Air Force command post (ALCOP train) and is now serving at Clear Site Air Force base (see below).

Numbering scheme for the EMD MRS-1 units

Since the units carried many different numbers, I give a table here to summarize:

USArmy USNavy AlaskaRR
1808 - -
1809 - 1809($)
1810 - -
1811 - -
1812 - -
1813 - -
1814 570(*) 1714(#)
1815 571 571
1816 572 572
1817 573 573
1818 574 1718
1819 - -
1820 - -

(*) USNavy numbering could differ: each unit had a 3-digit numbering but also a 2-digit numbering (70-74) or a full numbering (65-00570 - 65-00574)
(#) ARR Units kept their USNavy numbering until early 80's, when the only remaining units at that time (1814 and 1818) got a new ARR number and paintingscheme)
($) Unit 1809 was only leased to the ARR for 3 years, and kept its USArmy number.

Detailed history for each of the EMD MRS-1 units

For some units, the link will show you more detailed information on the whereabouts of that unit, especially 'our' unit 1818.

Unit 1808 Scraped at Sunny Point
Unit 1809 This unit is running at the San Diego Railroad Museum.
Unit 1810 Scraped at Sunny Point
Unit 1811 On display at the USArmy Museum of Transportation at Ft. Eustis.
Unit 1812 Scraped near Ft. Eustis
Unit 1813 Serves at Museum Railroad
Unit 1814 Scraped
Unit 1815 Scraped
Unit 1816 Scraped
Unit 1817 Scraped
Unit 1818 'Our' EMD MRS-1. This unit also had the most remarkable history of all, and will, also thanks to this site, be preserved!
Unit 1819 ?
Unit 1820 Complete history of this unit, that is still 'alive and kicking' at the San Diego Railroad Museum.