GMDH-3 Technical Specifications

Configuration Three driven axles

Engine Detroit Diesel 8V-71

Horsepower 275

Transmission Allison CBTA 5842 Automatic

Gearboxes Three Dana Spicer

Air Compressor Gardner Denver ADSA

Electrical 24 Volt

Generator AC Delco 1440 Watts

Diesel Fuel 330 US Gallons

Lube Oil 7.8 Gallons

Trans Oil 25.2 Gallons

Gear Boxes 6 Gallons

Cooling Water 24 Gallons

Sand 14 Cubic Feet

Weight 75,000 lbs

Wt. on drivers 100%

Couplers AAR type E

Gauge Standard (56.5")

Length 28'-1½"

Width 8'-10¼"

Height 11'-5"




GMDH-3 History: An Overview

1959-1960 GMDH design plans & specifications developed by General Motors Diesel, Ltd.

1960 Prototype GMDH-3 constructed

1961-1962 Prototype sent to Egypt as demonstrator

1962 GMDH featured in October 1962 Popular Mechanics, page 110

1963 Sold to Mckinnon Industries, St.Catherines, Ontario for use as plant switcher

1992 Sold to South Simcoe Railway (museum), Tottenham, Ontario

1995 South Simcoe board of directors declared GMDH surplus, offers for sale

1996 GMDH fund established by Southern Michigan Railroad Society members to purchase & preserve GMDH-3

Help Preserve A One-of-A-Kind Locomotive

What is the GMDH? In 1959 General Motors embarked on the development of a new line of small locomotives.

The first and only GMDH-3 locomotive was produced at General Motors Diesel in London, Ontario in 1960.

Styled to resemble Gm's experimental "Train of Tommorow" this 75,000 pound, 275 horsepower locomotive was

the prototype for a group of simple models designed for export to third-world countries.

Two sister engines - double-ended 800 horsepower units - were also produced, and are still in existence.

  GM Demonstrator GMDH-1   600   London, ON   undated photo ©Blackhawk Films, from the collection of Fred Byerly


The GMDH has an important place in industrial and railroad history. It illustrates the way manufacturers like GM

experiment with different ways of producing and marketing their products. Used in industry until 1992, the locomotive

was recently deemed surplus by a leading railroad museum. Several members of the Southern Michigan Railroad Society, Inc

(SMRS) in Clinton, Michigan are now joining together to purchase, move and restore it.

While the GMDH-3 is unique, in another sense it is ubiquitous. It's styling and technical characteristics are similar to a

number of successful European locomotive models developed at about the same time, many of which are still in production

and use throughout the world. in this respect the GMDH-3 is representative of a whole family of industrial and mining locomotives.

As a result, the GMDH-3 is an ideal piece for museum operation and display.


What is the GMDH Preservation Fund?

Just as GM experimented with marketing locomotives using the GMDH, the GMDH Preservation Fund is an experiment in

funding SMRS equipment purchases. The GMDH Fund will be a non-profit Michigan Corporation which will loan SMRS the

money to purchase, ship, and restore the GMDH-3. Upon repayment of the loan in 2007, stockholders of the GMDH fund

anticipate recouping their initial capital investment - without interest or profit. The real benefit of the project for the GMDH Fund

stockholders will be seeing this unique locomotive preserved, participating in it's restoration, and taking part in special annual

stockholder-only runs featuring the locomotive. Sale of stock will be by private arrangement, with non-voting shares selling at

par value of $100 and voting shares selling at $500. Small donations to help offset the cost of purchase and restoration are

welcomed, and will reduce SMRS's loan.


What is required to get the GMDH running?

A mechanical assessment of the GMDH-3 was made in 1996 and determined that the locomotive is in very good condition.

The locomotive moved easily under it's own power during a short test run. It needs some relatively minor work, such as

replacement of a hydraulic valve, alternator repairs, replacement of the injectors, air brake updates, repair of minor exterior rust,

and exterior painting.


How Can I Help?

GMDH Fund welcomes your donation of any size to help defray the cost of purchasing, transporting and restoring the GMDH-3.

Hands-on assistance with the restoration work is also warmly welcomed.

For more information please fill out the attached reply form or call (313)332-9059


(This information comes from a March 1996 SMRS Brochure)