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Gulf, Mobile and Ohio locomotives remembered

By | July 29, 2022

The Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad is Classic Trains’ railroad of the month for July 2022

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Streamlined diesel locomotive seen from low angle

Please enjoy this photo gallery of Gulf, Mobile and Ohio locomotives selected from files in Kalmbach Media‘s David P. Morgan Library.

 

Steam locomotive with protruding crescent around headlight

Progression of Gulf, Mobile and Ohio locomotives: 2-10-0 No. 261, photographed in 1941, shows off more than a decade of modifications to the original design, among them a Coffin feedwater heater mounted on the front of the smokebox, a second sand dome, and a large single-phase air pump replacing one of the original pair. GM&O predecessor Gulf, Mobile and Northern had 29 2-10-0s, built by Baldwin and Richmond between 1919 and 1927. Bernard Corbin photo

Steam locomotive with protruding crescent around headlight
Steam locomotive smoking

In the 1920s, predecessor Mobile and Ohio bought 10 4-6-2s that were copies of USRA light Pacifics. The principal point of difference between the USRA locomotives and the M&O’s Pacifics was the cab roof: the USRA roof had a deeper curve. John B. Allen photo

Steam locomotive smoking
Red and maroon gas motorcar with trailer in front of station

Gulf, Mobile and Ohio motorcar 2506 pauses at Delavan, Ill., in October 1958. The GM&O’s Bloomington to Kansas City run was the longest for a motorcar in the U.S. Monty Powell, Brian M. Schmidt collection

Red and maroon gas motorcar with trailer in front of station
Streamlined diesel locomotive seen from low angle

The first Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Alco FA1s had a lower headlight grille than later models, and the same curved drip rail behind the cab as on PAs. The railroad had 55 FA1 units, built 1946-47. Alco photo

Streamlined diesel locomotive seen from low angle
Streamlined diesel locomotive in two-tone scheme

Gulf, Mobile and Ohio is an early Phase II F3, with screen between the portholes and four tall radiator fans. The railroad had 32 F3A units and 11 F3B units built 1946-47. EMD photo

Streamlined diesel locomotive in two-tone scheme
Streamlined red diesel locomotive with bulbous cab

Truly one-of-a-kind, Ingalls Shipbuilding’s model 4-S No. 1900 poses in its second Gulf, Mobile and Ohio livery at Mobile, Ala., in 1962. Painted in GM&O red and maroon but lettered for the builder as “Ingalls 1500” when built in June 1946 (with builder No. 1501), the unit had an 8-cylinder Superior diesel prime mover rated at 1,500 hp. R. R. Wallin photo

Streamlined red diesel locomotive with bulbous cab
Red streamlined diesel locomotive with two black and white and one blue and yellow diesel locomotives in front of enginehouse

Gulf, Mobile and Ohio locomotives shared its Ridgeley Yard facilities in Springfield, Ill., with Baltimore & Ohio. GM&O F3 806B and two GP30s share space with B&O GP9 6465. R. R. Wallin photo

Red streamlined diesel locomotive with two black and white and one blue and yellow diesel locomotives in front of enginehouse
Red and white diesel locomotives next to all-red diesel locomotive beside turntable pit

Five Gulf, Mobile and Ohio locomotives rest at Montgomery, Ala., in April 1971: four GP38s next to Alco RS1 1109. J. David Ingles photo

Red and white diesel locomotives next to all-red diesel locomotive beside turntable pit
Diesel locomotive in profile

Gulf, Mobile and Ohio GP38 No. 726 is one of 20 such units on the railroad, built in 1969. The railroad also had GP38AC and GP38-2 units as well. J. David Ingles photo

Diesel locomotive in profile

 

The Gulf, Mobile and Ohio was one of the first major railroads to completely dieselize, with the last steam locomotive dropping its fire in October 1949. The GM&O was an early Alco customer, operating a large fleet of FA cab units before turning to EMD for GP30s, GP40s, and other power in the 1960s. The roster includes the Alton, which the GM&O merged in 1947 (former Alton engines are indicated in the notes). The GM&O merged with Illinois Central to form Illinois Central Gulf on Aug. 10, 1972.

 

Each month since October 2019, Classic Trains editors have selected one Fallen Flag to honor. A Fallen Flag is a railroad whose name and heritage have succumbed to bankruptcy, merger, or abandonment, but whose memory lives on and well among railfans and historians today.

 

See all of our previous celebrations online.

One thought on “Gulf, Mobile and Ohio locomotives remembered

  1. The GM&O, the 1940 merger of former logging road Gulf, Mobile and Northern (GM&N) and bankrupt ex-Southern stepchild Mobile and Ohio, was a diesel salesman’s dream. GM&O locomotives were light in horsepower and old in age, and a world war was in the offering. In keeping with the best military strategy, Alco got there “firstest with the mostest.”

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