Introduced in the mid-1980s, the SD60 and its four-axle sister, the GP60, were the first EMD diesels to incorporate computer technology and onboard diagnostics to aid the engineer. Under the hood was a 16-cylinder model 710 prime mover rated at 3800 horsepower. In January 1989, the Union Pacific Railroad accepted the initial order of SD60M's, featuring GM's version of the North American Safety Cab. The wide-nosed cab was relatively new to American rails but had been popular for some years with Canadian crews, who found it particularly cozy in the winter.
Priced at $1.25 million in 1984, the EMD SD60 roared onto the scene with its "Super Series" adhesion control an engine that generated up to 120,000 pounds of tractive effort. Derived from the popular SD45 series, the SD60, like its SD50 sibling added dynamic brakes in a new location - just behind the cab. This unique location for the brakes gave engine spotters an indentifying mark to distinguish SD50/60s from other SD engines. The only way to distinguish a 50 from a 60 however was to count doors. The SD60 had eight compared to the six found on the SD50. The Safety Cab underwent several changes in appearance over the years, with the transition from a three-piece windshield to a two-piece model one of the most obvious. Other upgrades included the addition of front number boards above the windshield and window glass in the nose-mounted cab access door.
The SD60M returns to the MTH lineup in 2015 in four paint schemes, each loaded with the added-on details and operating features that make M.T.H. Premier Line diesels a terrific value.
Did you know?
EMD's SD50 diesel, introduced in 1980, had engine problems that led to the introduction of the SD60 just four years later. The SD50's model 645 prime mover was working so close to its limitations that the motor required a major overhaul every two years - twice as often as the motor in the previous SD-40 and SD40-2 locomotives. Responding to customer complaints, EMD developed the stronger, more reliable model 710 prime mover introduced in the SD60 diesel.