From 1942-1945, Electro Motive Division's F-unit was the only road freight diesel built in America. While the War Production Board limited competitors Alco and Baldwin to diesel switcher and steam locomotive production during World War II, EMD's 1,350 hp FT became a runaway best-seller. By war's end, Electro Motive had a lead over its competitors that would last until they closed their doors.
With production restrictions lifted and the U.S. economy humming with pent-up demand, railroads clamored for new diesels to replace a steam fleet exhausted by wartime traffic. In July 1946, EMD introduced a new model F-unit, the F3. Horsepower was upgraded to 1,500 and lessons learned on the FT gave the F3 better reliability and lower maintenance. Under the hood throbbed an improved 567-series V-12 engine. With 567 inches of displacement per cylinder, this same engine would power virtually the entire first generation of EMD diesel locomotives.
The F3 hit the market in an era when almost every boy in America wanted toy trains for Christmas, and F3 models quickly became a hot topic in letters to Santa. Such was the desire of railroads for publicity that model train manufacturer Lionel convinced the Santa Fe, the New York Central, and EMD to share the tooling costs for its top-of-the line F3. Even today, half a century later, the Santa Fe F-unit remains an icon of railroading to the American public.
M.T.H. is proud to offer the drama of this postwar locomotive in HO scale. The M.T.H. HO F-3 Diesel Sets include Proto-Sound 3.0 offering authentic EMD 567 prime mover sounds, first generation diesel horn and bell, crew station sounds, break sounds, and cab chatter. The F-3 features superb detailing that characterizes all M.T.H. HO diesels, with added-on details that include legible builder's plates, grab irons, multiple-unit hoses, rooftop lift rings, see-through rooftop fans, steam generator exhaust stack (for passenger versions), windshield wipers, and trucks with separately-applied spring hangers, brake cylinders, and air pipes.