BioEditThe EMD (Electro Motive Division) GP28 is a type of four-axle, 16-cylinder, 1,800hp diesel locomotive built between 1964-1965 with only 16 built for the domestic American locomotive market, and another 15 built for use in Latin America (specifically Peru and Mexico); therefore having only a small total of 31 units built, making it an exceptionally rare model.
Illinois Central (having ordered 12 units of the model), Chihuahua Pacific Railroad (10), Mississippi Central (1), Texas-Mexican Railway (1), Southern Peru Copper Corporation (5), and the Kansas, Oklahoma And Gulf Railway (2) were the only railroads or railways to purchase said units of the model.
Some have been scrapped and/or rebuilt, while several survivors currently operate on various shortlines (such as the Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi Railroad and the Kyle Railroad).
The GP28 is essentially a non-turbocharged (roots-blown or naturally-aspirated) version or variant of the GP35: having the same pure DC electrical system.
During the mid to late-1960's, EMD began to phase-out their 567 engine line of diesel locomotives and decided to begin moving forward with their new and improved 645 line. Though, the company decided to give the hardened 567 line one last chance before discontinuing it. Hence, by introducing the "28" series: the SD28 and GP28, EMD promoted what were considerably upgrades of the preceding GP18 and SD18 models by offering updated traction motors (to increase tractive effort as opposed to horsepower), newer features; such as easier access panels for maintenance crews, and an overall new look or design which was meant to be more attractive compared to its predecessor (the GP18).
Although attractive and somewhat easier to maintain, the locomotive did not sell well or prove to be very popular with railroads and had a very short production timespan; primarily due in part to the plagued "35 Series" (namely the GP35, SD35, and DD35), which had a flawed electrical system which overloaded the prime-mover and traction motors, further preventing interest with customers. Another contributing factor to the model's poor sales, was the horsepower rating. As a result of the high demands for freight traffic, railroads grew increasingly overstressed with longer trains and underpowered, sluggish consists. Tired roots-blown models from the previous first-generation were often assigned in large quantities to attain a nominal or average horsepower rating and tractive effort. In other words, as many as 6 to 10 units were assigned leading long manifest freights (typically consisting of F units, early GP and SD series units, and even passenger locomotives or road switchers like the Alco RS series units or E units), for the decline of passenger service was on the rise, and the American population was increasing, meaning that the demand for general goods was rising at a tremendous rate. Furthermore, steam locomotives were subsequently retired from active service, meaning that large gaps of locomotive quantities were also aparent. Thus, the demand for horsepower from a single diesel locomotive was desired, which opened a new door for EMD to develop new turbocharged models in favor of their traditional roots-blown powered diesel locomotive models with lower horsepower ratings and tractive effort. Unfortunately for the GP28, the model was shy of 700hp to meet demands from customers, for the U25B and GP35 stole the spotlight. However, its successor; the GP38 (and its variants) proved to be far more commercially successful both as a road switcher, and as a primary road diesel.
Hence, only 31 were built with only 16 built domestically, and an additional 15 for export to Latin America.
Although somewhat externally similar; and sharing a similar name, Burlington Northern's GP28M is actually a type of GP9 rebuilt ("M" meaning, "modified") consisting of numerous features and components from other EMD models such as the GP35.
Remarkably, the Southern Peru Copper Corporation (SPCC) still owns all 5 of their original GP28 units and still relies and maintains said units annually for general revenue service.
Kyle Railroad #1829 (ex KOG #701) serves as a prime example of a GP28 survivor, and was featured in the 2010 Locomotive Trains Magazine Special article: "A Long Way From Muskogee".
Interestingly, CHP (Chihuahua Pacific) nos. 808-810 were built with high-short hoods (also known simply as "hi-hoods" or "high-hoods") and were equipped with steam generators unlike the other units in the railroad's fleet; which were primarily assigned to passenger service. Though oddly enough, instead of having an additional compartment built to house said steam generators for said units, they were housed in the front hood.
Trains Locomotive 2010: Pg. 56