April 29, 2008 - After conquering the American locomotive market, General Motors took aim at the rest of the world. Looking to Europe for new opportunities, GM inked a deal on April 1, 1950 with NOHAB (Nydqvist & Holm AB), a steam locomotive builder in Trollh�ttan, Sweden. (If the city sounds familiar, it's because Trollh�ttan is also home to SAAB, which spun off from NOHAB in the 1930s.) NOHAB-GM locomotives featured a 16-cylinder engine and electrical parts from GM's Electro-Motive Division, and mechanical parts and bodies made by NOHAB. In a trip reminiscent of the pioneering EMD FT diesel's 1939 sales trip over 20 U.S. railroads, NOHAB sent its NOHAB-GM demo unit barnstorming across central Europe in 1955, from Scandinavia to Ankara, Turkey. Because European tonnage needs were smaller than in the United States, and rails were often lighter, the NOHAB diesel was designed as a single, double-ended 1700 hp unit riding on six-axle trucks to spread out the weight. Depending on customer preference, it was available with all six axles powered or with the center axle of each truck as an unpowered idler. Engine power was later upgraded to 1950 hp.
The largest orders received were from Denmark, Norway, and Hungary. On the Danish State Railways (DSB), the NOHAB diesels were designated Class MY and bumped steam from express passenger and heavy freight service. On the Norwegian State Railways, they were Class Di 3, the dominant engine on non-electrified lines. In Hungary they were called Class M61. A less powerful, lighter-weight version, DSB Class MX, was also built for branch line operation. In all cases the NOHAB-GM diesels exceeded customer expectations, proving extremely reliable and long-lived.
Manufactured well into the 1960s, they lasted four decades with their original owners, sometimes coming back to work after their planned replacements were not up to the job. Today many of these engines have found a second life after retirement, in areas as diverse as Kosovo and Italy, and with private operators in Denmark, Norway, Germany, and Sweden. One of the more well-known units is on a Swedish railway painted in the Great Northern's 1950s-era green and orange livery. NOHAB diesels also have an avid following among European railfans, and several have been preserved by private owners or state railway museums.
Learn more about it: On the M.T.H. Web site, search on the item number for any of these diesels for links to more information on NOHAB locomotives. You can also download a copy of the AA16/Nohab Brochure by CLICKING HERE
Did You Know?
A near-identical GM-powered "round-nose" diesel was manufactured by AFB (Anglo-Franco-Belge) in Belgium and worked on the Luxembourg Railways (CFL) and the Belgian Railways (NMBS/SNCB).
DSP Class MY Denmark AA16 NOHAB Diesel Engine w/Proto-Soundﾮ 2.0
20-2927-1 Hi-Rail Wheels
20-2927-2 Scale Wheels
NOHAB GM Demo AA16 NOHAB Diesel Engine w/Proto-Soundﾮ 2.0
20-2928-1 Hi-Rail Wheels
20-2928-2 Scale Wheels
MAV Class M61 Hungary AA16 NOHAB Diesel Engine w/Proto-Soundﾮ 2.0
20-2929-1 Hi-Rail Wheels
20-2929-2 Scale Wheels
NSB Class Di 3 Norway AA16 NOHAB Diesel Engine w/Proto-Soundﾮ 2.0
20-2930-1 Hi-Rail Wheels
20-2930-2 Scale Wheels
SNCB Class 202 Belgium Norway AA16 NOHAB Diesel Engine w/Proto-Soundﾮ 2.0
20-2931-1 Hi-Rail Wheels
20-2931-2 Scale Wheels
CFL Class 1600 Luxembourg Belgium Norway AA16 NOHAB Diesel Engine w/Proto-Soundﾮ 2.0
20-2932-1 Hi-Rail Wheels
20-2932-2 Scale Wheels
Great Northern Belgium Norway AA16 NOHAB Diesel Engine w/Proto-Soundﾮ 2.0
20-2936-1 Hi-Rail Wheels
20-2936-2 Scale Wheels
Intricately Detailed ABS Body
Die-Cast Truck Sides, Pilots and Fuel Tank
Colorful Paint Scheme
Metal Handrails and Decorative Horn
(2) Engineer Cab Figures
Moveable Roof Fan Blades
Metal Body Side Grilles
Illuminated Number Boards
Directionally Controlled Headlights
Metal Wheels, Axles and Gears
(2) Remotely Controlled Proto-Couplersﾮ
(2) Precision Flywheel Equipped Motors
Locomotive Speed Control In Scale MPH Increments
Proto-Scale 3-2 3-Rail/2-Rail Conversion Capable
Operating Ditch Lights
Operating Smoke Unit
Proto-Sound 2.0 With The Digital Command System Featuring: Freight Yard Proto-Effects
Unit Measures:17 1/2ﾔ x 2 1/2ﾔ x 4 5/16ﾔ
Hi-Rail Version Operates On O-42 Curves, Scale Wheeled Version Operates On 31" Radius Curves
Who Is M.T.H.?
While our name may be new to European model railroaders, M.T.H. Electric Trains is a seasoned American model train manufacturer with a long history of innovation. In a little more than a quarter century, M.T.H. has grown from a tiny business operated out of a spare bedroom to an 80+ employee company headquartered in its own sprawling building in a suburb of Washington, D.C.
Over the past 28 years, we have cataloged over 10,000 different items in four scales: O gauge, One Gauge, HO gauge, and tinplate Standard Gauge. We are co-owners of two overseas facilities that make nothing but M.T.H. trains, and we use three other factories that are dedicated solely to our product line. This gives us more control of our manufacturing process and quality than many other train companies, whose products are often made in the same factories used by their competitors.
Our research and development team has received more than 10 patents on innovations in model railroading. We believe the Proto-Sound sound and control system found in every M.T.H. locomotive, in combination with our optional Digital Command System (DCS), makes our trains more realistic and more fun to operate than any other trains in model railroading.
About Our Technology
Thanks to our Proto-Soundﾮ sound and control system and our Proto-Scale 3-2TM conversion capability, the M.T.H. Chapelon Pacific can run in virtually any O gauge environment: 3-rail or 2-rail, AC or DC, 50 or 60 hz. With a conventional AC or DC transformer, Proto-Soundﾮ offers chuff sounds synchronized with the driver revolutions and squealing brakes when the engine slows down or stops. In addition, the engineﾒs Proto-Speed control acts like the cruise control on an automobile, helping your engine maintain a constant speed regardless of hills, curves, or heavy loads at any throttle setting from a crawl to full throttle.
Add an M.T.H. AC transformer equipped with whistle and bell buttons, and you can experience a much larger range of locomotive sounds, including whistle, passenger station announcements, crew conversations, coupler opening sounds, and typical steam engine sounds such as steam letoff.
To experience the full capabilities of the Chapelon Pacific, add the M.T.H. Digital Command System (DCS) for full command control and an even larger range of sound and control features. Like our AC transformers, our DCS system is fully compatible with European household current, when used with a standard 120 volt AC adapter.