This page presents the favourite locomotive type of many railway fans all over Europe.
These locomotives run as MÁV M61 class in Hungary.
NOHAB (Nydquist och Holm Aktiebolag, Trollhttan, Sweden), have built several types of locomotives, not only diesels, electrics as well. Among the diesels they've built shunters, freight and passenger locomotives. They haven't only used the GM equipment, but their most famous type became that in which they've built the GM EMD engines together with DC electric transmission and mixed type (AC/DC) auxilliary equipment. In Hungary we call NOHAB this type, which is recognizable for the first sight from its typical american, but fluently european rounded nose. A typical example of the meeting of the grace and the power in harmony, which is rare among common machines.
The first "Nohab"-type locomotive was built in the USA by General Motors Corporation in 1936. Its output was only 660 kW per unit, but four units were connected to each other, and, so, their output was enough to pull heavy trains. These prototype units were successful and Baltimore-Ohio and Santa Fé companies ordered the first series. This became the famous "E1", built from 1937, equipped with a GM-EMD 16-567A engine (the figures indicate the number of the cylinders and the capacity of one cylinder in cubic inches) of 1000 kW (later1325 kW). In the 1940s many "E"s and "F"s have left the factory, and have rolled all around the USA.
After the World War II, the export deliveries started. Since then the GM-EMD equipments have become the most widespread of the diesel traction. The success came from their extreme reliability, very simple construction and the good management (their price was 30% lower compared to other diesels, because of the large series). In Europe, several manufacturers have used the GM-EMD equipment, but in small series. NOHAB has built its first GM locomotive in 1952. This, the progenitor of all NOHABs was a demonstrator locomotive in for Denmark, the European version of G16 export type (developed from "F" type). It was built with a 16-567B engine of 1104 kW (later it was replaced by a 16-567C). It started its service in 1954, together with 3 companions. They became the MV class.
Since this time NOHABs have been exported to Denmark, Luxemburg, Belgium, Norway, and Hungary. In recent years, some units of the Danish series have been renewed and returned to Sweden, into the rolling stock of private railways (some private railways use renewed old NOHABs as well).
In the '70s NOHABs with increased output appeared on the rails, mainly in Denmark. They are equipped with the supercarged 16-645E3 engines (2460 kW) or 20-645E3 (2867 kW). They are remarkably powerful, but, unfortunately, these "New NOHABs" are ugly compared to the older ones. The usefulness became the first, the harmony I mentioned above has lost.
Words by Peter Werner Groh
Gigant Club NOHAB Division