From the Manufacturer
By the early 1930s, Fairbanks-Morse was ready to expand its line of diesel prime movers with a new design aimed at railroads. The new Model 38 as it was known used opposed pistons in place of a traditional cylinder head to form the combustion chamber. Although more mechanically complex, it was very smooth running and quiet when properly adjusted. The original six-cylinder 5 x 6" design could generate 300 horsepower; the Milwaukee Road had a single rail car, and the Baltimore and Ohio had two fitted with these engines. Larger eight-cylinder 8 x 10" models soon followed, producing 1,300 horsepower. This version caught the eye of the US Navy, who ordered several for submarines. In 1938, these same engines were selected by the Southern Railway to power five new lightweight rail cars.