Welcome to Vintage Diesel Design!

After spending the last few years working in, around, on and near several styles of old iron, I felt it was time I sat down and start doing some documenting.

Over the last 15 years, my main job has been working on the former Lehigh Valley Railroad tugboat Cornell.   Cornell is powered with a WWII vintage Cleveland Diesel 16-278A engine.   It was from here that led me into the maritime industry where I met several amazing people whom I now call good friends, sharing with me vast tracts of knowledge on many areas, but specifically surrounding old engines – A lot of which I hope to cover here. 

Since that time, I started working for a shortline railroad as well – doing everything from being a conductor to doing all sorts of locomotive work. While I have spent quite a bit of time around the Cleveland’s, this allowed me to break into EMD’s now as well from a more hands on perspective, again, with some great teachers!

Working on the Cornell sparked my interest into doing research on the Cleveland Diesel Engine Division of General Motors – One of WWII’s largest suppliers of diesel power.   Cleveland has been gone since 1961, and so little has been written about it over the years.   That’s where I started collecting manuals, tracking down old boats, documenting various engines and the list goes on.   But that has since spurred into other manufactures, other designs and other uses of big engines outside of the maritime industry, including stationary and railroad subjects. I can not take all of the credit here either, numerous people along the way have helped with this endeavor, specifically my good friend Jay Boggess.

While my personal and main interest is in Cleveland Diesel, I have built up quite a large collection of all sorts of manuals, parts books, advertising and all sorts of ephemera covering many makes and models. Working on the Cornell has led to another interest – Tugboats.  I always was a railroad enthusiast, having spent a few years in the preservation world around trains and locomotives.  Well, as it turns out, the railroads were a major player when it came to tug design, starting in the 1920’s, so that led me into spending copious amount of time doing tugboat research – railroad and non-railroad.  In 2022 I finished my first book on this subject! More on that here – https://vintagedieseldesign.com/tugbook/

So, while the maritime industry will play heavily into all of this, it won’t be limited to.   I have plans to address many areas of Vintage Diesels – Stationary, Marine, Railroad and lots of other uses. What I am not planning to do: Tell company histories (with the exception of Cleveland Diesel). Oodles have been written about EMD, Fairbanks, etc. I want to look more closely at engines and their uses.

Please feel free to drop me a line with any corrections or comments. I am always interested in buying old engine manuals and brochures, and would be happy to help with any research requests I may be able to lend a hand with. Send Email

Header photo – Blueprint of the EMD 12-567ATLP engine used in WWII Landing Ship Tanks.