The F-Unit is probably the most recognized diesel locomotive in North American history. It was found on railroads from East to West and North to South. Eastern railroads favored a “Single Headlight” version of the F3, while Western railroads favored a “Dual Headlight” version.
F3 locomotives were used in both freight and passenger service. For passenger service, it was necessary for the locomotives to have a Steam Generator to provide heat and electricity in the passenger cars. In later years, many F3 locomotives originally intended for passenger services were downgraded to freight duty.
The Kato EMD F3 comes in both A and B (cabless) variations. All current variations of the F-unit locomotive chassis are DCC friendly. Passenger units are commonly identified by their Steam Generators vs. freight units which lack this detail. The 2014 run of CB&Q Freight F3’s have a number of passenger features, such as the straight pilot, as they began their life as locomotives pulling the California Zephyr before being repainted and repurposed as freight locomotives.