The E8 and E9 diesel locomotives share the similar "bulldog nose" carbody style as the shorter, more popular F7 and were powered by two separate 12-cylinder prime movers (i.e., diesel engines) capable of producing 2250/2400 hp. E8 and E9 locomotives also rode on A-1-A trucks (powered axle-idler axle-powered axle), resulting in an exceptionally smooth ride favored by crews. The E8 and E9 were produced in both A-units and cabless B-units; the A-units were usually built to railroad specification of either single or dual headlight and freight or passenger pilot. Like the F3 and F7 of the same time period, the E8 and E9 were utilized in both passenger and freight service.
Locomotives will be equipped with a mix of body and truck mounted KATO magnetic knuckle couplers.
Locomotives feature directional Golden White LED headlights and illuminated preprinted numberboards where appropriate.
C&NW units: Prototypical "blanked" number board spaces to imitate their late appearance.
Locomotives have a powerful five pole motor with all wheel electrical pickup and blackened wheels.