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By 1983, over 1700 miles of weight restricted brand lines were still in service.

However, the need for the GMD-1s in their original role was diminishing.

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Canadian National also received 18 GMD-1s which were equipped with B-B trucks and fitted with steam generators for passenger service. The RS1325 differed from the GMD-1 in that it made 1325 h.p., equipped with an EMD 12-567-D engine and riding on 2 axle flexicoil trucks. 1045 and like all GMD-1s was originally equipped with an EMD 12-567-C prime mover, making 1200 h.p.

5 GMD-1s went to Northern Alberta Railways and were fitted with A1A flexicoil trucks. 300-305) These 5 units would ultimately become Canadian National locomotives when the CN purchased the NAR in 1980. They were ordered by the C&IM railroad for use as passenger car switchers, but instead were mostly used in freight service. These engines were considered "road switchers", being suitable for both switching and mainline road use.

Typically the 0 in the original number was replaced with a 1.

For example, 1051 was built in 1986 and renumbered 1151.

Because the locomotives served so well, CN began exploring options of rebuilding and reassigning the GMD-1s elsewhere. 1000 series GMD-1s were pulled off the branch lines and pressed into yard and transfer duties.

Starting in 1983, CN began an extensive rebuild program for some units.

By the 1950s, many of these branch lines were only intermittently used, making their upgrade uneconomical.

Weight restrictions on these branch lines began to be implemented to 160,000 lbs on the drivers.

Rather than replace over 3000 miles of track, it was decided to design a locomotive that could operate on the extremely light track while still pulling heavy loads of grain cars.

The solution was essentially a stretched EMD SW1200, accomodating A1A style trucks with a idler axle.

The OPR let go of two locomotives as part of the purchase of this engine; EMD SW-8 No. The step modification required extensive work and was completed by the OPR crew at the shops.

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