GE Evolution Series

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GE Evolution Series
Union Pacific 5304.jpg
Three of Union Pacific Railroad's Evolution Series locomotives leaving Hutchinson, Kansas with AC45CCTE #5304 in the lead.
Type and origin
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder General Electric Transportation
AAR wheel arr. C-C (ES40DC, ES44DC,[1] ES44AC,[2] ES58ACi, ES59ACi)
A1A-A1A (ES44C4[3])
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in) Kazakhstan
5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm) Brazil
1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) Pakistan
Length 73 ft 2 in (22.30 m)
Fuel capacity 5,000 US gal (18,900 l; 4,160 imp gal) (ES40AC, ES44DC, ES44AC, ES44C4)
Prime mover GEVO
Engine type 4-stroke diesel engine
Cylinders V12 (ES40DC, ES44DC,[1] ES44AC,[2] ES44C4[3])
V16 (ES58ACi, ES59ACi)
Performance figures
Power output 4,000 hp (2,980 kW) (ES40DC)
4,400 hp (3,280 kW) (ES44DC, ES44AC, ES44C4)
6,200 hp (4,620 kW) (ES58ACi, ES59ACi)
Nicknames GEVO, roarer
Disposition almost all (only ones retired have been in crashes) still in service as of 2013

The Evolution Series is a line of diesel locomotives built by GE Transportation Systems, designed to meet the U.S. EPA's Tier 2 locomotive emissions standards that took effect in 2005. The first pre-production units were built in 2003. Evolution Series locomotives are equipped with either AC or DC traction motors, depending on the customer's preference. All are powered by the GE GEVO engine.[4]

The Evolution Series was named as one of the "10 Locomotives That Changed Railroading" by industry publication Trains Magazine.[5] It was the only locomotive introduced after 1972 to be included in that list.[5]


Currently, four different Evolution Series models have been produced for the North American market. They are all six axle locomotives and have the wheel arrangement C-C (AAR classification) or Co'Co' (UIC classification), except for the ES44C4 which has an A1A-A1A wheel arrangement. All North American Evolution Series locomotives are equipped from the factory with a Nathan-Airchime K5HL-R2 "Evolution" airhorn, and most later models are equipped with a Graham-White 373 (electronic) E-BELL.


The ES40DC (Evolution Series, 4000 HP, DC traction) replaces the Dash 9-40CW model in GE's range and, like the former model, has been delivered exclusively to Norfolk Southern Railway. ES44DC's owned by CSX Transportation have also been given this designation after being de-rated to 4,000 hp (3,000 kW). As of 2014, all of Norfolk Southern's ES40DCs have been uprated to 4400 horsepower, making them ES44DCs.


The ES44DC (Evolution Series, 4400 HP, DC traction) replaces the Dash 9-44CW model in GE's range. Primary users are BNSF Railway, CSX Transportation, and Canadian National Railway. Pilbara Iron in Australia ordered a lengthened, international version designated ES44DCi. The extra length is used for a larger radiator to increase cooling capacity in the Australian outback.


Iowa Interstate Railroad #505 enters Blue Island.

The ES44AC (Evolution Series, 4400 HP, AC traction) replaces the AC4400CW model in GE's range. These locomotives have been ordered by Union Pacific Railroad (who refers to these locomotives as the C45ACCTE), BNSF Railway, CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway, Kansas City Southern Railway, Kansas City Southern de Mexico, Ferromex, and Canadian Pacific Railway. Iowa Interstate Railroad ordered 14 ES44AC's in April 2008 to be delivered by October 2008 to handle an expected traffic growth of 25%-30%, resulting from new ethanol plants coming on line.[citation needed] Iowa Interstate ordered two additional ES44AC's to be delivered in December 2009. Iowa Interstate again ordered 3 additional GE ES44AC's after selling 2 of the railroads EMD SD38-2's for the new ethanol plants.

CSX began receiving an order of 200 ES44AC's (referred to by CSX as the ES44AH) in December 2007. The "H" in ES44AH stands for "high", which is in reference to a combination of subsystems that produce high levels of tractive effort at low speeds. In order to be classified as an "AH" by CSX, a locomotive has to have not only an increased nominal weight (currently to 432,000 pounds or 196,000 kilograms), but also (1) steerable trucks, (2) TM3 adhesion control software, (3) software that extends to 33,000 pounds from 30,000 pounds the maximum amount of tractive effort that each traction motor is permitted to produce, and (4) GE's Rail Cleaner, which directs high-pressure air onto the rails in front of the sand nozzles forward of axle number one.

In September 2008, Norfolk Southern purchased 24 ES44AC's numbered 8000-8023, and began receiving the first of these units in October 2008. They are the first new AC locomotives ever purchased by NS. These new locomotives will be used in long haul coal trains.[citation needed] An additional 65 units were ordered in 2011, numbered 8025-8090. 24 more units, numbered 8091-8115, were ordered at the beginning of 2012. 10 of these units: 8025, 8098-8105 & 8114 were painted in predecessor company "heritage" paint schemes for NS's 30th anniversary. All NS ES44AC's are built to CSX specifications, with the exception of the Hi-Ad trucks & headlight placement.

NS 30th Anniversary, #8100 in Nickel Plate livery

KCS's units are all painted in a Southern Belle paint scheme. The KCS units are being painted in Erie by GE, while some of KCSM's units have been delivered in primer to speed up delivery time.[citation needed]

Cemex took delivery of one ES44AC - built to CSXT specifications - numbered 81, in March 2008.

Canadian National announced in January 2012 that 35 ES44AC's were on order for 2012-2013 delivery to be used primarily on the grades of its ex-BC Rail main line.

Citirail/CREX acquired 100 ES44AC's for lease service. They are painted silver with blue & yellow nose striping and blue numbers. As of August 2014, most if not all of these units are leased to BNSF Railway.


BNSF Railway #8013 at Dallas, Texas, 20 May 2014, awaiting re-crew.

The ES44C4 (Evolution Series, 4400 HP, AC traction, 4 traction motors) is the newest model in the series. It is similar to the ES44AC, except that it has four traction motors instead of six. The center axle of each truck is unpowered, giving an A1A-A1A wheel arrangement. BNSF Railway is the launch customer for this model, ordering an initial batch of 25 units numbered 6600-6624.[6] BNSF was the first buyer of this model and has over 700 units. On January 30, 2014 Florida East Coast Railway announced that they would buy 24 ES44C4's, to be numbered 800-823, for heavy haul service and intermodal traffic. All are to be delivered by the end of 2014 to beat the EPA's deadline on exhaust-emissions standards for new-built Tier-3 locomotives.[needs update]

A unique feature of these units is that there is a variable traction control system in their computer systems. One of the differences between an ES44AC and an ES44C4 are the air cylinders and linkages on the truck sideframes of the ES44C4; these are part of the traction control system. Every time a variable in grade, traction, or wheel slip occurs, the computer will adjust the pressure in these cylinders to maintain sufficient adhesion, by varying the weight on the drive axles.[7][8]

Identifying features[edit]

The Evolution Series locomotives are visually similar to the Dash 9 and AC4400CW, although small differences are evident. The most significant differences are the radiator section at the rear of the locomotive is larger and the "wings" on top of the radiator section are larger, as well. As with the AC6000CW the radiators project beyond the end of the hood, though not to the same extent. Also unlike any previous GE locomotive the grills under the radiator are at two different angles. The increase in radiator size is due to the necessity of greater cooling capacity in the locomotive in order to reduce emissions. The other major difference between the Evolution Series locomotives and older models are the vents below the radiators, which are larger than those on previous GE locomotives.[9]

Tier 4[edit]

In 2012, GE unveiled its first Tier 4 emissions locomotive. The prototype and demonstrators are slightly different than previous versions. While the front part of the engine is unchanged, the rear part has been changed considerably. The Radiator and engine compartment are slightly taller than the rest of the locomotive. Also, the radiator is even larger and angled down in order to further cut emissions.


  • ArcelorMittal, operated by Cartier Railway:
    • 2 ES44AC units, numbered 301 and 302, built in summer 2010[10]
  • BNSF Railway:
    • 30 pre-production ES44AC units, numbered 5718-5747, were built between October 2003 & April 2004.
    • 691 production ES44AC units, numbered 5748-6438. BNSF 5958 was wrecked and retired in December 2013.
    • 700 ES44C4 units, numbered 6500-7199. BNSF 6943 wrecked and retired September 2013.
    • 300 ES44C4 units on order, numbered 8000-8299.
    • 721 ES44DC units, numbered 7200-7920.
  • Canadian National:
    • 125 ES44DC units, numbered 2220-2344. All equipped with microwave ovens.
    • 65 ES44AC units, numbered 2800-2864.
    • 75 ES44AC units on order for late 2014, numbered 2865-2939
  • Canadian Pacific Railway:
    • 291 ES44AC units, numbered 8700-8960 & 9350-9379
      • 8700-8759 were built with GE self-steering trucks. Later orders specified the standard Hi-Adhesion trucks due to the higher maintenance costs of the steerable design.
      • 8858-8877 were painted to promote the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Effective March 4, 2010 all 20 Olympic units have been earmarked to be sent to Progress Rail in Winnipeg for removal of Olympic logos and repainting of the logo area to the original red and white scheme.
      • 8890-8899 are fully equipped with ECP braking technology, which CP is currently testing on its coal fleet.
      • 8900-8960 received in late 2011,
      • 9350-9379 received in early 2012,
      • 8700-8960 & 9350-9379 are equipped with FTO.
  • Cerrejón:
    • 4 ES44AC units, numbered 10015-10018
  • Citicorp Railmark Inc. (Citirail) CREX:
    • 15 ES44AC units, numbered 1201-1215, delivered in December 2012.[11]
    • 50 ES44AC units, numbered 1301-1350, delivered in late 2013.
    • 35 ES44AC units, numbered 1401-1435, being delivered since June 2014.
  • Cemex:
    • 1 ES44AC unit, numbered "81", built in March 2008 as an add-on to a CSXT order.
  • CSX Transportation:
    • 475 ES44AH units, numbered #700-999 and #3000-3174.
    • 200 ES44AC units on order for 2015 delivery. 100 will be Tier 3 & the other 100 will be Tier 4.
    • 302 ES40DC units, numbered #5200-5501.
  • Ferromex:
    • 100 ES44AC units, numbered 4600-4699.[12]
  • Ferrosur:
    • 25 ES44AC units, numbered 4700-4724. Painted in Ferromex colors.
  • Florida East Coast Railway
    • 24 ES44C4 units, numbered 800-823, built in November–December 2014.
  • Iowa Interstate Railroad:
    • 12 ES44AC units, numbered 500-511. These are the first new units purchased by this road. Deliveries began in 2008; continued through 2009.[13]
    • 2 ES44AC units, numbered 512 & 513. Deliveries occurred in 2009.
      • Number 513 is painted in a Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad scheme; the Rock Island was a predecessor to the Iowa Interstate.[13]
      • Number 512 was originally built and painted as CSXT 950, but they cancelled the order. A second 950 was later built for CSXT.
      • Iowa Interstate has 3 GE ES44AC units on order for possible 4th Quarter 2014 delivery.
  • Kansas City Southern:
    • 75 ES44AC units, numbered 4680-4709 & 4765-4809[14]
  • Kansas City Southern de México:
    • 85 ES44AC units, numbered 4650-4679 & 4710-4764
  • Norfolk Southern Railway:
    • 220 ES44DC units, numbered #7500-7719. Units were uprated from 4,000 to 4,400 HP in 2014.
    • 166 ES44AC units, numbered #8000-8165.
      • Units #8025, 8098-8105, 8114 are "heritage" units painted for NS predecessor railroads.
        • #8025 - Monongahela Railway
        • #8098 - Conrail
        • #8099 - Southern Railway
        • #8100 - New York, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad ("Nickel Plate Road")
        • #8101 - Central of Georgia Railway
        • #8102 - Pennsylvania Railroad
        • #8103 - Norfolk & Western Railway
        • #8104 - Lehigh Valley Railroad
        • #8105 - Interstate Railroad
        • #8114 - Original Norfolk Southern Railway
  • Sava Transportation (Savatran) SVTX:
    • 3 ES44AC units, numbered 1912, 1982, and 1986, delivered February 2012. Units are numbered for the years that Penn State University won national college football championships.[15]
  • Union Pacific Railroad:
    • 5 pre-production ES44AC units, numbered 5695-5699 (re#d 5348-5352), were built between January & February 2003.
    • 938 production ES44AC units, numbered 5248-5347, 5353-5553, 7345-7529, & 7600-8051.
    • 60 ES44AC heavy units, numbered 8052-8111. These units are 432,000 lb. "AH" types similar to CSXT's, except for the Hi-Ad trucks, and called C45AH's by U.P.[16]
    • 154 ES44AC heavy units currently being delivered, numbered 8112-8265.
      • UP 7605 was delivered in GE Demonstrator colors, but has been repainted into the standard Building America scheme as of 01/05/2008.
      • UP 2010, an ES44AC Boy Scouts of America tribute unit, was unveiled on March 31, 2010 in Houston, Texas to commemorate 100 years of Boy Scouts. Unit was renumbered from 7469.[17]
      • In September 2010, UP 7400 was unveiled, featuring a pink ribbon on the side as a tribute to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
      • UP 7964 is the 5,000th Evolution Series locomotive to be built, and it has decals on both sides.

Export sales[edit]

  • Australia
    • Rio Tinto Group has ordered 51 ES44DCi locomotives for operation on their privately owned rail line, operated by Pilbara Iron.[22] The ES44DCi uses the AC6000CW's longer frame to allow space for a heavy duty cooling system to cope with the hot desert environment that the locomotives operate in.[23] Units 8100-8118 were delivered in a predominantly grey paint scheme,[24] while units 8119-8150 feature additional red lettering and striping.[25]
    • Roy Hill took delivery of the first 14 out of a total order for 21 ES44ACIs in January 2015.[26]
  • Brazil
    • Carajás Railroad, a subsidiary of Brazilian mining company Vale, ordered 70 5800 hp ES58ACi locomotives. The units were built at GE's Erie plant and delivered in 2009. The prime mover is a GEVO-16. Gauge is 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)
  • Egypt
    • In 2009, Egyptian National Railways received 80 dual cab ES40ACi locomotives in two versions (painted blue for passenger trains and red/black for freight trains).[27][28]


See also[edit]

  • EMD SD70 series, a similarly powerful locomotive produced by EMD in response to GE's predecessor of the Evolution Series, the Dash 9 Series.



  1. ^ a b ES44DC Datasheet, The Diesel Shop
  2. ^ a b ES44AC Datasheet, The Diesel Shop
  3. ^ a b ES44C4 Datasheet, The Diesel Shop
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ a b Lustig, David (2010). "10 Locomotives That Changed Railroading". Trains (magazine). 
  6. ^ "GE unveils ES44C4 locomotive". Railway Gazette International. 27 May 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  7. ^ "GE Transportation unveils new Evolution Series locomotive". 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Solomon, Brian (2005). Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. MBI. ISBN 978-0-7603-2108-9. 
  10. ^ Smith, Rob (September 2010). "GEVOs head to Cartier". Trains Magazine (Kalmbach Publishing): 17. 
  11. ^ Diesel Era Magazine, Jan./Feb. 2013, pg.2.
  12. ^ "Ferrocaril Mexicano (Ferromex)". The Diesel Shop. Retrieved 11 July 2010. 
  13. ^ a b Richard Marsh (April 2010). "Iowa Interstate salutes Rock Island". Trains Magazine (Kalmbach Publishing). 
  14. ^ "Kansas City Southern". The Diesel Shop. 2 January 2010. Retrieved 31 March 2010. 
  15. ^ Diesel Era Magazine, March/April 2012, pg.8.
  16. ^ Diesel Era Magazine, July/August 2013, pg.2
  17. ^ "Union Pacific Railroad Unveils No. 2010 Boy Scouts of America Commemorative Locomotive". Enhanced Online News. 31 March 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2010. 
  18. ^ "GE ships first CML diesel locomotive to China". Railway Gazette International. 2008-08-21. Retrieved 2008-08-21. [dead link]
  19. ^ "President opens Astana locomotive plant". Railway Gazette International. 2009-07-06. Retrieved 2009-07-22. [dead link]
  20. ^ "Evolution grabs hold in Kazakhstan". Late Breaking Industry News (Railway Age). 2006-09-28. Retrieved 2006-10-03. 
  21. ^ "Photo of the ТЭ33А-0007 in Almaty". 
  22. ^ "Rail". Rio Tinto Iron Ore. Retrieved 31 March 2010. 
  23. ^ Closeup of the radiator on Rio Tinto 8110
  24. ^ Rio Tinto 8118 prior to delivery
  25. ^ Rio Tinto 8120 prior to delivery
  26. ^ Issue 01.02 Western Australian Rail January 2015
  27. ^ GE Transportation and Egyptian National Railways Announce the Completion of Commissioning of 80 Evolution Series Locomotives (2009-07-13)
  28. ^ Photos of ES40ACi for Egypt at delivery


  • Graham-White, Sean (2007). GE Evolution Locomotives. St. Paul, MN, USA: MBI. ISBN 9780760322987. 
  • Lamb, J. Parker (2007). Evolution of the American Diesel Locomotive. Railroads Past and Present. Bloomington, IN, USA: Indiana University Press. ISBN 9780253348630. 
  • McDonnell, Greg (2008). Locomotives: The Modern Diesel and Electric Reference. Erin, Ontario: Boston Mills Press. ISBN 978-1550464931. 
  • Solomon, Brian (2003). GE Locomotives: 110 Years of General Electric Motive Power. St. Paul, MN, USA: MBI Publishing. ISBN 9780760313619. 
  • Solomon, Brian (2010). Modern Locomotives: High Horsepower Diesels 1966–2000. New York: Crestline. ISBN 978-0785826811. 
  • Solomon, Brian (2011). Modern Diesel Power. Minneapolis, MN: MBI Publishing. ISBN 978-0-76-033943-5. 
  • Solomon, Brian (2012). North American Locomotives: A Railroad-by-Railroad Photohistory. Minneapolis, MN, USA: Voyageur Press. ISBN 9780760343708. 

External links[edit]