EMD SD70 series
BNSF 9211 Lincoln, NE 10-19-2014
The EMD SD70 is a series of diesel-electric locomotives produced by Electro-Motive Diesel in response to the GE Dash 9-44CW. Production commenced in late 1992 and since then over 4,000 units have been produced; most of these are the SD70M and SD70MAC models. All locomotives of this series are hood units with C-C trucks.
Prior to the SD70ACe and SD70M-2 models, all SD70 models were delivered with the self-steering HTCR radial truck. The radial truck allows the axles to steer in curves which reduces wear on the wheels and railhead. With the introduction of the SD70ACe and SD70M-2 models, EMD introduced a new bolsterless non-radial HTSC truck as the standard truck for these models in an effort to reduce costs. The HTCR-4 radial truck is still an option.
The SD70 uses the smaller standard cab or spartan cab, common on older 60 Series locomotives, instead of the larger, more modern comfort cab. This makes it hard to distinguish from the nearly-identical SD60, the only difference being the use of the HTCR radial truck instead of the HT-C truck mounted under the SD60. The main spotting feature is the difference in length between the two models - the SD60's 71 feet, 2 inches vs. the SD70's 72 feet, 4 inches. The SD70 also rides higher as its frame is approximately 1⁄2 inch (13 mm) higher than the SD60's. This model is equipped with direct current (DC) traction motors, which simplifies the locomotive's electrical system by obviating the need for computer-controlled inverters (as are required for alternating current (AC) power). It is equipped with the 4,000 horsepower (3,000 kW), 16-cylinder EMD 710 prime mover. One hundred and twenty-two examples of this model locomotive were produced for Norfolk Southern Railway (NS), Conrail (CR), Illinois Central Railroad (IC) and Southern Peru Copper Corporation (SPCC). Conrail's assets were split between Norfolk Southern (PRR) and CSX Transportation in 1999, and all 24 of Conrail's SD70 units went to NS. Other than the CR paint scheme these units were built to NS specifications and numbered (2557 - 2580) in series with their SD70's.
Production of the standard cab at EMD's London, Ontario plant ended in 1994. The 24 Conrail SD70s were assembled from kits at Conrail's (later NS's) Juniata Shops in Altoona, Pennsylvania, and the IC and SPCC SD70s were assembled from kits at Super Steel Schenectady. All SD70s are still in service with Norfolk Southern and Canadian National (CN), which merged Illinois Central in 1999.
The SD70M has a wide nose and a large comfort cab (officially known as the "North American Safety Cab"), allowing crew members to ride more comfortably inside of the locomotive than the older standard cab designs. There are two versions of this cab on SD70Ms: the Phase I cab, which was first introduced on the SD60M, and is standard on the SD80MAC and SD90MACs, and the Phase II cab, which is a boxier design similar to the original three-piece windscreen on the SD60M, which is shared with the Phase II SD90MAC, SD89MAC, and SD80ACe. The Phase II cab has a two-piece windscreen like the Phase I windscreen but the design of the nose is more boxy, with a taller square midsection for more headroom.
The SD70M is equipped with D90TR DC traction motors and the 710G3B prime mover. They are capable of generating 109,000 lbf (480 kN) of continuous tractive effort. From mid-2000, the SD70M was produced with SD45-style flared radiators allowing for the larger radiator cores needed for split-cooling. Split-cooling is a feature that separates the coolant circuit for the prime mover and the circuit for the air pumps and turbocharger. There are two versions of this radiator: the older version has two large radiator panels on each side, and the newer version has four square panels on each side. This modification was made in response to the enactment of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Tier I environmental regulations.
Production of the SD70M ceased in late 2004 as production of the SD70M-2 model began (the EPA's Tier II regulations went into effect on 1 January 2005). 1,646 examples of the SD70M model were produced. Purchasers included CSX, New York Susquehanna & Western (NYSW; part of EMDX order no. 946531), Norfolk Southern and Southern Pacific (SP; now part of the Union Pacific Railroad), but the vast majority were purchased by Union Pacific.
An order of SD70Ms made history when Union Pacific ordered 1000 units of the model (UP 4000 through UP 4999, inclusive). This order was later extended by nearly 500 additional units (UP 3999, and below) and (UP 5000, and above).
This locomotive model is also built for export, and is still catalogued by EMD (at 4,300 hp or 3,200 kW). CVG Ferrominera Orinoco has 6 SD70Ms that were built as an add-on order to UPs FIRE cab equipped SD70Ms. Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) in Brazil has ordered 55 of this model for service in Carajas pulling trainloads of iron ore. Since CVRD track is gauged at 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in), a wider bogie, the HTSC2, was designed for these units by EMD.
The SD70I is a version of the SD70M which has been fitted with a cab that is isolated from the frame of the locomotive with rubber gaskets (officially known as a "WhisperCab"). The isolation reduces noise and vibration from the prime mover. A seam is visible across the nose and on the long hood where the cab connects with the body. 26 examples of this model locomotive were produced, all for Canadian National. The WhisperCab feature was incorporated into some SD70MAC and later models.
The SD70MAC (colloquially known as a "Mac" or a "70 Mac") is very similar to the SD70M and SD70I; the main difference being that the SD70MAC uses AC traction motors. Production of the model commenced in 1993. AC motors, while simpler and more reliable than DC motors, require expensive inverters to generate a variable-frequency AC signal, raising the locomotive's purchase cost substantially. The majority of SD70MAC models were produced with the 4,000 horsepower (3,000 kW) EMD 710 prime mover while later units are rated at 4,300 horsepower (3,200 kW) and feature EMD SD45-style flared radiators. They were also offered with a head-end power generation system for passenger trains.
The SD70MAC is no longer produced due to EPA regulations and has been replaced by the SD70ACe. Over 1,500 examples of this model were produced. It was purchased by Burlington Northern Railroad (now BNSF Railway), BNSF, Conrail (units now owned by CSX), CSX, Transportación Ferroviaria Mexicana (TFM; units now owned by Kansas City Southern Railway (KCS)), and the Alaska Railroad.
The SD70ACe is the successor to the older SD70MAC. Built from 2004 to 2014 in the United States, the SD70ACe was originally designed to comply with EPA Tier 2 locomotive emissions regulations. Beginning in 2012, newly built SD70ACe's were EPA Tier 3 compliant. SD70ACes are equipped with EMD's 16-710-G3C-T2 prime mover, rated at 4,300 horsepower (3,200 kW); later Tier 3 models are rated at 4,500 horsepower (3,400 kW). They are rated at 157,000 lbf (700 kN) continuous tractive effort (191,000 lbf (850 kN) starting). Braking effort is rated at 106,000 lbf (470 kN).
Although mechanically similar to earlier SD70 units, the SD70ACe rides on a new underframe and uses mostly new sheet metal above the frame. Electrical cables and air lines have been routed beneath the walkways on opposite sides, allowing easier access for maintenance. Continuing the designs of the SD80 and SD90 series, the radiator on the locomotive is nearly as wide as the cab, the center hood section is a step down below the roofline, and the dynamic brakes have been moved to the rear of the hood. The SD70ACe uses the cab design of late-model SD90MAC-H units, which uses rectangular window glass and is externally different from the two cab variations used on earlier SD70M and SD70MAC units. In 2008, EMD standardized the isolated cab on subsequent SD70ACe's after non-isolated cab units were restricted from leading on BNSF Railway due to excessive cab vibration.
Purchasers included BNSF Railway, Canadian National Railway, CSX Transportation, Ferromex, Kansas City Southern Railway, Montana Rail Link, Norfolk Southern, CVG Ferrominera Orinoco, Union Pacific, Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway, BHP Billiton, and shortline Arkansas & Missouri Railway.
In 2012, EMD also built 4 models known as the SD70ACe-P6. These units, unlike previous SD70ACe's, have one inverter per axle on the trucks, rather than EMD's traditional one inverter per truck design. Four of EMD's SD70ACe-P6 demonstrators were sold to Canadian National Railway, numbered 8100-8103, and all but one has since been repainted into the standard Canadian National scheme. #8103 is the last SD70ACe-P6 to retain the demonstrator paint.
In 2014, BNSF Railway took delivery of 20 SD70ACe-P4 units, numbered 8500-8519. This model was designed with a B1-1B wheel arrangement to compete with GE's ES44C4 model, which has an A1A-A1A wheel arrangement. Two of EMD's demonstrator SD70ACe-P4's went to Tacoma Rail in late 2014 for a 5-year lease.
On 1 January 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Tier 4 locomotive emission regulations went into effect. EMD could not successfully modify the SD70ACe's 2-stroke 710 series prime mover to be Tier-4 compliant, thus rendering the current Tier-3 compliant EMD SD70ACe illegal to build for use in the United States. EMD has continued building Tier-3 SD70ACes for Ferromex (4100-4118) at Bombardier's Ciudad Sahagun, Mexico plant. These locomotives are restricted to Mexico-only operation and cannot cross the US border (just as Canadian National's newest Tier-3 GE ES44AC's are restricted to Canadian use only). 2014 was the final year of EMD producing SD70ACe's powered by the 710 series 2-stroke engines for use in the USA.
The SD70M-2 is a DC traction version of the SD70ACe, and is nearly identical to the SD70ACe. Production began in 2005. SD70M-2 models are equipped with the 16-710G3C-T2 prime mover which is rated at 4,300 horsepower (3,200 kW).
The SD70M-2 was not a big seller, as most major carriers were purchasing AC traction locomotives exclusively by the time of its introduction. Only 331 SD70M-2's were built. Canadian National Railway owns 190 units, and 130 units are owned by Norfolk Southern Railway. 8 units owned by Electro-Motive Diesel and 3 units owned by CIT Financial were leased by Florida East Coast Railway until early 2015. CN 8964, built December 2010 was the last SD70M-2, and will most likely be the last new DC traction locomotive since holdouts, CN and NS, have embraced the AC traction concept.
The SD70ACe-T4 is the Tier 4 emissions standards-compliant version of the SD70ACe. The first locomotive was built in summer 2015, and made its debut at the Railway Interchange Expo in Minneapolis, Minnesota during the weekend of October 3-4, 2015. It features a new 4-stroke engine called the EMD 12-1010 - a V12 with 1010 cu.in displacement for each cylinder. This new prime mover has a two-stage turbocharger system consisting of three turbos; one turbo (the primary/high pressure turbo) for low-mid RPM and two turbos (the secondary/low pressure turbos) for mid-high RPM. The results of this setup are bigger power throughout the broader RPM range, better fuel efficiency, and lower emission. An EGR system is applied as well, allowing the engine to achieve Tier 4 without the use of urea after treatment. Another new feature of this engine is the Double-Walled Fuel Injection System that increases safety and provides simplified maintenance works.
This new engine is capable of producing 4,600 hp (but only 4,400 hp that goes to the wheels). With a new computer software for the on-board computer and one inverter per axle (or "P6"; EMD named it "Individual Axle Control") - unlike most of previous EMD locomotives that use one inverter per truck, SD70ACe-T4 is capable of generating 200,000 lbf. (889.64 kN.) of starting tractive effort, and 175,000 lbf. (778.75 kN.) of continuous tractive effort. Meanwhile, its dynamic braking effort is as much as 105,000 lbf. (467.25 kN.) The amount of starting tractive effort is equal to that of the 6,000 hp SD90MAC-H while, on the other hand, its continuous tractive effort is higher than that of the SD90MAC-H (175,000 lbf. vs. 165,000 lbf.).
While it retains the basic SD70 designation, the locomotive has several major new features that set it apart from it's successful ancestor such as a vibration-isolated powertrain, and alternator start capability. In addition, it features a newly redesigned cab reminiscent of the earlier SD70M, even bringing back the old railfan - and engine crew - favorite "porkchop"/"teardrop" windshields; new trucks; a longer frame (76 ft. 8 in / 23.37 m); longer radiators with three radiator fans instead of two; and a smoother long hood roofline.
The SD70ACe/LCi is a low clearance, export version of the SD70ACe. The LCi in the model designation stands for Low Clearance international as these locomotives are designed to negotiate the tight clearances under the mine equipment. External differences between the SD70ACe and SD70ACe/LCi models include the addition of marker lights, number boxes lower in the body rather than on top of the cab, windscreen protector panels (to deflect abrasive iron ore when in mid train position), fire suppression canisters, louvre style vents, different horn and subtle differences with handrails.
In 2004, BHP Billiton ordered a first batch of 14 SD70ACe/LCi locomotives for use on iron ore trains in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. It operated in 2015 a fleet of 23 SD70ACe/LCi locomotives beside of 142 standard SD70ACe, from which the newest locomotives are built in 2014.
The first member of the class (4300) was purchased for parts and dismantled upon arrival in Australia. This was because it was cheaper to purchase a complete locomotive than buy the components individually. The first batch of SD70ACe/LCi's (4301-4313) was ordered in 2004 and named after sidings on the BHP system. Since it did not have the newer, isolated cab of the second and subsequent batches it was traded in to the supplier for locomotives with newer cab assemblies.
The second batch of locomotives (4314-4323) arrived between August and November 2006.
An order for a third batch of 13 SD70ACe/LCi's (4334-4346) was placed in August 2007, but such was the demand for locomotive power in the Pilbara region, a deal was done with BNSF Railway for BHP Billiton to purchase ten standard North American SD70ACes (4324-4333) that were in build as their 9166, 9167, 9184-9191. Construction was sufficiently advanced when the deal was concluded for them to have been painted, hence they were delivered in BNSF orange livery. Some modifications have been made to bring them in line with the rest of the fleet. A fifth batch of SD70ACe's (Numbers 4347-4355) was delivered in July 2009.
An additional 18 units (numbers 4356-4373) were delivered in the second half of 2010, bringing the total of SD70ACe type locomotives in service to 72. In March 2012, BHP Billiton ordered a further 80.
SD70ACS is a 4,500 horsepower (3,400 kW) AC variant for heavy haul freight, used in desert environments. The first 25 units were ordered for Saudi Railway Company in April 2009 and assembled in the London, Ontario plant for delivery in the second half of 2010. Special features include a pulse filtration system, movable sand plows, EM2000 control system and FIRE display system.
In October 2015, EMD started producing SD70ACE-BB locomotives for Brazilian narrow gauge railroads.
- Alaska Railroad
- Arkansas and Missouri Railroad
- 3 SD70ACe units, numbered 70-72. Units are ex EMDX 1201-1203.
- BNSF Railway
- 786 SD70MAC units, numbered 8800–8989, 9400–9499 and 9504–9999. Unit 8876 is retired following a wreck. Units 9400–9716 are ex-Burlington Northern Railroad units.
- 640 SD70ACe units, numbered 8400-8499, 8520-8599, 8749-8799, 8990-9158, & 9160-9399. 9159 wrecked McPherson, IA, 4/17/11 & renumbered 8749.
- 20 SD70ACe-P4's, numbered 8500-8519.
- Canadian National
- CIT Group
- 3 SD70M-2 units, numbered 140–142. All are ex-EMD demonstrators.
- CSX Transportation
- 25 SD70M units, numbered 4675–4699. All are ex-EMD demonstrators.
- Originally 220 SD70MAC units, numbered 4500–4589 and 4701–4830. Units numbered 4575–4589 are ex-Conrail units. 16 of CSX's SD70MAC locomotives (units 4501-4506, 4510-4512, 4516-4520, 4522 & 4523) were sold to Four Rivers Transportation, 13 of which went to the Paducah & Louisville Railway, with the remaining 3 to the Evansville Western Railway (EVWR 4517, 4519 and 4520). PAL repainted three SD70MACs in special livery: one in University of Kentucky Blue & White colors to mark the school's 2012 NCAA Basketball Championship (PAL 2012, ex-4505). They painted a second unit into University of Louisville Red & White to mark their 2013 NCAA Basketball Championship (PAL 2013, ex-4506). The third special unit, PAL 4522, is also painted in University of Kentucky blue and white, and commemorates all 8 of UK's championship wins. All units are used in regular freight service, between Paducah and Louisville,KY.
- 20 SD70ACe units, numbered 4831–4850.
- Electro-Motive Diesel Leasing
- 5 SD70ACe units, numbered 1204-1205, 1207, 2012, 4223. 1207 is a SD70ACe-P4.
- 97 SD70ACe units, numbered 4000–4096.
- 19 SD70ACe units on order numbered 4100-4118.
- 15 SD70ACe Originally built to Ferrosur in Muncie numbered 4119-4134.
- Florida East Coast Railway
- 8 SD70M-2 units, numbered 100–107. - these units are currently being decommissioned.
- Illinois Central Railroad
- 40 SD70 units, numbered 1000–1039. Units 1006, 1013, 1014 and 1023 were wrecked and are retired.
- Kansas City Southern Railway
- 75 SD70MAC units, numbered 3900–3902, 3904–3905, 3907, 3910–3916, 3918, 3920–3921, 3924–3926, 3928–3930, 3932, 3934–3935, 3937–3938, 3941–3942, 3944, 3946–3948, 3951, 3953, 3955, 3957, 3961–3964, 3966–3968, 3970, 3972–3973. All are ex-Transportación Ferroviaria Mexicana (TFM) units.
- 153 SD70ACe units, numbered 3997–4059, 4100–4129, & 4140-4199. Units numbered 3997–3999 are ex-EMD demonstrator units.
- Kansas City Southern de México
- 50 SD70ACe units, numbered 4060–4099 & 4130-4139.
- Montana Rail Link
- 25 SD70ACe units, numbered 4300–4315 and 4400-4408.
- Norfolk Southern Railway
- 80 SD70 units, numbered 2501–2580. Units 2557–2580 are ex-Conrail units, but built to NS specifications.
- 68 SD70M units, numbered 2581–2648.
- 130 SD70M-2 units, numbered 2649–2778.
- 175 SD70ACe units, numbered 1000–1174. 1065-1074 painted in special heritage schemes honoring NS predecessor roads.
- Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway
- 23 SD70ACe units, numbered 501–523. Units 501-507 were built December 2009; 508-513 were built August 2011; and 514-523 were built December 2012.
- Tacoma Rail
- 2 SD70ACe-P4 units, numbered 7001 & 7002. Units are ex EMDX 1211 & 1212.
- Union Pacific Railroad
- 1,452 SD70M units, numbered 2001-2002, 3778–3984, 3986-4140, 4142-4689, 4692-5231 (Nos. 2001-2002 are ex 4690-4691, 3778 is ex 4141, and No. 3985 is occupied by steam locomotive 3985). Unit 4014 has been renumbered to UPP 4014 to free-up 4014 for UP's 4-8-8-4 Big Boy 4014 recently moved to Cheyenne for restoration, and eventual return to the active roster. Units 4545, 4687, 4811, 4855, & 4929 were wrecked and retired from service.
- 518 SD70ACe units, numbered 1982, 1983, 1988, 1989, 1995, 1996, 4141, 8309-8378, 8380-8382, 8384-8395, 8397-8422, 8424-8823. The 19xx units comprise Union Pacific's "Heritage Fleet". Unit 1982 (ex-8379) wears the "Missouri Pacific Proud Heritage" livery. Unit 1983 (ex-8383) wears the "Western Pacific Proud Heritage" livery. Unit 1988 (ex-8396) wears the "Missouri-Kansas-Texas Proud Heritage" livery. Unit 1989 (ex-8521 (1st)) wears the "Denver & Rio Grande Western Proud Heritage" livery. Unit 1995 (ex-8522 (1st)) wears the "Chicago & North Western Proud Heritage" livery. Unit 1996 (ex-8523 (1st)) wears the "Southern Pacific Proud Heritage" livery. Unit 4141(ex-8423) wears the "George Bush 41st President" livery. Numbers 8521-8523 were re-issued to subsequent new locomotives.
- 173 SD70ACe units, numbered 8824-8996, currently being delivered. These units are 427,000 lbs instead of the standard 420,000 lbs and are being designated as SD70AH.
- BHP Billiton
- Etihad Railway
- Ordered 7 SD70ACS units
- Fortescue Metals Group
- 21 SD70ACe/LCi units numbered 701-721
- Mauritania Railway
- Ordered 6 SD70ACS units
- Saudi Railway Company
- 25 SD70ACS units
- Southern Peru Copper Corp.
- 2 SD70 units, numbered 60, 61. Assembled in April '99, these were the last "spartan cab" units produced by EMD, and were built as an add-on to Illinois Central's SD70's 1020-1039, even matching their specifications.
- Companhia Vale do Rio Doce
- 55 SD70M units (gauged at 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in))
BNSF Railway SD70MAC 9819 in January 2008
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- Most other EMD six-axle locomotives were mounted on EMD's HT-C truck
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- BHP Billiton Loco Roster Pilbara Railways
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- Downer to build 19 locomotives for Fortescue Railway Technology 26 June 2012
- Fortescue Rail Fact Sheet Fortescue Metals Group May 2013
- "Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc. Wins New Locomotive Contract for 25 SD70ACS Locomotives from Saudi Railway Company (SAR)". EMD. Retrieved 2016-01-07.
- "High temperature locomotives ordered from EMD". Railway Gazette International. 20 October 2010.
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- "Burlington Northern Santa Fe Motive Power Fleet". The Diesel Shop. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
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