GE AC4400CW

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GE AC4400CW
CSX209inNNVA.jpg
CSX AC4400CW #209 in Newport News, Virginia, next to a former C&O coal tower.
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderGE Transportation Systems
ModelAC4400CW
Build date1993 – 2004
Total produced2,598
Specifications
Configuration:
 • AARC-C
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Wheel diameter42 in (1,067 mm)
Wheelbase13 ft 2 in (4.01 m)
Length73 ft 2 in (22.30 m)
Height15 ft 6 in (4.72 m)
Loco weight426,000 lb (193,000 kg)
Fuel capacity5,000 US gal (19,000 L; 4,200 imp gal)
Traction motors6
Performance figures
Power output4,400 hp (3,300 kW)
Tractive effort180,000 lbf (800 kN) Starting
145,000 lbf (640 kN) at 13.7 mph (22.0 km/h)
Career
OperatorsVarious, see table
LocaleNorth America

The GE AC4400CW is a 4,400 horsepower (3,300 kW) road switcher diesel-electric locomotive that was built by GE Transportation Systems between 1993 and 2004. It is like the Dash 9-44CW, but features AC traction motors instead of DC, with a separate inverter per motor. In appearance, the AC4400CW is similar to GE's more powerful locomotive, the AC6000CW.

A relatively high-powered locomotive, the AC4400CW is "the most successful present day locomotive."[1] Over the 11 years in which it was produced, GE constructed 2,598 examples for North American railroads. In 2005, all Class I freight railroads except Norfolk Southern and Canadian National owned at least one AC4400CW. As a result of more stringent emissions requirements that came into effect on January of that year, GE no longer offers the AC4400CW, replacing it with the ES44AC.

Two AC4400CW units were used in the filming of the 2010 hit movie Unstoppable.

CP AC4400CW #9560 and CP SD40-2 #6029 head west towards the NS Elkhart Yard, 2009.
Kansas City Southern AC4400CW no. 4575 with self-steering trucks in October 2014

Design variations[edit]

The AC4400CW was the first GE locomotive to offer an optional self-steering truck design, intended to increase adhesion and reduce wear on the railhead. This option was specified by Canadian Pacific, Cartier Railway, CSX, Ferromex, Ferrosur, and KCS.

CSX ordered many of its AC4400CW locomotives with 20,000 lb (9,100 kg) extra weight to increase tractive effort. These same units were also modified in 2006-2007 with a "high tractive effort" software upgrade and redesignated CW44AH.[2]

Rebuilds[edit]

In 2017 Canadian Pacific Railway requested that General Electric modernize 30 of its 9500 and 9600-series AC4400CW units. The original units had the original front cab completely removed and upgraded to current GE standards with upgraded electrical systems including PTC and FTO systems. Other improvements GE has made include up to 10 percent fuel efficiency gains, 40 percent increase in reliability and 50 percent increase in haulage ability. The units were subsequently placed into service with the designation AC4400CWM (for Modernized). The first batch of rebuilds (8100-8129) also had their original trucks replaced with radial trucks instead of steerable, where later batches each individual engine kept the trucks they already had.

The following year Canadian Pacific asked GE to similarly rebuild several more batches for a total of 110 locomotives. The second order (8130-8144) retains their steerable trucks. The third batch (8000-8064) will feature an Evolution Series sized fuel tank and radial trucks. In 2019 a fourth batch of rebuilds built from the 8500-series (8200-8229) are slated to happen.[3]

Union Pacific ordered many of their AC4400CWs with Computerized Tractive Effort software, giving them the designation of AC4400CW-CTE. This software package is now standard on their ES44ACs as well.

In 2018 Union Pacific placed a small order for 20 rebuilds from GE of their AC4460AC fleet and later announced over the next fifteen years they will be upgrading 1000 of their AC4460ACs and AC44s into what they call a C44ACM. Unlike CP, the original 20 rebuilds did not receive a new crew cab.

Operators[edit]

AC4400CW current operators, as of February 27, 2016[needs update] include:[1]

Railroad Qty Notes
Union Pacific 1338 A handful patched from Southern Pacific and Chicago and North Western
CSX Transportation 615 1-173, 201-272, 274-402, 404-494 CW44AC; 273, 403, 495-599, 5101-5122 CW44AH with HTE software. AC4400CW #130 destroyed in The Cayce, South Carolina train collision
BNSF 121 5600-5717, 5838-5840, 40 units leased to Metrolink and converted to PTC throughout 2016.
Canadian Pacific 438 8500-8580, 8600-8655, 9500-9683, 9700-9740, 9750-9784, 9800-9840. The 9751, 9758, 9777, and 9782 were used in the 2010 film Unstoppable. Several units will be or have been rebuilt and are classified as AC4400CWM. Rebuilt units are renumbered 8000-8064, 8100-8144, 8200-8229.
Cartier Railway 17
Cerrejón 5 10010-10014
Ferromex 75
Ferrosur 38
Kansas City Southern 175
Quebec, North Shore and Labrador 12 Numbered 415 to 426
Metrolink 40 Units leased from BNSF Railway and were used to temporarily replace Rotem cab cars while they are being investigated following the 2015 Oxnard train derailment.

Role in Unstoppable[edit]

The plot of the movie Unstoppable required Denzel Washington and Chris Pine to climb aboard the locomotives of a runaway freight train. To film the movie, four Canadian Pacific AC4400CW locomotives (numbers 9777, 9758, 9782, and 9751), were repainted as two fictional "Allegheny and West Virginia Railroad" locomotives (nos. 777 (nicknamed "Triple 7") and 767). 9777 and 9782 were painted as 777, while 9758 and 9751 were painted as 767.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The GE AC4400CW". American-Rails.com. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  2. ^ Potter, Jay (November 2006), "CSX's mountain climbers", Trains
  3. ^ "GE Transportation's Modernization Program Hits New Milestones | GETransportation".