GE C39-8

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GE C39-8
Type and origin
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder GE Transportation Systems
Model C39-8
Build date 1984 – 1987
AAR wheel arr. C-C
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Wheel diameter 40 in (1,016 mm)
Length 70 ft 8 in (21.54 m)
Fuel capacity 3,900–4,500 US gal (15,000–17,000 l; 3,200–3,700 imp gal)
Prime mover 7FDL-16
Performance figures
Maximum speed 70 mph (113 km/h)
Power output 3,900 hp (2,900 kW)
Operators See table
Locale United States

The GE C39-8 is a 6-axle diesel-electric locomotive model built by GE Transportation Systems between 1984 and 1987. It is part of the GE Dash 8 Series of freight locomotives.

A total of 161 examples of this locomotive were built for two North American railroads: Conrail and Norfolk Southern Railway.


The C39-8 is powered by a 3,900 horsepower (2,900 kW) V16 7FDL-16 diesel engine driving a GE GMC187A2 main alternator. The power generated by the main alternator drove 6 GE 752AG traction motors, each with a gear ratio of 83:20 and connected to 40-inch (1,016 mm) wheels which allowed the C39-8 a maximum speed of 70 mph (110 km/h).

Depending on customer options, the C39-8 carried between 3,900 to 4,500 US gal (14,763 to 17,034 L; 3,247 to 3,747 imp gal) of diesel fuel, 360 to 400 US gal (1,363 to 1,514 L; 300 to 333 imp gal) of lubricating oil, and 380 to 420 US gal (1,438 to 1,590 L; 316 to 350 imp gal) of coolant. Like most North American diesel locomotives, the C39-8 uses normal water for cooling.

The C39-8 has a maximum tractive effort of 108,600 lbf (483,000 N) at 10.8 mph (17.4 km/h).

Original owners[edit]

GE C39-8 owners
Railroad Quantity Road numbers Notes
Norfolk Southern 114 8550-8663 8550,8551 former GE demonstrators set up for short hood forward operation. 8552-8663 set up for long hood forward operation. All units have been retired.
Norfolk Southern 25 8664-8688 "C39-8E (Enhanced) built in carbody similar to the GE C40-8. All have been retired.
Conrail 22 6000-6021 After Conrail split in 1999, 13 units went to Norfolk Southern to become NS 8200-8212 and are no longer in service with NS, 9 units went to CSX to become CSXT 7480-7488 and have since been retired.
BHP Billiton 4 5630-5633 Four CM39-8 locomotives were built for Mount Newman Mining by A Goninan & Co Bassendean, Western Australia to replace the aging C636/M636 units in 1988. All 4 locomotives have been withdrawn from service.

As of April, 2016, former Norfolk Southern 8211 and 8212 (née Conrail 6017 and 6021) are in service with those numbers on the Pennsylvania Northeastern, Lansdale, PA.

NREX 7483

See also[edit]