GE Dash 8-32BWH

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GE Dash 8-32BWH
GE Dash 8-32BWH.jpg
Amtrak No. 505 leading the Sunset Limited through Cade, Louisiana
Type and origin
Power type Diesel
Builder GE Transportation Systems
Model Dash 8-32BWH
Total produced 20
 • AAR B-B
 • UIC Bo'Bo'
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Trucks General Electric Floating Bolster (FB2)
Wheel diameter 40 in (1,016 mm)
Minimum curve 150 ft (46 m) / 39° (single unit)
175 ft (53 m) / 33° (coupled)
Wheelbase 39 ft 8 in (12.09 m) (between truck centers)
Length 66 ft 4 in (20.22 m)
Width 9 ft 11 14 in (3.029 m)
Height 15 ft 4 in (4.67 m)
Axle load 68,722.5 lb (31,172 kg)
Adhesive weight 100%
Loco weight 264,110 lb (119,798 kilograms) - 274,890 lb (124,688 kilograms)
Fuel type Diesel
Fuel capacity 1,800 US gal (6,800 l; 1,500 imp gal)
Lubricant cap. 365 US gal (1,380 l; 304 imp gal)
Coolant cap. 350 US gal (1,300 l; 290 imp gal)
Sandbox cap. 26 cubic feet (740 L)
Prime mover GE 7FDL-12
RPM range 400-1050 (720 or 900 when supplying HEP)
Engine type 45° V12, four stroke cycle
Aspiration Turbocharged
Displacement 131.4 liters (8,020 cu in)
Alternator GMG 195A1
Traction motors 4x GE 752AH DC traction motors
Head end power Alternator-driven head-end power (GTA 33A1)
Cylinders 12
Cylinder size 10.95 liters (668 cu in) [1]
Transmission AC-DC
MU working Yes
Train heating Locomotive-supplied head-end power, 800 kW (1,100 hp)
Loco brake Dynamic / Electropneumatic
Train brakes Blended Braking
Safety systems FRA standards
Performance figures
Maximum speed 103 mph (166 km/h)
Power output 3,200 hp (2.4 MW)
Tractive effort 38,500 lbf (171 kN) Continuous @26 mph (41.8 km/h)
Factor of adh. 4.472
  • 500–519 (Amtrak)
  • 2051–2052 (Caltrans)
Nicknames Pepsi Cans
Locale United States
Delivered 1991

The GE Dash 8-32BWH, also known as the P32-8BWH, B32-8WH, or P32 DASH-8, is a passenger train locomotive used by Amtrak. It is based on GE's Dash 8 series of freight train locomotives, most specifically the GE Dash 8-32B. They were also the first locomotives purchased to replace the EMD F40PH.


The Dash 8-32BWH operates in a diesel-electric configuration that uses DC to power the traction motors, producing 3,200 hp (2,400 kW) at 1047 rpm. When providing head end power to the train, the engine is speed locked to 900 rpm. Power output to the traction motors is 2,700 hp (2,000 kW) when running in HEP mode with a 0 kW HEP load. Traction horsepower decreases to a bare minimum of 1,685 hp (1,257 kW) when providing the maximum 800 kW (1,100 hp) HEP load to the train.

The Dash 8-32BWH has a 74:29 gear ratio, resulting in a maximum operating speed of 100 mph (161 km/h) in passenger operation.[2]


Twenty of these locomotives were delivered to Amtrak in 1991, numbered 500 through 519. They were nicknamed "Pepsi Cans" by many railfans, due to being delivered in a wide-striped red, white, and blue livery. The locomotives then received a Phase IV livery before they were all repainted one more time into Phase V livery.

The Dash 8-32BWH has since been relegated to yard switching (mainly in Los Angeles, Oakland, Chicago, Miami, and the Auto Train terminals) and transfer service, displaced by the newer and more powerful GE Genesis. However, the Dash 8s occasionally substitute for the Genesis units if necessary. The Los Angeles-based units see frequent use on the Coast Starlight and Pacific Surfliner, and are frequently used on Amtrak's Cascades service.

All Dash 8-32BWH locomotives are now undergoing an overhaul at the Amtrak Beech Grove shops. Part of the overhaul includes repainting the locomotives into Phase V livery.

Two of the locomotives, 501 and 502, were sold to the California Department of Transportation. The locomotives were renumbered 2051 and 2052, and received the Amtrak California paint scheme. They are used on the San Joaquin and Capital Corridor trains.



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