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GE Dash 8-40C

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UP 9214, a C40-8, leads an eastbound train up California's Cajon Pass on May 10, 1991.
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderGE Transportation Systems
Build date1987–1992
Total produced585
Gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm), Brazil
Length70 ft 8 in (21.54 m)
Width10 ft 3.5 in (3.14 m)
Height15 ft 4.5 in (4.69 m)
Loco weight391,600 lb (177,600 kg)
Prime moverGE FDL
LocaleNorth America, Brazil
Dispositionnearly all have been retired as of 2022
CN 2109 in Waukesha, Wisconsin

The GE C40-8 is a model of 6-axle diesel-electric locomotive built by GE Transportation Systems between 1987 and 1992. It is part of the GE Dash 8 Series of freight locomotives, and its wheel arrangement is of a C-C type.

This locomotive model is often referred to as a Dash 8-40C or simply "Dash 8". "Dash 8" in general refers to the electrical control series, "Dash" being a carryover from the older syntax of C40-8. The "40" refers to the baseline horsepower rating (4,000 hp or 3,000 kW) of the unit, although some units may be re-rated to 4,100 hp (3,100 kW).

Later units were supplied with a wide-nose cab and are designated Dash 8-40CW, the "W" indicating a wide-nose cab.


Some railroads, the Chicago and North Western Railway in particular, upgraded some of their units to ~4,135 hp (3,083 kW) and designated them as C42-8. This designation was modified by the Union Pacific Railroad to C41-8 after its takeover of C&NW in 1995. Former C&NW units are usually identified by a grab-iron on the front nose just above the Union Pacific shield logo, and/or the "C41-8" designation on the cab side. The final three C&NW C40-8s were built with 4,135 hp (3,083 kW), and the prior 32 units were similarly modified as well. Although none of these units were ever officially classed as C41-8 by GE, a safety cab version was built as the Dash 8-41CW.

Original Owners[edit]

Railroad Quantity Road numbers Notes
Chicago and North Western Transportation Company 77 8501-8577 8575-8577 were 4,150 hp (3,090 kW), all units were passed on to UP and later sold to CREX and later Canadian National
Conrail 25 6025-6049 Split between CSX and NS, all units remaining in Conrail colors are retired
CSX Transportation 157 7489-7498, 7500-7646, 9280-9299 Classed as C40-8, 7489-7498 are ex-Conrail. All retired from May 2016 to February 2017, most have been sold off to other railroads or have been scrapped. 24 units previously sold to Pan Am reacquired and renumbered 9280-9299. 7520 was wrecked and retired.
Estrada de Ferro Carajás 4 501-504
Norfolk Southern Railway 89 8300-8313, 8689-8763 8300-8313 are ex-Conrail. All units were to be rebuilt with a new wide cab, upgraded electronics, etc. 8500-8504, 8506-8513 being rebuilt with an NS "Crescent" nose/cab (The same on the SD60Es), 8505 being rebuilt with a GE widenose and cab. They are classified as a Dash 8.5-40CW but are labeled as D8.5-40CW. However, due to repeated failures, all Norfolk Southern C40-8's will be sold or scrapped, and 47 new ET44AC and three ES44AC locomotives will replace them. Last remaining units retired in 2017.
Union Pacific Railroad 255 9100-9355, 9185 (2nd) 9185 (first) returned to GE, became testbed. As of early 2019, all units have been sold/auctioned off except 9152, 9240, and 9259.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to GE C40-8 locomotives at Wikimedia Commons