The GE P30CH (nicknamed "Pooch" because of the similarity of the designation) was one of the first brand-new diesel-electric locomotives built for Amtrak by General Electric during Amtrak's early years. The design was based on the GE U30C, but had a cowl carbody like its EMD competitors. Amtrak operated them from 1974–1992. A breakdown of the P30CH name reveals its full name:
Amtrak ordered 25 P30CHs in 1974, following up on its order of 40 EMD SDP40Fs in 1973. The P30CH was the first Amtrak diesel locomotive built from the factory to offer HEP (head end power) in the form of 2 Detroit Diesel generator sets, each rated at 375 kW. The six-axle P30CHs, which cost Amtrak $480,000 each,:105 were plagued with mechanical problems and were never very popular with crews or Amtrak management. In the mid-1970s Amtrak moved away from six-axle designs in favor of four-axle units; four-axle locomotives could better handle routes with numerous curves.:34 Ultimately the four-axle EMD F40PHs quickly began to supersede the P30CHs soon after their introduction by Amtrak.