EMD GP40-based passenger locomotives

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EMD GP40-based passenger locomotives
AGRR 4028.jpg
An EMD GP40. The list of passengers locomotives on this page are derived from this locomotive.
Type and origin
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD)
AAR wheel arr. B-B
UIC class Bo'Bo'
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Locale North America

The passenger locomotives derivatives of the General Motors EMD GP40 diesel-electric locomotive have been, and continue to be, used by multiple passenger railroads in North America. For passenger service, the locomotives required extra components for providing steam or head-end power (HEP) for heating, lighting and electricity in passenger cars.


The GMD GP40TC was built by General Motors Diesel (GMD), for GO Transit in Toronto. Eight units were manufactured between 1966 and 1968. They were built on an enlarged frame to accommodate a head-end power generator.[1]:55 GO Transit sold the fleet to Amtrak in 1988.[2]:106 The units were based in Chicago and used on short-haul trains. The Norfolk Southern Railway rebuilt all eight at its Juniata Shops in Altoona, Pennsylvania during 2005. These are now classed as GP38H-3 and work maintenance-of-way trains or standby power for Downeaster trains.


Thirteen GP40Ps were built in October 1968 for the Central Railroad of New Jersey (CNJ) and paid for by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. The CNJ put the units in service on the Raritan Valley Line and the North Jersey Coast Line.

The CNJ's passenger operations were transferred to NJDOT in 1976 (with Conrail operating them under contract), and in 1983 New Jersey Transit assumed operating passenger rail service in the state. Shortly after, the steam generator, which had occupied the flat end of the locomotive's long hood, was replaced with a diesel HEP generator, and the units were reclassified as GP40PH. They would later be rebuilt as GP40PH-2 units in 1991–92.


Metro-North-owned GP40FH-2 4905 (ex-4189) in Secaucus, New Jersey

In 1987, New Jersey Transit and Metro-North ordered a set of GP40 locomotives called GP40FH-2s which were completed by Morrison Knudsen between 1987 and 1990 and combine the standard cab and frame of a GP40 with the cowl from an ex-Burlington Northern EMD F45. A total of 21 units of this type were built; 15 were delivered to New Jersey Transit, and the remaining six were for Metro-North.

As of 2015, the Metro-North units have been rebuilt as GP40FH-2Ms, while all NJT GP40FH-2 locomotives have been retired, except for one used for maintenance-of-way trains. Five units were rebuilt into MP20 switchers in 2008. Seven NJT units were purchased by Iowa Pacific Holdings and three of those have been designated for use on the Hoosier State between Chicago and Indianapolis.


NJ Transit GP40PH-2 4109 at Essex Street

In 1991–92, NJ Transit sent its ex-CNJ GP40PH units out for rebuilding. The units were rebuilt as GP40PH-2 locomotives.

New Jersey Transit would later order two more sets of GP40PH-2 units; these units were rebuilt from former freight GP40 units. The first order in 1993 consisted of six units rebuilt by Morrison-Knudsen are designated GP40PH-2A. The second order in 1993–94 was for 19 former Penn Central units rebuilt by Conrail. These units are classified as GP40PH-2B.

Metro-North ordered a single GP40PH-2 unit (4906); it is classified as a GP40PH-2M. It was rebuilt by Conrail in 1992.


MARC 70 at St. Denis

In the late 1980s, Morrison-Knudsen rebuilt six GP40s into 12-cylinder GP39s for MARC. They were downgraded from 3,000 horsepower (2,200 kW) to 2,300 horsepower (1,700 kW), and re-equipped with 4-stroke Cummins HEP generators. As of 2015, they continue to be used by MARC for smaller train sets and work train duty.


MARC GP40WH-2 number 52 at Camden Station, Baltimore, Maryland

In 1993, Morrison-Knudsen was contacted by the Maryland Transit Administration to assemble a fleet of GP40s for use on MARC. GP40WH-2s are equipped with a Cummins head-end power generator. The FRA exempted these units from the "triangular light pattern" rule because the engines were ordered with Gyralites before the mandatory use of ditch lights. They entered service in 1994. All but one have been retired following the completion of an order for new MP36 locomotives. Several of these were leased to the MBTA for a time. CSX bought one GP40WH-2 and is now CSX #9969. The remaining GP40WH-2 units were rebuilt into MP32PH-Q units for Sunrail. MARC only retains one GP40WH-2, for emergencies.


CDOT #6697 at Old Saybrook.

In 1996, the Connecticut Department of Transportation purchased six GP40-2 freight locomotives from CSX Transportation to replace its existing fleet of leased locomotives for use in Shore Line East service, and sent them out for rebuilding and conversion to passenger locomotives. The rebuilt locomotives were given the GP40-2H designation, and were completed by AMF Technotransport. The GP40-2H is similar to NJ Transit's GP40PH-2 series, but sport a smaller fuel tank.

All six units remain in Shore Line East service as of 2016. When the Hartford Line begins in 2018, these six units, along with other Shore Line East equipment, will be moved into the service. M8 electric multiple units will replace locomotive-hauled trains in Shore Line East service.


MBTA GP40MC 1136 at Porter Square Station in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2007

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority currently owns and operates a set of 25 GP40 passenger diesels known as GP40MCs. They were originally built as GP40-2LWs for Canadian National in 1973–75. In 1997–98, these 25 units were very extensively rebuilt by AMF, including the addition of head-end power generators. The GP40MCs received a Top-Deck Overhaul by the Norfolk Southern Railway between 2008 and 2013, which included repair and modification to the major propulsion systems and replacement of the HEP generators. As of the fall of 2015, the GP40MC's are starting to be replaced by the MPI HSP46.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wilson, Jeff (2009). The Model Railroader's Guide to Diesel Locomotives. Kalmbach Publishing. 
  2. ^ Solomon, Brian (2004). Amtrak. Saint Paul, MN: MBI. ISBN 0-760-31765-8. OCLC 56490949. 

Additional reading[edit]

  • Moran, Miles (1975). "And Passenger Service Too". Railroad Modeler. 5 (8): 40–47. 
  • "GP40 Order Numbers". The UNofficial EMD Homepage. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 

External links[edit]