December 23, 2009

GE P42DC Genesis

The General Electric P42DC is a 4-axle locomotive first produced in 1997 for passenger services.  It is widely used across the entire Amtrak system where it is permitted to travel at up to 110 mph (its top speed) and Via Rail Canada's Quebec City-Windsor Corridor where it is permitted to travel at up to 100 mph.

Via Rail J-Train 42/56 from Toronto to Ottawa/Montreal with mix consist (Kingston, ON)

The P42DC is one of last locomotives produced in the Genesis series and is the successor of the P40DC (aka Dash 8-40BP or AMD-103).  The Genesis series locomotives feature a monocoque body design unlike the body-on-frame design used by older locomotives and they are equipped with high-speed bogies designed by German firm Krupp Verkehrstechnik GmbH (now Vossloh AG).  They are the only diesel-electric locomotives Amtrak operates that are low enough to meet the clearance of the Northeast Corridor.  Like what its name indicates, the P42DC has a total output of 4,250 horsepower from its 7FDL16 turbocharged 16-cylinder prime mover (same engine as the one used by the AC4400CW).  3,875 horsepower is passed onto its DC traction motors while the rest is consumed in providing electricity to the passenger cars in HEP (head-end power) mode.

Amtrak 7/27 Empire Builder from Chicago to Seattle/Portland (Minot, ND)

In January 2009, Amtrak No. 44 and 120, both P42DC, led the "Obama Express" to Washington DC for his inauguration as the 44th President of the United States.

Obama Express on its way to Washington, DC

Not only does the Genesis look gorgeous, its FDL engine also produces beautiful music.  Below is a video I have taken in 2007 of Via Rail 44 departing Kingston, ON to continue on its journey to Ottawa.  Pay special attention between 0:42 and 0:50 and 1:18 on in the video.


Merry Christmas and have a safe holiday!

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