Electro Motive SD90MAC

We have 2 trains lined up so far before we can get to the GO Transit.  We will talk about one of them this week, the Electro Motive Diesel (former General Motors Electro Motive Division) SD90MAC.

The SD90MAC is one of the largest 6-axle single prime mover locomotive EMD has ever produced with a length of 80 ft 2 in (24.4 m).  The "SD" in its model name stands for Special Duty (i.e. 6-axle) and "AC" implies AC traction.  It was introduced in 1995 and was planned to use EMD's new 4-stroke H-engine as prime mover instead of the older generation 2-stroke 710 series engines.  However, due to technical problems, the H-engine was delayed until 1996.  As a result, the SD90MAC was initially shipped with a 4,300 hp (3,210 kW) 16-710G3B engine (these SD90s were referred as the SD9043MAC).  Unfortunately, this was only the beginning of the series of problems this locomotive had.  Wheel slip caused by either buggy or flawed traction control software and poor mechanical reliability (I found a thread in an online forum with some discussions regarding these problems, link here) had made the SD90MAC and EMD unpopular among railroaders.

UP SD9043MAC on the CP in Chokio, AB

Cab of CP 9100, CP's first SD9043MAC

The true SD90MAC (from 1996 and on, referred as SD90MAC-H) has a 16-cylinder H-engine with a rated output of 6,250 hp (4,660 kW).  Later versions of the SD90MAC (referred as the SD90MAC-H II) also featured a modified Phase-II cab with a different nose shape (similar to SD70M-2 and SD70ACe) that could be easily identified.  The SD90MAC weighs 415,000 lbm (188 metric tonnes), the SD9043MAC has a rated maximum starting tractive effort of 185,000 lbf (820 kN) and the SD90MAC-H has a rated maximum starting tractive effort of 200,000 lbf (890 kN).  The maximum speed of the SD90MAC is 80 mph (129 km/h).  Two railroads ordered the SD90MAC, Union Pacific (309 SD9043MAC and 39 SD90MAC-H, retired) and Canadian Pacific (61 SD9043MAC and 4 SD90MAC-H).

SD90MAC-H with Phase II Cab

Next week we will talk about the latest and greatest production-ready high-speed train from Kawasaki Heavy Industries of Japan per reader's request.


Andrea said…
Canadian Pacific currently has its 4 SD90MAC-H's deemed as surplus and as assets held for sale. They are in Winnipeg right now. Here is the site if you want to check them out, or made a purchase perhaps...


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