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EMD "F40PH" Series

Last revised:  January 20, 2024

By: Adam Burns

Electro-Motive's F40PH series became the face of Amtrak for more than two decades.   The model was originally designed to operate in commuter and short haul service.  

However, the SDP40F's failure prompted Amtrak to look elsewhere for a long-haul road locomotive. In response, EMD redesigned the F40PH.  It proved so successful in all types of applications that numerous commuter agencies also purchased the model. 

You can find it in service from coast to coast on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), Metra (Chicago), Tri-Rail (Florida);  a testament to EMD's second-generation motive power. Today, Amtrak has retired or sold its entire fleet although a few remain in service as NPCUs (Non-Powered Control Units).

Photos

701057i1o15876091qagjnzbzbf568.jpgAmtrak F40PH #414 exits from the small tunnel beneath Bellows Falls, Vermont with train #55, the southbound "Vermonter," on September 30, 2000. Doug Kroll photo.

Overview

In 1973/1974 Amtrak acquired its first new locomotives, a fleet of SDP40Fs totaling 150 units.  They were built on the stretched frame of the FP45 but internally were essentially SD40-2s.  

The new units were intended to be Amtrak's primary road power.  Unfortunately, they soon developed a mysterious derailment issue which caused the carrier to lose confidence in the model.  

While it was eventually discovered that sloshing water in the onboard water supply (used for the accompanying steam generator) was the cause, and EMD found a solution, Amtrak began trading in the fleet as early as 1977 on new F40PHs.

The F40PH was essentially EMD's model GP40-2 wrapped in full cowling and regeared for passenger service.  Amtrak had received its first order of 30 units a year earlier, numbered 200-229, during March and April of 1976.

As Greg McDonnell notes in his book, "Locomotives: The Modern Diesel & Electric Reference," the carrier utilized these first examples in regional service out of Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, and New Haven (Connecticut).

0000194872165y4g12796898927090978.jpgA pair of Amtrak F40PH's, led by #357, exit Hermosa Tunnel with the westbound "San Francisco Zephyr" on Sherman Hill (Wyoming), circa 1982. Mike Bledsoe photo. American-Rails.com collection.

The shorter F40PH was only 56' 2" in length (16 feet shorter than the SDP40F), featured B-B trucks, and came equipped with a 500-kilowatt alternator in place of a steam generator for power and lighting of the passenger cars.

In his book, "The Contemporary Diesel Spotters Guide," Louis Marre notes EMD had to modify the model for Amtrak's impeding acquisition of new Superliner cars by enlarging the fuel tank from 1,200 to 1,800 gallons and increasing the alternator to 800-kilowatts.

Between 1976 and 1988, Amtrak acquired 220 examples of the F40PH.  Following the SDP40F's failure, 123 F40PH's were built utilizing components of these traded in units. 

In 1985, EMD began manufacturing what it described as the F40PH-2.  However, aside from a slight increase in horsepower (3,000 to 3,200) there was no change to the model.  This bump in horsepower was largely an effort to reduce the heavy load required of the HEP generator, which pulled up to 700 horsepower directly from the 645 engine.

Electro-Motive continued producing the F40PH-2 at its historic facility in La Grange/McCook, Illinois until December, 1992 when Metra #214 rolled out of the plant.  In fact, this unit was the final locomotive ever produced here.

In Canada, General Motors Diesel of London, Ontario manufactured six F40PH's for GO Transit in 1978 while VIA Rail Canada acquired another 59 F40PH-2s between 1986-1989.

Data Sheets

F40PH

Entered Production3/1976 (Amtrak #200)
Years Produced3/1976 - 12/1992
Engine645E3
Engine BuilderGM
Horsepower3000/3200
Horsepower (F40PF-2M)2000
RPM800
Cylinders16
Length56' 2"
Length (F40PH-2M)64' 3"
Height (Top Of Rail To Top Of Cab)15' 7 ½"
Width10' 7"
Weight260,000 Lbs (F40PH); 266,000 Lbs (F40PH-2M); 282,000 Lbs (F40PH-2C); 265,000 Lbs (F40PHM-2)
Fuel Capacity1,500 - 1,800 Gallons
Air CompressorGardner-Denver
Air Compressor ModelWBO
Air Brake ManufacturerWestinghouse
Air Brake Schedule26L
TrucksB-B
Truck TypeBlomberg M
Truck Wheelbase9' 0"
Wheel Size40"
Traction MotorsD77 (4), GM
Primary GeneratorAR10, GM
Auxiliary GeneratorGM
AlternatorGMD14
Steam Generator (Optional)AR4125 (Vapor-Clarkson)
MU (Multiple-Unit)Yes
Dynamic BrakesYes
Gear Ratio59:15
Top Speed95 mph - 110 mph

F40PH-2

Entered Production3/1985 (CalTrain #900)
Years Produced3/1985 - 10/1989
Engine645E3C
Engine BuilderGM
Horsepower3000
RPM800
Cylinders16
Length56' 2"
Height (Top Of Rail To Top Of Cab)15' 7 ½"
Width10' 7"
Weight260,000 Lbs - 268,000 Lbs
Fuel Capacity1,500 - 1,800 Gallons
Air CompressorGardner-Denver
Air Compressor ModelWBO
Air Brake ManufacturerWestinghouse
Air Brake Schedule26L
TrucksB-B
Truck TypeBlomberg M
Truck Wheelbase9' 0"
Wheel Size40"
Traction MotorsD77 (4), GM
Primary GeneratorAR10, GM
Auxiliary GeneratorGM
AlternatorGMD14
Steam Generator (Optional)AR4125 (Vapor-Clarkson)
MU (Multiple-Unit)Yes
Dynamic BrakesYes
Gear Ratio59:15
Top Speed95 mph - 110 mph

Production Rosters

F40PH

Total Produced = 325

Owner Road Numbers Serial Numbers Order Number Date Built
Amtrak 200-229 757099-1 thru 757099-30 757099 3/1976 - 4/1976
Regional Transportation Authority (Chicago) 100-127 766062-1 thru 766062-28 766062 9/1977 - 12/1977
Amtrak 270-279 776001-1 thru 776001-10 776001 11/1977-1/1978
Amtrak 230-254 777001-1 thru 777001-25 777001 7/1977-10/1977
Amtrak 255-269 777018-1 thru 777018-15 777018 11/1977-1/1978
Amtrak 280-293 777063-1 thru 777063-14 777063 3/1978-7/1978
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority 1000-1012 776066-1 thru 776066-13 776066 9/1978 - 11/1978
Amtrak 294-299, 310-321 777107-1 thru 777107-18 777107 6/1979-8/1979
Amtrak 300-309 786140-1 thru 786140-10 786140 4/1979-6/1979
Amtrak 322-328 787245-1 thru 787245-7 787245 9/1979-10/1979
Regional Transportation Authority (Chicago) 128-149 786293-1 thru 786293-22 786293 11/1979-1/1980
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority 1013-1017 796346-1 thru 796346-5 796346 12/1980
Amtrak 332-346 796379-1 thru 796379-15 796379 8/1980-11/1980
New Jersey Transit 4113-4129 796380-1 thru 796380-17 796380 10/1981-12/1981
Amtrak 329-331 797387-1 thru 797387-3 797387 8/1980
Amtrak 347-359 796391-1 thru 796391-13 796391 11/1980-12/1980
Amtrak 360 807038-1 807038 12/1980
Amtrak 361-390 807050-1 thru 807050-30 807050 4/1981-8/1981
Regional Transportation Authority (Chicago) 150-173 826017-1 thru 826017-24 826017 2/1983-5/1983
Amtrak 391-400 847048-1 thru 847048-10 847048 8/1985
Amtrak 401-409 877008-1 thru 877008-9 877008 11/1987-2/1988

F40PH-2

Total Produced = 90

Owner Road Numbers Serial Numbers Order Number Date Built
Caltrans 900-917 836077-1 thru 836077-18 836077 3/1985-5/1985
Caltrans 918-919 866171-1, 866171-2 866171 12/1987
Regional Transportation Authority (Chicago) 174-180 876017-1 thru 876017-7 876017 12/1988-3/1989
Regional Transportation Authority (Chicago) 181-184 886028-1 thru 886028-4 886028 7/1989-10/1989

F40PHM-2

Total Produced = 30

Owner Road Numbers Serial Numbers Order Number Date Built
Regional Transportation Authority (Chicago) 185-214 896065-1 thru 896065-30 896065 10/1991-12/1992

F40PHM-2C

Total Produced = 15

Owner Road Number Builder Serial Number Date Built
Coaster 2101-2105 Motive Power Industries 1193-01 thru 1193-05 7/1994
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) 1025–1036 Motive Power Industries 0990-01 thru 0990-12 5/1991-8/1993

F40PH-2C

Total Produced = 26

Owner Road Numbers Serial Numbers Date Built
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority 1050-1067 846003-1 thru 846003-18 7/1987-11/1987
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority 1068-1075 876016-1 thru 876016-8 2/1988-5/1988

F40PH-2M

Total Produced = 4

Owner Road Numbers Serial Numbers Date Built
Speno Rail Services S1-S2 816021-1, 816021-2 3/1982
Speno Rail Services S3-S4 846066-1, 846066-2 11/1985

F40PH-3C

Total Produced = 6

Owner Road Number Builder Serial Number Date Built
Altamont Commuter Express 3101 Motive Power Industries 0297-01 11/1997
Altamont Commuter Express 3102 Motive Power Industries 0297-02 11/1997
Altamont Commuter Express 3103 Motive Power Industries 0297-03 12/1997
Altamont Commuter Express 3104 Motive Power Industries 0297-04 8/2000
Altamont Commuter Express 3105 Motive Power Industries 0297-05 5/2001
Altamont Commuter Express 3106 Motive Power Industries 0297-06 12/2006

F40PH-2C

Total Produced = 6

Owner Road Number Builder Serial Number Date Built
Caltrain 920-922 Motive Power Industries 0498-1 thru 0498-3 12/1998
Tri-Rail (Florida) 807-809 Motive Power Industries 0691-01 thru 0691-03 1993

F40PHM-2C

Total Produced = 5

Owner Road Number Builder Serial Number Date Built
Coaster 2101-2105 Motive Power Industries 0498-1 thru 0498-3 12/1998

F40PHL-2

Total Produced = 5

Owner Road Number Builder EMD Serial Number MPI Frame Number Date Built
Tri-Rail (Florida) 801-805 Motive Power Industries 34694, 34702, 34704, 34716, 34720 7145-61, 7145-69, 7145-71, 7145-83, 7145-87 1988

General Motors Diesel Division (GMDD)

F40PH

Total Produced = 6

Owner Road Numbers Serial Numbers Date Built
Government of Ontario Transit ("GO Transit") 510-515 A3495-A3500 4/1978-5/1978

F40PH-2

Total Produced = 59

Owner Road Numbers Serial Numbers Date Built
VIA Rail Canada 6400-6419 A4597-A4616 11/1986-1/1987
VIA Rail Canada 6420-6429 A4695-A4704 7/1987-8/1987
VIA Rail Canada 6430-6458 A4831-A4859 4/1989-7/1989

69812034923757235yy2792986097-3788.jpgAmtrak F40PH #229 with a "San Diegan" at the former Santa Fe station in San Diego, California on August 5, 1976. Carl Sturner photo. American-Rails.com collection.

Variants

F40PH-2M

Built for the SPENO rail-grinding service these locomotives looked nothing like a traditional F40PH.  The cab was flush with the front of the frame with no nose.  It utilized a 2,000 horsepower 16-cylinder, non-turbocharged 645E prime mover without onboard HEP equipment.

F40PH-2C

Featured Cummins-produced HEP equipment and was 8' 1" longer than a standard F40PH.  EMD produced 16 for MBTA while Motive Power produced three a piece for Tri-Rail and Caltrain.

F40PHM-2

Featured a full cowl carbody with the nose flush with the front of the frame and sported angled windshields.  Thirty were built for Metra in 1992, the last locomotives produced at EMD's La Grange/McCook facility.

F40PHL-2

While not a traditional F40PH model these units were rebuilt from GP40s by Morrison-Knudsen for Tri-Rail in 1988 and designated F40PHL-2.

Sources

  • Marre, Louis A. and Pinkepank, Jerry A. Contemporary Diesel Spotter's Guide, The: A Comprehensive Reference Manual To Locomotives Since 1972.  Milwaukee: Kalmbach Publishing Company, 1989.
  • Marre, Louis A. Contemporary Diesel Spotter's Guide, The: A Comprehensive Reference Manual To Locomotives Since 1972, Including Rebuilding, Upgrading, And Leasing Programs (2nd Edition).  Milwaukee: Kalmbach Publishing Company, 1995.
  • McDonnell, Greg. Locomotives: The Modern Diesel & Electric Reference, 2nd Edition. Buffalo: Boston Mills Press/Firefly Books, 2015.
  • Solomon, Brian.  EMD Locomotives.  Minneapolis: MBI Publishing Company, 2006.

SteamLocomotive.com

Wes Barris's SteamLocomotive.com is simply the best web resource on the study of steam locomotives. 

It is difficult to truly articulate just how much material can be found at this website. 

It is quite staggering and a must visit!