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EMD "SD40" and "SD40-2" Locomotives

Last revised: February 6, 2024

By: Adam Burns

The SD40 series was EMD's turbocharged models in its new 645 line.  The standard SD40 sold more than 1,200 examples, illustrating the industry's desire for higher horsepower six-axle designs.

However, the builder could never have envisioned its "Dash 2" variant - the SD40-2 - would go on to become one of its all-time best sellers.  Interestingly, as Louis Marre and Jerry Pinkepank note in "The Contemporary Diesel Spotter's Guide," EMD had believed its higher horsepower SD45 would hold this status.

During the 1960s the horsepower race was on as GE, EMD, and Alco cataloged increasingly more powerful models.  However, railroads soon realized higher horsepower also equaled higher maintenance.

The SD40-2 offered a fine balance of power and efficiency that sparked a firestorm in sales.  As a result, the model remained in production for nearly 15 years and ultimately sold more than 4.000 examples.  The series' success spawned several variants which included the SD40A, SDP40, SD40T-2 "Tunnel Motor," and the SD40-2SS.

While there are a few SD40s officially preserved so many, especially "Dash 2" models, remain in use there is little need to visit a museum.  In addition, the quality of EMD products can still be seen today as even Class 1s continue to rebuild and operate SD40-2s today.

Photos

Rock Island SD40-2 #4793 lays over at the engine terminal in Kansas City with other power, circa 1975. American-Rails.com collection.

Overview

No other second-generation locomotive compared to the SD40 series; its two flagship models defined EMD's dedication to quality during this era.  The SD40-2 became the industry standard throughout the 1970s and 1980s and remains in regular service today.  In many ways, the SD40 was EMD's curtain call.  By the late 1980s GE overtook the company as leader of locomotive manufacturing.

Development

In his book, "EMD Locomotives," author Brian Solomon notes that in late 1965 EMD advertised nine new models equipped with its latest model 645 prime mover, offered in a range of horsepower ratings, sizes, and wheel arrangements.

The SD40 was introduced in January, 1966 when Chicago & North Western #867 rolled out of La Grange.  This model was EMD's turbocharged, 16-cylinder variant and could provide 3,000 horsepower.  

By this time railroads were realizing the benefits of high horsepower, high tractive effort locomotives.  The SD40 would go on to sell more than 1,200 examples while the even more powerful, 20-cylinder SD45 sold another 1,200+ units.

Visually, the SD40 closely resembled the earlier SD38.  It was 65 feet, 9 ½ inches in length sporting standard Flexicoil trucks, the Spartan Cab, and EMD's now-classic road-switcher carbody.

A keen eye, however, will note the SD40's additional rear roof radiator fan (three) and rectangular turbocharger stack located slightly forward of the dynamic brake blister.

A trio of Union Pacific SD40-2's lead trailers eastbound over Sherman Hill at Dale Junction, Wyoming, circa 1982. Mike Bledsoe photo. American-Rails.com collection.

Success

When the SD40-2 debuted with Kansas City Southern #637's completion in January, 1972, railroads soon realized the model provided an excellent blend of power and incredible relability. 

The locomotive quickly became loved by shop personnel and even more-so by engineers who have stated the locomotive is a joy to operate in service.

From a sales perspective the SD40-2 quickly eclipsed the SD45, which ran into a combination of relability issues and increased maintenance as a result of its gas-guzzling 20-cylinder prime mover.

SD40-2

On January 1, 1972 Electro-Motive unveiled its new "Dash 2" line.  This was not a specific locomotive model but an upgrade to the builder's current catalog.  In his book, "Locomotives: The Modern Diesel & Electric Reference," author Greg McDonnell notes that EMD noted 40 refinements. 

Nearly all of these were "under the hood."   Its most notable was the upgraded electrical system which included transistors, printed circuit boards, and solid-state modular components which replaced a labyrinth of old relays, switches, and interlocks commonly been found on all previous models. 

The new computer system controlled everything from voltage regulation, battery charging and excitation and throttle response to wheel-slip control, dynamic brakes, and the locomotive's sanders.

The SD40-2 also featured EMD's latest AR10 alternator; its rectifier - with four banks of solid state silicon diodes - could quickly convert AC to DC for the traction motors.  It also predominanely eliminated flashovers, a typical issue with DC generators.

Union Pacific SD40-2 #3213 at Salt Lake City; August 14, 1980. American-Rails.com collection.

Not only was the AR10 more efficient but also required fewer overall components, which also decreased maintenance.  With less circuitry the SD40-2 did not experience nearly the same amount of wheel slip issues.

While similar to its predecessor, the new model was noticeably longer, by three feet, to accommodate EMD's latest HT-C truck.  In doing so, the SD40-2 featured extended "porches" fore and aft, and was its trademark feature.

The new C-C truck offered greater adhesion by having all traction motors mounted in the same direction.  This design eliminated torque reversals which commonly caused the truck to tilt and one axle to unload, which resulted in wheel slippage.

Southern Pacific SD40R #7347, sporting a special livery honoring the 1984 Olympic games being held in Los Angeles that summer, is seen here on display at Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal. Mike Bledsoe photo. American-Rails.com collection.

The HT-C was also equipped with EMD's new modular WS10 wheel-slip control system, which further reduced slippage and "...increased average all-weather dispatchable adhesion from 18% to 21%."

The SD40-2's other improvements were related to the 645E3 prime mover and included stronger pistons and chrome-plated stainless-steel piston rings. It also featured refinements to the engine, turbo, and camshaft bearings.

Other notable advancements included an airtight hood that kept out dust, dirt, and other particles from reaching internal components.  To cool these critical areas the model sported a single air intake for electrical cooling, with a pressurized cooling system.  

Union Pacific SD40-2's #3662 and #3157, along with Milwaukee Road SD40-2's #148 and #141, with a westbound at Cheyenne, Wyoming, circa 1983. Mike Bledsoe photo.

Variants

SD40A

This type featured the longest frame in the SD40 series at 70 feet, 8 inches, utilizing the frame of an SDP45.   The extra length allowed for a larger fuel tank capable of holding 4,000 gallons in place of the standard 3,200 gallons found on a typical SD40.  A total of 18 units were produced between August, 1969-January, 1970; all for Illinois Central.

SDP40

The SD40's passenger variant, the SDP40 featured a steam generator at the rear for passenger car heating.  Only six were produced domestically for Great Northern while Ferrocarril Nacional de México (NdeM) acquired fourteen.

SDP40F

Covered in greater detail here, this model was produced only for Amtrak in 1973-1974 sporting a "cowl" carbody, steam generator, and a variant of the HT-C truck.

Southern Railway SD40 #3185 at the former Nickel Plate Road's Homestead Yard in Oregon, Ohio (Toledo) during the early Norfolk Southern era; December, 1988. American-Rails.com collection.

SD40T-2 "Tunnel Motors"

The success of the SD40 series led to numerous spinoffs.  Most notable was Southern Pacific's "Tunnel Motors." 

This variant was requested - originally with the SD45T-2 of 1972 - to alleviate cooling problems with locomotives operating in high altitude environments where they encountered numerous tunnels and/or snow sheds, predominanetly Donner Pass.

Ultimately, EMD engineers remedied the problem by moving the air-intakes near the bottom of the carbody to draw in cooler air and placed the radiators at the very top of the carbody. While only the Southern Pacific acquired the more powerful SD45T-2 (along with subsidiary St. Louis Southwestern), the Rio Grande also ordered the SD40T-2.

009324724526342735783464589.jpgMilwaukee Road SD40-2 #142 and Soo Line SD40-2 #762 lead open autoracks through Des Plaines, Illinois on May 7, 1986. Ray Weart photo. American-Rails.com collection.

SD40-2F

This was a very late era variant ordered by Canadian Pacific and delivered in November, 1988 - more than two years after the final SD40-2s had been built for NdeM. 

The SD40-2F, numbered 9000-9024, featured a full cowl carbody but were otherwise standard SD40-2s.  They were the final in the SD40 series produced.

SD40-2SS

This variant saw only nine units produced.  They featured the Super Series ("SS") wheel slip control system as well as sporting EMD's higher-capacity AR16 traction alternator and a larger turbocharger.

They were built only between April-May, 1978 and included Burlington Northern #7049-7053 as well as Union Pacific #3805-3808.  BN's examples are identical to standard SD40-2s while UP's featured a slightly longer carbody and larger radiators.

A trio of Missouri Pacific SD40-2's, led by #3124, have southbound freight FWSA (Fort Worth - San Antonio) at the north end of Bergstrom Siding in South Austin, Texas on February 14, 1980. Mike Bledsoe photo. According to Mike's son, Steve Bledsoe, "Engineer Joe Covert called our house from the Austin depot to let my dad know that he had three 'Screaming Eagles' and would be heading south in a few minutes. So off we went. At the time the MoPac locomotives with the eagles on the side were becoming fewer and fewer." American-Rails.com collection.

Other Variants

Beyond specific model variants, the SD40 series was produced in a wide range of optional setups at customer request, which did not warrant specific designations.  The Southern and Norfolk & Western acquired many with high, short hoods - standard practice for both railroads.

While not officially an EMD cataloged model, the 123 units produced for Canadian National at the London, Ontario plant featured the railroad's patented "Wide" or "Safety Cab."  As a result, many railfans have dubbed these the "SD40-2W" although EMD/GMDD gave them no special moniker.

There were also SD40-2s ordered by British Columbia Rail, CP Rail (Canadian Pacific), Kansas City Southern, Southern Pacific, and Union Pacific with extende noses.  Lastly, Conrail ordered its SD40-2s with the older Flexicoil truck.

Data Sheet and Specifications

Entered Production (SD40)1/1966 (Chicago & North Western #867)
Entered Production (SD40X)7/1964 (Demonstrator #434)
Entered Production (SD40A)8/1969 (Illinois Central #6006)
Entered Production (SD40-2)1/1972 (Kansas City Southern #637)
Entered Production (SD40-2SS)3/1978 (Burlington Northern #7049)
Years Produced (SD40)1/1966 - 7/1972
Years Produced (SD40X)7/1964 - 4/1965
Years Produced (SD40A)8/1969 - 1/1970
Years Produced (SDP40)5/1966
Years Produced (SD40-2)1/1972 - 7/1984
Years Produced (SD40-2SS)3/1978 - 11/1980
Engine (SD40/SD40A/SDP40/SD40-2SS)645E3
Engine (SD40-2/SD40T-2)645E3/B/C
Engine (SD40-2F)645E3M
Engine BuilderGM
Horsepower3000
Horsepower (SD40X)3500
RPM900
RPM (SD40-2)904
Cylinders16
Length (SD40)65' 8"
Length (SD40-2)68' 10"
Length (SD40A/SD40T-2)70' 8"
Height (Top Of Rail To Top Of Cab)15' 7 ½"
Width10' 3"
Weight (SD40/SD40-2)368,000 Lbs
Weight (SD40T-2)388,000-400,000 Lbs
Weight (SD40-2F)389,000 Lbs
Weight (SD40-2SS)392,000 Lbs
Fuel Capacity3200 Gallons
Fuel Capacity (SD40A)4000 Gallons
Air CompressorGardner-Denver
Air Compressor ModelWBO
Air Brake ManufacturerWestinghouse
Air Brake Schedule26L
TrucksC-C
Truck TypeHT-C
Truck Wheelbase13' 7"
Wheel Size40"
Traction MotorsD77* (6), GM
Primary GeneratorAR10, GM
Primary Generator (SD40-2SS)AR16, GM
Auxiliary GeneratorDelco (A8102)
AlternatorD14
MU (Multiple-Unit)Yes
Dynamic BrakesYes
Gear Ratio62:15
Gear Ratio (SDP40)59:15
Tractive Effort (Starting)92,000 Lbs at 25% (SD40, SD40A, SD40-2SS, SD40X)
Tractive Effort (Starting)90,000 Lbs at 25% (SDP40)
Tractive Effort (Starting)115,000 Lbs at 31.5% (SD40-2)
Tractive Effort (Continuous)82,100 Lbs at 11 mph (SD40, SD40A, SD40-2, SD40-2SS, SD40X)
Tractive Effort (Continuous)82,100 Lbs at 6.6 mph (SDP40)
Top Speed65 mph
Top Speed (SDP40)95 mph

* Some SD40-2s carried the D78 traction motor.

Production Rosters

SD40

Total Built = 1,268

Owner Road Number(s) Serial Number(s) Order Number Completion Date
Gulf Mobile & Ohio 901-912 31007-31018 7843 3/1966
Chicago & North Western 867-880 31263-31276 7846 1/1966-2/1966
Chicago & North Western 881-886 31277-31282 7874 1/1966-2/1966
Pennsylvania 6040-6104 31285-31349 7862 2/1966-3/1966
Union Pacific 3000-3024 31414-31438 7865 3/1966-4/1966
Southern Pacific 8410-8478 31491-31569 7861 2/1966-5/1966
Southern Pacific 8400-8409 31560-31569 7875 2/1966
Union Pacific 3025-3039 31575-31589 7868 4/1966
Chicago & North Western 887 31760 7892 4/1966
Chicago & North Western 888-889 31761-31762 7893 4/1966
Chicago & North Western 890-892 31763-31765 5701 4/1966
Atlanta & St Andrews Bay 506 31766 7894 6/1966
Gainesville Midland 10 31799 5702 6/1966
Norfolk & Western 1580-1609 31899-31928 5707 5/1966-6/1966
Chesapeake & Ohio 7450-7454 31929-31933 7886 8/1966
Chesapeake & Ohio 7455-7457 31934-31936 7907 7/1966
Chesapeake & Ohio 7458-7459 31937-31938 7906 8/1966-9/1966
Chesapeake & Ohio 7460-7469 31939-31948 7907 7/1966-8/1966
Santa Fe 1700 32036 7872 3/1966
Santa Fe 1701-1702 32037-32038 7908 4/1966
Santa Fe 1703-1709 32039-32045 7909 4/1966-5/1966
Santa Fe 1710-1719 32046-32055 7910 3/1966-4/1966
Louisville & Nashville 1225-1228 32088-32091 5709 6/1966, 9/1966
Chicago Great Western 401-409 32092-32100 7912 8/1966-9/1966
Kansas City Southern 600-611 32101-32112 7914 10/1966-12/1966
Kansas City Southern 612-613 32113-32114 5711 10/1966
Western Maryland 7470-7474 32134-32138 5714 8/1966
Clinchfield 3000-3007 32141-32148 5710 9/1966
Gulf, Mobile & Ohio 913-921 32161-32169 7920 9/1966
Chicago & North Western 893 32314 7927 10/1966 (7927)
Union Pacific 3048-3082 32400-32434 7932 10/1966-12/2966
Chicago & North Western 894-896 32686-32688 7952 1/1967
Missouri Pacific 700-719 32968-32987 7962 3/1967-4/1967
Chesapeake & Ohio 7475-7481 33154-33160 7972 5/1967
Baltimore & Ohio 7482-7494 33161-33173 7998 5/1967
Illinois Central 6000-6005 33244-33249 5732 12/1967
Colorado & Southern 875-878 33516-33519 7073 10/1967
Southern Pacific 8479-8488 33671-33680 7083 5/1968-6/1968
Missouri Pacific 720-733 33771-33784 7995 1/1968-3/1968
Colorado & Southern 879-887 33918-33926 7103 4/1968
Kansas City Southern 614-617 33958-33961 7974 8/1968
Kansas City Southern 618-619 33962-33963 7097 8/1968
Kansas City Southern 620-621 33964-33965 7098 8/1968
Western Maryland 7495-7496 34104-34105 7131 11/1968
Clinchfield 3008 34177 7124 9/1968
Missouri Pacific 734-753 34504-34523 7144 2/1969
Clinchfield 3009-3014 34742-34747 7152 2/1969
Louisville & Nashville 1229-1233 34758-34762 7155 4/1969
Baltimore & Ohio 7497-7500 34775-34778 7159 4/1969
Chesapeake & Ohio 7501-7506 34779-34784 7159 4/1969
Soo Line 736-745 34889-34898 7169 4/1969-5/1969
Western Maryland 7445-7449 34967-34971 7172 6/1969-7/1969
Grand Trunk Western 5900-5911 35184-35195 7186 8/1969-9/1969
Kansas City Southern 626 35493 7196 6/1970
Kansas City Southern 627 35494 7197 6/1970
Kansas City Southern 622-625 35495-35498 7203 6/1970
Norfolk & Western 1610-1624 35605-35619 7320 5/1971
Missouri Pacific 754-769 35725-35740 7214 1/1970
Grand Trunk Western 5912-5920 35831-35839 7221 1/1970
Kansas City Southern 628-631 35840-35843 7222 3/1971
Kansas City Southern 632-633 35844-35845 7223 3/1971
Kansas City Southern 634-635 35846-35847 7224 3/1971
Louisville & Nashville 1234-1238 35948-35952 7232 4/1970
Soo Line 746-749 36099-36102 7241 3/1970
Detroit Edison 001-002 36124-36125 7252 5/1970
Detroit Edison 005 36126 7254 4/1970
Detroit Edison 003-004 36127-36128 7253 4/1970-5/1970
Detroit Edison 006 36129 7254 5/1970
Chesapeake & Ohio 7507-7516 36696-36705 7276 6/1970-7/1970
Chesapeake & Ohio 7517-7526 36746-36755 7276 7/1970
Louisville & Nashville 1239-1248 36809-36818 7282 8/1970-9/1970
Grand Trunk Western 5921-5929 36887-36895 7289 9/1970
Penn Central 6240-6270 36896-36926 7290 12/1970-1/1971
Penn Central 6271-6284 36997-37010 7290 1/1971-2/1971
Chesapeake & Ohio 7527-7536 37204-37213 7302 3/1971
Southern 3170-3183 37355-37368 7308 4/1971
Southern 3184-3185 37369-37370 5777 4/1971
Clinchfield 3015-3019 37417-37421 7311 6/1971-7/1971
Clinchfield 3020 37422 5776 6/1971
Soo Line 750-756 37425-37431 5781 5/1971
Clinchfield 3021-3024 37538-37541 5776 6/1971
Missouri Pacific 770-789 37543-37562 7319 3/1971-4/1971
Union Pacific 3083-3097 37639-37653 7324 8/1971-9/1971
Union Pacific 3098-3122 37904-37928 7324 9/1971-10/1971
Louisville & Nashville 1249-1258 38203-38212 5787 5/1971
Kansas City Southern 636 38363 7222 3/1971
Burlington Northern 6300-6324 5801-1/25 5801 10/1971-11/1971
Southern 3186-3200 7375-1/15 7375 1/1972
Detroit Edison 013-014 5817-1, 5817-2 5817 7/1972
Detroit Edison 015-017 5818-1 thru 5818-3 5818 7/1972

Reused Serials

Owner Road Number(s) Serial Number(s) Order Number Completion Date
Gulf, Mobile & Ohio 902 31008 8076 10/1966
Chicago & North Western 880 31276 8075 10/1966
Colorado & Southern (Burlington) 876-877 33517-33518 8082 12/1968

SD40X

Total Built = 9

Owner Road Number(s) Serial Number(s) Order Number Completion Date
Electro-Motive (Demonstrator) 434 (became Gulf, Mobile & Ohio #950) 29025 5662 7/1964
Electro-Motive (Demonstrators) 434A-434D (became Union Pacific #3040-3043) 29873-29876 5673 2/1965
Electro-Motive (Demonstrators) 434E-434H (became Union Pacific #3044-3047) 30499-30502 5673 4/1965

SD40A

Total Built = 18

Owner Road Number(s) Serial Number(s) Order Number Completion Date
Illinois Central 6006-6018 34939-34951 5743 8/1969-9/1969
Illinois Central 6019-6023 35685-35689 5748 1/1970

SDP40

Total Built = 6

Owner Road Number(s) Serial Number(s) Order Number Completion Date
Great Northern 320-325 31592-31597 7870 5/1966

SD40-2

Total Built = 3,982

Owner Road Number(s) Serial Number(s) Completion Date
Burlington Northern 6325-6339 5803-1 thru 5803-15 2/1972
Colorado & Southern (Burlington Northern) 900-917 5812-1 thru 5812-18 3/1972-5/1972
Union Pacific 3173-3202 5819-1 thru 5819-30 6/1972-8/1972
Kansas City Southern 637-646 7226-1 thru 7226-10 1/1972
Union Pacific 3123-3172 7334-1 thru 7334-50 1/1972-3/1972
Soo Line 757-761 7390-1 thru 7390-5 3/1972
Milwaukee Road 3000-3040 7396-1 thru 7396-41 7/1972-8/1972
Kansas City Southern 653-654 72611-1 thru 72611-2 11/1972
Kansas City Southern 655-656 72612-1 thru 72612-2 11/1972
Burlington Northern 6340-6363 72639-1 thru 72639-24 3/1973-4/1973
Milwaukee Road 171-181 72640-1 thru 72640-11 7/1973
Milwaukee Road 21-25 72641-1 thru 72641-5 7/1973
Milwaukee Road 26-30 72643-1 thru 72643-5 7/1973
Southern 3201-3208 72652-1 thru 72652-8 12/1972
Kansas City Southern 647-652 72658-1 thru 72658-6 11/1972
Southern 3209-3216 72661-1 thru 72661-8 1/1973
Soo Line 762-766 72672-1 thru 72672-5 1/1973
Burlington Northern 6364-6375 72682-1 thru 72682-12 3/1973-4/1973
Union Pacific 3203-3242 72684-1 thru 72684-40 4/1973-6/1973
Burlington Northern 6824-6836 73601-1 thru 73601-13 11/1973-12/1973
Missouri Pacific 795-814 73613-1 thru 73613-20 8/1973-9/1973
Missouri Pacific 790-794 73713-1 thru 73713-5 8/1973
Southern 3241-3243 73651-1 thru 73651-3 1/1974
Kansas City Southern 657-660 73657-1 thru 73657-3 1/1974
Kansas City Southern 661-663 73658-1 thru 73658-3 1/1974
Kansas City Southern 664-666 73661-1 thru 73661-45 6/1974-7/1974
Union Pacific 3243-3287 73665-1 thru 73665-5 12/1973-1/1974
Chicago & North Western 6811-6815 73665-1 thru 73665-5 12/1973
Colorado & Southern (Burlington Northern) 918-925 73666-1 thru 73666-8 2/1974
Colorado & Southern (Burlington Northern) 980 73668-1 2/1974
Colorado & Southern (Burlington Northern) 996 73669-1 2/1974
Rock Island 4790-4799 73676-1 thru 73676-10 12/1973
Milwaukee Road 182-209 73687-1 thru 73687-28 5/1974-6/1974
Soo Line 775-785 73695-1 thru 73695-11 10/1974
Soo Line 786 73795-1 10/1974
Burlington Northern 6376-6385 74600-1 thru 74600-10 4/1974
Louisville & Nashville 1259-1260 74608-1, 74608-2 3/1974
Louisville & Nashville 1261-1278 74708-1 thru 74708-18 3/1974
Chicago & North Western 6816-6865 74609-1 thru 74609-50 2/1974-4/1974
Norfolk & Western 1636-1652 74615-1 thru 74615-17 7/1974
Chicago & North Western 6866-6890 74639-1 thru 74639-25 9/1974
Louisville & Nashville 3554-3583 74644-1 thru 74644-30 10/1974-11/1974
Colorado & Southern (Burlington Northern) 950-959 74648-1 thru 74648-10 11/1974
Burlington Northern 6700-6707 74660-1 thru 74660-8 12/1974
Chicago & North Western 6891-6925 74661-1 thru 74661-35 1/1975-2/1975
Union Pacific 3288-3304 74676-1 thru 74676-17 3/1975-4/1975
Missouri Pacific 3164-3201 74690-1 thru 74690-38 2/1975-3/1975
Soo Line 787-789 75604-1 thru 75604-3 10/1975
Southern 3244-3254 75615-1 thru 75615-11 7/1975
Missouri Pacific 3202-3215 75616-1 thru 75616-14 8/1975
Norfolk & Western 6073-6138 75622-1 thru 75622-66 2/1975-5/1975
Illinois Central Gulf 6030-6033 75640-1 thru 75640-4 12/1975
Burlington Northern 6708-6742 756072-1 thru 756072-35 2/1976-3/1976
Burlington Northern 6743-6747 756082-1 thru 756082-5 3/1976
Burlington Northern 6748-6752 756083-1 thru 756083-5 3/1976
Missouri Pacific 3216-3220 756145-1 thru 756145-5 7/1976
Kansas City Southern 667-672 756153-1 thru 756153-6 8/1976
Kansas City Southern 673-674 756154-1, 756154-2 8/1976
Kansas City Southern 675-676 756155-1, 756155-2 8/1976
Missouri Pacific 3221-3235 766005-1 thru 766005-15 8/1976-9/1976
Burlington Northern 6753-6772 766010-1 thru 766010-20 11/1976-12/1976
Union Pacific 8035-8064 767021-1 thru 767021-30 7/1976-9/1976
Burlington Northern 6773-6780 766024-1 thru 766024-8 5/1977
Colorado & Southern (Burlington Northern) 930-931 766024-9, 766024-10 5/1977
Burlington Northern 8000-8009 766025-1 thru 766025-10 5/1977
Colorado & Southern 932-936 766025-11 thru 766025-15 5/1977
Chicago & North Western 6926-6935 766032-1 thru 766032-10 11/1976
Baltimore & Ohio 7600-7619 767033-1 thru 767033-20 1/1977-2/1977
Union Pacific 3335-3399 766056-1 thru 766056-65 2/1977-5/1977
Colorado & Southern (Burlington Northern) 937-949, 960-961 766070-1 thru 766070-15 6/1977
Burlington Northern 6781-6785 766071-1 thru 766071-5 11/1977
Burlington Northern 6786-6790 766072-1 thru 766072-5 12/1977
Conrail 6358-6403 766078-1 thru 766078-46 6/1977-8/1977
Conrail 6404-6440 767078-1 thru 767078-37 8/1977-9/1977
Union Pacific 8065-8074 776013-1 thru 776013-10 5/1977
Louisville & Nashville 3584-3605 776023-1 thru 776023-22 9/1977
Louisville & Nashville 3606-3609 776026-1 thru 776026-4 10/1977
Louisville & Nashville 3610-3613 776027-1 776027-4 10/1977
Santa Fe 5020-5026 (Evens) 776029-1 thru 776029-4 11/1977
Santa Fe 5021-5027 (Odds) 776030-1 thru 776030-4 11/1977
Santa Fe 5028-5057 776031-1 thru 776031-30 10/1977-11/1977
Southern 3255-3287 776044-1/33 1/1978-2/1978
Kansas City Southern 677-679 776046-1 thru 776046-3 3/1978
Kansas City Southern 680-682 776047-1 thru 776047-3 3/1978
Burlington Northern 6791-6799, 7000-7028 776053-1 thru 776053-38 11/1977-12/1977
Burlington Northern 7029-7048, 8010-8029 776055-1 thru 776055-30 2/1978-3/1978
Burlington Northern 7054-7062 776056-1 thru 776056-9 6/1978
Burlington Northern 7063-7074 776057-1 thru 776057-12 7/1978
Colorado & Southern (Burlington Northern) 7832-7855 776057-13 thru 776057-37 7/1978-8/1978
Missouri-Kansas-Texas (Katy) 600-606 776064-1 thru 776064-7 8/1978
Southern 3288-3302 776082-1 thru 776082-15 5/1978-6/1978
Norfolk & Western 6139-6188 776086-1 thru 776086-50 4/1978-6/1978
Union Pacific 3410-3488 776088-1 thru 776088-79 03/1978-5/1978
Missouri Pacific 3216-3251 776099-1 thru 776099-36 8/1978-9/1978
Missouri Pacific 3252-3265 777100-1 thru 777100-14 8/1978
St Louis-San Francisco Railway (Frisco) 950-957 776109-1 thru 776109-8 7/1978
Kennecott Copper Corporation 101-107 776129-1/7 11/78 11/78
Missouri-Kansas-Texas (Katy) 607-610 776133-1 thru 776133-4 10/1978
Colorado & Southern (Burlington Northern) 7856-7878 786001-1 thru 786001-13 9/1978-10/1978
Kansas City Southern 683-684 786136-1, 786136-2 6/1978
Kansas City Southern 685-686 786137-1, 786137-2 6/1978
Conrail 6441-6482 786148-1 thru 786148-42 9/1978-11/1978
Santa Fe 5200-5213 786153-1 thru 786153-14 10/1978
Union Pacific 3489-3498 786163-1 thru 786163-10 12/1978
Burlington Northern 7075-7125 786166-1 thru 786166-51 10/1978-12/1978
Louisville & Nashville (Family Lines) 8000-8033 786167-1 thru 786167-34 3/1979-4/1979
Union Pacific 3499-3573 786170-1 thru 786170-75 1/1979-3/1979
Burlington Northern 7126-7160 786173-1 thru 786173-35 1/1979-2/1979
Colorado & Southern (Burlington Northern) 7868-7888 786173-36 thru 786173-55 3/1979-4/1979
Burlington Northern 7161-7166 786173-56 thru 786173-61 4/1979
Colorado & Southern (Burlington Northern) 7889-7923 786173-62 thru 786173-96 4/1979-7/1979
Burlington Northern 8030 786173-97 7/1979
Missouri Pacific 3266-3291 786178-1 thru 786178-26 5/1979
Missouri Pacific 6020-6049 786181-1 thru 786181-30 6/1979
Missouri Pacific 3292-3301 786182-1 thru 786182-10 7/1979
Southern 3303-3312 786184-1 thru 786184-10 2/1979-3/1979
Conrail 6483-6524 786193-1 thru 786193-42 7/1979-10/1979
Seaboard Coast Line (Family Lines) 8040-8066 786208-1 thru 786208-27 7/1979-9/1979
Louisville & Nashville (Family Lines) 8034-8039 786209-1 thru 786209-6 8/1979
Burlington Northern 8031-8073 786216-1 thru 786216-43 8/1979-12/1979
Union Pacific 3574-3583, 8075-8099 786218-1 thru 786218-35 7/1979-8/1979
Santa Fe 5071-5108 786219-1 thru 786219-38 9/1979-10/1979
Santa Fe 5110-5124 (Evens) 786222-1 thru 786222-8 10/1979
Santa Fe 5109-5123 (Odds) 786223-1 thru 786223-8 11/1979
Santa Fe 5058-5070 786225-1 thru 786225-13 4/1979-5/1979
Missouri-Kansas-Texas (Katy) 611-618 786228-1 thru 786228-8 9/1979
Southern 3313-3328 786242-1 thru 786242-16 5/1979-6/1979
Oneida & Western (Shamrock Coal Company) 9950-9957 786246-1 thru 786246-8 9/1979
Burlington Northern 7236-7291 786252-1 thru 786252-56 1/1980-4/1980
Colorado & Southern (Burlington Northern) 7924-7940 786252-57 thru 786252-73 4/1980-5/1980
Burlington Northern 8090-8181 786256-1 thru 786256-92 5/1980-7/1980
Kansas City Southern 687-688 786258-1, 786258-2 6/1980
Kansas City Southern 689-690 786259-1, 786259-2 6/1980
Kansas City Southern 691-692 786260-1, 786260-2 6/1980
Union Pacific 3609-3658 786263-1 thru 786263-50 9/1979-12/1979
Louisville & Nashville 8116-8126 786268-1 thru 786268-11 8/1980
Missouri Pacific 3312-3321 786269-1 thru 786269-10 4/1980
Missouri Pacific 6050-6053 786274-1 thru 786274-4 6/1979
Louisville & Nashville (Family Lines) 8067-8086 786287-1 thru 786287-20 10/1979-11/1979
Union Pacific 3659-3768 796297-1 thru 796297-110 1/1980-3/1980
Missouri-Kansas-Texas (Katy) 619-628 796305-1 thru 796305-10 7/1980-8/1980
Soo Line 6600-6601 797307-1, 797307-2 12/1979
Missouri Pacific 3302-3311 796308-1 thru 796308-10 12/1979
Missouri Pacific 6054-6073 796311-1 thru 796311-20 4/1980
Soo Line 6602-6605 796327-1 thru 796327-4 4/1980
Soo Line 6606-6613 797328-1 thru 797328-8 4/1980-5/1980
Louisville & Nashville (Family Lines) 8095-8115 796329-1 thru 796329-21 5/1980-6/1980
Seaboard Coast Line (Family Lines) 8087-8094 796334-1 thru 796334-8 5/1980-6/1980
Clinchfield (Family Lines) 8127-8129 796335-1 thru 796335-3 8/1980
Union Pacific 3769-3804 796345-1 thru 796345-36 10/1980-11/1980
Norfolk & Western 6189-6207 796353-1 thru 796353-19 12/1980
Santa Fe 5141-5169 796386-1 thru 796386-29 9/1980-10/1980
Soo Line 6614-6616 797393-1 thru 797393-3 3/1981
Santa Fe 5126-5140 (Evens) 796395-1 thru 796395-8 11/1980
Santa Fe 5125-5139 (Odds) 796396-1 thru 796396-8 11/1980-12/1980
Seaboard Coast Line (Family Lines) 8130 807009-1 8/1980
Missouri-Kansas-Texas (Katy) 629-636 806049-1 thru 806049-8 9/1981
Clinchfield (Family Lines) 8131 816009-1 9/1981
Louisville & Nashville (Family Lines) 8133-8162 816010-1 thru 816010-30 9/1981-10/1981
Clinchfield (Family Lines) 8132 817012-1 9/1981
Santa Fe 5170-5192 816016-1 thru 816016-23 10/1981-12/1981
Soo Line 6617 827034-1 4/1983
Soo Line 6618-6623 837082-1 thru 837082-6 7/1984

SD40-2SS

Owner Road Number(s) Serial Number(s) Completion Date
Burlington Northern 7049-7053 776083-1 thru 776083-5 3/1978-4/1978
Union Pacific 3805-3808 806053-1 thru 806053-4 11/1980

Export

SD40

Owner Road Number(s) Serial Number(s) Completion Date
Central Railway of Brazil 3701-3704 (SD40M) 32228-32231 710681-710684 4/1967
Ferrocarril Nacional de México 8503-8521 33385-33403 710942-710960) 5/1968-6/1968
Ferrocarril Nacional de México 8500-8502 33895-33897 711084-711086 6/1968
Boke Project (Republic of Guinea) 101-106 37894-37899 712077-712082 8/1972
Ferrocarril Nacional de México 8536-8575 38893-38932 712205-712244 11/1971-12/1971

SD40-2

Owner Road Number(s) Serial Number(s) Completion Date
Canadian Pacific (Canada) 5629-5658 (built by GMDD on order C358) 72657-1 thru 72657-30 11/1972-12/1972
Ferrocarril Nacional de México 8700-8709 712426-712435 9/1972
Southeastern United Railways (Mexico) 601-604 712562-712565 11/1972
Ferrocarril Nacional de México 8710-8715 712607-712612 12/1972
Ferrocarril Nacional de México 8716-8755 712852-712891 11/1973-12/1973
Boke Project (Guinea) 107 713406 10/1974
Boke Project (Guinea) 108-109 713650-713651 4/1975
Ferrocarril Nacional de México 8756-8767 756108-1 thru 756108-12 12/1975
Ferrocarril Nacional de México 8768-8777 798047-1 thru 798047-10 2/1980
Ferrocarril Nacional de México 8778-8798 798077-1 thru 798077-21 8/1980-9/1980
Ferrocarril Nacional de México 13001-13004 858098-1 thru 858098-4 2/1986

SDL40-2

Owner Road Numbers Serial Numbers Completion Date
Mauritania National Railway CC101-CC106 798080-1 thru 798080-6 10/1981
Mauritania National Railway CC107-CC110 868153-1 thru 868153-4 2/1988
Mauritania National Railway CC111-CC116 908738-1 thru 908738-6 8/1993-9/1993
Mauritania National Railway CC117-CC121 958632-1 thru 958632-5 1/1997

SDP40

Owner Road Numbers Serial Numbers Order Numbers Completion Date
Ferrocarril Nacional de México 8522-8531 33371-33380 710917-710926 5/1968
Ferrocarril Nacional de México 8532-8535 36156-36159 711392-711395 5/1970

General Motors Diesel Division (GMDD)

SD40-2

Owner Road Numbers Serial Numbers Order Number Completion Date
Canadian Pacific 5565-5588 A2564-A2587 C344 2/1972-3/1972
Quebec, North Shore & Labrador 221-240 A2613-A2632 C347 3/1972-4/1972
Canadian Pacific 5589-5628 A2633-A2672 C349 5/1972-7/1972
Ontario Northland 1730-1734 A2844-A2848 C355 3/1973
Quebec, North Shore & Labrador 241-260 A2849-A2868 C356 3/1973-4/1973
Algoma Central 183-185 A2869-A2871 C357 8/1973-9/1973
Canadian Pacific 5659-5674 A2872-A2887 C359 4/1973-6/1973
Ontario Northland 1735-1737 A2942-A2944 C362 1/1974
Canadian Pacific 5806-5815 A2945-A2954 C363 1/1974-2/1974
Algoma Central 186-188 A2955-A2957 C357 9/1973-10/1973
Canadian Pacific 5816-5835 A2958-A2977 C364 2/1974-3/1974
Canadian Pacific 5800-5805, 5836, 5675-5717 A3113-A3162 C374 11/1974-2/1975
Quebec, North Shore & Labrador 261-264 A3310-A3313 C381 5/1975
Canadian Pacific 5718-5757 A3314-A3353 C383 9/1975-11/1975
Canadian Pacific 5758-5777 A3463-A3482 C397 1/1976-2/1976
Canadian Pacific 5837-5859, 5778 A3501-A3524 C404 10/1977-2/1978
Canadian Pacific 5779-5784 A3525-A3530 C405 2/1978-3/1978
Canadian Pacific 5785-5789, 5860-5864 A3531-A3540 C405 6/1978-7/1978
Canadian Pacific 5790-5799, 5900-5914 A3657-A3681 C413 11/1978-1/1979
Canadian Pacific 5915-5949 A3808-A3842 C418 10/1979-11/1979
British Columbia 751-762 A3945-A3956 C429 9/1980
Canadian Pacific 5950-6024 A3957-A4031 C430 10/1980-3/1981
Canadian Pacific 5560 A4062 C430 3/1981
Canadian Pacific 6025-6054 A4288-A4317 C444 12/1982-8/1983
Canadian Pacific 5584, 5693 A4338-A4339 C444 9/1983
Canadian Pacific 5865-5879, 6055-6069, 5583 A4429-A4459 C454 10/1984-1/1985
British Columbia 763-767 A4497-A4501 C457 7/1985

SD40-2W

Owner Road Numbers Serial Numbers Order Number Completion Date
Canadian National 5241-5261 A3268-A3288 C378 5/1975-6/1975
Canadian National 5262-5278 A3289-A3305 C379 7/1975
Canadian National 5279-5293 A3373-A3387 C389 1/1976
Canadian National 5294-5313 A3546-A3565 C407 7/1978-10/1978
Canadian National 5314-5323 A3843-A3852 C424 12/1979
Canadian National 5324-5353 A3875-A3904 C426 4/1980-5/1980
Canadian National 5354-5363 A4032-A4041 C431 12/1980

SD40-2F

Owner Road Numbers Serial Numbers Order Number Completion Date
Canadian Pacific 9000-9024 A4806-A4830 C469 11/1988-12/1988

GMDD Export

SD40

Total Built = 10

Owner Road Numbers Serial Numbers Order Number Completion Date
Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México 8576-8585 A2603-A2612 C346 2/1972

SD40-2

Total Built = 85

Owner Road Numbers Serial Numbers Order Number Completion Date
Burlington Northern 8074-8089, 7167-7205 A3753-A3807 C422 7/1979-9/1979
Burlington Northern 7206-7235 A3915-A3944 C423 5/1980-7/1980

Milwaukee Road SD40-2 #141 at the company's shops in Bensenville, Illinois on May 23, 1981. American-Rails.com collection.

The railroad was wary of the HT-C design after witnessing Amtrak's issues with the modified version equipped on the SDP40F.  Ultimately, it was proven the truck was not the issue.  By the time production ended on the SD40 series, more than 5,700 units had been built.

While the locomotive will one day eventually disappear from the American landscape the model's success and longevity has proven unmatched, even among comparable moden GE designs. 

Railroads, even Class 1s, continue to rebuild SD40s for active freight service, a testament to the product EMD engineers conceived more than a half-century ago.  As a result, it is safe to say they will still be around for years to come.

Sources

  • Foster, Gerald. A Field Guide To Trains. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1996.
  • Marre, Louis A. Diesel Locomotives: The First 50 Years, A Guide To Diesels Built Before 1972.  Milwaukee: Kalmbach Publishing Company, 1995.
  • Pinkepank, Jerry A. Diesel Spotter's Guide.  Milwaukee: Kalmbach Publishing Company, 1967.
  • Schafer, Mike. Vintage Diesel Locomotives. Osceola: MBI Publishing, 1998.
  • Solomon, Brian.  EMD Locomotives.  Minneapolis: MBI Publishing Company, 2006.
  • Solomon, Brian.  GE and EMD Locomotives:  The Illustrated History.  Minneapolis:  Voyageur Press, 2014.

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