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UP 8540, an SD90MAC Phase II.
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CP Rail SD9043MAC locomotive No. 9106 in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.
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CP Rail SD9043MAC locomotive No. 9106 in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

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UP 8540, an SD90MAC Phase II.

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EMD SD90MAC Diesel-Electric Locomotive
The EMD SD90MAC is a 6,000 hp (4,470 kW) C-C diesel-electric hood unit locomotive produced by General Motors Electro-Motive Division. It is, with the SD80MAC, one of the largest single-engined locomotives produced by that company, surpassed only by the dual-engined DDA40X.

The SD90MACs feature radial steering trucks with AC traction motors and an isolated safety cab which is mounted on shock absorbers to lessen vibrations in the cab. The SD90MAC, like the SD80MAC, SD70ACe, and SD70M-2, has a wide radiator section, nearly the entire width of the locomotive, which along with their size makes them easy to spot.

The SD90AC was introduced in 1995, along with the SD80MAC locomotives. The SD90MAC was designed to utilize the new 16-cylinder H-engine, while the SD80MAC was designed to use the 20-cylinder version of the existing 710G engine. However, technical problems with the 6,000 horsepower (4,500 kW) engine resulted in the first locomotives being shipped with 4,300 hp (3,210 kW) 16-cylinder 710G engines, making them similar to the SD70MACs. These locomotives were given the informal model designation SD9043MAC by railroads that purchased them with the option to re-engine them with 6,000 hp (4,470 kW) engines when they became available. This upgrade program, however, was never taken advantage of by SD90MAC buyers due to reliability issues with the newer engine. Over 400 SD90MAC locomotives fitted with the 4,300 hp (3,210 kW) 710 engine were built.

In 1996, EMD entered full production on their 6,000 hp (4,470 kW), 16-cylinder H-engine, and all SD90MACs made from then on used that for its prime mover. Locomotives fitted with this engine are sometimes referred to as SD90MAC-H locomotives. Later versions of the SD90MAC-H feature a Phase II cab, with a new nose which offers higher visibility from the cab than the old nose. The SD90MAC-H did not prove popular with railroads and less than 70 were built, including EMD demonstrator units. Since the SD90MAC-H had such a large prime mover, it didn't offer the same operational flexibility as smaller units, limiting its possible customer base to only the largest railroads. Also, since the H-engine was a new design it hadn't reached the same level of reliability as EMD's previous engine. The low reliability on such a large engine was an especially bad combination since the loss of one engine in a train meant the loss of a larger percentage of pulling power than had a smaller engine failed. In the end the SD90MAC-H was only delivered to two railroads, the Union Pacific Railroad and the Canadian Pacific Railway. The Canadian Pacific locomotives were part of an earlier order for 710-engine equipped SD90MAC locomotives that was still in production when EMD switched over to the H-engine.

EMD also tried offering a lower-power version of the SD90MAC with a 12-cylinder engine called the SD89MAC, but none were produced other than the prototype.

Prime mover (EMD 710):
EMD V16 710G3B
Power Output - 4,300 hp or 3,210 kW
Idle - 200 rpm
Full Speed - 950 rpm

Prime mover (EMD 265):
EMD V16 EMD GM16V265
Power Output - 6,000 hp or 4,470 kW at 1000 rpm
Idle - 200 rpm
Full speed - 1000 rpm

Traction motors:
6 Siemens 1TB2830 AC motors mounted 3 each on 2 HTCR-2 radial self-steering trucks.
Rated output - 855 hp or 638 kW
Gearing - 83:16
Wheel size - 45 in (1,143 mm)
Max revolutions - 3,435 rpm
Starting torque - 16,300 N·m or 12,022 lbf·ft
Continuous torque - 12,900 N·m or 9,515 lbf·ft
Maximum voltage - 2,183 V

Performance (parenthesis indicate H-Engine equipped specifications):
Maximum speed - 80 mph (130 km/h)
Starting tractive effort - 185,000 lbf (820 kN) (200,000 lbf (890 kN))
Continuous tractive effort - 147,000 lbf (650 kN) (165,000 lbf (730 kN))
Braking effort - 115,000 lbf (510 kN)
Weight - 210 tons (188 long tons; 191 t)/420,000 lb or 190,500 kg

Fleet rosters
Canadian Pacific
9100-9160 (SD9043MAC): Units are now up for sale in "as is" condition. Some units have been placed into freight service to help combat a motive power shortage.
9300-9303 (SD90MAC-H): These were scrapped in Lachine, QC.

100-139 (SD9043MAC) (Lease Fleet) 10 units traded to NS for 15 MP15DC's.

8500, 8523-8561 (EMD Lease fleet), Former Union Pacific 8500, 8523-8561, currently stored. All units leased to Kansas City Southern in 2008 on one-year lease. Several to the Buffalo and Pittsburgh Railroad upon returning from KCS lease. All units currently stored. Nine were sold to Fortescue Metals Group in Western Australia. Units have since been sold to many different owners, primarily for scrap.

Indiana Rail Road
9001-9013, 9025 (SD9043MAC) (Long-term lease from CEFX).

Norfolk Southern
7229-7338 (SD9043MAC); NS purchased 100 units in September 2014 from EMD/Progress Rail. Those units are ex-UP. 10 units were acquired from CEFX in June 2016, in exchange for 15 MP15DC's. All units will be converted to SD70ACUs.

Union Pacific
8000-8308 (SD9043MAC); to be renumbered 3470-3775 to make room for new GE ES44AC's. Most, except 8, of these have been stored. In September 2014, Norfolk Southern purchased 100 of these.
8500-8561 (SD90MAC-H. Fleet Retired, some after less than 5 years of service. 8500, 8523-8561 to EMLX Lease fleet, 8501-8522 renumbered 8911-8931. Retired in late 2008-2009. Sold to Metro East Industries in Alorton, Illinois. Scrapped mid to late 2009)

Fortescue Metals Group (Australia)
901-904 (SD90MAC-H)
901 - 265H-engine was replaced with a 710 engine Tier 1 on March/13 at FMG Thomas Yard - Port Hedland / Western Australia
902 - 265H-engine was replaced with a 710 engine Tier 1 on Nov/14 at FMG Thomas Yard
903 - 265H-engine was replaced with a 710 engine Tier 1 on October/14 at FMG Thomas Yard
905-909 (SD9043MAC): Rebuilt from SD90MAC-H for use in Australia at the Juniata Shops
PRLX8527 is now FMG 905
PRLX8530 is now FMG 906
PRLX8531 is now FMG 907
PRLX8541 is now FMG 908
PRLX8554 is now FMG 909
910-917 (SD90MAC-PII): Rebuilt for use in Australia at Mayfield, KY shop
All 8 locos unloaded at Thomas Yard in December/14
PRLX8553 is now FMG 910
PRLX8548 is now FMG 911
PRLX8550 is now FMG 912
PRLX8557 is now FMG 913
PRLX8525 is now FMG 914
PRLX8538 is now FMG 915
PRLX8543 is now FMG 916
PRLX8547 is now FMG 917

Current status
As of January 2005, the SD90MAC is no longer in production due to the Environmental Protection Agency's Tier 2 locomotive emission regulations, although EMD may be able to get the H-engine approved at some later date. However, the People's Republic of China recently announced an order for 300 JT56ACe locomotives, which also use the H-Engine as its prime mover. A portion of the locomotives will be assembled in kit form by China's own Dalian Locomotive Works. These units were reportedly capable of meeting the EPA's strict regulations and began delivery in the latter half of 2007.

On August 1, 2008 Union Pacific Railroad announced that it would be retiring 21 of the SD90MAC locomotives. According to sources, common parts will be used to maintain the railroad's 710-engined SD90MAC fleet. The 265H prime mover will be cut up or exported. The only part that is non-reusable will be the frame. These units, in the 8900 series will be removed from storage in Denver, and be sent to East St. Louis, Ill., in small batches to be dismantled.

CPR SD90MAC-H locomotives 9300-9303 (listed as SD90MAC6000s) were up for tendered sale in 2009. The bidding ended March 31, 2010. While they were originally thought to be shipped overseas, they were eventually moved to Quebec for scrapping.

CPR SD90MAC 58 locomotives remaining in the 9100-9160 series (9129, 9133 & 9138 scrapped Nov. 2012) had been put up for sale as of November 2012 and again in Jan. 2013 with no offers being made.

In September 2014, Norfolk Southern purchased 100 4300hp SD9043MACs from Union Pacific with the intent to rebuilt them into SD70ACu's at the Juniata Shops. The last 4 SD90-MACS were taken delivery to Norfolk Southern on October 3, 2015.

In 2015 Cummins rebuilt a single SD90AC with its QSK95 engine, designed to meet Tier 4 emissions standards. Sygnet Rail Technologies and Brookville Equipment Corporation performed the conversion. The rebuild was designated HTL4200AC. The locomotive, numbered CECX No. 1919, had been Union Pacific No. 8559.

EMD SD90MAC Overview

Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: Electro-Motive Diesels (EMD)
AAR wheel arrangement: C-C
Gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
Wheel diameter: 42 in (1,067 mm)
Length: 80 ft 2 in (24.43 m)
Locomotive weight: 415,000 lb (188,000 kg)
Fuel capacity: 5,000 gal (19,000 l; 4,200 imp gal)
Sandbox capacity: 40 cu ft (1.1 m3)
Prime mover: EMD 16-710 G3B or EMD 16-265H
RPM range: 225-1000 rpm
Engine type: V16 diesel
Traction motors: 6 Siemens 1TB2830 AC motors
Cylinders: 16
Cylinder size: 10.45 in × 11.80 in (265 mm × 300 mm)
Performance figures
Power output: 4,300 hp (3,210 kW) or 6,000 hp (4,470 kW)
Tractive effort small engine, starting: 185,000 lbf (822.92 kN)
Tractive effort small engine, continuous: 147,000 lbf (653.89 kN)
Tractive effort large engine, starting: 200,000 lbf (889.64 kN)
Tractive effort large engine, continuous: 165,000 lbf (733.96 kN)

See also:


Diesel Locomotives

EMD Diesel-Electric Locomotives