CSX AC4400CW No. 209 in Newport News, Virginia, next to a former C&O coal tower.

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Kansas City Southern AC4400CW No. 4575 with self-steering trucks, October 2014.

By Augy8400 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42101804

Kansas City Southern AC4400CW No. 4575 with self-steering trucks, October 2014.

GE AC4400CW Diesel-Electric Locomotive

The GE AC4400CW is a 4,400 horsepower (3,300 kW) road switcher diesel-electric locomotive that was built by GE Transportation Systems between 1993 and 2004. It is like the Dash 9-44CW, but features AC traction motors instead of DC, with a separate inverter per motor. In appearance, the AC4400CW is similar to GE's more powerful locomotive, the AC6000CW.

A relatively high-powered locomotive, the AC4400CW is "the most successful present day locomotive." Over the 11 years in which it was produced, GE constructed 2,598 examples for North American railroads. In 2005, all Class I freight railroads except Norfolk Southern and Canadian National owned at least one AC4400CW. As a result of more stringent emissions requirements that came into effect on January of that year, GE no longer offers the AC4400CW, replacing it with the ES44AC.

Two AC4400CW units were used in the filming of the 2010 hit movie Unstoppable.

Design variations
The AC4400CW was the first GE locomotive to offer an optional self-steering truck design, intended to increase adhesion and reduce wear on the railhead. This option was specified by Canadian Pacific, Cartier Railway, CSX, Ferromex, Ferrosur, and KCS.

CSX ordered many of its AC4400CW locomotives with 20,000 lb (9,100 kg) extra weight to increase tractive effort. These same units were also modified in 2006-2007 with a "high tractive effort" software upgrade and re-designated CW44AH.

In 2017 Canadian Pacific Railway requested that General Electric modernize 30 of its 9500 and 9600-series AC4400CW units. The original units had the original front cab completely removed and upgraded to current GE standards with upgraded electrical systems including PTC and FTO systems. Other improvements GE has made include up to 10 percent fuel efficiency gains, 40 percent increase in reliability and 50 percent increase in haulage ability. The units were subsequently placed into service with the designation AC4400CWM (for Modernized). The first batch of rebuilds (8100-8129) also had their original Steerable trucks replaced with GEs High Adhesion trucks instead of steerable, where later batches each individual engine kept the trucks they already had.

The following year Canadian Pacific asked GE to similarly rebuild several more batches for a total of 110 locomotives. The second order (8130-8144) retains their steerable trucks. The third batch (8000-8064) will feature an Evolution Series sized fuel tank and radial trucks. In 2019 a fourth batch of rebuilds built from the 8500-series (8200-8229) are slated to happen.

Union Pacific ordered many of their AC4400CWs with Computerized Tractive Effort software, giving them the designation of AC4400CW-CTE. This software package is now standard on their ES44ACs as well.

In 2018 Union Pacific placed a small order for 20 rebuilds from GE of their AC4460AC fleet and later announced over the next fifteen years they will be upgrading 1000 of their AC4460ACs and AC44s into what they call a C44ACM. Unlike CP, the original 20 rebuilds did not receive a new crew cab.


AC4400CW current operators, as of February 27, 2016 include:

Railroad: Union Pacific

Qty: 1,338
Notes: A handful patched from Southern Pacific and Chicago and North Western, to eventually be repainted.

Railroad: CSX Transportation

Qty: 615
Notes: 1-173, 201-272, 274-402, 404-494 CW44AC; 273, 403, 495-599, 5101-5122 CW44AH with HTE software. AC4400CW No. 130 destroyed in The Cayce, South Carolina train collision.

Railroad: BNSF

Qty: 121
Notes: 5600-5717, 5838-5840, 40 units leased to Metrolink and converted to PTC throughout 2016.

Railroad: Canadian Pacific

Qty: 438
Notes: 8500-8580, 8600-8655, 9500-9683, 9700-9740, 9750-9784, 9800-9840. The 9751, 9758, 9777, and 9782 were used in the 2010 film Unstoppable. Several units will be or have been rebuilt and are classified as AC4400CWM. Rebuilt units are renumbered 8000-8064, 8100-8144, 8200-8229.

Railroad: Cartier Railway

Qty: 17

Railroad: Cerrejón

Qty: 5
Notes: 10010-10014

Railroad: Ferromex

Qty: 75

Railroad: Ferrosur

Qty: 38

Railroad: Kansas City Southern

Qty: 175

Railroad: Quebec, North Shore and Labrador

Qty: 12
Notes: Numbered 415 to 426

Role in Unstoppable
The plot of the movie Unstoppable required Denzel Washington and Chris Pine to climb aboard the locomotives of a runaway freight train. To film the movie, four Canadian Pacific AC4400CW locomotives (numbers 9777, 9758, 9782, and 9751), were repainted as two fictional "Allegheny and West Virginia Railroad" locomotives (nos. 777 (nicknamed "Triple 7") and 767). 9777 and 9782 were painted as 777, while 9758 and 9751 were painted as 767.

GE AC4400CW Overview
Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: GE Transportation Systems
Model: AC4400CW
Build date: 1993 – 2004
Total produced: 2,598
​ • AAR: C-C
Gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Wheel diameter: 42 in (1,067 mm)
Wheelbase: 13 ft 2 in (4.01 m)
Length: 73 ft 2 in (22.30 m)
Height: 15 ft 6 in (4.72 m)
Locomotive weight: 426,000 lb (193,000 kg)
Fuel capacity: 5,000 US gal (19,000 L; 4,200 imp gal)
Traction motors: 6
Performance figures
Power output: 4,400 hp (3,300 kW)
Tractive effort: 180,000 lbf (800 kN); Starting: 145,000 lbf (640 kN) at 13.7 mph (22.0 km/h)
Locale: North America

See also:

GE Diesel-Electric Locomotives

GE Transportation