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Conrail 6114, a Dash 8-40CW, leads a train westbound out of Altoona, Pennsylvania in 1993. - NFL Jerseys and Gear

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Union Pacific Railroad 9481 GE C41-8W. Date 25 January 2008.
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Conrail 6114, a Dash 8-40CW, leads a train westbound out of Altoona, Pennsylvania in 1993.

By Photo by Sean Lamb (User:Slambo). - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.0,

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Union Pacific Railroad 9481 GE C41-8W (Dash 8-41CW), January 25, 2008.

By terry cantrell - originally posted to Flickr as UP 9481, CC BY-SA 2.0,

GE Dash 8-40CW
The GE C40-8W is a 6-axle road switcher diesel-electric locomotive built by GE Transportation Systems from 1990 to 1994. It is part of the GE Dash 8 Series of freight locomotives.

This locomotive model is often referred to as a Dash 8-40CW, and is distinguished from the predecessor Dash 8-40C by the addition of a newer "wide" or "safety" cab.

A cowl-bodied version of this locomotive, built only for the Canadian market, was the GE Dash 8-40CM.

Most units are still in service as of late 2017, some have been retired and/or sold to other railroads or leasing companies.

The first Dash 8-40CW was delivered to the Union Pacific railroad in 1990. In total, GE would build 756 Dash 8-40CWs. The Dash 8-40CW was succeeded by the Dash 9-44CW in 1994.

Like most GE locomotives, the Dash 8-40CW saw continuous upgrades over the course of its production. Later model Conrail units were built with split cooling systems for the turbocharger intercooler and engine cooling (previous Dash 8 series had both on the same cooling system). The later units delivered to Conrail in 1993 and 1994 were equipped with GE's Integrated Function Displays (IFD). The IFDs are LCD displays that provide the engineer with the same information previously provided by analog gauges, as well as integrating distance counter and End of Train Device telemetry functions.

The Dash 8-40CW is powered by a 4,000-horsepower (3,000 kW) V16 7FDL diesel engine driving a GE GMG187 main  alternator. The power generated by the main alternator drives six GE 752AG or 752AH Direct Current traction motors, each with a gear ratio of 83:20 and connected to 40-inch (1,016 mm) wheels which allow the Dash 8-40CW a maximum speed of 70 mph (110 km/h).

Depending on customer options, the Dash 8-40CW carries approximately 5000 US gallons (18927 L) of diesel fuel, 410 US gal (1,552 L) of lubricating oil, and 380 gallons (1,438 L) of coolant. Like most North American diesel locomotives, the Dash 8-40CW uses normal water for cooling. The Dash 8-40CW has a maximum tractive effort of 108,600 lbf (483,000 N) at 11 mph (18 km/h) with the 83:20 gearing. Overall dimensions for the Dash 8-40CW are 70 ft 8 in (21.54 m) in length, 15 ft 4 in (4.67 m) in height and 10 ft 2 in (3.10 m) in width.

The General Electric Dash 8-41CW or Dash 8-41W (C41-8W) is a variation with the same 16-cylinder engine upgraded to 4,135 hp (3,083 kW). 154 were produced between 1993 and 1994 for both the Union Pacific and Santa Fe (ATSF) railroads, and some Dash 8-40CW units were also uprated to Dash 8-41CW standard by the railroads. Since no four-axle versions of this unit were built, the "C" designation (indicating trucks with three powered axles, or C-C) is often omitted.

The GE Dash 8.5-40CW is 6-axle a 4,000 hp (2,800 kW) diesel-electric locomotive rebuilt by Norfolk Southern. The first locomotive started its rebuild in 2012. Only one unit is on the active roster, and it is stored. The units will be rebuilt with the Norfolk Southern-designed wide-nose RLS cab which meets current FRA crash-worthiness standards. The rebuild will also include the installation of locomotive speed limiter (LSL), and cab signals and other electronics upgrades. NS discontinued the rebuild program in April 2016 due to repeated failures.

The GE C40-8WM was an experimental rebuild program done by GE in partnership with CSX at GE's Locomotive plant at Erie, Pennsylvania in late 2016 and early 2017 to see if they were worth rebuilding. The program consisted of 10 C40-8Ws from CSX, Nos. 7771, 7774, 7799, 7801, 7807, 7811, 7786 ,7787, 7779 & 7780, the units were rebuilt with updated prime movers, new cab interiors, new control system (upgrade to CCA from IFC), installation of PTC equipment, fresh repaint, body work as needed, addition of shutters to the radiator to help more accurately control the engine temperature, and a few other refurbishments.

Current and former owners

Owner: Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway

Quantity: 152
Road numbers: 800–951
Notes: 927–951 are model C41-8W. Passed on to BNSF following the BN/ATSF merger in 1996.

Owner: BNSF Railway

Quantity: 152
Road numbers: 800–951
Notes: 800–866 sold to CN. 867–951 still on property, but most are currently in storage.

Owner: Canadian National

Quantity: 67
Road numbers: 2098–2099, 2135–2199
Notes: Former BNSF 800–866. Originally ATSF 800-866.

Owner: Conrail

Quantity: 236
Road numbers: 6050–6285
Notes: Split between CSX and NS following the split up of Conrail on June 1st, 1999; Nos. 6266–6285 are ex-LMSX Nos. 740–759.

Owner: CSX Transportation

Quantity: 375
Road numbers: 7300–7396, 7650–7917, 7918–7929
Notes: Classed as CW40-8. 7300–7396 originally bought by Conrail. 7918–7929 originally bought by LMSX, 7300-7396 have been retired and sold to GECX leasing. 7650-7929 are still mostly on the roster but some have also been sold to GECX.

Owner: Illinois Central

Quantity: 11
Road numbers: 2455–2466
Notes: Bought from LMSX. Conrail Blue paint with CN markings and IC sublettering. Some have been repainted into standard CN paint.

Owner: Locomotive Management Services (LMSX)

Quantity: 60
Road numbers: 700–759
Notes: Conrail lease units. Split between CSX, NS, and IC, Nos. 740–759 to Conrail Nos. 6266–6285.

Owner: Norfolk Southern

Quantity: 154
Road numbers: 8314–8467
Notes: All units originally Conrail or LMSX.

Owner: Union Pacific Railroad

Quantity: 204
Road numbers: 9356–9559
Notes: 9481–9559 are model C41-8W.

Owner: Pan Am Railways

Quantity: 6
Road numbers: 7655, 7727, 7797, 7835, 7875, 7898
Notes: Classed as C40-8W. All units formally CSX.

Owner: GE Capital Leasing (GECX)

Quantity: 108
Road numbers: 9124-9450, 7700-7900, 7902-7922, 7300-7396, 7653-7695
Notes: All units are former CSX and Union Pacific, Units are currently being leased to Canadian National and Norfolk Southern due to high rail traffic levels.

GE C40-8W Overview
Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: GE Transportation Systems
Model: C40-8W
Build date: 1990 – 1994
​ • AAR: C-C
Gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Driver diameter: 40 in (1,016 mm)
Length: 70 ft 8 in (21.54 m)
Width: 10 ft 2 in (3.10 m)
Height: 15 ft 4 in (4.67 m)
Fuel capacity: 5,000 US gal (19,000 l; 4,200 imp gal)
Lubricant capacity: 410 US gal (1,600 l; 340 imp gal)
Coolant capacity: 380 US gal (1,400 l; 320 imp gal)
Prime mover: GE 7FDL16
Engine type: V16 diesel
Alternator: GE GMG187
Traction motors: 6x GE 752AG or 752AH
Cylinders: 16
Performance figures
Maximum speed: 70 mph (113 km/h)
Power output: 4,000 hp (3,000 kW); some uprated to 4,100 hp (3,100 kW), some uprated to 4,135 HP
Tractive effort: 108,600 lbf (483 kN)
Locale: North America
Disposition: Most units still in service as of 2017, some have been retired and/or sold to other railroads or leasing companies.

See also:

GE Transportation

GE Diesel-Electric Locomotives