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Amtrak P30CH No. 712 in Southern Pacific service on the Peninsula Commute in 1978. Photo by Drew Jacksich.

By Drew Jacksich from San Jose, CA, The Republic of California - 712 SF oct78x, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17931814

Amtrak logo.
GE logo.
Amtrak P30CH No. 712 in Southern Pacific service on the Peninsula Commute in 1978. Photo by Drew Jacksich.

GE P30CH Diesel Locomotive
The GE P30CH (nicknamed "Pooch" because of the similarity of the designation) was one of the first brand-new diesel-electric locomotives built for Amtrak in the company's early years. The design was based on the GE U30C, but had a cowl carbody like its EMD competitors. Amtrak operated them from 1974–1992.

Amtrak ordered 25 P30CHs in 1974, following up on its order of 40 EMD SDP40Fs in 1973. The P30CH was the first Amtrak diesel locomotive built from the factory to offer HEP (head end power) in the form of 2 Detroit Diesel generator sets, each rated at 375 kW. The six-axle P30CHs, which cost Amtrak $480,000 each, were plagued with mechanical problems and were never very popular with crews or Amtrak management. In the mid-1970s Amtrak moved away from six-axle designs in favor of four-axle units as four-axle locomotives could better handle routes with numerous curves.

Amtrak leased fifteen to the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1978 for use on the Peninsula Commute between San Francisco and San Jose, California. Caltrans leased several P30CHs for its abortive Oxnard–Los Angeles "CalTrain" commuter service. In the later years of their Amtrak careers, the locomotives were used regularly into the mid-1980s on the Sunset Limited and Auto Train routes. They had their final runs in late 1992; none were preserved.

Original owners
GE produced 25 P30CHs, all of which were delivered to Amtrak:
Original Owner: Amtrak

Road Numbers: 700-724
Quantity: 25
Builder Numbers: 40694-40718
Notes: All scrapped

GE P30CH Overview
Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: GE Transportation Systems
Model: P30CH
Build date: 1975-76
Total produced: 25
Specifications
AAR wheel arrangement: C-C
UIC class: Co′Co′
Gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in standard gauge
Trucks: GE 3-axle floating bolster
Wheel diameter: 40 in
Minimum curve: 29° (199.70 ft)
Wheelbase: 46 ft 0 in locomotive, 13 ft 7 in truck
Length: 72 ft 4 in
Width: 10 ft 8.8 in
Height 15 ft 4 1⁄2 in (4.69 m)
Axle load: 64,333.33 lb
Adhesive weight: 100%
Loco weight: 386,000 lb
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel capacity: 3,600 gal
Lubricant capacity: 380 gal
Water capacity: 385 gal
Sandbox capacity: 56 cu ft
Prime mover: GE 7FDL16
RPM range: 450-1050
Engine type: V16 diesel
Aspiration: Turbocharged
Displacement: 175.2 liters (10,690 cu in)
Alternator: GTA11
Traction motors: 6x GE 752 DC traction motors
Cylinders: 16
Cylinder size: 10.95 liters (668 cu in)
Transmission: 75:28 gearing
MU working: Yes
Train heating: Locomotive-supplied head-end power rated at 750 kW (1,010 hp)
Loco brake: Pneumatic (26L) & Dynamic
Train brakes: Pneumatic
Performance figures
Maximum speed: 103 miles per hour
Power output: 3,000 hp
Tractive effort: 58,980 lbf @ 14.7 mph
Career
Operators: Amtrak, some leased to SP
Nicknames: Pooch
Last run: 1992
Disposition: All scrapped

See also:

GE Diesel Locomotives