Amtrak's "Genesis" Locomotives



Genesis I

In the early '90s, Amtrak was faced with the fact that their F-40PH locomotive fleet was approaching its 15th birthday. Due to the speeds at which these engines operated, and frequent starts and stops, they were wearing out quickly.

General Electric Transportation Systems offered Amtrak a unique new locomotive, the first north American locomotive designed especially for passenger service, in recent history. Unlike earlier diesels (such as the F-40PH and the P30CH) the structure of this new design started from scratch, not as an adaptation of an existing freight locomotive. The body was of a monocoque design, and resembled a long tube. There was no traditional frame, and the fuel tank was integrated onto the body. The trucks were of a new design, that minimized unsprung weight.

The electrical components came from GE's then current line of four-axle freight locomotives, the 4000hp B40-8 series. In keeping with GE model designation practices, the new model was given the name P40-8. However, it was also known by several different names, for publicity purposes. The original name was "Genesis I", signifying a new generation of motive power. This was later replaced by AMD103, meaning "AMtrak Diesel, 103mph".

After thoroughly testing the P40s for several years, Amtrak went back to GE for more Genesis I type units. These new locomotives had 200 more horsepower, and were known as P42DCs, for reasons that will become apparent later.

Amtrak eventually acquired 44 P40s and 207 P42s. Canada's VIArail also purchased several P42s.

Genesis II

The F40s weren't the only locomotives Amtrak needed to replace. Even older were the FL9s used on the Hudson River line, from Albany NY to New York City. These diesels dated from the late '50s, but the were kept in service because of their unique capabilities. They could operate either off their diesel prime movers, or off of the 600v DC third rail, that extended from New York, to Croton-Harmon, 33 miles to the north. If these units were to be retired, a replacement had to be found.

At first Amtrak wanted a "tri-power" unit that could operate off diesel, 3rd rail DC, or overhead 16kv AC. This proved too ambitious to be practical, and instead they opted for a modified Genesis type unit, with the same "diesel/3rd rail" capabilities as the FL9s. These were called P32AC-DM by GE, and Genesis II by Amtrak.

Though similar to the Genesis I types, the dual-power Genesis IIs incorporated several major changes, over and above the ability to run off external power. The prime mover was a 12 cylinder unit of 3200hp, and the transmission included DC-AC inverters and AC traction motors.

A total of 18 Genesis IIs were built for Amtrak, and several more were built for Metro North Commuter Railroad.

Gen805LGen803R
mm/Trackbed
Type Amtrak Genesis I (AMD103)
Stats
ModelGE P40-8
Dates Built1993
Road Numbers800 - 843
Left Image805
Right Image803
Notes

These are the original P40 units, and ran for several years on only the most important trains. Only when the P42s had displaced the F40PH fleet completely, did Amtrak start "mothballing" these early Genesis units. The only route they now serve is the Auto Train, from Virginia to Florida, which, either ironically or by design, was their first assignment in 1993.

Gen707LGen700R
mm/Trackbed
Type Amtrak Genesis II
Stats
ModelGE P32ACDM
Dates Built1995 - 1998
Road Numbers700 - 717
Left Image707
Right Image700
Notes

The P32ACs made up the second group of units to go into service. They are currently at work on the "Empire Corridor" from New York to Albany, Buffalo, and Montreal. In addition to the mechanical differences, there was a slight change in the paint scheme as well, the nose was painted gray, like the roof, instead of silver as on the P40s.

Gen006LGen001R
mm/Trackbed
Type Amtrak Genesis I
Stats
ModelGE P42DC (early)
Dates Built1996-1997
Road Numbers1 - 120
Left Image6
Right Image1
Notes

The number series for the P42s started with 1, and the first 120 were delivered with a variation of the Phase 3 paint scheme worn by the P40s. The main difference is the tail of the stripe is a constant color, without the fade effect that adorned the earlier locomotives.

Gen123LGen164R
mm/Trackbed
Type Amtrak "Electro-Diesels"
Stats
ModelGE P42DC (mid)
Dates Built2000
Road Numbers123 - 174
Left Image123
Right Image164
Notes

Amtrak started playing "musical paint schemes" in the mid '90s. This eventually lead to this phase 5 "wave" scheme and the new "three sheets to the wind" logo.

Gen178LGen204R
mm/Trackbed
Type Amtrak "Electro-Diesels"
Stats
ModelGE P42DC (Late)
Dates Built2001
Road Numbers175 - 207
Left Image178
Right Image204
Notes

This is a further variation on the wave scheme. Note that on the 123 series units, the sloped portion of the lower body is completely covered by gray, blue, and red. On these later units, the red stripe is much lower, and the Platinum Mist body color extends down onto the sloped area.

Gen800LGen832R
mm/Trackbed
Gen709LGen710R
mm/Trackbed
Gen018LGen024R
mm/Trackbed
Gen033LGen096R
mm/Trackbed
Type Genesis Repaints
Notes

As each new scheme was introduced, Amtrak undertook to repaint all older units to the new scheme. This resulted in some units appearing in schemes more recent than newer units. It also meant they had to repaint some of them several times, as the scheme to which a unit was just repainted became obsolete.

GenU_LGenU_R
mm/Trackbed
Type Amtrak Genesis I
Stats
ModelGE P42DC/P40
Dates Built1993 - 2002
Notes

Here are some units without paint. Amtrak painted many of these locomotives at their own shop, and sometimes put them in revenue service while they were waiting their turn in the spray booth. Also, if anyone wants to, they could use these as the basis for their own repaints.

Download These are included in my Traffic library. To get it, please go to the Traffic Library Download Page.
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