Why the EMD SD-40 Lives On and On!

The SD40 is a diesel-electric locomotive model that was manufactured by General Motors’ Electro-Motive Division (EMD) from 1966 to 1972. The locomotive was designed for use in heavy-duty freight service and became one of the most popular locomotives of the 1960s and 1970s. The SD40 was a part of EMD’s “Dash 2” series, which included a number of improvements over the previous “Dash 1” series.

16 Cylinder Turbocharged Diesel

The SD40 was powered by an EMD 645-series, 16-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine that produced 3,000 horsepower. The locomotive also had an electric generator that powered four traction motors, one on each axle. The SD40 had a maximum speed of 65 miles per hour and weighed around 360,000 pounds. The locomotive was also equipped with a dynamic braking system that allowed it to slow down without using the traditional air brakes.

US, Canada and Mexico

The SD40 was originally designed for use in the United States, but it quickly found its way to Canada and Mexico as well. The locomotive was used by a number of different railroad companies, including Burlington Northern, Union Pacific, Southern Pacific, and Canadian National. The SD40 was known for its reliability and durability, and many locomotives are still in use today.

Easy Maintenance

One of the notable features of the SD40 was its modular design. The locomotive was built with a number of interchangeable parts, which made maintenance and repairs easier and faster. The SD40 was also designed with a number of safety features, including an automatic speed control system that prevented the locomotive from exceeding a set speed limit.

Upgraded and Modified

Over the years, the SD40 has undergone a number of upgrades and modifications. Some of the most common upgrades include the installation of more powerful engines, improved computer systems, and updated braking systems. These modifications have helped to keep the SD40 competitive in an increasingly crowded market.

The SD40 was a highly successful locomotive model that played a key role in the transportation of freight throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The locomotive’s reliability, durability, and modular design made it a favorite among railroad companies, and its continued use today is a testament to its enduring popularity.

SD-40 Variants

The SD40 was produced in several variants to meet different needs and specifications. Here are some of the most common SD40 variants:

  1. SD40-2: The SD40-2 was an upgraded version of the SD40, introduced by EMD in 1972. It had an improved electrical system and a higher horsepower rating, making it more efficient and powerful than its predecessor.
  2. SD40-2W: The SD40-2W was a variant of the SD40-2 that was produced by EMD for Canadian National Railway. It had a wide-nose cab for better visibility, and a modified cooling system to accommodate cold Canadian winters.
  3. SD40-3: The SD40-3 was a remanufactured version of the SD40 produced by MotivePower Industries. It had a new 16-cylinder engine, upgraded electrical components, and improved emissions controls.
  4. SD40T-2: The SD40T-2 was a variant of the SD40-2 that was designed for use in mountainous regions. It had a tunnel motor configuration, with air intakes located on the roof to prevent debris from entering the engine during tunnel operations.
  5. SDP40F: The SDP40F was a passenger variant of the SD40 produced by EMD for Amtrak. It had a modified frame and body, and was equipped with a steam generator for heating passenger cars.

These are just a few of the many SD40 variants produced over the years. Each variant was designed to meet specific needs and requirements of railroads and their customers.

Ubiquitous Model

The SD40 locomotive was a popular model produced by EMD, and it was used by many railroads in the United States and around the world. Some of the most notable companies that chose to use the SD40 include:

  1. Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (AT&SF)
  2. Burlington Northern Railroad (BN)
  3. Canadian National Railway (CN)
  4. Canadian Pacific Railway (CP)
  5. Conrail (CR)
  6. CSX Transportation (CSXT)
  7. Norfolk Southern Railway (NS)
  8. Union Pacific Railroad (UP)

These are just a few examples of the many companies that used the SD40 locomotive. The versatility and reliability of the SD40 made it a popular choice for many railroads, and it continues to be a favorite among railfans and collectors today.

About GE EMD

EMD stands for Electro-Motive Division, a former division of General Motors that specialized in the manufacturing of diesel-electric locomotives for North American railroads. EMD was established in 1941 when General Motors purchased Winton Engine Company, which had developed the first practical diesel-electric locomotive in the United States.

Throughout its history, EMD was known for its innovative designs and superior performance, and its locomotives became ubiquitous on American railroads. Some of EMD’s most popular locomotive models include the E and F units of the 1940s and 1950s, the GP series of the 1960s, and the SD series of the 1970s.

In 2005, General Motors sold EMD to the private equity firm Greenbriar Equity Group and the Canadian locomotive manufacturer Bombardier Transportation. Today, EMD is a subsidiary of Progress Rail, which is owned by the heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar Inc.

EMD’s locomotives have played a significant role in the development and growth of North American rail transportation, and they continue to be used extensively by railroads across the continent.