THE (MOSTLY) YANKEE UNITS - AMTRAK P42 GENESIS SERIES LOCOMOTIVES 100-109

Here are 100-109's, the original "Yankee" road numbers in the second 1997 Amtrak Genesis order from the GE Transportation Division at Erie, Pennsylvania. This group is missing one, #102, which is out of service due to an earthquake that caused a derailment in Vermont. Units #101-109 were originally equipped with a special northeast corridor train control system that allowed them to traverse the electrified corridor, even leading when electric units or the caternary was out of service. They featured a "northeast corridor" stencil on the front skirts and appeared originally in a version of 2G "northeast direct" livery.


Currently two of them are running in special commemorative paint, #100 and #108. In a navy "midnight" blue 50th anniversary special paint is #100, while #108 took over a modified red nose 40/50 year anniversary styling when #156 bit the dust. The 100-109's generally operate out of Rensselaer, New York, where dualmode P42's from NYP often change power for trips north and west. Originally #100 was not part of the Rensselaer base, but it has shifted there in recent years. Coming in 2024, #106 is expected to be repainted, perhaps in Amtrak's 4G paint scheme for these 27 year old locomotives.

This is part of a a transition group, with road numbers 100-120 coming as a supplement to Amtrak's original two major P42 orders from General Electric. Engine #100 was painted in the same 1993-vintage bicentennial stripes as were road numbers 1-99. However, at #101 there was a modification into a new 1997-1998 marketing scheme. The "Northeast Direct" 2G scheme was applied to road numbers 101-111. It should also be noted that a different shade of grey paint was used on the nose and top of #101-111 as compared to later arrivals. This reflected the style also employed on the second batch of P32 dualmodes that operate on Metro North trackage out of New York City. Eventually all were redone into the 3G millennium styling.

In late August 2023, due to a Norfolk Southern computer glitch, a set of Lakeshore equipment with those two locomotives got out of its slot. From Chicago to Washington, the entire set of equipment was added to a Cardinal, and moved back to New York. Since the Yankee units seldom go south of Washington DC, it was an interesting situation. It appears that #108 stayed south, while #100 went back to New England, presumably deadhead through the NEC tunnels. This trip represented one of the few times that the anniversary painted units 100 and 108 deviated from their normal northeastern haunts.

These were among the last P42s to have their noses changed. Historically they operated out of Rensselaer, New Haven and Springfield, although in the last couple of years, they have also done some of the longer distance lifting on the Lakeshore Limited (trains 48/448 and 449/49) between Boston and Chicago. Once and a while one also shows up on a Florida service, but we don't remember ever having one go west of Chicago or New Orleans. Amtrak still practices a changeover of locomotives at New Haven and Rensselaer, in that various types of electric pickup exist in the New York City environs. Between Penn Station and Rennselaer, dual-mode third rail electrification may be in play, while Hartford Line and regional trains usually swap to caternary-supplied locomotives at New Haven. Even though a regional train number may remain the same from St. Albans or Springfield down through New York and Washington, even into Virginia, there can be as many as three different locomotives used.

All of Amtrak's starting fleet of 207 P42's have suffered injuries, many of them over and over again. The 100-109's group mostly was dedicated to the New Haven regionals, so as "Yankees" lived a quieter life than most others. Only one of them (#102) has been lost so far. Despite the relatively easy life #102 was a total loss after a derailment October 5, 2015 near Northfield, Vermont. It remains stored on a Beech Grove RIP track in 2023, having been returned from Montpelier Junction on a flatcar.

Train 55 with #102 struck a rockslide on the New England Central, on the morning of October 5. There had been seismic activity that day in Vermont, but it was concluded that the collapse of the rock cut onto the right (westernmost) rail resulted from weathering that had occurred over time. Nevertheless, the earthquake had to have contributed to the material picking that particular day to make their moves. After contining 310 feet, #102 and the first car left the right of way and fell 85 feet into a ravine, rolling onto the fireman's side. The remaining cars remained upright.

Serial numbers for 100-109 are 49952-49961 Sticker dates were June, July, and August, 1997 as GE wound down the order for Amtrak. After delivery in 1993 style paint, all were eventually refurbished. The most recent to receive a repaint was #104 in April 2023 and #103 on July 31. It is assumed that #107 is currently in maintenance as of Labor Day, and will soon also be coming out in fresh paint.

Engine #100 was repainted three times over a very quick time span, chosen for a special Postal Service exhibition train, referred to as the "Celebrate the Century" unit, then getting the high skirt millennium paint in summer 2001, and by 2002 going to the common-theme low skirt variant. Eventually #101-109 were also redone into low-skirt millennium paint, but were among the last in 2002, and even later had their nose cones changed to a bolt-on composite. Two in this group were the last original nose holdouts (108 and 109), not being changed out for more than 20 years after the transition had begun. Engine 102, as far as we know, also had never been changed out prior to its wreck.

Finally, in early 2021, engine #100 was redone once again, in its current 50 year anniversary "Connecting America" theme. This followed a brief stint as a campaign train lead engine for "Amtrak Joe" Biden's "Build Back Better Express" in September of 2020.



Some common patterns for these units in the past have been to make a yard move from Boston South Station, ending up in Portland or Brunswick for the Downeaster. Another common move is from a New Haven regional to the Vermonter (trains 55/56 with different train numbers for weekday vs weekend) at New Haven, and back again. The Vermonter switches to electrified power to continue its trip south, while the P42 stays in New England. Another normal usage in 2023 is on the Maple Leaf (trains 63/64) between Rensselaer and Toronto, returning the next day. Sometimes a spare is kept at Niagara Falls for the Maple Leaf and other New York Empire Service trains. In 2023-2024 it was common to find these units on Lake Shore cycles.

OUT OF SERVICE

#102 - Serial 49954(June 1997). Off roster due to 2015 eqrthquake-caused derailment in Vermont.
#106 - Serial 49958(August 1997). No reports. Believed in Maintenance at Beech Grove.
#107 - Serial 49959(August 1997). Believed in maintenance April 4, 2023 until late in the year. Not believed repainted.

RECENT MAJOR MAINTENANCE

While some components may be changed out at Rensselaer, New Haven, Philly, and Ivy City, most heavy work and painting is done at Chicago or Beech Grove. Here are the known maintenance cycles for the 100-109 group over the past five years:


#100 - April 26, 2021 - Fresh paint, "midnight blue" 50 year anniversary
#108 - July 26, 2021 - Fresh heritage paint.

#104 - April 1, 2023 - Fresh paint
#103 - July 30, 2023 - Fresh paint
#107 - Assumed maintenance April 4, 2023. Seen active again late in 2023.
#106 - Moved to Beech Grove October 21/22 2023. Expected to be in refreshed paint upon release.


APRIL 2024 REPORTS

Here is what we have in April 2024 for active units in group #100-109. Engines #103 and #104 have among the freshest paint of any of Amtrak's remaining 1997-built locomotives (2023 refresh of 3G styling). Aside from an occasional Lake Shore shuttle, these units are captive to commuter trains in New York and New England. Click on the text to go to photos, and for more information.

100 RSR operations April 1-4 2024 (Maple Leaf).
101 RSR operations April 1-4 2024.
103 T449/49Apr3/4(w/118Ld).
104 T449-4.
105 T449-Apr 2. T49Apr2/3(w/115Tr). T48/448Apr3/4(w/126Tr).
107 RSR operations Apr4(T280/281).
108 RSR operations April 1-4 2024.
109 Boston operations March 29/April 4.

There are eight operables in this group 100-109, with #106 is known to be at Beech Grove. Presumably it is getting maintenance and maybe new 2024 paint. These are northeastern commuter engines that seldom venture away from Portland, Boston, New Haven, or Rensselaer. Once and a while they run Lake Shore shuttles to and from Chicago. In March, #107 ventured out to Washington DC, Chicago, and return.

Updated through April 4, 2024 by 4rr.com