|EDITOR'S COMMENTS JULY 13, 2020|
General Electric manufactured the P40/P42 series
of diesel locomotives at Erie, Pennsylvania, during the period 1993-2001. Amtrak purchased 44 P40's, 207 P42's, and 18 dualmodes.
Our profile engine is #15. This 1996-built unit has spent most of its life working out of New Orleans, where it was stored during June 2020. On the 4th of July it decided to come out of storage on train 1 running with #60. The pair is back in New Orleans July 10.
AMTRAK SERVICE CUTS IN FLORIDA
It seems to us that we have an opportunity to improve things. Such has not come along in a generation, if not ever. Not just to restore the status-quo before virus, but to make changes for the benefit of all society, and the country and even the world. Sports is off the subject here, but why return to the obscene college coaches salaries and a system that disfavors education, but rather ties a university's reputation to the number of professional athletes it churns out?
Congress could do what it should, and give some consideration to the place of rail transportation in the national picture. We hope the legislators will do something to improve transportation availability and quality, not just prop up a failing Amtrak. We don't need cuts or tri-weekly trains that run often 12-24 hours late. Would you patronize a grocery store that was only open irregular hours on irregular days? We don't need obsolete junk equipment in which passengers take their lives in their hands. Since new equipment is needed anyway, why not make it virus-free, comfortable if not even luxurious, and state of the art, rather than cookie cutter transit cars with plastic seat buckets and overhead hand rails. The best rated airlines are increasingly offering better food, lay-back seats and even "sleeping compartments," so why should our trains lose more of the few amenities still remaining? Many have ridden Amtrak in the past because of the wider seats, and rows farther apart, but unfortunately now the tendency is for newer equipment to cheat on seat spacing. In view of current circumstances, that trend was a mistake. We have a chance to make things better, not just reset the clock back to 2019. Just an opinion, anyway.
RECENT AMTRAK OPERATIONAL NEWS
Chief (3-11) hit by a vehicle, evidently in western Kansas. Somewhat late and getting later. Train 3-10 also has some difficulties out in New Mexico.
Builder train 7-10 never made it past Spokane. 11 and 81 acting out the whole trip. BNSF 4634 added St Paul to Minot which also acted out, replaced by 4297 at Minot. Half a day late. Assuming it will become 8-12. Guessing typical summertime delays, will report if anything else is passed to us.
At Los Angeles, #130 has been pulled out of the shop, "repairs" completed. It went on train 14-10. Nose may have been partially repainted but looks pretty rough.
For the first time in modern memory, there are no P42's working for the joint powers in California or on Cascades. The reduction of California trains due to virus is the primary culprit. California authorities have also been taking possession of new Charger and P125 locomotives from Siemens and Progress Rail.
Horizon cars have been moving west on the Empire Builder to replace the two retired Talgo sets when service returns on Cascades.
Charger 4627 continues its test on the Empire Builder, on trin 7-12, and still with 159 and 13. Making more round trips between Chicago and Seattle. The first batch of Chargers have exhibited overheating problems, so improvements are planned in their cooling systems. Previously built units will be retrofitted. About one third of the existing Chicago Midwest group is still in use daily...the other two thirds are now parked and babied (pending warranty work modifications?). There is quite a bit of Charger rotation going on though at Chicago (social distancing)? Not so much with the core group of P42's however, which go back out as soon as they come in, after being whipped with wet ropes. Those horses are never put up at all.
For our new viewers, perhaps who just found this page, here is our mission: To track as well as possible the movements of Amtrak's P42 Genesis locomotive fleet, along with those older P40's that are still active. This information is only available to the public through in person visual sightings, or recorded by occasional trackside camera. While our reports are often delayed, sometimes by up to 24 hours or more, having a past history of a location can be important in predicting where a specific unit might be in the future. Except for generalities, we are not able to guarantee that a certain locomotive will be on a certain train. We wish we could.
Below are links to the P42 locomotives we know to be active, and another link to a page of destroyed or currently damaged units that we know about. There is now a third group of working units that Amtrak has stored, or placed on standby.
While there has not been any official pronouncement on this subject, it appears that a number of formerly active P42's are being mothballed and may be up for retirement. We will let you draw your own conclusions about this, but if you do not see a given road number on either of our lists, then it likely is in this category. Maybe we will need to create a third page at some point for the "inactives but not quite dead yet".
|INACTIVE GENESIS ENGINES|
|ACTIVE GENESIS ENGINES|