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The GE C40-8W is a 6-axle diesel-electric locomotive built by GE Transportation Systems from 1990 to 1994. It is part of the GE Dash 8 Series of freight locomotives.

GE C40-8W
CR 6114 1993, Altoona, Pennsylvania.jpg
Conrail 6114, a Dash 8-40CW, leads a train westbound out of Altoona, Pennsylvania in 1993.
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderGE Transportation Systems
Build date1990 – 1994
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Driver dia.40 in (1,016 mm)
Length70 ft 8 in (21.54 m)
Width10 ft 2 in (3.10 m)
Height15 ft 4 in (4.67 m)
Fuel capacity5,000 US gal (19,000 l; 4,200 imp gal)
Lubricant cap.410 US gal (1,600 l; 340 imp gal)
Coolant cap.380 US gal (1,400 l; 320 imp gal)
Prime moverGE 7FDL16
Engine typeV16 diesel
AlternatorGE GMG187
Traction motors6x GE 752AG or 752AH
Performance figures
Maximum speed70 mph (113 km/h)
Power output4,000 hp (3,000 kW)
some uprated to 4,100 hp (3,100 kW), some uprated to 4,135 HP
Tractive effort108,600 lbf (483 kN)
OperatorsSee table
LocaleNorth America
DispositionMost units still in service as of 2017, some have been retired and/or sold to other railroads or leasing companies.

This locomotive model is often referred to as a Dash 8-40CW, and is distinguished from the predecessor Dash 8-40C by the addition of a newer "wide" or "safety" cab.

A cowl-bodied version of this locomotive, built only for the Canadian market, was the GE Dash 8-40CM.

Most units are still in service as of late 2017, some have been retired and/or sold to other railroads or leasing companies.



The first Dash 8-40CW was delivered to the Union Pacific railroad in 1990. In total, GE would build 756 Dash 8-40CWs. The Dash 8-40CW was succeeded by the Dash 9-44CW in 1994.

Like most GE locomotives, the Dash 8-40CW saw continuous upgrades over the course of its production. Later model Conrail units were built with split cooling systems for the turbocharger intercooler and engine cooling (previous Dash 8 series had both on the same cooling system). The later units delivered to Conrail in 1993 and 1994 were equipped with GE's Integrated Function Displays (IFD). The IFDs are LCD displays that provide the engineer with the same information previously provided by analog gauges, as well as integrating distance counter and End of Train Device telemetry functions.


The Dash 8-40CW is powered by a 4,000-horsepower (3,000 kW) V16 7FDL diesel engine driving a GE GMG187 main alternator. The power generated by the main alternator drives six GE 752AG or 752AH Direct Current traction motors, each with a gear ratio of 83:20 and connected to 40-inch (1,016 mm) wheels which allow the Dash 8-40CW a maximum speed of 70 mph (110 km/h).

Depending on customer options, the Dash 8-40CW carries approximately 5000 US gallons (18927 L) of diesel fuel, 410 US gal (1,552 L) of lubricating oil, and 380 gallons (1,438 L) of coolant. Like most North American diesel locomotives, the Dash 8-40CW uses normal water for cooling. The Dash 8-40CW has a maximum tractive effort of 108,600 lbf (483,000 N) at 11 mph (18 km/h) with the 83:20 gearing. Overall dimensions for the Dash 8-40CW are 70 ft 8 in (21.54 m) in length, 15 ft 4 in (4.67 m) in height and 10 ft 2 in (3.10 m) in width.


GE Dash 8-41CW (C41-8W), UP 9481

The General Electric Dash 8-41CW or Dash 8-41W (C41-8W) is a variation with the same 16-cylinder engine upgraded to 4,135 hp (3,083 kW). 154 were produced between 1993 and 1994 for both the Union Pacific and Santa Fe (ATSF) railroads, and some Dash 8-40CW units were also uprated to Dash 8-41CW standard by the railroads. Since no four-axle versions of this unit were built, the "C" designation (indicating trucks with three powered axles, or C-C) is often omitted.

The GE Dash 8.5-40CW is 6-axle a 4,000 hp (2,800 kW) diesel-electric locomotive rebuilt by Norfolk Southern. The first locomotive started its rebuild in 2012. Only one unit is on the active roster, and it is stored. The units will be rebuilt with the Norfolk Southern-designed wide-nose RLS cab which meets current FRA crashworthiness standards. The rebuild will also include the installation of locomotive speed limiter (LSL), and cab signals and other electronics upgrades. NS discontinued the rebuild program in April 2016 due to repeated failures.

The GE C40-8WM was an experimental rebuild program done by GE in partnership with CSX at GE's Locomotive plant at Erie, PA in late 2016 and early 2017 to see if they were worth rebuilding. The program consisted of 10 C40-8Ws from CSX, #'s 7771, 7774, 7799, 7801, 7807, 7811, 7786 ,7787, 7779 & 7780, the units were rebuilt with updated prime movers, new cab interiors, new control system (upgrade to CCA from IFC), installation of PTC equipment, fresh repaint, body work as needed, addition of shutters to the radiator to help more accurately control the engine temperature, and a few other refurbs.

Current and former ownersEdit

Railroad Quantity Road numbers Notes
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway 152 800–951 "Super Fleet"
927–951 are model C41-8W.
Passed on to BNSF following the BN/ATSF merger in 1996.
BNSF Railway 152 800–951 800–866 sold to CN. 867–951 still on property, but most are currently in storage.
Canadian National 67 2098–2099, 2135–2199 Former BNSF 800–866. Originally ATSF 800-866.
Conrail 236 6050–6285 Split between CSX and NS following the split up of Conrail on June 1st, 1999; Nos. 6266–6285 are ex-LMSX Nos. 740–759.
CSX Transportation 375 7300–7396, 7650–7917, 7918–7929 Classed as CW40-8. 7300–7396 originally bought by Conrail. 7918–7929 originally bought by LMSX, 7300-7396 have been retired and sold to GECX leasing. 7650-7929 are still mostly on the roster but some have also been sold to GECX.
Illinois Central 11 2455–2466 Bought from LMSX. Conrail Blue paint with CN markings and IC sublettering. Some have been repainted into standard CN paint.
Locomotive Management Services (LMSX) 60 700–759 Conrail lease units. Split between CSX, NS, and IC., Nos. 740–759 to Conrail Nos. 6266–6285.
Norfolk Southern 154 8314–8467 All units originally Conrail or LMSX.
Union Pacific Railroad 204 9356–9559 9481–9559 are model C41-8W.
Pan Am Railways 6 7655, 7727, 7797, 7835, 7875, 7898 Classed as C40-8W. All units formally CSX.
GE Capital Leasing (GECX) 108 9124-9450 7700-7900 7902-7922

7300-7396 7653-7695

All units are former CSX and Union Pacific, Units are currently being leased to Canadian National and Norfolk Southern due to high rail traffic levels.

See alsoEdit


  • Bytown Railway Society (2004). Canadian Trackside Guide.
  • General Electric Company (1990). Operating Manual Dash 8-40CW Diesel Electric Locomotives.
  • McDonnell, Greg (2008). Locomotives: The Modern Diesel and Electric Reference. Erin, Ontario: Boston Mills Press. ISBN 978-1550464931.
  • Solomon, Brian (2003). GE Locomotives: 110 Years of General Electric Motive Power. St. Paul, MN, USA: MBI Publishing. ISBN 9780760313619.
  • Solomon, Brian (2010). Modern Locomotives: High Horsepower Diesels 1966–2000. New York: Crestline. ISBN 978-0785826811.