• EMD SD40 series official thread (covers all variations)

  • Discussion of Electro-Motive locomotive products and technology, past and present. Official web site can be found here: http://www.emdiesels.com/.
Discussion of Electro-Motive locomotive products and technology, past and present. Official web site can be found here: http://www.emdiesels.com/.

Moderator: GOLDEN-ARM

  by John_Perkowski
Moderator's Note:

I'm moving this to the EMD forum; the discussion on this locomotive is not about its Amtrak era service from what I read.
westr wrote:I was aware of these SDP40Fs from Jim Hebner's Amtrak Photo Archive at http://www.hebners.net/amtrak/ but I didn't know that they were still around. Its nice to see that they apparently are. EMD #268 was Amtrak #531 and EMD #169 was Amtrak #609. As Byte said, EMD found uses for them after Amtrak traded them in on F40PHs; Santa Fe never owned them.
Here are pictures from Jim Hebner's site:

As for 644, it still qualifies as the only PRESERVED SDP40F. Though it carries DLMX reporting marks and lives at Brooklyn Roundhouse, as far as I know it has never belonged to Doyle McCormack, though he's obvioulsy involved. It was saved by Chris Fussell, who also saved F40PH #231, and I think it either belongs to him or to the Northwest Rail Museum.
Here are my own pics of 644:
http://myweb.msoe.edu/~westr/Pictures/4 ... 0644-1.JPG
http://myweb.msoe.edu/~westr/Pictures/4 ... 0644-2.JPG

I'm always amazed, at how wrong info gets passed along, as fact. The facts are:

1. Doyle doesn't own the 644. period
2. The 644 isn't stored at the Brooklynn roundhouse.
3. The 644 does NOT carry the reporting marks DMLX.
4. The 644 carries the reporting marks NRMX.
5. The 644 is FRA blue carded as a SDF-40-2, not a SDP-40.

I have logged more miles on this rolling assortment of parts, than I would have cared to. (I made my last run on it, a couple of months ago) Cold, drafty and noisy, are the best things I could say about the "PowerPuff" engine, as we call it on the P&W. (locos should never be painted Baby Blue) I'll post some cab shots shortly, for those who might wonder just what the inside of the thing might look like. This loco is on the P&W, and it's assigned to the Westsider, a road freight from McMinnville, to Albany (Oregon) and return. How it keeps being attributed to Doyle, Brooklynn or any other person/place is a mystery. The last trip I made with Doyle, provided the fact that he DOES own a F-9, a PA and a RSD. Those are his locos. The 644 was saved from scrapping, after it's Mearsk stint, and is on long term lease, to the P&W. It's a "straight" freight unit, and although there are enough parts inside of the carbody to call it dynamic brake equipped, the DB's are regularly out of service. There's a problem with a short in the #2 TM, and it won't load long enough to use, in DB, without getting a ground relay. A quick look at the multiple months worth of FRA cards in the cab will show the DB's are reported as being B/O nearly every day. (I wouldn't call this loco "preserved". I would say it "exists". Preserved implies it's been restored, or at least, is taken care of. It's neither, unfortunately) The thing leaks water in the rain, like it's a convertible, and the heaters aren't capable of producing enough heat, to warm your hands, even if you lay them directly on the heater itself. The inside of the cab is a museum of old duct tape, trying to desperately keep out the cold, fumes and drafts. The only ones enjoying this loco, are the fans who don't know any better...... :P
Here's some interior shots done with a cell phone, of the PowerPuff loco......

1. Firemans & Conductors seat, left side of cab. EBV visible. Two switches on bulkhead control cab "heaters", firemans side.
2. Engineers side (right side) from center of cab. Note speedo/foot rest.
3. Right side cab exit door, directly behind engineers seat. Door on right goes to engine room.
4. View of Engineers side of cab, looking forward. The best part of this loco, a new cab seat.
5. Nose door in front center of cab, to front porch, and terlet........ :P Garbage bag, fire extinguisher and box of water visible.
  by westr
Thanks GOLDEN-ARM for the great cab pictures, and the insights from someone who has operated this engine. You are absolutely correct that Doyle McCormack does not and never has owned 644, it is not currently at the Brooklyn Yard, and that it is currently a freight-only SDF40-2. I didn't give the full story (as I know it) before, because this was an Amtrak thread, but now that its an EMD thread, its appropriate.

644 was built as Amtrak SDP40F #644. It was one of several sold to Santa Fe (in exchange for switchers I think). Santa Fe rebuilt their ex-Amtrak SDF40Fs, removing the passenger heating equipment, adding a front platform and other changes, designating them as SDF40-2s (a designation ATSF made up). They lasted long enough for some of them to get BNSF numbers; this one was #6976. Shortly before being retired, it was painted in its current color scheme for the Maersk/Sealand special train, which let it outlast the other BNSF SDF40-2s. After it was retired, Chris Fussell, who had already acquired Amtrak F40PH #231, acquired BNSF #6976. It was moved to the Brooklyn Roundhouse (after some other stops) where it was repaired to running condition and numbered back to 644. It was at Brooklyn for months, maybe as long as 2 years, and was clearly visible from the Holgate overpass (with that paint job it was hard to miss). It left Brooklyn when short lines were willing to lease it. My pictures of it were taken in Lebanon, on the Albany & Eastern, in Sept. 2006. If no one is willing to lease it, it would most likely return to Brooklyn. I know its not there now, and figured, through wasn't sure, that it was on the P&W somewhere.

I'm not certain about 644's reporting marks, as I've never seen it wear any since its BNSF days so I'm willing to accept that it has NRMX reporting marks now. (I assume thats what you meant, as NMRX is the New Mexico RailRunner commuter train) It may have also had DLMX reporting marks in the past. Just because Doyle didn't own it, doesn't mean that he didn't allow it to wear his reporting marks if the real owner didn't have marks of their own. I don't think Doyle personally owns #4449's tool & crew cars, but they have always worn DLMX marks.

As for whether or not 644 is "preserved," I don't think condition matters. There's a lot of "preserved" steamers rusting away at city parks and museums all over the country. 644 was acquired with the intent of retaining it for its historic value, and in my mind that qualifies it as preserved. But, that's a matter of opinion.

Oh, and I think "Powerpuff" is a great nickname for it.
FWIW, the technical definition of "preserved' would look something like this:

[F. pr['e]server, from L. prae before + servare to save, preserve; cf. L. praeservare to observe beforehand. See Serve.]

1. To keep or save from injury or destruction; to guard or defend from evil, harm, danger, etc.; to protect.

Those locos that sit behind fences, rotting from the inside out, aren't really preserved. They are there, and I'm not sure what they should be called. Those guys in Cali, that are the keepers of the Big Boy down there, could say they have preserved a loco. The group that Otto belongs to have preserved a loco. The P&W is using the 644, but it's not being protected from harm, danger, etc. It's slowly becoming a rolling assortment of defects, and a derailment at speed will remove it from being. Of course, this is just my opine........ :-D
  by F40PHR231
The official reporting marks for the 644 is DLMX. NRMX is registered by a company somewhere east of Chicago, and has no affiliation with the organizations out west. 644 is owned by the Northwest Rail Museum, and officially reports as DLMX 644.
Take it up with the FRA. The Blue Card in the cab has the following info: Owned by: NRMX, Operated by: Portland & Western The Blue card says NRMX, not DMLX. I've run it, dozens of times. Have you? Doesn't matter what you want to call it. What matters is, the data printed on the Blue Card.
  by F40PHR231
[quote="GOLDEN-ARM"]I've run it, dozens of times. Have you?[/quote]

I hope you're treating it with respect, it ran well last time I operated it, wouldn't want a locomotive I bought go to the dumps.
I'm not running that "loco" anymore. As mentioned elsewhere, the loco has some issues. It has a bad TM (#2), and every time you go into DB, there's a huge flashover, with accompanying ground relay. Three strikes is an automatic out, and the thing gets tagged, the shop resets the ground relay, and back it goes, waiting for the next time it goes into DB, where it starts all over again. The cab heaters might not work, but at least the weatherstripping is shot. Add to that the leaking windshields, and she's a real prize. As I mentioned elsewhere, this loco isn't being maintained, and it's certainly not "preserved". Here's a shot of the Blue card, showing who "owns" it, and who operates it. Nary a Daylight Locomotive and Machine Leasing mark to be found..........
Here's the last bit of info, I will provide, about this loco, in this thread. As I have mentioned elsewhere, the loco NRMX 644 is a SDF-40-2, with a 3000 hp engine. The Blue card shows a "build date of 1985. This is actually the "rebuild" date, and it's classed as built, for tax purposes, and doesn't reflect the original builders date. There is no boiler in the loco, and no HEP either. It has a giant concrete weight in the rear, for ballast. It is owned by the Northwest Rail Museum, and is operated by the Portland & Western Railroad, on a lease. The Blue card clearly shows the owners name, and unit numbers and initials. I've personally run this loco thousands of miles, up and down the railroad in Oregon. It's as I have described it. I'm going to lock this one, temporarily. PM me, or Sir Charles, if you want to add something. Thanks For some excellent history, related to this class of loco, and a good description of the AT&SF rebuilding program, look here: http://atsf.railfan.net/cowls/sdp40f.html



  by WVU
dave76 wrote:I also heard CSX is also converting the SD80MACs to the 16-710, not due to problems with the 20-710, there now in for there full overhaul ,but just because its cheaper for the 16, and will consume less fuel. The 20 cylinder engine costs quite a bit more, I don't the cost offhand but someone posted the difference at an earlier post sometime back.
Dave to my knowledge CSX is not converting the SD80 to a 16 cylinder 710 engine. The Huntington Heavy Repair Shop is doing Standard Repairs on the 13 SD80's they own and they are not changing the engine, atleast not at this time.
  by FCP503
GOLDEN-ARM wrote:The thing leaks water in the rain, like it's a convertible
This certainly sounds familiar! Do ALL EMD cowl units rain inside the engine compartment like that? Do you have to drain the retention tank every time it rains?
  by Steve F45
Can anyone tell me how I can figure out which nose length's are on 2 SD40-2's? NYSW has a former NW SD40 and a former Southern SD40-2 both originally high hoods. Both have been fully rebuilt from the trucks up. Im trying to figure out if they are 81 or 88 inch nose's.
  by atsf sp
The original SD40 has now been retired. It served on the IC and CN. Hope this unit finds a home.
  by jz441
Whats the advantage of de-turboed SD40 or SD40-2? Are they more fuel efficient in yard service?

Thank you,
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