• GE Prime Movers

  • Discussion of General Electric locomotive technology. Current official information can be found here: www.getransportation.com.
Discussion of General Electric locomotive technology. Current official information can be found here: www.getransportation.com.

Moderators: AMTK84, MEC407

  by LIRR272
Hello to all,

I'm looking for some information, I would like to know if the prime mover on the Genisis loco is the same on the Dash Nines series locomotives?

  by Allen Hazen
Basically. There may be detail differences, but the Genesis locomotives have the same FDL prime mover as GE freight locomotives of the same period. Amtrak's first lot were contemporary with late Dash-8 units, so have engines similar to that on a C40-8 or B40-8: thus, in particular, they don't have EFI. Amtrak's newer ones have EFI: they are called "P42-9" to mark their Dash-9 technology.
The dual-mode Genesis locomotives built for use-- by Amtrak and Metro-North-- in the New York area have 12 cylinder FDL engines. GE's last FDL-12 powered freight units for North America were the B32-8 built for Norfolk Southern, somewhat earlier than the first Genesis. I don't know how much new engine-development was done for the Genesis dual mode, nor whether all of the d.-m. Genesis units (they were been built in small batches over several years) are internally the same.
  by ATK
Ah, yes, that silly "P42-9" nomenclature. Sorry, but no such thing. That nomenclature is merely an invention by the railfans -- I have never heard anyone from either GE or Amtrak ever refer to the locomotive as a "P42-9". The official nomenclature used by GE is P42DC. This is what is seen on all of GE's documentation including maintenance manuals, operators manual and parts catalogs.

A Dash 9 is a Dash 9 and a Genesis is a Genesis. A Genesis is NOT a Dash 9. Yes, they have many things in common, however if you look at the evolution of the Genesis series, the P42DC is basically an upgraded P40 (btw there are several different nomenclatures for the P40's, I don't think GE or Amtrak could ever agree on just one). The P40 has its roots in the Dash 8 series, specifically the "500 series" P32's. The divergence point in which the Genesis series came into being was well before the Dash 9 came on the scene.

The major differences between a Dash 9 and P42DC, besides the obvious carbody, trucks, number of axles, etc; the traction motor gear ratio, engine cooling system, HEP alternator and control system, locomotive control system (specifically the software). The Genesis series (P40, P42DC, P32ACDM) incorporated a number of "firsts" for either a passenger locomotive or locomotive in general. For example, IFC computer screens (P40, one of the first applications), electronic air brake (Amtrak #809, one of the first applications), 7FDL12 EFI engine (P32ACDM, the first, and only production application). The two California owned P32's were retrofitted with EFI for their 12 cylinder engines, but this is the only retrofit that I know of for a 12 cylinder FDL.

To answer the original question, yes the same diesel engine is used when comparing P40's to Dash 8's or P42DC's to Dash 9's (Dash 8's mechanical governor, Dash 9 EFI). The only difference is in the engine control for the passenger application whereas the speed schedule changes for supplying HEP. When providing HEP, engine stays at a constant 900 RPM's.

  by shortlinerailroader
Doesn't FDL mean "Fuel Diesel Locomotive"? Doesn't GE also have FDS (Stationary) and FDM (Marine)?


  by timz
"When providing HEP, engine stays at a constant 900 RPM's."

So what's standard Dash-9 RPM? Still 1050 RPM? Do Genesis do that when they're not providing HEP? When they are providing HEP, at 900 RPM, are they still supposed to generate full HEP-plus-traction horsepower?

  by DutchRailnut
The P32acdm does not run at 900 rpm whem providing HEP. it runs from 744 to 1047 on demand and the 60 Hz 480 is created tru a inverter, who will take any AC input as long as its of sufficient amperage.

  by ATK
Dutch - you are correct that the P32ACDM does not run at a constant 900 RPM for supplying HEP, however the last paragraph of my post was not speaking of the P32's but rather the P40's and P42DC's. The HEP inverter (or any other inverter for that matter) does not have an AC input, it has a DC input. The HEP inverter on the P32ACDM needs a constant 1300 VDC input in order to supply 480 VAC 3-phase. The 1300 VDC input comes from the boost choppers, who (IIRC) can operate on a minimum of 400 VDC from either the rectifiers off the alternator or the 3rd rail (designed to accommodate for low rail voltage).

The "F" in FDL stands for the series, not "fuel". I've never heard of an FDS -- that's not to say they never existed. I have no idea when the last time GE built engines for stationary applications. Its been a while for marine applications as well.

  by shortlinerailroader
Thanks, ATK. Reading your post reminded me of the new HDL engine...the coontinuation of the series (skipping GDL).

  by brasc
There are three minor differences between the engines used for Dash-9 and the Genesis series. First, the Dash-9s were equipped with a split cooling system and the Genesis were not. Second, they have slightly different turbochargers (one different component in the turbo). Lastly, the Genesis series had a light-weight main frame assembly.

The "7" is 7FDL is GE's internal designation for rotating equipment. The "F" stands for the series designation - namely the bore and stroke of the piston. The "D" stands for diesel and the "L", "M", or "S" stands for the application type.

GE does build both stationary power and marine application engines. There have been numerous of both type built this year alone.

  by Allen Hazen
ATK: Thanks! (The great thing about this forum is that if I say something silly or ignorant on it, there's a fair chance somebody who knows better will correct me. I wish it were this much fun to learn to correct some of my OTHER mistakes!)
About the "F" in FDL: that's inherited from Cooper-Bessemer, the engine builder from whom GE got the design (and from which they bought actual engines until the early 1960s: early U25B apparently had C-B engines which were bad enough that they were re-engined with GE-built engines after GE took over responsibility for the engine design). My impression-- based on descriptions in the "Diesel Spotter's Guide" of GE locomotives from the 1940s with C-B engines-- is that C-B's model designation system used an initial letter to denote basic type, with the F series being engines with 9 inch bore x 10.5 inch stroke. GE started using these, in a straight-six configuration, on the 70-tonner: I think this bersion was called the FWL. When GE started the design evolution that led to the U-series, in the mid-1950s, they put 8 and 12 cylinder V engines in their test, demonstrator, and export locomotives: I think some of these engines had the model designation FVBL, which I ***assume*** means F cylinder size (etc), V configuration, second ("B") version, for Locomotive use.
Stationary and marine engines: the GE Transportation Systems website, for a while earlier this year, had a page-- it's probably still there somewhere-- ballyhooing the use of the FDL in marine service, mentioning towboats. My impression, from what I've read, is that GE puts the locomotive business first in thinking about diesel engine design, and that the majority of Grove City's (where the GETS engine plant is: it's a bit sourth of Erie) engines go into locomotives, but that they are very happy to "amortize their investment" in engine design and engine manufacturing facilities by selling a few for other uses.
(Note the "assume" and "impression" in the preceding paragraphs. If you know better, take them as requests for enlightenment!)

  by EDM5970
Maritime Reporter and Engineering News had something in the past year on the Washington State ferry system; many of their vessels have GE propulsion. The article (and/or an ad also in that issue) mentioned GE developed fuel saving injection systems for EMD engines; cleaner, more fuel efficient.

The August Maritime Reporter has a GE ad with a sailing ship, "one of the few types of ships at sea not powered by a marine engine from GE". Punch in geae. com, and you get gas turbines, not FLDs or FDMs. But they are out there. I know of a few tugs on the Delaware that get 3000 HP out of a 12 cyl. FDM.

  by Allen Hazen
Since my computer and the GETS website together aren't a good combination, I'll ask you instead of doing my homework.
"FDM" is... what GE calls something basically like an FDL engine if it's for Marine rather than Locomotive use? In which case 3000 hp out of 12 cylinders is...? My impression is that GE tended to rate the engine lower for marine than for locomotive service (does this mean there is an industry that treats engines WORSE than the American railroad industry?), but 3000 -- IF it's measured in a way comparable to locomotive ratings -- isn't TOO far off the current locomotive rating. Or is the marine rating like bhp rather than like input-to-traction-generator?

  by EDM5970
My understanding is that L is locomotive, S is stationary and M is marine.

My reference to the 3000 HP twelve cylinder FDM is this: I was involved with a shortline that had just gotten rid of its 3 U-30Bs. There were some engine parts left over, in a trailer, and I showed them to a Chief Engineer off a tugboat that was based in Philly. He mentioned that his boat (I forget the name) and its sister had 12 cylinder GEs that put out 3000 HP, whereas the U-30B needed 16 cylinders.

I asked how that could be and he gave me a real quick answer. The marine engine (or his, at least) had bigger fuel pumps and injectors, and the engine had an infinitely bigger cooling system (read: Delaware River).

I'm not sure what the story is on parasitic loads, HP to the rails vs. to the propellor. I really don't know how marine systems are rated. It seems that the losses that a generator (alternator) add to a system would be similar to what a marine reduction gear (4:1, 5:1?) would take away. And for all I know, his boat may have been diesel-electric. I didn't ask-

But if the ratings ARE at the rail or shaft, the larger fuel system
and cooling system argument makes sense. But again, based on how they are rated, this may be an apples and oranges situation.

On another thread, there was a mention of C-32-7s (?). They were 12 cylinder, the idea being to save fuel. So 3000 or 4200 HP out of 12 holes really isn't that far fetched.
  by bengt
In marine aplications direct sea-water is a very good cooler of the combusting-air from the intercooler. As a result much more air (kg/m3) enters the cylinders and consequently more fuel can be injected into the cylinders resulting in a power increase of aprox 30% compared to an air to air or air to cooling-water system.
  by tripleexpansion
I've not posted on this forum before, so hello to all you rail fans. Over here in New Zealand on our narrow gauge 3'6" track we are running some old General Electric equipment.

It has come time to upgrade the locomotives which are known here as the dx class.

The original engine is General Electric 7FDL-12; V12; bore 229 mm, stroke 267 mm; 1050 rpm

They are now upgrading them to Uprated: 2240 kW / 3000 hp, 2400 kW / 3200 hp

Including new cabs and bright star electronics.

Our government owns and operates the tracks and a private Australian company runs the rail company and owns the operating equipment. GE prime movers are by far the most economical and powerful diesel electric locomotives in this country.

One could say we are quite lucky in New Zealand to have adopted the American approach to railroading as opposed to the English approach.

Anyway, if you want to know more reply to my post.

By the way, thanks to using php BB it's so simple and reliable.