mtuandrew wrote:I've been told by a Class III CMO that GEs require more maintenance and the parts aren't always as cheap, but the capital cost is lower and they use nearly half as much fuel.
I think that's a fairly accurate statement. They are definitely more fuel efficient, and second-hand units are substantially more affordable. As far as maintenance/reliability is concerned, it depends on which EMDs you're comparing them to. SD40-2s/GP40-2s are pretty much the gold standard of reliability; SD50s, SD75s, SD90s, not so much. With that in mind, SD40-2s are one of the best bargains going right now, so it basically boils down to which "religion" the Fortress/RRAH CMO believes in.
There's also nothing wrong with going both ways. We've seen Providence & Worcester do that for many years and it has worked out quite well for them. I don't think anyone has ever accused P&W of being a poorly-run railroad.
The new railroad could pick up some very affordable Dash 8-40Cs for long-haul road trains, and EMD GPs for locals, yards, etc. There's a lot to be said for using the right tool for the job.