Locomotives / Train Sets

EMD SD40-2

Diesel-Electric Locomotive

Series: "Dash 2"

Entry Last Edited: 10/05/2023 | Content ©www.RailRoadJunction.net | The following text is exclusive to this site.
Specifications [+]
The SD40-2 remains a power-player the world over thanks to its inherent versatility and reliability.
The SD40-2 is a diesel-electric locomotive design of American origin primarily used in the freight-hauling role. The unit debuted in 1972 under the Dash 2 series branding and was built from January 1972 until October 1989 and a total of 3,982 units were produced by GM Electro-Motive Division (EMD), General Motors Diesel (GMD), Material y Construcciones S.A. (MACOSA), and Equipamentos Villares S.A (EVSA). The type has been used throughout North America as well as Brazil, Mexico, and Guinea.

The loco has a length of 68.9 feet, a beam of 10.3 feet, and a height of 15.7 feet. It weighs 368,000lb (184 short tons) and carries up to 4,000 gallons of fuel. The prime mover is the EMD 16-645E3 and the engine is a V16 turbocharged diesel-fueled unit of 16 cylinders outputting 3,000 horsepower. Maximum speed is 65 miles-per-hour.

The layout of the SD40-2 consists of a relatively conventional arrangement. The control stand is set forward of the engine and aft of the sand box and battery. To the rear of the driver's cabinet is the electrical cabinet. The engine is seated at midships with the dynamic brake blowers atop the locomotive. Aft of the engine housing are the radiators with cooling fans positioned above the system. The main air reservoir and fuel tank are both found at the midway point of the machine. Access stairs are positioned at both the front and rear of the loco with walking areas set to either side of the rectangular shape. There are two powered trucks set in the "C-C" arrangement (six total axles).

At its core, the SD40-2 shares its frame with related siblings in the SD38-2 and SD45-2 types. The same 16-645E3 engine unit powers the SD38-2. Three radiator fans along the roof line can be used to differentiate the SD40-2 from the twin-fan approach seen in the SD38-2 model.

In operational service, the SD40-2 has become an iconic cargo and materials hauler, proving itself in both reliability and its ability to handle a variety of industry tasks. As such, it became a commercial success, limited only by the 1970/1980 oil crisis and promising new products offered from competitors - namely the Dash 7 from General Electric. EMD itself introduced the SD50 by December 1980 though only 431 units of this product were realized.

The SD40-2 was modified by General Motors to better fulfill overseas customer requirements resulting in such offspring as the GT26CW-2, the GT26CU-2, and the GT26HCW-2. The British JT26CW-SS (British Rail Class 59) is based in the EMD SD40-2. The SD40T-2 is a tunnel-dwelling variant while the SD40-2W served the Canadian industry. A "full-cowl" hood was used in SD40-2F models operated by Canada.

Some of the largest operators of the SD40-2 series have been Burlington Northern Railroad (836 total units), Union Pacific Railroad (686 units), and Canadian Pacific Railway (486 units). Canadian National Railway purchased 123 units and NdeM of Mexico purchased 103 units.

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Specifications [ EMD SD40-2 ]

Electro-Motive Division (EMD) of General Motors / General Motors Diesel (GMD) - United States; Material u Construcciones S.A. (MACOSA) - Spain; Equipamentos Villares S.A. (EVSA) - Brazil

United States
1972 - 1989
Production Run

3,982 units
Production Total
Train driver seating position graphic

Driver Position
21.0m | 68.8 ft
NOTE: May include length of entire train set
167,000 kg
(368,235 lb | 184 US Tons)
Locomotive power source graphical icon
Power Source
1 x EMD 16-645E3 V16 16-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine developing 3,000 horsepower.
Engine / Drive Source
6 x D77/78 DC with AR10 alternator as main generator.
Traction Motor / Sets
3,000 hp
Rated Output Power
105.0 kph
(65.3 mph)
Max Speed
Wheel Arrangement
(Loco Facing Left)
Series Variants
SD40-2 - Base Series Designation.
JT26CW-SS (British Rail Class 59) - British market variant.
GT26CW-2 - Export variant.
GT26CU-2 - Export variant.
GT26HCW-2 - Algerian export variant.
SD40T-2 - Tunnel / snow shed variant.
SD40-2W - Canadian market variant.
SD40-2F - Full-cowl hood for Canadian Pacific Railway.
SD40-3 - Unofficial designation for rebuilt SD40-2s.
SD22ECO - SD40-2 fitted with EMD 8-710-ECO powerplant of 2,150 horsepower for reduced emissions.
SD30C-ECO - SD40-2 with EMD 12-710 prime mover of 3,000 horsepower for reduced emissions.
ET23DCM - SD40-2 fitted with GEVO-6 prime mover for improved emissions; modification / rebuild handled by GE Transportation; 13 units completed.
Operating Countries
Algeria; Brazil; Canada; Guinea; Iran; Mauritania; Morocco; Peru; Pakistan; South Korea; United Kingdom (JT26CW-SS); United States; Yugoslavia; Zimbabwe

National flag of Algeria National flag of Brazil National flag of Canada National flag of Guinea National flag of Iran National flag of Morocco National flag of Pakistan National flag of Peru National flag of South Korea National flag of the United Kingdom National flag of the United States National flag of Yugoslavia National flag of Zimbabwe
Customers / Operators:
U.S.: Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway; Burlington Northern Railway; Burlington Northern Railroad (Colorado and Southern Railway); Baltimore and Ohio Railroad; Chicago and North Western Railway; Conrail; Clinchfield Railroad; Illinois Central Gulf Railroad; Kansas City Southern Railway; Louisville and Nashville Railroad; Milwaukee Road; Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad; Missouri Pacific Railroad; Oneida and Western Railroad; Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad; Seaboard Coast-Line Railroad; St. Louis-San Francisco Railway; Soo Line Railroad; Southern Railway; Union Pacific Railroad; Southern Pacific Railroad; Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad; St. Louis Southwestern Railway; CANADA: Algoma Central Railway; British Columbia Railway; Canadian Pacific Railway; Canadian National Railway; Ontario Northland Railway; Quebec, North Shore and Labrador Railway; OTHERS: Chemin de Fer Boke (Guinea); Estrada de Ferro Crajas (Brazil); Ferrocarriles Unidos del Sureste (Mexico); NdeM (Mexico); RFFSA (Brazil); Mauritania Railway (Mauritania)
NOTE: Includes both past and present

Image of the EMD SD40-2

Image of the EMD SD40-2
Port side illustration view of an EMD SD40-2 diesel-electric locomotive in Sante Fe livery.
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