Written by: Gary Dolzall
Electro-Motive’s superlative GP40-2, in CSX “YN2” livery, is coming soon to Train Sim World!
Electro-Motive produced its classic line of “GP” (General Purpose) locomotives, nicknamed “Geeps,” for more than half a century in a monumental production run that exceeded 16,700 locomotives. Arguably, the ultimate edition of the Geep road-switcher was the GP40-2, and this famed diesel workhorse will soon be coming to Train Sim World and CSX Heavy Haul!
The four-axle (B-B), 3,000-horsepower GP40-2 road-switcher was constructed by Electro-Motive from 1972 to 1986, sold to 27 original railroad buyers, and enjoyed a production run of 1,143 units. It is true that the GP40-2 was not the biggest seller of all Geeps (the GP9, with more than 4,200 units built holds that title), nor was it the most powerful (the GP60 at 3,800 earned that claim). But as the “Geep” little sister to the landmark six-axle SD40-2, powered by Electro-Motive’s highly successful and reliable 3,000-horepower V-16 645-series power plant, and equipped with EMD’s “Dash-2” electronics and technology, the GP40-2 was considered by many as the best among EMD’s long lineage of Geeps. Today, more than four decades after its introduction, the GP40-2 can still be found working in numbers for the likes of CSX, Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific, Kansas City Southern, and a variety of U. S. regional railroads – and that speaks volumes for the capabilities, versatility, and efficiency of the remarkable locomotive.
The GP40-2 was the direct sire of another highly successful (and similar) locomotive, the EMD GP40. Electro-Motive’s GP40 had debuted with the arrival of the builder’s 645-series diesel powerplant in 1966, and through the end of 1971, more than 1,200 GP40s had been built for 31 railroads. The GP40-2, like the entire Electro-Motive “Dash -2” line of 1972, was an evolutionary extension of EMD’s “40” line. “Dash 2” features included improved traction motors and alternators; strengthened components in the 645-power plant, and solid-state modular components in the electrical and control systems. All of which translated to enhanced reliability and operating efficiency for the GP40-2 as compared to its highly-regarded predecessor.
Among the 27 buyers of the GP40-2 were no less than 11 railroads that would eventually become (in whole or in part) members of today’s giant CSX system. The pre-CSX railroads that purchased the GP40-2 included the four largest CSX predecessors: Chesapeake & Ohio; Baltimore & Ohio, Seaboard Coast Line; and Louisville & Nashville. It included notable mid-sized roads such as Western Maryland and Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac. And it included inheriting a portion of Conrail’s GP40-2 fleet when CSX and NS acquired and divided that railroad in 1999. During the 1970s, Chessie System (which included B&O, C&O, and Western Maryland) had made the GP40-2 its locomotive of choice, purchasing 348 of the 3,000-horsepower road-switchers that were dressed in Chessie’s memorable and colorful livery and could be regularly frequently doing battle with famed Sand Patch. All told, CSX predecessor railroads accounted for more than 450 GP40-2s.
Today, CSX continues to employ an expansive fleet of veteran GP40-2s in road, local, and switching duties across its 21,000-mile system. CSX has, in fact, extended the already remarkable tenures of many of its units through a “GP40-3” upgrade and rebuilding program. And the successful and venerable Electro-Motive GP40-2, in classic and attractive CSX “YN2” livery, will soon be arriving as DLC for service on Sand Patch Grade in Train Sim World CSX Heavy Haul. Created in exacting detail and with realistic operating characteristics and fidelity, the Train Sim World Electro-Motive GP40-2 will join the CSX SD40-2, GP38-2, and GE AC4400CW as authentic motive power to move tonnage up and over the Sand Patch Grade route. Also included in the upcoming GP40-2 DLC will be two new contemporary and authentic freight cars ideal for manifest service on Sand Patch Grade – a 73-foot center-beam flatcar and a CSX 42-foot steel coil car. – Gary Dolzall ■