By Daniel Garcia and James Bow
This is the same engine that has been moving the majority of Amtrak and VIA trains the late 1970s. The F40PH is basically a GP40-2 modified with a cowl (full width) body. It shares the same 16 cylinder 645E engine and Dash 2 electrics as the GP40-2.
A F40PH’s HEP generator runs off the prime mover however, meaning that instead of a dedicated engine supplying 3000 horsepower, only a maximum of 2400hp is available for pulling the train. This also means that the prime mover has to be running at full power almost all of the time. Because of this, the F40PH’s were known as “Screamers”, “Thunder Liners” and “Thunder Wagons” (Thanks to Mark Walton for the info). GO Transit bought six of these engines new in 1978 and, as with the two engine series they had bought before, these F40PH’s did not have dynamic brakes.
The F40PHs were designated class GCE-430e, and remained 510-515 for their whole GO Transit service lives.
GO Transit sold the F40PH’s in 1990 to Amtrak (410-415), which rebuilt them with dynamic breaks. They had been rendered surplus by GO’s large purchases of superior F59PHs. The F40PH were not seen as GO’s most successful locomotives.
The F40PHs were still running while the Skydome was being built. Here, Unit 512 leads a train of Bilevels past construction into Union Station. Photo donated from the Daniel Garcia collection.