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Q-What Came Before Genesis? A-The Pooch

January 28, 2010

Remember, this is a railroad site, so the question has nothing to do with Adam & Eve and that talking snake.

The Genesis I’m referring to is  GE’s  Genesis™  series of passenger locomotive.  The Genesis trademark applies to the P40, P42, and P32. The first P40 was delivered in 1993 with the first order of P42’s following in late 1996 and early 1997.

You have to go back to 1975 for the GE predecessor of the Genesis™ series. Amtrak ordered 25 P30CH locomotives in 1974, right before Amtrak decided they didn’t like 6 axle units in general. Additionally, crews didn’t like them because they were slow to load. Amtrak management didn’t like them because they weren’t as reliable as the EMD F40PH’s that started arriving in 1976.

But railfans liked them, as they provided a welcome change from the 210 F40PH’s that Amtrak would acquire. The P30CH was nicknamed “Pooch” by railfans because of the passing resemblance between the model designation and the word “pooch”.

By the time I moved back to Houston in 1988,  2 P30CH’s were the regular power for the Sunset Limited between New Orléans and Los Angeles. Unless mechanical issues arose, in which case an F40PH would pinch-hit step in for the ailing Pooch.

Amtrak #2, The EB Sunset Limited, is a few miles west of its Houston stop on Nov. 20, 1988.

That was the case on November 20, 1988 where we see the 718 and an F40PH on final approach to its station stop in Houston.

Two private cars bring up the rear of #2 into Houston on Nov. 20, 1988

The two PV’s look odd coupled to the Superliners, but I’m guessing no one on the two vintage passenger cars cares about that…

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