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Portrait of an Endangered Species

February 10, 2010

UP AC60CW in the TXI Aggregates spur at Missouri City, TX on April 18, 2007 ©Robert Pierce

I know what you’re thinking: “A wide-cab GE is an endangered species? They’re on every stinking train! Surely you jest…”

Not to get too overly biological, but wide-cab GE would be the genus. They’re not endangered. The species, UP AC6000CW, or C60AC as the UP liked to call them, is another matter.

Beginning in mid-2007, the UP has been replacing the 6000 HP HDL prime movers in their AC6000CW fleet with 4400 HP FDL prime movers, effectively making them AC4400CW’s, albeit with a larger radiator than a stock AC4400CW.

UP encountered continual problems with the HDL motor, to the point that all 80 of their C60AC’s were assigned to rock-train service in Texas just so these units could stay close to the North Little Rock shops.

Numbered 7500-7579, upon conversion, they are being re-numbered into the 6888-6968 block, skipping 6936. That, of course, is the number of UP’s DDA40X.

As of late last year, about 60 had been converted, with the balance to be completed this year.

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