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Fresh Pumpkins

October 17, 2011

I was on my way to a wedding this past Saturday afternoon when I came across this BNSF intermodal stopped short of Central Street (near MP 7 on UP’s Strang sub) in southeast Houston.

Three fresh units calls for a quick photo-op.

BNSF 6762 holds its train at Central Street in southeast Houston on Oct. 15, 2011

The units appear to be your garden-variety GE’s, but in fact they’re the latest and greatest from Erie. Dubbed ES44C4’s, they are 6-axle 4400 HP AC drive units, but  with only 4 traction motors. The center axles are idlers, making these the first A-1-A trucked heavy-haul locomotives ever built.

As I understand it, advanced adhesion controls permit these units to generate the same amount of tractive effort as a conventional 6-motor 4400 HP DC locomotive while eliminating the capital and maintenance cost of 2  AC inverters and traction motors.

BNSF was the initial, and so far only, customer for this model.  BNSF took delivery of the first 25 units numbered 6600-6624 in mid-2009. It has since ordered another 265 units, 6626-6889, which are currently being delivered.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Scott Sanders permalink
    October 18, 2011 7:14 am

    Robert – That was the SPTRLHA5-14

  2. Mike H. permalink
    October 31, 2011 9:01 pm


    Nice pics and post; I was just in the cab of freshly delivered 6796 last week during a tour of Alliance Yard as part of the BNSF dispatcher training program. While I can’t confirm the tractive effort numbers (the engine was sitting still near the car shop), I can say there’s nothing like that new locomotive smell!

    Mike H.

  3. VePeer permalink
    August 24, 2012 3:12 am

    I’m an electrician on a major railroad and I work on these locos,and I must say that these EVO’s are junk.Probably the most unreliable loco on the rails.I remember being told by a GE rep.that I wouldn’t see the first EVO in our shop for major repairs in 5yrs. except for regular inspections.Well the following week an EVO is dragged into the shop with major eng. damage.GE sure has gone backwards on engine design and do believe that all the people who were on the design team for the dash-9 need to be called back because the EVO is junk.

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