INTRODUCTION TO 4RR.COM

Welcome to our "E-Book" on General Electric's P42 Genesis series of passenger locomotives. We've chased and photographed the "Genesis" locomotives since they were new, and at the moment there are getting to be fewer of them, so, sadly, there will not be so many to chase. For instance, only half of the 1996-built units remain in service in early 2024.

In the olden days, somebody might have published a coffee table book with glossy photos. Lacking that ability or market for such a thing, here is a digital version. You can click through the whole fleet if you have the time, and every tenth page or so will show you the most recent activities for that grouping.

We are not affiliated with NRPC (Amtrak) or anyone else. The photos are property of 4rr.com. In addition to photos of all of Amtrak's 207 P42 locomotives, we attempt to show which ones are still active in 2024, and approximately where you might find them currently. Click anywhere on the text to go to the photos. Click the serial number on each photo to learn more about a particular unit.


Siemens long distance Chargers (ALC-42's) are taking over more of the jobs that the GE's have performed since 1993. Depending upon the outcome of the 2024 federal election, around 150 of the most servicable P42s may be kept in operation in order to maintain basic service standards. The highest ALC-42 Charger road number we have seen in revenue service so far in February has been 345, with #346-353 brought into the acceptance portal, but not yet commissioned for revenue operation..

AL42 Chargers have been running on Empire Builder since February, 2022. The next corridor to receive them was the City of New Orleans route. The first revenue run of a Charger on Florida service happened as a trailing unit in September, 2023, and they are now common there, as well as on Crescent to Atlanta. In 2024, Chargers are routine on Palmetto. So far none have officially run on Lake Shore, Texas Eagle, Southwest Chief, or Sunset Limited. Movements on the California Zephyr have been for relocation purposes only. On February 12, #338 was on the Lake Shore behind two P42's. Probably for mechanical familiarization at RSR, or perhaps a special event. Anyway, UH OH!

Siemens Mobility originated the Charger design in 2014 for Florida's Brightline, and they went into service there after 2016. Amtrak's state-supported services grudgingly got them after 2019. Siemens garnered an order for 75 modified units (ALC-42's) for Amtrak in 2018. A major difference is a 400 gallon larger fuel tank. The first ALC-42 was built in the order April 2021, but Amtrak was not in any hurry to put it in service, partly due to COVID shutdowns. After about a year, the first ones were put into service on the Empire Builder.

Deliveries are continuing at the rate of about two per month. In 2023, #323-349 arrived on Amtrak property.

There have already been some Charger ALC-42 wrecks, particularly 307 on the City of New Orleans and #300 on the Coast Starlight. Engine #312, hit on an Alabama test train, has been repaired. A number of the earlier state-employed (4600 road numbered) Chargers have ben damaged as well.

The first Charger known to operate solo south of WDCUS was evidently #334. #321 ran on the Cardinal on September 27/28, the first there that we know of.

P42 PAINT JOBS

Paint jobs and keeping equipment clean and good-looking is a big deal with customers and the public. And with the Genesis series, there have been three major variants: 1993, 1998, and the 2000 millenium. All active P42's had been in common millenium livery since 2006, but in January 2024 a new 4th generation scheme was introduced on #174,

Paint is often refreshed when routine maintenance takes place at Beeh Grove, Indiana. It was mostly shut down during covid. Refreshed during calendar year 2022 were nine units: 114 126 137 142 146 153 166 199 and 201.


Unfortunately, #166 was quickly taken back out of service following a negligent truck strike.


In calendar year 2023, #68 ,#157, #168, #184, #104, 164, 192, 155, 103, 150, 182, 134, 118, 179, and 95 had paint refreshed at Beeh Grove, Indiana. #68 was first in January, and #157 in February, losing its former "big game" logo.

Engine #184 was sighted March 6, and the former 40th anniversary heritage paint unit has been returned to standard livery. In April, 104 was refreshed, and on April 10 #168 was seen coming out of Beech Grove. On May 8, #164 appeared in retro 1998 paint, and shortly thereafter 192 in standard refreshed livery.

Engine 155 appeared in refreshed livery on June 5, 103 on July 31, 150 on August 8, #134 and #182 showed later that month.

Interestingly, #68 is the oldest locomotive to be repainted in 2023, so perhaps she is still in pretty good shape for her age. It is the only 1997-built unit to be redone recently, and none of the 1996 units have been. In October 2023 #157 was released again with a repaired nose cone from an Indiana truck strike, while #179 came out in Fresh paint on November 6, 2023. On November 20, #95 was seen in fresh paint, the last of the year 2023. It did not go back into service until January 2024, and even then only to ship it to another shop at Rensselaer, New York.


In June 2022, Siemens and Amtrak announced that the original order for 75 ALC-42 locomotive units for the national system would be expanded to 125. Some of the first ALC-42's have already been wrecked, and by the time the 125 unit order is completed, likely there will be about 10-20% of them already destroyed. Trucks are getting more numerous and heavier, with drivers of all types of vehicles increasingly less experienced, intoxicated, and/or distracted. On October 14, 2022, for instance, #307 encountered a gravel hauler and had its front end caved in while leading train 59(13) just south of Amite, Louisiana. It moved back to Chicago March 24, 2023 behind #54. In April 2023 #312 was damaged on a test train at Mobile, Alabama. It may have been a historic first for Amtrak to have a locomotive wrecked in a location where it does not have service. And perhaps the worst of all so far, #300 (the prototype ALC-42) was smashed by a truck on the Coast Starlight.

NEW 2024 PAINT SCHEME

On January 29, 2024, P42 #174 was released in a new circa-2021 paint scheme, an adaptation on the most recent Charger setup it seems. No more platinum mist, instead a midnight blue base coat. Red white and blue is back, but not in stripes, but a unique blue two tone with white accent. The prototype (engine #174) evidently for all subsequent Genesis series repaints. It was the first Beech Grove release of 2024, and presumably this scheme will be eventually be applied to the 28 remaining low skirt millennium units in the #169-207 group that never had any other paint job. Some older Genesis units may also get the new paint before retirement, but since some are already 27 years old, their days are numbered. It will be an interesting process to see now many P42's are again restyled.

Amtrak repaints about one locomotive a month at its Beech Grove paint booth. Next to come out is expected to be #82, mostly likely in the older scheme. To follow in March will be #138, expected in the 2024 styling.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE AMTRAK GENESIS SERIES

The "Genesis project" P40 series for Amtrak produced 1993 deliveries of 44 units, road-numbered 800-843. This was the beginning of Amtrak replacing its entire diesel road fleet with GE's. One (817) was destroyed at Bayou Canot when new. Two more suffered catastrophic wreck damage caused by a semi-trailer load of steel at Bourbonnais, Illinois on the City of New Orleans, and were replaced later by new P42's #121 and #122. Surviving P40's are now mostly with the Connecticut Department of Transportation.

By 2012, a group of fifteen remaining at Amtrak were refurbished up to P42 standards with 2008 stimulus money. Those that did not remain at Amtrak or other commuter railroads were sold for scrap in a 2019 bid auction. Several Bush rebuilds have been retired due to wrecks, including #816 badly damaged in Colorado in January 2024. The remainder of active ones today are primarily on the Auto Train.
(See Page 800)./p>for more information on where the remaining 800 road numbers are today. We have moved this now to page 800 and expansions to add individual unit pages are planned for the future.


In 1995, there was an order of Genesis-cabbed dual mode units, designed with a third-rail pickup for operation on Metro-North trackage in and around New York City.

The first P42 order was for 98 units, delivered 1996-1997, numbered 1-98, with a tack-on addition of 21 more, #99-120. The earliest P42 deliveries had August 1996 build dates out of Erie, but they still wore 1993 paint styling. Platinum mist base coat was overlaid by traditional red white and blue bicentennial stripes and large road numbers stenciled on the rear sides.

A marketing change took place in 1997 ('northeastern'), and again another change took place in 2000 (millennium bluenose). Two new units (121 and 122) replaced two P40's destroyed at Bourbonnais. They arrived in the 1997 livery, these were the only two such western-based locomotives to have that "northeastern" scheme as delivered. All surviving bicentennial striped P40's, P42 road numbers 1-28, and a few random wrecked and/or overhauled P42s were repainted in the 1997 livery before eventually being converted to millenium paint after 2000.

In the late 1990's, another follow-up order was placed with GE, for units that became 123-207. Deliveries of those began in a shocking millennium livery in 2000. The red, white, and blue stripes were gone. A new logo was introduced, on the nose, and three places on the flanks. In 2001, a low-skirt modification took place which affected newly delivered #169-207, as well as overhauls and wreck repaints after that point. The smaller extra logos on the flanks were eventually also removed from all of them. Between 2000 and 2006, all were redone in the standard low skirt 2000 paint.

There were three major variants of numberboards over the years (with some one-off ones, even some home-made), and also three nose variants after 2000
(See Pages 73-75)./p>. First the lens was removed from the rectangular headlight box. Then as nose panels were replaced, a scoop design replaced the rectangular box.

We tend to like to follow 1996-built units, as they are most likely to disappear first. Three single digit road numbers remain in service today (4,5, and 7). We note that #8 was the first single diget unit destroyed in Chicago in 2007, and #1 in Massachusetts in March 2017. On May 29, 2020, #9 was hit by a John Deere agricultural spray rig near Bainville, Montana, and seriously damaged. Believed in use as a classroom at Choo-Choo U is #6, while wrecked #2 and worn out #3 have been evidently retired recently.

Of the #10-19 group, things look a bit better, although #12 and #16 have not come back from road crossing incursions and now #17 has been whacked. Five of the #20-29 group are still in service, and three of the #30-39 batch. A link to a Google map of the 1996-built active units may be found on the very bottom of page 40, and updated locations on each 10th page.

Click through the photos if you'd like, but if you wish to use them for other than personal viewing, please attribute 4rr.com. We will attempt to update their locations from time to time, but no longer every day as in the past.


March 2, 2024. Update from 4rr.com - feedback "at" 4rr.com Feel free to send updates, comments, corrections, etc.