INTRODUCTION TO 4RR.COM

Welcome to our "E-Book" on General Electric's P42 Genesis series of passenger locomotives (originally known as AMD-103's). The year 2024 is a watershed, with a new paint scheme being introduced, and more Siemens ALC-42 Chargers arriving to replace them. Only half of the 1996-built units remain in service.

In the olden days, somebody might have published a coffee table book with glossy photos. 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 (National Railroad Passenger Corporation, nicknamed Amtrak). The photos are property of 4rr.com. In addition to photos of Amtrak's 207 P42 locomotives, we show which ones are still active in 2024, and approximately where they are. Click anywhere on the text to go to the photos. Click the serial number on each photo to learn more about a particular unit. While it is tempting to diverge into other aspects of tha nation's long distance passenger rail situation, our intent here is to focus only narrowly on the P42 transition.

Siemens Mobility long distance Chargers (ALC-42's) are taking over more of the jobs that the GE's have performed since 1993. Highest ALC-42 Charger road number in revenue service so far is #347 (In the acceptance process are #346-354 and 356). Trains 6 and 30 bring them from California. At the present time, P42's are operating interchangably with ALC-42's, mostly on overnight trains. On February 12, #338 was on the Lake Shore behind two P42's. This was the first alien probe into the northeast. It returned to Chicago March 29. Also spotted up east was #342 that may have moved up the NEC.

In 2018, Siemens Mobility garnered orders for 75modified long distance units (ALC-42's), since upped to #125 with an option for 50 more. Deliveries are scheduled to occur on a staggered basis through 2029. As we understand the plan, #83 more dual-mode ALC-42E equipped trainsets will arrive between 2030 and 2040, to re-equip regional trains on the east coast. Presumably, P42's will need to be rebuilt for services on the east coast until then. First ALC-42's were built April 2021, but due to COVID were not put into service (on Empire Builder) starting in February 2022.

THE GENESIS PROJECT AMD-103

GE built 321 Genesis series locomotives (Amtrak monococque diesel, 103 mph), most of which went to Amtrak. Only the oldest citizens amongst the current population in the United States have ever known anything else. There are 24 operating P42's remaining in the 1996-built group. The total of all operating P42's in March 2024 is around 142. It is expected that there will be losses of 5-10 or more diesel locomotives each year due to road strikes. The last survivors of the Genesis Project will be 50 years old before they disappear for good.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE AMTRAK GENESIS SERIES

The 1980's "Genesis project" (AMD-103) P40 series for Amtrak produced 1993 deliveries of 44 units, road-numbered 800-843. These were the first computer-controlled passenger locomotives. They were designed and built by General Electric Transportation at its Erie, Pennsylvania plant, with early input from Krupp, the German firm that had earlier absorbed the Edward G. Budd, Company. Budd was the last of the major US domestic rail car producers, driven out of business by the Ronald Reagan administration's hostility to public transit. Henceforth, most passenger rail locomotives and cars would be sourced from overseas vendors. This was the beginning of Amtrak replacing its entire diesel road fleet with GE's. But it would mark the last passenger train locomotive production at GE, putting the final cap on the destruction of an entire domestic industry in North America.

By 2012, a group of fifteen P40's remaining at Amtrak were refurbished up to P42 standards with 2008 stimulus money. The rest were leased out and eventually sold. Remainders today still service the Auto Train. It is believed that Auto Train P40's will be replaced in 2024.
See Page 800/p>for more information on remaining 800 road numbers.

In 1995, there was a short order of Genesis-cabbed dual mode units, supplemented with another small order in 1998. These were designed with a third-rail pickup for operation on Metro-North trackage in and around New York City. Amtrak plans to eventually replace these 700 series road number units with a new Siemens variant if one can be developed (supposedly using a power car equipped with trifecta (caternary, third rail pickup, and diesel generator).

The first P42 order was for 98 units, delivered 1996-1997, numbered 1-98, with a tack-on addition of 21 more, #99-120. Traditional red white and blue bicentennial stripes and large road numbers were originally featured. This was the first generation of livery for the P42, although it different slightly from the P40 in that the stripes did not fade to the rear as the 800's had. There were some other differences and upgrades as well as between 1993 and 1996.

P42 PAINT JOBS

Paint jobs and keeping equipment clean and good-looking is a big deal with customers and the public. Unfortunately, the exterior of Amtrak trains has not recently been kept up as well as they should be. And with the Genesis P40/P42 series, there are four styling generations: 1993, 1997, 2000 3G millenium, and now the 2024 4G revision. All active P42's had been in common 3G livery since 2006, but in January 2024 a new 4th generation Charger-inspired scheme was introduced on #174. Red, white, and blue has returned! Only three more have come out since then, #82, #167 and #138 on April 11.

Paint can be refreshed when maintenance takes place at Beech Grove, Indiana. The paint booth was mostly shut down during covid. But refreshed during calendar year 2022 were nine units. In calendar year 2023, sixteen had their paint refreshed. Those were all 3G re-do's. Engines #68 and #95 were included from the class of 1997. So far in 2024 just four units have popped out of the booth. It is said that there may be one or two holdover 3G's still in the works, as both #90 and #106 are there, along with a couple of others. It is also possible that some painting could be contracted out. We shall see.

A short-lived 2G marketing change took place for the Genesis series in 1997, which included #101-111 new for the northeast corridor. The NEC units had cab signal equipment allowing them to run 110 mph, whereas normally FRA regulations limit locomotives to 79 mph (all this has changed now with the implementation of positive train control nationwide in 2022). Another paint change occurred in 2000 (millennium bluenose). This was the third generation for P42's. Two new units (121 and 122) replaced wrecked P40's. They did arrive in 1997 2G livery, the only western-based locomotives in 2G as delivered. A few other P42's were given 2G repaints during the 1998-1999 period, mostly wreck rebuilds.

Surviving bicentennial striped P40's at the time, and P42 road numbers 1-28 received 2G paint. Eventually all of those were also converted to 3G.

In the late 1990's, a follow-up order was placed with GE, for units that became 123-207. Deliveries of those began in that shocking millennium 3G livery in 2000. No bicentennial stripes, and no red, white, and blue. This became the new fleet standard, at least until 24 years later, when #174 came along.

A new logo was first introduced in 2000, a big one on the nose, and three smaller in 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 extra logos on flanks have been gradually removed and skirts lowered as units had paint refreshed. Beginning around 2006, the often-smashed steel noses were replaced with bolt-on versions. It took over a decade to replace them all, with the original NEC units being the last to get the nose job.

Three major variants of numberboards also occurred 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). GPS transponder plots are on asm.transitdocs.org so if you know what train an engine is on, you can get archival information as to the times and places they went. A link to a Google map of the 1996-built active units is also at the very bottom of pages 1 and 40. Ignore the October 2023 version because we lost the log-in for it. Updated locations for the entire P42 fleet are grouped on each 10th page. Currently locomotives 85-130 are assigned to the northeast, but do pop out once and a while to go to Chicago on the Lake Shore, or to run regionals south of Washington DC. It is anticipated that within the next five years, this will be the only area of the country in which to find them. As those routes are converted to new "Airo" series married trainsets, P42's will be gone. But relax, this probably will not completely happen until 2050 or beyond.

There is increasing chatter about ALC-42's taking over the Autotrain in May, and several P40's have also been shifting around. Pending arrival of new equipment, North Carolina is also borrowing more P42's. Click through the photos if you'd like, but if you wish to use them for other than personal viewing, please attribute 4rr.com. Clicking on the serial number will take you to some of what we know about each engine.There is almost always at least a 24-48 hour delay before information comes to us, and we can't get it all posted immediately even then.

April 21, 2024. Update from 4rr.com - feedback "at" 4rr.com Feel free to send updates, comments, corrections, etc.