This is an "E-Book" on the transition of General Electric's P42 Genesis series of passenger locomotives (originally known as AMD-103's) over to a newer European design, Siemens ALC-42 "Chargers." The year 2024 is a watershed, with a new paint scheme being introduced, and more ALC-42 Chargers replacing GE's. 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. Fifty have been commissioned for revenue service (with another ten delivered but not yet used) . Transition began in February 2022 on the Empire Builder. Road numbers so far are 300-359.


GE built 321 Genesis series locomotives (Amtrak monococque diesel, 103 mph), most of which went to Amtrak starting in 1993. Upgraded P42s accounted for 207 of them (road numbers 1-207). Traditional bicentennial striping was used, over the standard platinum mist base coat that Amtrak had employed for its new units since inception. The total of all operating P42's in mid- June 2024 is 144 plus or minus. Only 20 of the 47 1996-built units are still in revenue operation (with 3 in storage and at least 1 with tree damage). Road numbers 48-120 were built in 1997 and there are 56 of them still running, bringing the total complement of 1996-97 units to 76 or so. Road numbers #85-131 are now assigned to Northeast Corridor commuter routes with just one or two exceptions. In the 2000-2001 group, road numbers 121-207, about 67 of them are still in operation. Many are stored at Beech Grove with various degrees of damage. In earlier years, most could have been repaired and returned to service. Now, not so much.


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, designed and built by General Electric Transportation at its Erie, Pennsylvania plant, with early input from Krupp, the German firm that absorbed the Edward G. Budd, Company. Later, the P40 was upgraded slightly to a new P42 series. Due to Reagan adminstration hostility to rail transit, major north american players were forced to exit passenger rail equipment building, and the industry largely defaulted to overseas vendors such as Siemens. The P42 was the last passenger locomotive built in any numbers by a US firm, and the last produced by General Electric.

By 2012, a group of fifteen P40's remaining at Amtrak were refurbished up to P42 standards with 2008 stimulus money. Five or six are still active today, mostly on Auto Train. The rest were leased out and some eventually sold transit systems (most notably Connecticut DOT) and to Larry's Truck and Electric. Of the LTE sales, evidently four have been rebuilt for the Keewatin Railway (801, 802, 803, and 839 reportedly).
See Page 800/p>.

In 1995, there was a short order of Genesis-cabbed dual mode units, supplemented with another small order in 1998. These were road numbered in the 700 series and designed with a third-rail pickup for operation on Metro-North trackage in and around New York City.

The first P42 order of 98 units was delivered 1996-1997, numbered 1-98. Traditional red white and blue bicentennial stripes and large road numbers were originally featured. Later, in 2000-2001, the fleet was expanded to 207 P42 units.


Paint jobs and keeping equipment clean and good-looking is a big deal with customers and the public. Genesis P40/P42 series locomotives have had four styling generations.

A short-lived 2G marketing change took place for the Genesis series 1995-1998, which included #101-111 new for the northeast corridor. A few other P42's were given 2G repaints during the 1998-1999 period, mostly wreck rebuilds. A third change took place in 2000 (3G millennium). No bicentennial stripes, and no red, white, and blue. Instead, something akin to a blue wavy design. This became the new fleet standard, at least until 24 years later, when #174 came along. All active P42's were in common 3G livery by 2006, but in January 2024 a new 4th generation scheme was introduced on #174. Red, white, and blue has returned! Five more have shown up since then, #82, #167, #138, #69, and May 19 saw the return of #75 to duty in 4G.

A new corporate 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.

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 emphasize 1996-built units, as they are most likely to disappear first. Three single digit road numbers remain in service today (4,5, and 7). Back in action is #18 to Seattle after tree damage repaired from back east. Currently locomotives 85-130 are assigned to the northeast. But relax, the demise of the Yankee P42's probably will not completely happen until 2050 or beyond.

There have been some wraps and stickers applied over the years. The latest is on #168, which received a "25th Anniversary" sticker on June 6. That is for the Heartland Flyer. 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.

June 11, 2024. Update by 4rr.com - feedback "at" 4rr.com