General Electric's fleet of passenger locomotives at Amtrak (originally known as AMD-103's and later "Genesis") are being phased out for a newer European design. Amtrak-owned GE-produced road engines range in age from 24-33 years. Siemens ALC-42 "Chargers" are slowly replacing them after being delayed several years due to COVID, Amtrak change orders, teething pains, and other factors. Fifty new Chargers have been commissioned for revenue service (with another twelve delivered but not yet used). Switchover began in February 2022 on the Empire Builder. Active road numbers for ALC-42's so far are in the 300-361 group. The total order, planned by 2030, will reach at least to road number 425. As of June 2024, several long distance routes have been partially converted, but not yet Auto Train, Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle, Southwest Chief, or California Zephyr (Train 6 does deliver pairs of new Chargers to Chicago, but only behind GE power so far). On June 21, new deliveries 359 and 361 came east. And two units moved to Sanford on Auto Train, so Amtrak is still thinking about making a change there. As the "long distance" name implies, ALC-42's are not yet being employed on short commuter routes. GE's still handle those chores. On Illinois and Michigan routes, some California joint powers, Cascades in the northwest, and the privately-operated Florida "Brightline" service, there is a separate Charger commuter platform for use there. Most of those date from 2016. The shortest route we have seen so far for an ALC-42 is the 600 miles between Washington DC and Savannah.


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). We have photos of them HERE. P42's still active in mid- June 2024 number about 138. There are also still 8 active P40's left at Amtrak that have run in the past six weeks. Train assignments of the active units may be found HERE. Twenty-one of the 47 1996-built units are still in revenue operation on the national Amtrak system. 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 77. Road numbers #85-131 are now assigned mostly to Northeast Corridor commuter routes, which is where the last of them will live out their years. In the 2000-2001 group, road numbers 121-207, about 61 remain operable. Many non-operable units are stored at Beech Grove, usually with various degrees of damage or expensive non-available replacement parts needed. In earlier years, most could have been repaired and returned to service. Now, not so much due to age. We also have several that are not known to be retired, but have not been active for awhile. Included are #48, #137, and #153.


The 1980's "Genesis project" (AMD-103) P40 series for Amtrak produced 1993 deliveries of 44 units, road-numbered 800-843. Amtrak sold off most of them for scrap, but several have been rebuilt so far for Connecticut DOT and lately the Keewatin Railway. Starting in 1995, Amtrak began replacing the rest of its former EMD F40 western fleet with an upgraded P42 variant. Road numbers 1-47 were delivered in 1996, #48-120 in 1997, and #121-135 in 2000, and 136-207 in 2001. Although it did not happen overnight, GE eventually exited passenger locomotive building when no further customers stepped forward. A handful of P42's built for VIA-RAIL Canada were its last production. Freight locomotive building continued at Erie until 2019, when new GE management divested from the century-old business entirely, spinning it off to Wabtech. That saga, and the demise of railroading in the United States, are interesting stories not to be told here.


Genesis P40/P42 series locomotives have had four styling generations. Only one unit (#82) has worn all four. As-delivered, Amtrak's road numbers 1-100 (and #112-120 for Coast Starlight) were painted in platinum mist, and carried traditional bicentennial striping. In 1995, a second generation "northestern" variant appeared with modified stripes. It was originally for dedicated northeast corridor engines only (#101-111), but briefly spread to others that were repainted after wrecks. A change in Amtrak management and budget cuts killed the repainting program. A third change took place when more new engines started arriving in 2000. This was 3G, or the millennium "blue nose." No more bicentennial stripes, and no red, white, and blue. This became the new fleet standard until 2024. All active P42's were in common 3G livery by 2006, but in January 2024 a new 4th generation scheme was introduced on engine #174. Red, white, and blue returned! Five more have shown up in the new 4G refreshed scheme since then, #69, #75, #82, #138, and #167.

Along with the new 3G paint, a new corporate logo was first introduced in 2000. Extra logos on flanks have been gradually removed since then 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, which you can see in our photos.
See Pages 73-75./p>

There have also been some advertising wraps and stickers applied over the years. The latest is on #168, which received a "25th Anniversary" sticker on June 6, 2024. That is for the Heartland Flyer. It looks like the Texas Eagle disruptions through Dallas will be extended into mid-July, although on June 19th trains 21 and 22 did run through for the first time in weeks. The Chicago/St. Louis portion of the Eagle has been turning back at Longview all summer so far. It may not be an everyday disruption now as it has been.

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). Thanks for looking and we hope you enjoy the photos, which are for private non-commercial viewing only.

June 23, 2024. Update by 4rr.com - feedback "at" 4rr.com