Illinois Central Gulf No. 6006, an EMD SD40A at Champaign, IL 1987.

(Gary Todd, Public domain,


GM-EMD logo.


An EMD SD40A is a six-axle diesel-electric locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division between 1969 and 1970. 18 examples of this locomotive were built exclusively for the Illinois Central Railroad. The SD40A was basically an SD40 built on an SDP45 frame. The longer SDP45 frame allowed for a larger, 5000 gallon fuel tank.

This locomotive is powered by a sixteen-cylinder EMD 645E3 diesel engine, which could provide 3,000 horsepower (2,240 kW). Illinois Central Railroad used the SD40A as a long-range road-switcher, utilizing the larger fuel tank found on the SDP45.

The Soo Line Railroad eventually acquired five of these units and as of 2005 they are out of service. Six other units (IC 6011, and 6013–6018) remain in service under Illinois Central, which is now a subsidiary of Canadian National Railway.


Illinois Central 6018, an EMD SD40A at Champaign, IL in 1986.

(Gary Todd, Public domain,, cropped)



Number 6014 is preserved by Railexco, and is currently undergoing restoration.


Illinois Central 6008, an EMD SD40A, near Champaign-Urbana, ca. 1980s.

(Gary Todd, Public domain,, cropped)


EMD SD40A Overview

Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: General Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD)
Model: SD40A
Build date: 1969 – 1970
Total produced: 18
Configuration: AAR C-C
Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Prime mover: EMD 16-645E3
Engine type: V16 diesel
Cylinders: 16
Performance figures
Power output: 3,000 hp (2,240 kW)
Operators: Illinois Central, Soo Line
Locale: United States
Disposition: 6 in service with IC (CN) as of 2010