GE P42DC No. 174 on the Winter Park Express in 2024.

(BUTTON74, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)



General Electric Genesis (officially trademarked GENESIS) is a series of passenger diesel locomotives produced by GE Transportation, then a subsidiary of General Electric. Between 1992 and 2001, a total of 321 units were built for Amtrak, Metro-North, and Via Rail.

The Genesis series of locomotives was designed by General Electric in response to a specification published by Amtrak. At 14 feet 4 inches (4.37 m) tall, the Genesis series are the lowest North American diesel-electric locomotives, being lower than the previous-generation F40PH by 14 inches (356 mm). This height restriction allows the locomotive to travel easily through low-profile tunnels in the Northeast Corridor.


Amtrak GE P40DC at Carbondale, IL, July 9, 1993.

(Gary Todd from Xinzheng, China, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)


Technical design

The GE Genesis series is unique among recently manufactured North American passenger locomotives in that it uses a single, monocoque carbody design styled by industrial designer Cesar Vergara, thus making it lighter, more aerodynamic, and more fuel efficient than its predecessors (F40PH, F59PH, P30CH, P32-BWH). However, this makes it more costly and time-consuming to maintain and repair. In 2004, Amtrak started installing bolt-on nose cones on its units for easy replacement in the event of a grade crossing collision with a vehicle. As an example of the improvements over the predecessor locomotives, the Genesis is 22% more fuel-efficient than the F40PH while producing 25% more power. In addition, all Genesis locomotives have four-stroke engines instead of the two-stroke engines previously used in EMD counterparts.

The Genesis unit is a fully computerized locomotive which automatically controls all on-board functions, thus producing high reliability while keeping the maintenance requirements low. For example, its computers can automatically reduce the power plant's output in the event that the locomotive is overheating, or suffering from low oil pressure, low water pressure, or reduced airflow into the intakes, thus making it still operable.

All Genesis engines can provide head-end power (HEP) to the train drawn from an alternator or inverter powered by the main engine at a maximum rating of 800 kilowatts (1,100 hp), making each unit capable of providing HEP for up to 16 Superliner railcars. The P40DC and P42DC power plants can supply 60-hertz head-end power either from the HEP alternator with the engine speed-locked to 900 rpm (normal mode) or from the traction alternator with the engine speed-locked to 720 rpm (standby mode). In the latter case, traction power is unavailable. The P32AC-DM powerplant does not have to be locked at a certain rpm because it utilizes an HEP inverter, which allows the prime mover to run at 1047 rpm when providing both traction power and HEP, and to idle at 620 rpm (or notch three) while still providing HEP for lighting and air-conditioning when not providing traction power.

The trucks of Genesis locomotives were made by Krupp Verkehrstechnik, which has since been absorbed by Siemens Mobility; the trucks on the newest Genesis locomotives carry the Siemens name.


MTA Metro-North Railroad P32ACDM locomotive 208 at the North White Plains Maintenance of Equipment Repair Facility on Monday, May 15, 2023,

where it has been wrapped as a heritage unit in 1983 livery in honor of the railroad’s 40th anniversary.

(Metropolitan Transportation Authority from United States of America, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)



Three models of Genesis were built by General Electric, the P40DC, P42DC, and P32AC-DM.



The P40DC (GENESIS Series I) or Dash 8-40BP (originally known as the AMD-103 or Amtrak Monocoque Diesel - 103MPH) is the first model in the Genesis series, built in 1993. The locomotive operates in a diesel-electric configuration that uses DC to power the traction motors, producing 4,000 horsepower (2,980 kW) at 1047 rpm. Power output to the traction motors is 3,550 hp (2,650 kW) when running in HEP mode (900 rpm) with a 0 kW HEP load. Traction power in HEP mode decreases to 2,525 horsepower (1,880 kW) when providing the maximum 800 kW (1,100 hp) HEP load to the train. The P40DC is geared for a maximum speed of 103 miles per hour (166 km/h). The P40DC was succeeded in 1996 by the P42DC.

A feature unique to the P40DC and P32AC-DM is a hostler stand at the rear of the locomotive providing increased visibility and reversing capabilities to the engineer while conducting reverse operations. When a unit is in operation from this stand it is limited to 10 mph (16 km/h) and a dead man's switch protects against movement without an operator being present. Another unique feature to the original P40DC were the two strobes above the cab and an emergency flasher between the strobes. When they were overhauled, those features were removed.

Both the P40DC and P42DC allowed Amtrak to operate heavy long-distance trains with fewer locomotives compared to the older EMD F40PH locomotives; two P40DCs could do the same work as three F40PHs. Additional deliveries of the P42DC ended up replacing the P40DCs. Four units were wrecked (819 in the 1993 Big Bayou Canot train wreck and 807 and 829 in the 1999 Bourbonnais, Illinois, train crash) and 816 in a crash in Colorado and scrapped. Eight were leased and later sold to the Connecticut DOT for Shore Line East in 2005, and four were rebuilt and sold to New Jersey Transit in 2007; NJ Transit sold their units to ConnDOT in 2015. The remaining 29 units were placed out-of-service for many years. 15 of these units have been rebuilt using 2009 ARRA stimulus funds and returned to service, now in the Phase V livery, except for 822, which is painted in Phase III Heritage livery for Amtrak's 40th Anniversary. The units that were not rebuilt or sold have since been scrapped.

In January 2018, ConnDOT awarded a contract to Amtrak to overhaul their twelve P40DC locomotives at the Beech Grove Shops. The first unit was completed in early 2021. With the introduction of M8 EMU trains for Shore Line East service, the rebuilt P40DCs will be exclusively used on the Hartford Line.


Upgraded and "Stimulus" P40DCs

By 2007, New Jersey Transit had upgraded their P40DC units with updated prime movers to match the 4,250 horsepower (3,170 kW) of the successor P42DC. This was done by readjusting the position of the lay shafts within the prime mover.

Amtrak has returned 15 of their P40DC units to service as part of a project funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The first of the units were returned to service in March 2010 after being overhauled at the Beech Grove Shops. They were upgraded like NJT's units had been a few years before to have 4,250 hp (3,170 kW) and match the P42DC's maximum speed of 110 mph (177 km/h). They also received updated cab signaling systems. The upgraded locomotives still have mechanical air brakes, which makes them most suitable for trains that only require a single locomotive. This differs from the electronic air brakes on the P42DC and P32AC-DM. They also feature a builder's plate indicating that they were rebuilt under the auspices of the TIGER stimulus program.


Via Rail P42DC No. 902.

(Milan Suvajac, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)



The P42DC (GENESIS Series I) is the successor model to the P40DC. It has an engine output of 4,250 horsepower (3,170 kW) at 1,047 rpm, or 3,550 horsepower (2,650 kW) when running in HEP mode (900 rpm) with a 0 kW HEP load. as with the P40DC, traction horsepower in HEP mode decreases to 2,525 horsepower (1,880 kW) when providing the full 800 kW HEP load to the train.

The P42DC has a maximum speed of 110 mph (177 km/h) compared to the 103 mph (166 km/h) maximum speed of the P40DC. Tractive effort is rated at 280.25 kN (63,000 lbf) of starting effort and 169 kN (38,000 lbf) of continuous effort at 38 mph (61 km/h) given wheel power of 3,850 horsepower (2,870 kW).

P42DCs are used primarily on most of Amtrak's long-haul and higher-speed rail service outside the Northeast and lower Empire Corridors. They will be replaced on long-distance service by 125 Siemens ALC-42 Charger locomotives between 2021 and 2024, but will remain in service on shorter corridor trains.

Via Rail Canada has utilized P42DC locomotives since 2001, when they replaced the LRC locomotives that year. They are currently on services with speeds up to 100 mph (161 km/h), mainly on the Quebec City-Windsor rail corridor.


Metro-North P32AC-DM No. 207 in 2007.

(I, Adam E. Moreira, CC BY-SA 3.0 US <>, via Wikimedia Commons)



The P32AC-DM (GENESIS Series II, short for "Passenger, 3,200 hp (2,400 kW), Alternating Current, Dual Mode") was developed for both Amtrak and Metro-North. They can operate on power generated either by the on-board diesel prime mover or power collected from a third rail electrification system at 750 volts direct current; the third-rail shoes are used on the over-running third-rail into Penn Station for Amtrak units and the under-running third-rail into Grand Central Terminal for Metro-North. The P32AC-DM is rated at 3,200 horsepower (2,390 kW), 2,900 horsepower (2,160 kW) when supplying HEP, and is geared for a maximum speed of 110 mph (177 km/h). Tractive effort is rated at 275.8 kN (62,000 lbf) of starting effort from zero to 14 mph (23 km/h) and 113.43 kN (25,500 lbf) of continuous effort at 40 mph (64 km/h) given wheel power of 2,700 horsepower (2,010 kW).

The P32AC-DM is unique as it is equipped with GE's GEB15 AC (alternating current) traction motors, rather than DC (direct current) motors as used in the other subtypes. It is also only one of two modern American electro-diesel locomotives with third-rail capability, along with the EMD DM30AC operated by the Long Island Rail Road. NJ Transit and Exo's Bombardier ALP-45DP electro-diesel locomotive can operate from overhead catenary electrification.

The P32AC-DM is only used on services operating north from New York City, where diesel emissions through its two fully enclosed main terminal stations are prohibited. Amtrak rosters 18 P32AC-DM locomotives and uses them for its Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Lake Shore Limited (New York section), Adirondack, and Maple Leaf services, all of which travel to New York Penn Station. Metro-North rosters 31 P32AC-DM locomotives on push-pull trains to Grand Central Terminal; four are owned by the Connecticut Department of Transportation. The Metro-North and ConnDOT fleet of P32AC-DM locomotives will eventually be replaced by new Siemens SC-42DM Charger locomotives beginning in 2027.


Original owners

Railroad Model Quantity Road numbers Notes
Amtrak P40DC 44 800–843 15 units upgraded to P42DC specifications and remain in service; 29 units sold or scrapped.
Amtrak P42DC 207 1–207 To be replaced by 125 new ALC-42 Siemens Charger locomotives.
Amtrak P32AC-DM 18 700–717 Dual mode for operation on the Empire Connection into New York Penn.
Metro-North Railroad P32AC-DM 31 201–231 Dual mode for operation into Grand Central Terminal. 228–231 owned by CTDOT
Via Rail P42DC 21 900–920


Type and origin
Power type: Diesel–electric or dual-mode
Builder: GE Transportation Systems
Model: P40DC, P32AC-DM, P42DC
Build date: 1992–2001
Total produced: 321
Number rebuilt: 19
​• AAR B-B
• UIC Bo′Bo′
Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Trucks: Krupp-MaK high-speed bolsterless, now Siemens branded
Wheel diameter: 40 in (1,016 mm)
Minimum curve: 251 ft (77 m) radius/ 22.85° (single unit); 318 ft (97 m) radius/ 18.2° (coupled)
Wheelbase: 43 ft 2+1⁄2 in (13.17 m) (between truck centers)
Length: 69 ft 0 in (21.03 m)
Width: 10 ft 0 in (3.05 m)
Height: 14 ft 4 in (4.37 m)
Axle load: 72,000 lb (32,659 kg) Max
Adhesive weight: 100%
Locomotive weight P40DC, P42DC: 268,240 lb (121,672 kg)
Locomotive weight P32AC-DM: 274,400 lb (124,466 kg)
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel capacity: 2,200 US gal (8,300 L) (DC)
Fuel capacity: 1,800 US gal (6,800 L) (AC)
Lubricant capacity: 410 US gal (1,600 L) (DC)
Lubricant capacity: 365 US gal (1,380 L) (AC)
Coolant capacity: 380 US gal (1,400 L) (DC)
Coolant capacity: 210 US gal (790 L) (AC)
Sandbox capacity: 26 cu ft (740 L) (DC)
Sandbox capacity: 8.5 cu ft (240 L) (AC)
Prime mover: GE 7FDL16 (P40DC, P42DC), GE 7FDL12 (P32AC-DM)
RPM range: 200–1050 (600–900 while supplying HEP)
Engine type: 45° V16, four stroke cycle (P40DC, P42DC), 45° V12, four stroke cycle (P32AC-DM)
Aspiration: Turbocharged
Displacement: 175.2 L (10,690 cu in) (7FDL16)
Displacement: 131.4 L (8,020 cu in) (7FDL12)
Alternator: GMG 195 (P40DC, P42DC)
Alternator: GMG 195A1 (P32AC-DM)
Traction motors: GE 752AH (DC), GE GEB15 (AC)
Cylinders: 16 (P40DC, P42DC)
Cylinders: 12 (P32AC-DM)
Cylinder size: 10.95 L (668 cu in)
Transmission: AC-DC
MU working: Yes
Train heating: Locomotive-supplied head-end power
Locomotive brake: Dynamic / Regenerative / Electropneumatic
Train brakes: Electropneumatic
Performance figures
Maximum speed: 103 mph (166 km/h) (original P40DC); 110 mph (177 km/h) (P42DC, P32AC-DM, upgraded P40DC); 60 mph (97 km/h) (in electric mode; P32AC-DM only)
Power output: 3,200 hp (2,400 kW) (P32AC-DM)
Power output: 4,000 hp (3,000 kW) (original P40DC)
Power output: 4,250 hp (3,170 kW) (upgraded P40DC, P42DC)
Tractive effort P40DC, P42DC: 280.25 kN (63,000 lbf) Starting; 169 kN (38,000 lbf) Continuous @38 mph (61.2 km/h)
Tractive effort P32AC-DM: 275.8 kN (62,000 lbf) Starting @ Stall to 14 mph (23 km/h); 113.43 kN (25,500 lbf) Continuous @64 mph (103 km/h)
Factor of adhesion: 4.25 (DC)
Factor of adhesion: 4.4258 (AC)
Operators: Amtrak, Metro-North Railroad, Via Rail, CT Rail
Numbers Amtrak: P42DC 1-207; P32AC-DM 700-717; P40DC 800-843 (15 in service, 12 sold)
Numbers Metro-North: P32AC-DM 201-231
Numbers VIA Rail Canada: P42DC 900-920
Numbers CT Rail: P40DC 6700–6711
Official name: Genesis
Disposition: Operational