Amtrak #702 leads the Hilltopper over the Potomac River
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder GE Transportation Systems
Model P30CH
Build date 1976
Total produced 25
AAR wheel arr. C-C
UIC classification Co′Co′
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Length 72 ft 4 in (22.05 m)
Width 10 ft 8.8 in (3.27 m)
Height 15 ft 4 12 in (4.69 m)
Locomotive weight 386,000 lb (175.1 tonnes)
Prime mover GE 7FDL16
Aspiration Turbocharged
Cylinders 16
Power output 3,000 HP
Career Amtrak, some leased to SP
Nicknames Pooch
Last run 1992
Disposition Scrapped

The GE P30CH (also nicknamed "POOCH" because of the similarity of the designation) was one of the first brand-new Diesel-electric locomotives built for Amtrak in the company's early years. The design was based on the GE U30C, but had a cowl carbody like its EMD competitors.

25 P30CHs were ordered by Amtrak in 1974, just after Amtrak ordered 40 EMD SDP40Fs in 1973. Unlike the SDP40F, the P30CH was the first Amtrak locomotive built from the factory to offer HEP (Head End Power).

The six axle P30CHs, which cost Amtrak $480,000 each,[citation needed] were plagued with mechanical problems and were never very popular with crews or Amtrak management.[citation needed] Amtrak shifted preference, and began purchasing in quantity the EMD F40PH in 1976. Some P30CHs were assigned by Amtrak to the Shenandoah route, which ran via Parkersburg, West Virginia, to Cincinnati, Ohio. A number were leased in the late 1970s to the Southern Pacific Railroad where they were used in San Francisco-San Jose, California Peninsula Commute service. In the later years of their Amtrak careers, the locomotives were used regularly into the mid-1980s on the Sunset Limited and Auto Train routes. They had their final runs in late 1992. All were subsequently scrapped; none were preserved.

Roster Table

Original Owner Road Number Quantity Builder Number(s) Builder Date
Amtrak 700–711 12 40694–40705 8/75
Amtrak 712–718 7 40706–40712 9/75
Amtrak 719–722 4 40713–40716 11/75
Amtrak 723 1 40717 12/75
Amtrak 724 1 40718 1/76

.[1] Source: Extra 2200 South


  1. ^ "GE U30 & P30CH roster". THE DIESEL SHOP: Home to First & Second Generation Locomotives and Motive Power Rosters. Retrieved 1 July 2009. [dead link]
  • Solomon, Brian (2004). Amtrak. St. Paul, MN: MBI Publishing. p. 105. ISBN 0-7603-1765-8. 

External links

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