Dash 2 Domination
Written by: Gary Dolzall
Soon, the CSX Electro-Motive GP40-2 will be joining its Dash 2 sisters in Train Sim World!
The Electro-Motive “Dash 2” diesels: Between 1972 and 1988, EMD produced more than 7,800 diesel locomotives in its landmark Dash 2 line, and soon, the GP40-2, in CSX livery, will be joining its Dash 2 sisters, the SD40-2 and GP38-2, in Train Sim World and CSX Heavy Haul!
Back in 1966, Electro-Motive introduced its “40 Line” of diesels which heralded the arrival of EMD’s 645-series diesel power plant as a replacement for the remarkable and long-lived EMD 567-series engine. Core members of the EMD 40 Line included the GP38, GP40, SD40, and SD45, and together they dominated the North American diesel market of the late 1960s and early 1970s. But with an eye toward continuing its diesel domination, EMD in 1972 introduced an evolutionary enhancement of the 40 Line to become known as its new Dash 2 diesels.
Compared to their immediate predecessors, Electro-Motive Dash 2 locomotive featured improved traction motors and alternators; strengthened components in the EMD 645-power plant, and solid-state modular components in the electrical and control systems. All of which translated to enhanced reliability and operating efficiency for the new line of locomotives – and continued robust sales for Electro-Motive.
Heart and soul of the Electro-Motive Dash 2 line were three locomotive types: the non-turbocharged, four-axle 2,000 horsepower GP38-2; the turbocharged 3,000-horsepower four-axle GP40-2; and the turbocharged 3,000-horsepower six-axle SD40-2. Each type would eventually sell in the thousands (the SD40-2, more than 4,000 units; the GP38-2, 2,222 units; and the GP40-2 more than 1,100 units, including variants). And such has been the success and durability of EMD’s Dash 2 diesels that today, three decades after their production runs ended, hundreds of veteran Dash 2 locomotives remain in front-line service on a variety of North American railroads.
Train Sim World’s CSX Heavy Haul Sand Patch route includes the CSX SD40-2 and GP38-2, and soon, the successful and versatile GP40-2 – in CSX’s now-classic “Bright Future” (“YN2”) livery – will be joining the roster as DLC. Among the original buyers of the GP40-2 were 11 railroads that would eventually become (in whole or in part) members of today’s CSX system. The railroads that purchased the GP40-2 included the four largest CSX predecessors: Chesapeake & Ohio; Baltimore & Ohio, Seaboard Coast Line; and Louisville & Nashville. It included notable mid-sized roads such as Western Maryland and Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac. And it included inheriting a portion of Conrail’s GP40-2 fleet when CSX and NS acquired and divided that railroad in 1999. During the 1970s, Chessie System (which included B&O, C&O, and Western Maryland) purchased 348 of the 3,000-horsepower road-switchers which were dressed in Chessie’s livery and could be regularly frequently doing battle with famed Sand Patch. All told, CSX predecessor railroads accounted for more than 450 GP40-2s.
Today, giant CSX continues to employ an expansive fleet of veteran GP40-2s in road, local, and switching duties across its 21,000-mile system, making the landmark locomotive a superb addition for CSX Heavy Haul duty. Also included in the upcoming GP40-2 DLC will be two new contemporary freight cars ideal for manifest service on Sand Patch Grade – a 73-foot center-beam flatcar and a CSX 42-foot steel coil car. And the upcoming CSX GP40-2 will be fully integrated into Train Sim World’s innovative “Services” mode, making it ready to go to work on rugged and challenging Sand Patch Grade! – Gary Dolzall ■
Coming soon to Train Sim World and CSX Heavy Haul is the successful Electro-Motive GP40-2 in classic CSX “Bright Future” (YN2”) livery, where it will join its landmark EMD SD40-2 and GP38-2 kindred. On a snowy eve, a pair of CSX EMD GP40-2s have eased into Cumberland Terminal’s engine servicing facility (nicknamed “the pit”) for fueling. Screenshots by Gary Dolzall. The Maryland sky is angry and the rain is pouring down at Cumberland Terminal on the Train Sim World CSX Heavy Haul route as CSX EMD GP40-2 6248 prepares to lead a string of empty coal gons westbound up Sand Patch Grade (above). On a more pleasurable autumn day, CSX GP40-2 6160 and an SD40-2 are handling yard switching duties at Cumberland Terminal (below). Note: Screenshots may depict content in development. The 3,000-horsepower, four-axle (B-B) GP40-2 was constructed by Electro-Motive from 1972 to 1986 in a production run of 1,143 units and more than 450 of the units would eventually serve giant CSX. On the scenic Salisbury Branch, two CSX GP40-2s have a unit coal train in tow. On the rugged and demanding east slope of Sand Patch Grade, a “Dash 2” trio of EMD GP40-2, SD40-2, and GP38-2 lift a petroleum train westbound, crossing Willis Creek near Fairhope (above) and curving past the rustic post office at Mance, Pennsylvania (below). On Train Sim World’s CSX Heavy Haul Sand Patch Grade route, CSX GP40-2 6112 and a SD40-2 have just cleared the line’s signature Sand Patch Tunnel (above), then ease their way down the Alleghenies near Philson, Pennsylvania with eastbound auto rack traffic (below). The GP40-2 was equipped with EMD’s long-standard “spartan cab” design and second-generation engineer’s control stand. The upcoming Train Sim World GP40-2 will feature fully realistic and interactive engineer’s controls. The CSX EMD GP40-2 DLC for Train Sim World and CSX Heavy Haul will also include two new and authentic freight cars ideal for service on Sand Patch Grade, a 42-foot CSX steel coil car (above) and 73-foot center-beam flatcar (below). The landmark 3,000-horsepower Electro-Motive GP40-2 diesel road-switcher, in classic CSX “Bright Future” (“YN2”) livery, will be coming to Train Sim World and CSX Heavy Haul, where it will join its “Dash 2” sisters, the SD40-2 and GP38-2, for duty on Sand Patch Grade!