TS20: A Hunger for Horsepower
Written by: Gary Dolzall.
The burly Electro-Motive SD9043MAC diesel is coming soon to Train Simulator in classic Union Pacific livery!
North America’s large railroads have historically had an appetite for ever bigger and more powerful locomotives and in the mid-1990s, both Electro-Motive and General Electric attempted to satisfy that horsepower hunger with single-powerplant, six-axle, 6,000-horsepower diesel locomotives. GE’s entry into this 6,000-horsepower locomotive competition was the AC6000CW, while Electro-Motive cataloged the SD90MAC.
History shows that the market for such a large locomotive proved limited and that from a technology and reliability standpoint, the locomotives proved considerably less than hoped. Among North American railroads, only Union Pacific and CSX purchased the GE AC6000CW, while Union Pacific and Canadian Pacific lined up for the EMD SD90MAC.
In the case of the SD90MAC, EMD’s planned 256H-series power plant was both delayed in production and then proved unpopular. As a result, only 68 6,000-horsepower SD90MACs were eventually constructed. Given the availability issues with the 256H engine, EMD came up with what was first intended as an interim solution - but which in fact proven permanent. EMD constructed 410 of its 90-series locomotives with 4,300-horsepower 710-series engines as employed in its SD70 line. The intention was that these 4,300-horsepower diesels would, when the 256H engine was available and proven, be repowered with the 6,000-horsepower engine, but no such repowering would ever occur.
The 4,300-horsepower version of the SD90MAC came to be known as the “SD9043MAC” (or often simply the “SD9043AC”) – and soon this burly diesel locomotive will come to Train Simulator in classic Union Pacific livery!
While the 6,000-horsepower SD90MACs proved to have a short service life, the SD9043MACs went on to serve extended careers (albeit with periods of storage). Union Pacific rostered the largest SD9043MACs fleet at 309 units and while most UP units have now been retired, many SD9043MACs remain in service with second-hand owners, either in as-built form or rebuilt into SD70 variants. Among second-hand owners of the SD9043MAC are the regional Indiana Rail Road and Norfolk Southern, which has acquired 100 units which it is rebuilding into SD70ACUs.
During the SD9043MACs active years on the Union Pacific, the diesels most often worked heavy-tonnage trains such as unit grain or coal consists and regardless of their lack of commercial success, the massive diesels – which stretched 80-feet long, weighed more than 400,000 pounds, sported huge flared radiators, and rode atop advanced HTCR radial trucks – made for an impressive sight from trackside.
Coming soon to Train Simulator duty, the hulking SD9043MAC will wear Union Pacific’s famed and classic yellow-and-gray livery and feature realistic cab controls and operating features. And the SD9043MAC will be accompanied by three career scenarios for the recently released Granger Heartland: Kansas City – Topeka route (route available separately).
Get ready to climb aboard for some heavy freight-hauling – with the soon to arrive, burly, and distinctive Union Pacific Electro-Motive SD9043MAC for Train Simulator! - Gary Dolzall
The SD9043MAC, a 4,300-horsepower version of Electro-Motive’s ill-starred SD90MAC, is coming soon to Train Simulator in classic Union Pacific livery (above and below). More than 400 of these high-horsepower locomotives were constructed by Electro-Motive in the years 1995-2000 and Union Pacific rostered 309 of the burly diesels. Screenshots by Gary Dolzall.
Powered by EMD’s 710-series engine, key features of the SD9043MAC (also often called the SD9043AC) are its North American comfort cab, huge flared radiators, HTCR radial trucks, and large external sand boxes on the rear platform (above). The 4,300-horsepower units weigh in at more than 400,000 pounds. As an engineer on the upcoming SD9043MAC, you’ll work from a modern desk-style operator’s console (below). Note: Screenshots depict content in development.
Dusk is settling at Union Pacific’s Armourdale Yard on the Train Simulator Granger Heartland: Kansas City – Topeka route and the 80-foot length of Union Pacific SD9043MAC 3753 occupies virtually the entire breadth of the engine terminal’s turntable.
Union Pacific typically employed its more than 300-strong roster of SD9043MACs on heavy tonnage, such as unit grain and coal trains. Rolling east across the plains of Kansas, a trio of the husky EMD diesels have grain tonnage in tow (above and below).
Twelve-thousand, nine-hundred horses are on the point as SD9043MACs roll grain tonnage past the distinctive Lawrence, Kansas depot on the Granger Heartland: Kansas City – Topeka route. The SD9043MAC DLC will include a trio of scenarios for the recently released route.
Get ready to climb aboard for some heavy freight-hauling – with the soon to arrive, burly, and distinctive Union Pacific Electro-Motive SD9043MAC for Train Simulator!
Screenshots and images displayed in this article may depict content that is still in development. The licensed brands may not have been approved by their respective owner and some artwork may still be pending approval.
TS20: A Hunger for Horsepower