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The Evolution Series from General Electric Transportation is a product of 60 years of serious product development. The GE ES44AC, ES44C4 and ES44DC / ES40DC locomotives offer their customers a consept rarely seen before. In addition to its powerful advanced features, the manufacturer General Electric offers these locomotives full upkeep with on-the-road-diagnostics. The availability of the locomotives is better than normally because once the diagnostics shows that a part starts to show need of maintenance, the locomotive notifies its need for attention and the necessary parts can be sent to the point of need without delay. This way GEs customers can make more business than most other locomotive builders customers, and this care translates to more income.  

Picture: The Heritage 3 painted BNSF ES44DC is the lead unit of a string of 4 General Electric locomotives on the point of a 500 axle train waiting to cross over the mountains via Tehachapi pass in California U.S.A. BNSF Railway is currently ordering 3/4s of its locomotives from the General Electric, a living proof of working relationship between the manufacturer and the customer! Picture by John McKey 2008.


While the manufacturers product consept is state of the art, the products themselves can take continuous use with their built rugged design. The AC models provide more power to the rail when operating at higher speeds, like BNSF hot shot stack and trailer trains, while the DC models can start as large trains which require less speed to reach their destination. The newest to the family, the ES44C4 has so far been delivered to the traditional lead customer BNSF where they work the fast stack trains. The C4-version has 6 axles like the other two, but only 4 are motored. It remains to be seen if this concept will prove effective with the high horse power locomotives. It might well be that the C4 version is priced the same as the DC version, and the customer in this market always want the 'better' AC version. The AC versions earlier cost twice the price of a DC versions! From the GEs viewpoint manufacturing just one type of components clearly makes sense. And the customer may rigtly consider that upgrading the locomotives to full ES44ACs is easy later by adding the missing 2 motors plus what is needed to power them. A concept that has benefits for both sides. However, it remains to be seen, if the starting traction of the ES44C4 will match enough that of the DC version in the difficult conditions where the train nearly stalls.             


 The BNSF ES44DC number 7530 in Seattle   

This picture with beautiful reflections from the waterfront BNSF office building reflecting from the ES44DC-locomotive was taken by Ilkka Siissalo in Seattle in 2007.

Technical specifications for General Electric ES44AC / ES44C4 / ES44DC / ES40DC  
Type: ES44AC / ES44DC (Evolution Series 4400 horse power with AC of DC traction motors), ES44C4 (ES44 with C = 2x3 axles, 4 axles powered A1A-A1A like in the 1930's)   
Usage: Heavy freight locomotive with road switching and multiple unit + distributed power unit capability.
Builder: General Electric Transportation Systems  
Production dates: production started in year 2005 after thorough testing with prototypes. Over thousand locomotives built so far. The newest production type for emission sensitive markets of the GE.   
Numbers built: >1000 + nearly thousand slightly different export versions sold to countries like China, Egypt and Kazakhstan.  

Gauge: 1435 mm (
4 ft 8,5 in), any gauge by demand.
Users: North American customers like BNSF Railway, Canadian National, Canadian Pacific Railway, CSX Transportation, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southers (ES40s), Union Pacific, ...
Can be seen in: North America  
Energy Source: Diesel fuel  
Engine: Gevo-12 turbocharged ('clean diesel')   
Power output: 3300 kW (4400 Hp)       
Transmission: Diesel electric AC or DC according to customer needs
Traction motors: AC/DC, 6 for all other types except C4 where 4 motors    
Tractive Effort: 166 thousand lbs for AC / 109 thousand lbs for DC 
Wheel arrangement:  C-C / Co'Co' 
Wheel diameter:

Maximum operational speed where possible: 121 km/h / 75 mph for AC versions and 113 km/h / 70 mph for DC models  

Length: 22,30 m /  73' 2"    
Heigth: 4,70 m / 15' 5"
3,12 m / 10' 3"      

Weight: 188 / 186 metric tons (415'000 lbs / 410'000 lbs)   
Axle weight max:     

Picture: BNSF Railway ES44DC is sitting by the seaside in Seattle, Washington. Seattle is a major port in the U.S. for exporting grain. Picture by Ilkka Siissalo 2007.


Created for by John McKey. Pictures by Ilkka Siissalo and John McKey. 

 Also in this section 

General Electric ES44AC/DC locomotives Page. The newest in state of the art product line. These locomotives are built to handle even the toughest routes, trains and handling while providing comfortable environment for the train personnel.  

General Electric C44-9W/AC4400 locomotives Page. The previous generation with around 5000 units built! Durable and popular locomotive for heavy duties. 

Russian railroads RZD employs an incredible 1, 3 million people! Take a look at the locomotive types of the east!  

Traxx family of locomotives by Bombardier has been very successfull in Europe. Take a look at the Traxx Locomotives Page!  

The Re460 is a popular locomotive originating from the Lok2000 program of Switzerland. Design by Pininfarina further helped to spread this high quality type. Last of the locomotives were built by Bombardier and later the production replaced by now highly popular Traxx platform

JT42/Class66 is one of the most common diesel locomotive types in Europe. Look at the Class 66 Page to find out more about the success.


Train Recognition guide (now in construction) will help you recognize around 300 of the most common locomotive, EMU and DMU types!   

High Speed Section of the brings you the latest and the history of the over 50 most common super high speed and high speed trains. In this area there are always interesting things going on.  

Sources: The Net, Genral Electric, ...    

Other interesting pages in this category on 
  General Electric C44-9W, C40-9W, C40-9 and AC4400 Locomotives Page    


   Main > Reference > North American Locomotive Types > General Electric ES44AC / ES44DC Railroad Reference 2004 - 2009  -  Created 12.1.2009 John McKey, Updated 11.6.2009