Hello, one and all. Welcome to another review. Continuing with Amtrak Month (the unofficial name), we will review Amtrak’s current dual mode locomotive, the GE P32ACDM.
The General Electric model P32ACDM is a dual mode locomotive built by General Electric for both Amtrak and the Metro North Commuter Railroad in New York. They are one of two diesel locomotives currently built for North America railroads that are capable of running as third rail locomotives in the current day (the other is the EMD DM30AC used on the Long Island Rail Road).
Prior to the P32ACDM, Amtrak and Metro North both used the aging EMD model FL9, a diesel tracing back to the days of the New Haven. Although reliable, the FL9’s were getting old and needed replacement.
Eventually Amtrak consulted with GE for a replacement that was dual mode since there aren’t fans to ventilate diesel exhaust in New York. Thus we got the P32ACDM which allowed the retirement of the FL9. Today, Amtrak and Metro North use them to no end. If you want to know about more history, see http://www.american-rails.com/nyc-electrification.html.
From first glance, I’m not keen on the P32ACDM, but considering the job they have to do, I respect them. Without them, trains couldn’t get into New York without the use of overhead wire, or a rather lengthy reroute to the Northeast Corridor. Other than that, I find them okay locomotives.
While I’m not big on the P32ACDM, they play a pivotal role in moving trains in and out of New York on the ex-New York Central and a portion of the ex-New Haven. Until next time, this is Jessica K, out.