The EMD F40C is a 6-axle 3,200 horsepower (2.4 MW) diesel-electric locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division in 1974 for commuter service in Chicago. EMD only built 15 locomotives; the decline of the 6-axle design for passenger service led to the adoption of the 4-axle EMD F40PH as the standard passenger locomotive in the United States.

Metra F40C #605
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderGeneral Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD)
ModelEMD F40C
Build dateMarch May 1974
Total produced15
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length68 ft 10 in (20.98 m)
Width10 ft 4 in (3.15 m)
Height15 ft 7.5 in (4.763 m)
Loco weight364,000 lb (165,000 kg)
Prime moverEMD 645E3B
Engine typeV16 diesel
Performance figures
Power output3,200 hp (2,390 kW)
OperatorsMilwaukee Road, Metra
LocaleChicago, Illinois, and its northwest suburbs
DispositionTwelve sold to Helm Leasing in East St. Louis, Illinois; all presumed scrapped. One (#610) sent to National Railway Equipment Company in Dixmoor, Illinois and was still extant as of April 2018. Two (#611 and #614) are currently stored in the Western Avenue Railyard.

As of January 2017, all but two F40Cs have been retired, having been replaced by the MPI MP36PH-3S in 2003–2004. Locomotives #600-#609 and #613 were sent to East Saint Louis, Illinois in 2004 and had their road numbers unregistered with the Federal Railroad Administration. They were all scrapped before 2007. #610 was unregistered in 2004 and was sent to National Railway Equipment in Dixmoor, Illinois. The only F40Cs that remain in operable condition are #611 and #614. Both locomotives are on long-term hold and are stored in Metra's Western Avenue rail yard.


The F40C is derived from the EMD SDP40F; besides the shorter length, the primary difference between the two is the substitution of a 500-kilowatt (670 hp) HEP generator for the SDP40F's twin steam generators. It is powered by a 16 cylinder EMD 645E3B, producing 3,200 horsepower (2,390 kW). It uses the same frame as the EMD SD40-2, giving it an overall length of 68 feet 10 inches (20.98 m).[1]


In the early 1970s the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad ("Milwaukee Road") operated two commuter rail lines in Chicago: the Milwaukee District / North Line to Fox Lake via the Canadian Pacific Railway's C&M Subdivision, and the Milwaukee District / West Line to Elgin via the CP's Elgin Subdivision. The operation of these lines was subsidized by local transit agencies. In 1974 two local agencies, the North West Suburban Mass Transit District and the North Suburban Mass Transit District, funded the acquisition of 15 F40Cs for use on the Milwaukee lines. The locomotives passed to Metra on the latter's creation in the 1980s but continued to operate on the ex-Milwaukee lines.[2]

The F40C was withdrawn from regular service with the arrival of new MPI MP36PH-3S locomotives in 2003–2004.[3] Thirteen locomotives were sold to locomotive leasing corporations, although units 611 and 614 were retained and kept on the property in the Western Avenue railyard. In the spring of 2009, units 611 and 614 were placed back into revenue service on both of Metra's ex-Milwaukee Road commuter lines. This was done to cover schedules while the oldest units in Metra's EMD F40PH fleet were being rebuilt. Towards the end of 2016, with many F40PH-2 and F40PHM-2 locomotives being sent out for rebuild, there is an increased likelihood that the 611 and the 614 will be put back into service. Along with a small fleet of HEP-equipped EMD SD70MAC locomotives operating on the Alaska Railroad, the F40Cs were the last six-axle passenger locomotives in daily service in North America, although Metra has since ordered a fleet of SD70MACH locomotives. #611 and #614 are retained for the purpose of filling the roles of locomotives that have broken down or are being rebuilt. Despite this, neither locomotive has seen regular service since 2012.

Metra at one time did have plans to rebuild F40Cs 611 and 614 to test new prime movers and control packages. Due to a lack of bidders, this plan has been put on hold indefinitely.[4]


  1. McDonnell 2002, pp. 142; 144
  2. McDonnell 2002, p. 145
  3. Solomon 2012, p. 160
  4. Template:Metrarail.com/about-metra/newsroom/the-signal/metra-powerhouse-f40c


  • Blaszak, Michael W. (March 2015). "Metra Mojo". Trains. 75 (3): 48–57.
  • McDonnell, Greg (2002). Field Guide to Modern Diesel Locomotives. Waukesha, WI: Kalmbach Publishing. ISBN 0-89024-607-6.
  • Solomon, Brian (2012). North American Locomotives: A Railroad-by-Railroad Photohistory. Minneapolis, MN: Voyageur Press. ISBN 978-0-7603-4370-8.
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