The GE AC4400CW is a 4,400 horsepower (3,300 kW) diesel-electric locomotive that was built by GE Transportation Systems between 1993 and 2004. It is like the Dash 9-44CW, but features AC traction motors instead of DC, with a separate inverter per motor. In appearance, the AC4400CW is similar to GE's more powerful locomotive, the AC6000CW.

CSX AC4400CW #209 in Newport News, Virginia, next to a former C&O coal tower.
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderGE Transportation Systems
Build date1993 2004
Total produced2,834
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Wheel diameter42 in (1,067 mm)
Wheelbase13 ft 2 in (4.01 m)
Length73 ft 2 in (22.30 m)
Height15 ft 6 in (4.72 m)
Loco weight426,000 lb (193,000 kg)
Fuel capacity5,000 US gal (19,000 L; 4,200 imp gal)
Traction motors6
Performance figures
Power output4,400 hp (3,300 kW)
Tractive effort180,000 lbf (800 kN) Starting
145,000 lbf (640 kN) at 13.7 mph (22.0 km/h)
OperatorsVarious, see table
LocaleNorth America

A relatively high-powered locomotive, the AC4400CW is "the most successful present day locomotive. Over the 11 years in which it was produced, GE constructed 2,834 examples for North American railroads. In 2005, all Class I freight railroads except Norfolk Southern and Canadian National owned at least one AC4400CW. As a result of more stringent emissions requirements that came into effect on January of that year, GE no longer offers the AC4400CW, replacing it with the ES44AC.

Four repainted Canadian Pacific Railway AC4400CW units were used in the filming of the 2010 hit movie Unstoppable.

Design variations

The AC4400CW was the first GE locomotive to offer an optional self-steering truck design, intended to increase adhesion and reduce wear on the railhead. This option was specified by Canadian Pacific, Cartier Railway, CSX, Ferromex, Ferrosur, and KCS.

CSX ordered many of its AC4400CW locomotives with 20,000 lb (9,100 kg) extra weight to increase tractive effort. These same units were also modified in 2006-2007 with a "high tractive effort" software upgrade and redesignated CW44AH.[1]


In 2017 Canadian Pacific Railway requested that General Electric modernize 30 of its 9500 and 9600-series AC4400CW units. The original units had the original front cab completely removed and upgraded to current GE standards with upgraded electrical systems including PTC and FTO systems. Other improvements GE has made include up to 10 percent fuel efficiency gains, 40 percent increase in reliability and 50 percent increase in haulage ability. The units were subsequently placed into service with the designation AC4400CWM (for Modernized). The first batch of rebuilds (8100-8129) also had their original Steerable trucks replaced with GEs High Adhesion trucks instead of steerable, where later batches each individual engine kept the trucks they already had.

The following year Canadian Pacific asked GE to similarly rebuild several more batches for a total of 110 locomotives. The second order (8130-8144) retains their steerable trucks. The third batch (8000-8064) will feature an Evolution Series sized fuel tank and radial trucks. In 2019 a fourth batch of rebuilds happened, 8145-8160 & 8064-8080 from the 95/9600-series. In 2020 the 8500 series is slated to be rebuilt at 8201-8280.[2]

Union Pacific ordered many of their AC4400CWs with Computerized Tractive Effort software, giving them the designation of AC4400CW-CTE. This software package is now standard on their ES44ACs as well.

In 2018 Union Pacific placed a small order for 20 rebuilds from GE of their AC4460AC fleet and later announced over the next fifteen years they will be upgrading 1000 of their AC4460ACs and AC44s into what they call a C44ACM. Unlike CP, the original 20 rebuilds did not receive a new crew cab.

CSX and Wabtec have announced a partnership in rebuilding CSX's large AC4400CW fleet. An initial batch of 10 CW44ACs were rebuilt at Wabtec's Erie, Pennsylvania facility, with 40 more to follow into 2020. The rebuilds will be numbered in the 7200-series and CSX is referring to them as CM44AHs.[3][4]


AC4400CW owners and operators past and present include:

Owners Qty Numbers Notes Year delivered
Union Pacific1338 5554-6887 and 7080-7297 6147-6425 are ex-Southern Pacific and 6703-6737 are ex-Chicago and North Western, most have been repainted. 5674, 5836, 5842, 5945, 7139 and 7223 have been retired. 1994-2004
CSX Transportation615 1-173, 201-272, 274-402, 404-494 CW44AC. 23, 130, 151, 220, 320, 358, 365, 399, 496, 517, 546 and 597 are off the roster. 326, 445, 469 and 518 have been sold to Canadian Pacific. Many will be modernized by Wabtec and be in the 7200-number series and classed as CM44AH. 1994-2002
Canadian Pacific438 8500-8580, 8600-8655, 9500-9683, 9700-9740, 9750-9784 and 9800-9840[5]. The 9751, 9758, 9777, and 9782 were used in the 2010 film Unstoppable. Several units will be or have been rebuilt and are classified as AC4400CWM. Rebuilt units are renumbered 8000-8080, 8100-8160, 8200-8280. The 8644, 9538, 9630, and 9703 have all been retired. 1995-2004
Southern Pacific279 100-378 145 and 224 were wrecked in 1996, the other 277 units went in to the Union Pacific fleet in the 1996 acquisition. 1995
Kansas City Southern175 4575-4596, 4597-4608 and 4609-4624 4580 and 4581 retired 1999
BNSF121 5600-5717, 5838-5840 40 units leased to Metrolink and converted to PTC throughout 2016. 1999-2004
Ferromex75 4550-4549 and 4550-4574 1998-2000
CIT Capital Finance60 1001-1025, 1026-1059 1026-1059 have been on long term lease to Canadian Pacific since 2004 2001-2004
Ferrosur38 4400-4414, 4415-4429, 4430-4437 4428 Retired 2000-2004
Chicago & North Western35 8801-8835[6] All units went to the Union Pacific in the 1995 acquisition. 1994
Cartier Railway17 11-12, 13-17 and 18-29 2001-2007
Quebec, North Shore and Labrador12 415-421 and 422-426 2005-2006
Cerrejón5 10010-10014
General Electric Corporation Leasing11 2000, later renumbered 4400, 4000-4009 2000 was the GECX test unit 1993-1997
Central Maine & Quebec2 1002 and 1006 Former CEFX 1002 and 1006 2001 (Acquired 2017)
Ferrominera del Orinoco2 1058-1059 2004

Role in Unstoppable

The plot of the movie Unstoppable required Denzel Washington and Chris Pine to climb aboard the locomotives of a runaway freight train. To film the movie, four Canadian Pacific AC4400CW locomotives (numbers 9777, 9758, 9782, and 9751), were repainted as two fictional "Allegheny and West Virginia Railroad" locomotives (nos. 777 (nicknamed "Triple 7") and 767). 9777 and 9782 were painted as 777, while 9758 and 9751 were painted as 767.


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