GE Dash 8-32BWH

The GE Dash 8-32BWH, also known as the P32-8BWH, B32-8WH, or P32 DASH-8, is a passenger train locomotive used by Amtrak, based on GE's Dash 8 series of freight train locomotives. Built in 1991, they were the first locomotives purchased to replace the EMD F40PH.

GE Dash 8-32BWH
Amtrak No. 505 leading the Sunset Limited through Cade, Louisiana
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderGE Transportation Systems
ModelDash 8-32BWH
Total produced20
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
TrucksGeneral Electric Floating Bolster (FB2)
Wheel diameter40 in (1,016 mm)
Minimum curve150 ft (46 m) / 39° (single unit)
175 ft (53 m) / 33° (coupled)
Wheelbase39 ft 8 in (12.09 m) (between truck centers)
Length66 ft 4 in (20.22 m)
Width9 ft 11 14 in (3.029 m)
Height15 ft 4 in (4.67 m)
Axle load79,148.3 lb (35,901 kg)
Adhesive weight100%
Loco weight274,890 lb (124,688 kilograms)
Fuel typeDiesel
Fuel capacity1,800 US gal (6,800 l; 1,500 imp gal)
Lubricant cap.365 US gal (1,380 l; 304 imp gal)
Coolant cap.350 US gal (1,300 l; 290 imp gal)
Sandbox cap.26 cubic feet (740 L)
Prime moverGE 7FDL-12
RPM range400-1050 (720 or 900 when supplying HEP)
Engine type45° V12, four stroke cycle
Displacement131.4 liters (8,020 cu in)
AlternatorGMG 195A1
Traction motors4 GE 752AH DC traction motors
Head end powerAlternator-driven head-end power (GTA 33A1)
Cylinder size10.95 liters (668 cu in) [1]
MU workingYes
Train heatingLocomotive-supplied head-end power, 800 kW (1,100 hp)
Loco brakeDynamic / Electropneumatic
Train brakesPneumatic
Safety systemsFRA standards
Performance figures
Maximum speed103 mph (166 km/h)
Power output3,200 hp (2.4 MW)
Tractive effortContinuous: 38,500 lbf (17,500 kgf) @26 mph (42 km/h)
Factor of adh.4.472
  • 500–519 (Amtrak)
  • 2051–2052 (Caltrans)
NicknamesPepsi Cans
LocaleUnited States


The Dash 8-32BWH operates in a diesel-electric configuration that uses DC to power the traction motors, producing 4,200 hp (3,100 kW) at 1047 rpm. When providing head end power to the train, the engine is speed locked to 900 rpm. Power output to the traction motors is 2,700 hp (2,000 kW) when running in HEP mode with a 0 kW HEP load. Traction horsepower decreases to a bare minimum of 1,685 hp (1,257 kW) when providing the maximum 800 kW (1,100 hp) HEP load to the train.

The Dash 8-32BWH has a 74:29 gear ratio, resulting in a maximum operating speed of 103 mph (166 km/h) in passenger operation.[2]


Twenty of these locomotives were delivered to Amtrak in 1991, numbered 500 through 519. They were nicknamed "Pepsi Cans" by many railfans, due to being delivered in a wide-striped red, white, and blue livery. Since the most recent overhaul, however, the locomotives now wear the Phase V livery.

The Dash 8-32BWH has since been relegated to yard switching (mainly in Los Angeles, Oakland, Chicago, Miami, and the Auto Train terminals), maintenance of way service, and transfer service, displaced by the newer and more powerful GE Genesis. However, the Dash 8s occasionally substitute for the Genesis units if necessary. The Los Angeles-based units see frequent use on the Coast Starlight and Pacific Surfliner, and many are also frequently used on Amtrak's Cascades service.

Two of the locomotives, 501 and 502, were sold to the California Department of Transportation. The locomotives were renumbered 2051 and 2052, and received the Amtrak California paint scheme. They are used on the San Joaquin and Capitol Corridor trains.



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