GE Dash 8-40BW

The Dash 8-40BW, or B40-8W, is a four-axle diesel locomotive built by GE Transportation Systems for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (ATSF) in the early 1990s. It is part of the GE Dash 8 Series of freight locomotives.

GE Dash 8-40BW
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderGE Transportation Systems
ModelDash 8-40BW
Build date1990-1992
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Wheel diameter40 in (1.016 m)
Wheelbase9 ft 0 in (2.74 m)
Length66 ft 4 in (20.22 m)
Width10 ft 1.5 in (3.09 m)
Height15 ft 4.5 in (4.69 m)
Loco weight280,000 lb (127,006 kg)
Performance figures
Maximum speed70 mph (113 km/h)
Power output4,000 hp (3,000 kW)
Tractive effort68,000 lb (30,844 kg)
OperatorsSee tables
Localewestern United States

The locomotive model designation is interpreted as follows: B (B type truck arrangement, 2 axles per truck) 40 (4000 horsepower) -8 (the generation when it was designed, in this case meaning the late 1980s) W (Widecab).

ATSF was the only railroad to order the B40-8W, and a B unit (cabless booster unit) was almost made with it, but because the price would have been the same for B40-8Ws with cabs or without, they decided to order units with cabs only.

All of ATSF's B40-8Ws became part of BNSF Railway, and many of them were repainted into BNSF's "Heritage 2" paint scheme, although several units still retain their "Warbonnet" paint scheme from their previous careers with ATSF.


While originally built for high-speed intermodal service, by the mid-2000s the B40-8Ws had been bumped to local service.

In mid-2010, BNSF put 15 B40-8Ws up for sale. These units were on long-term lease and were returned to their lessor. Four units have been sold to the Providence and Worcester Railroad in Massachusetts.[1][2][3] The PW sold one of their B40-8Ws to the Arkansas-Oklahoma Railroad. The rest of BNSF's B40-8W fleet is, as of 2019, undergoing rebuild and refreshment at GE as preparation for their new role as local freight units[4].

Original owners

Railroad Quantity Road numbers Notes
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway 83 500-582 576 destroyed in Cajon pass in 1994
General Electric 1 809 wide cab prototype and testbed, rebuilt from B39-8E #808

Current Owners

Railroad Quantity Former ATSF/BNSF Numbers
BNSF Railway 60 Ex-Santa Fe; no's 500-559[5]
Providence and Worcester Railroad 3 Ex-BNSF 561, 562 and 582
Nashville and Eastern Railroad 4 Ex-BNSF 568, 573, 574 and 579
Arkansas - Oklahoma Railroad 3 Ex-BNSF 567, 578, and 581
Great Western Railway of Saskatchewan 2 Ex-BNSF 575 and 563

See also


  1. "All Time P&W Roster". Providence & Worcester Railfan Club & Museum. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  2. DelliCarpini, Steve (October 11, 2016). "Providence & Worcester". The Diesel Shop. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  3. "The Providence & Worcester Railroad". Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  • McDonnell, Greg (2008). Locomotives: The Modern Diesel and Electric Reference. Erin, Ontario: Boston Mills Press. ISBN 978-1550464931.
  • Solomon, Brian (2003). GE Locomotives: 110 Years of General Electric Motive Power. St. Paul, MN, USA: MBI Publishing. ISBN 9780760313619.
  • Solomon, Brian (2010). Modern Locomotives: High Horsepower Diesels 1966–2000. New York: Crestline. ISBN 978-0785826811.
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