Bio EditThe GE (General Electric) ES44C4 is a type of six-axle, A1A-trucked, AC-traction, 4,400hp type of diesel locomotive built from 2010-present.
The model was the very first A1A-trucked (meaning that the center axles are unpowered) diesel locomotive built in North America since the late-1950's, and is also the very first ever domestic AC-traction diesel locomotive built with such feature.
A total of 1200+ have been built thus far for BNSF Railway, with an additional 24 built for the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) as of late-2015, and are numbered FEC 800-823. The first batch of ES44C4 units were recently delivered to FEC are meant to replace their fleet of EMD SD70M-2 units as a result of having expired leases through now-defunct RailAmerica Corp. (now part of G&W Inc.).
As of 2015, the ES44C4 is now classified as an "ET44C4" ("T" for "Tier" or "ET" for "Evolution Technology") and is built to follow US EPA Tier 4 regulations. BNSF #3916 was the first ever Tier 4 production GEVO unit built, and more are expected to be delivered by mid-2016.
It is essentially a four-motor version of the C-C ES44AC.
History EditIn 2010, GE began experimenting their current Evolution Series line ("GEVO") with greater potential by developing a hybrid variant of their existing ES44AC (GECX #2010), and a unique, revolutionary, state-of-the-art A1A-trucked model: the ES44C4, the first A1A-trucked domestic diesel locomotive model built since the era of the ALCO PA and EMD E8. Upon its initial debut, 20 testbeds or demonstrators were leased to BNSF, and were instantly successful upon their demonstrations. Hence, due to the increasing popularity with said model, BNSF decided to replace their order of subsequent ES44AC's in favor of the newer, more reliable (in terms of weight distribution, tractive effort, and axle loading over the original model) and advanced ES44C4. Since then, a grand total of 1200+ units have been built within the course of multiple orders from within a five-year timespan.
Like the original ES44AC, the ES44C4 has very similar specifications:
Engine control system
|Number of cylinders||
|Traction motors||GEB13 (x4)|
|Continuous tractive effort||105 klbs.|
|Starting tractive effort||144 klbs.|
|Dynamic braking effort||78 klbs.|
|Fuel capacity||5,000 gals.|
Distinguishing Characteristics EditThe main way of identifying or distinguishing an ES44C4 from other GEVO models is by the more distinct appearance of the trucks or bogeys. Air cylinder linkage gears mounted on the sides in the center of the truck frames reveal the A1A configuration, meaning that the center axles are not powered.
Another way would be the number series for BNSF's vast "armada" of GEVO units within their roster. Their ES44C4's are numbered 6500-7199 (minus BNSF 6943, which was wrecked and retired September 2013) and 8000-8281. As for their subsequent ET44C4 fleet, the units are numbered from 3839-3999 and 4225-4299.
The name of the model is categorized as follows:
- "ES" - For "Evolution Series", or "ET" for "Evolution Technology".
- "44" - Being the horsepower rating (4,400hp).
- "C" - "C-C" or "Co-Co" (per UIC and AAR classifications) for a six-axle truck.
- "4" - Meaning the amount of axles powered (being four).
The FEC's ES44C4's are currently the first completely new diesel locomotives ordered or delivered to the railway since their SD70M-2 units delivered on long-term lease in 2007.
Like most of the later-production ES44C4 units delivered to BNSF, FEC's new ES44C4's are tier 3-compliant to meet the US EPA's "Tier 3" standards.
Several ES44C4's have also been tested with individual axle control similar to what's featured with EMD's SD70ACe-P6.
As of recent, FEC has since experimented with the usage of LNG (light or liquified natural gas) with their subsequent GEVO units. The company hopes to convert 12 to 14 units in their fleet to operate under said premise if the tests are successful.