NS Winds Down SD50 Rebuilt Program

Norfolk Southern is wrapping up its five-year program to rebuild SD40 locomotives at its Altoona, Pa., shops.

It recently released SD40E No. 6356, which is the penultimate unit in the effort to convert its fleet of 3,500 horsepower SD50 and SD50S locomotives into 3,000 hp units.

The program included an engine model change from the original 16-645F3B to a 16-645E3C with a resulting 500 hp reduction, installation of an EMD EM2000 microprocessor system and  new electrical cabinets. A number of smaller changed were made including installation of cab air conditioning.

Once finished, the program will have churned out 58 SD40E locomotives (Nos. 6300-6357), most of which are former Norfolk & Western SD50S units and Conrail SD50s.

The N&W units were the first SD50s produced and were built on shorter SD40-2 frames measuring 68 feet, 10 inches. The SD50s were built on frames measuring 71 feet, 2 inches.
The last SD40E should emerge from Altoona by the end of the year.

Most of the NS SD40Es are being used in helper service on the former Pennsylvania Railroad mainline east of Pittsburgh. Other SD40Es have been assigned to work and ballast trains operating throughout the NS system.

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