Tag Archives: #General Electric

Amtrak’s ‘Pepsi Cans’ on the Street

General Electric P32BWH

In 1991, Amtrak acquired twenty General Electric DASH 8-32BWH (Amtrak calls this model P32BH), a model were based on Santa Fe’s contemporary 500-series GE’s (built a year earlier).

As-built, Amtrak’s DASH 8-32BWH locomotives featured a novel modern paint scheme, which some observers compared to the coloration used by Pepsi on its 12-ounce aluminum cola cans, and so these were unofficially known as “Pepsi Cans.” In the early 1990s, they were often assigned in pairs to Amtrak’s West Coast services.

On February 7, 1994, I caught a pair of ‘Pepsi Cans’ leading the LA-bound Coast Starlight on Southern Pacific’s street trackage at Jack London Square in Oakland, California.

I exposed this Kodachrome 25 slide using my Nikon F3T with 28mm Nikkor wideangle lens. This image has been published several times, including as an illustration in Passenger Train Journal issue 197 that came out in the mid-1990s.

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NYS&W 4034 = Pan Am Railways 5946

On Friday, Kris and I stopped by East Deerfield Yard near Greenfield, Mass., where we found a pair of Pan Am Railways’ General Electric DASH8-40Bs (B40-8) switching.

McClelland Farm Road at East Deerfield-the ‘New’ bridge, completed in 2018. Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo of Pan Am Railways 5946 at East Deerfield, Massachusetts.

Lumix LX7 photo of Pan Am Railways 5946 at East Deerfield, Massachusetts.

The trailing locomotive was Pan Am 5946, a former CSX unit, and originally New York, Susquehanna & Western number 4034.

I figured I had a photo of this engine in my files, since I photographed many of NYS&W’s GE’s at the time of delivery back in 1988 and 1989.

I found the photo I was seeking. NYS&W 4034 was paired with a Norfolk Southern unit at SK Yard in Buffalo on May 4, 1989, shortly after it was built by General Electric.

Kodachrome 25 slide exposed with a Leica M2 with 90mm f2.8 Elmarit.

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Conrail C32-8s August 13, 1988.

On the evening of August 13, 1988, I visited Conrail’s West Springfield Yard (Massachusetts) after a day on the old Boston & Albany ‘West End’.

At the time, General Electric six-motor diesels were standard power for road freights on the Boston Line.

Among the locomotives common to the Boston Line in the 1980s were the ten pre-prototype GE C32-8s that featured the ‘Classic’ curved roof cab and hump-back body style.

Significantly, these were among the first road-units with microprocessor controls.

I’ve covered these locomotives in several of my books over the years, and most recently in my new title Conrail and its Predecessors now available from Kalmbach Media.


These photos of Conrail 6618 were exposed on Professional Kodachrome 25 (PKM) color slide film and scanned using a Nikon Super Coolscan5000 digital scanner operated with VueScan software.

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