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For many years, Amtrak's EMD F40PHs were the mainstay of their fleet. From the time they began arriving, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, until just a few years ago, an F40PH could be found leading almost any Amtrak train in the country. In fact, many commuter railroads adopted the F40PH design, and continue to operate their units to this day.

Amtrak's F40s are divided up into three "Phases", because there are some variations among the units as built. Phase I units, numbered 200-229, were the earliest, and featured 1500-gallon fuel tanks mounted near the rear truck. Phase II engines, in the series 230-328, had a few minor body changes, but also had their fuel tanks enlarged to 1800 gallons and mounted near the front truck. The final group, 329-400, are very similar to Phase II units, but feature EMD's Q-style (quiet) radiator fans. When delivered, units 200-293 were painted in Amtrak's Phase 2 paint scheme (wide red and blue stripes, between three narrow white stripes). These engines were later repainted to match units 294 and up, which were delivered in the Phase 3 paint scheme (equal width red, white, and blue stripes).

Sadly, the once-commonplace F40s have all been retired, though some have been converted to cab-baggage Non-Powered Control Units (NPCUs). These units can be found at the rear end of many Midwestern trains, as well as in Downeaster service between Boston, MA and Portland, ME. The NPCUs are used when operating in reverse if there are no turning facilities. Though they can no longer pull trains, at least they retain most of their distinctive, utilitarian appearance.

Click photos to enlarge
In an early-1980s calendar photo, flagship F40PH #200 leads a train of Amfleets, with what appear to be a pair of VIA Rail baggage cars in tow. Note the windshield grilles, a feature which was applied to many Northeast locomotives in the '80s. Photographer unknown. - -
Waiting with the Boston section of the Lake Shore Limited is the 206, seen here during the layover at Albany-Rensselaer. Photo by Rich Stroshane. 1990 Rensselaer, NY
This side view of 206 shows the fuel tank and cooling pipe details. Photo by Rich Stroshane. 1990 Rensselaer, NY
Amidst construction of the overhead bus depot, 210 arrives with a train of Amfleet cars. The shadow is from a tall stack of steel reinforcing rods for concrete. 1994 Boston, MA
Pulling into South Station with a northbound Acela Regional train is #216, from the Phase I group. 7/23/00 Boston, MA
F40PH no. 217, a Phase I unit, brings the Vermonter into White River Junction on a cloudy April morning. April 1998 White River Jct., VT
The 217 has stopped its train at the historic White River Junction depot. Note the flashing strobe light. April 1998 White River Jct., VT
244 was the trailing unit on Amtrak's Fast Mail, now being towed out to the yard by a GP40TC. 2/19/99 Boston, MA
The 247 is on its way south with the afternoon Adirondack from Montréal. Note the solid-white "Amtrak" logo on the nose, and ditch lights. Summer 1996 Saratoga Springs, NY
The 247 is from the second order of F40PHs - it has the Phase II front-mounted fuel tank. This particular unit is an F40PHR, built using traded-in parts from its predecessor, Amtrak's SDP40F. Summer 1996 Saratoga Springs, NY
During a station stop in Toledo, 263 waits on the point of the Lake Shore Limited. Photo by Rich Stroshane. 1990 Toledo, OH
After bringing in the northbound Fast Mail, 288 and its train are towed to Amtrak's servicing facility. 2/19/99 Boston, MA
On a dreary winter day, F40PH no. 301 brings a northbound train into South Station under the recently-erected catenary wires. 2/22/00 Boston, MA
At left is the 301, flanked by switcher #535 and another F40, the 413. 2/22/00 Boston, MA
At a time when most trains were already being handled by AEM-7s, this southbound Acela Regional arrives at Union Station with #301 in the lead. 4/15/01 New London, CT
The 301 carries a non-standard GE-style fuel tank. This was obviously a retrofit done at some point during repairs. 4/15/01 New London, CT
F40PH no. 305 sits alongside Amtrak's experimental X2000 high-speed trainset, which was making it's Mothers' Day visit to Boston. Photo by Siu Wai Stroshane. 5/11/93 Boston, MA
316 sits in an unusually empty South Station while two MBTA trains wait for their departure times. 2/22/00 Boston, MA
With 247 in the lead, 323 belches exhaust as it departs from Boston. 2/19/99 Boston, MA
338 sits under the new bus depot that was being constructed over South Station, covering most of the platforms in darkness. 1994 Boston, MA
F40PH no. 413 was originally purchased by GO Transit in Toronto, but was later bought by Amtrak and added to their roster. Note the vertically-mounted Pyle rear headlight. 2/22/00 Boston, MA
NPCU #90214 - formerly F40PH 214 - has just led Amtrak's Downeaster from Portland, ME into Boston's North Station, which is not used by any other Amtrak trains. 1/17/02 Boston, MA