Built in the late 1980s by GE, the DASH 8-40B diesel locomotives were identified by their dynamic brake gear located along the roof line between the cab and engine compartment, with ventilation provided by large roof-top grilles. These four-axle, high horsepower engines are still in service today in North America.
By the early 1990s the North American Cab had begun to replace the “standard” cab on regular production GE 4 and 6-axle locomotives. The only order for 4-axle Dash 8-40Bs with this new cab came from Santa Fe, and thus the Dash 8-40BW model was unique to that road. A total of 83 units total were built and many are still in service today for BNSF.
In 1991 Amtrak, faced with a motive power shortage, turned to GE for an order of 20 Dash 8-32BWH locomotives. This unique model was basically a Dash 8-32B locomotive equipped with a North American Cab and built on the longer Dash 8-40BW frame. Some additional modifications for passenger service were included. A total of 20 units were built and they are still in Amtrak service today.