Union Pacific always had a thing for powerful locomotives. Big Boy. Challenger. GTEL Turbine. The Centennials continued that tradition by taking two EMD 645E3A prime movers and fitting them onto one locomotive frame. The result is a 98 ft 5 in behemoth producing 6,600 horsepower!
These locomotives (47 in totoal) were built between 1969 and 1971. The DDA40X served as an experimental testbed for manufacturer EMD and remained in service until 1986. Thirteen survive in preservation, and this one belongs to the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, MO. #6944 was recently repainted by Norfolk Southern, and the locomotive is being transported back to the museum.
Thanks to the AltoonaWorks Facebook page, I received notification it was finally heading west today on train 11A. I raced to Homestead, which features an ex-Pennsylvania Railroad station that has been wonderfully restored. After catching the TOFC train photographed above, 11A appeared.
You can see from the photo below that I wasn’t the only one out today to catch this.
I’m glad I saw it heading back home today. It is a very impressive machine.