Vanishing point!

Matthew Brown

BNSF GE-built C40-8W #886 heads an intermodal through Commerce headed for Hobart Yard in Los Angeles. It's now rare to see one of these somewhat older units in the lead position on a train.

Although they look little different to the casual glance from BNSF's vast fleet of C44-9W locomotives (Dash 9-44CW in BNSF's terminology), the earlier Dash 8s are a little shorter, ride on trucks that resemble an EMD HT-C rather than the Dash 9's beefier and heavier-sprung looking trucks, have a cab that is shorter from front to back and thus looks more upright, have a distinctive long vent at the back of the behind-cab bulge, and have smaller, thinner-edged radiator "wings". The grille beneath the "wings" is of a single piece in the Dash 8, unlike the obviously 2 pieces in a Dash 9.

Behind the Dash 8 is one of GE's latest Evolution Series (or "Evo") locomotives, an ES44DC. This is two generations newer than the Dash 8.

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