When was the last time you sat on a train? Did you notice the engine? Chances are that you didn’t. Yet, those engines are the brain and the heart of the locomotive. Without them, trains are just huge chunks of metal on rails. These engines are testament to the skills of engineers. Among the engines manufactured, few are as famous as the EMD DDA40X train engine, also known as ‘Centennial’.
The EMD DDA40X Centennial is like the big bad boy among the locomotive engines. With its two diesel engines, it is capable of producing a whopping 6,600 horsepower (HP). It was first built in 1969. Yet, decades later, this engine is still the most powerful among locomotive engines. Sure, there were other contenders to the throne but they hardly came close. What’s more is that it wasn’t happy with one world record. The EMD DDA40X is the longest single-unit locomotive of the diesel variety. Additionally, it also possesses the biggest fuel tanks of all with a capacity of 8,000 gallons. When fully loaded, the fuel tank would weigh over 30 tons! Damn, that’s a sick record for a train.
There were only 47 of these bad boys ever produced and all of them were bought by Union Pacific Railroad. Their numbers started from 6900 to 6946. Through the 1970s and early 1980s, Union Pacific became famous for the big-ass EMD DDA40X locomotives. These locomotives were meant to haul freight at high speeds and they excelled at their job. By the time of their retirement in 1980, each of them had traversed an average of 2 million miles. Whew!
Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and all of them were retired due to high maintenance costs or the lack of freight movement. Well, except one. The #6936 is still running. The twelve others survive as relics in various locations.