EMD F40PHM-2 - "Winnebago"

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Metra (METX) is the commuter rail system serving the Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. Commuter trains operate on 11 lines which are operated by the Union Pacific Railroad, BNSF Railway, and Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Rail Corporation (NIRC). With the exception of New York City, it is the largest and busiest commuter rail system.

When the Metra branding was first introduced in 1985, trains were still using Electromotive Division(EMD) E Series and F Series units which were holdovers from the Burlington Northern and Chicago & North Western Railroads. In 1991, Metra purchased 30 brand new F40PHM-2 locomotives from EMD. These were nicknamed “Winnebagos” because their appearance resembled the famous brand of recreational vehicle.

The F40PHM-2s feature a 3,200 HP prime mover which provides plenty of power to the durable traction motors. The units featured a new truck suspension at the time which increased rider comfort in high speed service. The locomotives were built with modernized cab and also feature a Nathan P5a horn, a dual Gyralite, twin ditch lights, two rooftop air conditioners, two rooftop Stratolites and pilot plows.

The locomotives have proved durable and reliable. In 2016 Progress Rail began rebuilding the units and all but one of the original locomotives remains in service today. This artwork features the last locomotive in the series METX #214 in the original blue paint scheme. It also wears the “Operation Lifesaver” logo.