A Speno rail grinding train is parked for the weekend at Hurricane, West Virginia. From the cab back, the locomotive looks like an F40PH. Speno roster information is limited, but it appears that they orderd two F40PHm’s from EMD in 1982. The cabs/pilots were added/modified by Speno after delivery. When Speno wanted additional units, EMD had dropped the 40 line, and Speno turned to National Railway Equipment to rebuild several GP40’s and GP38’s to have a cowl configuration.
The units were set up for low-speed running during grinding operations, and were considered to be cars for labor purposes. The microprocessor controls, coupled with the “car” designation, precluded the trains being run by client railroad’s engineers, ensuring that Speno crews had full operating control of the rail grinders. Needless to say, union grievances were filed when these units showed up, but appears that they were usually denied.
It’s tough to tell the origins of this particular unit, but the builder’s plate indicated that it was one of the two F40PHm’s bought from EMD.