The EMD F40PH is in use with several train operators. It’s a capable train for passenger service even though it is somewhat outdated now, despite production ending in the early 1990s, due to the more efficient designs coming from GE and others over the last decade. Amtrak had several F40PH locomotives when they began converting over to the new GE Genesis-series locomotives. Several of the F40PH’s in their possession had mechanical or other issues that severely limited what Amtrak could get for them on the used market. Rather than sell them, they removed the traction motors and prime movers and installed a sliding door on the side. Now, they could still be used as control cars, but carrying luggage or cargo rather than powering the train. Officially called Non-Power Control Units (NPCUs), they were given a 90-series number indicating a rail car. For example, the NPCU above would have been locomotive 219, but is now NPCU 90219.
Fittingly, they are referred to as Cabbages — a portmanteau of “cab” and “baggage”.
[Image Credit: Charles Fulton]