Old 03-17-2006, 01:02 PM   #1
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Default Dash 8 Vs Dash 9

Recently, I noticed the locomotive model was changed on one of my photos from being C44-9W, to C40-8W. Without having a locomotive roster, and not being able to read this information on the cab of the locomotive, it appeared to be a Dash 9... is there a way to visualy tell the difference?
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Old 03-17-2006, 01:35 PM   #2
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Without having a locomotive roster
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I can't tell the difference visually. There are probably minor visual variations, but I'm too impatient to try and learn them!
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Old 03-17-2006, 02:12 PM   #3
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Not proclaiming to know everything, (b/c believe me, I sure don't) but a quick and common way to spot the difference between the Dash-8 and Dash-9 is in the style of truck. (though I'm sure there HAS to be an exception that will get pointed out)

I'm not sure of the name, but the dash 9's have a 'blockier' look about them. I think they have improved rail adhesion, or something like that...

Dash 8:

Image © Keith
PhotoID: 134018
Photograph © Keith


Dash 9:

Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©
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Old 03-17-2006, 04:45 PM   #4
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Yes the trucks are different, but I've also noticed that the wings are a little bit different too.
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Old 03-17-2006, 05:18 PM   #5
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DASH 9's are a few feet longer, I believe 73 feet vs. 70 feet

DASH 9's have slightly longer radiator vents (wings).

DASH 9's have 6 boarding steps instead of only 5

The fuel tanks on DASH 8's only have one beveled edge, as the DASH 9's have two.

The trucks are probably the easiest to identify if it's moving at speed.

DASH 8's have the GE version of the "Flexicoil" (I believe GE calls them FB-3's) non-steerable trucks and DASH 9's have the steerable GE Hi-Ad (High-Adhesion) "roller blade" trucks.

All of these features are standardized regardless of RR. I didn't bother identifying RR specific info, such as handrail styles.

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Old 03-17-2006, 06:41 PM   #6
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im sorry im not good in english so try to understand me in this small explain
in the dash 8 you can see the 2 light spots are under the big base that above the trucks and the fuel tank (ditch lights)

Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 136348
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus


in the dach 9 the lights are above the big base

Image © George Neat
PhotoID: 136604
Photograph © George Neat


also the other 2spot light that are together in the dash 8 its in the nose.but in the dash 9 its between the number boards in the top of the loco.
i hope that all of yours understand me as i think that couldnot explain it very well.
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Old 03-17-2006, 07:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dodi4200
in the dash 8 you can see the 2 light spots are under the big base that above the trucks and the fuel tank (ditch lights)

Image © Chris Paulhamus
PhotoID: 136348
Photograph © Chris Paulhamus


in the dach 9 the lights are above the big base

Image © George Neat
PhotoID: 136604
Photograph © George Neat
Although that may be true in the photos you have selected, Dash 9's also have ditch lights below the "base".
Image © John P. Carter
PhotoID: 129745
Photograph © John P. Carter


Quote:
Originally Posted by dodi4200
also the other 2spot light that are together in the dash 8 its in the nose.but in the dash 9 its between the number boards in the top of the loco.
True, but that locomotive is a Dash 9-40CW which is used primarely by NS. A BNSF Dash 9 has the main headlight on the nose.
Image © Keith
PhotoID: 137164
Photograph © Keith

Nevertheless, I would say that the most noticable difference is the trucks.
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Old 03-17-2006, 08:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnsf sammy
Quote:
Originally Posted by dodi4200
also the other 2spot light that are together in the dash 8 its in the nose.but in the dash 9 its between the number boards in the top of the loco.
True, but that locomotive is a Dash 9-40CW which is used primarely by NS. A BNSF Dash 9 has the main headlight on the nose.
That's just railroad preference. Conrail had Dash 8's with the high headlight. Headlight placement isn't exactly a spotting feature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccaranna
but a quick and common way to spot the difference between the Dash-8 and Dash-9 is in the style of truck. (though I'm sure there HAS to be an exception that will get pointed out)
Leave it to me to point out the exception. CSX has Dash 9's with the old style FB-3 truck. They're in the 9000 series. Other than that, the trucks are pretty much the easiest way to tell the difference.

Last edited by cmherndon; 03-17-2006 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 03-17-2006, 09:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnsf sammy
True, but that locomotive is a Dash 9-40CW which is used primarely by NS. A BNSF Dash 9 has the main headlight on the nose.
Image © Keith
PhotoID: 137164
Photograph © Keith
Perfectly placed so that it can burn the crews when they brush up against it
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Old 03-17-2006, 11:27 PM   #10
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Number boards in the nose of the dash 8 also as opposed to above the windshields in the -9.

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Old 03-17-2006, 11:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainmonster
Number boards in the nose of the dash 8 also as opposed to above the windshields in the -9.

Rich
Don't be so sure! Its the railroad's preference.
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Old 03-18-2006, 01:03 PM   #12
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yes sammy and caleb i think that the best way till now is the trucks.but may be another thing in the body of the locos that we can know the dash8 or dash9 by it.
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Old 03-18-2006, 04:09 PM   #13
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The central air intake, the intake along the top of the hood behind the cab, is considerably smaller on the Dash 9 than on the Dash 8. Compare these pictures of Union Pacific Dash 8s and Dash 9s to see what I mean.

UP Dash 9 9566
Image © Jean-Marc Frybourg
PhotoID: 134224
Photograph © Jean-Marc Frybourg


UP Dash 8 9446
Image © David L. Miller
PhotoID: 133886
Photograph © David L. Miller


UP Dash 9 9586
Image © Mike Bates
PhotoID: 114719
Photograph © Mike Bates


UP Dash 8 9423
Image © nsrayman - www.nslocos.com
PhotoID: 105974
Photograph © nsrayman - www.nslocos.com

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Old 03-18-2006, 06:17 PM   #14
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OR--

Simply become familiar with the road numbers of your favorite railroad. NS has their locomotives numbered pretty well I might add; as least as far as the GE's are concerned. (EMD's aren't too bad) Once you remember what numbers a certain locomotive class begins and ends, you're in pretty good shape. Just doing a little homework and research makes spotting a WHOLE lot easier. Oh, and did I mention having a couple of good reference books at your side helps, too?
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Old 03-18-2006, 10:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccaranna
OR--

Simply become familiar with the road numbers of your favorite railroad. ... Once you remember what numbers a certain locomotive class begins and ends, you're in pretty good shape. Just doing a little homework and research makes spotting a WHOLE lot easier. Oh, and did I mention having a couple of good reference books at your side helps, too?
Yeah, those things help A LOT. But knowing some spotting features of various locomotive types helps in identifying locomotives of railroads you aren't as familiar with. It also helps as a gut check when railroads renumber locomotives (i.e. UP's SD60Ms).
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Old 02-20-2017, 06:46 AM   #16
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Yes, with most roads, I go by the loco number, but other than that, I usually identify them by the radiators. The dash 9 grills are separated, like the AC44/AC60, but the older dash 8 grills are not.
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Old 02-20-2017, 09:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Young Railfan View Post
Yes, with most roads, I go by the loco number, but other than that, I usually identify them by the radiators. The dash 9 grills are separated, like the AC44/AC60, but the older dash 8 grills are not.
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Old 02-20-2017, 11:09 PM   #18
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Look at all those former members...

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Old 02-22-2017, 04:09 PM   #19
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Old 04-14-2017, 01:33 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoydie17 View Post
DASH 9's are a few feet longer, I believe 73 feet vs. 70 feet

DASH 9's have slightly longer radiator vents (wings).

DASH 9's have 6 boarding steps instead of only 5
Nope - Early DASH-9s also have 5 steps; see the ATSF Warbonnet versions, like here:

http://www.bing.com/images/search?vi...XXvuLStvJAEsC_

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoydie17 View Post
The fuel tanks on DASH 8's only have one beveled edge, as the DASH 9's have two.

The trucks are probably the easiest to identify if it's moving at speed.

DASH 8's have the GE version of the "Flexicoil" (I believe GE calls them FB-3's) non-steerable trucks and DASH 9's have the steerable GE Hi-Ad (High-Adhesion) "roller blade" trucks.
The "Hi-Ad" trucks on the DASH-9s are not the GE "steerable" trucks; GE's steerable trucks are those awkward looking things CSX has on a lot of their GEs with the link in the middle. See the linked pic:

http://www.bing.com/images/search?vi...=14&ajaxhist=0

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoydie17 View Post
All of these features are standardized regardless of RR. I didn't bother identifying RR specific info, such as handrail styles.

Sean
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