The EMD, Electro Motive Division, SD80MAC is a type of high-powered, six-axle, 5,000hp AC-traction diesel locomotive built from 1995 to 1996. Only 30 were built with Conrail as the only purchaser. Today, they can only be seen on CSX and NS trackage.
After the initial success of the SD70MAC in 1994, one of the very first major types of single-engined AC-traction diesel locomotives produced for the North American locomotive market, EMD introduced the SD80MAC as a step below its goal of 6,000 horsepower. The SD80MAC was the first EMD locomotive to utilize a V20 engine since the SD45. SD80MAC;s were the very first ever AC-traction diesel locomotives owned by Conrail. They were used on Conrail's long and heavy coal trains through their Allegheny Mountain routes in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, and New York. The EMD SD80MAC is generally considered successful, but high cost, unique controls, and competition from the AC6000CW caused few orders to be generated . The Chicago And Northwestern (CNW) had an order for 15 units and Canadian Pacific (CP) railroads originally intended on ordering units, but UP purchased CNW in 1995 and the demonstrations of SD90MAC's on CP were more successful; the orders for SD80MACs were cancelled, and Conrail remained the only customer to fulfill their purchase. NS is to purchase the 12 remaining CSX SD80MAC's (#4542 scrapped).
They were also known by railfans as the "Middle Mac"; having 5,000hp in between the SD70MAC's 4,300hp and the SD90MAC's 6,000hp. Conrail's fleet of EMD SD80MAC's were also painted in an exclusive scheme to distinguish them from other units.
CSX designates the SD80MAC as simply the "SD80AC."
The last Conrail-painted units were repainted back in 2009. Since then, Conrail-painted SD80MAC's no longer exist on CSX or Norfolk Southern's roster.
Once CSX finished repainting their fleet of SD80MAC's, they were renumbered from their original 800-series number fleet.
CSX #4590 (formally #800) was painted with exclusive "Spirit of Benning" lettering as being part of the "Spirit Of" or "Spirit" units.
NS retained the original "Radial-AC" slogans from Conrail, while CSX left their original marker lights and NS removed them.
All SD80MAC's were painted into YN3 paint except for one, #4591 (former #801). This unit was painted in YN2 paint and final repainted to YN3 in 2011.