Canadian comfort cab

Canadian comfort cab

The Canadian Comfort Cab or Wide Cab is a broad-nosed cab design found on diesel locomotives. It occupies the entire width of the locomotive, and typically has an access door on the front.

The Development

The basic shape first appeared on a hood unit, the EMD DDA40X, in 1969. It was the same design as the F45 and FP45 cowl units being built by EMD at the time.

EMD builds for CN

The first true Canadian cabs were custom builds for the Canadian National Railway, hence the Canadian in Canadian Comfort Cab. The locomotives were GP38-2Ws, GP40-2Ws, and SD40-2Ws. GE and EMD began offering the wide cab as a standard option instead of a custom build option in 1988.

Although the first comfort cab delivered was on CN 5560, an EMD GP38-2 and the last locomotive in that order, the first series of comfort cabs were on the initial order of MLW (Montreal Locomotive Works) M420s, also built for Canadian National Railway in 1973.

Cab Design

The Wide Cab design has a number of safety features as well as a number of crew comfort features.


The wide cab is built with a specially reinforced nose. Instead of sheet metal, 1/8-inch-thick armor steel is used. This allows locomotives to simply plow through anything in their way with only minor paint damage. Also, toughened vertical supports reinforce the nose, keeping the crew safe. In addition, the windows of the cab meet FRA Regulations Part 223 [ [ Section ] ] which states that windows must withstand the impact of a .22 caliber bullet or a cinder block.


The Canadian Comfort Cab is notably more spacious for the crew. It has significantly more open space than standard cabs, allowing crew members space to move about. The increased cab space is harder to heat and cool effectively, so some engineers prefer the older standard cab locomotives. Many new EMD locomotives include the feature of the "Whisper Cab", a cab that is acoustically isolated from the rest of the locomotive.


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