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F40PH is a diesel-electric locomotive introduced by Electro-Motive Division (EMD) in the late 1970’s. The type served as the flagship engine for Amtrak’s passenger fleet until they were replaced by the General Electric P42 “Genesis” (which is often seen as the “anti-F40PH” by “foamers”, a subculture of railfans) On 4chan, images of F40PH trains have been primarily used as a counter-response to the contentious Furry Friday threads. Among F40PH enthusiasts, the great scale of the locomotive is comparable to that of Chuck Norris or Billy Mays.
The phenomenon of posting train images began as early as December 2006, largely in reaction to the heavy influx of furry porn threads on 4chan’s /b/ (random) board in honor of Furry Fridays, a 4chan tradition that had been around since 2005. At the time, anon posters felt that furries did not belong on /b/, who was considered it a random board for anime and Japanese culture. Because of this, any Furry thread would end up flooded with photos of the Amtrak locomotive.
By February 2007, an anon known as Vipper declared Fridays as the day to post photos of the F40PH instead of furry images. In August of that year, a definition had been submitted to Urban Dictionary stating that F40PH Friday had replaced Furry Friday.
Eventually, 4chan’s F40PH enthusiasm spread out across other forums and imageboard sites, most notably on 1chan.net, an imageboard community built around the common interest of railroads and train-spotting. It also spawned a number of tributes on YouTube and YTMND.
F40PH threads have also appeared on other locomotive enthusiast communities and forums, such as Trains.com and Rail Forums. Encyclopedia Dramatica and Wikifur both have entries on the trend as well. While F40PH image threads initially gained prominence through its usage against Furry Friday threads, many users have also come to appreciate the train for its respectable stature in the history of American railroad. Today, images of F40PH still appear on 4chan and other similar imageboard communities, sometimes following the custom of F40PH Fridays and other times in honor of the train itself on any day of the week.
Typically, F40PH threads can be generated with the aid of a directory dumper software and the obligatory battlecry YIFF IN HELL, FURFAGS. Due to the polarized opinions on furry porn threads and locomotive threads, F40PH train threads may be received differently depending on the culture within each imageboard. For example, any mentions or image uploads of F40PH on Fchan will result in an immediate ban.
Because the F40Ph is held in such a high place (comparable to that of Chuck Norris), the engine received its own list of “facts”. A compilation of such facts can be viewed on the Encyclopedia Dramatica entry.
Taking into account that F40PH may be searched for without any relation to its 4chan usage, search picked up in volume in March 2005, hitting an all-time high in June 2008.