The last “new power” purchase for Illinois Terminal (IT) was its four Electro-Motive Division (EMD) GP38-2 diesel locomotives: 2001-2004 (builder’s numbers 776065-01 through 776065-04). The Phase II GP38-2s arrived in mid-1977. The road had only a few independent years remaining before being taken over by Norfolk & Western, just prior to the early 1980s Norfolk Southern merger.
ABOVE: The class unit 2001 still looks sharp several years into its service career at Federal Yard on October 23, 1981. -Daniel M. Schroeder photo, Kevin EuDaly collection
Illinois Terminal was a small regional railroad operating in Illinois. The roster was mostly switchers and a few Geeps with only a few second generation diesels. The road bought six EMD SD39s in 1969 and these GP38-2s from 1977 came next. The next newest power in IT’s collection was a pair of rehabbed GP20s 2008 and 2009 (ex-UP 482 and 480) the road acquired from Precision National in the late 1970s.
Athearn produced IT GP38-2s for its Ready To Roll series in the past, and in 2021 this prototype saw release as a Genesis model. Ryan Crawford reviews the model in his “Genesis IT Green Apples” review in October 2021’s Model Railroad News.