Prototype Profile: Santa Fe SD45s in the 1980s

Santa Fe 5386, a rebuilt SD45, leads a pair of General Electric units at Atherton, Mo., east of Kansas City with a priority intermodal train. This unit was built in 1969 as Santa Fe’s 5590 and became 5386 following rebuilding in 1985. –Jim Asplund photo, Kevin EuDaly collection

Prototype Profile: Santa Fe SD45s in the 1980s

Santa Fe bought more than 100 examples of Electro-Motive Division’s (EMD) SD45 diesel locomotive. The road’s first group came in mid 1966 and included 30 units (1800-1829) with another 60 units (1830-1889) added in late 1966. The road added 35 more units in 1969 and 1970; these additions came numbered 5590-5624. In 1969, Santa Fe renumbered its roster and the two orders from the 1960s with 1800-series road numbers moved to 5500-5589. Beginning in 1972, Santa Fe adopted its Yellowbonnet blue-and-yellow paint scheme and the SD45 fleet saw repainting with rebuilding ahead in the 1980s.

ABOVE: Santa Fe 5309 leads Burlington Northern power on an intermodal train in June 1985. This Santa Fe SD45 began as 1878 in late 1966 and wore “bookends” livery, then was renumbered 5578 around 1970 and repainted in Yellowbonnet scheme in the 1970s. In 1981, the unit was rebuilt into an SD45u returned to work as Santa Fe 5309. – John Hake hoto, Kevin EuDaly collection

The 20-cylinder SD45 fleet went through a Santa Fe rebuilding program that included a new identification (SD45u) and new numbering. Around this same time in the 1980s, the merger with Southern Pacific was being prepared for and select roster members received “Kodachrome” livery for the planned SPSF railroad.

ABOVE: Broadway Limited Imports’ first production of HO-scale SD45 diesel locomotive models due in September 2022 will include two Santa Fe offerings replicating the 1980s era SD45u appearance.

Broadway Limited Imports will offer an all-new tooling HO-scale SD45 diesel locomotive with the first examples planned for fall 2022 delivery. The models will come with road-specific attributes and the pair of Santa Fe releases (5382 and 5398) will include details and decoration for a 1980s SD45u appearance. In addition to Santa Fe, this first SD45 production will include Burlington Northern, EMD Demonstrator, Norfolk & Western, Pennsylvania Railroad, Southern Railway, Southern Pacific, Union Pacific, and an undecorated offering. Visit the manufacturer’s website for more information and images.

Broadway Limited Imports


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This article was posted on: March 18, 2022