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A Montana Rail Link F45 leads a freight in 2005.
The EMD F45 is a C-C cowled diesel-electric locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division between 1968 and 1971. Power was provided by an EMD 645E3 20-cylinder engine which generated 3,600 hp (2,680 kW).
After sponsoring the development of the FP45 passenger locomotive, the Santa Fe requested a similar freight locomotive from Electro-Motive. Where the FP45 was an SDP45 wrapped in a full-width cowl carbody, the new F45 was essentially an SD45 given the same treatment.
Where the Santa Fe requested a full-width carbody for aesthetics, the Great Northern saw an opportunity to protect crews from the dangers of winter operation in northern climates.
The Santa Fe ordered two lots of twenty each, for 1968 delivery. Where the FP45s were delivered in Santa Fe's red, yellow and silver warbonnet colors, the forty F45s came in the blue and yellow freight colors. The second order of F45s were equipped with steam lines so that they could be used as trailing units on passenger consists.
Great Northern (GN) ordered an initial lot of six, for 1969 delivery. These were numbered immediately following a previous lot of SD45s. Another lot of eight was ordered before the first six arrived. All were factory-painted in the GN's blue, white and grey Big Sky Blue colors.
GN ordered twelve more for 1970 delivery - they were to be numbered 441-452 - but the GN merged into the Burlington Northern (BN) prior to delivery, so they arrived with BN numbers and BN's green, white and black Cascade Green colors.
BN followed with a final order for twenty in 1971. Afterwards they returned to ordering SD45s. This final order differed in several small ways from the GN specs.
|Order||Built||Serial Numbers||Quantity||1st No.||2nd No.||3rd No.||Notes|
|7105||6/68||34036-34055||20||Santa Fe 1900-1919||Santa Fe 5900-5919||Santa Fe 5950-5969||Dispositions vary|
|7105||6/68-7/68||34056-34075||20||Santa Fe 1920-1939||Santa Fe 5920-5939||Santa Fe 5970-5989||Built with pass-through steam lines. Dispositions vary|
|7151||5/69-6/69||34736-34741||6||GN 427-432||BN 6600-6605||All sold to Schnitzer Steel 7/84 for scrap|
|5750||7/69-8/69||35110-35117||8||GN 433-440||BN 6606-6613||Dispositions vary|
|5762||7/70-9/70||36341-36352||12||BN 6614-6625||Ordered by GN prior to merger day, delivered after as BN units. All sold to Pielet Brothers 11/86 for scrap|
|5774||4/71||37166-37185||20||BN 6626-6645||Dispositions vary|
Morrison-Knudsen purchased seven from the Santa Fe in February 1994 for their lease fleet. 5950, 5952, 5958, 5962, 5968, 5969 and 5960 became MKCX 5525-5531 and served both the Southern Pacific and the Utah Railway in patched blue and yellow warbonnets. 5531 was repainted in Utah Railway red and grey and renumbered 9013, until returned in October 2001. The rest were ultimately scrapped.
Wisconsin Central purchased six SDF45s from Santa Fe in 1995. 5959 and 5972 became 6631-6632 in 1994, then 6653 and 6655 in 1995. 5955, 5956, 5965 and 5981 became 6650, 6651, 6654 and 6656 in 1995. (6652 was WC's lone SDFP45.) All were painted in WC's maroon and gold. After CN purchased the WC in October 2001, all were retired between November 2001 and February 2002.
Eleven Santa Fe SDF45s were conveyed to the BNSF in the 1996 merger. By the time they were renumbered in 1997 only 5953, 5970 and 5775 remained, becoming BNSF 6550-6552. They were retired in May 2002.
Four GN F45s, retired by BN in 1984, were picked up by NRE. In cooperation with Helm, they were leased to Utah Railway from April 1985 until April 1991 as NHL 6606, 6607, 6608 and 6613. All were subsequently scrapped.
Another four GN F45s, 6609-6612, were purchased by Canadian National in June 1994 for parts. 6610 and 6612 were scrapped in 1989, but the bodies of 6609 and 6611 lingered for years outside the shops in Montreal.
After retirement, BN 6614-6625 were picked up by the South Shore. Plans were to operate six in coal service and cannibalize the rest for parts. 6620 and one other saw service. After a major failure the plans changed, and all were sold for scrap in November 1986.
BN 6627 was purchased by Doyle McCormack in March 1987. He painted it in Southern Pacific "Daylight" colors, arranged according to the New York Central "lightning stripes" scheme, and numbered it 743.
Transcisco Tours purchased BN 6635 and 6642, and later Doyle McCormack's 743, for excursions. They became MCHX 1001-1003, and were painted in red and blue with grey & black pinstripes. Transisco installed HEP generators to power the passenger cars. After plans fell through, Wisconsin Southern purchased them in January 1992 and applied their red and silver colors. The units proved too heavy for regular service, although they were used for special events and leased to the BN from October 1993 to April 1994.
The Susquehanna purchased BN 6640 and 6644 in November 1986. They were repainted in yellow and black. 6640 became NYSW 3636, and 6644 NYSW 6370, then 3638. For a short time 6635 and 6642 were leased from NRE as well. 3636 was leased to sister regional TP&W in 1998 and 1999, and eventually retired in 2002.
Montana RailLink purchased Susquehanna 3638 in October 1993. It was repainted in their dark blue and black and numbered 390. Then in April 1994 they purchased all three of the Wisconsin Southern units, which after repainting they became 391-393. 390 was upgraded with a Q-Tron microprocessor and redesignated an F45MP. BN, their original owner, has leased 391-393 for short periods when short of power. 393 was also leased to sister road IMRL from 1997 to 2001.
In 1982 and 1983, Santa Fe's San Bernardino shops rebuilt F45s 5900-5939. They emerged as 5950-5989, were painted in a blue and yellow version of the warbonnet, and were redesignated SDF45s. Electrically they were upgraded to SD45-2 standards. Mechanically, they were re-geared from 59:18 to 60:17, reducing their top speed from 89 to 83 mph (143 to 134 km/h).
In the late 1980s Santa Fe again re-geared them - this time to 62:15 for 71 mph (114 km/h).
MotivePower Industries used their 5989 as an EPA Tier-I emissions test bed in 2002. Metra in Chicago had ordered 27 MP36PH-3 passenger locomotives for commuter service. To test their emissions, 5989's 20-645-E3 was replaced with the MP36PH-3's 16-645-F3B and cooling system, and its traction motors removed.
Morrison-Knudsen used the cowls from several scrapped BN F45s to rebuild eleven GP40s into GP40FH-2 locomotives for New Jersey Transit. 4130-4139 were completed in 1987, and 4141 in 1989. (New cowls were fabricated for 4140 and 4142-4144.)
Revelstoke Limited LLC purchased a former Santa Fe F45 in June 2008 and restored it externally as Great Northern 441 (GN's last F45 was 440); it was the first locomotive in 40 years to be painted in GN's Big Sky Blue colors. It has been converted to a Luxury Locomotive Lodge at the Izaak Walton Inn at Essex, Montana. It arrived at Essex on August 26, 2009, and became available for lodging in January 2010. The interior can sleep up to four people and includes a living room, kitchen, master bedroom and bath. The cab has been restored to the current BNSF Railway specification for new and re-manufactured locomotives. It is believed[by whom?]to be the only locomotive in the world that has been converted to living space available for rent. The locomotive was originally built as Santa Fe 1910, later 5910, later 5960, built by EMD in June 1968, serial number 34046. More recently it was Morrison-Knudsen 5531, then Utah Railway 9013.
Dynamic Railway Preservation was raising money to acquire and restore Montana Rail Link F45 #390, formerly Burlington Northern #6644. The project ended in 2014 when the locomotive was eventually sold to another private owner, and the money that was raised was used to restore SDP40F #644.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to EMD F45 locomotives.|
- Pinkepank, Jerry A. (1973). The Second Diesel Spotter's Guide. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Kalmbach Publishing. ISBN 978-0-89024-026-7.
- The Izaak Walton Inn - The Great Northern 441 Locomotive. Retrieved on August 18, 2009
- LocoPhotos - GN 441 Locomotive. Retrieved on August 18, 2009[unreliable source?]
- The UNofficial EMD Homepage. Retrieved on August 18, 2009[unreliable source?]
- Graham-White, Sean (2002). Electro-Motive Division's Classic Cowl Units - A Color Pictorial. La Mirada, CA: Four Ways West. ISBN 1-885614-53-5.
- Santa Fe's F45s. Retrieved on August 19, 2009[unreliable source?]