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Nostalgia & History > EMD SD60 Demonstrators on Santa Fe


Date: 12/06/12 13:27
EMD SD60 Demonstrators on Santa Fe
Author: SP8595

In July of 1985, I took a trip through the Midwest and was fortunate enough to run into Electro-Motive Division's SD60 Demonstrators that were touring out on the Santa Fe at that time not only once but 3 times!

1)EMD #1, 2 and 4 along with Santa Fe's test car are seen at Argentine yard in Kansas City.

2)Six days later we had just arrived in Amarillo having followed the Burlington Northern line up from Ft. Worth when we spotted EMD #1, 4 and Santa Fe SD45 5382 arriving into town on the Westbound #358 train. After several attempts trying to get some sun, we finally found a "sucker hole".

After Amarillo, we headed North continuing to follow the BN up to Dalhart, TX and then followed the "Cotton Rock" down to Tucumcari, New Mexico and after grabbing a couple of hours of sleep, we hit I-40 Westbound heading back home to California. West of Kingman, AZ we overtook a westbound freight and what do you know, it was the same #358 train we had shot in Amarillo the day before!

3)EMD #1, 4 and Santa Fe 5382 pass the Homer station sign as they reach the top of the grade out in the Mojave desert in California.








Date: 12/06/12 13:59
Re: EMD SD60 Demonstrators on Santa Fe
Author: RplusLJetService

I would have loved to see these in blue and yellow. Too bad Santa Fe didn't buy any SD60's.

Adam



Date: 12/06/12 14:13
Re: EMD SD60 Demonstrators on Santa Fe
Author: garr

EMD has had a variety of demo schemes, this one is my favorite.

Since Santa Fe had GP60's I wonder if the SD60's came along when 4 axles were still the focus for them? I agree, it would have been nice to see either the SD60 or SD50 in yellow bonnet.

Nice photos BTW. I remember seeing the GP60 demonstrators on the NS in Austell, GA. I did not have time to hang around long but one was experiencing mechanical problems. Train was stopped by Barnes Hardware, engine in the lead unit was revving very high.

Jay



Date: 12/06/12 21:42
Re: EMD SD60 Demonstrators on Santa Fe
Author: 3rdswitch

Another great catch.
JB



Date: 12/06/12 22:00
Re: EMD SD60 Demonstrators on Santa Fe
Author: fbe

RplusLJetService Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I would have loved to see these in blue and
> yellow. Too bad Santa Fe didn't buy any SD60's.
>
> Adam

There must have been something they liked, they came back for SD75s in warbonnet. Pretty good recovery.

Posted from Windows Phone OS 7



Date: 12/06/12 22:09
Re: EMD SD60 Demonstrators on Santa Fe
Author: Habu

Interesting ... a rooftop-mounted air conditioner was added to EMD 1. I have never seen shots of her with said rooftop mounted a/c, which apparently was done specifically for her Demo on the AT&SF.



Date: 12/07/12 00:37
Re: EMD SD60 Demonstrators on Santa Fe
Author: Evan_Werkema

Santa Fe didn't buy any new 6-axle power between 1982 and 1992. They did pick up 18 ex-Amtrak SDP40F's in 1984, but otherwise spent the 80's rebuilding their existing 6-axle fleet and buying new high horsepower 4-axle units for TOFC hotshots. The result for the trackside observer was a far more diverse roster than we would have had if Santa Fe had seen the coming tide of doublestacks for what it was, shuttered Berdoo and Cleburne, scrapped the old stuff, and put all their motive power dollars into new SD60's and C36-7's. Instead, we got to enjoy a few extra cowl units, another decade and change of 20-cylinder EMD power (FP45's, F45's, SD45's and SD45-2's), and only-on-Santa-Fe models like the SF30C, GP60M, GP60B, and Dash 8-40BW. I'm happy with that trade-off.



Date: 12/07/12 03:05
Re: EMD SD60 Demonstrators on Santa Fe
Author: lwilton

But would Santa Fe still be here if they had done it the other way?



Date: 12/07/12 06:22
Re: EMD SD60 Demonstrators on Santa Fe
Author: bridgeportsub

I think Conrail bought them and now they are on CSX. I remember seeing them in helper service at Rowlesburg,WV.I had a friend who worked at EMD at the time, and he was sent oversee the test. The test lasted 2 weeks. CSX ended up buying 10 of them and put an end to the 4 SD35 helper sets. Randy



Date: 12/07/12 06:32
Re: EMD SD60 Demonstrators on Santa Fe
Author: Evan_Werkema

lwilton Wrote:

> But would Santa Fe still be here if they had done
> it the other way?

Santa Fe was slow to fully embrace double stacks, but it's hard to argue that it really hurt them in the long run. The railroad was profitable in the 1990's, and the BNSF merger wasn't a case of a destitute streak of rust across the desert looking for a big green savior. BN bought Santa Fe to get Rob Krebs and the rest of the management team, and probably wouldn't have been deterred if Santa Fe management had shown even greater competence. At the same time, Santa Fe was the smallest of the western Class 1's, and it's hard to say how long they could have stayed out of the mega-merger mania while the rest of the railroad world consolidated around them. I don't think a fleet of SD60's would have made the difference, though. ;^)



Date: 12/07/12 07:30
Re: EMD SD60 Demonstrators on Santa Fe
Author: ntharalson

Evan_Werkema Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> lwilton Wrote:
>
> > But would Santa Fe still be here if they had
> done
> > it the other way?
>
> Santa Fe was slow to fully embrace double stacks,
> but it's hard to argue that it really hurt them in
> the long run. The railroad was profitable in the
> 1990's, and the BNSF merger wasn't a case of a
> destitute streak of rust across the desert looking
> for a big green savior. BN bought Santa Fe to get
> Rob Krebs and the rest of the management team, and
> probably wouldn't have been deterred if Santa Fe
> management had shown even greater competence. At
> the same time, Santa Fe was the smallest of the
> western Class 1's, and it's hard to say how long
> they could have stayed out of the mega-merger
> mania while the rest of the railroad world
> consolidated around them. I don't think a fleet
> of SD60's would have made the difference, though.
> ;^)
Evan is totally correct on this. You may remember that
Drew Lewis of the UP started a proxy fight when BN and
ATSF announced their plans to merge. Krebs fought that
off because he knew the BN was better for him and the
Santa Fe management.

What hurt the Santa Fe more at the time was not their
reluctance to embrace double stacks, they were trying to
keep their piggyback customers happy, but the dearth of
coal traffic. ATSF, and to a lesser extent SP, did not
have the lucrative orginiation traffic the UP and the BN
had. Today, of course, intermodal is surpreme. But that
came about because the Santa Fe, led by John Reed and
Rob Krebs, found a way to make it profitable. This was
not a given at the time of the mega-mergers in the mid-90's.

Nick Tharalson,
Marion, IA



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