The diesel electrics that serve the mainline railroads of the Southwest Corner offer the knowing railfan a wide variety of models to watch for. This month we'll take a look at some of this modern motive power seen most often. The photos are all of Santa Fe locomotives, but where Southern Pacific and/or Union Pacific have similar models will be pointed out. All of the engines in the pictures below have made it into San Diego at one time or another.

Santa Fe is in the midst of a system-wide renumbering project of all its newer equipment. The new numbering series groups the different classes of diesels according to builder, number of axles, and horsepower to facilitate engine assignments. The older 200 series "covered wagons," now found only east of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the small yard switchers are not receiving new numbers. According to Santa Fe they will be phased out in the near future.

The renumbering, similar to a Southern Pacific plan that began in 1965, eliminates gaps in the diesel roster that are holdovers from the last days of steam..

In the captions for the photos that follow, the builder is listed first (EMD - Electro-Motives Division of General Motors; GE - General Electric; ALCo - American Locomotive Company). The individual model number is then given, followed by the model's rated horsepower. In the following line, Santa Fe's numbering series is given (new numbering first, old numbering in parenthesis), followed by Espse and UP unit numbers where applicable.

EMD / GP30 / 2250 hp / 4 axles B-B wheel arrangement SANTA FE 3200-3284 (1200-1284) / SP 5010-5017 / UP 700 series.

These unique looking units were built by EMD between July of 1961 through 1963. They're easily distinquished by the cobra-shaped blister extending back from the cab roof.

Union Pacific also has the booster variations of the GP30, that is, the same model with no cab. These are numbered UP 700B-734B. These are the only booster variations of the GP30 extant, and are often seen on the UP main out of Los Angeles.

EMD / GP35 / 2500 hp / 4 axles B-B wheel arrangement SANTA FE 3300-3460 (1300-1460) / SP 6520-6679 / UP 800 series.

EMD manufactured over 400 of this very popular model between the latter part of 1963 and 1966, The body shape of the GP35 is that of the standard, utilitarian EMD design, and one must look at minor details to distinquish these units from similar models.

The presence of a square turbocharger stack (seen on the roof of #1430 above the open access door behind the cab) and a pattern of two large and one small radiator, fan on the long hood Identify the GP35.

EMD/SD24/2400/ 6 axles C-C wheel arrangement SANTA FE 4500-4579 (900-979) / UP 400-429

The SD24 has a number of characteristics that make it easily identifiable. Air reservoirs are mounted on the roof of these units directly behind the cab as can be seen in the photo of #4519. The turbocharger bulge seen on the long hood of the unit directly behind the cab (on the left side only) also distinquishes this model.

Once again, Union Pacific is the only railroad to own the booster versions of this model. In fact, with a roster ranging from 400B through 444B, UP has more SD24 boosters than cabs. Like its GP30 boosters, UP's SD24 boosters are frequent sights in the Southwest Corner.

The SD24s were built in 1959 and 1960, and interestingly enough, they were never purchased by Southern Pacific.


EMD / SD40 / 3000 hp / 6 axles C-C wheel arrangement SANTA FE 5000-5019 (1700-1719)/ SP 8400-8478 / UP 3000 series.

Because the SD40 rides on the same frame as the larger SD45, there is quite a bit of platform overhang on both ends that helps identify this model. The SD40 also has a pattern of three large radiator fans on Its long hood roof.

The SD40 is a current model from EMD, with Santa Fe's having been delivered in 1966, and SP's arriving the same year.

EMD / SD45 / 3600 hp / 6 axles C-C wheel arrangement SANTA FE 5500-5615 (1800-1889)/ SP 8800-9155 / UP 3600 series.

The SD45 represents the largest single-engined locomotive in existence, and has proven extremely popular across the country. Notice the SF and SP rosters. Santa Fe also has a number of similar F-45s (same engine, different body) which it has recently obtained.

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