View Full Version : Swan song of the SD45

02-02-2012, 03:20 PM

With news of B&P scrapping their SD45's it seems like the last substantial fleet of SD45's in the US (or Canada or Mexico) is done for. This leaves the question, how many straight SD45's are left operating in the US? This is only counting 20 cylinder models and not the SD45-2's either.
The only ones that immediately come to mind are DMVW's pair of ex-WC SD45's. Is that really it?

02-03-2012, 12:49 PM
Nikos, you are correct-- a true 20 cylinder SD45 is a hard find these days. Fuel consumption is what is killing these things. The roads still using them (or that were) are mostly smaller operations where the difference in horsepower a 20 cylinder brings makes literally no difference, so the fuel usage becomes the main motivator. With plentiful cheap SD40-2s on the market and 16-645 powerplants from those which have been scrapped, retirement/repowering is now a relatively affordable option.

Believe one of the ex LTEX leasers now owned by OmniTrax is still a 20 cyl. Ex SP 7444, it was on the Alabama & Tennessee River for several years, but recently moved to the Illinois Railway. I can't verify for absolute certain it is a 20 cyl, but was told by an employee at ATN all the ex LTEX units they had were 20 cylinder, with the exception of SD40-2T 5387. That is why they were getting rid of them-- excessive fuel consumption.

There is also a pretty good chance the SD45s on the Eastern Washington Gateway are straight SD45s, as well. One of those is ex SCL. I don't think these received 16 cyl powerplants before MRL sold them off.

Confirmation or corrections on any of this is welcomed.

02-04-2012, 05:14 PM
So current roll call:

Active and safe (for now)

DMVW: 2 units (ex-WC)
Eastern Washington Gateway Railroad: 2 units, (ex-MRL)
Illinois Railway: 1 unit (ex-ATN/LTEX/SP)

NYSW: 2?
MRL: 23(?), all ex-SP rebuilt to SD45-2 standards 20 cylinders?
B&P: 4, for now

Pretty sad for such a iconic locomotive, atleast alot of carbodies live on.
Anyone have any additions to the list?

02-04-2012, 10:06 PM
Do tourist railroads/museums count? If so, is the "Hustle Muscle" from Minneapolis or the WC from IRM true 20 cylinder units?

02-14-2012, 02:10 PM
A friend checked in with a few more to add:

NKCR #7424, 7427
- LTEX #7488 (wrecked in head-on)

All three of these are on OmniTrax's Nebraska Kansas Colorado RR. 7488 was wrecked in a pretty spectacular head on by a runaway loaded grain hopper which had gotten away from an industrial switch crew at an elevator. See evidence at the link. No injuries, crew had left the standing train and was clear.


02-14-2012, 02:14 PM
Also, one thing to clarify on the original post, just to be sure others are certain of the discussion. The B&P 20 cylinder SD45s are the units being retired. While I don't have exact numbers, I believe about 5 of the 450-series SD45s on the B&P roster are essentially SD40-2s in an SD45 carbody, so these units will remain on the roster, at least for the time being. But it definitely will be harder to find a lashup of solid SD45s like the B&P of old...