My brother snapped this shot of the prototype at Pullman Junction in Chicago in July of 1975, shortly after I graduated from high school. The loco was wrecked only 2 months later, on Sept 12, 1975 and never saw Conrail Blue. In this view the unit has been repainted and lacks the black edge along the roofline. Original Kodachrome by Tim Harman, 7/75, scanned from a laser print of the slide.
These photos bring back fond memories of shooting black & white Kodak TMX film and doing everything myself. Digital has made me lazy, but I'm waking up again to real photography.
I never was able to do a real "modeler's series" of photos on a real EL SDP45, at least in original form. On March 21, 1998 I was riding with Brian Kriemendahl on an all-day tour of Tehachapi, and I got a wonderful opportunity.
While watching an eastbound freight at Woodford, Brian spotted a Stevens International trailer, on a flat car. These were new at the time as was A-Line's model of the Utility trailer and there apparently had been some dispute as to whether or not it was a "real" intermodal trailer.
Brian wanted more shots of it, so we hopped out onto highway 58 and drove past the loop, which we otherwise would not have done - and while passing by, I spotted this ex-EL SDP45 sitting on the siding east of Tunnel 10.
Since this spot was not visible from the back roads at all, I owe these great photos (and the full 3 rolls of film I shot) to intermodal zeal. What can I say.
This unit has been rebuilt by M-K as an SD40-2M, which means its 20-cylinder prime mover has been replaced by a 16 cyl. But unlike some other 20-cyl rebuilds, this one has retained its exterior appearance - no door or sheet metal changes to speak of. The trade-mark notched nose and brakewheel are totally original.
The long hood end is also original, other than the removal of the number boards and class lights. Even though my model was already finished by the time I took these photos, they confirmed a number of things I had interpolated or guessed at on the model. Notice the fan hatch is straight across the back, not pointed like a standard SD45 hatch. Trucks have been modified with the thick horizontal beams seen frequently on Espee rebuilds.
You know, the old salt doesn't look bad at all in SP scarlet and gray. These photos often are confusing because SP did own the full passenger version of the SDP45, and sometimes these are mistaken for rebuilds of those, with the steam generator removed. But this is definitely Erie Lackawanna vintage. Southern Pacific? Well, Things could be worse!
These last two close-ups show clearly the low profile dustbin hatch, hidden under the SP antenna table, but you can tell it's low profile. The other shot shows the low profile dynamic brake T-vent, which is lower and about twice as wide as the standard one. Alas the fans on this unit have all been replaced with standard height EMD fare, as has the exhaust stack.
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